Top 20 Places To Take Kids In and Around Hartford!
Connecticut's Best for Kids in Hartford, Connecticut - 2017
Hartford and the surrounding area is rich in fun events and exciting places. The venues listed below are wildly popular with kids and families in our area. But don’t miss out on ALL the other wonderful places as well! Browse through our site and discover lots more to do! To stay on top of ALL of the opportunities for kids in our area, please make sure to sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter!
Connecticut Science Center
With 150 hands-on exhibits the CT Science Center provides fun exploration of physics, forensics, geology, astronomy and much more! Your family will also enjoy a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events! For the second year in a row, Connecticut Science Center is #1!
Jump On In - Newington
Jump On In is a fun, safe, supervised indoor facility featuring great interactive play structures such as Inflatables, Ninja Warrior Course, Zip-line and more that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen!
Ron-A-Roll Skating Center
Roller and In-Line Skating located in Vernon, close to Buckland Hills Mall. We have classes, public skate, birthday parties and home school programs! Everybody in your family will have fun here!
New England’s Family Theme and Water Park! Featuring rides and entertainment for all ages. Connecticut’s largest water park, 20+ rides for kids 5 and younger, and new this year: Phobia Phear Coaster, perfect for thrill seekers.
Quassy Amusement Park
Affordable family fun and home to the award-winning Wooden Warrior roller coaster. New thrill rides include Reverse Time and Frantic. Take a spin on the Grand Carousel or chug along on the Quassy Express train. Splash Away Bay waterpark has dozens of ways go get drenched from slides, fountains, a splash pad for kids and new Slide City. Birthday party packages are a fantastic value at Quassy as well. Visit our Web site or call 1-800-FOR-PARK for details.
Hammonasset Beach State Park
Connecticut's largest shoreline beach. Kids can swim in the salt water, collect shells, build a sandcastle, sunbathe, relax, and walk along the 3/4 mile boardwalk, gazing upon Long Island Sound. Launch a carry-in boat, take a canoe trip, or fish from the stone breakwater. Summer activities include nature talks, bingo, movies, horseshoes, bocce and volleyball. The children's play area offers a pirate ship, swings, and slides. Visit Meigs Point Nature Center and experience the hands-on saltwater touch tank or search for the hundreds of bird species present at the park.
Connecticut Children's Museum
This majestic and magical children's building features eight thematic and community-inspired rooms.
Mystic Aquarium has more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. Mystic Aquarium held the #2 position last year, too!
Lutz Children's Museum
Hands-on exhibits, live animals, classes, concerts, trips, special events and a nature center.
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo creates wonderfully wild experiences for children and families all year 'round. Located on 52 beautiful acres in Bridgeport, the state’s only zoo features more than 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Explore our South American Rainforest with free-flight aviary, the New England Farmyard, Victorian Greenhouse, and prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas. Visitors may enjoy a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and take a spin on the colorful indoor carousel.
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
Run by the Valley Railroad Co. Essex Steam Train hosts CT River Valley tours, parties, mystery dinner trains, North Pole Express. Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s 2½-hour journey begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley – designated “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy.
Hartford Yard Goats
AA Colorado Rockies
Recognized as the 12th oldest family run business in the US, Lyman Orchards offers a fun day for the whole family. Pick Your Own fruit is in peak season through October, shop our farm market for CT-Grown fruits and vegetables, our award-winning handmade pies and cider donuts. Or play golf on any of our three nationally-recognized golf courses. A trip to Lyman Orchards is an outing you’ll never forget.
The Bishop family represents the fine tradition of growing and selling the finest quality native fruits and vegetables.We have everything for your cost conscious meals and family gatherings, from wines and soup, salads, vegetables and fruits to prepared foods, including trays of our most popular dishes! Don't forget cider, meats and of course pies!
The Children's Museum
The Children’s Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut offers hands-on fun with science and nature for younger children and families, school and community groups, and home schooled children.
Hartford Wolf pack
The Wolf Pack were the top player-development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers, and play at the XL Center, managed by Northland AEG and the former home of the Hartford Whalers of the NHL and the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association.
Audubon Society (various locations)
Our mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats.
At BounceU of Rocky Hill, we specialize in perfect party ideas. With our amazing inflatable structures, unbeatable customer service, and clean, climate-controlled environment, all you really have to do is show up and take pictures.
Imagine Nation Museum
The Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, is a hands-on, interactive children's museum best suited for ages 2 to 8! Visit us on Facebook or at www.imaginemuseum.org for updates, info, hour additions, and event details!
Our cutting-edge programs help children develop physically, cognitively and emotionally as they build healthy habits to last a lifetime. We offer structured, age-appropriate, noncompetitive weekly classes that incorporate music, dance, relays, games, special rides, gymnastics, sports and other original activities.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in several categories. Here are their choices.
Favorite Place to Have Fun INSIDERon-A-Roll
Favorite Place to Have Fun OUTSIDELake Compounce
Favorite Nature CenterThe Dinosaur Place
Favorite Kid-Friendly MuseumConnecticut Science Center
Favorite Performing ArtsThe Bushnell
Favorite Kid-Friendly FarmLyman Orchards
Favorite Sports TeamHartford Wolf Pack
Favorite Arts EducationHartford Stage Company