Beach Day!

Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, CT

We are staring into the horizon of April vacation at our house these days, and as we often do during school breaks, we’ll be stay-cationing our way thorough that week here in good old Connecticut. We’ve been at this whole “stay-cation” thing for years now, so it’s sometimes a challenge to come up with new, exciting things to do…that are also not packed with other local families. This coming week, we have loads of options, fortunately! Below is a collection of what I am seeing as the best local options for April vacation fun!

The Peabody Museum in New Haven is always a hit with my children, and next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are sure to be extra-special. Wednesday is Identification Day, where you can bring your own local finds from nature in for more information about what you may have. Thursday is Family Day, which was a huge hit when we attended over February vacation. Finally, Friday is Earth Day, with special themed activities and exhibits.

In Niantic, the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut will have literacy-themed activities as part of their annual “Stories Galore” event Monday through Thursday. Children can participate in special activities including scavenger hunts and take home a free book as a prize. On Friday, they will have additional special projects in celebration of Earth Day. Looking for a great kid-friendly lunch out within walking distance? Check out the vintage lunch counter at Gumdrops and Lollipops right down the road.

It’s too soon for reliable forecasts for next week, but if the weather is nice, this is always our traditional “First Beach Trip of Summer”. Our favorite beach is Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, CT. We love to pack a lunch, some sand toys, and spend part of the day combing the beach for sea glass, shells, and other treasures. We usually end the day with ice cream at our eastern Connecticut favorite Salem Valley Farms (which is cash-only, FYI).

We are never disappointed by a trip to Mystic, and the tall ships at the Mystic Seaport are lots of fun. They have some special spring events going on, and if you grab a pass from your local library, admission is 50% off. After the Seaport, we head to Olde Mystic Village. Their sidewalk sale is April 22-24!

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a great spot to spend a quiet spring morning or afternoon. You can bring your own art supplies and paint the beautiful scenery on their grounds, see the art (with a scavenger hunt for kids), or attend their family-friendly Gallery Investigation on April 19th from 4-5 pm.

It’s technically not in Connecticut, but both of my children adore a day trip to Yankee Candle in South Deerfield, MA. They have special events going on each day during April vacation. My kids love to bring their wallets and make some of their own purchases in their gigantic toy store, and I’m looking forward to grabbing some spring scented candles.

Finally, while you’re visiting Yankee Candle, take the short drive over to the Eric Carle Museum of Picturebook Art in Amherst, MA. There are lots of special activities taking place for school break week. Their beautiful art studio is an inspiring, calm place to spend the afternoon with little ones, and their well-stocked library of picture books is a nice chance to wind down before the drive home.

Are you staying local for school break? Share any fun activities you’ve discovered below! Happy April Break, everyone!