Nothing helps you recover from the frantic pace of the holidays better than a quiet getaway far from the bustle of the city.
January is the perfect time of year to visit Connecticut, where there’s always something to do. Whether you love plenty of activity or simply want to hone your skills in the art of doing nothing at all, Connecticut is an easy drive or train ride from NYC.
Are you looking for things to do in Connecticut in January?
Then here you’ll find the most exclusive hidden gems sure to provide an authentic New England experience.
Top Things to do in CT in January
From the heart-pumping to the relaxed, outdoorsy or culturally focused, there’s something for everyone in January in Connecticut.
Read on for our highlights of the best things to do in CT in January:
Winter Outdoor Activities in Connecticut
If your idea of relaxing is finding a winter outdoor activity to get your heart pumping, Connecticut’s got you covered.
Powder Ridge offers snow tubing during the day and night for an adrenaline rush of old-fashioned tobogganing fun.
Looking for something out of the ordinary?
Try tubing at night, where music and neon lights make it even more exhilarating. If you prefer skiing, you can ski at Powder Ridge as well as:
- Mohawk Mountain, one of the best places for downhill skiing in the area
- Ski Sundown
- And Mount Southington
All these destinations offer respectable skiing and snow tubing in CT as well as a spot to enjoy après winter activity beverages. Take your pick: hot chocolate, wine or cocktails, all fireside.
Public and state park hiking trails take you through a magical winter wonderland of:
- Glistening snow
- Rugged ice-kissed shorelines
- And pristine forests
When the sun is shining, everything sparkles as if encrusted with diamonds. And you can breathe in the crisp, clean winter fresh air while wandering in the beauty of it all.
Winter Indoor Activities in Connecticut
If the weather is a bit of a bummer, don’t let that spoil your fun.
New Haven, Connecticut, just happens to be home to the largest indoor ropes course, not just in America but in the entire world. Located in the most unlikely spot imaginable, the course hangs above the Jordans Furniture showroom. As host to this state-of-the-art facility, the showroom offers an intricate course. You can hook up your safety harness and enjoy an endless adventure through four levels of:
- Angled rope ladders
- Zigzag swinging beams
- Cargo nets
- And bridges
The grand finale takes you across a dancing water feature and ends with a 56-foot drop back down to the ground.
You can do it!
After all, you’re tied to a harness, and the drop is very gentle.
Fancy yourself a skater?
The Dorothy Hammill Skating Rink is the perfect spot to take a few laps around the rink, enjoying the nostalgic sound of blades on ice.
Even when it’s:
- Cold and damp
- Crazy with snow
- Or moaning with cheek-burning winds
Connecticut offers plenty of indoor activities, perfect for winter visits.
Indulge Your Artsy Side at “The Wadsworth”
The Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum sits in a prominent location in Hartford, Connecticut. It features a collection of over 50,000 works of art in its permanent collection and ongoing exhibits that change throughout the year. Noted artists at this top Connecticut museum include:
- Salvador Dalí
- Joan Miró
- Max Ernst
- René Magritte
- Claude Monet
- Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- William Holman Hunt
- And Joseph Wright
This is your chance to discover European artists as well as one of the largest collections of Hudson River School paintings by:
- Thomas Cole
- Frederic Edwin Church
- And Albert Bierstadt
Contemporary art, as well as costumes and textiles, are just a few examples of other collections you can explore.
Some other artistic stops throughout the state include:
- The art galleries lining Greenwich Avenue are also open for business, or just to browse
Visit the Beluga Whales at Mystic Aquarium
Find out why beluga whales are one of the most delightful sea creatures on earth with a visit to the Mystic Aquarium. The Aquarium’s Arctic Coast provides underwater viewing. And there, these friendly whales are happy to visit with guests through the window. You can also watch them frolicking in the 750,000-gallon tank, where they enjoy life much like they would in their natural habitat. Researchers use this environment to learn more about them. All in the hopes of rallying their dwindling numbers in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic regions.
It’s one of the top attractions in Mystic, CT, for a reason.
Tour Mark Twain’s House in Hartford
Completed in 1874, New York architect Edward Tuckerman Potter designed the Mark Twain home for the Clemens. The three-story, 25-room house features a grand entrance hall. Louis C. Tiffany & Co designed the hand-carved ornamental details and stenciled wainscotting.
Other rooms of note include the drawing and dining rooms where the family entertained guests with grand dinner parties.
The library features a large oak mantelpiece imported from Ayton Castle in Scotland. Meanwhile, the conservatory is alive with lush plants and a bubbling indoor fountain. The school room that educated Twain’s daughters is also open for the tour. Perhaps the main attraction for Twain fans is the Billiard room. Here, Twain relaxed and entertained friends into the wee hours of the morning.
Winter Wine Tasting in Connecticut
Take a winter wine tasting tour in Connecticut with a selection of wineries offering food, wine, and entertainment. Nestled in idyllic spots throughout some of Connecticut’s most beautiful countryside, you can:
- Discover historic wine tasting rooms
- Sample different vintages
- Sip mulled wine fireside
- And enjoy local fare at vineyard restaurants
Many offer small-batch, award-winning wines at their boutique wineries. Add lovely views and top-notch hosting where family-run businesses welcome you with open arms, and your day is set. Be sure to check vineyards before you go, as many smaller vineyards do not offer wine tasting during the winter months.
Maple Syrup at Brooksvale Park
Located in Hamden, this is one of Connecticut’s best-kept winter secrets.
Brooksvale Park is where locals go to make the most of the colder months when hiking trails are not as busy. Whether you want to hike/cross-country ski, sled, or skate, there’s a little bit of everything at Brooksvale.
Later in the winter, they have maple syrup at their sugar shack, so it’s worth a return visit just before winter comes to an end.
Consider taking a sleigh ride at Allegra Farms in East Hamden if there is a good layer of snow on the ground. Let the soothing jingle of sleigh bells take you back to simpler times as the sled whisks you across fresh fields of pure white, glistening snow.
The Festival of Silver Lights at Hubbard Park in Meriden
This Christmas lights festival usually winds down by early January, when you can catch the tail end of its enchanting display. The park puts Christmas trees to shame with:
- Over 150,000 twinkling white lights
- 200 figures
- And a selection of buildings aglow in the chill of the winter night
Although you can drive through the park, we recommend a walk. Just pack a thermos of hot chocolate to keep you warm as you stroll. This is one of the best things to do in Meriden, CT.
Explore the Connecticut River Valley
Lower Connecticut River Valley is a historic area of Colonial-era and 19th-century structures. And all nestled in strollable, shoppable and “dineable” villages that are even more charming in the winter.
The winter skies are alive with wisps of smoke rising from historic homes. And each of the little towns offer a variety of places to shop, dine or enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or glass of red wine.
Each town has its own charming sites, from:
- The Colonial and Federal period homes in Connecticut’s oldest town, Wethersfield
- To the Connecticut River Museum in Essex
- And from the Lyme Art Colony masterpieces at Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme
- To shows at the “The Kate” theatre in Old Saybrook
You’ll discover a true New England experience at every turn.
Discover even more things to do in CT in January
Need more to plan your visit?
Then keep exploring our guides!
Be sure to check-out:
- Winter festivals in Connecticut
- Things to do in December in Connecticut, in case you decide to come early
- Our guide to the best winter activities across Connecticut
- What to see and do during a winter visit to our hometown of Greenwich, CT
- Or tack-on a day trip or two into New York City for winter activities in the City that never sleeps
Don’t forget to download a free copy of our guide to winter in Connecticut, so you’ll have everything handy when you head out the door for your January trip!
And be sure to plan a stay at one of the many charming historical inns or B&Bs as a cozy end to your winter getaway. This is where history meets hospitality.