Rain and Shine, Mystic Connecticut is a great vacation destination for the whole family.
Thirty years ago we took our daughter to Mystic Connecticut on vacation. A mere hour and a half from Boston, it was a great destination for a day trip or longer. She loved Mystic Seaport http://www.mysticseaport.org (in a time before animation and internet technology) where she could use the same tools and learn about the adventures of early settlers. Last weekend we returned to Mystic with our daughter and our year old grandson for his first vacation, and it was amazing to see how much our daughter still loved to board the boats and stroll back through time. Together they “built a boat”, with my grandson enjoying picking out the pieces for his mommy to glue. The $5.00 charge was well worth the activity, as he was able to use all the materials created a memory for all of us. He loved boarding the boats with his mommy and pointing out all the boats passing by.
Our grandson was mesmerized by the lighthouse presentation as his eyes moved from screen to screen.
There was so much to do at the Mystic Seaport Ship and Museum, from The Discovery Barn to the Art Spot. Hours could be spent in the Children’s Museum complete with Sailor clothes and bunks to jump in to. The planetarium drew very large crowds judging from all the strollers parked outside. The Australia Beach allows the children to wade in and discover various species.
Hotel and restaurant choices in Mystic are excellent. The town offers Hiltons, Hyatt’s, Howard Johnsons and Holiday Inns. The Mystic Seaport Marriott (in Groton) is one of our favorites. It hosts an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa. There are accommodations for all budgets and discounts are offered with the Mystic Pass http://www.mystic.org/events-discounts/mystic-pass. Restaurant choices are also plentiful; we discover two great restaurants which were Kid Friendly, Go Fish http://gofishct.com and Ten Clams http://www.jtkmanagement.com (nothing on the menu is over$9.95).
The next day we headed to the Mystic Aquarium, http://www.mysticaquarium.org/ which is mostly outside. Although it was pouring rain, the Aquarium was mobbed. We headed to the Titanic Exhibit and were able to watch the discovered remains via video from the salvage ships. Fossils with the remains of the passenger’s shoes were on display along with the replica of the communication center. A trip down below was a replica of the engine room and was able to operate values and sound the horns.
Moving on to the indoor exhibits revealed the shark tank, Jelly fish exhibit and sea lions. So many different species fascinated even the youngest of children, waving at the fish as they swim by. There were so many activities, 3-D SpongeBob movie, feeding the stingrays and the Nautilus Live Theater. But the African Penguins stole the show , climbing on to the wall for feeding and entertaining the crowd. Even our One year old grandson and his grandfather thoroughly enjoyed the Aquarium and did not want to leave the fish behind.
Mystic Connecticut has so much to offer, including children’s camp activities such as Terra Firma Farm, Stonington and Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic, which allow parents to provide wonderful opportunities for their children and some adult time for themselves.
And a short drive to New London offers Ocean Beach with a step back to the 50’s boardwalk complete with a Carousel. Planning a vacation week in the Mystic area has so much to offer for all ages, including the parents and grandparents. And it never hurts to learn a little history and science with all that fun.