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Connecticut Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

Image: Connecticut Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home
Masts, rigging and yardarms of 19th century sailing ship, Old Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

For those who enjoy a scenic drive up the shoreline or a jaunt in the country, Connecticut is the place to focus your family vacation or staycation plans. The "Constitution State" lives up to its nickname with plenty of early American history, unique New England towns and spots where families can enjoy time together.

Here are seven great places to visit in Connecticut:

1. Experience life at sea: Mystic Seaport is a place where visitors can explore a 19th century village and see what life was like in an eastern seaport. Re-enactors perform music and show off the maritime skills of the era. The Charles W. Morgan is the last American whaling ship in the world. There are many other historic vessels at Mystic Seaport that can also be boarded by visitors. It is the largest collection of historical watercraft in the United States. While in Mystic, take time to visit the Mystic Aquarium.

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2. Try your hand at painting: Weir Farm National Historic Site is dedicated to art. It was the home of three generations of painters beginning with Julian Alden Weir in 1882. See the art and landscape that inspired the American Impressionist movement. A fun staycation experience at this spot is to use some of the art supplies provided by the park service to allow your kids to spend some time creating their own paintings of the park to take home.

3. Have a modern adventure in Storrs: The Adventure Park in Storrs gives families the chance to climb, fly and face challenges together. It's great for children over the age of seven. The park has several different ropes courses appropriate for a variety of ages and sizes. For an extra thrill, try going for one of their night climbing events.

4. Go to Yale: New Haven, the hometown of Yale University, boasts a combination of shopping, history, scenic beauty and outdoor fun to appeal to nearly everyone you're trying to please on your family vacation or staycation. Highlights to see include taking a tour of the Yale campus and visiting Lighthouse Point Park which houses a historic lighthouse and also a carousel the kids can enjoy. While on campus at Yale, visit the Yale Peabody Museum for a walk through natural history.

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5. Explore Revolutionary War Sites: Connecticut has a number of revolutionary war sites that can be visited by car or bike tours. Try Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park for your family vacation or staycation. This is the site where the traitor Benedict Arnold led a murderous raid in 1781.

6. Make your own Bridge Tour: Connecticut has a series of famous bridges that can become a fun part of staycation. From the picturesque West Cornwall Covered Bridge to the East Haddam Bridge which actually swings to accommodate river traffic. The Merritt Parkway is a National Scenic Byway in part for the beautiful bridges constructed along its route.

7.
Take in some Art: The Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art  is the oldest art museum in the country. The museum in Hartford owns nearly 50,000 works of art and displays work from a variety of periods. While this is definitely a "do not touch" museum, the family vacation or staycation experience here can be enhanced if you check at the information desk for a family guide.

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For those who like a scenic drive up the shoreline or a jaunt in the country, Connecticut is the place to focus your family vacation or staycation plans.
Connecticut Staycation, Family, Travel, Yale University, Bridge Tour
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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