15 Best Things to Do in Enfield (CT)

Written by Veronique Raes
Updated on
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The town of Enfield is in the very north of Connecticut, right against the Massachusetts state line on the east bank of the Connecticut River.

Enfield is a rather quiet place, with an idyllic Town Green and historic district. Most of the commerce is clustered on a strip mall along Hazard Avenue, while there’s much to see and do within a short car journey. In fact, nothing on my list is more than ten miles away.

Along with Six Flags New England there are endearing local museums, an indoor zoo, historic houses, craft breweries, farm stands and family attractions with activities like mini golf and laser tag.

You’ll never have to go far for a peaceful walking trail. You can even hike along the towpath of a canal that allowed boats to navigate the Connecticut River in the 19th century.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Enfield:

1. Six Flags New England

Six Flags New EnglandSource: James Kirkikis / shutterstock
Six Flags New England

The oldest amusement park in the Six Flags chain opened in 1870. It sits just across the river and over the state line in Springfield, Massachusetts.

For anyone into thrill rides, Superman The Ride, plummeting down a 220-foot drop, is still big news in the rollercoaster community, ranking in the top five for the Golden Ticket Awards’ Top Steel Roller Coasters every year from 2001 to 2018. 

Some other premier whiteknuckle experiences are Flashback, Batman: The Dark Knight, Goliath, Wicked Cyclone and The Riddler Revenge.

Arriving back in the 2010s, The Joker is a “4th dimension roller coaster”. This flips you head over heels up to six times along a zigzagging track.

There’s a catalog of other rides, both high-tech and more traditional. I adore the gorgeous 1909 Illions Carousel and Houdini – The Great Escape, a madhouse ride.

Younger children will be enthralled with all the cartoon-infused fun at Looney Tunes Movie Town, and there are lots of gentler rides in the Kidzopolis zone.

2. Riverside Reptiles Education Center

Away from Six Flags, my local recommendation for families is this zoo devoted to reptiles and amphibians. The Riverside Reptiles Education Center hosts more than 70 species of native and exotic lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, alligators, and many more.

It’s all housed in a 13,000 square foot facility, with another 4,000 feet of outdoor space. The latter serves as a habitat for turtles and tortoises.

You can visit for memorable and enlightening reptile encounters. You might get to feed a tortoise, or touch or hold any number of different species. One of the stars is a full-size American alligator, especially at feeding time.

3. Enfield Historic District

To see Enfield at its most picturesque you can drive a two-mile stretch of the north-south Enfield Street. 

This encompasses the Enfield Historic District, with the Town Green, and local civic and religious landmarks. It’s all accompanied by a wide assortment of residential architecture going back to the 18th century.

A fine example that caught my eye is the Errin Thompson House (1832). At the corner of Enfield St and South Rd, this handsome Greek Revival mansion was built for the man who launched Enfield’s carpet-making industry. 

Also look out for the Enfield Town Meetinghouse by the same intersection. Dating back to 1775 (moved and altered in 1848), it was the seat of local government until 1920.

4. Sonny’s Place

Sonny's PlaceSource: Sonny's Place / facebook
Sonny’s Place

Close by in Somers, Sonny’s Place is one of those big family fun centers, with a bit of everything.

For a very brief summary, you’ll find go-karts, laser tag, batting cage, a climbing wall, a gigantic outdoor soft play structure, mini golf, miniature bowling, a gyroscope and a zip-line.

Friends and families can also try the new Hologate VR game, cooperating to battle robots and zombies or having an innocent snowball fight.

In the 2010s Sonny’s Place acquired a beautiful carousel. A real highlight for my kids, this dates back to 1925 and boasts hand-carved and painted horses.

Sooner or later all this activity is going to make kids hungry. Luckily there’s a restaurant with a takeout window so you can go for a picnic in the summer.

5. Powder Hollow Brewery

Powder Hollow BrewerySource: Powder Hollow Brewery / facebook
Powder Hollow Brewery

A craft brewery with a regional reach, Powder Hollow’s beers are on tap all over north-central Connecticut and its cans show up in stores across the state.

Right here in Hazardville, Enfield you can find out what all the fuss is about at the charming taproom. This spot is open seven days, and as late as 10:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Powder Hollow selects high-quality hops, wheat, barley and yeast for an eclectic, surprising and constantly changing range of beers.

When I dropped in there were a dozen on tap. Among them were Bayonet Blonde, Hop Hazard (DIPA), Lift Your Kilt (Scottish Ale), and 1929 Prohibition Porter, which was my fav. 

You can order a flight of four of five to sample what’s new. If you get peckish you can always order a pizza or check out the food truck outside.

6. Connecticut Trolley Museum

Connecticut Trolley MuseumSource: Malley Photography / shutterstock
Connecticut Trolley Museum

This endearing seasonal museum dedicated to electric railroads is on a restored 1.5-mile stretch of the Hartford and Springfield Street Railway Company’s Rockville Branch. That line  started running in 1901 but was scrapped 1926 when the company went bankrupt. 

This piece was restored shortly after, making the Connecticut Trolley Museum the oldest of its kind in the country.

With the price of admission I got unlimited rides on lovingly preserved cars. These originated on a variety of lines like the New Orleans Public Service, the Boston Elevated Railway, the Connecticut Company, Montreal Tramways and the Fair Haven and Westville Railroad.

Several more are on static display in the museum’s sheds, while a few are in the restoration shop. The Visitor Center’s Main Hall has some fine examples and goes into detail on the origins and progress of streetcars in the United States.

7. Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail

Windsor Locks Canal State Park TrailSource: Jennifer Yakey-Ault / shutterstock
Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail

For an easy but picturesque walk you could cross over to the west bank of the Connecticut River for this paved 4.5-mile trail on the old towpath of the Enfield Falls Canal.

That waterway was built in the 1820s to bypass the shallower reach of the river at Enfield Falls, a section with rapids.

Although the canal was soon obsolete when the railroads arrived, it was repurposed in the mid-19th century as a means of powering mills. So a line of factories soon cropped up along the towpath.

Windsor Locks takes its name from the canal’s own locks. These are still in place, but have been out of action since the 1970s. I’d go as slow as possible to fully appreciate the frequent vistas over the river.

8. Scantic River State Park

Scantic River State ParkSource: www.ctmq.org
Scantic River State Park

Enfield is fortunate to have lots of public natural space. Where things got confusing for me is that the largest park in the area is actually spread across several distinct parcels. All of these are on or near the banks of the serpentine river of the same name.

The park adds up to just under 800 acres and bleeds into East Windsor and Somers in places. If in doubt, make for Hazard Avenue where there’s a green corridor crossing the town line with Somers. 

This is at the Powder Hollow Section and the Scantic River Linear Park (West and East), as well as the Bailey Road parcel, on the opposite bank.

The Linear Park has a circuitous Yellow-Blazed trail along the riverbanks and into tranquil broadleaf forest. There are benches to soak up the scenery, and little bridges crossing the brooks that feed the river.

9. Enfield Fourth of July Celebration

For a taste of local community life, I’d aim to be in Enfield for the town’s three-day Fourth of July celebration. Taking place on the Town Green, it’s a heartwarming event, with a lot going on.

For a summary, you’ve got a parade, road race, live music, community demonstrations, and of course a bumper fireworks show. You can indulge in local cuisine at Taste of Enfield, and browse the many vendors at the marketplace, open all three days. 

There are always plenty of things for children to do, while older kids will be entertained at the Teen Zone.

10. Enfield Public Library

Enfield Public LibrarySource: Enfield Public Library / facebook
Enfield Public Library

For people based in the Enfield area the public library is a godsend. Not only does this facility have an extensive catalog, but it hosts a slew of programs suiting all-comers.

There’s something happening almost daily. For kids this might be the StarLab portable planetarium, stargazing, Rhyme Time for infants, an art club during the school breaks, story time, wildlife talks, magic shows and a lot more.

For grownups there are book discussions, talks by authors and acoustic music performances, and that’s barely scratching the surface. There are film screenings on Fridays, for little ones in the morning and for adults later on.

11. Phelps-Hatheway House

Phelps-Hatheway HouseSource: Phelps Hatheway House and Garden / facebook
Phelps-Hatheway House

In neighboring Suffield, this historic house gave me all kinds of insights into the lifestyles of the wealthy in the 18th century.

The earliest portions of the Phelps-Hatheway House went up in 1732.  Then in 1795 major changes were made by the prominent architect Asher Benjamin for the land speculator Oliver Phelps. Benjamin added the ceremonious Doric portico that greets you at the main entrance.

The central block of the building is from 1762, set around an imposing chimney and ornamented with exquisite original woodwork.

At one time, following the Phelps and Gorham Purchase of six million acres of upstate New York, Phelps was one of the largest landowners in the United States. He lived here from 1788 to 1802. The residence is replete with 18th-century furniture and decorative arts, and has a refined parterre outside.

Come for tours on weekends from May through October for a glimpse of the domestic life of the Phelps family and the Burbanks before them. At other times, tours are available only by appointment.

12. Pell Family Farm, Somers

Pell Family FarmSource: Pell Family Farm / facebook
Pell Family Farm

Exactly the kind of place I’d hope to stumble upon in the New England countryside, Pell Family Farm goes back to 1930 and is now in its fourth generation.

Between late spring and fall you can pay a visit for the wonderful strawberries and raspberries. These have been a specialty for decades. Meanwhile the nursery offers perennials, privacy trees and ornamental shrubs.

In fall there’s a pumpkin patch, and in the holiday season people come to pick out and cut down their own Christmas trees.

13. Redstone Rail Trail

Old East Longmeadow Rail StationSource: en.wikipedia.org
Old East Longmeadow Rail Station

You can pick up this short but sweet paved trail just over the state line in East Longmeadow.

The Redstone Rail Trail is little more than 1.5 miles long and follows a long abandoned railbed. This stretch was once on the New York, New Haven & Hartford Armory Branch of the New York & New England Railroad, in use from 1872 to 1968. 

Heading north, towards the end of the walk you’ll see the preserved Old East Longmeadow Rail Station (1876).

Another curiosity near the trail is the East Longmeadow Rotary, an intersection of seven streets without traffic lights. I don’t think it’s a surprise that this junction is notorious among drivers.

14. New England Air Museum

New England Air MuseumSource: jjbers / Flickr
New England Air Museum

The largest aviation museum in the Northeastern United States is a simple road trip on the other side of Windsor Locks.

Aviation has played an important part in Connecticut’s history, and this museum will tell you all you need to know about Sikorsky Aircraft. That manufacturer was founded in the town of Stratford and produced the United States’ first viable helicopter in the 1930s.

There are eight Sikorsky planes and helicopters on show, among a total of 92 aircraft across three hangars. Other familiar names to me were de Havilland, Douglas, Grumman and Lockheed, to name a handful.

Among the exhibits you can’t see anywhere else, there’s the Silas Brooks Balloon Basket (1870), held as America’s oldest aircraft. Also extraordinary are the last-surviving Sikorsky VS-44 flying boat, and a Sikorsky S-39, the maker’s oldest-surviving aircraft.

15. Grassmere Country Club

Grassmere Country ClubSource: Grassmere Country Club / facebook
Grassmere Country Club

Open to guests, this public course in Enfield has a nine-hole track in lush, hilly terrain. The wooded landscape here is streaked with little brooks, and both the fairways and greens were in great shape on my round.

Smartly positioned sand traps and grass bunkers will test your approach play on every hole. Before you start there’s a practice green to help you find your touch.

Considering the famously high level of upkeep, rates are very reasonable. When I played it was $24 on weekdays and $25 on weekends for nine holes, while you can rent a gas cart for $10.

15 Best Things to Do in Enfield (CT):

  • Six Flags New England
  • Riverside Reptiles Education Center
  • Enfield Historic District
  • Sonny's Place
  • Powder Hollow Brewery
  • Connecticut Trolley Museum
  • Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail
  • Scantic River State Park
  • Enfield Fourth of July Celebration
  • Enfield Public Library
  • Phelps-Hatheway House
  • Pell Family Farm, Somers
  • Redstone Rail Trail
  • New England Air Museum
  • Grassmere Country Club