34 Things to Do in Central Connecticut this Spring Last Updated: February 2021
When the air gets warmer and the trees come back to life after a long winter, you'll know it’s springtime in Connecticut. As the flowers are blooming, refreshing spring activities are popping up — and you can be sure businesses are working hard to keep you safe. From active adventure and family fun to relaxation and romantic escapes, here’s your guide to the spring season in Central Connecticut.
Just be sure to check with each location before venturing out as hours may change due to COVID-19.
1. Hike like you mean it. Take advantage of warmer weather and venture to great hiking trails like Giuffrida Park in Meriden, Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Farmington, and Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury.
2. Take a swing. Get out, grab your clubs, and get golfing at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, Blackledge Country Club in Hebron, East Hartford Golf Club, Rockledge Golf Club in West Hartford, or Tradition Golf Club at Wallingford.
3. Float through the sky. Take in the spring air from way up top with one of Connecticut’s hot air balloon companies. Make unforgettable memories at Berkshire Balloons!
4. Bike at all speeds. Go mountain biking at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield or try cycling on bike trails like the Farmington River Trail in Simsbury or the Farmington Canal Liner Trail in New Haven.
5. Try axe throwing. On a rainy spring day, take the fun indoors with the thrill of axe throwing at spots like Pine & Iron Axe Throwing in Hartford, Axe It in Wethersfield, or Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington. Can you hit the bullseye?!
6. Smash objects. Yes, you read that right. Let out your pent-up emotions (and laugh a lot too) at Smash Avenue in West Hartford, where you’ll use all your might to safely destroy breakable items ranging from glassware to electronics while draped in protective gear.
7. Explore Hartford parks. Stroll miles of trails and walkways; fish, boat, or row; experience teamwork on the challenge course and more at Riverfront Recapture, which includes four parks: Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Riverside Park, Charter Oak Landing in Hartford and Great River Park in East Hartford.
Below are a few more spots to find active adventure:
Rest and Relaxation
8. Walk the labyrinth. For centuries, people have used labyrinths to ponder the complexities of faith, life and philosophy. Try a walking meditation in the labyrinth at Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in West Hartford.
9. Pick flowers. Spring is the time for stunning daffodils to blossom. Admire them or even pick some of your own at Halfinger Farms’ Dancing Daffodils event throughout March and April.
10. Stroll through gardens. Choose a sunny day and explore the budding greenery at great gardens such as Wickham Park in Manchester, Butler-McCook House & Garden in Hartford, or Pardee Rose Gardens in Hamden, or the Hill-Stead Museum gardens in Farmington.
11. Try Forest Bathing. Become one with nature with what’s known as “Forest Bathing” – take in each scent, notice the sunlight on the leaves, and be mindfully present to the forest atmosphere. Try this zen activity at parks such as West Rock Ridge State Park in Hamden, Millers Pond State Park in Durham, Naugatuck State Forest, in Hamden/Naugatuck, or McLean Game Refuge in Granby.
12. Treat yourself to a massage. After a long day of spring cleaning, detox with a massage from great spas like A Moment Away in Southington and Plainville, Elm City Wellness in New Haven, or By the Sea Day Spa in Branford.
Below are a few more spots to find rest and relaxation:
Arts, Culture & History
14. Stay in historic inns. Many of the state’s accommodations are steeped in rich history. Book an overnight in a historic inn such as the Wallingford Victorian Inn, the Griswold Inn in Essex, or the Chester Bulkley House B&B in Old Wethersfield.
15. Take an art class. Whether virtual or in person, learn painting, drawing, photography, glass art and more at Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon.
16. Explore trolley history. Did you know Central Connecticut is home to the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to the preservation of the trolley era? Learn about trolley history and even take a ride at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor or the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven.
17. Visit the farmers’ market. Browse local products and produce at the Durham Farmers’ Market – you’ll find Connecticut grown goods galore!
Below are a few more spots to find arts, culture & history:
Food and Drink Adventures
18. Sample the food trucks. Enjoy the warm spring air and take a walking tour of nearly 30 food trucks offering tasty treats at Food Truck Paradise by Long Wharf in New Haven or savor flavors under string lights at GastroPark in Hartford.
19. Visit the birthplace of the hamburger. Dating back to 1900, Louis’ Lunch in New Haven invented this all-American favorite. At this spot, burgers are served on slices of white bread and cheese, onion, and tomato are the only condiments allowed – swing by and try one for yourself.
20. Lounge at the vineyard. Sit back and sip oh so sweet (or dry) wine with views of stunning greenery at vineyards like Gouveia Vineyard in Wallingford, Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, or Brignole Vineyards in East Granby.
21. Dine in repurposed spaces. Many of Connecticut’s best restaurants were originally very different structures. Eat in a former freight station at Crown & Hammer Pub in Collinsville, a former library at The Library Wine Bar & Bistro in Wallingford, a former mill at Millwright’s Restaurant in Simsbury, a former gas station at The Stand in Branford, or a former lumber company at Parkville Market in West Hartford.
22. Make it a sweet day. Pick up truffles, caramels, chocolate turtles and more at sweet spots like Divine Treasures in Manchester, Munson’s Chocolates in Bolton, Thompson Chocolate in Meriden, or Sweet Cioccolata in Wallingford.
23. Go brunching. With Easter, Mother's Day, and the warm weather, spring is the perfect season for brunch! Discover mimosas, waffles, eggs, and other brunch favorites at Pond House Cafe in West Hartford, Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar in Simsbury, The Corner Restaurant in Milford, or Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook.
Below are a few more spots to find food and drink adventures:
25. Explore parks kids will love. Take the family out into nature at kid-friendly state parks like Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, or Chaffinch Island Park in Guilford.
26. Try nostalgic activities. On a rainy day, bring the kids to do old favorites like bowling at Lessard Lanes in Plainville or Johnson’s Duckpin Lanes in Hamden. Or show them a taste of the 70s and 80s with roller skating at Ron-A-Roll in Vernon or Middletown Roller Skating Rink.
27. Explore the PEZ museum. Have kids who love candy? See the largest, most comprehensive collection of PEZ memorabilia on public display in the world, PEZ motorcycle, the world's largest PEZ dispenser and more at the PEZ Visitor Center in Orange.
28. Make a splash at waterfalls. From hiking and biking to picnicking, there’s so much to do at Connecticut’s waterfalls – especially in spring after snow and ice has melted. The family will love Enders State Forest in Granby, Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown, and Roaring Brook Falls in Cheshire.
29. Encounter butterflies. When spring flowers bloom, along come beautiful butterflies – but want to see them up close? Visit the Connecticut Science Center’s Butterfly Encounter exhibit and walk among 40-50 species of butterflies free-flying around you!
30. Take flower photos. In spring you'll find beautiful blooms around every corner — and they make for great family photo backdrops. Find cherry blossoms in New Haven's Edgerton Park, daffodils at Meriden's Hubbard Park, and tulips at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford.
Below are a few more spots to find family fun:
32. Escape by the sea. Wake up on the water – and beside your special someone – at exquisite accommodations like Saybrook Point Resort & Marina in Old Saybrook, Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook, or the Madison Beach Hotel.
33. Try new date spots. Spring is for new beginnings – so try something new together! Race each other at OnTrack Karting in Wallingford, challenge yourselves at escape rooms like Adventure Rooms in Middletown, or take a distillery taste test at Onyx Spirits Company in East Hartford.
34. See sculptures. Stroll hand-in-hand and admire outdoor art. Discover stunning sculptures at the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk in Hartford, The Sculpture Mile in Madison, and Stegosaurus in Hartford. Don’t forget to snap cute couple selfies while you’re there!
Below are a few more spots to find romantic escapes: