Summer Fun

July "The Great Outdoors" Enjoy all that Mansfield has to offer outside!

We’re having some socially-distanced fun this summer! Each month, we’ll feature a different theme with fun activities for all ages. 

In July, we’re exploring "The Great Oudoors!"

Graphic explaining door decorating activity with icons of a door, a camera, and a computer

Community-wide Door Decorating Activity

It’s time to get creative! Residents and businesses are invited to decorate their front doors with each month’s theme as their inspiration. Houses, apartments, businesses - all doors are welcome!

For July, what do you love about "The Great Outdoors?" What are your favorite memories about being outside? What does "The Great Outdoors" mean to you?  

Once you’ve created your masterpiece, snap a photo and share it on Facebook or Instagram using #MansfieldSummerFun.

We can’t wait to see what you create!

And as you walk or bike around town, keep an eye out for Mansfield’s decorated doors! 


Mansfield is known for winding & rolling roads, scenic vistas, and gnarly singletrack. 

Mountain biking:

Road cycling:

Mansfield is a Bicycle-Friendly Community. Please follow the rules of the road

While all cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets, it is required by law that anyone under the age of 16 must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.

A girl sits near a pond with her back to the camera, painting on canvas

Channel your inner Monet!

The Parks & Recreation Department is hosting "Plein Air Painting in the Parks" this summer. Each Thursday during the series, bring your supplies (easel, chair, stool, paints, etc) and enjoy painting in a different park starting at 10:00 AM.

All skill levels are welcome. No instruction or supervision will be provided. Inclement weather cancels.

Please respect your fellow painters and practice good social distancing.

For more information, please call 860.429.3015 x0.

Mansfield Youth Services Summer Giveaways!

Mansfield Youth Services will continue to give away weekly activities to Mansfield families during the summer.

Here’s how to pick up your activity and be entered into a drawing to win a prize basket each week!:

  1. Pick up your activity on Wednesday (dates listed below) at the Mansfield Public Library between 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM or Mansfield Middle School between 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (during their food pick-up time).
  2. Send us a photo/video to or post your photo/video on our Facebook page, @MansfieldYouthServices, with your activity.
  3. Once we receive your “proof”, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing to win a prize basket. Winners will be drawn on the dates below and announced on our Facebook.
  4. Prize basket winners can pick their baskets up on Wednesdays (dates listed below) at Mansfield Middle School between 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM while you’re picking up your next activity and/or food kits.
  5. On Tuesday, August 25, we’ll announce our GRAND PRIZE BASKET winners, who can claim their baskets on August 26 at Mansfield Middle School between 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. All families who participate this summer by sharing a photo or video will be entered to win!
Submit your photo or video by:
Prize basket winners chosen:
Prize basket pick-up dates:
July 15: Rock Painting Kits
July 20July 21July 22
July 22: Playing CardsJuly 27July 28July 29
July 29: Sidewalk ChalkAugust 3August 4August 5
August 5: Marbling Art CraftAugust 10August 11August 12
August 12: "Bag o’ Crafts"August 17August 18August 19
August 19: Beach BallsAugust 24**Will be entered into GrandPrize Basket on Aug. 26**
A white picket fence extends from left to right with pictures from a storybook attached to the slats

Take a Story Walk!

The fun at the Mansfield Public Library isn’t all inside - look outside for a unique story experience! 

With support from Altrusa, the Story Walk is displayed on the fence along the new sidewalk. The current selection is a book about bugs. Read about different bugs, then see if you can find any of the highlighted species outside this summer!

The Library is currently closed to visitors, but you can request up to 10 books, magazines, audiobooks or DVDs for curbside pick-up. All items will be due in 2 weeks. Read all about the curbside pick-up process here.

The Library’s Summer Reading Programs for children, teens, and adults are (mostly) virtual this year! Learn more and sign up online:

Take it outside...dinner that is!

Many Mansfield restaurants have expanded their outdoor dining and takeout options. Enjoy dinner and drinks al fresco at your favorite restaurant, or take your meal to go for a ready-made picnic! 

Don’t have a yard or just need a change of scenery? Most Mansfield parks permit picnicking! Please be prepared to properly dispose of your trash and recycling and to practice social distancing when visiting the parks.

See what’s cooking all around Mansfield

Find Unique Outdoor Fun in Mansfield!

  1. The Adventure Park
  2. Mansfield Drive-In

Get a new perspective of Mansfield’s forests at The Adventure Park at Storrs! This privately-owned and operated aerial park gives visitors a chance to climb up in the trees. 

With over 100 treetop platforms connected by bridges, ladders, and ziplines, people ages 7+ can discover the joy of high and low ropes courses. Eight aerial trails are rated according to difficulty so visitors can create their own climbing experience. Children ages 3-6 can enjoy the Adventure Playground. 

Because the Adventure Park is limiting capacity to facilitate social distancing on our courses, they recommend booking a climb time in advance online. They request all visitors bring a face mask, and they recommend bringing your own gloves - utility/garden/work gloves work well. Gloves and face masks are available for purchase at the park. 

For more information or to book your visit, go to

Stone bust sculpture of woman with eyes closed and head upturned, set in a shade garden

Enjoy Art Outdoors!

Enjoy self-guided art and sculpture hunts, designed by the William Benton Museum of Art for any age. Using your mobile phone, learn about public art and enjoy a 40-minute walk on UConn’s campus.

Each walk starts at the Benton. Parking is available in any UConn garage (free while the University is closed) or non-reserved space in a parking lot during evenings or weekends. 

The Benton encourages you to: 

  • Take a selfie with the works of art and share it with them at #BentonMuseum
  • Be safe and don’t touch the works of art. This is an observational hunt.
  • Be safe and stay a safe distance from other visitors.
  • Respect the works of art and UConn’s campus rules, and leave no evidence of your visit behind.

Happy hunting! 

Time to hit the books...then head outside!

Looking to explore the great outdoors? Check out one of these books, available at the Mansfield Public Library, before your next adventure!

  • 591.51 MURIE A Field Guide to Animal Tracks 
  • 597.9 CONANT A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America
  • 598.075 SIBLEY The Sibley Guide to Birds written and illustrated by David Sibley 
  • 599.097 REID A Field Guide to Mammals of North America north of Mexico 
  • 582.1309 ELLIMAN Wildflowers of New England by Ted Elliman & New England Wild Flower Society 
  • 796.51 DODD Joshua’s Tract Walk Book  
  • 796.51 MCMANNERS The Backpacker’s Handbook by Hugh McManners 
  • 796.51 WERNER Backpacker’s Start-up: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking & Backpacking by Doug Werner 
  • 796.64 JOHNSTONE Bike Paths of Connecticut & Rhode Island: A Guide to Rail-trails & other Car-free places by Stuart Johnstone 
  • 974.6 MANSFIELD Trails for the Future: twelve scenic and historic tours for bikers and hikers in Mansfield, Connecticut 

  • J 595.7 WILSDON National Audubon Society first field guide: Insects 
  • J 745.5 BEATON Read, Learn & Create. The nature craft book 
  • J 796 HONOVICH Get Outside Guide: All things Adventure, Exploration, and Fun! by Nancy Honovich and Julie Beer 
  • J 796.5 GEORGE Pocket Guide to the Outdoors
  • J 796.5 JEFFERY My Great Outdoors Book: The Kids’ Guide to Being Outside 
  • J 796.54 DRAKE The Kids Campfire Book
  • J 796.54 LOY Follow the Trail: A Young Person’s Guide to the Great Outdoors by Jessica Loy 
  • J 796.545 WARSHAW Get Out! Outdoor Activities Kids Can Enjoy Everywhere (Except Indoors) by Hallie Warshaw

Thursday Game Afternoon

  • Hosted by Mansfield Youth Services
  • Thursday, July 23 from 4:30 PM - 5:40 PM
  • For students entering grades 5 - 8
  • Featuring: What Do You Meme?- Family edition
  • For link and password, email Danielle Annibalini (
Text describing virtual game afternoon activity for middle school students
puppets made out of leaves displayed leaning up against a tree in grass

Get Inspired by Nature!

While the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is closed, the museum will offer short, puppet-building and craft workshops via Facebook Live (@BallardInstitute) every Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m. ET!

All past workshops are available on the Ballard’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Join UConn Puppet Arts senior Elise Vanase on July 17 to make some simple, beautiful puppets out of natural materials you can find in your own backyard! 

Recommended for ages 6+.  

Materials needed: sticks, leaves, yarn, hot glue or tape, paint, googly eyes  

Rainy day? Break out the picnic blanket & basket!

Don’t let a few rain drops spoil your summer fun - Enjoy a picnic in your living room. No campfire? No problem! The Mansfield Senior Center shared this great idea for indoor S’mores!


  • 8 regular size graham crackers, broken in 1/2
  • 2 milk chocolate bars
  • 8 marshmallows


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 2. Lay 1/2 of the graham crackers on a cookie sheet. Top with chocolate pieces to cover. Then top with a whole marshmallow.
  3. 3. Bake until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.                             
  4. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining graham crackers, pressing down slightly to make a sandwich. Serve immediately and enjoy!
a stack of smores on a white background

More to come!