Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to hit the road and visit some Connecticut food destinations that are great for your kids. My kitchen helper and I have been visiting many of these locations for years and they have become annual traditions. Pack sunscreen, a picnic blanket, water and snacks for the car. Oh and have your camera ready to document all the fun memories along the way. Happy Summer Break!
Location: 150 South Street, Middlefield, CT 06455
Open: June to October 8am-5pm
Website: Pick Your Own
Down the road from the field is the Apple Barrel, where you can buy groceries and/or lunch. They have a great outdoor deck to enjoy your lunch and the view.
We love pick-your-own season at Lyman Orchards, which will be starting in June. I’m sure we will be there the first week to gather as many strawberries as possible. Of course once we drive away I’m sure my little helper will be asking when the blueberries are ready for picking. The views from the fields are pretty amazing and as a photographer I love the backdrop to take images of our adventures. Your kitchen helper will love finding all the ripe red strawberries and maybe a few not-so ripe white ones. It’s a learning experience for children to understand how fruit grows and when it is ready to be harvested. It has been fun to watch him year after year.
First & Last Bakery:
Location: 920 Maple Ave, Hartford, CT, 06114
Open: Contact Dave the Baker to organize your 1 hour morning bakery tour (8-15 Kids) FREE! 860-956-7000
Website: First & Last Bakery
My kitchen helper, along with four of his friends, gathered together to tour a bigger than expected commercial bakery kitchen. They all laughed each time they entered a large refrigerator or freezer. The commercial size mixers, racks of cookies and breads amazed them all. The tour concluded with cupcake decorating, which for this group of 3 to 6 year olds, was pure bliss. Various toppings and frosting options to choose from made for a unique and memorable experience.
Wethersfield Farmers Market
Location: 351 Long Wharf Dr, New Haven, CT 06511
Open: Thursday 3-6pm (May 17 to Oct 18, 2018)
Website: Wethersfield Farmers Market Site
A favorite Spring and Summer outing for my kitchen helper and I. The Wethersfield Farmers Market is one of the largest in the state and features over 35 part time and full time vendors. We enjoy the food truck offerings too, like Mercado and Artisan Caterers, whose mobile pizza oven was a huge hit with my son. I love showing him all the different types of vegetables, breads and sweets offered as well. The evening doesn’t go without a little face painting and listening to the live music. Bring a blanket and find a perfect picnic spot in the neighboring field, you will find yourself staying and enjoying your Thursday’s a little more this time of year.
UConn Dairy Bar:
Location: 3636 Horsebarn Hill Road Extension, Storrs Mansfield, CT 06269
Open: May/June Hours of Operation (May 24th – June 21st)
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Summer Hours of Operation (June 22nd – Labor Day weekend)
Monday – Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Website: UConn Dair Bar & Animal Barn Information
Every time my kitchen helper and I make the trip up to UConn we follow the same agenda. We visit the dairy cows (cows are milked every day between 12:30 – 3:00). After checking out the cows inside and outside the barn, we drive over to view the horses. There is a nearby parking lot so we walk to the main indoor horse barn. I would recommend wearing washable boots as you will be in the barn areas and may need to clean your shoes after the visit. Once we visit all the different animals, our last destination is the UConn Dairy Bar for a scoop of amazing ice cream. The Dairy Bar has viewing windows of the ice cream being made and you can enjoy your fresh scoop inside or outside on the picnic tables.