Friday, March 12, 2021

Summer Bucket List in Connecticut

Lavender Pond Farm - I visited this spot when I was pregnant with Savannah and I would love to go back in peak season which is normally July. If you do end up visiting this amazing lavender farm and have children, I was amazed by the lavender bug spray they had!  It lasted an entire summer and was like $11 and all-natural.  It truly worked to repel bugs and we didn't have to worry about the harsh chemicals of a lot of the other bug sprays.

I love Ocean Beach for kids because it has fine, white sand and it's so big and rarely ever crowded on weekdays.  It also had some rides (they were closed last year due to COVID but may re-open this year) and a few waterslides, along with a long boardwalk with yummy icecream and some snacks for the kiddos.

My son's favorite part is the ankle-length water area where you can catch hermit crabs and snails in buckets.  Also, since the beach is located in New London, you can almost always spot a submarine which the kids LOVE.

If you + your fam have not visited Essex yet, be sure to put this on the top of your bucket list!  It's such a fun day trip and you can get a package to go on the boat and the train.  The store is adorable as well for the kids.. my son loves his little train whistle!  
They do a fantastic job and it's even fun for the adults so it's a win-win for the whole family!  Also, surrounding this spot, there are so many cute shops, restaurants, and scenic areas that you can explore before or after you experience the Steamboat and train!

This is such a fun spot and you don't even have to wait until summer to visit!  Located in the Trumbull Mall, this interactive aquarium has way more than just fish.  You can interact with an adorable sloth, swim with the sharks, and feed an enormous turtle.

The kids loved feeding the fish and they were entertained for hours.  I was pleasantly surprised at the prices in the gift shop.  Usually, I cringe at gift shop prices, but it was SO reasonable and the kids picked out adorable souvenirs and I didn't feel like I was robbed 😂😂


We almost always rent a house for a week on the CT shoreline, usually Old Lyme or Old Saybrook.  It's so fun to vacation in your own state because you explore things right in your backyard that you don't normally get to see!  
When we rent, we have our favorite spots but always try to find something new to try every year.

For lobster rolls, we love Lobster Landing!  They usually open for the season in April.  Are you team hot lobster roll or cold?  I am definitely a HOT BUTTERED lobstah-roll gal!

We always make a trip to Carousel at Soundview in Old Lyme.  I love it because it literally looks the same as when I was just a child so those nostalgic memories of beach days with my family bring my heart so much joy!  Not to mention, JJ Lawsen's Gourmet Icecream so so delicious with 32 flavors of ice-cream, sherbert, and yogurt. There is almost always live music on the weekends outside as well which adds for a fun backdrop on a beautiful beach day. 

Date night favorite for our "beach week" is always La Foresta in Killingworth. With homegrown ingredients and authentic Italian, La Foresta is my favorite date-night restaurant by far.  The owner is passionate and accommodating and the restaurant is beautiful and welcoming.  I've brought friends from all over the US here and they are equally impressed, especially the "foodies."  This is a true GEM in CT. 

The Connecticut Wine Trail is so beautiful in the summer and can be a day well spent with beautiful views of vineyards and sunsets.  I have yet to visit all of the vineyards in CT, but the ones that I have visited, have amazing wine and it's such a fun day for a picnic and to sip on some locally made wine!  I love supporting small businesses in CT so I always grab a few bottles to go as gifts and to have in my home for future dinners. 
Since I am in Southington, I am very close to Paradise Hills Vineyard which has incredible sunsets and even more incredible wine.  I love their Washington Trail Rosé in the summer since it's light and refreshing. 

I haven't been to the Southington Drive-in yet but am praying they open back up this summer!  I think my kids would LOVE it and I have heard nothing but great things about it.  Watching a movie on a huge screen, outside with lots of great snacks.. sounds like a perfect summer night to me!
Growing up, my favorite movie snack was Junior Mints & Sour Patch Kids. Oh the days where calorie-counting was not a thought in mind :) 


Last year was the first year since Gavin was 3 that we didn't get a season pass (due to COVID) and boy did we miss it!  The pass is 100% worth it and pays for itself after 2 trips.  We love the water park and love that we can go for a couple hours in the evening, hop on a few rides and get our energy out.  This will be the first year Savannah will really be able to enjoy it as well!

Ever After,


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