50 Free Things To Do In Connecticut

Monday, July 4, 2016

As I've said in a previous article, Connecticut can be very expensive and we do our best to take advantage of free or discounted activities, parks, and events throughout Connecticut. I've tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible to fuel your explorations around the Constitution State.

This list is organized by county in Connecticut so hopefully you'll be able to find things in your area! Feel free to add more free or cheap things to do in the comments below or share if you've been to any of these places.

New London County

This list is very focused on New London County because that is where I am from. Sorry!

1. Fort Griswold, Groton
2. Fort Trumbull, New London
3. Harkness Park, free entrance after 6:30 pm, Waterford
4. Saltwater Farms Vineyard, Stonington (free to bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds, but must purchase a glass or bottle of wine)
5. Esker Point Beach Concerts, Groton
6. Connecticut College Arboretum, New London
7. Enjoy a concert at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun (must be 21 years old), Uncasville
8. Indian Leap Falls, Norwich
9. Buttonwood Farms, Griswold
10. Old Town Mill, New London
11. Self-guided art tour in New London
12. Submarine Library and Museum, Groton
13. Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic
14. $5 movies on Tuesday at Gallery Cinemas, Colchester
15. Visit the Cato Corner cheese farm, Colchester
16. Fireworks at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville
17. Walk around Seaside, the grounds of a former mental institution, Waterford
18. Walk along the newly restored Niantic Boardwalk, Niantic
19. Go swimming at Hopeville Pond State Park, Jewett City
20. Maugle Sierra Vineyards, Ledyard (free to bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds, but must purchase a glass or bottle of wine)
21. Bluff Point State Park, Groton
22. Watch apple cider being made at Clydes (seasonal), Mystic
23. Pachaug State Forest's Rhododendron Sanctuary, Voluntown
24. Gungywamp, Groton

Middlesex County

25. Essex Train Station, Essex
26. Devil's Hopyard State Park, Haddam
27. Nehantic State Forest (this is a great place to kayak), Lyme

New Haven County

28. Yale University Tour, New Haven
29. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
30. The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is free (donations are appreciated) on Thursdays from 2-5 pm, New Haven
31. Hubbard Park's Castle Craig Tower, Meriden
32. Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden
33. Silver Stands State Park, Milford

Hartford County

34. Elizabeth Park, Hartford
35. Bushnell Park, Hartford
36. Tours of the CT State Capitol, Hartford
37. New Britain Youth Museum, New Britain

Tolland County

38. William Benton Museum of Art at UCONN
39. Free tours at UCONN (book here)

Everywhere / Multiple Locations

40. State Forests
41. Public libraries near you: public libraries frequently have free events, speakers, classes, and
42. Check out any craft fairs in your area
43. Food festivals in your area
44. Visit historic covered bridges (more information here)
45. Parades
46. Farmers markets: check this list for several options
47. Free days at museums (check museums near you to find free or discounted days)
48. Paved bike and hiking trails: check this list for more options
50. Go for a hike: here is a great list of trails

I'd love to build this list to include other areas of Connecticut. What else can you add to this list?


  1. Yes, you are right Connecticut is truly expensive. I agree with you about taking advantage of free things to enjoy connecticut such as their beautiful parks. I am also very interested with their discounted events, my kids will truly love it.

    1. I hope that you and your family get to take advantage of some of the free and cheaper things to do in Connecticut! There really are so many affordable things to do, it just takes some searching to find them. Enjoy!