connecticut festivals

Connecticut Festivals and Parks Open for the Season

Enjoy an action-packed weekend in Connecticut at the Meriden Daffodil Festival, Lake Compounce Amusement Park and a life-like dinosaur exhibit.

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There is plenty to do this spring weekend around the state, including kid-friendly activities, fundraisers and festivals, some of which are making a return since the beginning of the pandemic.

Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol kicks off their season Saturday, April 30. In light of its 175th birthday season, the park is launching its newest program: Kids Fest.

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Roller coaster at Lake Compounce in Bristol.

Children ages two to eight will be able to interact with jugglers, stilt-walkers and DJs. There will also be meet-and-greets with characters Arthur and Pete the Cat every weekend from April to May.

"They can have a balloon twister, a nice balloon made, a stilt walker, a juggler and nostalgic kid foods like mac n’ cheese, smiley fries and kiddie sundaes, all those sweet treats,” said Lynsey Winters, director of marketing at Lake Compounce.

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The entry to Lake Compounce in Bristol.

This year, the park will also go cashless. Winters said there will cash-to-card kiosks for guests.

"It's easier for our team members and even our guests to not have to worry about having cash on them. So, you just bring your cards and your season pass and you're ready to go,” said Winters.

Then, step back in time – millions of years back at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford for the Dino Dragon Stoll exhibit.

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Dino Dragon Stroll is a hunger relief program that tours the nation. The group is making its first trip to Connecticut from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1.

More than 80 life-like dinosaurs will roam the facility with a mission to “stomp” out food insecurity. There will also be rides, bounce houses, crafts and a live band.

"They're fully animatronic, so they can go and get up close and personal with them. Touch them if they’d like, as long as they're not too mean with them,” said head supervisor Nick Cluckey.

Cluckey encourages visitors to bring in non-perishable items for Connecticut Foodshare.

More crafts, rides and food await at the Daffodil Festival in Meriden, a more than 40-year tradition. Not only can families enjoy pony rides, dance performances and the daffodil parade, the festival provides a space for local non-profits to engage and feed the community.

“Our non-profits really are the key to the festival, they run the food booths. Most of them find this to be the largest fundraiser of the year,” said festival co-chairman Rick Suzio.

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Suzio said he expects thousands of visitors to come out after the event’s two-year hiatus. Gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday with free shuttle and bus services to the festival.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we broke a record and had over 80,000 people here in the next two days,” said Suzio.

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