Things to do near mohegan sun that aren't gambling

  • Donna Summer Theater, Mashantucket Pequot Museum, and more are must-visit places near Mohegan Sun.
  • You can also visit New England National Veterans Cemetery, Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, and Foxwoods Resort Casino.
  • The closest major airport is T.F. Green International Airport, which is a 25-minute drive from Mohegan Sun.

Mohegan Sun might be one of the top destinations for gambling in Connecticut, but there’s so much more that you can do around here that doesn’t involve slots or tables. There are plenty of things to do near Mohegan Sun that aren’t gambling.

Whether you are looking to explore the local nature, learn something about the tribes, or see some live music, everything is within easy reach from this venue.

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If you get bored of playing , you can go hiking or check out some museums. I will talk about the best non-gambling attractions around Mohegan Sun in this article.

Donna Summer Theater

  • ‘Beautiful’ – February 24 – March 1
  • ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ – April 4-9
  • ‘COME FROM AWAY’ – May 30 – June 5

Even if you decide not to gamble at Mohegan Sun, you should at least check out its theatrical shows. This entertainment venue hosts many events every season, including concerts, stand-up comedy, circus shows, and Broadway performances.

There are two theaters on-site, Mohegan Sun Arena with 11,000 seats and the smaller Cheniere Energy Auditorium (also known as the Wolf Den and Earth Kiva). The last one consists of an intimate cabaret setting, where you can enjoy drinks and food while watching singers, comedians, magicians, or dancers.

Another great place to watch a show is the 3,5000-seat Silver Leaf Theater, renamed Donna Summer Theater in December 2022. This performer from the disco era was the first woman in history to have four singles in the US top 10 at the same time.

The theater hosts traveling Broadway shows such as “Beautiful,” “Escape to Margaritaville,” and “Come From Away,” which are just a few examples of the plays scheduled for 2023.

You can buy tickets for all these shows on the . Alternatively, you may call 877-475-8499 or visit the box office.

Mashantucket Pequot Museum

  • Explore the history and culture of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribes
  • See life-sized dioramas and interactive exhibits
  • Admission – $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for kids aged 5-18, free for children under five

One of the top attractions near Mohegan Sun is the . This facility belongs to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribes, like the nearby casinos, and it tells the story of their ancestors.

This modern building houses multiple galleries displaying artifacts, photos, weapons, clothing, and other items related to the daily life of the Pequots during the past four centuries. In addition, there are several dioramas showing how they hunted, fished, and farmed, together with life-size models of a typical village and a religious ceremony.

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Moreover, the museum provides educational programs for students of all ages, audiovisual presentations, temporary exhibitions, and special events like craft fairs and powwows. If you want to learn more about the native communities of Southern New England, don’t miss this place. 

Pequot Trail Network

  • Hike through forests, fields, and wetlands along the Pequot River
  • Length – 13 miles, wide 6 ft. Gravel path
  • Free access, open 8 am – sunset

Connecticut has plenty of natural trails and state parks where you can enjoy outdoor activities away from the crowds. For example, the makes it possible to hike along the Pequot River through forests, fields, and wetlands for nearly 14 miles.

This gravel path starts south of I-395, east of Exit 76, and continues northward to the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation. Part of this trail crosses the casino’s property, so only guests are allowed to walk there between 9 pm and 6 am.

However, the most interesting parts of this network are west of the highway because that’s where you can contemplate farmland, wildflowers, ponds, old mills, historic cemeteries, and the river itself. Some sections of the route intersect with older roads or railroads, and there are benches along the way if you need to rest.

If you feel like biking instead of walking, that’s fine too. Dogs are welcome as long as they’re leashed, and horseback riding is allowed on certain sectors marked as equestrian ways. Park your car at one of the designated spots and start exploring this beautiful corner of the Nutmeg State.

New England National Veterans Cemetery

  • Final resting place for veterans and their spouses
  • Scenic views of hills, trees, and lakes
  • Address – 1829 Spring Rd, East Granby, CT 06026

Another nice place to visit near Mohegan Sun is the where more than 25,000 veterans and their spouses have been laid to rest since 2018. This 370-acre site features winding roads surrounded by forests, hills, and two lakes.

Feel free to pay your respects by reading some of the engraved names or attending one of the frequent burials or memorial services. Please be aware that photography and pets are not allowed, and you must stay on the paths.

According to their official site, this national cemetery will eventually hold over 60,000 grave sites. It’s going to be the largest veterans’ burial ground in New England and one of the top attractions in this region.

Foxwoods Resort Casino

  • Over 4,500 hotel rooms, suites, and timeshares
  • 125,000 sq ft for slot machines and 28 poker tables
  • Address – 350 Tribe Street, Ledyard, CT 06339

If you feel like changing one gambling resort for another, you can visit the located about six miles west of Mohegan Sun. As you may guess from the name, this venue belongs to the Mashantucket Pequot’s tribal rivals, the Paugussette Great Foresters (a.k.a. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation).

Jokingly speaking, these two tribes could merge their resorts into a single complex named Megatwin Mountain. In serious tone, Foxwoods is the second-biggest casino in the Nutmeg State after the one discussed on this page.

In fact, this rival venue features more hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, and shops. Its gaming floor is also larger (), featuring not only slots and video poker but also Asian games, Poker Room, High Limit Room, Non-Smoking Area, and two Casino of the Sky Dome structures.

Some of the lodging options available on-site are also bigger, such as the Grand Pequot Tower with 512 rooms or the MGM GRAND at Foxwoods with 34 floors and 630 accommodations. Besides, Foxwoods Resort Casino has two separate timeshare properties, known as Foxwoods Villas and The Suites at Foxwoods.

Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel

  • Benedictine Sisters Monastery, gift shop, meditation garden
  • Mass Schedule: Wednesday 10:00 AM & 6:00 PM; First Friday 7:00 PM; First Saturday 9:00 AM
  • Address – 202 Golden St, North Stonington, CT 06359
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If you prefer religious attractions over casinos, you may like to visit the , circa 18 km (11 miles) west of Mohegan Sun. Also known as Our Lady of the Abandoned, this shrine was built in neo-Byzantine style between 1963 and 1964 as a private chapel for a small group of Benedictine sisters.

When when they moved to another location in 1986, they donated this church to the Archdiocese of Hartford as a pilgrimage site dedicated to Saint Katharine Drexel. Thousands of visitors come here each year to admire the interior murals, pray, light candles, attend masses, or join retreats.

Apart from the shrine itself, this facility includes a monastery, a library, a sacristy, a reception room, a kitchen, dormitories, a garage, and a gift shop selling rosaries, statues, books, and other religious objects. Outside, you can find some flower beds, a fountain, and a meditation garden with a large bronze statue of the saint.  

Submarine Force Library and Museum

  • Exhibits about US Navy submarines
  • Location: 1 Pearl St, Groton, CT 06340
  • Hours: Tue–Sat 10 am – 5 pm

Connecticut has several military museums related to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Air Force, etc.; but did you know that there’s also a submarine museum? It’s called Gallery of Ocean Challenge at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, and it’s located in Groton, circa 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Mohegan Sun.

This institution opened in 1965 as part of the naval base, and it became public in 1974. Today this place has over 30,000 square feet of indoor space for research facilities, a reference library, a 160-seat lecture hall, and three exhibit halls displaying various artifacts, photographs, models, torpedoes, medals, paintings, and submarines themselves.

Actually, the gallery features two retired vessels that used to belong to the US Navy: the Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, and the Clamagore, a diesel-electric boat used for training and movies/TV shows (Das Boot, Crimson Tide, The Hunt for Red October, and Chicago PD). Both subs are moored outside the building, connected by a land bridge.

Admission to the museum is free, but they will appreciate a donation. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m., except for some holidays. For further details, you can call (860) 694-3545 or check their website.

UConn Law School – Thomas J. McLarry, Jr. Law Library

  • Modern architecture and amazing views
  • University of Connecticut School of Law – 245 Crown St, Groton, CT 06340
  • Open Mon–Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
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It may sound strange to include a law library among the best things to do near Mohegan Sun, but please hear me out. This building is part of the University of Connecticut School of Law, located in Groton (about 25 km east of the casino).

Known as Thomas J. McLarry, Jr. Law Library, this modern facility has seven floors of resources related to jurisprudence, most of them digital. However, what makes it stand out is its architecture and location.

Firstly, this structure has an angular shape rising above the Thames River like a glass sail of a ship. Secondly, its upper levels offer panoramic vistas of the water, the hills, and the bridges. Thirdly, there’s a pedestrian skywalk connecting both towers of the law school across the street.

You can go to the third floor of the library to use the public computers and printers or request assistance from a librarian. By the way, did you know that online legal research is freely available through the ?

Oakdale Theatre

  • Upcoming concerts – Jim Breuer (Mar 3), YES (Mar 10), TobyKeith (Apr 7), Lynyrd Skynyrd (May 25)
  • Address – 95 South Turnpike, Wallingford, CT 06492
  • Parking lot opens 1 hour prior to doors

Another excellent place for live music near Mohegan Sun is the , circa 16 kilometers (10 miles) west of Hartford. This concert venue has a capacity of up to 4,500 people and hosts dozens of events each year.

Most shows take place in the main theatre, but they also have occasional parties or festivals spread across multiple stages. All sorts of artists have performed here, including rock bands, metal groups, country singers, rappers, pop stars, comedians, and DJs.

For instance, some of the biggest names scheduled for 2023 are Kid Laroi + Machine Gun Kelly, Toby Keith, YES presenting Close to the Edge, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Besides, the Oakdale Center offers VIP packages, meet & greets, soundcheck parties, and exclusive merchandise.

Bushnell Park Carousel

  • Hand-carved horses, dragons, unicorns, camels, and more
  • Rides – 25 cents (ages 1 to 91)
  • Address – 233 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106
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The Hartford area has many artsy attractions besides museums and theaters. One of my favorites is the , located in the heart of the city. This vintage ride dates back to 1914, and it was fully restored in 1996.

Commissioned by the Woman’s Literary Club, it was originally located in Bushnell Park until 1972. After being refurbished again, it moved to Bradley Airport in 1997 and came back to the original spot one year later.

This hand-operated merry-go-round features 52 hand-carved animals, including horses, ostriches, deer, eagles, dragons, lions, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, camels, and a unicorn. Each figure is unique, and some of them weight over 200 pounds.

Riding this antique carousel only costs 25 cents for anyone aged 1 to 91. Bushnell Park also has some modern rides for kids, paddle boats, snack stands, playgrounds, fountains, statues, gardens, benches, and walking paths.

Central Rock Gym

  • Indoor climbing walls for beginners and experts
  • Equipment rental: shoes – $5 / harness – $4
  • Day pass – $22 / month memberships available
  • Address – 75 Enterprise Dr #1, Plantsville, CT 06470

If you seek more active attractions near Mohegan Sun, consider visiting one of its neighboring towns, such as Plantsville (circa 13 kilometers / 8 miles southeast). This municipality has plenty of green areas for sports, walks, and picnics, but the nearest place for rock climbing is the .

This facility has 28,000 sq ft for walls, mats, balance beams, trapezes, slings, and other gear. There are dozens of routes for lead climbing, top rope climbing, bouldering, and belaying. They also provide crash pads for bouldering or you can rent shoes ($5) and/or a harness ($4).

Central Rock Gym has day passes ($22), flex members ($21/month), and traditional plans starting at $40/month. They also offer youth programs for climbing, fitness, and birthday parties.

Powder Hollow Ski Area

  • Downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing park, ski rentals
  • Open Mon–Thu 4 pm – 9 pm, Fri 1 pm – 10 pm, Sat 9 am – 10 pm, Sun 9 am – 7 pm
  • Address – 220 Powder Hill Rd, Pomfret, CT 06258
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Connecticut might be too warm for winter sports most of the year, but there are a few places where you can practice downhill skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. One of the most popular ones is the Powder Hollow Ski Area, located about 41 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Mohegan Sun.

This family-owned business has 17 trails for different skill levels, three surface lifts, and a lodge offering food, drinks, and equipment rentals. Snow tubing is available in a 400-foot hill with eight lanes and a magic carpet lift. Season passes cost $399 – $699, depending on the age and deadline.

By the way, this ski resort is open during the summer too. Between mid-June and late August, you can slide down their gravity parks using a variety of toys, such as cardboards, mats, saucers, discos, logs, and tires. Prices range between $15 and $20 during weekdays and $20 – $25 on weekends. 

T.F. Green International Airport

  • Several restaurants, shops, and services inside the terminal
  • Car rental companies – Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, Enterprise
  • Hotels near the airport – Hampton Inn & Suites Providence/Warwick, Marriott Fairfield Warwick

If you prefer flying over driving, you can play at Mohegan Sun and then go to the nearest airport to catch your plane. T.F. Green International Airport (PVD) is only 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of the casino, so it’s the most convenient hub for this region.

This transportation center serves millions of passengers every year, mostly for domestic connections but also for Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. The busiest destinations in 2022 were Orlando, Fort Myers, Denver, Atlanta, and Boston.

Once you arrive at PVD, you will find several chains providing food, drinks, gifts, electronics, cosmetics, duty-free products, and other goods: Au Bon Pain, Cinnabon, Dunkin’, Hudson News, J. Crew, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Natuarper, Newsstand, Starbucks, Tod’s, Victoria’s Secret, and more.

Several car rental companies have desks inside the terminal: Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, and Enterprise. Their offices are open from early morning until late night, although the returns may be 24/7.

As for the hotels, there are a couple of brands across the street or a short walk from the airport: Hampton Inn & Suites Providence/Warwick and Marriott Fairfield Warwick. Both have scores over 9.0/10 based on hundreds of reviews.

FAQ

Does Mohegan Sun charge an entrance fee?

No, Mohegan Sun does not charge any admission fee. Anyone can go there and enjoy the scenery, restaurants, and shops for free. Of course, you must be 21 years old or older to enter the casino proper unless accompanied by a parent.

Can you smoke in Mohegan Sun?

Almost all indoor spaces at Mohegan Sun are non-smoking areas. However, they have designated spots where you can smoke cigarettes, cigars, or vapes. Additionally, marijuana is tolerated only if you have a relevant medical permit.

What is the biggest casino in Connecticut?

Foxwoods Resort Casino is slightly bigger than Mohegan Sun regarding the number of hotel rooms and timeshare units. However, this rival venue is surpassed by its neighbor in terms of gaming floor square footage. As provided by , these are the approximate dimensions:

  • Mohegan Sun – Casino of the Sky Dome (2,700 m²) + Solarium (1,200 m²) + overall casino = 72,000 m² | 780,076 sq ft
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino – Great Hall (1,700 m²) + casino = 118,000 m² | 1,285,944 sq ft
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As you can see, Mohegan Sun has nearly 10% more casino space than Foxwoods, and almost twice as much if we compare the two skydomes. Incidentally, both venues have around 300 gaming tables (blackjack, roulette, baccarat, etc.) and 2,500 slot machines.

Is Mohegan Sun open 24 hours?

Yes, Mohegan Sun is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nevertheless, some shops, restaurants, and venues may close earlier or open later. Please check their specific schedules before planning your trip.

Does Mohegan Sun allow marijuana?

As provided in Sec. 30-21 of the , “No person shall smoke tobacco, light tobacco, smokeless tobacco, or tobacco products in any state building.” Therefore, you cannot consume regular cigarettes without authorization either.

Regarding cannabis, Sec. 21a-243 makes a distinction between medicinal and recreational uses. “Any person who possesses, uses, or transports marijuana…shall be issued a civil penalty of not less than fifty dollars nor more than 100 dollars” unless they have a relevant license and follow the regulations concerning dosage, packaging, labeling, advertising, etc.

To sum up, you are allowed to carry up to 1.5 oz (42.5 gr) of weed with you at Mohegan Sun as long as you have a . Without that document, you can only smoke in designated areas.

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