Don’t let the bitter cold of winter restrict you to a season of hibernation. Bundle up in your warmest gear and head to these destinations — all reachable on a single tank of gas.
175-2 Elm St.
Old Saybrook, CT
Why Go? What’s unique about this 5,700 square foot open play room—with climbing areas, slides, cargo nets and ladders—is it offers drop-in open play all day, every day. There is also a full-sized school bus inside the play room. Children seven and older will enjoy the big kids arcade game room. A “crawlers only” walled-off space protects the little ones.
Insider Tip: Buy a play pass. It gives you 10 admissions for $7 each for a total of $70 (less, when there’s a sale). The play pass never expires.
Must Do: Take a break in the café and enjoy healthy and nutritious snacks along with free wi-fi.
The Fine Print: Open seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 per child; adults, caregivers and pre-walkers are free.
Ice Fishing at West Branch Reservoir and Colebrook River Lake Reservoir
Colebrook, CT 06021
860-278-7850 ext. 3600
Why Go? Bundle up and head to the West Branch of the Farmington River for some ice fishing.
Insider Tip: Bring an insulated tent with a heater and a Thermos full of hot cocoa.
Must Do: Pull your little ones around the ice on their sleds.
The Fine Print: Always take precautions before walking out onto any body of ice. Check with local town and recreational authorities before embarking on an ice fishing venture. Look for signs that alert to potential safety issues.
215 Barber Hill Rd.
South Windsor, CT
Why Go? With 100 acres of Christmas trees, this farm is one of the few places in the area where you can select and cut your own Christmas tree (you also can get a pre-cut tree). If you already have a tree, the farm also sells wreaths and holiday arrangements.
Insider Tip: Owner John Dzen says for optimal tree health, you need a large tree stand that holds lots of water. Before setting your tree in the stand, fill the stand with warm water.
Must Do: Stop by the reindeer pen to see their two live reindeer.
The Fine Print: Open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All trees—regardless of size—sell for $40.