Happy New Year! 2015 was filled with some great moments and adventures. When I look back on the year I’m surprised at how many new and exciting places I visited. I love exploring in and around Connecticut. There are so many fantastic spots. Here’s a look back on my top 10 events and activities of 2015. Many of these activities occur yearly so mark your calendars now for next year!
Did you know that there are waterfalls in Connecticut? I had no idea before visiting Wadsworth Falls State Park. I took the kids to experience the little falls and big falls in Middlefield/Middletown, CT. I loved being able to get outside and do something new with the kids.
Winterfest at Lyman Orchards
We visited WinterFest last March at Lyman Orchards. There was a lot of snow on the ground and even more falling from the sky. The theme was Frozen (my girls’ favorite movie at the time). They had Anna and Elsa signing favorite songs from the movie and a meet and greet with the characters. There were crafts and ice sculpture displays. We sampled some of the delicious food from the Apple Barrel store before heading home from the free event.
Wee Faerie Village at Florence Griswold Museum
This was one of the most unique and favorite activities I did all year long. The museum fills its grounds with 32 tiny faerie villages. This year’s theme was Whimsical Kingdoms so there were tiny handcrafted castles, towers, and palaces of fiction’s greatest princes and princesses. I loved being able to share such an imaginative adventure with my kids.
Sunflowers for Wishes at Buttonwood Farms
For one week in the middle of July Buttonwood Farms holds the Sunflowers for Wishes fundraiser to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. The farm opens up its door to the public to explore the 4 acres of sunflowers and enjoy a hayride where you get to feed cows. I loved looking at the sunflower and taking pictures among the extra large flowers. This is a wonderful event that benefits a great cause.
Disney on Ice at Webster Bank Arena
Disney on Ice was the first live show we brought our girls to. We’re a big Disney loving family so this was a very special time. I loved the idea of introducing our girls to a live production and they loved seeing all of their favorite Disney characters all on one “stage” so close.
In May we took the whole family aboard the Norwegian Breakaway for a cruise to Bermuda. It was a splurge but ended up being worth every penny. We made incredible memories, visited a beautiful island and got to have some great family time. I loved the simplicity of sailing from New York. We stayed in the special Haven suite that made the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for our large family. I would go again in heartbeat!
Pumpkin Picking at Jones Family Farm
We visited Jones Family Farm for a beautiful day of pumpkin picking. I believe the farm to be one of the most scenic locations in all of Connecticut. Every year they decorate the farm according to a different theme. This year’s them was tiny creatures – butterflies, ladybugs, bumble bees. My kids love picking out pumpkins, riding on a hay ride and playing in the houses scattered around the farm. It’s become a family tradition to visit Jones Farm each fall.
Quassy brings back tons of memories from my childhood. I used to go there at least twice a year during elementary school. It was so special to bring my kids to a park I adored as a child. There have been many great additions including the all new water park, but many things like the carousel and train ride are just how I remember them from my own childhood.
Santa’s Workshop at Wickham Park
I love Christmas and I love sharing the magic of Christmas with my kids. This year we visited Santa at his workshop at Wickham Park. The activity is completely free and perfect for the holiday season. We took pictures with Santa, told him what we wanted for Christmas, also got cookies and hot chocolate from Mrs. Claus. My kids enjoyed themselves so much that they didn’t want to leave. I can see this becoming a yearly holiday tradition.
In March we celebrated Andrew’s first birthday at Stepping Stones. This is one of my favorite children’s museums in the entire state. There is so much to enjoy for all ages. I love that they have a large toddler-only area. They also offer daily activities that are included in the price of admission. If I didn’t live so far away I would surely get a yearly pass.
These are a few of my favorite activities from 2015. What are some of yours?