Top Things to do in CT in July: From Festivals to Fireworks

beach chairs near a Connecticut beachAre you ready for a fantastic summer in Connecticut?

 

There’s something special about exploring this exciting state during the summer months. Guests can look forward to music festivals, outdoor adventures, art exhibitions, and more. Get out of your house to experience all that Connecticut has to offer! 

 

There are small-town celebrations with fireworks lighting up the night sky. You can also look forward to a weekend getaway along the stunning coastline. Don’t miss these incredible opportunities to make magical memories this July. Make it an unforgettable summer by checking out our top picks of things to do around CT in July.  

 

Don’t wait – explore our top picks now and start planning your perfect summer adventure!

 

Let’s go!

 

Upcoming summer events across CT in July

 

In Connecticut, summer means a flurry of exciting events and activities! This July, there are outdoor festivals and cultural events galore.

 

flower bridge in SimsburyOutdoor festivals & cultural events across Connecticut

 

You can expect a bunch of activities to keep you entertained across CT in July. Enjoy outdoor festivals with delicious local foods and fireworks shows or cultural events. They all highlight music and traditions from the region and beyond. Enjoy all the fun by checking out our top-picked activities. Start planning your summer adventure today!

 

Outdoor festivals in Connecticut

 

Summer outdoor festivals in Connecticut let you experience the local culture and cuisine. Visitors can expect windy rides, delicious food, and fabulous live entertainment. There’s music for when you’re eating dinner or watching the sunset. July is a fantastic time to enjoy the outdoors in the most social ways.

 

The Greenwich Sidewalk Sales | Greenwich

 

The shopping district of Downtown Greenwich Avenue is a dream for budget-savvy fashionistas. This bustling strip has an array of prestigious, luxurious boutiques. You can also look forward to quaint local shops. Every July, the renowned Greenwich Sidewalk Sales draws crowds for unbeatable bargains!

 

Greenwich Polo Matches | Greenwich

 

Sunday matches at Connecticut’s Greenwich Polo Club are an unusual summer date idea. Even Prince Harry has attended a match here. Many other wealthy and famous people have also picnicked during games. So, pack a picnic basket with champagne, cheese, and a polo shirt for this activity in Connecticut.

 

lighthouse in New London harborSheffield Island Clambakes | Norwalk

 

A clambake is a traditional New England method of cooking seafood. It’s made using seaweed to steam the quahogs, clams, lobsters, mussels, and more. Order tickets for the Thursday evening clambake for a trip on the ferry to the Sheffield Island lighthouse. You can also have a tour of the lighthouse museum. There’s also a multi-course meal served under a tented pavilion on the lighthouse lawn. Be sure to bring beverages and bug spray.

 

Sailfest | New London

 

Sailfest in Southeastern Connecticut is the event of the year. The waterfront and nearby streets of New London make up this incredible venue. You can admire ships and sample delectable food. Then, before concluding your night, enjoy a dazzling fireworks show! And if that wasn’t enough, there will be over 200 vendors to explore. It’s an engaging outdoor shopping experience. Don’t miss out on all these opportunities – head to Sailfest!

 

Independence Day fireworks shows across Connecticut

 

fourth of july fireworks show

Celebrate Independence Day in style with Fourth of July fireworks shows across Connecticut! There are stunning displays from the shoreline to the city streets. You can celebrate this special holiday with a dazzling display of lights and color. Make your summer complete by attending one of these iconic events. It’s a fun way to celebrate the birthday of the United States!

 

Greenwich

 

Greenwich hosts its Independence Day fireworks the weekend before July 4th. Separate shows happen at dusk at Binney Park and Greenwich Point Park. Be prepared to arrive early to claim your spot.

 

Danbury 

 

The Danbury fireworks show is on July 4th at dusk at Candlewood Lake. The public can enjoy this free event. Food vendors are on-site, as well as live music and entertainment.

 

Hartford 

 

The Hartford Yard Goats hosts fireworks shows the weekend of July 4th at the end of games at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

 

New Haven 

 

The New Haven fireworks show happens on July 4th at 9:00 pm at Wilbur Cross High School.

 

July music festivals in Connecticut

 

For music fans, Connecticut is home to some amazing music festivals during summer. There’s something for everyone, from bluegrass and folk to rock and jazz.

 

new haven lightSixth Nice Festival | Norwalk

 

The Norwalk International Cultural Exchange (NICE) is an organization dedicated to celebration. They focus on our world’s unique cultures and people. Their annual festival honors culture through art, music, food, and performing arts. Join them in savoring classic dishes while enjoying live performances. It’s an unforgettable experience!

 

Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz | Hartford

 

Enjoy an unforgettable evening as you explore the jazz vibes of Hartford, Connecticut. After all, it’s a city celebrated for its culture and captivating nightlife. Prepare for incredible music and delicious food. You can do all this while basking in warm summer breezes. Get ready to discover what local musicians have been up to on the scene. Their jams that will tantalize your ears. It’s the same as those mouth-watering dishes for your taste buds!

 

Arts festivals in July in CT

 

Summer in Connecticut is full of unique events!

 

International Festival of Arts & Ideas | New Haven

 

Don’t miss the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. This event celebrates culture and creativity in a one-of-a-kind presentation. It features music orchestras, theater classes, and interactive exhibits.

 

beachStamford Art Festival | Stamford

 

If you’re searching for original artwork to complement your home décor, look no further. You can find what you want at the Stamford Art Festival! Here, talented exhibitors will showcase their dazzling creations in various media. You can check out paintings, sculptures, and woodworks. Other mediums include:

  • Wearable and decorative fiber
  • Metalwork and jewelry
  • Printmaking
  • Glass artistry
  • Ceramic pieces

Exhibiting artists can engage with visitors about their creative process. It’s a unique opportunity to buy distinctive works from emerging artisans.

 

Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire | Ansonia

 

Step into a world of enchantment and immerse yourself in an ancient era where fantasy reigns. This event boasts live music, magic tricks, comedy performances, and combat shows! Enjoy fabulous food while browsing period vendors’ stalls. You can speak with people from days when real magic existed. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity. Revel in a forgotten time when jousting was popular entertainment.

 

Shakespeare on the Sound | Rowayton

 

Step into Rowayton’s affluent and charming Norwalk neighborhood. You can visit for two weeks each summer to experience Shakespeare on the Sound. It’s a beloved tradition that locals adore. There are 16 captivating performances presented al fresco in Pinkney Park. There are also stellar actors from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, Yale School of Drama, and Broadway. You can enjoy this all for a suggested (but non-obligatory) donation price! So grab your picnic blanket and delicious dinner creations. Pick out your favorite spot in the park. Then, enjoy an evening surrounded by artistry. Shakespeare on the Sound will delight fans and newcomers alike!

 

The most unique attractions to experience during July in CT

 

Connecticut is full of unique attractions that you won’t experience anywhere else. Many of these attractions allow for unrestricted wandering. That said, a guided tour adds depth to these historic sites.

 

jellyfish at mystic aquariumThe Philip Johnson Glass House | New Canaan

 

Philip Johnson was an American architect who settled in New Canaan, Connecticut. He quipped that architecture is the art of how to waste space. He is one of the most influential 20th-century architects. His most famous work is The Philip Johnson Glass House. This piece is only a 25-minute drive from downtown Greenwich. He built the Glass House over 37 years on 49 acres. It’s divided the space into 14 structures, each with a different function. It is a certified National Trust Historic Site, open from May 1st to November 30th. Johnson also designed such quirks as a brick guesthouse with no windows. He also made an edgeless gatehouse called “Da Monsta.” Also, he created an underground art gallery styled after Agamemnon’s tomb.

 

Another nearby fantastic example of modern architecture to visit is the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Stamford. Added benefit: this Connecticut attraction is free to visit.

 

Sheffield Island Lighthouse | Norwalk

 

One of the most unique things about Norwalk, CT, is the Sheffield Island Lighthouse. This location is set in Norwalk Harbor. Built in 1868, the lighthouse was in operation until 1902. Today, visitors can enjoy a historic site tour and see sweeping views of Long Island Sound. They can even witness the NYC skyline on a clear day. This is also home to one of the most unique events in the area every Thursday evening from June to September.

 

The Thimble Islands | Branford

 

The Thimble Islands are Connecticut’s biggest archipelago. Each island being unique in size and boasting Victorian-era cottages. They have been a popular summer destination for celebrities and influential figures. These people include President William Taft and Tom Thumb. But you don’t have to go for the cottages. You can hop on board a ferry service for an unforgettable Connecticut day trip.

 

Ivoryton Playhouse | Ivoryton

 

Since its start, the Ivoryton Playhouse has been a beacon for talented performers. It has a history of self-sufficiency. It also has no shortage of famed personalities making appearances throughout the years. This theater has award-winning comedies, dramas, and musicals that are presented year-round. It’s an illustrious staple in American performing arts!

 

dog by the Connecticut River in HaddamGillette Castle | East Haddam

 

The Gillette Castle is an early 19th-century example of eccentricity created by excess wealth. The castle even overlooks the Connecticut River. William Hooker Gillette is best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes. He also introduced iconic props, such as the bent briar pipe, violin, and magnifying glass. His 1919 home features hidden mirrors, strange door knobs, locks, and light switches. It also has a steam engine and railroad tracks. Guests can enjoy walking trails featuring wooden trestles and arched bridges. There’s even a grand entrance. You can take the Hadlyme ferry across the Connecticut River from Chester. The beautiful views on your approach to the castle and state park are fabulous in July.

 

Lake Compounce Amusement Park | Southington

 

Lake Compounce is the oldest amusement park still in operation. It brings back a wave of nostalgia for past summers. You’ll find traditional attractions like a carousel, Ferris wheel, and wooden roller coasters. It was recently voted the best wooden coaster in the world! But that’s not all; this classic spot also features Connecticut’s largest waterpark. So why don’t you join us and relive fond childhood memories? You even get to make new ones at one of America’s most beloved summertime destinations?

 

Mystic Seaport | Mystic

 

jars at mystic seaportMystic Seaport Museum is one of the largest maritime museums in the country. It also has:

  • A children’s museum 
  • A planetarium
  • A working shipyard for preservation
  • Maritime and artist exhibitions
  • Historic gardens

It also houses four National Historic Landmark ships. The most famous is Charles W. Morgan. It’s America’s oldest still-floating commercial ship and the only surviving wooden whaling ship. Explore the ship to learn more about the whaling lifestyle in the 1800s.

 

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic

 

Mystic Aquarium houses beluga whales, seals, sea lions, penguins, making it quite popular. This Mystic, CT, attraction contributes to studying, preserving, and protecting marine life. So you can feel good about your summer visit to see the penguins.

 

Connecticut food to try in July

 

People know Connecticut’s summer outdoor festivals for their atmosphere and delicious local cuisine. Guests can enjoy classic New England dishes like clam chowder and lobster rolls. Other popular options include hot dogs and hamburgers. You can also have your sweet tooth fixed with fresh produce, cotton candy, and ice cream!

 

Top outdoor things to do in CT in July

 

Here are the top things to do outdoors in the beautiful state of Connecticut during July.

 

hiking trailConnecticut hiking trails

 

One of the most popular activities is hiking. CT has forests, rivers, and a rich history. Its hiking trails are for all levels and experiences. From local parks to incredible views from Lookout Mountain, hiking is sure to impress.

 

Public golf courses

 

If golf is your game, there are dozens of public golf courses throughout Connecticut. They have some of the best-maintained landscaped areas in the northeast part of the US. There are also many lakes and ponds perfect for fishing or canoeing around.

 

Connecticut state parks

 

Don’t forget about outdoor exploration at one of Connecticut’s many wonderful state parks. These lush sanctuaries offer hiking trails, camping spots, and more adventure-filled activities. It’s all spread across breathtaking landscapes for a memorable journey.

 

rocks on a beach in nianticConnecticut beaches

 

July is perfect for enjoying some of the state’s best beaches. Greenwich Point Park, for example, is great for picnicking and swimming. The park has stunning sunsets over Long Island Sound. Rocky Neck State Park has a sand beach with lovely views of Fishers Island. There is also access to kayaking and other water activities. Sherwood Island State Park has much to offer. There are greenways and amazing views of Long Island Sound. Last but not least, Hammonasset State Park in Madison has a beautiful shoreline. It runs for almost three miles and boasts one of the most welcoming seascapes one could ever hope for.

 

And a few indoor attractions and activities in Connecticut in July

 

Connecticut in the summer, is a haven for outdoor activities and fun. If you’re looking for something indoors, there are plenty of interesting attractions, too!

 

item at a museum in HamdenArt galleries & museums across Connecticut in July

 

Art galleries offer rotating exhibitions. You can check out the Watch Hill Fine Art Gallery and the Real Art Ways art center. There’s also the New Britain Museum of American Art. You’ll always have something new to explore and appreciate. Several Connecticut museums house fascinating, enjoyable collections for children and adults. There’s the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale in New Haven and the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. Their gift shops are generally delightful.

 

Connecticut summer shopping

 

And don’t forget to visit your local:

 

  •     Visitor center

 

 

 

 

Each offers unique items to find and take home as souvenirs.

 

CT in July has something everyone will enjoy, regardless of expectations.

 

Summer travel tips to get the most out of your summer adventures in CT in July

 

blue jay on a japanese mapleFor the best summer experience in Connecticut, it’s important to plan.

 

Start by making a list of must-see attractions or events to attend. Book tickets or reserve spots before they sell out.

 

Your next Connecticut weekend getaway will be an adventure to remember!

 

With so many things to do in CT in July, you’ll find something to do every weekend. Check out outdoor summer festivals and cultural events to find unique attractions. You can make this season one to remember.

 

Be sure to check out our guide to the most unique things to do in CT.

 

And if you’d like to experience Connecticut at a completely different time of year, be sure to explore our guide to the best winter activities in CT.

 

Have fun and happy travels!