101 Family Day Trips and Staycation Ideas Around Hartford | Kids Out and About Hartford

101 Family Day Trips and Staycation Ideas Around Hartford



Remember, it's always best to follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).

Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Hartford. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!


KidsOutAndAbout is America's online guide to everything for kids, teens, and families!


If you don't already receive our free weekly e-newsletter, sign up today to make sure you're in the know about free stuff, festivals, classes, camps, vacation ideas, and all the best events near you! 

Explore Gardens & Sculpture Gardens

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden
Bushnell Plaza Sculpture Garden
Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds
  Barlett Arboretum 
Lavender Pond Farm
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens
Hollister House Garden
Greenwich Botanical Center
Opus 40 Sculpture Park & Museum
Fort Hill Farms



Get Wild on a Hike


  Bluff Point State Park
Devil's Hopyard
Macedonia Brook State Park
Rhododendron Sanctuary and Mt. Misery Overlook Trail at Pachaug State Forest
The White Memorial Conservation Center Trail
Wadsworth Falls State Park
Castle Craig and West Peak Trail
Teale Memorial Sanctuary at Trail Wood


Time Travel Today

  Old Sturbridge Village
Historic Deerfield
Plimoth Plantation
Mystic Seaport
Strawbery Banke Museum
CT Old State House
Mark Twain House
Dinosaur State Park


Make Life a Beach

  Hammonasset Beach
Ocean Beach
Hole-In-The-Wall Beach
Misquamicut State Beach
Napatree Point
Rocky Neck State Park
Sherwood Island State Park


Splash into Some Water Fun

  Lake Compounce
Splash Away Bay at Quassy
Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park
CoCo Key Water Resort 
Great Wolf Lodge - Fitchburg
Water Wizz
Breezy Picnic Grounds and Waterslides


Spend the Day at a Museum

  Stepping Stones
Children's Museum of Southeastern CT
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
New England Air Museum
Imagine Nation
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Springfield Museums Group
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art


Explore These Cities

East Lyme
Springfield, MA
Portsmouth, NH
Watch Hill, RI
Providence, RI


All Aboard Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and Boats!)

  Essex Steam Train and River Boat
Danbury Railway Museum
Railroad Museum of New England - Naugatuck Railroad
CT Trolley Museum
Shore Line Trolley Museum
New England Air Museum
Submarine Force Museum - Home of the Nautilus


Grow Some Fun at the Farm

  Lyman Orchards
Strong Family Farm
Silvermans Farm
Jones Family Farm
Fort Hill Farms
Community Farm of Simsbury
Dudley Farm Museum
Flamig Farm


Play Ball!

  Hartford Yard Goats
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey
CT Tigers Baseball
Hartford Hawks Teams
Hartford Wolf Pack
Bridgeport Bluefish
CT Sun Womens Basketball
NE Black Wolves Lacrosse


Treat Yo' Self

  The Collins Creamery
The Big Dipper Ice Cream Factory
Praline's Ice Cream
Timothy's Ice Cream 
UCONN Dairy Barn
Fish Family Farm
Ferris Acres Creamery
Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe
Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream
Arethusa Farms
J. Foster Ice Cream
Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream
Fort HillFarms


Connect with Nature

  Indian Rovk Nature Preserve
Meigs Point Nature Center at Hammonasset Beach State Park
Kellogg Environmental Nature Center and Osborne Homestead Museum
Westmoor Park
Elizabeth Park
Webb Mountain Discovery Zone
James Goodwin State Forest


Amuse Yourself at These Amusement Parks

  Quassy Amusement Park
Lake Compounce
The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom
Canobie Lake Park
Six Flags New England
Rye Playland


Talk to the Animals

  Beardsley Zoo 
The Zoo In Forest Park
Mystic Aquarium
Maritime Aquarium
Action Wildlife
Lutz Children's Museum
Northwest Park
Southwick's Zoo
Zoo NE - Stone Zoo
Buttonwood Park Zoo


Monkey Around at the Playground Destinations

  Wickham Park
Buckingham Road Park
Kids In Motion Playground
Enfield Rotary Accessible Playground
Sandcastle Playground


Get Active Indoors

  Stone Age Rock Gym
Launch Trampoline Park
Ron-A-Roll Roller Skating 
Timber Gyms
Glow Cove
Lessard Lanes
Soarin' Indoor Aerial Adventure


Challenge Yourself

  The Adventure Park at Storrs
Empower Leadership Adventure Center
IT Adventure Indoor Ropes Course
Complexity (escape room)
Adventure Rooms
Wadsworth Atheneum
New Britain Museum of American Art


Take A Spin On A Carousel!

  Bushnell Park Carousel
Danbury Fair Mall Carousel
Magical Fish Tale Carousel
Ocean Beach Park Carousel
New England Carousel Museum
Lighthouse Point Park Carousel
Battleship Cove Carousel
Looff Carousel at Slater Park
Watch Hill Carousel




Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook!

Most of these destinations are within an hour from Hartford. For those that are a bit farther away:

             = Less than 1 hour away

          = 1 to 2 hours away

       = 2 to 3 hours away

   = Just over 3 hours away