Mansfield Historical Society: http://www.mansfieldct-history.org/. Small museum located on Storrs Road may be of interest to slightly older kids, open on weekend afternoons. Free for kids under 12.
The Gurleyville Gristmill: Located off of Chaffeeville Road and owned by Joshua’s Trust, the gristmill provides a look at one of Mansfield’s oldest industries. Tours available Sunday afternoons. Enjoy the picnic area and access to the Fenton River.
The Lutz Children’s Museum, Manchester: http://lutzmuseum.org/. “Main street” area for free play, including post office, store, classroom, and house. The Lutz is home to a number of animals that have been rehabilitated and cannot be released into the wild, they frequently make an appearance for unscheduled petting and educational programs. The Lutz also offers classes and camps.
The Farmer’s Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry: http://coventryfarmersmarket.com/summer-market/: a must-do family event; has repeatedly been voted one of the best farmers’ markets in the country. Find fresh fruits and veggies, local dairy and meat, live music, food trucks, treats, friendly dogs, you name it. Sundays from 11AM to 2PM, June to October.
Hopeville Pond State Park, Griswold: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325218&deepNav_GID=1650%20. Swimming allowed at the beach, trails, bathrooms, and grills.
Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325238&deepNav_GID=1650. Swimming at the beach, pavilion available for rental, trails and camping.
The Connecticut Audubon Society, Pomfret: http://www.ctaudubon.org/center-at-pomfret/#sthash.OcX9W5tM.dpbs. Lovely preserve with a small museum featuring, of course, birds. Bring binoculars and look for birds inhabiting meadow and forest habitats.