Winter in Connecticut is more like those Currier & Ives prints than some Connecticutians will admit.
Winter is all about the holiday decorations, snowball fights, and sledding.
But what more can visitors to Connecticut do?
There are plenty of activities in Connecticut in the winter, regardless of where you’re visiting.
The typical concern visitors have before coming to Connecticut in the winter is what the weather is like.
Does this sound like you? Then read on for our guide to winter in Connecticut. This guide has everything from weather to favorite activities.
What is Winter in Connecticut Like?
As far as winter vacations in New England are concerned, Connecticut has the most temperate climate.
While that isn’t saying much for a Texan visiting, winters are relatively mild here.
Not in the mood to read? Check out our quick introduction to winter in Connecticut, below.
Or keep scrolling on down for more details:
Infographic design by Stanton House Inn
Connecticut Winter Weather
From December to February, it can get rather cold up here. Daytime temperatures rarely peak above 40°F (4°C) along the Connecticut shoreline. In Litchfield County (the northwest of the state), daytime temperatures average at 30°F (-1°C).
Connecticut Winter Temperatures
Connecticut winter temperatures are a little less than delightful.
But let’s be honest, how many places in America would you want to be outside in the winter?
Even the most pleasant winter spots have their issues, like massive or annoying insects that drive you inside anyway. Just saying.
What are winter temperatures like in Connecticut?
Daytime high temperatures average from 37 (3°C) to 42°F (6°C) along the Connecticut coast (like here in Greenwich). Winter temperatures are about 4 degrees colder inland, like in Litchfield County.
How cold does it get in Connecticut in the winter?
Enter: The nighttime low temperatures.
The average low temperatures bottom-out in Connecticut between 1°F (-17.2°C) and 3°F (-16.1°C). The good news is that you’ll likely be sleeping through the coldest part of the day!
What is the coldest month in Connecticut?
The lows I mentioned above are usually in January, by the way.
In Hartford, our state capital, the average overnight temperature is 17.2°F (-8.2°C) in January. But that’s inland, almost to Massachusetts along the Connecticut River.
Here in Greenwich, overnight lows are slightly more comfortable at 21°F (-6.1°C).
Maybe only slightly more comfortable, but still. More comfortable.
Does Connecticut get a lot of snow?
On average, yes. Connecticut does get a lot of snow.
The average annual snowfall of any given year in Connecticut is 37 inches, which is heavy snow compared to the US average of 28 inches of snow per year.
That said, it has been progressively snowing less over the years. I haven’t seen the massive snowstorms I remember from childhood in years, so you really don’t have much to worry about. Unless you go off-roading, your car likely won’t get stuck in any snow.
How much snow does Connecticut get?
How much snowfall you see in Connecticut depends on where you’re watching the snow fall.
In the northern part of the state, places like Canton get an average of 63.96 inches of snow per year.
Towns along the Connecticut shoreline see much less snow in any given year. For example, the lowest average snowfall is Westport, Connecticut, with only about 12 inches of snow per year.
Here in Greenwich, Connecticut, it’s in-between, with 26.62 inches of average snowfall per year.
Will Connecticut get snow this winter?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, yes.
The prediction for last winter season was a very cold January following a cold December. February will arrive with milder temperatures, making a bearable end of the season.
Generally speaking, most snow doesn’t come until the coldest parts of the winter season. Late January and February, especially, with most accumulation falling then.
What constitutes measurable snowfall?
A measurable snowfall is defined as one-tenth of an inch or more, according to the National Weather Service.
How long does winter last in Connecticut?
So, how long do the low temperatures, snowfall, and bitter cold typically last here in Connecticut?
On average, about 3 1/3 months. The winter, marked by daily high temperatures below 46°F (8°C), stretches from the first of December until early to mid-March.
The coldest day of the year in Connecticut is in January.
The 29th of January, in fact, with an average low of 21°F (-6°C) and a high of 36°F (2°C).
Where should I go in the winter in Connecticut?
If you’re still reading, good on you for being so willing to brave the cold!
Even in the snowy, cold months, there’s plenty to do here to keep you busy. They’re just different activities from what you come for in the summer months.
Top winter activities in Connecticut
There are more than a few winter activities in Connecticut that do draw visitors.
Some of the top outdoor winter activities include:
- Cross-country skiing
- Downhill skiing
- Ice skating
- Ice fishing
- Winter hiking
Some favorite indoor winter activities include:
- Axe throwing
- Indoor ropes courses
- Afternoon tea
- Tastings at breweries
- Dining fireside
- Attending a spa, either a day spa or a bed and breakfast with spa services
- Concerts at the Capitol Theatre
The activities you want to enjoy while you’re here will likely affect your choice of places to visit in Connecticut for winter vacation getaways.
Some top picks throughout the state include:
Greenwich Avenue is a top destination for shopping, and it’s the center of Greenwich’s food scene with its plethora of downtown restaurants.
While Greenwich has many great indoor activities, it’s also a great place to enjoy many outdoor winter activities. The parks are beautiful in the winter, especially when coated with snow and sprinkled with snowmen. And because many people are warming up inside, there will likely be fewer people, which means you’re more likely to have a park to yourself!
There are also many trails that you can hike. Just be careful because snowy trails can get slippery, so be sure to wear boots.
And if you go get bored, hop on MetroNorth and head into the City. There are plenty of things to do in New York City in the winter, especially around the holidays.
Next door to Greenwich is the city of Stamford.
Stamford is an ideal winter destination for the performing arts at Rich Forum or Palace Theatre. Some of the more unique attractions include two of the best breweries in CT, and an independent theater, the Avon.
Further up the coast from Stamford and Greenwich is Norwalk, Connecticut.
This former industrial powerhouse has been working to become a tourist destination to rival Mystic.
It has a way to go in that direction, but good on them for trying!
Window-shopping is one of the best free things to do in Norwalk in the winter, and it’s easy to do along Washington Street or in the entirely indoor SONO Collection mall. Both spots for Norwalk shopping are within walking distance of each other in South Norwalk, considered to be Norwalk’s downtown district.
Afterward, you can enjoy one of the many fantastic restaurants in the same area. Are you craving Italian? Mediterranean? Indian? There’s something for everyone.
A smaller version of New York City may not be ideal for a winter getaway, depending on where you live.
But hear me out!
New Haven can be a great place to explore in the winter.
There are world-class museums run by Yale University, like the Yale University Art Gallery. The restaurant scene is also amazing, with such hard-to-find additions like Ethiopian, Laotian, and Moroccan to go with the more common Connecticut fare of French and Italian.
And New Haven and the surrounding beach towns play host to some of the best beaches in Connecticut. It may not be swimming weather, but a contemplative walk along the CT shoreline is a popular New England winter activity.
New Haven is also the site of the largest indoor ropes course in America. And if indoor ropes or walking around the city parks or hiking trails don’t appeal to you? Powder Ridge Mountain is only about a half-hour drive away for some of the best downhill skiing or snowboarding in the area, among many winter activities.
The capital of Connecticut is also worth a visit.
The added benefit is that no one goes to Hartford on weekends in the winter. So you can take advantage of cheap hotel rates and snatch up a Connecticut king bed suite for less than you would in the summer.
As it befits a state capital, there are plenty of impressive things to do in Hartford.
A few favorite indoor options include:
- Wadsworth Atheneum
- New Britain Museum of Art in nearby New Britain
- The house in which Mark Twain wrote such famous works as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Powder Ridge is still close-by, as it’s a half-hour drive from Hartford, heading south.
How Else Can You Enjoy Winter in Connecticut?
There are plenty of options!
Check out some of our other guides:
- Things to do in CT in December
- Winter activities in Connecticut
- The best places to visit in Connecticut in the winter
- Top attractions, activities, and things to do in Greenwich in winter
Updated and republished: July 25, 2023