Day Trips


Looking for a day trip that is also fun for the kids? We have put together a list of great activities from water to animals to berry picking that is fun for the whole family!

 

On the Water: Set sail and spend the day on a boat! There are plenty of ways to get on the water! 

 

Ferry Cruises:

Thimble Islands Cruise - Branford
Treat yourself and your family to a special day on the water. We’ve got some beautiful islands to show you! Feel the sea breezes, hear the shore birds and soak in the sights aboard our comfy 48 passenger boat Volsunga IV. Captain Bob Milne and the crew at Thimble Islands Cruise welcome you aboard for a 45 minute narrated tour (or private charter) while he maneuvers you through the enchanted Thimble Islands.Note: Payment is cash or check only.

Grass Island Cruises - Guilford
Grass Island Cruises offers scenic boat tours of the shoreline between Guilford and Madison. Captain Bill, who heads up the cruise business, has been boating the waters since 1955. Boat tours are an hour long and depart from the Guilford Lobster Pound Dock.

Port Jeff Ferry - Bridgeport
Experience Long Island Sound on a 75-minute ride from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, Long Island. Once docked in Port Jeff there is plenty to do! There are great shops, restaurants, and activities for the family to enjoy! We’ve even made a list of things to do here at Our Town Crier! Check it out HERE!

Cross Sound Ferry - New London
Fishers Island is actually part of New York and you can hop on the Cross Sound Ferry from New London to Fishers Island. The ferry carries both auto and pedestrian traffic and the island is large enough that you may want to bring your car even if you're only making a day trip. The island boasts a few shops, restaurants, and the Henry L. Ferguson Museum, which hosts nature walks every Thursday through the summer. Check out Chocomount and Isabella Beaches for two lovely, crown-free spots worth exploring.

Sailboat rides:

Mystic Whalter Cruises- New London
Sail off from City Pier for a 3-hour sailing adventure on the Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a late 19th-century coastal cargo schooner. Sail into the beautiful Fishers Island Sound, help raise sail to a sea chantey, and enjoy the thrill of having a wooden ship's wheel under hand. Children ages 5 and up can hop aboard the whaler from the Water Street dock on weekends through the summer.

Sound Waters - Stamford
Set sail on Sound Waters’ 80 foot Schooner where you’ll get a chance to raise the sails, examine the rich diversity of Long Island Sound sea life just beneath the waves, sample and test water quality, learn about hypoxia, and analyze groundwater. All passengers must be 5 years old. Total cruise time is 2.5 hours and cruises are held weekdays at 1pm and on weekends at 10am and 2pm.

Schooner, Inc. - New Haven
As part of the New Haven Land Trust, Schooner, Inc. brings kids to the coastline to explore, learn, grow, and get their feet wet out on the water in its summer programs. Search for Long Island Sound marine life along the Long Wharf Nature Preserve or learn how to sail and skipper a small sailboat at Schooner Camp. Offering both a land based Shore Program and a Sailing Program, Schooner's campers will dive into science based learning through adventure, exploration, crafts, songs, and games.

Educational Cruises:

 

Maritime Aquarium- Norwalk
The Maritime Aquarium has been offering Marine Life Encounter Cruises for over 30 years. Hop aboard the Aquarium's research vessel "R/V Spirit Of the Sound" for a firsthand encounter with the biodiversity of the Long island Sound. Cruises are offered year round, and feature a plankton tow, trawl net, and biodredge that generally bring up a variety of fish, crabs, mollusks and more right before your eyes.

 

Project Oceanology - Groton
Be a Marine Scientist aboard Project Oceanology’s floating classroom. Immerse your family in all of the elements of marine biology as you cruise and conduct oceanographic studies. The Research Vessel Enviro-Lab will bring you out on Long Island Sound for a unique experience. The Oceanographic Cruises are available June through September for children 6 years and older and adults.

 

Berry Picking: Spend the day picking delicious and fresh berries straight from the source! These berries are great to enjoy alone or incorporate into your recipes at home! Remember to bring your sunscreen, hats, and water bottles!

Jones Family Farms-Shelton 

Jones Family Farms has strawberries and blueberries field at their Pumpkinseed Hill and Valley farm locations! Be sure to call the Farmers Jones Crop Line (203-929-8425) before making your way to harvest. The Crop Line updates daily during the berry seasons with hours and specific picking locations!

 

Silverman’s Farm-Easton

The 2019 Picking season is underway! Peaches are ready for picking! Blueberry picking opens August 3rd! Orchard picking times are 9:00am-4:30pm.

 

Outdoor Activities: Spend some time in the fresh outdoors! 

 

The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum-Bridgeport 

Are you ready for the best climbing and zip line Connecticut has to offer? The Adventure Park’s 13 “treetop trails” consist of about 200 platforms installed in the trees and connected by various configurations of cable, wood, and rope to form “crossings” of different kinds including the ever-popular zip lines. Climbers wear harnesses which are doubly secured to safety cables using the Park’s own “always locked on” climbing system of interlocking carabineers (coupling links). Before venturing onto the trails, climbers receive a thorough orientation.

Harbor ‘Pequot’ Lighthouse-New London

Visit inside the oldest & tallest lighthouse on Long Island Sound! The New London Maritime Society offers small tours of from 3-to-5 people to visit inside the lighthouse on a scheduled basis -- either Wednesday between 4 and 6 PM or Saturday from 12 noon to six. Tours also may be arranged by request to fit your schedule; email nlharborlight@gmail.com. It’s a 199-step climb to the top! Children must be age 8 or older!

 

Indoor Activities: The fun doesn't only have to be outside! You can still have fun indoors! 

 

Sky Zone-Norwalk

Jump around in the indoor trampoline park! There are tons of different attractions. It's more than just jumping! Check out their website to see when all the fun is happening!

 

Rockin' Jump-Trumbull 

Check out the jump arena, dodgeball arena, and even rock climb with friendsWe’re people like you who want to exercise, but also like to have fun. Lots of fun. So instead of stairclimbers and weight machines, we decided to create a place where you can soar in open jump arenas, play trampoline dodgeball, do flips and somersaults.

 

Animals: Spend the day getting to know some furry friends or even friends from under the sea!

 

Connecticut Beardsley Zoo-Bridgeport

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has a proud history of over 90 years as Connecticut’s only Zoo. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, we are committed to the preservation of endangered animals and are actively developing strategies that will protect species and preserve their wild habitats. Through education, conservation, research and recreation, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo provides a wonderfully wild experience for students and families.

 

Bronx Zoo-New York 

The Bronx Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s flagship park, opened on November 8, 1899. Since then, the zoo has created a unique window into the natural world for city dwellers in the heart of the Bronx - and serves as a springboard and hub for conservation efforts across the entire planet.

Central Park Zoo-New York 

Manhattan’s Central Park Zoo is one of the oldest in the country, first opening on its current site in 1861. In the 1980s, the Wildlife Conservation Society assumed management of the park under a contract with the City of New York and completed a dramatic five year transformation. Since reopening in 1988, our mission has been to engage future generations of conservationists and create wildlife champions.

 

Connecticut Beardsley Zoo-Bridgeport

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has a proud history of over 90 years as Connecticut’s only Zoo. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, we are committed to the preservation of endangered animals and are actively developing strategies that will protect species and preserve their wild habitats. Through education, conservation, research and recreation, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo provides a wonderfully wild experience for students and families.

 

Maritime Aquarium-Norwalk 

Come see the sea! We have 75 live exhibits featuring more than 2,700 marine animals of 300 species. Your Long Island Sound journey begins along a freshwater river and the shallow waters of the salt marsh, then moves into deeper and deeper habitats out to the open ocean.

Queens Zoo-New York 

If you have visited us, or are a fan of Animal Planet’s The Zoo, you might be familiar with some of the ways in which our parks have helped to protect species in the wild. Working with federal and state agencies, universities, and other NGOs, Queens Zoo conservationists have bred and introduced endangered New England cottontail rabbits for release in suitable habitat areas in several New England states. Loss of dense thicket habitat preferred by New England cottontails has resulted in a dramatic 85% decline in the range of these vulnerable rabbits since 1960. Through captive breeding by the Queens Zoo and Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI, followed by release into the wild, we’re working to bolster the populations of these iconic American animals, and help them to establish new colonies in safe habitat. The Queens Zoo has also played a crucial role in the reintroduction of Puerto Rican crested toads, thanks to a head-starting program that has bred and released more than 4,000 tadpoles over the past five years.

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07 Aug 2019


By Josie Feliciano