17 things to do in New Haven, Connecticut

November 19, 2020

Are you looking for the best things to do in New Haven, Connecticut? Take a read of this list!


If you’re on the lookout for the best things to do in New Haven, Connecticut – then keep reading! Though you may associate New Haven with the Gilmore Girls, there’s a whole lot more to it than is shown on the CW Network.

New Haven, Connecticut is home to beautiful parks, endless museums and a host of unique attractions! There are so many things to do in New Haven, Connecticut, you’ll be spoilt for choice. New Haven is a historical wonderland that’s got plenty to do for kids and adults alike.

list of things to do in new haven

Though much of the area’s attractions and history are intertwined with Yale University, there’s much to do outside of this Ivy League college’s walls.

So, whether you’re a prospective student looking to tour the famous university, or simply want to check out some great art galleries and restaurants, there is sure to be something on this list of things to do in New Haven that will float your boat. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!


Explore Yale University

First on my list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut… It’s explore Yale University. As this city’s identity is so closely related to its amazing university, we thought that we’d start out list of 15 things to do in New Haven, Connecticut right here.

The third-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S, Yale University has produced five of the country’s presidents. With campus tours frequently running, prospective students and interested passers-by will be able to explore the best of New Haven’s ivy league college.

Not only is Yale a historic university, but it is also a great example of New Haven’s striking buildings. As numerous structures are in the Gothic style, it’s a great place to marvel at some historic architecture. It’s pretty beautiful, and a perfect place to stroll around on a sunny afternoon.

things to do in New Haven, Connecticut

Yale Art Gallery

Next up on my list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut, it’s Yale Art Gallery. One of the best things to do in New Haven, Connecticut must be a visit to Yale’s Art Gallery. Only a couple of blocks from the Green, it’s actually the West’s oldest university art museum.

Housing French Impressionist paintings, sculpture, and early Italian works, it’s a great place to get lost in the beauty and drama of historic artwork. 

Though you may not be a huge art fan, you can’t help but marvel at the sheer diversity of the works within this building. From Greek art to some of van Gogh’s finest pieces, you’ll be spoiled for choice as you trek through this phenomenal gallery. A lovely option for things to do in New Haven, Connecticut!

best things to do in New Haven, Connecticut

Explore the Historic District of Court Street

If you want to enjoy some beautiful scenery and enjoy the typical New Haven streets and buildings, then head down to the historic district around Court Street. It’s a really scenic area with treelined streets and beautiful photo opportunities.

things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

Yale Center for British Art

Next up on my list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut it’s the Yale Centre for British Art. In addition to the art gallery, one of the best things to do in New Haven, Connecticut is a visit to the Yale Center for British Art.

Directly opposite the university’s Art Gallery is a building that houses more than 2,000 paintings and sculptures that span from the 16th century onwards.

With some great pre-Raphaelite work on offer here, it’s a must-do if you’re heading around the campus area. 


East Rock Park

East Rock Park is next on my list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut. This is a great place to visit for those new to the area, as it’s simply a sight to behold.

Offering visitors great views of the landscape from a height of 112 meters, East Rock’s ridge is an excellent place to visit for those that are looking to see the more natural side of New Haven. It’s a perfect option for things to do in New Haven, Connecticut if you love soaking in the sights.

list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut

The Green

Located very near the center of New Haven is The Green. Though it might not be expected, The Green is simply the central tile of New Haven’s planned city from back in the 17th century that was laid by the area’s puritanical founders.

Though this landmark is now surrounded by restaurants and shops, it’s a great place to visit for those that love a taste of American history.

New Haven, Connecticut

Lighthouse Point Park

If you love a good lighthouse, then be sure to put Lighthouse Point Park on your list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

Five Mile Point Light used to guide maritime traffic safely to shore back in the 19th century until it ceased operation in 1877. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, this wonderful lighthouse is certainly worth a visit.

things to do in New Haven

Memorial Library

The Memorial Library is next on my list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut. Another great place to visit around Yale is the Memorial Library. Dating back to 1931 and taking on a Gothic Revival style, it’s a huge library that’s open and available to the public from Monday to Friday.

Though one of its main draws is the architecture of the building, it’s a great place in New Haven to relax, unwind and take in the beauty of the University campus. 


PEZ Visitor Center

If you’re a fan of PEZ Candy, then be sure to put the PEZ Visitor Center on your list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut. It’s a bit quirky, but I think you’ll love it.

This PEZ visitor center is absolutely packed with display cases of PEZ memorabilia, the history of the brand and even the largest dispenser in the world. Though it’s certainly a kitsch attraction, it’s worth a visit for the stock of candy alone… Definitely one of my top choices for things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

top things to do in New Haven, Connecticut

Shubert Theatre

If you love theatre… then this has to make you list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut. With stars such as Liza Minnelli taking center stage at the Shubert Theatre since its opening in 1914, it’s no surprise that this theatre is on our list of the top 15 things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

With shows coming in here direct from Broadway, it’s a great local place to catch the best of musical theatre. However, if you’re not a fan of showtunes, this spot also hosts jazz, classical, and live music concerts too!


Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Located within Yale’s Hewitt Quadrangle is this huge rare book library. A gift from the famous Beinecke family to the university back in the 1960s, this is the world’s largest building that’s solely dedicated to rare books and manuscript.

With some of the most famous manuscripts and books in the world on show here, it should definitely be on your list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut. A great option for things to do in New Haven, Connecticut – especially if you love books and literature.

things to do in New Haven, Connecticut list

Taste of New Haven

If you’re a huge foodie, then be sure to put the Taste of New Haven tour on your list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Taste of New Haven Tour is essentially a walking food tour that has tour guides explore the city’s culture and history through food! Starting at Elm City Market, you’ll get a taste of some of the area’s best food whilst learning about what makes New Haven tick.


Yale Collection of Musical Instruments

Whether you’re a musician or not, musical instrument museums are always surprisingly cool. Yale’s collection is particularly snazzy and features a huge collection of musical instruments for visitors to gawp at.

Founded in 1900 with a gift from Morris Steinert, the museum has a great range of keyboard instruments, wind instruments and more that guests can marvel at.

Another plus? Entry is free, so you needn’t worry about scraping together the cash to enjoy this one. Overall… A great option for things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

things to do in New Haven, Connecticut list

Kehler Liddell Gallery

Next on my list of things to do in New Haven, it’s this amazing place! Founded in 2003 by local artists, the Kehler Liddell Gallery is one of New Haven’s oldest retail art galleries. Located in Westville, this gallery showcases local contemporary artists that aim to engage visitors and make local people more interested in art.

With monthly exhibitions, workshops and tours, this is a great thing to put on your list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.


New Haven Railroad Station

As far as cute train stations go… New Haven railroad station is definitely one of the them. A super cute one and one any rail-enthusiast would absolutely adore visiting.


Connecticut Children’s Museum

If you’re travelling with kids, you’ll certainly want to pop the Connecticut Children’s Museum on your list of things to do in New Haven.

As this is the largest children’s museum in the state, it’s got tons of interactive exhibits that are intended to interest little ones. In addition to this, the museum has the second largest planetarium in New England and even a life-sized model of a sperm whale!

With plenty to do, it will be easy to spend a full afternoon with the kids here.

best list of things to do in New Haven, Connecticut

Indoor Ropes

If you’re after some adrenaline-pumping fun, then why not check out the It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course?

With a bunch of tightropes, zip lines and bridges, this place is an indoor adventure-seeker’s paradise. Though there is no re-entry once you leave, you’ll be having so much fun that you’ll forget about anything else outside of the center’s walls!


I hope that this list of 17 things to do in New Haven, Connecticut has inspired you to get your itinerary planned!

Though this list isn’t exhaustive, it should give you a pretty good start when looking for fun things to do in New Haven, Connecticut.

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