Search Results for: Connecticut

Eight FREE Kid Friendly Places to Explore in New Haven, Connecticut
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Eight FREE Kid Friendly Places to Explore in New Haven, Connecticut

Probably best known as the home of Yale University and the pizza capital of America (it may be self proclaimed, but we agree!), New Haven is the second largest city in Connecticut. It’s situated two hours north of Manhattan and about two hours south of Boston, right on the I95 corridor. The city of 130,000+ residents has many cultural neighborhoods, rich history, and several family friendly attractions that are FREE to visit. 

Hartford, Connecticut City Guide: 10 Family Friendly Spots
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Hartford, Connecticut City Guide: 10 Family Friendly Spots

Hartford, the capital city of Connecticut, is located smack in the middle of the Nutmeg State- less than two hours to Boston, New York City, and Providence, Rhode Island. First settled in the mid 1600s, Hartford has become known over the centuries as the home of authors Mark Twain and Harriett Beecher Stowe, the insurance capital of America and home to several colleges and universities including Trinity College, University of Hartford, and the University of Saint Joseph. 

We’ve lived in Connecticut since 2004 and since having children, we have explored dozens of family friendly attractions and restaurants- see our index of CT blog posts.

This week we are sharing 10 great spots in (or super near) Hartford the whole family will love.

15 Free Things to Do with Kids throughout Connecticut this Summer
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15 Free Things to Do with Kids throughout Connecticut this Summer

We officially moved to the Nutmeg State back in 2002 and have enjoyed exploring dozens of its 169 cities and towns, many of which border New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the Long Island Sound. We’re working on an updated master list of all the places we’ve visited and all of our travel tips for later in the summer, but this index, this list, and this list are good places to start. You might also like our City Guides featuring Mystic and Coastal Connecticut.

As summer nears and temps rise, we wanted to share 15 FREE things to do this summer (really, all year, but summer offers some additional perks and better hours) and a few bonus spots we’re hoping to check out ourselves this summer.

Playing “I Spy” at the Connecticut State Capitol
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Playing “I Spy” at the Connecticut State Capitol

Visiting state capitol buildings is one of the first things we do when visiting the capital city. It’s a little ironic that it took our family, who has lived in Connecticut for almost 20 years, this long, but we recently, finally made it to the CT Capitol for a tour.

Connecticut was founded in 1662 and is known as the Constitution State, as it was the first state to adopt a constitution.  Built in 1878, the Connecticut Capitol building, located in downtown Hartford, was designed by Richard M. Upjohn to replicate a Victorian Gothic style. The building overlooks Bushnell Memorial Park’s 41 acres in the heart of Hartford and was restored in the 1980s to the original colors and design. The addition of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), which opened in 1988, allowed for office space for Connecticut’s 151 Representatives (each representing approximately 25,000 constituents)  and 36 State Senators (each representing approximately 90,000-100,000 constituents). The “LOB” also allows for more public meeting spaces and opportunities for state officials to meet as committees and with public interest groups. The first and second floors of the LOB and the first floor of the Capitol are both open to the public; upper level floors house private offices and chambers and guests must be accompanied by officials. 

City Guide: 20 Ways to Have Fun in Mystic, Connecticut
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City Guide: 20 Ways to Have Fun in Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, Connecticut is a quick, hour long drive along the coast from our home that our family enjoys making several times a year. The seaside town is home to many popular family friendly spots, and the nearby towns and cities of Stonington, New London, East Lyme, Norwich, and Niantic offer plenty more to see and do. Mystic was one of our first City Guides back in 2018; we have recently discovered some new-to-us places and thought we would update our guide.

12 Ways to Explore the        New England Air Museum        in Connecticut
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12 Ways to Explore the New England Air Museum in Connecticut

Located in the same area as Bradley International Airport and the National Guard base, the New England Air Museum has 90,000 square feet of exhibition feet spread across 3 hangars, and an additional outdoor space, to display 60 of the 110+ aircrafts in the museum’s collections. The museum library includes a collection of over 6,000 aviation related books, over 10,000 aviation manuals, and thousands of pieces of artwork, drawings, blueprints, and photographs.

The museum has tons of open space to spread out and explore the 60+ aircrafts at a leisurely pace. Guests are able to peer through, look under, and sit in many of the aircrafts. However, what is most impressive, and truly priceless, are the docents, many of whom are veterans who flew the aircrafts on display. They are eager to share their adventures and explain how the aircrafts work, and they are incredibly patient with children.