Free Entrance to Connecticut Parks on Open House Day

Some of Connecticut's parks are opening for free in a week for Connecticut Open House Day.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism's annual event highlights "arts, history and tourism offerings in the state," according to a news release from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which is spearheading the state parks' participation in Open House Day.

"Connecticut Open House Day is a great time to explore new places or visit your favorite spots in Connecticut with family and friends. Come and discover the many fun and educational opportunities at our state parks and state park museums,” DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen said in a statement. “As we continue celebrating the Centennial of our state parks system, we are encouraging residents and visitors alike to experience Connecticut’s 107 state parks and 32 state forests."

The following parks will offer free admission and activities on Connecticut Open House Day on June 14.

  • Dinosaur State Park, 400 West St., Rocky Hill: There will be free admission from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The park is offering crafts film showings, animal programs and, weather permitting, nature walks. Dinosaur Park has 2.5 miles of hiking trails, a picnic area, gardens  and a garden featuring plants dating back to the Mesozoic era. Radio Disney will be there from noon to 2 p.m. and there will also be "Dino-themed dances," a dinosaur trivia contest and "flying Pterodactyl relay races," according to the release. Families can also "strike a pose" to win a prize, the release stated. More information is available on
  • Fort Trumbull State Park, 90 Walbach St., New London: Admission is free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can walk along the fishing pier to look at the boats and see what types of fish people are catching, tour the visitor's center to learn about local history, visit the fort and "climb to the ramparts for a spectacular view of the Thames River," according to the news release.
  • Gillette Castle State Park, 67 River Rd., East Haddam: Admission is free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. William Gillette built the estate, which sits on 184 acres. The estate includes a 24-room mansion styled after a medieval castle and overlooking the Connecticut River.
  • Osborne Homestead Museum/Kellogg Environmental Center, 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby: Admission to Frances Osborne Kellogg's home will be free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kellogg "was known for her contributions to conservation, agriculture and business," according to a news release. Beekeeper Michael Creighton is scheduled to do a presentation called "All About Bees: Our Great Pollinators" at the Kellogg Environmental Center at 10:30 a.m., also free of charge. There will be a honey tasting afterward.

More information on Connecticut state parks is available on DEEP's page on the state website at

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