Christmas Week Day Trip Ideas in Connecticut

The New England Air Museum

The New England Air Museum is an amazing, must-see destination with more than a dozen aircraft and helicopters that you can go right up to, and that’s before you even get indoors!

It’s hard to explain how extensive the museum is. Aircrafts and antique cars fill two enormous hangars, and you’ll see everything from a replica of the Red Baron’s primitive triplane to modern gliders. Of course, much of their exhibits show military history, but you’ll find an space capsule, flight simulator video games, and plenty of strange devices that look more like death traps than flying machines! It must have taken a ton of courage to fly in them.

Part of the reason the museum has such an extensive collection — nearly 100 aircraft — is because of Pratt & Whitney, the Connecticut company that makes aircraft engines and clearly donated much of what’s on display. My favorite? The skycrane, which is a beefed up helicopter turned all Transformer.

Oh! And they have “Open Cockpit Sundays”, where you get to actually climb into some of the planes!

Find New England Air Museum open for holiday vacation fun the week of December 26-30, where kids can build planes from Legos and climb into cockpits.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

I guess there’s no avoiding this, so I’ll just say it outright. First, visit the Mark Twain House in Hartford. But the Harriet Beecher Stowe house is just a few steps away and is remarkable as well! Stowe came before Twain, but they did know each other, and were neighbors. She’s the famous American author best known for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which helped turn popular sentiment against slavery and may have sparked the Civil War.

I’ve been on tons of tours of historic homes, and most of them aren’t really placed into context. Do you know what I mean? Who cares if Uncle George or Cousin Debbie slept in this or that bed? What I really want to learn is what was it like to live in the 19th century, and I’m glad to say that I found the tour at the Harriet Beecher Stowe house fascinating. Even though my friend and I were at the end of a long day and hardly in the mood to stand on our feet for an hour, we were eager to see it all!

This Christmas season, you’ll will find a ton of kids’ activities from December 26-28.

Hartford Holiday Light Fantasia

We also checked out the holiday lights in Hartford. Unfortunately, we missed the Hartford Festival of Light, but did get to see the Holiday Light Fantasia. You drive through this one, and they have a few dioramas with lights, but it was small. If you are already in the area, it is worth a visit, but if you are seeking an adventure, aim for the Bright Night at Forest Park in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.

This holiday season, don’t just sit around at home. And you don’t have to fly far away to see foreign lands. Use this chance to explore New England. There’s so much to see!