You Deserve a Spring Break! Last Updated 1/20
There are so many reasons to get excited for the start of the spring! It’s time to get outside and take advantage of all of the wonderful things that come along with warmer weather, such as longer days, budding flowers and all that sunshine. Get a head start on making this season a memorable one by exploring some of the new offerings and fun events happening across the state this month, from outdoor festivals and foodie events to new attractions and openings. Grab a friend or family member and get started on your 2019 spring break!
Need for Speed?
All of you speedsters, brace yourselves for another exciting year of events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and kick off the park’s 78th opening season with the fast-paced 45th running of the Icebreaker (April 5-7) event, featuring the first championship race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Next, head to Middlebury to get your fix of thrills at Quassy Amusement Park's 111th season opening (April 27, Waterpark May 27). This year, park-goers can experience a "supercharged" Splash Away Bay waterpark with three new gigantic water raft rides and the new Cafe & Deck overlooking Lake Quassapaug. For opening weekend, you can also take advantage of the park’s special carload weekend promotion – so start rounding up your family and friends!
Looking for something even more adventurous? Visit one of Connecticut’s exciting aerial courses, which open in early April (weather pending). Experience the beauty of the season firsthand as you zip through budding spring trees at the Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport or the Adventure Park at Storrs.
Plus, don’t forget to mark your calendars for May 4, when Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol will be reopening for another exciting season and celebrating 172 years of operation! You can also camp overnight at the Lake Compounce in the Bear Creek Campgrounds, where you can stay in a tent, a cabin or a tipi, or even hook up an RV.
Stop and Smell the Flowers!
There is nothing more exciting than the sight of budding trees and flowers after a long, snowy winter. Usher in the spring season with a family outing to one of Connecticut’s spring blossom festivals, including the annual Daffodil Festival in Meriden (April 27-28), the 46th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in New Haven (April 28) and the picturesque Dogwood Festival in Fairfield on Mother's Day weekend this year (May 10-12).
Next, take in the sights and smells of the new season at the Hollister House Garden in Washington (which will be opening April 26), planted alongside a beautiful 25-acre country estate. Take your time to walk the grounds and explore the classic (but slightly unusual) English garden that features an abundance of both common and exotic plants in surprising color combinations. Also, look forward to even more fresh spring blooms in early May at the annual opening of the 18th-century Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden. Located on one of the oldest streets in Woodbury, the antiqued Glebe House is rich in both history and beauty, holding the only remaining garden designed by the renowned botanical designer, Gertrude Jekyll.
Or, if you’re looking to revamp your own garden, head over to the White Flower Farm in Litchfield to check out a wide breadth of flowers ranging from tulips and daffodils to alliums and perennials. Take home some of your favorites to put a little extra pep in your garden. You can even bring the kids along for the scenic ride through the countryside before visiting the White Memorial Conservation’s Children Free Week (April 20-26). The center’s museum provides a glimpse of the natural diversity found outdoors on the White Memorial Foundation’s 4,000-acre wildlife sanctuary, and features hand-painted and photographic murals, dioramas, live animals, working honeybee hive, and unique exhibits. After, get outside and enjoy the wildlife sanctuary.
While you’re enjoying all the new blooms of the season, you can also show the planet some extra love this month (in honor of Earth Day) by staying at one of Connecticut’s green lodging destinations.
Down on the Farm
With the start of the new season, comes a wealth of new life and renewal for all of Connecticut’s animals. Take the kids to the University of Connecticut’s Animal Barns in Storrs to explore the grounds and learn about the dairy cows, sheep, beef cattle, horses and poultry (UConn began its life as an agricultural school). Spring is an especially great time to visit because of all the new baby animals – including foals and beef and dairy calves.
And after you’ve checked out the animal activity, head over to the UConn Dairy Bar for a taste of what many believe to be the best ice cream in the state! Or venture through the rolling pastures of Litchfield Hills to Arethusa Farm to find more incredible, homemade ice cream and local dairy products. With a tradition of raising award-winning purebred Jersey, Holstein and Brown Swiss cows, Arethusa Farm prides itself on providing the absolute highest level of care for its animals.
For even more fun with animals, head to Action Wildlife in Goshen to experience the unusual opportunity to observe and learn about animals from North America, Africa, India, New Zealand, Asia and the Artic. Action Wildlife is open for the spring in mid-April; make sure to check out the petting zoo, drive-through safari, walking tours, hands-on educational center and museum/exploration center!
Also, don’t miss a unique Connecticut event that combines the joys of spring with cute country animals. Originally started in 1909, the historic Connecticut Sheep, Wool, & Fiber Festival (April 27) is a traditional outdoor celebration that offers a variety of exhibits, demonstrations, more than 60 vendors from the sheep, wool and fiber arena and entertainment for all ages.
There are so many and differenct places to spend the night in the state including the B&B at Bartlett Farm, located in the very quiet, rural town of Guilford. This bed and breakfast offers a relaxing country atmosphere and comfortable accommodations. Enjoy a walk on a winding country road, take a hike on one of the many trails in the area or just sit on the porch and watch the day go by.
Get out and Shop
As the weather warms up, now is the perfect time to explore one of Connecticut’s charming walkable towns, such as gorgeous downtown Greenwich. Stroll down Greenwich Avenue and peruse dozens of unique stores and specialty shops. Grab a bite to eat at l'escale that has an atmosphere of evocative scents of southern France. Then hit the spa or cozy up for a relaxing evening by the shore at the Hotel Delamar Greenwich Harbor.
For an afternoon filled with unique collectibles and antiques, check out the Elephant's Trunk Country Flea Market in New Milford, which will be open every Sunday from early April through mid-December. This market is a fun way to enjoy the beautiful spring weather while browsing rare and interesting objects.
Once you’ve gotten your antique fix, head over to the Westbrook Outlets in Westbrook for the latest spring fashion trends, colors and designs. If you’re looking for even more affordably priced, fabulous shopping indoors, the Tanger Outlets at the Foxwoods Resort Casino!
Explore the Great Outdoors
Hiking and biking season is finally here! From spectacular views to calm natural settings, it’s the perfect time to explore some of the top hiking trails and bike rides available across the state. For a perfect balance of action and relaxation, try the Connecticut B&B Bike Trail to explore eight cycling routes, each with a choice of cozy bed and breakfasts along the way! If you’re feeling adventurous, enjoy mini trips off the route to discover hidden gems, historic stops and the beautiful scenery across Connecticut.
On April 27, you can join runners and walkers at the MahoneySabol 5K at the Travelers Championship and race along Cromwell roads that line the fairways and greens of the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. When the race is done, all participants get one ticket valid for any one-day admission to the 2019 Travelers Championship, Connecticut's legendary PGA Tour stop.