When you don’t want to trouble yourself with booking hotels or packing everything under the sun, day trips are a great way to explore an area. With prolonged daytime, summer is the perfect season for day trips if you can avoid getting caught to holiday traffic. One such trip we took was to the sea ports in Connecticut on beautiful summer day with our very curious five month old.
When picking a location for a day trip, you want to set a limit for the amount of travel time. About two hours each way is a reasonable amount of travel that also gives us plenty of time to explore the area, have a meal and engage in an activity. When traveling with a baby we also choose the drive time to coincide with his nap time.
If you are planning to meet up with friends or relatives, picking a midway point is a great way to make the trip convenient for everyone. Connecticut tends to be our favorite state for day trips as it is midway between New York (our home state) and Massachusetts, where my in-laws live. These day trips offer grandparents a glimpse into the baby’s development when overnight trips are logistically complicated.
Lunch in Stonington
We visited Stonington, a nice little fishing village by the sea. With a small downtown this quiet town was perfect for visit with a new baby. There are several restaurants for outdoor dining with a waterfront view. If you go on a Sunday, be prepared to wait for a while as most restaurants may not take reservations. It also heps to pick a place with onsite parking as the street parking maybe hard to find on a busy weekend.
Visiting Olde Mistick Village
After lunch we headed over to Olde Mistick Village, an outdoor shopping area in the neighboring town of Mystic. This was a cluster of shops set in an old New England village style setting. The shops were in individual house like colonial buildings nestled among trees and connected by paved, stroller friendly pathways. Since some of the stores were not large enough to navigate with a stroller, we took turns browsing or did window shopping. The duck pond and the waterwheel helped to complete the look of an early American village. Feeding the ducks by buying bird food from a nearby store was the highlight for our little one.
Known to be a favorite spot of locals and visitors alike, we noted several families visiting. Parents with strollers were taking leisurely strolls. Older kids were playing outside while adults spent time visiting independent stores that carried craft items and specialty foods from around the world. Restaurants and snack shops are also onsite. There were several shaded areas with benches where we could sit and relax, have a snack or feed the baby comfortably. We enjoyed some ice cream from a farm shop to ward off the summer heat.
Open year around, Olde Mistick Village also hosts a variety of events and live performances on the weekends. On a hot summer day it is nice to discover an area where entertainment and comfort can be easily found without having to navigate crowds in a busy downtown.