It’s cold outside, snow is on the ground, or will be, and the kids are off from school. What can you do to keep them happy and occupied? There are plenty of things to do with kids during the Christmas and Winter school breaks in Connecticut. Many things to do are free so you don’t have to break the bank to keep the kids busy, entertained, and happy.
We have compiled a list of things to do with kids in Mystic, Waterbury, Hartford, Ledyard/Mashantucket, Orange, Windsor Locks, Chester, Essex, Guilford, Middlefield, North Branford, West Hartford, and Norwalk, Connecticut.
Keep Connecticut Kids Busy With These Fun Activities
New for 2016!
NasKart Indoor Karting & Trampoline Park is opening on Sachatello Industrial Drive in Montville. This $7 million project is bringing indoor go karting racing to Southeastern Connecticut.
Ice Skating at Foxwoods Resort Casino
Foxwoods Resort Casino has a wonderful outdoor ice skating rink setup complete with hot cocoa, Adirondack chairs, and outdoor fireplaces that surround a fully decorated 30 foot Christmas tree if you visit before the holidays are over. The ice skating rink is open until March.
Local Library Events
Start at your local library and you will find all kinds of free things to do with the kids during Winter break. Have them register for a library card, check out books, movies, and take advantage of free programs going on for Winter break. Find a local library in your town or closeby. Did you know you can check out books and movies and participate in classes at libraries that aren’t in your town? You just need a library card, which is free of course.
Cooking with Kids
Whip up a new recipe each day of the school break or take a cooking class at Stew Leonard’s stores. There are so many recipes that are easy that kids can help with. Try these two: Crunchy Homemade Granola and Easy Raspberry Dip (great with fresh strawberries)
The Pez Candy Factory
Take the kids to the Pez Candy Factory and Visitor Center in Orange during the February break. The cost is $4.00 for kids ages 3 to 12 and kids under 3 are Free. The Center is located at 35 Prindle Hill Road, Orange, Connecticut and the Visitors Center is home to all things PEZ. The center includes a viewing area into the PEZ production floor, an interactive review of PEZ history, a touch-screen PEZ Trivia game, a factory store and much more.
New England Air Museum
Daily activities at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks include demonstrations about the science of flight. The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will be open each of these days between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls. During the week there will be flight simulator races where you will take off from Brainard Airport in Hartford and fly south along the Connecticut River to Goodspeed Airport in a Cessna 172. The first person to reach the destination and land safely wins!.
Eagle Watching on the Connecticut River
Enjoy the best eagle watching in the Northeast. From sea to land tours, join CT River Quest Weekends at 9:00am, 11:30am and 2:00pm and Thursdays at 10:00am and 1:00pm. The cruises will be a little more than two hours in length. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!
Chester Winter Carnivale
Activities include public outdoor ice carving competition, chili cook-off, tractor parade, gallery openings, receptions, shop events and more. This is a Free event. Call 860-526-2077 for more information or visit visit-chester.com
Guilford Winter Wonderland
Held on the Town Green, the Guildford Winter Wonderland event is an afternoon of fun. There will be face painters, moon bounces, clowns, needle in a haystack, horse drawn carriage rides, caricatures and more. Call 203-453-8068 for more information or visit guilfordparkrec.com
Wildlife Tracks and Signs for Kids
Woods Wildlife Management is offering a free kids session to learn about wildlife tracks indoors and then outside for a short walk to look for animal signs. Make a wildlife track to take home. Pre-registration is required. Call 860-675-8130 or go online at fosw.org
Stepping Stones Museum
Winter Wonderland Children’s Ball. Calling all little princes and princesses for a magical evening in a snow-kissed wonderland. Dress up in your finest, pose for the paparazzi, learn ballroom moves from the experts and more.
Kids receive free admission during Liberty Days at the Mystic Seaport. Children ages 17 and under will receive free Museum admission throughout February Vacation Week, February 15-23, 2014. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult.
The Mystic Aquarium is a popular place to take kids all year long and especially when it’s cold outside. Warm yourself inside with great aquatic exhibits and and stop by to visit the African Penguins and Beluga Whales. There are so many events from kids cooking classes, Scout overnights, family game days, Winterfest and more.
Connecticut Science Center in Hartford
Have FUN on school vacation at the Winter Vacation Exploration Camps at the Connecticut Science Center. Your child will love these hands-on day camps filled with fun and engaging science. Kids can design a roller coaster, build a pyramid, construct a LEGO® machine, craft a musical instrument and more. Register for one day or all six! Programs for Grades 1–6.
Coco Key in Waterbury
Take the kids to Coco Key indoor Water Park in Waterbury and get out of the cold. For the weekend visit at a value with their special package that includes four full day Water Park passes, four $10 arcade cards and a medium pizza and drinks. Available on-line only.
Connecticut Sportsplex in North Branford
Connecticut Sportsplex is located in North Branford and is one of New England’s largest indoor/outdoor sports complex, with amusements and activities such as laser tag, batting cages, children’s playscape, and arcade. Sundays are family fun night with dinner, unlimited laser tag, playscape access and 60 arcade tokens.
The Children’s Museum, West Hartford
Visit The Children’s Museum for their overnight excursions, storytime and during the Winter break. Vacation Science Camp is for children in grades 1 through 5. Sign up for a single day, multiple days, or an entire week.
Plan a Movie Night
Borrow a copy of your favorite movie from the library for Free using your library card, make some popcorn, spread blankets on the floor, let you kids invite their friends and create a movie night – or even day – to help keep them busy. Make it fun and festive and more like an event than just watching TV. If you want to take the kids to the theater, check out movie theater websites for specials. AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group, website are a good place to start or visit Mr Movie Times to find a movie theater in your Connecticut town or city.
Do you have a Connecticut School Christmas and Winter break event you know about or would like us to include?