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. 

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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.

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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.

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City Guide: Sag Harbor, New York

The village of Sag Harbor, located on the northern part of the South Fork of Long Island, is typically home to under 3,000 year round residents but swells during peak summer months, as the area is a popular vacation spot. Considered part of “The Hamptons” (which includes the towns and villages of Westhampton, South Hampton, Sagaponack, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk), the area is under two hours from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan (or a short ferry ride from Fairfield County, Connecticut). Sag Harbor became a US port of entry in 1789 with a growing population involved in servicing whalers and West Indian trade ships. and became a thriving whaling industry in the 1800s. There are many historic homes, museums, outdoor recreational areas, and dining and retail options throughout Sag Harbor and the surrounding towns that the whole family will enjoy.

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10 Greats Spots for Walking in Newport, Rhode Island

Known as “the City by the Sea”, Newport, Rhode Island, is also known for its Gilded Age mansions that were the “summer cottages” of business tycoons of the early 1900s. Today, visitors can tour many of the mansions, learn about the rich history of the area in local museums, and sample a wide variety of cuisine with hundreds of shopping and dinning options. My family is fortunate to live within a day trip’s drive and we often visit Newport for the day and for long weekends. You can read our City Guide from a couple of years ago (we’ll be updating it soon) and our post featuring holiday fun in Newport.

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10 Ways to Have Fun at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee, VT

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Quechee, Vermont is a 47 acre complex that includes indoor and outdoor exhibits, the Forest Canopy Walk, three hiking trails, a Meadow Walk, a Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation, adventure playscape, and plenty of classrooms and exhibition spaces. Opened in 1972, the programs featured at VINS focus on conservation, preservation, and rehabilitation of wildlife. The center is the perfect, family friendly way to explore nature and learn about the local wildlife.

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