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  1. Default Boston to NJ with a 4 year old, where to stop?

    Planning on a drive to New Jersey from Boston to see my brother for Thanksgiving weekend. My daughter is 4 almost 5. We are looking for ideas for interesting stops that will be appealing to a 4 year old. Thanks for any ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default My Choice Would Be...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The drive itself is going to take you anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on where in New Jersey you're headed for. So I think you can do with just a single good stop roughly half way. That would be roughly Hartford, which is fortunate. For a 4-5 year old, here's what I'd recommend. As you approach Hartford from the east, take CT-15/CT-2/CT-17 south along the east side of the Connecticut River to Glastonbury. There, you'll want to take CT-160 west to the river and cross it on one of the oldest continually operating ferries in the United States. It's cheap, quick and cute (3 cars max at a time). You can then continue on CT-160 to first visit Dinosaur State Park and then hook back up with either I-91 or I-84. If you think you'd need more than those (close to each other) stops, or need a way through or around New York City, just speak up.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    There, you'll want to take CT-160 west to the river and cross it on one of the oldest continually operating ferries in the United States.
    The only problem with that is that the ferry only operates between May and October, so you wouldn't be able to use it during Thanksgiving time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Sorry

    That's a shame. And I apologize for not noting that. However, I still think that Dinosaur Park is the stop that will mean the most to a young girl. I should also note that if you bring your own Plaster of Paris (available at local hardware stores) you can make plaster casts of real dino footprints. In the absence of the ferry, you would get tot he park by taking CT-15 from I-84 to I-91 and then using exit 23 (West St.) east to Gilbert Ave. north to CT-160.

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default

    For an indoor option, that will work no matter the weather, consider the Children's Museum in Hartford as your mid-way stop; then head down to I-95 and stop to have something to eat in Norwalk by the Maritime Center....by that point, you can finish the drive to NJ and she'll sleep for you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,270

    Default

    I think I'd stay as far away from I-95 as possible. Take I-84 (or I-91 to I-691 to I-84) out of Hartford to I-684 to I-287 or I-84 all the way to I-87 to I-287.

    If you do want to go to Norwalk, take I-84 to Waterbury, then CT-8 south to the Merritt Parkway (CT-15) to US-7. Leaving Norwalk, take US-7 back to the Merritt to I-287.

  7. Default

    Weather might not be conducive, so most activities would have to be indoors. Besides most attractions would be closed for Thanksgiving. Depending on her interests, a stop at the Mystic Acquarium on the way down might interest her. There is also a neat Children's museum in Niantic CT (4 miles of I-95) and another one in Middletown CT (25 minutes easy drive from I-95). They have hands-on activities to keep kids interested.

    There are no large indoor water parks on your way. Once you get to NJ, depending on how far you are from NYC, then I would do skating at the Wollman rink (Central Park), American Girl doll store a few blocks away. Maybe even ToysR Us store in Times Square.

    And of course a few playgrounds, which I am sure you will find plenty everywhere.

    I would also check local calendars at your destination. Some towns start Xmas parties at Thanksgiving weekends, Santas, etc.

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