Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean you can’t still find ways to have fun with your family. Connecticut offers a variety of entertainment to end your summer on a high note. From outdoor water activities to eating your way through an oyster festival, you and your children can find age appropriate activities. Try one of the following parks, activities, festivals or towns when scheduling your end of the summer bucket list.
Lake Compounce
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 583-3300
www.lakecompounce.com

Lake Compounce is one of Connecticut’s famed amusement parks, combining roller coasters and a water park. There is something for everyone, including a wide range of age-appropriate rides. Thrill seekers will enjoy the many roller coasters, 185-foot drop ride and Thunder Rapids water ride. Kiddie rides are available for younger children. Lake Compounce has a fun water park that features slides, Clippers Cove, Bayou Bay, Croc-O-Nile and much more to keep you cool. Save on admission if you are over 60, under 52 inches in height, or purchasing tickets online over three days in advance.

Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival
300 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 713-3131
www.riverfront.org

Experience a unique event and celebration of Asian culture in Hartford, Connecticut. The Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival is celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. This event takes place August 15-16, at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza. Parking is available at the science center, Constitution Plaza garage, and the CT Convention Center garage. This event is free for all who attend. Watch over 90 teams compete in the dragon boat races and partake in the entertainment including Asian music, dance, food and arts and crafts.

Mystic, Connecticut
55 Coogan Blvd.
Mystic, CT
(860) 572-5955
www.mystic.org

Spending the day in Mystic, Connecticut can provide multiple avenues of entertainment based on your family’s needs and interests. One of the most popular attractions associated with the town is Mystic Aquarium. Mystic Aquarium is located at 55 Coogan Boulevard and conveniently accessible off the highway. It is one of Connecticut’s biggest aquariums with beluga whales, penguins, live shows and a hands-on experiences. Not too far away by car is Mystic Seaport, located at 75 Greenmanville Avenue. It is rich with history, providing opportunities to walk around the seaport and walk onto the ships. Movie lovers can jump at the chance of eating at famed Mystic Pizza, which the film was derived from. Mystic Pizza is located at 56 W. Main St.

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Milford Oyster Festival
Shepard Lane
Milford, CT 06460
(203) 878-5363
www.milfordoysterfestival.org

Bring the family to the 41st annual Milford Oyster Festival for a day full of outdoor food and entertainment. Round out the summer by attending this free event on Saturday, Aug. 15. The action takes place near Shepard Lane; however, there is free bus transportation from Jonathan Law High School and the Milford Post Mall. Over 30,000 oysters and clams will be brought to the festival for your consumption as well as other food, wine and beer vendors. Headliner entertainment includes the Gin Blossoms, Fastball and The Rembrandts. The oyster shucking contest is at 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. There will also be an oyster eating competition, car show, canoe and kayak races and children’s stage of entertainment.

Farmington River Tubing
92 Main St.
New Hartford, CT 06057
(860) 693-6465
www.farmingtonrivertubing.com

Tubing down the Farmington River isn’t your typical Saturday afternoon, but it sure is packed with adventure. For $20 per person you will get a tube, life jacket and transportation back to your starting point. The tubing experience runs 2.5 miles down the Farmington River and has three sections of rapids. To extend your day of fun, take a second trip for an additional $10 per person. Car keys and licenses can be held by the staff with a deposit. It is advised that you call the day of your trip  to check hours and weather conditions. The typical hours of operation are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through the summer until late August and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends from late August to Labor Day.

Related: Top Spots To Go On A Picnic In Connecticut

Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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