Although it’s still a little rough around the edges, New Haven, Connecticut is undergoing a revitalization of its arts scene. So summer is the perfect time to take a day trip from New York City for the annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas (http://artidea.org), June 14-28, most of the family-friendly programming is free and open to the public.
Festival highlights: This year’s festival kicks off with a free concert on the historic New Haven Green featuring Grammy-award winning vocalist Lalah Hathaway and season two American Idol champ Ruben Studdard.
Additional event highlights include jazz legend Dianne Reeves performing with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (free), Montreal-based circus troupe 7 Fingers’ off-Broadway hit Traces ($35), and the latest work by New York dance artist Reggie Wilson and his Fist and Heel Performance Group ($35). Day packages (http://artidea.org/day-package-itineraries#june15) that include gallery tours, lectures and performances start at $55.
Getting there: From Grand Central, it takes about an hour and forty minutes on Metro North.