10 Fun Things to do in New London, Connecticut

Are you thinking of visiting New London, Connecticut and you wonder what there is to do in this city? Here are 10 fun thing to do and see if you are visiting New London, Connecticut. From painting to baking, theater and the ocean, New London has something for everyone. While there are way more than 10 things to do in the New London County area, we think these should definitely be on your bucket list.

The Drunken Pallette New London, Connecticut

The Drunken Pallette- This is the perfect outing for just about anyone in your group. Bring the wine, and The Drunken Pallette supplies the paint! Located at 259 State Street in New London, this wonderful blend of creativity and fun began in 2011, and since then, they have seen more than 37,000 visitors to date!

Whether you are experienced painter or don’t know how to hold a brush head on in for a unique and exciting experience unlike any you have ever seen. Alcohol is not required, but your favorite beverage is always allowed! Come alone or in a group for a paint party you will never forget! Be sure to check Groupon before you schedule, as they frequently have hot deals to be found! thedrunkenpalette.com

The Cake Lady Cupcake Decorating Classes New London

The Cake Lady Cake and Cupcake Decorating Classes– If you haven’t been to The Cake Lady, you are missing out! Offering a wide selection of cupcakes and ready to go cakes, find the perfect on the go selection for your party or event. They also offer custom-made cakes with a minimum of 5 days notice.

Looking for fun classes to take? The Cake Lady offers cupcake and cake decorating classes on site! Classes are typically welcome to all ages, but children must be accompanied for the duration of the class. Held approximately twice a month, find their current event schedule on Facebook or on their website. Please note, all classes require reservations and prepayment to attend. thecakeladycafe.com

The Garde Arts Center- The Garde Arts Center was created in 1985 as a non-profit performing arts organization in order to save and reuse the historic Garde Theatre, one of the few remaining historic movie palaces in Connecticut. Built in 1926 during the golden era of motion pictures and vaudeville theatres, the recently restored Moroccan interior of the Garde Theatre, along with the new seats and state-of-the-art stage equipment, provide a very audience-friendly theatre venue in a warm and beautiful atmosphere.

Today the Garde is becoming nationally recognized for its unique architecture and multi-faceted programming. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming performances, always featuring performances for a variety of ages and palettes. gardearts.org

Ocean Beach State Park New London, Connecticut

Ocean Beach State Park- During warm weather we are always looking for a place to cool down! Look no further then Ocean Beach, one of New England’s finest sugar sand beaches. Along with a beautiful half mile beach and boardwalk, there are endless attractions, entertaining for all ages.

Head over to the amusement rides or arcade to entertain your kiddos, or come with your friends to play a round of mini-golf after a filling lunch at The Sandbar Cafe. Ocean Beach State Park also features triple water slides, nature walks to appease the environmentalist in your group, and an Olympic sized pool for those looking to avoid the sea weed and salt water. ocean-beach-park.com

Muddy Waters Cafe – A hot spot for local college students, enjoy a hot cup of coffee or come with friends to grab a bite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Known for their famous garlic-packed Love Salad, they also have a large selection of specials that change daily!

Muddy Waters has been an integral part of the New London community since 2004 and offer cafe-style tables, comfy armchairs, a piano if you are feeling musical, and even a fireplace! Be sure to check out the deck for water side dining during the warmer months. facebook.com/MuddyWatersNewLondon

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum- Established in 1932, as a gift from Harriet Allyn, today is houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present. View artworks from all over the world, as well as an impressive collection of American Paintings, and Victorian toys and doll houses.

Be sure to visit the sculpture trail outside that highlights ten large scale works within view of twelve acres of lawns and gardens. Guided tours, self-guided exploration, and large groups are always welcome. Be sure to keep an eye out on their website and Facebook page for fun activities for the family including festivals, author visits and more! lymanallyn.org

Cross Sound Ferry Light House Cruises- Come enjoy the history of New England and Long Island when you take one of two amazing tours aboard a comfortable high-speed SEA JET. Choose from two tours, the Classic Lighthouse cruise or The Lights and Sights cruise.

The Classic Lighthouse Cruise includes nine lighthouses from New London to Long Island and two Revolutionary-era forts. The Lights and Sights Cruise makes a stop at eight lighthouses from the coast out of New London harbor, the waterfronts of Watch Hill, RI, and the coast of Fishers Island, NY.  Tours run from April through November. longislandferry.com

Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock-  Featured in Food Network Magazine and dozens of other publications, this is one Fish Shack you won’t want to miss. The Captain Scott setting features picnic tables – covered and uncovered – by the water  and is BYOB. You can feast on succulent (hot or cold) lobster rolls, followed by steamers, fried whole-belly clams, scallops or lobsters, and two kinds of chowdah. If coming during the warmer months be prepared for long, long waits. Make sure you use GPS because this place can be tricky to find! captscottsnl.com

New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum- With both the Navy Base in Groton and the largest producer of submarines in the country located just one town over, it’s no surprise that New London is filled with Naval History for tourists to enjoy.

One such example is the New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum, located on 150 Bank Street, serving as a local museum covering the city’s rich maritime history. Exhibits include New London’s maritime history, ship models, the Amistad affair, the history of the Robert Mills building, and regional lighthouses. They offer lectures and also cruises. Check the schedule on their website for upcoming events. nlmaritimesociety.org

 Connecticut College Arboretum- Take a self-guided tour anytime of the year to admire more than 1,300 trees that adorn the grounds of the Connecticut College Arboretum. This beautiful property is open to the public from dawn to dusk and parking is free at the main entrance on Williams Street.

Explore the Arboretum with free interactive maps that you pick up at the main entrance on Williams Street that will help you identify woody plants in the Native Plant Collection, Caroline Black Garden and Connecticut College campus. The first and second Sunday of each month from May through November enjoy free guided tours with knowledgeable docents. During the summer months, “Music in the Meadow” outdoor concerts on the lawn are family-friendly. Bring your own lawn chairs, blankets and picnic or you may purchase food from local food trucks. conncoll.edu

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