This Summer may look a little different than any in the past, and that includes rethinking that traditional summer vacation.  If you’re looking for day trip or weekend events ideas, here are a few to consider:

Five Senses Festival in Litchfield
If you’re up in Litchfield County the last weekend of July (7/31-8/2), check out the annual Five Senses Festival.  Re-imagined to offer a safer, socially-distanced experience this summer, the event is offering morning wellness programming, a car safari serenading guests with music, showcasing art installations and presenting modern dance performances, all enjoyed from the safety of the guests’ vehicle, and evening programming including a socially-distanced enchanted treasure hunt for all ages with visual art, musical storytelling and headlining performances and speakers spotlighted on the site-specific stone amphitheater as well as a newly-constructed outdoor billboard-sized projection wall.

Calling all animal lovers!  Action Wildlife in Litchfield County is offering a safari on 18 acres of open land.  Have the kids keep their eyes peeled from the safety of the car for deer, emu and more!

Essex Steam Train in Essex
The Essex Steam Train is once again running its Steam Train & Riverboat 2.5 hour journey (with new social distance protocols), beginning with a 12-mile narrated trip on a steam locomotive, followed by a 1.25 hour cruise along the Becky Thatcher riverboat on the Connecticut River.  After your ride, be sure to check out the traditional New England village of Essex, offering charming shops, an ice cream shop and places to grab a bite to eat indoors and out.  We would also suggest throwing a picnic blanket in the car and enjoying a takeout lunch in the park overlooking the Connecticut River and Connecticut River Museum.

Dinos in Rocky Hill
If you have dinosaur fans in the house, they will love visiting Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.  While the exhibit center is closed, the grounds are open daily featuring nature trails and the Dinosaur State Park Arboretum, containing 250+ species of plants that appeared when dinosaurs were alive.

Lavender Fun in Killingworth
Lavender Park Farm is open in Killingworth, offering private tours of the farm aboard The Lavender Express train, exploring through the lavender fields, visiting honeybees and chickens and checking out a covered bridge.

Pick Your Own
July and August call for locally grown blueberries, blackberries and peaches!  Pack the family, your masks and water, and enjoy a day picking-your-own!  A list of area farms is available here; some are requiring reservations this season so be sure to call ahead!

Napatree Point Beach in Rhode Island
Looking for a different beach to explore?  Just across the border in Rhode Island, Napatree Point is a wildlife preserve and public beach.  Situated between Watch Hill and Narragansett Bay, the surf is calmer for little ones.  Before venturing home, check in to see if the Watch Hill Merry-Go-Round has reopened and grab an ice cream in the charming village of Watch Hill.

Summer 2020 may look a little different but if you need a change of scenery we hope these ideas will help!

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