Imagine taking your family on a journey that opens their eyes to new ideas, sparks their thinking, and helps them to take in the world in new and different ways.This weekend kicks off the 14th Annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut. The festival is the city’s annual gathering of hearts and minds from around the region and around the world. For those who have never attended, it is a remarkable experience with something for everyone.Getting to the festival is easy if you live in Connecticut, the tri-state area, or most points in New England. Most activities take place in the downtown area, which means on the Yale University campus. If you’ve never traveled to the city before, not only will you be enthralled with the festival activities, but you can take in the historic Yale campus and New Haven Green.To list everything going on with the festival here would be impossible. Instead I’ll direct you to the website for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Warning: You may become overwhelmed by the number of choices you’ll have. Take your time and enjoy the selection.I’d like to give you a few pointers below when planning to attend the festival.-Events are either free or require a fee and sometimes even a reservation (for example, theatre performances.) -Decide on a budget in advance and plan accordingly. Remember, you may also want to enjoy a special lunch or dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants in the New Haven area.-Don’t overextend yourselves. Plan a few events but leave plenty of time to walk around an take in the atmosphere and enjoy the area. The festival provides constant stimulation without necessarily you needing to “do” something planned.-Like in any city, parking can be a challenge. I’ve always found New Haven to have plenty of parking garages and lots, and street meters and fees are relatively reasonable. Most Yale students have left for the summer making parking a bit easier during the summer months.-If taking a train is an option, consider hopping on Amtrack or Metro North, destination Union Station. The walk to downtown from the train station is about 10 minutes.-Take in the concerts! This weekend on Saturday, June 13 at 7 p.m. it’s Buckwheat Zydeco & Slavic Soul Party; Sunday, June 14, at 6 p.m. get ready for They Might Be Giants! These concerts are FREE and take place on the New Haven Green. Bring a blanket, food, and beverages, find a plot of space, and get ready to dance! I recommend getting to the green as early as possible to get prime space near the stage. However, even if you end up in the back you may not see well but will certainly hear the music.This is a special festival that brings together the arts from all over the world. I hope you’ll get a chance to at least spend a day – or if you’re traveling into Connecticut for a visit, consider spending time at this unique event.