Spring In CT: A Definitive Guide to a Heartwarming Season

Flower display at McArdle's florist in downtown Greenwich
Perusing the flower displays at McArdle’s and other downtown Greenwich florists is an easy way to mark what’s currently blooming

Springtime in Connecticut always sneaks up on you.

 

Without fail, it’s a short window to take in the floral rewards of the season each year.

 

Whether in:

  • Perfectly cultivated gardens
  • Open fields of colorful flowers
  • Blossoming trees

March through May offers a burst of breathtaking blooms.

 

Spring in CT is alive with:

  • Cherry blossoms
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Dogwoods

 

Each week provides a different display in the gardens, farms and streets throughout the state.

 

This is the definitive guide to spring in Connecticut to help you enjoy the best of this heartwarming season. Time your trip right so you witness the first bursts of color breaking through the landscape after a long, cold winter.

 

We’ve broken down places to visit in Connecticut in the spring by the blooms, as well as the best spring festivals and attractions, to make it easy to find just what you’re after.

 

Charming Cherry Blossoms in CT

 

Cherry blossoms along the street in downtown Greenwich, CT
Cherry blossoms line the streets of the Fourth Ward neighborhood in downtown Greenwich

Washington, DC, seems to get all of the attention in the cherry blossom bloom season. And yet Connecticut offers its own impressive display of blossoms in the springtime.

 

Here are some of the best ways to take in the light, lovely, pink fragranced blossoms that welcome in the spring:

 

Downtown Greenwich

 

To be fair, the majority of the most charming towns in Connecticut have extensive plantings of cherry blossoms.

 

But a walk around downtown Greenwich is even more pleasant when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

 

Mill River Park, Stamford

 

This lovely park boasts an incredible burst of lovely cherry blossoms, along the fetching river and bucolic pathways. Shaded by the blossoms, you can wander the green space and breathe in their fragrance in the breeze.

 

A visit to Mill River Park is one of the best things to do in Stamford, regardless of the time of year.

 

Wooster Square, New Haven

 

The next three entries for cherry blossom viewing are all in New Haven, and for good reason.

 

Many of the top attractions in New Haven are swathed in pink this time of year.

 

With just a week sometime in April to catch the beauty at the square, New Haven’s historic Wooster Square demonstrates the tell-tale sign spring has finally sprung.

 

The area is located between:

  • Greene Street
  • Wooster Place
  • Chapel Street
  • Academy Street

 

Here, 72 cherry blossom trees were planted by the New Haven Historic Commission and the New Haven Parks Department back in 1973.

 

The lovely Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees are the harbingers of spring in CT. They’re also the inspiration for a quiet event celebrating their arrival.

 

Despite being a rather understated affair, it still attracts over 10,000 visitors who come to admire the puffy pink and white tree blossoms.

 

You can also visit Wooster square restaurants to enjoy a glass of wine or a sumptuous meal.

 

Edgerton Park, New Haven

 

This turn-of-the-century greenhouse is located in the lush grounds of a 25-acre park at the former Brewster Estate.

 

The Sarah T. Crosby Conservatory and Greenbrier Greenhouse Horticulture program are renowned for the plants, trees and herbal products grown here.

 

The park often has concerts or Elm Shakespeare Company theater performances. The cherry blossoms of course make a strong argument to plan your visit for the spring.

 

Yale Campus, New Haven

 

Yale campus is known for its historic buildings and landscape.

 

And in the springtime, you can find a smattering of some of the country’s most lovely cherry trees blossoming around this historic campus, including:

  • Branford Courtyard Swing
  • Harkness Tower
  • Berkeley College North Court
  • Yale Center for Language Studies
  • The East Asian Languages Department
  • Grove Cemetery
  • Swing Space

 

Ranging in color from soft, ethereal white to deep magenta the campus blossoms are a lovely sight to behold.

 

Dazzling Daffodils in Connecticut

 

daffodils in the garden at Stanton House Inn in Greenwich, CT
Daffodils line the walkways of the gardens at Stanton House Inn in the spring

What could be more cheerful than the sunny sight of dazzling daffodils in the spring?

 

Connecticut offers plenty of gardens and fields to enjoy the short-lived burst of brilliant yellow flowers.

 

Some top picks include:

 

North Street, Greenwich

 

Decades ago, a wealthy man living in Greenwich decided to use his money for some rather eccentric pursuits.

 

One was to build an exact replica of Le Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s estate at Versailles, along North Street.

 

The other was to line North Street with dense plantings of daffodils, much of which has survived into the present day.

 

And so a springtime drive along one of the best routes to see Greenwich mansions offers just a little more splendor, albeit briefly.

 

Hubbard Park, Meriden

 

spring daffodils in ct
Daffodils lining the old ruins in the back gardens of Stanton House Inn

Hubbard Park offers a lovely display of daffodils every spring.

 

A stunning 600,000 bulbs give way to the brilliant flowers as the winter snows melt away.

 

Fields of cheerful yellow “bonnets” gently nod on the breeze.

 

By mid-April the park grounds are covered, with flowers spreading across fields, into the woods and popping up in flower beds.

 

And while the annual Daffodil festival is cancelled for 2021, the gardens are still lovely and open to the public.

 

Hollister House Garden, Washington

 

That’s the town of Washington in CT, not the state or the capital, by the way.

 

Located in the hills of Litchfield County, Hollister House Garden is an example of a classic English garden. The gardens combine both formal landscaping with more wild ones.

 

And that includes the daffodils that make their rambunctious appearance in April.

 

Leading the charge every spring is the breathtaking display of bright yellow daffodils surrounding the 18th-century farmhouse.

 

The garden is designated as a Preservation Project by the Garden Conservancy. The garden is tended by George Schoellkopf, a local Early American antique dealer who has dedicated 32 years of his life to tending the garden. He personally walks visitors through the 25-acre property, sharing information about his early spring garden. 

 

Delightful Dogwoods in CT

 

Dogwood flowersDogwood blossoms are actually leaves, not blossoms.

 

That said, they are lovely, nonetheless.

 

They come into bloom in the early spring, displaying their white or pink leaves. The trees are actually native to North America and were used by Native Americans for many things from weapons to toothbrushes.

 

You can take in their beauty throughout CT, including catching a wild one while hiking some of Connecticut’s best hiking trails.

 

But some more concentrated areas for dogwoods throughout the state include:

 

Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, Stamford

 

As its name implies, this 91-acre garden is known for its trees, including a lovely dogwood display in the spring. As one of the loveliest outdoor places to visit in CT in spring, you can enjoy strolling the grounds just as the gardens are coming to life.

 

Wildflower meadows, boardwalks, and woodland walking trails make for an interesting day at one of the best nature spots in Connecticut.

 

An afternoon meander is an opportunity for you to relax, enjoy some fresh air and see what other wonders Mother Nature offers during this cheering change of the seasons.

 

Cricket Hill Garden, Thomaston

 

Cricket Hill is a 7-acre display garden and nursery where you’ll find many rare species and edibles. Although it is known as peony heaven, you’ll also find an impressive display of dogwoods. The garden is tended in an environmentally sustainable manner and is best viewed when in bloom from April until mid-June.

 

Terrific Tulips in CT

 

spring tulips in downtown greenwich, ct
Tulip beds blooming in front of Stanton House Inn

Tulips are the quintessential bulb flower, making their appearance often when the last of winter snow is still on the ground.

 

Connecticut offers displays across the state in:

  • Private gardens
  • Parks
  • Nurseries
  • And even historic sites

Here are some of the top spots to take in their colorful appearance:

 

Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens, Hartford

 

Renowned for its roses, this lovely garden offers 100 acres of gardens and recreational facilities including:

  • A restaurant
  • Lounge
  • And auditorium

 

The historic park’s tulips typically start to bloom in late March. Late March to early April is the best time to catch the first appearance of the tulips and daffodils.

 

Rovert A. Prill Tulip Garden boasts over 11,000 tulips, providing a spectacular display when in bloom. Each October, the conservancy has the bulbs painstakingly replanted with fresh bulbs to ensure full bloom in the spring. They take time to plan new colors and patterns to make the most of the tulip’s short life. Once the petals have fallen, they plant the annual garden for summer and fall displays.

 

You may understand why this is one of the best free things to do in Connecticut.

 

Tulips in a field in the spring in Connecticut

Wicked Tulips Flower Farm, Exeter

 

This historic farm is known for its spring tulips, where visitors can bring home fresh-picked bouquets of the yellow flowers.

 

It bills itself as the largest tulip farm in New England, in fact.

 

You’ll feel like you’ve arrived in Holland with the stunning fields of breathtaking tulips. Demand to visit Wicked Tulips Flower Farm each year is high, so be ready to get tickets.

 

The farm takes its cues from nature to determine when they’ll open each year. That said, they post updates on their website, so visitors know the peak time to visit the tulips.

 

Spring Festivals in Connecticut

 

woman enjoying a spring festival in CTConnecticut is known for an ongoing calendar of events throughout the year, and spring is no different. Once spring is in the air, Connecticut comes to life, hosting multiple festivals and events throughout April and May. This is a wonderful time to explore the state.

 

Some of the most popular festivals include:

 

Connecticut’s Cherry Blossom Festival

 

Perhaps one of the most celebrated festivals of the year, this premier spring event is sponsored by the New Haven Historic Commission.

 

Locals know the Connecticut Cherry Blossom Festival marks spring’s official arrival.

 

People travel from all around to enjoy the colorful displays of spring blooms and blossoms. The festival includes live music performances, food and display tables and of course tours of the best spots to view the blossoms in full bloom. 

 

To keep the area alive with cherry blossoms, the state plants several cherry trees throughout New Haven each year.

 

So, there are always new displays of cherry blossoms to enjoy each annual sojourn.

 

While the event was canceled for 2021, the cherry blossoms didn’t receive that memo.

 

Wadsworth Museum Annual Flower Display, Hartford

 

There’s no question that the Wadsworth Atheneum is one of the best museums in Connecticut.

 

And its annual flower display offers an excellent excuse to explore the best attractions, activities, and things to do in Hartford.

 

This spring event celebrates the inspiration of flowers in the world of art. The charity event is a gathering place for:

  • Florists
  • Garden designers
  • And artists

 

All contribute their unique floral arrangements based on the work on display at the museum. This reverse approach to still life turns the tables with the flowers reflecting the art instead of the art capturing the flowers. This is also an excellent opportunity to find unique local crafts. 

 

May Market, Farmington Valley

 

This is one of Connecticut’s longest-running spring festivals.

 

Run by the Hill-Stead Museum, the May Market features premium vendors who gather to show off their wares. Various entertainers help celebrate the moment.

 

You can also browse the rare and unique plant displays at the museum while you’re here.

 

Proceeds from the event go towards maintaining the local gardens of Farmington Valley.

 

Daffodil Festival at Denison Homestead, Mystic

 

The annual Daffodil Festival is relatively new, welcoming people to the town of Mystic.

 

The stunning fields of yellow daffodils are the main attraction for this event where visitors can also:

 

Dogwood Festival at the Greenfield Hill, Fairfield

 

This is Fairfield’s oldest tradition each May.

 

The Dogwood Festival takes place every Mothers’ Day weekend with a three-day celebration of spring in CT. Front and center for the event are the lovely white and pink dogwood blossoms, an iconic symbol of the town.

 

This is the ideal introduction to the beauty of New England and all its traditions. The scenery of the town, including its tree-lined streets, speaks to the charm of Connecticut, its history, and the strength of the community.

 

Connecticut Spring Attractions

 

rhodedendron blooms in Ridgefield, CT
Rhodedendrons blooming along the Main Street of Ridgefield, Connecticut

Some other spring attractions of note include:

 

  • Bridgeport in Bloom:
    From April through to mid-May Colorblends House & Spring Garden hosts Bridgeport in Bloom. There, visitors can admire the lovely spring display of over 40,000 snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, tulips, alliums and more.

 

  • The Last Green Valley:
    Get ready to explore the glories of spring in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor, where you have access to properties not typically open to the public. The event circles around the Spring Equinox on March 20 and runs until the Summer Solstice on June 20.

 

  • A Garden of Glass in Bridgeport:
    Beardsley Zoo features a stunning display of glass pieces in the Victorian Greenhouse for an artistic twist on the spring garden.

 

  • Pick Your Own Daffodils:
    Halfinger Farm in Higganum invites visitors to pick their own daffodils from their fields in the early spring.

 

Keep exploring Connecticut in the Spring

 

Pear tree flowers at Bruce Park in downtown Greenwich, CT
Spring blooms, like pear tree flowers, at Bruce Park in downtown Greenwich, CT

Your trip to Connecticut in the spring opens doors to a world of beauty, arts, and culture, not to mention a little sense of adventure.

 

You’ll experience the stunning display of Connecticut’s:

  • Cherry blossoms
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips

 

Visit local spring events in Connecticut and discover the beauty of the best towns in New England.

 

Spring is the season to start planning your trip to Connecticut before the area starts welcoming the throngs of summer tourists.

 

More places to visit in spring in Connecticut

 

lilacs surrounding the Bush-Holley House in Cos Cob, CT
The annual lilac bloom around the Bush-Holley House in Cos Cob always looks and smells lovely

A great first place to visit in the state is, without a doubt, Greenwich.

 

Wind through flower-lined streets walking to enchanting Greenwich galleries and museums.

 

Greenwich might be known as one of New England’s most prestigious towns, but it is also committed to bringing arts and cultures to the community.

 

More than a few local organizations make the list of top museums in Connecticut:

 

  • From the Bruce Museum and its impressive sculptures
  • To the Greenwich Historical Society at the Bush-Holley House, home to many members of the Cos Cob Art Colony
  • From the Neuberger Museum of Art with a focus on 20th-century artists

 

  • To the Flinn Gallery at the Greenwich Public Library
Magnolias and daffodils blooming in the spring in Greenwich, CT
The Civil War memorial at the corner of Maple Avenue and the Post Road in Greenwich, surrounded by magnolias and daffodils

You can enjoy a unique cultural experience ideal when the weather is a little damp and dreary. Be sure to check out the Greenwich Visitors Guide before you plan your visit.

 

For even more unique attractions, activities, and things to do in Connecticut, be sure to download a free copy of the Connecticut Travel Guide.