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100 Ways to Fall for Connecticut

Fall in love with Connecticut this season – get out and explore the beautiful colors of New England fall foliage, pick the perfect pumpkin, plan an overnight stay at a charming inn or hike one of Connecticut’s many trails. The 100 recommendations were sourced from statewide tourism destinations, local bloggers and residents and visitors just like you. What will you do first?

Family Fun

Fairfield County

  1. Dress up and join the Stamford Museum & Nature Center’s costume parade during their Harvest Festival Weekend (Oct. 19-20) (Stamford)
  2. Meet and greet your comic book heroes at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Saturdays during Super October (Oct. 12, 19, 26) (Norwalk)
  3. Take a hayride through the pumpkin patch of Connecticut favorite, Jones Family Farm (Shelton)
  4. Ride a vintage train through a restored 1903 station at the Danbury Railway Museum – recommended by blogger Mary Beth from MommyPoppins (Danbury)
  5. Play, explore and learn at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children’s many interactive exhibits (Norwalk)

Greater New Haven

  1. Roam the grounds of the popular Durham Fair, the state’s largest agricultural fair featuring tons of food and fun – recommended by local bloggers Edwin from CT Out and About and Michele from She is Going Places (Sept. 26-29) (Durham)
  2. Pick the perfect pumpkin at Lyman Orchard’s pumpkin patch in Middlefield or go apple picking at Rose Orchards in North Branford – “a CT treasure and perfect for a fall family outing” – blogger Alexandra, Blondie and Brownie
  3. Head over to The Guilford Fair and watch the impressive Flying Wallendas walk the tightropes (Guilford) (Sept. 20-22)
  4. Take the family to Hammonasset State Park to fish, camp and hike through Connecticut’s largest shoreline park (Madison)
  5. Sail away on an exciting adventure with pirate games and treasure map-making over the New Haven Harbor on the Schooner Family Pirate Sail (New Haven)

Mystic Country

  1. Test your bravery aboard a haunted schooner at Mystic Seaport’s Sights & Frights night on Oct. 26  (Mystic)
  2. Watch Mystic Aquarium’s talented divers carve pumpkins underwater (Oct. 19-20, 26-27) (Mystic)
  3. Tour an old camp thought by many to be abandoned; where, along with autumn’s chill, a strange cast of characters has arrived on the Dark Walk Haunted Camp Tour (Oct. 11-12, 18-19) (Andover)
  4. Take a covered wagon ride to see the bison at Creamery Brook Bison – don’t forget to stop at the pumpkin patch on the way back! (Oct. 20-21, 27-28) (Brooklyn)
  5. Attend Groton’s Annual Fall Festival featuring live entertainment, children’s activities and hundreds of vendors (Oct. 12) (Groton)
  6. Enjoy a day on the farm learning about historical farming techniques like plowing, cow milking and more at the Blue Slope Country Museum (Franklin)

Litchfield Hills

  1. Bring the family down to the Harwinton Fair for a range of country exhibits - including a rabbit costume contest (Oct. 5-6) (Harwinton)
  2. Watch a classic silent horror film at the Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum (Bristol)
  3. Check out the scares at the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (Bristol)

River Valley

  1. Mark your calendars for the 65th annual Berlin Fair where you can find rides for all ages and enjoy live entertainment (like country music sensation Craig Campbell!) (Oct. 4-6) (Berlin)
  2. Test your pie-eating skills at the 39th Annual Apple Harvest Festival on Oct. 18-20 - recommended by blogger Caitlin from Cait Plus Ate (Glastonbury)
  3. Celebrate the fall season at the Hill-Stead Museum’s Hay Day with hayrides, live entertainment and more (Oct. 6) (Farmington)
  4. Get lost in Scantic Valley Farm‘s 8-acre corn maze with over 3 miles of trails (Somers)
  5. Play 18 holes with wicked witches and spooky skeletons at the Farmington Valley Visitors Association‘s Annual Haunted Mini Golf Fundraiser (Oct. 17-20, 24-27)  (Farmington)
  6. Celebrate the first day of autumn with music, food, a parade and more at the Mansfield Festival on the Green (Sept. 22) (Mansfield)

Active Adventure

Fairfield County

  1. Attend Audubon Greenwich’s 15th Annual Hawk Festival & Green Bazaar (Sept. 28-29), a two-day event celebrating the annual hawk migration (Greenwich)
  2. Swing from tree to tree in the aerial forest park at The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum (Bridgeport)
  3. Run for local causes at the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge which includes a 5K, a 2-Mile Walk and a Kids Fun Run (Sept. 29) (Fairfield)

Greater New Haven

  1. Climb Castle Craig Tower to experience views from the Massachusetts Berkshires to the Long Island Sound (Meriden)
  2. Plan a fishing trip to Mill River in Sleeping Giant State Park (Hamden)
  3. Canoe through the salt marshes of the Milford Point Coastal Center as the seasons change from summer to fall (Milford)

Mystic Country

  1. Bike the 25-mile Canterbury/Scotland Loop in the tranquil quiet corner of Connecticut (Canterbury)
  2. Chill out at the historic Fort Trumbull State Park and enjoy waterfront views of the Thames River (New London)
  3. Hit the links at the Lake of Isles at Foxwoods Resort Casino (North Stonington)

Litchfield Hills

  1. Trot along the rolling Litchfield Hills on horseback while enjoying the beautiful fall scenery at Lee’s Riding Stable (Litchfield)
  2. Plan a 2-night stay in Litchfield County with the Family Leaf Peeping Package at Breadloaf Mountain Lodge (Cornwall Bridge)
  3. Cross a beautiful covered bridge as you hike the falls of Kent Falls State Park (Kent)
  4. Kayak, canoe or fish along the Housatonic River while enjoying scenic views (Cornwall)

River Valley

  1. Challenge your friends to an adrenaline filled adventure at Empower Leadership Sports and Adventure Center (Middletown)
  2. Show off your water sports skills at the Rail Jam 2.0 Competition at Brownstone Park (Sept. 21) (Portland)
  3. Ride the Essex Steam Train to hike to Gillette Castle though the ferry connection, where you can take beautiful photos from the top of the terrace (Essex)
  4. Cheer on thousands of runners at Bushnell Park as they participate in the 20th annual ING Hartford Marathon on Oct. 12 (Hartford)

Statewide

  1. Discover over 800 miles of fall foliage on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails that run throughout towns statewide

Rest & Relaxation

Fairfield County

  1. Plan an overnight at the kind of hotel that is an experience onto itself - check out the Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan, the Delamar Greenwich Harbor
  2. Grab tickets to the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival (Oct. 3-5), featuring celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and cook-offs - “one of the best days I’ve had in a long time” - local blogger Tracy with Suitcase Scholar
  3. Pick up fresh produce, baked goods and wide variety of local products at New Canaan Farmer’s Market – recommended by local blogger Jeanette of Jeanette Healthy Living

Greater New Haven

  1. Enjoy a romantic autumn country carriage ride around the beautiful Lake Hayward at Allegra Farm (East Haddam)
  2. Appreciate the charming beauty of the Connecticut Shoreline during an overnight visit to the Captain Stannard House Country Inn (Westbrook)
  3. Rally the troops for a tailgate at one of Yale’s home football games. Go Bulldogs! (New Haven)

Mystic Country

  1. Plan a trip with your friends using Mystic Residence Inn‘s Girlfriends' Fall Mystic Getaway package (Mystic)
  2. Visit Celebrations Tea Room for a monthly themed afternoon tea – for Halloween try the Witches Brew HaHa (Oct. 24, 26) (Pomfret)
  3. Play, stay and enjoy Mohegan Sun‘s Sun Brewfest during an overnight - the rooms have spectacular autumn views (Uncasville)
  4. Discover Mystic Country through one distinguished and uniquely Connecticut dish at a time with the Foodie Finds Trail (Mystic Country)

Litchfield Hills

  1. Kick your feet up and enjoy a relaxing weekend overlooking Lake Waramaug at the Hopkins Inn (Warren)
  2. Plan an overnight visit to The Inn at Kent Falls and enjoy the beautiful metamorphosis of summer to fall in Kent, voted Yankee Magazine’s “Favorite Foliage Town,” (Kent)
  3. Reward yourself with a luxurious spa day at The Interlaken Inn (Lakeville)
  4. Attend a ‘Best in State’ cooking class at the Henderson Cultural Center at Hunt Hill Farm’s Silo Cooking School (New Milford) and then head down to the beautiful West Lane Inn in Ridgefield

River Valley

  1. Take a trip to the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company to taste the award-winning Octoberfest brew, only available from Labor Day - Oct. 31 (Bloomfield)
  2. Visit the Coventry Regional Farmer’s Market to pick out garden fresh produce, homemade pies and on Oct. 13 you can even take a cheese-making lesson (Coventry)
  3. Indulge in Sunday Brunch on the river with Lady Katharine Cruises (Middletown)
  4. Enjoy the fall foliage while hiking or cycling during a relaxing getaway to the Iron Horse Inn (Simsbury)

Statewide

  1. Savor some of Connecticut’s best fall wine blends and pairings as you travel along the Connecticut Wine Trail
  2. Feast on spectacular dishes from over 100 restaurants during Connecticut’s Restaurant Week, Oct. 14-20
  3. Enjoy the bursting array of red, orange and yellow foliage as you tour the countryside aboard the vintage train coaches of the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat and the Railroad Museum of New England
  4. Satisfy your craving for craft autumnal beer at one of the Connecticut Beer Trail’s local award-winning breweries
  5. Experience the longest-lasting fall foliage of New England through several of Connecticut’s Charming Towns, all the way from the Long Island Sound to Essex

History

Fairfield County

  1. Appreciate the historic modernist architecture of The Philip Johnson Glass House against the leaf-changing 49-acre campus (New Canaan)
  2. Visit the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum to see the magnificent beauty and splendor of the Victorian Era (fun fact: the mansion was featured in the film The Stepford Wives) (Norwalk)
  3. Go leaf peeping on a driving tour along Route 15 for a breathtaking view of fall foliage

Greater New Haven

  1. Take a guided tour of The Grove Street Cemetery, the resting place for many prominent historical figures like Eli Whitney and Charles Goodyear (New Haven)
  2. Explore the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History for free on Thursday afternoons from 2:00 to 5:00 pm starting in September or check out a free Kids’ Architectural Treasure Hunt at Yale recommended by Kim, a resident and founder of TravelingMom.com (New Haven)
  3. Visit Connecticut’s oldest house and New England’s oldest stone house: Henry Whitfield State Museum (Guilford)
  4. Take a walk down memory lane with over 100,000 animated art and character collectibles at the Barker Character Comic and Cartoon Museum (Cheshire)

Mystic Country

  1. Gain a new perspective on fall foliage atop the Pequot Museum’s 18-story observation tower (Mashantucket)
  2. Journey into the exciting world of real pirates and experience their fascinating, true adventures at a new Foxwoods Resort Casino exhibit – opening Sept. 30 (Mashantucket)
  3. Watch cider being made right before your eyes at B.F. Clyde’s, the oldest and last steam-powered cider mill in the United States (Old Mystic)

Litchfield Hills

  1. Step back in time and explore the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum (Torrington)
  2.  
  3. Visit the Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center for their Native American Heritage Walk (Sept. 22) (Washington)

River Valley

  1. Take a eerie stroll through Cedar Hill Cemetery and visit the graves of some of its most famous residents, like J.P. Morgan and Katharine Hepburn (Hartford)
  2. Check out the scarecrows along Main Street in historic downtown Wethersfield or visit the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum for a quintessential New England experience (Wethersfield)
  3. Get into the Halloween spirit with State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni’s scary accounts of Connecticut vampires at the Connecticut’s Old State House (Oct. 22) (Hartford)

Statewide

  1. Get an inside look at Connecticut’s historic farms on the Connecticut Barn Trail

Arts & Culture

Fairfield County:

  1. Laugh along to a madcap theatrical farce at Westport Country Playhouse’s production of Room Service (Oct. 8-27) (Westport)
  2. Enjoy lively musical theater at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre (they do children’s theater too!) (Bridgeport)

Greater New Haven

  1. Analyze the work of Francesco Vanni at the new Francesco Vanni: Art in Late Renaissance Siena exhibit at The Yale University Art Gallery, starting Sept. 27 (New Haven)
  2. Spend the day reading a new book in a cozy corner of the Atticus Bookstore & Café (New Haven)
  3. See a werewolf in a different light as Joe Manganiello (HBO’s True Blood) plays Stanley Kowalski in Yale Repertory Theatre’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Sept. 20-Oct. 12) (New Haven)

Mystic Country:

  1. Follow a tiny yellow brick road across the grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum as you wander the Wee Faeire Village exhibit, runs Oct. 4-Nov. 3 (Old Lyme)
  2. Celebrate the re-launching of the last surviving wooden whaleship at Lyman Allyn’s new exhibit Greasy Luck! The Whaling World of the Charles W. Morgan, opening Sept. 21 (New London)
  3. Take a look at the amazing fall events calendar at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts including Pentatonix, Savion Glover and more (Storrs)

Litchfield Hills

  1. Go antique hunting for autumn accents along the famed Connecticut Antiques Trail (Woodbury)
  2. Jam out to Infinity Music Hall & Bistro’s stellar fall lineup, including Tom Rush, Kashmir and Vienna Teng (Norfolk)
  3. Watch out for the “Splatter Zone” during the Warner Theatre’s performance of Evil Dead The Musical (Sept. 28-Oct. 6) (Torrington)
  4. Celebrate the birthday of Danbury's own great American composer and Pulitzer Prize winner, Charles Edward Ives, during a tour of noteworthy places from his history with the Danbury Music Centre (Oct. 20) (Danbury)

River Valley

  1. Cultivate your literary side with The Mark Twain House & Museum’s and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s fantastic fall workshops or indulge in your world music taste at the Pipes in the Valley Celtic Festival (Sept. 28) ­– recommended by Natasha of One Woman’s Style (Hartford)
  2. Buy tickets to see Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella at Goodspeed Opera House, running Sept. 20-Dec.1 (East Haddam)
  3. View a spectacular array of quilts and beautiful aircrafts at the New England Air Museum’s "Flights and Fantasies" Quilt Show, Sept. 16-22 (Windsor Locks)
  4. See ‘Miss Saigon’ playing at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts  on Sept. 17-22 (Hartford)

Statewide

  1. Celebrate Oktoberfest at one of the many Connecticut events this year - including: Harugari Singing Society Oktoberfest (West Haven-Sept. 22), Hartford Sängerbund Oktoberfest (Newington-Sept. 28) and Quassy Amusement Park Oktoberfest (Middlebury-Sept. 28-29)

100.    Take advantage of one of the Mystic Country Trail Getaways on the Connecticut Art Trail

 

 
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