Little Kid, Mid-Sized City Part I: Kids Activities in New Haven, CT


You have finally gotten used to lugging your tyke’s stroller down the subway stairs, maneuvering his or her giant backpack through mid-town traffic at rush hour. Now it’s time to give your self a break from the big city.

In the first of our four kids activity guides that support a kinder, gentler pace, perfect for family travels, New Haven offers weekend fun for everyone—free museums, a kid-friendly Fiesta Latina party, a new cozy, modern hotel— with a rhythm that will be just right for the pint-sized members of your crew.

Why It’s a Fun Family Field Trip
Yale University’s deeply endowed pockets have blessed this city with a wealth of museums. The big draw for families is The Peabody Museum of Natural History. Dinosaur fans will be smiling big when they enter the Great Hall of Dinosaurs, home to the museum’s collection of dinosaur skeletons and to a huge mural of, you guessed it, dinosaurs. The Discovery Room houses a colony of leaf-cutter ants that you can view going about their busy days through clear plastic tubes. Colorful Poison dart frogs are attention getting. Fiesta Latina will take place on Saturday, October 2. Latin American cultures will be celebrated with music, dance, crafts and storytelling for kids of all ages. A new hands-on exhibit, Black Holes: Space Warps and Time Twists, is set to open on October 9th. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for kids 3-18.

The Yale Center for British Art greets visiting families with an interactive Family Gallery Activity pack that should keep the kids engaged. Yale University Art Gallery presents the 2nd Sunday Family program: Stories and Art on the second Sunday of each month at 1pm. Gallery staff members read folktales from around the globe and relate them to various works of art in the collection. Drawing materials are provided. These museums are free of charge.

Where to Snuggle
The Study at Yale is a new hotel in town and tiny techies should enjoy its communal Mac, located in the lobby. The whole family will like the free seasoned popcorn and drinks served in the lobby each afternoon. Parents will like that while it is kid-friendly, it clearly aims to please adults. It is stylish and centrally located on Chapel Street, within walking distance of most major restaurants and attractions.

What to Eat
As New Yorker’s are often weaned from the bottle straight to pizza, New Haven’s plethora of pizzerias should mean even fussy eaters will find a pie to satisfy. Choose Sally’s Apizza or Frank Pepe, or try them both. Claire’s Corner Copia is an organic (and gluten-free) food haven and the place to go for inspired vegetarian cuisine, a great breakfast and Claire’s famous Lithuanian Coffee Cake, often served by the charming owner herself.

How to get there: Metro North New Haven line to New Haven in 90 minutes. Consult offMetro’s Public Transportation Guide to New Haven for travel alternatives.

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  • Mary Anne

    Thanks for the suggestions. I didn’t know how many cool attractions there were in New Haven. It’s great to hear about an easily accessible city that is usually not written up by travel websites. I’m looking forward to trying the pizza!

  • Kim

    There are lots of great things to do with kiddos while visiting New Haven! I recommend checking out for lists of current events and other happenings in the area. It’s a great resource that local parents love.