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Family Fun

20 Free Things to do With Your Family in CT This Summer

Fairs CT kids
Written by Corin Fuller

There’s a special four letter word that we all love to hear: Free! Every family is looking to save a little extra money this summer, especially when finding things to do with kids. Here are a few suggestions of places to go with your kids this summer that are completely free.

New Haven County

  1. Free Family Fun Day in Meriden

Children and families, gather around. The Perspectives Center for Care, Inc. is hosting the first annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 12pm-4 pm. The event will include food trucks, craft fair, carnival games, slides, bounce houses, concessions, and more. The public is admitted for free, but there is a charge for some activities. The event will be held at Hubbard Park.  

  1. Deep Family Fishing Class in Ansonia

Education doesn’t stop when school is out. The Ansonia Nature Center is sponsoring CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection program on Saturday July 8 and 9 at 9am-2pm. Guides will cover topics on fish identification, fish habitats, fishing laws and regulations, and how to catch and clean fish. The program is free and is taught by certified DEEP C.A.R.E instructors. Children under age 7 must be accompanied by adults. The event is located at 10 Deerfield Road.

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  1. Chris Rowlands: Puppeteer and Singer in Ansonia

Chris Rowlands is an award-winning singer and songwriter who offers an interactive kid-friendly presentation to those who love music and nature! On Friday July 28, Chris Rowlands will bring animals to life as he creatively blends music, comedy, puppets, and comical props to help educate children about animal habitats. This is a free musical program hosted by the Ansonia Nature Center located at 10 Deerfield Road.

  1. Rock in Space: Perseid Meteor Showers in Ansonia

Exciting discoveries are happening in science these days! Your future astronauts will see the annual meteor showers with Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society on Saturday, August 12 at 7pm. Your family will also get the chance to touch and learn about meteorites from around the world. This program is free, all you need to bring are warm clothes and chairs. This event will be held at the Ansonia Nature Center on 10 Deerfield Road.

Fairfield County

  1. Free Outdoor Shakespeare in Stamford

If your family enjoys the art of the theatre, Curtain Call Inc. is presenting one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays—Julius Caesar—at the Sterling Farms Theatre Complex. Families will gather outside to enjoy performances on July 6-16, at 7:30 pm. The park opens for seating at 6 pm each evening with free parking across the street at Davenport Ridge School. The event is free but a $10 to $20 donation is suggested.  Bring blankets and sand chairs, dessert and drinks will be provided by Zody’s at Sterling.

  1. Fine Arts Festival in Westport

Experience culture without leaving Connecticut at the 44th Annual Fine Arts Festival this summer. On July 15 and 16, artists from around the world exhibit original works in painting, watercolor, photography, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, mixed media, glass, ceramics, jewelry, wood and digital art. Admissions and nearby parking is free but all artwork is available to purchase. In addition, artists will host demonstrations and an interactive Children Create art activities for all ages. Your future painter won’t want to miss this! The festival will be held at Main Street in picturesque downtown Westport. Be prepared to bring money for food and drinks too.

  1. SoundWaters Harbor Fest 2017 in Stamford

Join the city’s biggest waterfront celebration on Saturday, August 26. Visitors of all ages can expect to enjoy seaside yoga, Zumba and art show, historic tours of Stamford Harbor, live music, carnival rides, dockside boat tours, and the Cardboard Kayak Race for the Mayor’s Trophy. At the end of the day, there will be a fantastic fireworks show over Stamford Harbor. You can park for free at the corner of Atlantic St. and Washington Blvd., in the Harbor Point garage across from Atlantic St. and the parking garage on Pacific St.

  1. Yankee Doodle Fair in Westport

The Yankee Doodle Fair returns at the Westport Woman’s Club. Families are welcome to come and enjoy one of Fairfield’s longest running fairs. Admission is completely free, the event includes amusement rides, international food, face painting, sand art, lucky prize drawing, a bake sale, raffles, and more. Yankee Doodle Fair hours are Thursday, June 15, 6 pm to 10 pm, Friday, June 16, 6 pm to 10 pm, Saturday, June 17, 1 pm to 10 pm, and Sunday, June 18, 1 pm to 5 pm.  The fair will be located at 44 Imperial Avenue in Westport.

  1. Jam out to the B Street Band in Danbury

Danbury City Center is hosting the B Street Band on July 7 at 7 pm. Families are invited to relax under the stars and jam out to live music. You can bring blankets, a picnic, and chairs. Admission is free but there will be various food trucks throughout the event as well. The concert will be held at the City Center Green Half Shell on Ives Street.

Middlesex County

  1. Free Mini Golf in Cromwell

Torza’s Golf Driving Range offers free rounds of mini golf every Friday from 12pm-4pm until the end of July. Bring the family together to play on a unique 18-hole mini golf course that features gardens, rock formations, fountains, and a waterfall! Torza’s Golf is located in the back of the building on 150 Sebethe Drive. Call (860) 632-1132 for more information.

  1. The Family Fun Festival in Middletown

Festivals are one of the greatest parts of summer. The Veteran’s Memorial Park is hosting a Family Fun Festival on July 22, from 10am- 2pm. The event is free, kids ages 6-11 are invited to join in for a day of fun games, prizes, and food!

Hartford County

  1. Kids Bowl Free in Plainville

Lessard Lanes offers a coupon to families with kids under the age of 15 from now until September 4 from 11am-6pm, Monday through Friday. In order to receive the Kids Bowl free coupon you must register online first. All participants must wear bowling shoes—rental shoes available. Coupon is not good for use with day care outings, camps, business or club outings, or birthday party celebrations.

  1. Girls Yoga in Simsbury

The Simsbury Public Library is holding yoga workshop, Thursday June 29, for girls in grades 5-9. Instructor Terry Cole will teach yoga poses and constructive relaxation while including activities around deep breathing, stress reduction, and aromatherapy. Dress comfortably and bring a mat and water bottle.

  1. Picture Books and Popsicles in Plainville

Every Friday at 11pm between June 23-August 17, the Plainville Public Library is offering children of all ages popsicles and fun stories to listen to in the garden area. What a fun way to cool down and relax with the kids! Remember to bring a towel for sitting. The event is free but registration is required. Program will not take place during inclement weather.

  1. Science Alley in Hartford

If you’re looking to keep the education going during the summer months, bring your family down to the Science Alley atrium at the Connecticut Science Center. Adults and children will be amazed by the new ten story experience that features deep sea, terra firma, and and aerospace galleries that will educate visitors on the unseen elements behind some of earth’s greatest wonders.

Tolland County

  1. UConn Animal Barn in Storrs

Animal lovers are welcome to explore the animals barns and learn more about the animals that are used for UConn Department of Animal Science. Everyday from 10am to 4pm, families can see sheep, dairy cows and beef cows, baby foals and horses. After families visit the barns they can go to the UConn Dairy Bar or enjoy a picnic at the tables posted along Horsebarn Hill.

  1. Free Ice Cream in Vernon

You won’t want to miss out on this yummy summer treat! The Strong Family Farm offers free ice cream and the first adopt-a-chicken program starting June 14 until the season is over.

New London County

  1. Free Movies and Munchies in New London

The New London Public Library invites all families to enjoy lunch and a movie! Every Wednesday at 1 pm from June 21 to August 23, families can gather to watch popular movies like Moana, Pets, and LA LA Land. This program is so much better than spending money at the movie theatre! Heads up, parents are required to stay in the room with their children.

  1. Ocean Beach Park in New London

On a hot summer day bring your family down to Ocean Beach Park for a day trip! On Monday evenings after 4pm parking and admission is free. The Cruise Night Show hosts a parade of antique cars, a live DJ spinning classic music, with ride wrist band specials, a waterslide and mini golf specials for the kids as well!

Litchfield County

  1. Canaan Railroad Days in Canaan

Join together to celebrate its 53rd year starting on Wednesday July 5, and ends on Sunday July 16. Families will be entertained by an amazing festival that features fireworks, train history, a carnival, and exciting shows.


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About the author

Corin Fuller

Corin is an upcoming senior at Southern Connecticut State University. Her major is Communications with a specialization in Advertising and Promotions, where she has developed a passion for copywriting. When she's not studying, she likes to binge-watch Game of Thrones and find the latest fashion trends on Pinterest.

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