34 Things to Do in Connecticut This January

Looking for something to do in Connecticut in January? Whether you want something active, relaxing, cultural or nature-oriented, we have you covered. Learn more!

Active Adventure

1. Try snowshoeing. Rent snow shoes from Housatonic River Outfitters and hit the Appalachian Trail and Mohawk State Forest. At Winding Trails in Farmington, you can rent snow shoes, skate skis, and  cross-country skis.

2. Take a hike. Don’t let the cold keep you from getting your steps in. Warm up your muscles on any one of Connecticut’s hiking trails

3. Make a skate date. Bundle up and stop by Bushnell Park through January 20th for the 10th Annual Winterfest Hartford for free ice skating lessons and rentals.

4. Take in downhill thrills. Pack up your skis, snowboards and tubes for some downhill fun at Mohawk Mountain Ski Area in Cornwall, Mount Southington Ski Area in Southington, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, or Ski Sundown in New Hartford. 

5. Stride cross-country. Swap the downhill runs for a peaceful glide through nature when cross-country skiing at James Goodwin State Forest in Hampton and White Memorial Conservation Center Museum in Litchfield. 

6. Break the ice. Ready to try ice fishing? For novices, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is offering free lessons throughout the winter. Or try your hand at ice climbing at Ragged Mountain Guides.

Arts and Culture

7. Appreciate the arts. Spend some time indoors admiring works of art in Connecticut. Seek out special exhibitions like “Tradition and the Avant-Garde: Highlights of Ballets Russes Design” at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford or “Hat Madness” at the New Canaan Historical Society

8. Meander a market. Find some fresh and local goodies at the Litchfield Farmers Indoor Market or any of the other various markets that are open all winter long

9. Hear the handbells. The holiday joy keeps ringing through the new year at the Shoreline Ringers concert on January 4. Watch as they perform popular songs and original compositions on handbells and hand chimes. 

10. Follow the footsteps of the Gilmore Girls. If you’re a fan of Rory, Lorelai and Luke, check out the real inspiration for the fictitious town here in Connecticut. 

11. See the stage. Connecticut’s theater season is in full swing. Don’t miss “Pike Street” at Hartford Stage or “Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical” at Playhouse on Park

12. Hit the bullseye. If you want to try something new, challenge your friends, or just unleash some built-up stress, try your hand at axe throwing at Pine and Iron Axe Throwing in Hartford or Blue Ox Axe Throwing in Bridgeport.

Food and Drink Adventures

13. Grab a spoon. Head to Norwalk’s 6th Annual Great Mac & Chili Challenge to enjoy an unlimited sampling of 20 different mac’s and chili’s. Then vote for your favorite to crown a champion.

14. Feast at the fest. Sip and sample vino and signature dishes until your tastebuds are satisfied at the Sun Wine & Food Fest at Mohegan Sun

15. Picture the perfect plate. As they say, your phone eats first! Snap that perfect shot for Instagram before you dig in at these pizzapho or brunch places. 

16. Hop on the healthy trend. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat better, Connecticut has a handful of fresh and local dining spots that will help you meet your goals. 

17. Dine fireside. Toast the cold days and nights hearthside. From pubs and shoreline inns to fine dining, warm up to these destinations

18. Take a bite of history. Experience fine dining in unique repurposed spaces like a gas station, an engine room, a courtroom or many other reimagined spaces throughout the state. 

19. Sample some chocolate. Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and what better way to tell people you love them than with some chocolate? Take a trip down the Chocolate Trail to find the best goodies (and treat yourself while you’re at it!). 

20. Mill about. Connecticut’s roots lie in the milling industry. Many of these old mills have been converted into bustling breweries where you can grab a pint and learn about their history.

Family Fun

21. Make it a hat trick. Hockey season is in full swing! Grab your seats and watch the impressive skills of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena, the Connecticut Whale at the Danbury Ice Arena, and the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center

22. Dig this. When a snow day hits, don’t keep the kids inside! Dig for fossils, race a go-kart, or check a museum off your bucket list. For more fun ideas, check out these family-friendly winter activities

23. Challenge yourself. Test your skills and your nerve indoors at the Thrillz High Flying Adventure Park in Danbury, or break a sweat testing your problem-solving skills at Adventure Rooms in Middletown. 

24. Appreciate train craftsmanship. Admire model trains traveling through tiny towns at the Wilton Historical Society’s Great Train Show or at the Connecticut River Museum’s 26th Annual Holiday Train Show.

25. Visit world-class aquariums. Find sharks in the big tanks, enormously endearing African penguins, beluga whales and a 4-D Theater at Mystic Aquarium. And at the Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk, get up close and personal at the shark and rey touch tank, and catch a nature-themed movie at The IMAX Theatre.  

26. Escape reality. Defend a snow fort without getting your hands cold, or feel the rush of a 190 mile per hour lap around a race track when you put on a virtual reality headset at Xperiment VR in Trumbull and Spark VR in Vernon.

Rest and Relaxation

27. (Re)treat yourself. Find some inner peace through yoga, a spa bath, or a countryside stroll at Meadowbrook Estate’s Wellness Retreat Weekend

28. Find some small-town charm. Discover Connecticut’s winter wonders when you stroll, shop, dine or stay in one of its picturesque towns. Capture the beauty on your camera when you stop by some winter gems

29. Take a digital detox. If 2020 is the year you’re going to spend less time on your devices, take a weekend to focus on unplugging and unwinding in a relaxing destination.

Romantic Escapes

30. Take a winter retreat. Essex, Madison and Greenwich are just a few of Connecticut’s historic and charming towns that offer the perfect winter getaway for you and that special someone. 

31. Feel the fire and ice. Enjoy live music, specialty food and beverages, ice carving demonstrations and more at Saybrook Point Inn, Marina and Spa’s annual Fire and Ice event (age 21+). Make it an overnight with this special package

32. Find a new date spot. Ready to impress your date? Find unique destinations at these fun spots in and around Connecticut cities

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

33. Commemorate Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on January 20, 2020. Head to the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts in Storrs to experience We Shall Overcome, a performance featuring gospel, jazz, Broadway and spirituals.

34. Celebrate diversity through music. Enjoy a live fiddle and guitar concert featuring works from a variety of cultures at the MLK Diversity Celebration of Music at The Storyteller’s Cottage in Simsbury.

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