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.

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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.

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10 Ways to Explore Coastal Connecticut during the Summer

Coastal Connecticut is the title often given to the area spanning from Branford to Old Lyme, which includes the towns of Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Killingsworth, Essex, Deep River, Old Saybrook, Lyme, and Old Lyme. The area is beautiful all times of year, but especially comes to life during warmer summer months. Conveniently located along Interstate 95 (which runs from the New York to Rhode Island state lines), many of the towns border the Connecticut River or Long Island Sound and offer plenty of riverfront and beachfront activities and open spaces. The area is also known for its numerous contributions to the arts and many museums and educational institutions honor the legacy of famous residents.

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13 Living History Museums on the East Coast Kids Will Love

While traditional museums have priceless artifacts and works of art that are important to see (read why here), kids tend to be more engaged when they can get up close to history. One of the best opportunities for kids to engage with live interpreters and engage with tangible artifacts is a living history museum. Living history museums have indoor and outdoor exhibits, interactive displays, and daily programs and informative demonstrations. Many museums even offer summer camps for children. Most museums do close during winter hours (some spots keep indoor exhibits open), so we’re sharing this list now, as everything prepares to open for the 2021 season. Here are 13 of our favorite spots on the East Coast and two more that are on our 2021 list:

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7 Family Friendly Hiking Spots in Central Connecticut

One of the good things to come out of the COVID 19 pandemic for our family was the desire to spend more time outdoors. While our family has always enjoyed outdoor spots like the beach, the zoo, and various parks, we’ve never really been “hikers.” Until 2020, we also didn’t have many opportunities to explore our state parks. Connecticut has 142 state parks and state forests, covering 255,000 acres of public space and thousands of trails for both amateur and veteran hikers. We’ve been fortunate to have time this past year to “hit the trails”; read about some of our favorite spots in Fairfield County, western Connecticut, and the Mystic area. This week, we’re sharing seven great spots in Central Connecticut. Note: this is not a comprehensive list- there are so many more spots that are on our “to do” list- but it is a good start:

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The Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum in Hartford, CT

The longest, continuously open public art museum in America (yes, it beats even the MET in New York City!), the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art was founded by Daniel Wadsworth in 1842 and opened to the public in 1844. The term “atheneum” refers to a “cultural institution that includes a library, works of art and artifact, which is devoted to learning history, literature, art, and science.” Today, the museum has a collection of over 50,000 pieces of art, ranging from paintings and sculptures to furniture, installations, and china.

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