12 Things To Do With Family In Waterbury, Connecticut

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Waterbury, Connecticut, known as the “Brass City,” offers plenty of fun activities for families visiting the area. From educational museums to outdoor adventures, there are options to entertain kids of all ages. The diverse attractions showcase local history while also providing modern entertainment.

This article features 12 top picks for family-friendly things to do in Waterbury. It covers popular destinations like kid-centric museums as well as hidden gems of the area. With award-winning parks, unique tours and interactive exhibits, parents can easily fill a weekend itinerary. Read on for the best family fun Waterbury has to offer!

Explore the Fascinating Time Machine Museum

The Time Machine Museum provides an interactive journey through different historical eras. This museum features an Egyptian tomb exhibit, medieval castle section and a 1950’s Main Street among other themed areas. Kids can view artifacts from the past and dress up in costumes for a hands-on experience.

With over 9000 square feet of exhibits, visitors learn about various time periods that shaped history. The museum also hosts regular kids’ events and summer camps for additional educational opportunities. Parents appreciate the engaging atmosphere that makes learning history fun. It’s one of the top places to take kids interested in the past.

Tour the Beautiful Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden

For a glimpse into the elegant lifestyle of the 1910’s, visit the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden. This historic property allows guests to tour the ornate French-style home of prominent 20th century owner Caroline Ferriday. The 9 acre estate also features stunning English and French landscape gardens blooming spring through fall.

Families walk away feeling inspired by the dedication and philanthropy of homeowner Caroline. Children also enjoy exploring the extravagant rooms throughout the mansion as well as strolling through the meticulously tended gardens outside. It makes for an educational and relaxing afternoon.

Watch a Planetarium Show at the Timexpo Museum

At the Timexpo Museum, visitors learn about Waterbury’s history as the “Watch Capital of the World.” Exhibits trace the growth of the watch industry from its early days to current innovations. Guests even observe watchmakers crafting timepieces firsthand in the museum’s workshop.

In addition to watch-related displays, the Timexpo features an impressive vintage toy collection. Kids can view over 1500 historic playthings dating back to 1840. The museum also houses a planetarium with space-themed shows entertaining guests of all ages. Families come away with an appreciation for local history and a glimpse into the night sky.

Explore the Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center

The Mattatuck Museum provides families with an in-depth look at Waterbury’s art and historical heritage. Exhibits highlight the colonial roots, early American industrialism and immigration patterns that shaped the city. Visitors also peruse the museum’s sizable art collection ranging from classic to contemporary works.

The family-friendly atmosphere makes the Mattatuck a popular spot for parents and kids. Younger guests enjoy special programs like storytime in the galleries. Older children appreciate the hands-on art studio allowing creative exploration. And the diverse exhibits educate visitors of all ages on the area’s rich cultural legacy. A trip to the Mattatuck promises arts appreciation suitable for the whole family.

Hike the Trails of Fulton Park

For fresh air and scenic valley views, Fulton Park makes an excellent family destination. This Waterbury park spans over 130 acres filled with appealing amenities. Nature trails provide opportunities for short hikes alongside woodlands and wetlands. The park even features an outdoor amphitheater hosting concerts in summer.

Kids also flock to Fulton Park’s large playground and splash pad area. Watch them burn energy clambering over equipment and cooling off in the fountains. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the picnic pavilions after working up an appetite. Thanks to this park’s variety of activity options, visitors build fun memories hiking, playing and relaxing by the lake.

Get Active at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark

The popular Quassy Amusement & Waterpark promises thrill rides, pools and entertainment perfect for families. The amusement park section features over two dozen rides from mild to extreme appealing to all ages. Families race go-karts, spin on a classic carousel or brave hair-raising rollercoasters together.

To cool down, head to Quassy’s massive waterpark with pools, towering slides and a lazy river. Parents watch young ones splash in the children’s splash pad while teens enjoy looping waterslides nearby. With dining options plus games and events, Quassy easily fills an entire day or weekend with amusement park excitement. Families return year after year drawn by the endless family-friendly attractions.

Tour the Unique Carousel Museum

For a one-of-a-kind museum experience, visit the New England Carousel Museum showcasing historic merry-go-rounds. Displayed across 5000 square feet, this family destination features beautifully-preserved carousel animals dating from the 1800’s to present. Visitors of all ages admire the handcrafted horses and admire the intricate details distinguishing each.

In addition to viewing, kids can actually ride select carousel figures housed in a pavilion. This rare opportunity teaches children about preservation while creating special memories. The Carousel Museum also hosts interactive demonstrations and events focused on carousel culture. Thanks to the blend of education and nostalgia, this museum delights multiple generations.

See a Show at Seven Angels Theatre

Known for outstanding community theater productions, Seven Angels Theatre provides professional-quality shows at family-friendly prices. Musicals dominate the performance schedule appealing to kids and parents alike. Recent popular picks include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Elf the Musical based on the Christmas film.

Before select matinee shows, children participate in 7 Minutes with the Angels activities like costume contests or acting out scenes. Kids feel engaged while gaining exposure to the performing arts. Seven Angels also hosts summer theatre camps for budding young actors. With opportunities on and off stage, Seven Angels Theatre entertains and inspires entire families.

Go Back in Time at the Silas Bronson Library

Constructed in the 1920s, Silas Bronson Library’s elaborate Romanesque Revival style building looks plucked from the past. Visitors admire the arched entranceways, decorative tilework and soaring ceilings as soon as they enter. The expansive rooms overflow with book collections sure to spark kids’ literary interests.

Don’t miss the library’s impressive antique clock tower containing a 1902 Seth Thomas clock. Children can even view the mechanics in action on special behind-the-scenes tours. From poetry readings to chess clubs and origami lessons, the library hosts regular family events as well. Thanks to the immersive historical atmosphere paired with modern activities, the Silas Bronson Library makes a top destination for local families.

Tour the Grounds of Abbey of Regina Laudis

Nestled alongside woodlands, the tranquil grounds of Abbey of Regina Laudis provide a peaceful excursion. Visitors explore walking paths passing through meadows, gardens and shrines. This scenic 400 acre property owned by an order of Benedictine nuns plans special free tours on select Sunday afternoons.

Families take in the natural and architectural beauty during their stroll. The abbey’s stone buildings harboring bells, mosaics and stained glass windows contrast beautifully with the rural surroundings. Children can visit resident farm animals like sheep, donkeys and goats in designated petting areas too. With plenty of photo opportunities and creature encounters, Regina Laudis’ open house events become a memorable part of family trips.

Have a Picnic at Library Park

Positioned alongside Waterbury’s Silas Bronson Library, aptly named Library Park occupies a prime spot downtown. Well-manicured lawns, flowering trees and a charming footbridge over its pond create an idyllic setting for an afternoon picnic. After assembling sandwiches and snacks, families find plenty of shaded tables and benches waiting under the mature oaks.

When kids finish eating, they clamor over to the park’s large playground complete with climbing equipment and swings. Parents can relax while children run free in the safety of the fenced area. Interactive elements like oversized chess, checkers and Connect Four games located in the park also appeal to a wide age range. Thanks to its convenience and family-friendly amenities, Library Park allows easy, affordable picnicking fun.

Shop ‘Til You Drop on the Palace Theater Block

The area surrounding Waterbury’s Palace Theater contains several blocks ideal for family-focused shopping and dining. Retro candy stores like IT’SUGAR overload kids with gummy bears and chocolate treats. Parents appreciate the fashionable boutiques and gift shops lining the bricked streets too.

Families refuel at restaurants like inside the old-fashioned freight house Shebeen Brewing Company. The occasional horse and buggy ambling by adds to the historic downtown charm. And convenient parking garages make navigating the Palace block smooth and stress-free. By the end of the afternoon, the whole family leaves satisfied with bags full of sweet souvenirs.

Conclusion


With such diverse museums, attractions and recreational areas, Waterbury offers no shortage of family fun. Kids find plenty to keep them engaged from theater performances to thrill rides and splash pads. Parents enjoy the combination of entertainment and local history. And the beautiful parks and gardens provide relaxing backdrops for picnics and strolls together.

From toddlers to teens, Waterbury delivers activities suitable for children of every age to enjoy. Families consistently walk away with new shared memories looking forward to their next visit. When planning an upcoming Connecticut family getaway, make sure to add these top things to do in Waterbury to your itinerary!

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