Things To Do in CT In April: Top Ways to Celebrate Spring

tulips in a marketConnecticut in spring is something straight out of a movie.

 

With cherry blossom trees in full bloom, tulips dotting gardens with sparks of color, and animals coming out of hiding showing life all around, spring is a reminder of color and brighter times ahead.

 

You can start tucking your winter coats into the back of the closet and opt for a lighter jacket instead. And the best part is that you can finally pack away your long johns and maybe even opt for a capri or skirt! 

 

Restaurants, shops, and cafés are starting to open their windows and maybe even offering some outdoor seating (although a warmer cover is necessary, especially at night). 

 

If you’re looking for things to do in CT in April, check out these activities.

Outdoor things to do in CT in April

After a long New England winter, April’s weather will feel absolutely delightful! Some of our favorite outdoor activities across Connecticut that are perfect for April include:

Talcott Mountain State Park

 

hueblein tower at talcott mountain state parkOverlooking Hartford and West Hartford is Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury, Connecticut. This park is a bit of a drive—an hour and a half or more from Stanton House Inn—but it’s worth it on a nice day.

 

Talcott Mountain State Park is huge, but the main draw is one steep trek from the parking lot. The immediate reward for the ascent is sweeping views of the Farmington River Valley. 

 

If you continue further, you’ll come across the Hueblein Tower, a 165-foot tower with quite a story. Gilbert Hueblein, a local magnate who made his money in hotels, restaurants, and newspapers in Hartford, hiked the ridge with his bride to be. He promised her that he would build her a castle there, and decades later, he made good on that promise.

 

The top of the Bavarian-style Hueblein Tower offers a panoramic view of Hartford and the surrounding area, making it one of the best hikes in CT with a view. 

 

Plus, when you’re done, you can check-out Simsbury, one of the cutest towns in Connecticut.

Saltwater Farm Vineyard

 

vineyardSaltwater Farm Vineyard has 100 panoramic acres bordered by tidal marshes, vistas of Long Island Sound, and a cove. The 15 acres of vineyard are planted with six grape varieties, with a popular tasting room on-site.

 

This top pick of the Connecticut wineries honors its place in Stonington history as coastal Connecticut farmland and a private airport dating from the World War II era.

 

Regardless of when you visit, you may be so enchanted by this place that you will be planning your wedding here.

Sleeping Giant State Park

 

Just north of New Haven in Hamden, Connecticut, sits Quinnipiac College, the source of political polls.

 

Across the road from its campus is Sleeping Giant State Park. It’s so close that you’re sure to pass many college students hiking on a nice weekend afternoon.

 

The traprock mountain earned its name because its shape gives the appearance of a large, sleeping person.

 

The hike to the tower at the top of the ridge is fairly easy, and the view from the tower is lovely. This is one of the most popular and visited state parks in Connecticut for a reason.

Silver Sands State Park

 

silver sands state park, one of the best things to do in ct in aprilLocated in lovely Milford, Silver Sands beach is the perfect place to collect seashells and take in stunning ocean views.

 

The park also features an all-weather boardwalk spanning three quarters of a mile. Even if it’s rainy, grab an umbrella and enjoy the sea air.

 

An added benefit that makes this one of the most popular state parks in Connecticut is the lack of an entrance fee.

 

Milford’s quaint downtown area is great for shopping and dining if you’re in the mood for lunch or a spree. 

Wicked Tulips Flower Farm

 

tulip fieldThis is a farm whose name says it all: Wicked Tulips.

 

Wicked Tulips exists for the sole purpose of supplying lovely tulips to their customers.

 

Located in Preston, CT, the tulip farm opens its fields to the public during peak tulip season. The brief window lasts barely a month, usually starting in late April.

 

As the largest u-pick tulip farm in the area, you can buy bulbs or pick tulips from a field featuring 800,000 blooms. 

 

So, grab a bucket and clip the perfect bouquet amidst the stunning views of their impressive tulip field.

 

Afterwards, drive down to the coast and explore some of the most unique attractions in and around Mystic, CT.

Lindell Flower Farm

 

Lindell Flower Farm is located in New Hartford and overlooks the lovely Northwest Corner of Connecticut.

 

The family farm invites visitors to experience the different seasons through their:

  • Unbeatable views
  • Ever-changing gardens

 

They specialize in heirloom and less common cut flower varieties. They also use about two acres of their seven-acre property to “paint with flowers.” 

 

The stunning vistas make it impossible to unwind surrounded by so much beauty.

 

Mystic Seaport

 

mystic seaportBefore the arrival of tourists, Mystic was one of the pre-eminent shipbuilding centers in America. Various shipyards along the Mystic River built over 600 ships during a 135-year period starting in 1784.

 

Ten years after shipbuilding ceased, aficionados founded what is now one of the largest maritime museums in the country in 1929.

 

The museum hosts:

  • A recreated colonial New England coastal village
  • Working preservation shipyard
  • Maritime and artist exhibitions
  • A planetarium
  • Historic gardens
  • Children’s museum

 

But one of the most unique draws of Mystic Seaport Museum is the four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W Morgan.

 

Indoor things to do in CT in April

And sometimes, no matter how well you plan, the weather disagrees. The fact that Connecticut and the Northeast in general rarely suffers from a drought is cold comfort when you’re trying to enjoy a weekend here.

 

It is what it is.

 

For the days when April weather isn’t complying, check-out a few of our favorite indoor things to do in Connecticut:

Mystic Aquarium and Maritime History

 

Get up close and personal with creatures of the sea at this world-class aquarium. Located in charming Mystic, Connecticut, you can see it all, from seals to beluga whales and sharks to penguins. 

 

While you’re in Mystic, you can also visit the Mystic Seaport Museum to tour four National Historic Landmark vessels. 

 

The most famous is the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest commercial ship in the U.S. and the last wooden whaleship in the world. 

 

Be sure to also explore all 19 acres along the Mystic River and the 19th-century coastal village.

 

While any time of year is ideal for visiting Mystic, it is without question one of the best places to visit in Connecticut in the spring.

 

Yale University Art Gallery

 

street sign on the yale campusYale may not be the oldest university in America, but its premiere art gallery is the oldest university art museum in America. It’s also the oldest in the entire Western Hemisphere.

 

Established in 1832, the Yale University Art Gallery first occupied a Romanesque building on Chapel Street.

 

Thanks to an ever-expanding collection, the art gallery occupies four floors, allowing for something to see in any corner.

 

Some of the largest collections in terms of pieces include art from:

  • The ancient Mediterranean world (13,000 objects)
  • The African continent (2,000)
  • The ancient Americas (1,500)

 

While the collection spans human history, a sizable portion of the collection is devoted to:

  • African sculpture
  • 1800s American Realism
  • French Impressionism
  • Early Italian paintings
  • Modern art (two of the most famous pieces being Kazimir Malevich’s The Knifegrinder and Joseph Stella’s Brooklyn Bridge)

 

As befits an American institution, American art has a significant presence. There are even exhibits devoted to decorative furniture and arts from America, especially New England.

 

New Haven Museum

 

Curious to learn more about the history of New Haven itself?

 

Then head to the New Haven Museum while you’re in town.

 

Four permanent exhibits and changing exhibitions display the museum’s vast collections, all of which are devoted to New Haven’s history as a center for shipbuilding, trade, and invention.

 

Furniture, silver, glass, textiles, and ceramics represent local trades from the 1600s to the 1800s in New Haven. Meanwhile, the museum’s collections also include:

  • A full-sized, working version of the cotton gin
  • One of the first Morse code receivers

 

A fun fact to note is that both inventions were made by New Haven locals.

 

You’ll also find plenty of fine arts here, with drawings, paintings, prints, and watercolors from local artists.

 

The New Haven Museum is a regular host of concerts from the New Haven Summer Jazz Festival series. The festival celebrates the diversity of jazz music and culture in New Haven, and several of the concerts are free.

 

 

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

 

Anyone who aspired to be the next Indiana Jones could appreciate the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

 

The Peabody Museum started in 1866, with modest beginnings as a collection of mostly gemstones. It has since grown into one of the most respected and influential institutions in the scientific community.

 

Some permanent exhibitions in a building many refer to as “The Sistine Chapel of Evolution” include ones focused on:

  • Native American populations in Connecticut
  • The evolution of mammals and humans
  • Mineralogy
  • Ornithology

 

The Daily Life in Ancient Egypt gallery houses a large part of Yale’s Egyptology collection, first acquired in the late 1800s. Some of the pieces in this exhibition include: 

  • A mummy and coffin
  • Black diorite bust of a Ptolemaic King
  • Granite head of Osiris

 

The most famous permanent exhibition here is the Great Hall of Dinosaurs. The collection is one of the largest and historically important fossil collections in the entire country. Othniel Charles Marsh, a founding member of the museum, gathered a large part of it in the Bone Wars.

 

The most mesmerizing addition is likely the mounted skeleton of a juvenile brontosaurus. The skeleton spans the length of the 155-foot Age of Reptiles mural.

 

So, spend a day walking around and seeing all of these exhibits, in addition to artist Rudolph F Zallinger’s painted mural, which took him over the course of 5 years before completing it in 1947.

 

This museum is sure to be even more inspiring after its multi-year renovation is complete.

 

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

 

stamford museum and nature center, one of the best things to do in ct in aprilThis eclectic attraction is where you can do everything, from spending time on a farm to viewing art at the gallery.

 

You can decide what interests you and plan your day accordingly.

 

At the Stamford Museum & Nature Center Galleries, paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and mixed media artworks from 1900 to 1965 are the main focus. 

 

Started from the donation of the Shulman collection, the gallery’s exhibits have grown with works by artists, including:

  • Guy Pène du Bois
  • Reginald Marsh
  • Milton Avery
  • Raphael Soyer
  • Robert Gwathmey
  • Max Weber
  • Arnold Blanch from the Realist School
  • Even Gutzon Borglum, creator of Mount Rushmore

 

A carefully curated selection of Native American art and artifacts is also on display. Just in case you’re wondering, they adhere to UNESCO’s principles related to cultural property.

 

And there are even more Italian sculptures to admire throughout the grounds.

 

Once you finish strolling through the gallery and grounds, be sure to tour the Bendel Mansion. The finer details of this mansion are irresistible, including:

  • The exquisitely detailed lead-glass windows
  • Elegant archways
  • And lovely views of Laurel Lake

 

You can also take advantage of some great hiking trails nearby on a weekend getaway. There are plenty of things to do in Stamford, Connecticut, and spring is one of the best times to experience them.

Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

 

Stop by the Kate to see a show, as the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is the place for live entertainment! 

 

An added benefit is that it’s in a building celebrating a century-long history.

 

This state-of-the-art theater honors the legacy of Katharine Hepburn, offering a diverse arts and culture program. Regular productions include plays and ballets.

 

Check out their website to see their current calendar.

 

New Haven Ice Cream

 

Finish your culinary tour (or start it, or what have you) at Arethusa Farm Dairy. An outpost from the very upscale creamery in Litchfield, this ice cream parlor on Chapel Street is well worth the sugar low afterwards.

 

There are tons of flavors to choose from, including the classics:

  • Mint Chip
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Coffee
  • Sweet Cream Chocolate Chip
  • Chocolate
  • Almond w/ Toasted Coconut

 

They also have specialty flavors year-round:

  • Coconut w/ Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • Pistachio
  • Butter Pecan

 

They also have seasonal flavors only available during the flavor’s prime season:

  • Cherry w/ Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Cranberry w/ Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • Maple Walnut
  • Rum Raisin
  • Pumpkin w/ Ginger Molasses Cookies
  • Peppermint

Spring festivals happening in April across CT

April is the month New Englanders celebrate the (final) receding of winter.

 

And while the occasional rain storm may dampen a given day, it’s still lovely to not need a winter coat anymore.

 

Popular spring festivals happening across Connecticut include:

Elephant’s Trunk Reopens for the year

As an entirely outdoor venue, the largest of the Connecticut flea markets (and in all New England, according to them), takes a winter hiatus after the holidays.

 

But April is always their reopening month for the year.

 

And each Sunday here feels like an event. Plus, you never know what you’ll stumble upon here.

 

Connecticut Sheep, Wool, and Fiber Festival

Visit North Haven, Connecticut, to welcome the new year and all the farm animals born during the colder months. At this festival, you can browse the wares of more than 50 local vendors, including hand-woven rugs, pottery, soaps, and gnomes.

 

The Connecticut Sheep, Wool, and Fiber Festival, which began in 1909, promotes sheep throughout the state. And the tradition continues the last Saturday of every year.

 

Daffodils on the Estate

Even though this isn’t a festival, it’s still worth a look. Daffodil Day is celebrated at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown on April 23rd from 12 to 3 PM. While you’re there, take in the scenery by gazing at the flowers!

 

Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival

One of New Haven’s most anticipated springtime events, the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival, has grown into a significant statewide phenomenon.

 

Attendees can enjoy live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, food vendors, and more.

 

At the end of April, when this event is usually held, the Connecticut cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

 

Daffodil Festival

Head to Meriden’s Daffodils Festival to see vibrant flowers, a parade, a craft fair, and live music. You can also watch programs featuring animal stunts. Another thrilling activity is the family-friendly carnival rides! After spending the day participating in all of the festival’s activities, you can visit the food tent to sample a variety of foods. Menu items include bratwurst, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, and meatballs on a stick. If you have a sweet tooth, try the cotton candy, Belgian waffles, and fried dough. The Daffodil Festival happens on the last weekend of April.

 

Simsbury Flea Market & Smorgasbord

This festival incorporates a food truck event as well as a flea market. While strolling around and browsing the vendors for vintage items and hidden treasures, you can eat food from the trucks lining the event’s aisles. This event takes place on the last Saturday of April.

 

Woodbury Earth Day Celebration

Woodbury hosts Connecticut’s largest Earth Day celebration. Families can expect eco-friendly activities as well as the opportunity to explore vendors and food options. It takes place on the last weekend of April, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hollow Park in Woodbury.

Hollister House’s Garden

Visit Hollister House Garden and stroll through its terraced hills to celebrate the beauty of spring flowers. This English garden, with its hedges, ponds, and other landscaping, will make you feel as if you’re strolling through a painting.

 

Discover even more things to do in CT in April

We hope you enjoy the possibilities we’ve included on this list and that there’s something here that inspires you to plan a long weekend getaway.

 

If you come earlier or later, you’ll discover even more things to do in CT:

We hope you get to experience as much as you can while you’re here this spring!