36 Hours in New Haven With Kids


New Haven, ConnecticutWith the holidays (almost) behind us, the winter is a great time for nearby day trip excursions to get us through the dark winter haul.

New Haven is home to Yale University, alongside many museums, galleries, theatres, and music venues. It is credited with being the home of the hamburger! With quick and easy access to Boston and New York, it is a perfect Northeast day trip destination.

A culinary nirvana (or utopia) with an impressive more than 120 restaurants in a two-block radius of the New Haven green. However, its foodie claim to fame is having the best pizza in the country (albeit a self-proclaimed title). New Haven is a mainstay but is also experiencing a renaissance.

There is enough family activity in New Haven to keep one entertained for days, but here are some of the best ways to spend the weekend in New Haven.

Saturday Morning

Grab breakfast from the  Pistachio Café. Try a tartine, a signature omelet, or waffles (all available daily).

Saturday Afternoon

After breakfast, schedule a Yale campus tour or walk through the beautiful grounds at your leisure. Spend time taking in the beautiful architecture with a coffee from a bench. From there, head to the New Haven Children’s Museum on Wall Street. This friendly children’s museum features eight uniquely themed rooms most suitable for ages 3-9. If you have older children, check out the Yale University Art Gallery or the Peabody.

Have some delicious brick oven pizza for lunch at Bar New Haven, which has some of the best pizza in New Haven. If you are adventurous, try their mashed potato and clam pizza. You can grab vegetarian food from the classic and legendary Claire’s Cornucopia or get great American farm-to-table fare at  Tavern on State.

Take a look at some books at the Atticus Bookstore and a treat at the famous Arethusa Farm’s New Haven location before checking into your hotel.

 Saturday Evening

There are many newish hotel options to choose from. Check into The Study at Yale with gooey chocolate chip cookies in the lobby or The Blake Hotel with its beautiful rooftop bar. The Graduate offers hip and comfortable digs, and the new kid on the block is the well-reviewed Hotel Marcel. There are also great views from John Davenports at the Omni Hotel.

For dinner, grab mussels and other modern American fare at Zinc on Chapel Street. Try Heirloom at the Study Hotel for farm and coastal cuisine. The Union League Cafe is perfect for a slightly fancier but can’t be beat dining experience. If you’re’ in the mood for sushi, check out the relatively new and buzzy Hachiroku Shokudo and Sake Bar.

Sunday Morning

Grab Sunday morning brunch at Florian with yummy oysters and French comfort food.

Before leaving, take a walk at the Lighthouse Point Park, an 82-acre park and home of the Lighthouse Point Carousel. Visit Barcade, dubbed as the original arcade bar, which hosts a family day on select weekends. The Eli Whitney Museum, an experimental learning museum in nearby Hamden, offers something fun for families every weekend, such as building a toy train.

What are your favorite spots in New Haven?

For more day trip ideas, check out 36 Hours in Philadelphia With Kids or 36 Hours in Mystic with Kids.


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