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Connecticut has Arts, Ideas, and Inexpensive Accommodations

Bolder Dash is a fun ride at Lake Compounce, in Connecticut
Bolder Dash is a fun ride at Lake Compounce, in Connecticut
Lake Compounce

Connecticut is filled with elegant, ritzy, luxurious and expensive inns, granted, but as of this summer, it will also have an affordable overnight option for the family. Bear Creek Campground in Bristol/Southington, Connecticut, is a brand new 15-acre campground with 20 fully furnished cabins that sleep up to 10 people, 56 RV sites with water and electricity hook-ups, and 30 tent sites. In addition, five tipis have been added to the campground, each sleeping six and equipped with cots, electrical outlets and a miniature refrigerator.

The campground also has a main lodge that features a general store for stocking up on camping staples, as well as a 24-hour restroom, shower and laundry facility. Each campsite has a picnic table perfect for games and meals, and a campfire pit for barbeques.

"Bear Creek gives out-of-town guests an affordable overnight option," says Jerry Brick, Lake Compounce General Manager. "They can bring their own tent, RV or even rent a cabin or tipi, and spend a few days exploring not only Lake Compounce and Crocodile Cove, but other Connecticut sites. As the park grows, we continue to hear from guests that it's almost not possible to 'do it all' in just one day."

The campground is owned by and shares property with the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the country, Lake Compounce Family Theme Park. Guests will be able to purchase two-day passes to Lake Compounce for the price of a general one-day ticket. It's just a short walk or tram ride away from the award-winning wooden coaster, Bolder Dash, to the theme park.

Lake Compounce opens tomorrow, May 10 for the 2014 season. Passes are currently on sale for the 2014 season for $74.99, summer passes for $50 and general admission tickets for $39.99. More information and the park's operating schedue can be found at lakecompounce.com.

Reservations for Bear Creek Campground are now being accepted online at www.campbearcreek.com. Sites start at $35 per night, and campers may purchase discounted tickets to Lake Compounce Theme Park and Crocodile Cove Water Park upon checking in. Group rates will also be available. Visit www.campbearcreek.com or call 860-583-3300 x6905 for additional details.

Also in Connecticut, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven's yearly showcase of performing arts, lectures and conversations from around the world, unveils the 2014 line-up for its 19th annual summer festival, rnning June 14-28. The theme for this year's festival is "Transformation & Tradition," gathering together artists and thinkers who have drawn from the past in order to imagine the future in ways that are startling, bold, and exciting.

"We're looking forward to another year of serious fun this June," said Mary Lou Aleskie, Executive Director of International Festival of Arts & Ideas. "From our signature concerts on the New Haven Green that take every advantage of beautiful summer evenings to the work of artists and thinkers presented on our stages, this is a festival that speaks to the core of what we do best: engaging, serious work that is entertaining and a whole lot of fun."

The festival kicks off with a concert performance headlined by Lalah Hathaway, the Grammy-winning vocalist and pianist who fuses R&B, jazz and pop, and Rubbin Studdard, the winner of the second season of American Idol.

Additional highlights include the U.S. premiere of Scottish playwright David Greig's new work "The Events," Montral-based circus company "7 Fingers," off-Broadway hit "Traces," jazz legend Dianne Reeves performing with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and more.

There will be five free headline concerts on the historic New Haven Green, 11 ticketed events from major international artists and performers, and 15 lectures and conversations from a vriety of renowned speakers. Attractions also include several interactive tours throughout New Haven, ranging from urban cycling adventures to culinary themed tours. Festival audiences may participate in master classes and workshops to learn the processes and techniques that went into the festival's performances.

The festival continues to draw a global audience of more than 100,000 art lovers, scholars and families each years. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 888-ART-IDEA and online at artidea.org., which the latter also gives a complete schedule and list of events.