Connecticut is a wonderful place to be in the summer. Numerous activities abound, with weekly farmers’ markets, town events, library book clubs, ice cream pit-stops, and relaxing at the beach. Whether you are enjoying the great outdoors or hiding out from the rain indoors, you, your family, and friends, are sure to have fun. Continue reading to learn our favorite summertime activities that can be found across Connecticut.
The summertime is the best time to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms, handcrafted goods from artisans, or check out a street food stand or truck at one of Connecticut’s numerous famers’ markets. Follow the Connecticut Farmers’ Market Trail, or stop by some of our recommended markets in Connecticut. Specifically, the Coventry Farmers’ Market features 65 excellent vendors selling produce, honey, sauces, preserves, and more, while featuring live entertainment, food trucks, and a scenic location on the grounds of the Nathan Hale Homestead.
Watch a home run or catch a fly ball at a Connecticut Tigers game at Dodd Stadium. The games here are always fun for the whole family to watch, and who doesn’t like to enjoy a handful of Cracker Jack while cheering. Games run from mid-June until early September, and specials and other activities are also often available during the games. This is certainly a great option for an evening of family (or adult-only) fun!
The Dinosaur Place is every dino lover’s dream, and the perfect place to spend a sunny day. The Dinosaur Place features 40 life-sized dinosaur models, a splash pad, walking trails, mazes, and more, all built for kids. The on-site playground is also a hit with active kids and a restaurant and ice cream parlor are also available if you find you need a break for lunch.
Located within the Cross Farms Recreation Complex, Adam’s Adventure Park is a massive new playground built as a non-profit with the aim to provide a safe place for kids of all abilities, including mobility, auditory, cognitive, and visual impairments, to play. The playground is fully fenced in and has numerous climbing structures, slides, balance beams, swings, learning areas, and more. This impressive playground is free to visit.
Perfect for a rainy or way too hot day, Kidcity provides a whimsical, safe environment to kids to explore wherever their imagination takes them. Kidcity is perfect for children under seven and offers a wide array of handmade interactive exhibits and educational play stations. There is even a special room for crawlers and walkers under two.
At Norwalk Cove Marina, experience the quintessential summer activity: mini golf. This marina has given Fairfield County summertime fun for over 50 years. The 18-hole course is played in true, pro golf-style, according to the website. This is the perfect spot to spend a warm summer night.
Stop by Buttonwood Farm for a scoop of fresh, delicious ice cream followed by a ride on the cow train, duck races, or maze. The highlight of Buttonwood Farm, however, are the fields of sunflowers that bloom in the end of July each year. Seeing the amazing fields upon fields of yellow is really special and all proceeds from purchase of sunflower bouquets goes towards the Make a Wish Foundation.
“Let’s go fly a kite…” at the beautiful Harkness Memorial State Park. Harkness is a lovely, family-friendly park with ample space for kids to run around. Adults can enjoy the carefully tended gardens and a beach (no swimming allowed) that is a great place to hunt for shells or observe nesting ospreys. Additionally, Harkness Memorial State Park has several picnic benches and stand grills available for use.
Mystic Seaport is easily one of the top things to do in Connecticut. It offers visitors the chance to experience what life may have been like in New England in the 19th century. Whaling ships and a ship building area are fascinating for children and adults alike. Events are also frequent in the summer months including talks, book signings, parties, and cruises. Check the website for specific details and to purchase event tickets.
Head out to Lyman Orchards to pick your own! Celebrating 275 years, Lyman Orchards is a 1,100-acre farm where you can pick your own strawberries, jostaberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, and pumpkins. This summer, stop by for strawberries (June and early July), jostaberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and nectarines. On-site, there is also a restaurant and store as well as a golf course that frequently holds events.
Public libraries are oft forgotten, but offer free summertime fun for both children and adults. For example, the Salem Free Public Library has frequent talks, book clubs, and arts and crafts classes for adults and teens. The Mystic & Noank Library has meditation classes, book signings, a concert series, and even a resident cat to come spend time with. Check your local library for budget-friendly summertime fun.
Nothing is more thrilling during the summer than getting up close and personal with nature. Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo has been Connecticut’s only zoo for over 90 years. The zoo features animals such as leopards, wolves, snakes, owls, llamas, bats, and alligators. While there, learn about the zoos conservation efforts. Beardsley also offers parties, rentals, and weddings.