November 1, 2020

Fall Activities in Connecticut

Connecticut is a wonderful place any of time the year, but the beautiful fall season offers activities and attractions the whole family can enjoy, often within a short drive from home!  The relief of cooler temperatures, the gradual shift from a green landscape to brilliant fall colors, the abundance of fall harvests, and the thinning tourist crowds inspire people to get out and enjoy this brief, lovely season before winter sets in!

One of the simplest ways to enjoy fall with your family is to try out a new hiking experience.  Connecticut is home to many wonderful state parks with well-maintained hiking and biking trails.  The end of the summer season means reduced or free parking at most locations, especially during the week.  Cooler temperatures cut back on annoying insects and make a stroll through the woods a truly pleasant experience.  You might be surprised at how many maintained trails exits in your area, all providing a different hiking or biking challenge.  Try visiting or the CT DEP website to find new places to explore.  Some interesting parks include Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth, where you can hike through woods, walk along a wooden swamp boardwalk, or climb over huge boulders to discover hidden caves.  The impressive falls at Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown never fail to please kids and adults alike!  For biking, try Hammonassett State Park or the nearest section of the Air Line State Park Trail.  The natural beauty of Connecticut is best experienced up close!

Fall is also a great time to visit any of Connecticut’s wonderful orchards.  Apples, peaches, pears, and pumpkins just wait to be picked right off the tree or vine.  Many orchards also feature corn or hay mazes, wagon rides, and other seasonal attractions such as homemade cider, pies, crisps, and sweet kettle corn.  A visit to an orchard gives children a valuable look at where their food comes from, encourages them to try the freshest, tastiest fruits and vegetables, and helps to support local family businesses.  Some popular orchards in CT are Lyman Orchard in Middlefield, Bishop’s Orchard in Guilford, Ellsworth Hill Orchard and Berry Farm in Sharon, and Holmberg Orchard in Gales Ferry.

The harvest season is also Fair season in Connecticut, and many towns host local fairs full of great food, shopping, and entertainment like carnival rides and concerts.  The Durham Fair (Sept 27-30, 2012) is well known for it’s focus on agriculture and art, with competitions for everything from photography and painting to canning and knitting.  People of all ages show their prized animals as well, and a walk through the animal barns introduces fair goers to an astounding variety of chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, cows, llamas, pigs, and much more.  Rides, a vast assortment of fair food, giant pumpkins, and fun activities draw visitors from all over the state.  The main stage features concerts while tractor pulls and horse competitions take place near the bleachers.    To find information and dates of other fairs around the state, visit The Association of Connecticut Fairs.

Halloween brings it’s own brand of fall fun with haunted houses!  Some are designed to be fun while others aim to scare guests out of their wits.  Make sure to check suggested age levels before visiting a haunted house!  You don’t want to bore older kids at a place designed for youngsters or give nightmares to kids at a place designed for adults. Connecticut Haunted Houses will help you choose the right haunt for you, or maybe introduce you to an all new haunting!

What are your favorite fall activities around Connecticut?  Tell us in the comments!