2024 Summer Guide – From Ways to Stay Cool with the Family to County Fairs

Summertime in Connecticut offers an abundance of exciting activities for families to explore and enjoy.

By Tribuna Staff

From vibrant agricultural fairs to thrilling amusement parks, invigorating nature walks, looking for ways to stay cool with the family, and serene beach spots, there's no shortage of fun and entertainment for everyone. Here's a detailed summer guide to help you plan your adventures in Connecticut:


County Fairs

North Stonington Agricultural Fair (July 11-14, 2024): Immerse yourself in a delightful mix of entertainment, delicious food, and wholesome family fun as this fair showcases the best entertainment for visitors of all ages. Website: https://www.northstoningtonfair.com/.

Lebanon Country Fair (July 26-28, 2024): Transport yourself to a weekend of entertainment, exhilarating rides, captivating exhibits, and a taste of the vibrant culture of Eastern Connecticut. Website: https://www.lebanoncountryfair.org/.

Bridgewater Country Fair (August 16-18, 2024): Savor a diverse range of delectable food offerings while exploring a variety of attractions, from live entertainment to thrilling activities that cater to every palate. Website: https://www.bridgewaterfair.com/.

Brooklyn Fair (August 22-25, 2024): Experience the rich heritage of the United States' oldest continuously active agricultural fair, featuring magnificent draft horses, captivating livestock shows, and a vast array of home and garden exhibits. Website: https://www.brooklynfair.org/.

Chester Fair (August 23-25, 2024): Delight in the time-honored traditions of a quintessential New England town, featuring an exciting lineup of activities such as tractor pulls, frog jumping contests, and charming arts and crafts exhibits. Website: https://www.chesterfair.org/.

Terryville Lions Club Fair (August 23-25, 2024): Prepare for a delightful surprise as this year's fair presents a blend of traditional favorites, along with new attractions such as ATV and dirt bike drag racing, providing a unique entertainment experience for all attendees. Website: https://www.terryvillefair.org/.

Haddam Neck Fair (August 30 - September 2, 2024): Celebrate the 105th year of this cherished fair, known for its family-friendly environment, picturesque setting, and an extensive array of activities, including tractor and truck pulls, horse and oxen pulling contests, and a vibrant horse show. Website: https://www.haddamneckfair.com/.

Woodstock Fair (August 30 - September 2, 2024): Commemorate the 157th year of this longstanding fair, where visitors can indulge in a delightful selection of tasty food, witness captivating livestock shows, explore a charming petting zoo, and enjoy a variety of free stage shows and entertainment. Website: https://www.woodstockfair.com/.


Amusement Parks and Nature Attractions

Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum (Bridgeport, CT): Embark on an exhilarating adventure of ziplining and climbing, or take advantage of special discount offers, including discounts for military, teachers, seniors, and college students. Website: https://www.discoveryadventurepark.org/.

Brownstone Adventure Sports (Portland, CT): Dive into a world of excitement with a range of activities including swimming, water obstacles, zip lines, cliff jumping, wakeboarding, rock climbing, and kayaking, providing an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Website: https://brownstonepark.com/.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo (Bridgeport, CT): Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of wildlife and nature as you explore diverse animal exhibits featuring tigers, monkeys, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and much more. Website: https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/.

The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village (Montville, CT): Step back in time and discover over 50 life-sized dinosaurs, a thrilling splash pad, an intriguing maze, and two captivating dinosaur caves, making it a perfect destination for families and dinosaur enthusiasts. Website: https://naturesartvillage.com/the-dinosaur-place/.

Lake Compounce (Bristol, CT): Experience the best of both worlds, with a thrilling combination of a theme park and water park, offering a single-day ticket for an unforgettable day of fun and excitement for visitors of all ages. Website: https://www.lakecompounce.com/.

Quassy Amusement Park (Middlebury, CT): Enjoy a diverse range of amusements and water park attractions, where visitors can explore an array of thrilling rides and activities, alongside various discount offers and special passes for an enhanced park experience. Website: https://www.quassy.com/.


Beach Escapes

Jennings Beach

Located at 880 S Benson Road, Jennings Beach offers visitors a convenient location with amenities such as restrooms, changing areas, concessions, and lifeguards on duty. The beach season runs from May 25 to Labor Day. Entry fees and parking rates vary based on residency and vehicle ownership. Residents can purchase a season pass for $25, while resident seniors pay $10 for the season. Non-residents who are Fairfield town employees can obtain a season pass for $65. Vehicles that do not pay taxes to the town of Fairfield are charged $250 for the season. For those who prefer daily access, fees range from $40 for weekdays to $50 for weekends and holidays. Parking is included with both the season pass and daily fee. For additional information, you can visit the official website: https://www.fairfieldct.org/jenningsbeach.

Walnut Beach

Situated at 113 E Broadway, Walnut Beach presents a picturesque setting and amenities such as restrooms, changing areas, concessions, and lifeguards during the season from May 1 to September 30. Milford residents with an annual parking sticker can enjoy free entry, while non-residents can obtain seasonal parking permits for $250. Non-residents also have the option to pay $40 a day or $5 per hour for parking. For more details and updates, visit the Walnut Beach website: https://milfordct.myrec.com/info/facilities/details.aspx?FacilityID=14132


Immerse Yourself in Nature with Walks and Hikes

Tarrywile Park (Danbury): A historic 722-acre former dairy farm and fruit orchard, now transformed into a nature haven, brimming with 21 miles of hiking trails, two serene ponds, and a tranquil lake. Its numerous picnic areas and kid-friendly trails make it an ideal destination for families to explore and connect with nature.

Putnam Memorial State Park (Redding/Bethel): Drenched in history, this park not only offers an opportunity for a scenic and invigorating outdoor adventure but also provides an educational excursion as you stroll through the deserted Israel Putnam Campgrounds dating back to the Revolution. The park is easily accessible with a durable jogging stroller, making it perfect for families with younger children.

Kent Falls State Park (Kent): Discover the enchanting allure of a covered bridge, marvel at the 250-foot falls, and feel the exhilarating mist as the water gracefully descends on its journey to join the Housatonic River. This breathtaking destination invites families to witness the awe-inspiring power of nature.

Lovers Leap State Park (New Milford): Step into this 160-acre walk-in park exuding natural beauty, featuring captivating hiking trails, scenic vistas, and intriguing historic ruins, perfect for families seeking an immersive outdoor experience enriched with history and natural splendor.


Beat the Heat: Refreshing Water Escapes

Rogers Park Playground Spray Park, Lions Way/Memorial Drive (Danbury): Dive into summer fun at the vibrant spray park and adjacent playground nestled within Rogers Park, promising an exhilarating experience for kids and families alike.

Lake Kenosia Park, Mill Plain to Kenosia Ave to Christopher Columbus Ave (Danbury): Embrace the summer heat at this expansive 25-acre park, offering amenities such as a lively spray park, playground, and other family-friendly facilities.

Candlewood Town Park, 36 Hayestown Rd. (Danbury): Unwind and relax at this charming 11-acre park, featuring 200 yards of beachfront, a well-appointed playground, and a delightful concession stand, providing families with a perfect place to enjoy a summer day out.

Limekiln Swimming Association, Rte. 53 (Bethel): Uncover the hidden gem of the "Quarry," a member-owned property nestled in the woods and filled with pristine spring water - offering a serene and refreshing setting for swimming and relaxation, alongside opportunities for camping and scenic BBQ areas.

Martin Park Beach, 16 Great Pond Road (Ridgefield): Immerse yourself in refreshing pond swimming and an array of boating activities set within a natural, spring-fed pond. With lifeguard staffing and various recreational options, this destination ensures an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages.

There you have it—a comprehensive guide to summer activities in our state, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're seeking invigorating nature walks, ways to stay cool with the family, traditional fair experiences, thrilling adventures, or relaxing beach outings, Connecticut has it all! We hope that with this guide, you can plan a summer full of exciting adventures and memorable experiences in Connecticut.