kid friendly mystic ct

Kid Friendly Mystic, CT Vacation: Things to Do, Eat, Stay

Are you looking for a kid friendly weekend getaway to Mystic, Connecticut? Mystic is an easy weekend getaway destination from New York City and the surrounding New York metro area. The best part is since Mystic is within driving distance from the New York metro area and Boston metro area, there is no need to deal with the hassle of a plane ride or a ferry ride! Just load your car and drive to Mystic for your family weekend getaway vacation. Mystic is the perfect destination for families, it’s a quaint New England seaside town with many family friendly activities for the kids! Mystic is a short drive from New York City- just a 2 hours and 45 minute drive from New York City (midtown) and 1 hour and 45 minutes from Boston, MA. Here are some family friendly itineraries for your next weekend getaway to Mystic, CT.

Things to Do with Kids in Mystic, CT

There are a lot of things to do with kids in Mystic, CT. Below you will find things to do with kids during your Mystic, CT vacation.

Kid Friendly Things to Do in Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is a must-see when visiting Mystic, CT with kids. For us, one of the main reasons why we love going to Mystic is to see the beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium. Since Mystic is just a two hour drive from our home in the New York suburbs, we go to Mystic a few times a year. We spend the entire day exploring the exhibits at the Mystic aquarium. Unlike the typical aquarium where most exhibits are housed indoors in one building, Mystic Aquarium is more similar to a zoo where some exhibits are indoors while others are located outdoors. Mystic Aquarium is big aquarium with 4D movies, a Sea Lion show, belugas whales, penguins and numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits.

The Beluga Whales at Mystic Aquarium

Our favorite outdoor exhibit at Mystic Aquarium are the Beluga whales. The Beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium is a must visit! The beluga whales are fun and playful. My kids spend a lot of time watching and interacting with the Beluga whales. You will be amazed at how the beluga whales actually come up close to the kids to “play” with them!

The Penguins at Mystic Aquarium

The penguins are also a must visit at the Mystic Aquarium. The penguins exhibit at the Mystic Aquarium is set up so you can view the penguins from above ground and from underwater. From above, you see the penguins on top of rocks sunbathing and diving into the water. While from the underwater viewing area, you can see the penguins underwater swimming. It’s a lot of fun to see the penguins underwater. They are so active, my kids love watching the penguins swim back and forth!

New York Weekend Getaway to Mystic, CT
Feeding Seals at the Mystic Aquarium

The Sea Lions at Mystic Aquarium

Don’t miss the Mystic Aquarium Sea Lion show. The Sea Lion show is highly entertaining for kids of all ages and definitely worth watching. Kids will enjoy the Sea Lions do tricks during the show. They will get a good laugh at the trainers acting silly around the Sea Lions. The Mystic Aquarium Sea Lion show is held indoors at Mystic Aquarium’s Foxwoods Marine Theater. It is a pretty big auditorium with bleacher-type seating. The seats are set up in a way so there are no bad seats, making it a kid-friendly theater.

Indoor Exhibits at Mystic Aquarium

After the Sea Lion show, we usually go through the indoor exhibits. We love the jelly fish tank, sting rays and sharks. We also always make it a point to stop at the Sea Lion underwater viewing area. It’s cool to be able to see the sea lions from the Sea Lion show swim underwater. The indoor aquarium also has some fun interactive activities such as a touch tank, a sand topography interactive game and my kids loved the recycling game where you control grabbers and pick up trash (although this is not a permanent exhibit). Aside from marine animals, the Mystic Aquarium is also a great place to take your kids to if they are into dinosaurs. They will love Jurassic Giants featuring an indoor dinosaur trail with 12 giant animatronic dinosaurs. My son loves life-like T-Rex and Stegosaurus. We also make it a point to catch a 4D movie before leaving Mystic Aquarium. Kids will get a kick out of getting rained on or snowed on during the 4D movie!

Mystic Aquarium at 55 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT

Kid Friendly Things to Do in Olde Mistick Village

Since the Olde Mistick Village is located right next to Mystic Aquarium, we usually make a stop at Olde Mistick Village. The Olde Mistick Village is a quaint outdoor colonial-style village with shops, restaurants and a duck pond.

The Duck Pond at Olde Mistick Village

For my kids, the Olde Mistick Village duck pond is the highlight of our visit. The duck pond is beautifully integrated into the quaint village setting complete with a wooden water wheel.

New York Weekend Getaway to Mystic, CT
Olde Mistick Village

The Shops at Olde Mistick Village

There is also a good assortment of interesting small, local shops (not chain stores). If your kids like Harry Potter, definitely stop in at The Cloak and Wand, a wizarding store at the Olde Mistick Village. You will feel like you walked into a store in Diagon Alley, decorated with magical portraits. The Cloak and Wand sells a good assortments of wands, magical items like unicorn horns and phoenix feathers. There is even a cafe at Cloak and Wand serving potions like Wizarding Beer (their version of Butter Beer). You can wander into The Toy Soldier, an independent toy store in Olde Mistick Village. There are also stores that sells kites, artisan honey, handmade crafts and much more. It’s fun to stroll around Olde Mistick Village. It’s a great place to find unique gifts. The best part about Olde Mistick Village is when the kids need a break from shopping, you can always take them to watch the ducks in duck pond.

The Restaurants and Beer Garden at Olde Mistick Village

There many restaurants in Olde Mistick Village. It’s a great place to go for lunch, dinner or snack. When visiting the Mystic Aquarium, we often have lunch at the restaurants in Olde Mistick Village. The Olde Mistick Village is within walking distance from the Mystic Aquarium. For lunch, Mango’s Wood Fired Pizza is great for pizza and ice cream. The Boardwalk is also kid friendly lunch spot with Chicken Tenders, Corn Dog and Fried Clams. If you want a sweet treat, order the fried funnel cakes and fried Oreos. For dinner, Go Fish, Steak Loft, Pink Basil and The Jealous Monk are great. Go Fish is a good restaurant for fresh seafood and sushi. If you are craving Asian food, Pink Basil will satisfy your craving. For classic steakhouse fare, Steak Loft is a good spot. If you are looking to unwind in a beer garden after a day at the Mystic Aquarium, stop by Olde Mistick Village’s beer garden, The Jealous Monk. The Jealous Monk serves a wide variety of craft beer on tap, pub food fare and a kids menu.

Olde Mistick Village at 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT

Kid Friendly Things to Do in Downtown Mystic

You will love the quaint New England seaside feel of Downtown Mystic. It is also kid friendly- great for watching boats go by Mystic River and the Mystic Drawbridge. There are also lots of restaurants and shops in downtown Mystic.

Watch the Mystic Drawbridge in Action

Kids will get a kick out of watching the Mystic drawbridge in action! The best spot for this is at the Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shop. The Mystic Drawbridge ice cream shop is literally right next to the Mystic drawbridge. It’s a great spot to enjoy your ice cream while taking in the views of Main Street, Mystic River and the Mystic drawbridge. Even if you don’t see the drawbridge in action, your kids will still enjoy watching the boats go by the Mystic River and the hustle and bustle of Main street. Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream at 2 West Main Street, Mystic, CT.

New York Weekend Getaway to Mystic, CT
Watching the drawbridge in action at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream

Take A Stroll Down Main Street

After watching the Mystic Drawbridge in action, take a stroll down Main street and pop into stores. Similar to the shops in Olde Mistick Village, you will not find chain stores on Main street. You will feel like you are on vacation strolling down Mystic’s picturesque downtown.

New York Weekend Getaway to Mystic, CT

Rent a Kayak or Paddle Board in Mystic River

If you are looking for something active to do with kids, kayaking or paddle boarding is a fun, family friendly activity in Mystic. You can rent a kayak or paddle board from Adventure Mystic. Adventure Mystic is located right on Mystic River. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards by the hour or day. Single Kayak rentals start at $25 per hour and Tandem Kayak rentals start at $40 per house. Your kids will enjoy kayaking down Mystic River during your weekend getaway in Mystic, CT. Adventure Mystic is at 15 Holmes Street, Mystic, CT.

Kid Friendly Things to Do in Mystic Seaport

Spend the day with the kids in Mystic Seaport. Mystic Seaport is a maritime museum complete with museum exhibits, ships and a historic village. Your kids will love exploring the recreated 19th century seafaring village. In the village, they can check out the 19th century schoolhouse or get up close to a mid-1800s Fire Engine or visit the blacksmith at the Shipsmith Shop. A major highlight for my kids is climbing aboard the Tall Ships. They love to get onboard the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport Museum is the largest of its kind in the United States. Plus the kids can take a boat ride on Mystic River. You can hop on board one of Mystic Seaport’s scenic cruises and get a tour of the sights along Mystic River. There are also rowboats, sailboats and pedal boats in the Mystic Seaport Boathouse that you can use to explore Mystic River on your own. These boats are available on a first come, first served basis. Mystic Seaport at 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, CT.

mystic seaport
Photo Credit: Mystic Seaport

Take the Kids to Mohegan Sun

On our drive back home, we like to stop at Mohegan Sun. Mohegan Sun is surprisingly fun to visit with kids even if the casino area is off-limits. There is a lot to see in Mohegan Sun from the animatronic wolves to the dramatic indoor waterfalls. We also like walking around the stores at the Mohegan Sun indoor mall. We also usually make a stop at the arcade. If you want to hit the casino, they have Kids Quest where you can drop off your kids for babysitting. The will babysit kids ages 6 weeks to 12 years old (although I’ve never tried the babysitting services). Mohegan Sun is also a great place for dinner before the drive home. There are a lot of kid-friendly restaurants to choose from such as Chick-Fil-A, Frank Pepe pizza, Bobby’s Burger Palace, Johnny Rockets and Seasons buffet. Mohegan Sun at 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT.

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Mystic, CT

Mystic Pizza at 56 West Main Street, Mystic, CT. Phone: 860-536-3700

Mystic Pizza is a kid friendly restaurant in Mystic, CT. Whenever we visit Mystic, we always make it a point to eat at Mystic Pizza. Mystic Pizza is located in downtown Mystic. It’s the perfect lunch or dinner spot when you are downtown exploring the shops and Mystic drawbridge. We can’t get enough of the thick crust, pan pizza at Mystic Pizza. For fans of Mystic Pizza the movie, you are in luck because they play the movie on loop at the restaurant. Plus, you will enjoy the old school restaurant ambiance at Mystic Pizza.

New York Weekend Getaway to Mystic, CT
Mystic Pizza

Seaview Snack Bar at 145 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT 06355. Phone: 860-572-0096

Seaview Snack Bar is kid friendly restaurant in Mystic, CT. The entire family will love the casual, seafood shack overlooking Mystic River. Order fried seafood dinners at the take out counter and sit at one of the picnic tables on the water. You will get your fill of classic New England fried seafood fare at this casual, waterfront restaurant. If your kids are not seafood eaters, there is also a good selection of burgers and hotdogs.

seaview snack bar mystic
Photo Credit: Seaview Snack Bar

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream at 2 West Main Street, Mystic, CT

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream is a kid friendly ice cream shop in Mystic, CT. Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream is located on downtown Mystic’s main street, right next to the Mystic Drawbridge overlooking Mystic River. Enjoy your ice cream while you watch the Mystic Drawbridge in action.

Mango’s Wood Fired Pizza at Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT. Phone: (860) 572-0600

Mango’s Wood Fired Pizza is a kid friendly restaurant in Mystic, CT. Mango’s Wood Fired Pizza is located in Olde Mistick Village, next to the Mystic Aquarium. Stop in for lunch or dinner after a day at the Mystic Aquarium. There is a good selection of wood fired pizza for both adults and kids.

Go Fish at Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT. Phone: 860-536-2662

Go Fish is a kid friendly restaurant in Mystic, CT. Dine indoors or outdoors at this kid friendly restaurant in Mystic. Enjoy a wide selection of seafood dishes from shrimp cocktails, crab cakes, seafood pasta, Poke bowls and sushi. There is also a kids menu featuring non-seafood fare.

The Cloak and Wand Potions Bar at Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd. 2B, Mystic, CT. Phone: (860) 980-3215

The Cloak and Wand Potions Bar is a kid friendly “cafe” in Mystic, CT. For Harry Potter fans, The Cloak and Wand Potions Bar is a fun spot for a drink. The Cloak and Wand is Olde Mistick Village’s wizarding store. The Cload and Wand potion bar will make custom potions for you ranging from fruit based potions to chocolate based potions to their version of butter beer. Adults can add a shot of amaretto and coffee liqueur for an extra kick to their potions!

Deviant Donuts at Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd. Building 6, Mystic, CT. Phone: (860) 415-5045

Deviant Donuts is a kid friendly donut shop in Mystic, CT. It’s a fun place to stop in for a treat after a day at the Mystic Aquarium. You and your kids will be wowed by the handcrafted donuts at Deviant Donuts. They do change up their donut menu ranging from dinosaur themed donuts to Oreo filled donuts to Animal Cracker donuts. It’s also a good spot to get your coffee fill- espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and iced coffees.

deviant donuts dinosaurs
Photo Credit: Deviant Donuts

Kid Friendly Hotels in Mystic, CT

The Hilton Mystic is a kid friendly hotel in Mystic, CT. The Hilton Mystic is conveniently located across the street from Mystic Aquarium and the Olde Mistick Village. Since my kids love going to the Mystic Aquarium, we always stay at the Hilton Mystic. It is also across the street from many kid friendly restaurants and only a 6 minute drive to downtown Mystic. Plus the Hilton Mystic was recently renovated so it is nice to come back to a newly renovated room.

inn at mystic
Photo Credit: The Inn at Mystic

The Inn at Mystic is a kid friendly hotel in Mystic, CT. It is located overlooking the Mystic Harbor. Located in 15 acres overlooking Mystic Harbor, there are a lot of kid friendly amenities onsite. There is an outdoor pool, tennis courts, basketball court, walking trail and kayaking at the Inn at Mystic. Plus the rooms at The Inn at Mystic were recently renovated.

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