Kent Falls State Park
462 Kent Cornwall Road
Kent, CT 06757
For a day of family together time in a scenic setting, pack a picnic lunch and take a ride to Kent Falls State Park. Hike the trail along the waterfall and bask in the glory of intense natural beauty as the water rushes by. For those inclined, bring your gear, cast your lines and fish for trout. As you explore the grounds, don’t miss the reproduction covered bridge. Claim your spot at a picnic table or on the grounds and spend the day enjoying the great outdoors.
Sherwood Island State Park
1 Sherwood Drive
Westport, CT 06838
If you love the beach, visit Sherwood Island State Park and make a day of it. Set on Long Island Sound and with views that can’t be beat, there are 235 acres to be explored and enjoyed. The Nature Center, open from Wednesday to Sunday, is full of exhibits that tell the tale of the area’s diverse flora and fauna and also offers many educational activities for family members of all ages. While you are there, don’t forget to stop and offer your own moment of silence at Connecticut’s 9-11 Living Memorial.
Maritime Aquarium Cruises
10 N. Water St.
Norwalk, CT 06854
Take your family on an educational cruise aboard the Maritime Aquarium’s 40-foot research vessel, the Oceanic, and discover what awaits under the waters of the Long Island Sound. Learn about the many different forms of marine life that reside in the Sound and brave the touch tank for a truly hands-on experience. Tour the Aquarium before or after your cruise to round out the day’s fun. Wind down your visit with one of the many features shown in the IMAX Theater.
Shoreline Greenway Trail
East Haven, Branford, Guilford, Madison, CT
If your family enjoys bicycling or hiking, the Shoreline Greenway Trail offers an outdoor experience like none other. Spanning 25 miles along Connecticut’s shoreline from Lighthouse Point to Hammonasset State Park, it connects several towns and is maintained through the efforts of volunteers. Designed to be safe for users as well as environmentally friendly, the trail is open to all. There are events planned throughout the year to keep visitors engaged as well as a cyber bike club to help keep everyone motivated.
1329 W. Middle Turnpike
Manchester, CT 06040
For a fun time with a little bit of something for everyone, head on over to Wickham Park and plan on staying all day. Set on 250 acres and offering a nature center, aviary, playgrounds and sports facilities, you will arrive with anticipation and leave happily tired out. There are also a number of gardens to enjoy, a pond, woodlands, a field and a picnic area. With many events on the calendar, any time is a great time to visit.
Theodora DeBarbieri is an animal advocate, columnist and local TV show host residing in Connecticut. She is owned by a number of dogs, cats and birds. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.