With Fourth of July less than one week away, we wanted to share some fun activities happening across the state – from New Haven to Hartford to Litchfield. Whether families get just Wednesday off, make a long weekend out of the holiday or if they are planning to take the full week off – there’s tons to discover and re-discover across the state.
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Fourth of July Fun Across Connecticut
If you plan to take the day off…
- Take the kids to see the Fourth in 3-D (Middlebury): Spend the day enjoying all the attractions that Quassy Amusement Park has to offer. At night, plan to see fireworks like never before – in 3-D! Viewing glasses will be sold for $1 and proceeds benefit Prevent Blindness Tri-State.
- Celebrate the “Great American Boom” at Stanley Quarter Park (New Britain): Enjoy the night of the Fourth with carnival rides and games, inflatables, hot air balloon rides, clowns, magicians, live music, a large assortment of food and much, much more. Perfect for the entire family!
- Enjoy Independence Day like a true patriot at the Eric Sloane Museum (Kent): Eric Sloane was an enthusiast patriot who believed that church and public bells should ring for four minutes at 2 p.m. to mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Join in the revival of the tradition and enjoy patriotic-themed hands-on activities for children.
- Grab your friends and march in WILI AM’s Boom Box Parade (Willimantic): Starting at Jilson Square at 11 am, locals are invited to march in this people parade which includes no bands, just marchers who bring and play their radios while WILI AM broadcasts marching band music.
- Check out Riverfest 2012 (Hartford): For post 4th of July fun, make sure to head over to Riverfest – happening July 6-9. The annual event features free entertainment including live bands, musicians, clowns and other walk-a-bout entertainers, kids’ activities and more. The event provides fun for the whole family and is highlighted by a fireworks show over the Connecticut River.
If you plan to make a long 4th of July weekend…
- Spend it outdoors:
- Start with a hiking adventure to Gillette Castle (Essex): Enjoy a 30-minute train ride through the beautiful Connecticut River Valley, then hike up a hill of moderately graded trails to one of Connecticut’s most famous destinations, home of the late William Gillette, famous for his stage portray of Sherlock Holmes.
- End the night with a romantic “Full Moon & Search for Fireworks Cruise” (Haddam): Enjoy the Fourth on a relaxing evening cruise down the lower Connecticut River, timed just right to see the full moon rise. And although there are no scheduled fireworks for this evening, keep an eye out for some displayed along the edge of the river. Also, make sure to pack your picnic basket and favorite beverage!
- Head to Brownstone Park the next day for some outdoor fun (Portland): Play and eat the day away with the whole family. The park is packed with outdoor activities like ziplines, a beach area with volleyball, a cargo net climb, obstacle course, and more. There will be a number of competitions throughout the weekend and a movie under the tent at night.
- Spend it relaxing and taking in beautiful scenery in Litchfield Hills:
- Relax in the lap of luxury with a spa package at the Mayflower Inn (Washington): enjoy their "Independence Day Getaway" Package that features 20% off accommodations, complimentary continental breakfast, and one 60 minute massage per night, per person. Hurry, it’s only available 6/29-7/9.
- Try holiday air-travel a different way with Aer Blarney Balloons (Litchfield): Explore Connecticut’s famous Litchfield Hills by air with daily hot air balloon flights. If you’re looking to add a touch of romance to your one-of-a-kind adventure, Champagne charters are available at sunrise and pre-sunset.
- Enjoy the locally-grown delicacies @ The Corner (Litchfield): You can have it all at @ The Corner where Award winning Chef Red Lanphear prepares daily specials using locally grown seasonal ingredients. The local favorite also includes nightly wines, an extensive wine list, signature cocktails with a Caribbean twist, and delicious desserts.
If you plan to take the whole week off…
- Visit the southeastern corner of Connecticut
- Start celebrating at The Fourth at The Wharf (Norwich) (June 29 – 30): Every year the American Wharf puts on a two-day Fourth of July extravaganza. A show of live entertainment kicks-off the celebration Friday night and starting at noon on Saturday there is plenty more family fun and live music. The weekend concludes with a fireworks show at 9pm Saturday night.
- Step back in time to celebrate Independence Day at Mystic Seaport (Mystic): Spend the Fourth of July like they did on America’s 100th birthday in 1876. Enjoy boat races on the Mystic River, a picnic on the Village Green, Independence Day parade, Civil War military exercise reenactments, live music, theater and more!
- Visit the state capitol Hartford
- Learn about the legacy at the Mark Twain House and Museum (Hartford): Hartford was home to Mark Twain and his family from 1874 to 1891. It is also where he wrote his most famous works, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and The Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Step into his home and see how one of America’s most celebrated authors lived.
- Have fun with the whole family at the Connecticut Science Center (Hartford): With 150 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, and daily programs and events, a visit to the Connecticut Science Center is sure to be fun for the whole family.