6 Connecticut Winter Activities: The Perfect Way to Spend a Cold Day

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Connecticut day trips are a great way to bust the boredom of gloomy winter weather, but if you think you’re limited in options by the snow or cold, don’t worry. We’ve put together our top 6 Connecticut winter activities for non-skiers, to help you get out and explore this winter. These experiences offer some great things to do in Connecticut during the winter, easily reachable from Hartford and even New York City.

Experience the Thrill of the Race

Connecticut may not be known for many world records, but the state has it right where it counts.

Supercharged go kart racing in Connecticut offers the thrill of the race on the world’s largest indoor track. Racers compete on one of two courses, the Coca-Cola or Antonino raceway, taking on the challenge in odorless electric vehicles. If that doesn’t sound like a thrill, never fear, these are no mere golf carts.

Supercharged go karts can travel up to 14 miles per hour, which is quite a racing feat on a winding, challenging course. For beginners, semi-pro heats allow drivers to experience racing while traveling at the lower end of the speed range. For a more advanced ride, experienced drivers can take on a pro heat and feel the full thrill of a wide-open throttle.

Supercharged is located in Montville and also offers an indoor trampoline park, if you are looking for more in Connecticut winter activities. Racers must register and pay an annual $7 licensing fee, which covers the cost of the required head sock to be worn beneath all Supercharged helmets. Single races start at $19.95 with three and five race packages available.

Look under the deals section of the Supercharged website for special offers. It’s one of the more invigorating things to do in Connecticut in the winter.

Diving into the Deep, a Free Things to Do in Connecticut During the Winter

Young woman walks toward the USS Nautilus on a Connecticut winter activity at the Submarine Force Museum
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If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live on a submarine, or even if you haven’t but have a healthy respect for history, wander over to Submarine Force Museum and Library. This Connecticut day trip is only about 20 minutes away from Supercharged, so it makes a great addition to your visit there.

Within the Submarine Force Museum, you’ll find several interactive displays, including two working periscopes that allow you to see what it’s like to peer above the surface of the water from deep within the ocean. A submarine control center is also available for guests to touch and learn from.

Also within the museum, is a replica of a submarine, detailing each section of the vessel and what life was like inside. It’s a great primer for the featured highlight of the museum, the USS Nautilus.

View of the USS Nautilus from the entry platform.
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Launched in 1954, the Nautilus was the sixth ship in the U.S. fleet to bear the name but became the first commissioned nuclear-powered ship in the navy. Nautilus traveled over half a million miles before she was decommissioned on May 20, 1980.

Nautilus now rests at the Submarine Force Museum, giving visitors a glimpse into life beneath the water’s surface. You’ll travel the narrow hallways and stairwells throughout the ship to view living quarters, as well as operational and recreational areas.

sleeping bunks inside a submarine
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The Submarine Force Museum and Library is located in Groton and makes an educational Connecticut winter activity, while providing a once in a lifetime experience. Admission is free, and guided tours are available.

In addition to the museum, the onsite library also holds 5,000 volumes of work related to submarines and submarine history. If you ever had a question about this area of naval genre, you’re sure to find the answer here.

Experience this Connecticut Winter Activity Before the Opportunity Is Gone

Bowling shoes in front of a duckpin bowling alley , a Connecticut  winter activity.
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Duckpin Bowling has been an after-Christmas tradition in our family for several years now. We descend upon Ducks on the Avenue in West Hartford, in increasingly growing numbers, as sons-in-law join our cloistered ranks.

Duckpin Bowling is a unique New England experience, making it an unforgettable day trip in Connecticut.

What’s so different about duckpin bowling, you ask? Well, the size of the ball for one thing. Duckpin bowling balls fit into the palm of your hand. There are no finger holes either, making it a little more challenging to get just the right hold.

Duckpin bowling balls
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The pins are pint-sized in duckpin bowling as well, requiring greater precision to knock them down. Strikes are rare in duckpin, so scores are lower than regular bowling, but it’s an experience you won’t soon forget, and one that holds historical significance.

Some say that the roots sprang from a Baltimore gaming hall owned by baseball greats John McGraw and Robert Wilson. However, more recent evidence suggests that the game was being played near Lowell, Massachusetts as early as the 1890s.

Duckpin bowling has always been an East Coast sport, where kingpin centers once flourished in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maryland. Names like Wolfie Wolfensberger and Toots Barger drew SRO weekend crowds when they played, but duck pin today is a dying sport.

Outdated machinery and few spare parts make duckpin a day trip whose days are numbered. To experience this New England tradition before its gone, find a center near you and head out today.

Young woman takes a shot at Duckpin bowling, a disappearing thing to do in Connecticut in the winter.
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Visit a One-of-a-Kind Dinosaur

Dinosaur skeleton on view at the Peabody Museum, a great Connecticut winter activity.
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The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University may just be the only place to house 4.5 billion years of the earth’s history under one roof. It’s also the only place where you’re likely to see the skeletal remains of a Brontosaurus-Apatosaurus hybrid.

Changing nomenclature once resulted in Apatosaurus being classified as the same creature as Brontosaurus, so the Peabody wasn’t really wrong in putting the head of the former on the body of the latter. Once it was discovered that the two reptilian giants were indeed different creatures, it was too late to dismantle the six-and-a-half-ton giant, so the oddity remains.

In addition to mismatched reptiles, you’ll also experience a rare illustrative look into the evolutionary history of the dinosaur as it was believed to have happened in 1947. The 110-foot long mural was created by Pulitzer Prize winning Rudolph F. Zallinger and features a few oddities of its own.

Skeletal remains of a giant sloth at Peabody Museum, a great thing to do in  Connecticut in the winter
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In addition to reptilian history and the earth’s evolution, you’ll experience the tremendous mammalian creatures that predate current species, including a giant sloth and full skeletal remains of homo erectus. Also, make sure to spend some time with the museum’s mineral collection, a new addition that showcases several rare and amazing specimens.

The Peabody Museum is open Monday through Friday 10 to 5 and Sunday noon to 5. Admission is $10 per person with senior rates available. Discounted and free admission offers are available on the museum’s website.

You Don’t Have to Ski to Enjoy This Connecticut Winter Activity

While Connecticut winter weather makes it a great time for indoor pursuits, there is one Connecticut day trip that can take you outside, and no, you don’t need to don a pair of skis or grab a sled to enjoy it.

Backyard Adventures is located on several hundred private acres of land and offers ATV tours through the Litchfield hills. While tours begin at a driving range, suggesting an inauspicious start for this day trip, things rev up rather quickly once you’re strapped into your Can Am Commander side-by-side.

UTVs driving through water, an unusual adventure in Connecticut
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Setting off at a brisk pace, you’ll cover dirt roads, wooded leafy undercover, sand, water, and a few challenging surprises. On certain ATV tours, you can even reach an overlook, offering a spectacular view of the Litchfield landscape coated in winter glory.

To reserve your spot on this Connecticut day trip, you’ll need to phone 860-866-6104 or Email al**************@ms*.com.  Backyard Adventures is located in East Canaan and offers one of the more unique outdoor things to do in Connecticut in the winter.

Challenging Yourself at It Adventure

It is a strange name for this day trip experience, but the location only makes it more unique. Deep inside the Jordans Furniture showroom in New Haven is the world’s largest indoor ropes course. Thrilling mid-air fun and another Connecticut record breaker make this experience one you have to see for yourself.

Jordans Furniture calls It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course a state-of-the-art facility, and when you clip your carabiner into the overhead track system, you’ll be inclined to agree.

While traditional adventure courses require you to unclip your safety harness from the line at each event and reclip to a new one, It utilizes a revolutionary system. Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to experience the many thrills of the course without worrying about clipping and unclipping. At It Adventure, you’re securely fastened into the overhead track at all times, allowing your own personal safety system to travel seamlessly with you.

The It adventure course includes catwalks, angled rope ladders, zigzag swinging beams, cargo nets, bridges and more on four levels. Four zip lines at various heights round out the ropes course, including the final leg that travels directly over the regular dancing water feature.

Exiting the course is probably the biggest thrill of all, and possibly the greatest challenge. You’ll jump from one of It’s 56-foot high elevated platforms. While taking the initial step off is a challenging maneuver for many, you’ll be safely and gently belayed to the ground by the It ropes course system.

Several climbing experiences can also be purchased for the three separate rock walls.

While It’s rope course is designed for individuals over 48 inches tall, younger and shorter youth can experience the thrill at Little It, and abbreviated version of the standard course located in the same area as the main attraction.

Winter Fun in Connecticut

These 6 Connecticut winter activities prove that you don’t have to be a skier to enjoy winter in Connecticut. With so many unique adventures to be had, now is the perfect time to get out and explore Connecticut.

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.

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