So there's a lil' community called CT Moms that has some great insights on raising rugrats, and I turn to them with questions to my "what the %^&* do I do?!" sorts of questions. There was a recent post on summer fun that I thought was worth passing along. Here's an excerpt of my favorite parts of this blog entry on a little summer salvation courtesy of CT Moms (most links added by yours truly):
Fairfield County has a plethora of things to do with little kids but
when it’s 8am in your house and you’re already pulling your hair out
with stir-crazy children running around you in circles, it can be hard
to think much less put together a plan to go out! Relax, review the
list below and just make sure to pack snacks, sippy cups and diapers for
• Silverman Farm: Great petting zoo; you pay 25 cents to feed the animals. Awesome for picking apples, peaches and pumpkins.
• Chestnut Hill Park: Stamford. Lots of kids in good weather – like instant play dates.
• Mead Park: Best park café around.
• Nature Center: Stamford (fantastic – don’t miss the reptiles from 10am -2pm!!). Lots of farm animals. (SN: Check out special events.)
• New Canaan Nature Center: Awesome large birds and other animals. Great Natural Playground for kids.
• Aquarium: Norwalk (good indoor activity).
• Stepping Stones: Norwalk (good indoor activity). (SN: We are here all. the. time.)
• EarthPlace: Westport 9am-5pm.
• Beardsley Zoo: Bridgeport Zoo — a manageable size for the little ones. (SN: Great birthday parties here; kids have a pleasant freakout when they can actually touch the animals.)
• Bronx Zoo — super big and super fabulous!
• Cove Beach — Stamford beach. Love it. Soundwaters, the house on the
right side of the beach is fun to explore. Plus if you like to boat,
they have afternoon and sunset sailing on a large schooner. (SN: note you need a pass in the summer; Stamford residents can pick one up at 888 Washington Blvd.; check out summer activities for kids too.)
• Sheffield Island Lighthouse and Nature Trail.
• Lake Compounce – awesome amusement park. 1 hr and 15 mins away.
• Bartlett Arboretum has a new educational space and natural playground
for the kids. Don’t miss summer Sunday concerts in the garden! Plus lots
of great trails to hike. (SN: Including summer concert series, which we've loved.)
• Miniature Golf Norwalk (next to Calf Pasture Beach) $5 per person for 18 holes.
• KidCity Middletown. Abt 60 miles from Stamford. Great Children’s
Museum. Get reciprocity if you have Stepping Stones Family member plus.
• Go Wild in Greenwich. Family Field Day and Hot Air Balloon Ride.
• Norwalk Oyster Festival, September. (SN: We've been and we couldn't find any oysters...but fun all the same.)
• New Haven Trolley Museum.
• Fire Department — almost any will let you tour anytime.
• Any Construction site provides great joy for my boys.
• Digger Park in Darien — Cherry Lawn Park. (SN: Our son went NUTS over all the trucks to play with.)
• Schooner in Stamford. Sound Waters You can have an afternoon sail with the whole family, or a sunset sail with dad.
• Choo Choo: Ride on the train just one station or to Grand Central. My boys LOVE this.
• Aviation Museum, Long Island (right next door to Fire Museum.Very very cool, parents will love too!
• Fire Museum, Long Island: attached to the Aviation Museum(about 1 hr from Stamford)
• Bridgeport Bluefish Baseball: Tickets $7- $18 each. You can get a group
discount. We had a BLAST last year. The stadium is small and
manageable. Plus lots for kids to do in the kids area.
• Train Museum in Danbury: Fall Foliage Rail Excursion – train goes from Danbury to the charming
town of Kent. Pumpkin Patch Trains In addition to the train stuff, they
also have fun fall stuff those days (cider, cookies, coloring station
etc). Santa Trains too. Birthday parties too: Sat: 11am — 1pm, 2pm -4pm
and Sunday 2-4pm Danburyrail.org for more info. The pitfall is that
Danbury is kind of a hike but it opens at 10 so if you leave early, you
can spend just enough time to get home for the nap.
• The Dinosaur Place.
• Brooklyn Childrens Museum (reciprocity w Stepping Stones family plus).
• Long Island Children’s Museum.
• Mystic Day Trip.
• Peabody Museum in New Haven: They have a great exhibit on the earth
(interactive), very large dinosaur models, a room of taxidermy birds,
and small room upstairs where kids can watch ants building a colony see
Pick Your Own Locations in CT: LocalHarvest.org – for a full list of u-pick farms, plus farmers
markets, events, and info on heritage crop. PickYourOwn.org – websites
and directions to local farms in your area, plus resources for canning,
too. FarmFresh.org – for pick-your-own farms and farmers markets in the
northeast (and soon beyond). (SN: We did Jones Family Farm this past weekend and had the absolute best time; hey, there's a vineyard too win-freakin-win!)
• Waveny Concerts. (SN: It's also a lovely park just to walk around and watch the model airplane folks decorate the sky with their creations.)
• Westport has a pretty good children’s series in summer too (magic shows, puppet shows, concerts, etc).
• Rowayton Beach Concerts.
• Daily Cruises to Sheffield Island & Lighthouse Tours
• Kayaking: Family Fun for all!
• The Shore Line Trolley Museum: $8 adults; $4 kids 2-5yo; Ride the historic Branford Electric Railway; take the trolley to a shady
picnic grove; see trolleys and artifacts of the trolley era; watch
craftspeople in the restoration shop.
• Ride the Naugy: $12 adults; $8 kids 3-12yo
• Railroad Museum of New England in Naugatuck (Litchfield Hills). Take an
hour long ride with vistas of scenic waterway, the region’s wildlife,
and the Thomaston Dam.
• Essex Steam Train and Riverboat. (SN: Great place to bring a picnic and make a day of it.)
• The Philip Johnson Glass House: $30-$45 per person (all ages including children); Okay, so this isn’t exactly family friendly, but if you can go your
should. I’ve been trying but the first two seasons have been sold
out!…The mission of the Philip Johnson Glass House is for the 47-acre
campus to become a center-point and catalyst for the preservation of
modern architecture, landscape, and art, and a canvas for inspiration,
experimentation and cultivation honoring the legacy of Philip Johnson
(1906–2005) and David Whitney (1939–2005). In addition to guided tours,
the Glass House will launch programs and provide national leadership in
the preservation of the Modern.
May Fair, the Saturday before Mother’s Day. It is the largest one day
fair in the state of Connecticut. They also have a huge tag sale as
part of it. It is held at St. Mark’s Church in New Canaan. Lots of fun!
Phew! So that's the CT Moms post, and I'm tired just copying it! It's been a great inspiration for us. Hope it helps you have a fabulous summer.