Mystic is one of my favorite towns in Connecticut! The small-town charm coupled with the many historical attractions makes this a great place to visit. Plus, there are tons of things to do in Mystic that will keep you busy all day! Here’s a list of 21 fun things to do in Mystic:
1. Mystic Seaport Museum
The Mystic Seaport Museum is a fun place to visit if your family loves boats, history, and the outdoors. The museum has been around since 1969 when it was founded by a group of citizens who had a passion for preserving America’s maritime heritage.
The museum preserves an authentic 19th-century village where visitors can walk through buildings that are still used daily to learn about life during this period. Some exhibits show off items collected by sailors from all over the world including China, Japan, and Africa.
The museum also offers lots of educational programs for kids including summer camps where children can participate in activities such as fishing or candle making! You can reach this historic site by taking Amtrak from Grand Central Station in Manhattan or take one of many buses into North Stonington from the Hartford CT area such as CT Transit Route 20 which stops at Mystic Seaport every hour between 7 am-7 pm weekdays (less often on weekends). If you want to explore downtown Mystic CT there are plenty of shops restaurants & bars within walking distance!
2. Mystic Dark Room
A darkroom is a photographic laboratory where film, negatives, and prints are processed. All of the light-sensitive materials are handled in darkness, so as not to expose them. The process can be time-consuming, but it’s also incredibly rewarding if you have a passion for photography.
Darkrooms have been around since the invention of photography itself, in 1839 by Louis Daguerre in France (though there is evidence that humans have been creating images from light-sensitive materials since antiquity). Today there are just a few public darkrooms left in Connecticut—and Mystic has one of those!
The Mystic Dark Room is located at 1 Hathaway Road near the center of town. You must call ahead to check availability before visiting as they only offer tours on Saturdays and Sundays during peak season or by appointment throughout the rest of the year. There is no admission fee but donations are appreciated (and necessary if you want to keep this gem open). A tour guide will take you through all aspects of traditional black-and-white film processing including developing negatives into positives; contact printing onto paper; enlarging; tone control; dodging & burning; etc… They also offer workshops on various topics such as pinhole cameras and alternative processes like cyanotypes/sprints/Kallitypes/etc…
3. Charles W. Morgan
The Charles W. Morgan, the last surviving wooden whaling ship in the world, is also a National Historic Landmark and is owned by Mystic Seaport Museum. Built-in 1841, this historic vessel has been restored and is open for tours year-round. The Charles W. Morgan was designed to be used as a deep-sea fishing vessel in addition to its use as a whaling vessel; however, it was quickly converted into a full-time whaler upon completion because of increased demand for whale oil around that period due to an increase in global population growth during the Industrial Revolution era (the 1750s–1900).
4. Mystic Aquarium
The Mystic Aquarium is a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike. The aquarium is located in Mystic, Connecticut, where it has been welcoming people since 1971. Today, it houses over 2,000 animals including sharks, penguins, and jellyfish. Several exhibits show off these animals including one named “Shark Voyage” which features both live and preserved specimens of sharks. You’ll also find an exhibit called “Touch Tank” where you can get up close to sea creatures like crabs!
Another educational program offered at the aquarium is called Sea Semester – an opportunity for students from around the world to study marine science aboard ships sailing between New York City and Boston.
5. Mystic River Bascule Bridge
The Mystic River Bascule Bridge is a 320-foot, vertical lift bridge that connects the cities of Mystic and East Lyme. It was built in 1910, with the original design by Eugene Flagg and a follow-up design by Edwin Thacher in 1911. The bridge currently takes about 15 minutes to cross at any given time of day—if you’re traveling from one town to another, it’ll take longer than if you’re just crossing over into one of them (East Lyme).
The view from the top deck is stunning! You can see all of the downtown Mystic as well as many ships coming in or out of port nearby. If you want a photo with your friends taken here, make sure they’re there when your group crosses because once you get on either side, there’s no going back until after 6 pm unless someone else wants to wait for an hour (unless they don’t mind doing so!). If they do want to wait around while everyone else crosses over first though then I would recommend getting some food or snacks beforehand because there aren’t any restaurants within walking distance on either side due mainly due to how busy traffic tends to be during peak hours (i.e., Friday nights).
6. Olde Mistick Village
Olde Mistick Village is a shopping, dining, and entertainment center located in the historic district of Mystic. The village has shops, restaurants, a movie theater, and an ice skating rink that are all within walking distance from each other. It also hosts many events throughout the year including weekend festivals with live music or sporting events.
7. Historic Downtown Mystic
Historic Downtown Mystic is home to the last commercial fishing fleet in Connecticut, steeped in maritime history and boasting several historic buildings. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants if you want to take a break from sightseeing.
The town was founded in 1655 by English settlers under the leadership of Rev. Ebenezer Pemberton, who named it for his hometown of Stortford-upon-Avon. It’s been said that the town gets its name from two sources: “Mystic” comes directly from its namesake river; while “Connecticut” has been attributed both to its location near the mouth of the said river (connecting it) and because early settlers found themselves surrounded by Native Americans (Connecticut).
8. Mystic Museum of Art
The Mystic Museum of Art is located at 54 Greenmanville Avenue in Mystic, Connecticut. The museum is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours on Thursdays until 8:00 p.m., and admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children under eighteen years old (tickets are valid for two consecutive days). In addition to its permanent collection of art, which includes works by Winslow Homer and Thomas Cole, the museum hosts special exhibitions throughout the year along with lectures by artists or curators who specialize in various forms of visual arts like photography or sculpture!
9. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
A trip to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is one of the best ways to get in touch with nature right in your backyard. The center is located at 2687 Main Street, Mystic, Connecticut 06355, and can be reached by calling 860-572-0448. Hours of operation are 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm on Sunday; closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day (as well as other holidays). Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6–16; discounts are available for groups of 15 or more people.
The nature center features a variety of exhibits that teach visitors about wildlife, including birds from around the world; native plants and flowers common in Connecticut; reptiles such as turtles and snakes; amphibians like frogs; mammals such as foxes, skunks, and opossums; insects like ladybugs and butterflies—and much more!
Visitors can also go outside into the outdoor education area where they will find many different animals including deer! There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than exploring all that this nature center has to offer!
10. Elm Grove Cemetery
From the cemetery, you can walk north on Elm Street and visit the Mystic Maritime Museum. It’s a great museum to bring kids, who will love learning about local maritime history. You can also head south on North Street to explore historic buildings like the Old Stone Bank building, which dates back to 1807 and is now home to art galleries and restaurants. If you’re looking for some exercise, jog or bike around Hubbard Park.
11. Denison Homestead Museum
- The Denison Homestead Museum is a restored 19th-century house that gives visitors a peek into life in the early days of Mystic.
- Built in 1772, it was the home of Jonathan Denison, a sea captain, and merchant who became one of Mystic’s most distinguished citizens.
- The house is open to the public for tours on weekends from late May through October and at other times by appointment with Connecticut Landmarks or by prior arrangement with its caretaker, who lives next door.
- The museum has an extensive collection of antiques.
12. Mystic & Shoreline Visitor Information Center
The Mystic & Shoreline Visitor Information Center is conveniently located at the top of the Mystic River Bridge, so it’s a great place to stop for information about local attractions and events. The center offers a multitude of brochures and maps, so you can plan your day accordingly. You can also get information about transportation options in town and nearby areas such as New London or Old Saybrook.
Unfortunately, there’s no gift shop at this visitor center—but that shouldn’t be much of an issue because there are plenty of shops nearby!
13. Barley Head Brewery
Address: 430 East Main Street, Mystic, CT 06355
Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-10 pm; Friday and Saturday 12-11 pm; Sunday 12-8 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Phone number: (860) 572-0896
Description of the place: This locally owned and operated brewery offers a full menu with many specialty items that are not commonly found at other breweries such as roasted chicken skewers or bacon-wrapped scallops! They also have an extensive selection of beer ranging from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts! Events include live music every Thursday night starting at 8 pm where performers can be seen performing on stage for up to two hours before moving into another room across from it so nothing gets missed due to sound waves bouncing off walls and too much distorting within conversations between parties involved in said conversations happening simultaneously before returning down the front again when everyone has finished eating their meal purchases made earlier during those first five minutes spent outside waiting patiently while listening intently towards any sounds coming from inside which would indicate what might happen next–but wait…what’s this? Your eyes weren’t deceiving you because look at how close we’ve gotten without even noticing anything going on around us until now–so exciting!!
14. Liberty Pole Square
Liberty Pole Square is a great place for young families. It’s located next to the Mystic Seaport and features a variety of kid-friendly activities, including climbing on nearby rocks, taking pictures with friendly animals, and even watching a craft demonstration from one of the local vendors. No matter what your child’s interests are, you can find something for them here!
To get there: From I-95 southbound take Exit 69A onto Route 17 South/Mystic Avenue toward Washington Street/Mystic Seaport (0.1 miles). Merge onto Washington Street (0.1 miles)
To park: There are several parking options available close by:
15. Studio Jeffrey P’an
You can find Jeffrey P’an inside his studio at 23 Railroad Avenue. He’s been painting for over 30 years and has mastered both traditional oil painting and more abstract styles. His art is available for purchase online, and it would be a great addition to your home.
16. Whittles Willow Spring Farm
Whittles Willow Spring Farm is a family-owned and operated farm in Mystic, Connecticut. They offer pick-your-own apples, pumpkins, and blueberries. This is a great place for families with kids to have fun and get their hands dirty!
Whittles Willow Spring Farm also has a petting zoo where you can interact with the animals or take pictures with them. I’m sure your kids will love it! If you want to spend more time on the farm, there are hayrides available as well.
17. Mystic and Noank Library
You can spend your day in the library and not even realize it. There are many books and resources available for you to check out, including a children’s section, computer lab, and book club. The website has information about all the events going on at both locations. These services also include a meeting room where you can host an event or meeting for up to 30 people.
The Mystic Public Library is located at 880 Main Street in downtown Mystic. For more information about this location, visit their website at www.mysticlibraryct.com
18. Cinematic Casino Jubilee
This is the place to go if you’re looking for a fun and unique way to spend an evening. CineCasino Jubilee is located in historic downtown Mystic, Connecticut, and has plenty of offerings for the whole family—from movies and live music shows to restaurants and shopping.
CineCasino Jubilee is open daily (except on Christmas Eve) from 4:00 p.m. until midnight or later depending on the day, so there’s something new every time you visit! Tickets are $5 per person (ages 3 & under free). For an additional price, guests can use the bowling lanes or play some arcade games while they enjoy their movie or show!
The best part about CineCasino Jubilee? It’s right next door to other popular casinos; so after a long day at work or school come to check out what all Mystic has to offer!
19. Red Head Heron Antiques and Non
Red Head Heron Antiques and Non is a store that sells an assortment of antiques. The store’s hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday. This shop is unique in that it collects items from all over the world, including vintage furniture, jewelry, art, and more.
The shop owner says her favorite thing about this place is “the selection.” She said, “We collect pieces from around the globe – from small villages in Latin America to large cities all over Europe and Russia.”
20. Mystified Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are a type of puzzle game that is fun for all ages and can be enjoyed with family and friends. In an escape room, you’re locked in a room with other people who also want to escape. The goal is to solve puzzles and find clues to help you work your way out by working together as a team. Difficulty ranges from easy to extremely challenging! Escape rooms are popping up all over the country, but if you’re looking for something more personal than just another random room, head to Mystified Escape Rooms in Mystic Connecticut.
21. The Spice & Tea Exchange
The Spice & Tea Exchange is a great place to buy tea and spices, or even just browse the store’s vast selection of fun things. The shop is located in Mystic Seaport Village, which offers many other interesting shops and restaurants as well. The Spice & Tea Exchange is open year-round, from 9 am to 5 pm daily.
- Takeaway: Plan a trip to Mystic!
- Actionable tip: Don’t forget your camera.
- Call to action: Get out there and explore!
- Summary of the main points: Mystic is beautiful, but there’s much more to do than just look at it.
So why not try out one of these fun things to do in Mystic today? We know you’ll have a great time!