Conn. (WTNH) — Warm weather means it’s time to get outside and experience Connecticut!

June 21 marks the official start of summer, and whether you’re looking to get out and adventure through the wilderness at a state park, taste-test at wineries across the state, spend a day at a zoo or amusement park, or head to a waterpark to cool-down in the heat, we’ve got you covered.

Amusement Parks

A lifeguard in the waterpark | Photo courtesy Lake Compounce

It’s peak season at amusement parks! Visit Lake Compounce in Bristol or Quassy in Middlebury for family-friendly rides, thrill-seeking rollercoasters, and a day full of splashes at the waterpark.

Mini Golfing

Safari Golf | Photo courtesy Olivia Perreault

Get out and hit the (mini) golf courses across the state — perfect for a family-fun activity or a date night. Check out Southington’s new Dingers Mini Golf, the quirky Safari Golf in Berlin, or the monster-themed Cave in Bethel.


Gillette Castle | Photo courtesy Olivia Perreault

Connecticut is home to some amazing sites that are a must-see. Pretend you’re royalty and visit Castle Craig in Meriden or East Haddam’s Gillette Castle, watch the beautiful streams at Kent Falls and Middlefield’s Wadsworth Falls, or take a stroll throughout the Olde Mistick Village.

Summer Festivals & Fairs

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The summer months are jam-packed with dozens of festivals and fairs across the state. Whether you’re looking to see some crafts, buy flowers, or chomp on some oysters, there’s a festival for you. There’s even the option to go back in time to the Middle Ages at Robin Hood’s Medieval Faire in Harwinton.

Drive-in Movie Theaters

(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

While drive-in theaters have dwindled across Connecticut, the tradition is still alive! Grab some friends and family, pile into a car, and watch a few movies outside under the stars. Click here to see the released movie schedules.

Outdoor Summer Concerts

Bridgeport’s Hartford HealthCare Amphitheatre | Photo courtesy Olivia Perreault

Summer means music festival season! In Connecticut, you can see Stamford’s Alive at Five series or Powder Ridge Mountain Park’s music series in Middlefield. Is chill more your style? Groove at the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz or Podunk Bluegrass Festival in Goshen. This year also marks Lake Compounce’s first summer concert series since the ’90s — featuring a new floating stage on the lake.

Kick-back and relax on a lawn chair at Hartford’s XFINITY Theatre or get up in the pit at Westville Music Bowl in New Haven while seeing your favorite artists perform this summer. See each outdoor venue’s event calendar below:

Wineries & Breweries

(Getty Images)

Explore the Connecticut Wine Trail across the state, or have a picnic at a vineyard like Gouveia in Wallingford. Looking for something a little out-of-the-box? Newsylum Brewing in Newington is on the grounds of an abandoned asylum — and has drink-names to match the spooky aesthetic.

Outdoor Adventures

Brownstone Adventure Sports Park | File photo

Summer is, after all, the best time to go on adventures. You can participate in outdoor activities like the Berlin Batting Cages or zipline at Brownstone Adventure Sports Park, pick-your-own fruit at Lyman Orchards, or take a cruise to the Thimble Islands.

Go a little outside-the-box and take a goat on a full moon walk at Bradley Farm, browse books at the outdoor Book Barn, or try out your bidding at the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market.

Zoos & Aquariums

Photo courtesy Mystic Aquarium

Now that school is out, it’s a great idea to take the kids to a zoo or aquarium in the state. Paint with a sea lion at Mystic Aquarium, see a 4D experience at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, or hang out with a sloth at Trumbull’s SeaQuest.

Connecticut State Parks

Kent Falls | Photo courtesy Olivia Perreault

Is relaxing on the beach or hiking more your style? Chill out on the beaches of Hammonasset State Park or Rocky Neck State Park and go kayaking at Squantz Pond in New Milford. Check out the waterfalls at Lover’s Leap in Yantic and hike to the top of Sleeping Giant State Park to see a castle!

You can even dig for gems and learn about prehistoric times at the Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.

See the full list of Connecticut’s 142 state parks and forests here, offering something for everyone.