Connecticut becomes something out of a Hallmark movie in the winter months, oftentimes with snow blanketing the hills, beaches, and farms of the gorgeous landscapes. Oftentimes we think that winter is for hibernating – you may cozy up under a blanket and watch a movie or read a book. While that sounds endlessly relaxing, you may be looking to mix up the weekend routines for something a little more exciting, like going for a hike, taking a pizza tour, or going for a weekend getaway. If you’re looking for something to do to get out of the house, we’ve got the inside scoop on some of the best winter activities in Connecticut.
Outdoor Activities for Winter Enthusiasts
The state of Connecticut is a verifiable playground for active lifestyle seekers. With tons of opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, ice skating, ice fishing, snow tubing, and more, you’ll never tire of the bevy of outdoor winter activities available to you.
Skiing, Snowboarding, & More
Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, CT offers all levels of winter snow-bound activities. If you’re looking for private lessons for skiing or snowboarding, you’ve come to the right place. With group and individual lessons available, you’ll be an expert on the slopes in no time. Don’t want to ski or snowboard? That’s okay! You can go snow tubing or even snow biking, where you sit on a modified bike with skis attached to both the bike and your feet.
For those looking to catch some dinner, ice fishing is a time-honored tradition in the northern states. Lake Waramaug, Bantam Lake, Coventry Lake, and Tyler Lake are a few of the favorite ice fishing lakes in the state. Be sure to bring the right gear, bundle up, and have the right kind of bait for the yellow perch, northern pike, or calico bass that you’ll be bringing home. The Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education Department offers classes for anyone looking to get into this new hobby.
Cross-country skiing is a fun way to get in some exercise and connect with mother nature. Visit Winding Trails in Farmington, where you can take lessons to get your snow legs before heading out into the 350 acres of lakes, wildlife, and wilderness.
For those looking to tromp around, you can take a trip snowshoeing around White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, CT. Walkers can take trips around the many trails found on this 4,000-acre nature sanctuary. Trails are not groomed, and dogs are only allowed when leashed, so be aware of your surroundings and company while along these trails.
If you’d rather stay out of the cold this winter, never fear – we’ve got you covered, too! You don’t need to go out into nature to have fun in the colder months. In fact, lots of the things you love to do outside in the summer are also available inside during the winter. Go to a concert, learn about history at a museum, watch the animals swim at an aquarium in this historic state, or hit it big at a casino.
Museums celebrate the rich and storied history of Connecticut, the 5th state admitted to the Union. The Mark Twain House & Museum teaches its visitors about his legacy and the life he lived in this 1874 Hartford, CT home. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum celebrates the Native Americans who have lived and toiled on this land for centuries. For a bit of the whimsical, visit the New England Carousel Museum, where you’ll be able to see beautiful carousel horses from eras of the past.
Concerts & Venues
The Webster Theater in Hartford is a 1,200-person capacity music venue that has incredible events like Emo Night Brooklyn, The Dolly Disco: The Dolly Parton Inspired C&W Dance Party, and Gimme Gimme Disco Dance Party. If you’re looking for something different, Woolsey Hall at Yale University is a 2,650-seat concert hall that routinely hosts the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
Mystic, CT is home to Mystic Aquarium, where you can see beluga whales, seals and sea lions, sharks and rays, African penguins, and more aquatic animals. Their interactive experiences are great for visitors of all ages, allowing you to discover the underwater secrets of the Long Island Sound and touch stingrays and sharks – yes, sharks!
Another great visit is the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT. Take a cruise around Norwalk Harbor in this 64-foot catamaran, bringing up aquatic life throughout your 2.5-hour trip. The crew will show you the different kinds of fish and flora, helping you to identify each species and how it survives in the water.
Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casino are two of the largest casinos in Connecticut. They both offer smoke-free spaces for gambling, watching sports, going to a concert, or watching someone hit it big. You can play blackjack, poker, slot machines, place sports bets, and more at these incredible casinos. Once you’re done playing, visit one of the incredible restaurants inside either casino, or hit up the spas for a massage or facial.
Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating
Whether you want to hang indoors or outdoors this winter, lacing up your skates is a wonderful way to have fun with friends, get some exercise, and improve your balance. Simsbury Farms Ice Rink in Simsbury, CT is a tented outdoor skating rink where you can race around against your friends or practice your jumps. Visit the Danbury Ice Arena for public skating sessions and ice hockey, ice skating, and speed skating lessons for all ages.