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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10 Ways to Explore the Museum of Math in New York City

YES! There is actually a museum to celebrate math; a museum filled with dozens of hands-on, interactive puzzles, challenges, and activities that celebrate all facets of mathematics. Located across the street from Madison Square Park, the National Museum of Mathematics opened in 2012 and welcomes visitors of all ages through daily family friendly activities, field trips, after school programs, enrichment workshops for teachers and students, and a museum that is open all year.

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10 Things to Do at the Institute for American Indian Studies

Located in Washington, Connecticut in the heart of Litchfield County, the Institute for American Indian Studies celebrates the largely unknown Indigenous history of New England. Opened in 1975, the 15 acre complex includes indoor exhibits, an outdoor replicated Algonkian Village, hiking trails, and even a Wigwam Escape Room experience. The Algonkian people inhabited much of the northeastern United States up until the 1700s and includes over 100 distinct groups and communities. The museum is very hands on and docents are eager to share anecdotal stories and explain the significance of artifacts on display. (Definitely ask for an atlatl demonstration!)

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10 Ways to Have Fun in Lake Placid in New York

The Adirondacks are credited with the concept of a vacation: since the mid 1800s, New Yorkers have been “vacating” the heat of the city and heading north to the cooler temperatures and natural beauty of the mountains, staying in homes known as “Camps.” The area known as the Adirondack Park is the largest state park in America, as well as the first state park. It covers over six million acres, more than 3,000 ponds and lakes, and over 1,500 miles of hiking trails. Today, more than seven million people visit the Adirondacks each year, but with so much space, so many activities and places to explore, it never feels crowded.

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30 Ways to Explore the Adirondack Experience in the Adirondacks, NY

We just returned from a wonderful weekend in Lake Placid and we are so excited to share some of our adventures. Up first was a highlight of the trip: our visit to the Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake in Blue Mountain Lake, New York. Located about 60 miles south of Lake Placid, the Adirondack Experience includes indoor and outdoor exhibits, hiking trails, and tons of interactive workshops and activities and is worthy of a day long visit.

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10 Spots Kids Will Love at the Heritage Museums and Gardens on Cape Cod

On a recent trip to Cape Cod, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon exploring the grounds and museums of the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Located at the “start” of Cape Cod in Sandwich, the 100 acre space includes three indoor gallery spaces; dozens of gardens; over 1,000 varieties of flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs; an outdoor discovery center kids will LOVE; a cafe and gift shop; and even a preschool through grade one school! The property was owned by the Lilly family who vacationed on the Cape during the 1950s and 1960s. J.K. Lilly wanted to showcase his late father’s collection of automobiles and other artifacts. Since 1969, when it first opened, gardens and additional buildings have been added to enhance the beauty of the complex and of Cape Cod. Read more about the property and development of the complex here.

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