Activities and Living in New Haven

On campus activities

Yale's tree-lined campus in New Haven Connecticut has housed "a company of scholars and a society of friends" for over 250 years. Today it's also home to one of the world's largest research libraries, several of the most comprehensive global art collections, and over one million square feet of laboratory research space, and one of the largest indoor gymnasiums in the world.  The atmosphere is vibrant and welcoming. One architecture critic has called it "the most beautiful urban campus in America." 

Yale University Art Gallery

The Yale Art Gallery is the oldest university art museum in North America, with a collection of more than 80,000 objects dating from ancient Egypt to the present. Highlights include early Italian paintings, masterpieces by van Gogh, Manet, Monet, and Picasso, as well as works by American artists from Copley to Pollock, and the renowned Garvan collection of American decorative arts. The Gallery has recently completed a reinstallation of its major collections. The Gallery is located at 1111 Chapel Street, 203.432.0600.

Peabody Museum of Natural History

The Peabody Museum houses world-famous collections in the fields of paleontology, zoology, and anthropology. Permanent exhibits include dinosaurs, fossilized mammals, dioramas of North American habitat groups, meteors and meteorites, and halls devoted to North American, Mesoamerican, ancient Egyptian, and Pacific Island cultures. Admission is free with a Yale ID card. The museum is located at 170 Whitney Avenue, 203.432.5050.

Yale Center for British Art

The Yale Center for British Art houses the most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Its foundation is the gift of paintings, drawings, prints, rare books, manuscripts, and sculpture given to Yale University by Paul Mellon (Yale Class of 1929). The collection explores the development of British art, life, and thought from the Elizabethan period onward. The Center offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions and educational programs, including films, concerts, lectures, tours, and special events. Academic resources include the reference library and photo archive, the conservation laboratory, and a study room for examining prints, drawings, rare books, and manuscripts from the permanent collections. The Center is located at 1080 Chapel Street, 203.432.2800.

 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

Now in its 66th year, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, sponsored by the Yale Summer School of Music, brings the world's top chamber musicians to perform at the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills.


Payne Whitney Gymnasium

Yale's Payne Whitney Gymnasium is one of the world's largest indoor recreational facilities and features two indoor swimming pools; squash, basketball, and volleyball courts; jogging tracks; a fencing studio; and saunas for men and women. The air-conditioned William K. Lanman Center is a 30,000 square foot space for basketball, volleyball, and other sports activities with a suspended three-lane one-eighth mile Mondo indoor jogging track. The Adrian C. "Ace" Israel Fitness Center features state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, Cybex pin selector weight training circuits, and abundant free weights. Yale Summer Session students are entitled to a free gymnasium membership while enrolled in summer classes, with optional locker rental and towel service.

Outdoor Recreation

The Yale Outdoor Education Center, located on Powers Lake in East Lyme, provides opportunities for picnicking, fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, trap and skeet shooting, and other recreational activities. Seasonal memberships and daily access privileges are available. The Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, located at Short Beach in Branford, offers sailing programs, while horseback riding and riding lessons are available in New Haven at the Yale Polo and Equestrian Center.

Golf and Tennis

The Yale University Golf Course offers an eighteen-hole championship course, cart rentals, and a driving range. Tennis is available at the Yale Tennis Center, an outstanding facility featuring both hard and clay courts. Use fees are charged for both golf and tennis facilities.


New Haven

You will find New Haven a wonderful place to learn and grow during the summer. As a center for business and a mecca for the arts, New Haven is recognized as a city of innovation, culture and prosperity. Approximately 20 square miles with nearly 130,000 residents, New Haven is conveniently located between Boston and New York. As Yale President Richard C. Levin, a thirty-year resident of New Haven, notes, New Haven is “large enough to be interesting, yet small enough to be friendly.”

New Haven is a vibrant and thriving city that abounds with cultural opportunities:

  • World-class museums and theaters, galleries, libraries and several symphony orchestras
  • More than 120 distinctive restaurants featuring cuisines to tempt every palate
  • Major special events and festivals throughout the year, especially during the summer
  • Eclectic mix of shops and boutiques particularly in the city’s three main shopping districts: Chapel, Broadway and Audubon

When it comes to enjoying international cuisine, arts, shopping and cultural experiences – “It all happens here!”

New Haven is accessible by plane, train and automobile. Once here, it's an easy city to navigate on foot, by bicycle or bus. Yale also provides an extensive free shuttle service covering many areas of New Haven. There are a number of environmentally friendly ways to get around town. From health care to voter registration, this section is meant to provide useful information about some of the day-to-day services you may need once you have made New Haven your new home.

More to Do in New Haven:


Community Service

The Dwight Hall Summer Internship Program provides ten to twelve Yale undergraduate students with the opportunity to create their own community service or social justice projects in conjunction with a New Haven–based nonprofit organization. Applications are due in late February. For more information, see the Dwight Hall website.

 In addition to the Dwight Hall Summer Internship, a number of public service groups and community agencies provide volunteer service opportunities during the summer. Interested students should contact Dwight Hall.

Off-Campus Accommodations

Yale Off Campus Housing Office maintains listings of rooms and apartments in New Haven and the immediate vicinity. Accepted Yale Summer Session students seeking off-campus summer housing may visit the Housing Office in person or browse the listings online. The Housing Office is not able to respond to mail or telephone requests for housing assistance. The Off Campus Housing Office is located at 420 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06511.