Summer Travel Savings In New England

Korky Vann
Savvy Shopper
The new Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods has a Midweek Madness Shopping Package getaway.

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer, is just ahead, which means it's time to get going on your vacation plans. If you're looking for fun on a budget, here's some free and low-cost suggestions to help.

>>Staycationers should check out Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's "The Sky's the Limit 2015 Hiking Challenge," created to promote hiking in 14 of Connecticut's state parks and forests. Participants receive a medallion for hiking up 10 designated locations — and folks who hike all 14 high peaks will be entered into a drawing for one of 50 free hiking staffs.

"What a great way to be spending time outdoors hiking Connecticut's high peaks with family and friends and joining others in a friendly challenge to visit all 14 locations and win prizes along the way," said Robert Klee, DEEP Commissioner, when the program was announced.

To get the medallion or enter the drawing, you'll have to snap a selfie by each State Park or Forest shield sign and one at a designated location on the trail, then submit them to DEEP. Information:

>>The new Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods are opening on May 21 and bargain hunters can shop 'til they drop with a Midweek Madness Shopping Package getaway. For $219, you'll get a deluxe room at the Fox Tower and a $50 outlet gift card; or a deluxe room at the Two Trees Inn and a $75 outlet gift card. The offer is good Monday through Thursday, through July 23. (Some restrictions apply.) Information: Call 1-800-369-9663 for reservations.

>>Heading to the Big Apple? Rather than dropping hundreds for a Broadway production, catch a show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre at 307 W. 26th St. The entertainment venue, founded by Amy Poehler and others, offers improv, sketch and comedy events at ticket prices that range from free to $10. Schedule and tickets at

>>If Broadway is a must, stop by a TKTS Discount Booth, in three New York City locations. They offer tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway musicals and plays at up to 50 percent off. (You can also download the free official TKTS app for iOS and Android.) The Theater Development Fund, which runs the TKTS booths, also has a new OffOff@$9 Program that offers Off-Off Broadway theatre, dance, performance art and music tickets for just $9. Information:

>>Old Sturbridge Village is offering Family Packages — and they're good deals. Getaways include two days admission for two adults and two children, lodging in the Reeder Family Lodge and other activities. (Activities vary depending on dates and package you choose). Getaways start at $179. Information:

>>Boston is a quick, two-hour car ride away. The Intercontinental Boston Hotel's Revolutionary History Boston Tea Party package, starting at $299, includes one-night accommodations in a room overlooking Boston's historic waterfront, two adult admissions to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and the Old South Meeting House; two tea-infused beverages, including hard tea rum cocktails; and a Boston Tea Co. Connoisseur's mini-wooden tea chest with gourmet-blend tea bags. (Some blackout dates apply.) Information:

>>There are historic houses throughout New England and you can visit 36 of them free on June 6, when Historic New England holds its Open House Day. Urban mansions, rural estates and working farms, including Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, will offer free tours. Hours vary and some tours require advance registration. Information:

>>Wine! Chocolates! Celebrity gossip ! Grab your bestie and take off for Cape Cod. Bayside Resort in West Yarmouth, Mass., has Girlfriend Getaways Packages that include two nights' accommodations for two adults in a deluxe queen room, two bottles of wine, snacks and chocolates, celebrity magazines, local shopping information and a keepsake gift. (You can add on dinners, whale watches and other activities for additional costs.) Summer midweek prices range from $309 to $549, depending on when you travel. Information: The package must be book by calling 800-243-1114.

Copyright © 2018, CT Now