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Visit New Haven for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas June 14-28

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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 (, 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 ( 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.