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Best Things to do in East Lyme & Niantic, CT

Best Things to do in East Lyme & Niantic, CT

Looking for some fun family activities in the East Lyme and Niantic, Connecticut area? We’ve got you covered! We’ll include a few indoor and outdoor activities that are sure to please everyone.

Niantic Bay Boardwalk

This boardwalk is popping during the summer months! Come early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds and enjoy the coastal views. You may think boardwalks are seasonal but we think that boardwalks and beaches are sometimes the most beautiful in the winter or spring when they are mostly deserted. You have the whole place to yourself. All you need to do is bundle up and bring a thermos of hot chocolate. Also, this boardwalk is super close to downtown Niantic and all the shops and restaurants. Perfect way to enjoy a beach day and then just walk a couple of blocks to get dinner.

Niantic Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is a hands-on, interactive, educational place for children ages 9 and under to let their imaginations soar. Explore the Discovery Room featuring the Museum’s resident critters and science-based activities. Visit the Imagination Station and pilot a fishing boat, build skyscrapers with giant foam blocks, hop into an authentic fire truck cab, or explore the global market. Outdoor areas delight youngsters with a real treehouse, obstacle course, whale drum, climbing wall, performing stage, and kid-sized zipline! Open year-round. This is one of the best attractions in Niantic, CT.

Rocky Neck State Park

Rocky Neck is a popular spot for camping, hiking, and fishing. There are 160 wooded and open campsites within walking distance of the beach. A network of trails throughout the park offers many easy and interesting walks, with views of the ocean, salt marsh, and such points of interest as Baker’s Cave.

With a tidal river to the west and a broad salt marsh on the eastern edge, the park attracts many resident and migrating birds throughout the season, including osprey, cranes, and herons. Mackerel, striped bass, blackfish, and flounder are also abundant. One of the best outdoor playgrounds in East Lyme, CT.

The historic stone Ellie Mitchell Pavilion dominates the park’s western shoreline. In the 1930s, relief agencies constructed the curved masonry building of native materials and crafted supporting pillars with wood cut from each of the state parks and forests.

The Book Barn

Containing over 500,000 used & rare books as well as cats, gardens, farm animals & more, a bibliophile’s bliss awaits at the Book Barn in Niantic, CT. It’s a menagerie for sure. You will find an information booth at the entrance to the Main Barn, where you can look for your favorite subjects, or pick up a brochure that will guide you throughout the property. Their friendly staff are always open to questions and are available to assist you if you become overwhelmed. It’s a great place to spend a rainy day. Even people who don’t consider themselves to be readers or book lovers will find this place enchanting! 

Barn for Artistic Youth

The BAY (Barn for Artistic Youth) is a private art studio located in Niantic (behind the main Book Barn) that provides weekly art lessons to kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, and home school students. Adult lessons, Mommy/Daddy & Me classes, parties, and special events are also offered.

Summer art programs at the BAY are designed for students in grades 1 through 12. Each week focuses on an artistic theme and materials appropriate to that particular age group. All programs provide a structured environment with two experienced artist-teachers who will creatively challenge the students. This summer all weekly themes include work in various mediums to take advantage of the long studio sessions that summer programs provide.

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