Are you looking for a family-friendly weekend getaway? Mystic, CT is an easy weekend getaway destination for people in the New York metro area. You might have heard of Mystic, CT. Maybe from Julia Roberts’ movie, Mystic Pizza? Mystic is only a two-hour drive from New York and offers some great sites for kids. Here are some family-friendly itineraries if you are looking for a New York weekend getaway to Mystic, CT.
Where to Stay
We always stay at the Hilton Mystic which is across the street from the Mystic Aquarium and the Olde Mistick Village. We like it because it is convenient to two great Mystic attractions. Plus the hotel was recently renovated so it is nice to come back to a newly renovated room.
Weekend in Mystic, CT with Kids
Day 1: Mystic Aquarium and Olde Mistick Village
For us, the Mystic Aquarium is the main reason we go to Mystic. My kids can spend the entire day at the aquarium. It is a big aquarium with 4D movies, a Sea Lion show, and numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits. Our favorite exhibit is probably the Beluga whale tank. The Beluga whales are so friendly and playful, you can spend a lot of time watching and interacting with the whales. The penguins are a must visit and my kids just love watching them swim back and forth. It’s also great because you can see the penguins from the surface level and underwater. Also, make sure you don’t miss the Sea Lion show, so check the showtimes and plan your visit around that. The Sea Lion show is set on a big stage and is highly entertaining. After the show, you should stop by the indoor exhibit to see the sea lions swim. We also love the short 4D movies and always try to catch a show before leaving the aquarium.
Definitely visit the Olde Mistick Village since it is located right next door to the aquarium. It is a quaint outdoor colonial-style village with shops and restaurants with an interesting assortment of small, local shops. It’s fun to stroll around and wander into random stores. There are stores that sell kites, creative toys, artisan honey, handmade crafts and much more. It’s not an outdoor mall with typical chain stores. They also have a duck pond that the kids will love.
For lunch, you can either come out and have lunch at one of the restaurants at the Olde Mistick Village or eat in the aquarium. For dinner, if everyone is tired, you can take it easy and dine at one of the restaurants at Olde Mistick Village since it’s across the street from the hotel. We like Go Fish or Steak Loft.
Day 2: Mystic Drawbridge, downtown Mystic and Mohegan Sun
We usually spend the morning of Day 2 back in the aquarium since it is just across the street from the hotel. Then we head to downtown Mystic for a late lunch. We love Mystic Pizza. The thick crust, pan pizza is unique and delicious. For fans of Mystic Pizza the movie, you are in luck because TV screens play the movie on an endless loop. After lunch, we head over to Mystic Drawbridge ice cream. The kids enjoy their ice cream while watching the traffic and the drawbridge. If you are lucky, the drawbridge will come up, the kids will get a thrill from watching the drawbridge in action!
Before driving back home, we like to stop in Mohegan Sun. It is surprisingly fun to visit with kids. There is a lot to see in Mohegan Sun from the animatronic wolves to the dramatic indoor waterfalls to the stores in The Shop (their mall). There is also an arcade. If you want to hit the casino, they have Kids Quest where you can drop off your kids for babysitting from 6 weeks to 12 years old (although I’ve never tried the babysitting services). Mohegan Sun is also a great place for dinner, lots of kid-friendly restaurants to choose from- Chick-Fil-A to Frank Pepe pizza to Bobby’s Burger Palace to Johnny Rocket’s to Seasons buffet.
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