Thirty-plus restaurants, six casinos, four hotels, two spas and two championship golf courses -- with all that glitz, glamour and overindulgence, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut will make you think you’re in Las Vegas. Much like Sin City, however, the resort, owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, provides its fair share of attractions and activities for kids as well -- you just have to know where to look. Be aware, though, that those under age 21 are not allowed on the casino floor and the hotel does not provide babysitting.
Let your children burn off some energy in the Tree House Arcade, home to more than 100 games, including classic and modern video games, pinball machines and midway carnival games. Earn tickets for your efforts and redeem them for toys and prizes. Kids 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. High Rollers is a bowling alley for the 21-and-over crowd at night, but the venue is open to the entire family in the afternoon and early evening. The 35,000-square-foot complex has 20 bowling lanes, four billiards tables and an array of big-screen televisions scattered throughout the premises. After an afternoon of play, treat your kid to a sweet treat at one of casual eateries selling ice cream, cookies, chocolates and doughnuts.
Just outside the resort is the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, which celebrates the tribe and explores 20,000 years of natural history. Children can explore exhibits and dioramas that depict a variety of subjects, including everything from wildlife in the Ice Age, to 17th-century Pequot villages, to life on a reservation. The museum hosts special events throughout the year that will entertain kids, such as arts and craft workshop, ice cream socials and traditional powwows. Head right outside the museum and you’ll stumble upon Pequot Trails. Marked with fox paw prints, the three trails total more than 7 miles combined. Depending on which trail you take, kids can travel through wooded regions, over brooks, beside ponds, along the remnants of a 19th-century sawmill and up Lantern Hill for sweeping views of the region.
Wet and Wild Adventures
Kids can cool off and splash about in the massive Fox Tower Pool. The 5,500-square-foot pool is restricted to adults on weekend evenings but is open to the entire family during normal business hours and is available to guests staying in any of the resort’s hotels. During cold weather, the resort hosts the Foxwoods Rink, a large outdoor skating rink surrounded by over 100,000 little white lights. Around the holidays, an enormous Christmas tree is erected, complete with seasonal music, Santa Claus and fire pits for staying warm.
Off the Beaten Path
Make the 15-minute drive to the nearby seaport town of Mystic, Connecticut. Children can pay a visit to the famed Mystic Aquarium; they can get up close with marine life at such interactive exhibits as the stingray and white-spotted bamboo shark touch tanks, or be entertained by the sea lion stage show. Additional exhibits highlight beluga whales, African penguins and birds from the Outback. Take time to explore the Mystic Seaport, a 17-acre museum with an assortment of historic sailing vessels. Children can also walk through a 19th-century seafaring village, complete with 60 historic buildings. The complex includes a children’s museum where little ones can pretend to be sailors as they dress up as seaman, cook in galleys and enjoy story time.