You Deserve a Spring Break! Last Updated: March 2023
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 2023 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 83nd opening season with the fast-paced running of the Icebreaker (April 1-2) event.
Next, head to Middlebury to get your fix of thrills at Quassy Amusement Park's 115th season opening (April 29). This year, park-goers can experience the "Tidal Wave," a thrilling family ride that has a huge clipper-like themed vessel suspended on a swinging pendulum and the 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 opens in early March 31 (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 April 29, when Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol will be reopening for another exciting season and celebrating 175 years of operation! You can also camp overnight at the Lake Compounce Campground, 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 29-30), the 49th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in New Haven (April 16), and the picturesque Dogwood Festival in Fairfield on (May 13-14). In Bridgeport, you can experience thousands of daffodils and tulips during April 1-May 7 at the Colorblends House & Spring Garden.
Pick your own daffodils at Halfinger Farms located in Higganum, or pick your own tulips at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Preston.
Next, take in the sights and smells of the new season at the Hollister House Garden in Washington (which will be opening April 21), 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. 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, a 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 29) 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 different 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 offer 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.
Connecticut has so much history and what a better way to experience our heritage is by browsing our many antique shops and centers.
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.
On April 2, you can join runners and walkers at the Middletown 10K and 5K/Walk through the campus of Wesleyan University. Or, on April 23, the Rocky Neck Beach Front Relay takes place on the shoreline at Rocky Neck Beach State Park in East Lyme.