8 Winter Experiences You Just Can't Have in the City Last Updated 8/18

For some city dwellers, winter may be the least popular season, but in Connecticut, we’ll show you why it’s our favorite. From tubing, skiing and even searching for the perfect Christmas tree, this short bucket list is packed with everything you need for outdoor adventures and indoor fun from December to March. Have a favorite we haven’t mentioned? Let us know, @CTvisit. 

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To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

Snow-dusted pine trees are a staple of winter in Connecticut. Visit one of Connecticut’s many Christmas tree farms to bring home the perfect tree. Start a new family tradition at Pell Farm in Somers or at Yurechko’s Tree Farm in Griswold offering wagon rides and hot apple cider on weekends. With six different types of trees, Miller Tree Farm in Durham is a perfect destination for harvesting your own. Take the little ones to family-focused Windswept Tree Farm in New Milford for memories they won’t forget!

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To Play in the Snow

Without all those buses and puddles, the snow really is fresher in the country. From tubing to snowboarding, Powder Ridge Mountain Park in Middlefield has all the active winter activities you can think of. Looking to catch your own dinner? Bantam Lake in Morris is a popular ice fishing destination. You can also ice skate or ride your snowmobile on a designated trail at one of Connecticut’s many state forests.

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To Travel Cross-Country

Let the fresh powder crunch beneath your feet as you explore the placid Connecticut countryside. Connecticut has many trail options, from novice to expert, there’s something for everyone. For beginners, Devil’s Den in Weston has over 1,750 acres of nature preserve, perfect for a winter romp in the woods. For a more intense trek, try cross-country skiing at Winding Trails in Farmington. Get three for one at Gay City State Park in Hebron which offers hiking trails, cross country skiing trails, and open land for snowshoeing.

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To Go a Little Wild

You’ll find Connecticut in the winter is an outdoor playground for many species on land and water. Enjoy a wildlife-filled walk at the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret. Watch eagles soar along the Connecticut River with a RiverQuest eagle cruise out of Essex or take a Seal Watch Cruise with Project Oceanology in Groton. Explore White Memorial Foundation Center in Litchfield, Connecticut’s largest nature center and wildlife sanctuary at 4,000 acres.

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To Warm Up

Connecticut is known for its warm, delicious “chowdas,” especially in the winter months. For classic chowder since 1956, The Charcoal Chef in Woodbury is a must-try. To elevate your chowder experience, Sedona Taphouse in Norwalk has classic New England style chowder and a vibrant atmosphere. Get your chowder straight from the market at Rowayton Seafood in Rowayton. Looking for sea-to-table? Oyster Club in Mystic serves up fresh clam chowder daily. 

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To Ski Down

Let powder fly as you enjoy a day skiing the hills of Connecticut. Try your hand at skiing under the flood lights during night sessions at Ski Sundown in New Hartford. Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall is popular with all ages and levels and is a short drive from the city. Perfect for the little ones, bring the family to Mount Southington in Southington for a family adventure. 

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To Try Something Sweet

We all know and love that delicious syrup that’s poured over pancakes and waffles, but do you know how it’s made? Connecticut is home to thousands of maple trees, and in February and March you can get a first-hand look at just what goes into making syrup. At Flanders Nature Center in Woodbury, you can learn all about the sugaring process. For a special treat, head to Fabyan Sugar Shack in Thompson or Hydeville Sugar Shack in Stafford Springs and grab some maple brittle and candy. Lamothe’s Sugar House in Burlington is the state’s largest sugar house and receive about 4,000 visitors per year. 

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To Dine By the Fire

For centuries, the hearth has been the spot to be during the winter months. Keep the tradition alive by heading to some of Connecticut’s premier fireside dining locations. Imagine life in colonial times at White Horse Country Pub in Washington while enjoying classic pub fare. Millwright’s Restaurant & Tavern in Simsbury is housed in an old grist and sawmill, complete with a large stone fireplace. Down by the coast, dine at Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook and be warmed by the stone hearth. You can even enjoy a fireside meal in the same spot where George Washington once ate, at Union League Café in New Haven.