By Gillian Burdett

Summer’s end is approaching. In just a few short weeks, the kids will back to school. With the return to classes comes the morning rush and evenings filled with soccer practice and homework. Before the lazy days of summer become a memory, take a break from back to school shopping and squeeze the last bit of juice out of summer 2017 with some fun (and educational!) family activities. Here is our roundup of some of the best Connecticut has to offer, guaranteed to engage your vacation-weary kids and send them back to school with a new perspective.

Trash To Tunes Performance
Imagine Nation Museum
1 Pleasant St.
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 314-1400

Date: Aug. 17, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Musical instrument maker and musician Dennis Waring specializes in repurposing discarded items to create music. In Dennis’ skilled hands, a plastic milk jug and some old fishing line are transformed into a banjo. A couple bones become castanets; an old garden hose becomes a horn. His music is draw from cultures around the globe. The Trash to Tunes event is a combination of musical performances and storytelling. Children are invited to join in the fun and make music of their own.

Wolcott Country Fair
Wolcott Fairgrounds
245 Wolcott Road
Wolcott, CT 06716

Date: Aug. 18 – 20, 2017

Close out the summer with a good old-fashioned country fair. The Wolcott Fair is one of the largest in the state with live music, a rodeo, carnival midway with rides and games, a food court and beer tent. This is an agricultural fair, so there will be cows, sheep and rabbits to visit. You don’t want to miss the daily pig races. A three-day pass is $19; daily admission is $6 to $8. Children age 10 and younger get in free.

The Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
300 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 713-3131

Date: Aug. 19, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Immerse yourself in Asian culture on the banks of the Connecticut River. The Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival includes authentic Asian cuisine, music and dance. The highlight of the day is the Dragon Boat Races. More than 80 teams paddle their colorful skiffs along a 500-meter course. Admission to the festival is free.

Related: Top Free Summer Activities For Kids In Connecticut

Family Campfire
Blue Slope Country Museum
138 Blue Hill Road
North Franklin, CT 06254
(860) 642-6413

Aug. 25, 2017 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Sing around the campfire at a working, fourth-generation dairy farm. The Family Campfire will get the kids away from their electronic screens long enough to enjoy a summer evening toasting marshmallows and sipping lemonade. Admission is $5 per person; $20 per family. Children younger than 5 are admitted free. Be sure to bring something to sit on, a blanket or folding chair. The campfire is held rain or shine.

The Connecticut Renaissance Faire Pet Weekend
122 Mack Road
Lebanon, CT 06249
(860) 478-5954

Sept. 2-4, 2016 from 10:30 6 p.m.

Labor Day Weekend at the Renaissance Faire is for the dogs. Outfit your pet in a jerkin and enter the pet costume contest, or show off your pooch’s skills in a competition of pet tricks. Non-dog owners will enjoy the Faire as well with its wandering street minstrels, stage shows and abundance of food and drink. Allow a full day to enjoy the Renaissance-themed carnival. Admission is $15, Children ages 7 – 15, $10. Dog admission is $5. Visit the Faire website to purchase tickets and pre-register your pooch.

Related: Top Spots For Kids’ Summer Art Activities In Connecticut