Kid-Friendly Activities in Mystic Country Last Updated 3/21

Are you long overdue for a fun family outing? I’m not talking about a trip to Target or even a stop at that same playground down the block, I’m talking something unique and exciting that both kids and adults will truly enjoy. Sound good? Read on and then hit the road!

As always, be sure to check with each location before making plans as hours and details may change due to COVID-19.

Photo credit: dpnaturectr

The Quiet Corner

Sometimes the car ride itself is one of the best parts of your journey. And when you are cruising down a true country road, for example, Route 169 (one of the top Scenic Byways in the nation in fact!) with the windows down and charming scenery at every turn, both you and your backseat buddies can relax and enjoy the ride. 

If you are in need of some fresh air and some inspiration, then the Bafflin Sanctuary should fit the bill.  Adjacent to the Connecticut Audubon Society at the Center at Pomfret, there are more than 10 miles of scenic trails open to the public for hiking and birdwatching. The trails are open year-round and the little ones will love the diverse scenery, including plenty of open fields, meadows, a beaver pond, and a ravine. 

After all, that walking, pick yourselves up a well-deserved treat on the way home from one of the best, the Ice Box in Brooklyn. The Ice Box is located on Main Street and serves up a ridiculously delicious small-batch, homemade ice cream treats including cakes, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches.  You are guaranteed to leave full and happy!

Photo credit: theiceboxct

Mystic

There is certainly no shortage of kid-approved activities in Mystic, but here are a few favorites including the one you may not have been familiar with.

Most people think of water and boats when they think of Mystic, but did you know there is a vast wildlife sanctuary located there as well? The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (pictured above) offers 10 miles of trails to explore, with the chance to spot anything from a bluebird to a bullfrog, or to just enjoy the serenity of the woods. There is also a nature center where kids can get up close and personal with a variety of species including owls, hawks, turtles, and more. It’s not only kid-friendly but also toddler-friendly which is a rare and welcome find these days! 

Then there is the Mystic Aquarium for family fun in Connecticut. The beluga whales are the obvious crowd-favorites, and they gained heightened fame this past year when the aquarium was closed but turned the cameras on for daily live feeds for all to enjoy. Other must-sees include seals, sea lions, and penguins. They are also currently offering some very cool private and small group experiences including penguin encounters, painting with a seal and, be a trainer for a day. *Keep in mind, due to COVID-19, the aquarium is currently operating at a reduced capacity and all visitors must purchase timed-tickets in advance.

Hungry from all that site-seeing? Located across from the aquarium is Old Mistick Village, a quaint open-aired shopping and dining destination complete with walking paths, a gazebo, and a duck pond. There are plenty of food choices from pizza to seafood to steaks, but if you want something different, the visit Alice in the Village, a truly unique tea-room experience, modeled after Alice in Wonderland. They offer elaborate multi-course sit-down meals, which are much heartier than you would expect. For example, “The Wonderland Experience’ is a three-tiered service of savory sandwiches and quiches, scones, and desserts, served with hot tea and Alice Blue Raspberry Soda.  If you are wanting just a quick snack, they also have an EAT ME! DRINK ME! counter to grab a tea or other beverages, as well as sweet treats like crumpets and cake pops. *Due to COVID-19, they are currently at reduced capacity and operating on a reservation-only basis booking several weeks in advance.

Photo credit: mysticaquarium