Connecticut

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Country Fairs, Dragon Boats, and the CT Open, August 19-20

Tennis, anyone? The CT Open rolls into town this weekend, and you won't want to miss defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitovas at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. Their Kids Day on Sunday offers affordable admission as well as on-court clinics, giveaways, and autograph sessions. Or perhaps you have a hankering for some carnival rides, the animals, the music, and fried dough? Then don't miss the array of country fairs happening all over Connecticut from Bridgewater to Somers to Lyme, not to mention the Oyster Festival in Milford or a Dragon Boat Festival in Hartford. If all this fair-going has left you looking for something a little more sedate, catch your breath at the Up-Cycled Paper Bead Necklace workshop in New Haven or an outdoor screening of The Secret Life of Pets at Riverwalk in Shelton. 

For the latest and best family-friendly goings on around the state, keep checking in on our frequently updated events calendar and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and don't miss our new Instagram feed--tag your photos with #mommypoppinsct to share your weekend adventures with us!

Have fun!

The Solar Eclipse: Getting Kids Psyched and Watching as a Family

What's all too fleeting, potentially a bit hazardous, and absolutely something you need to experience with your kids? We're talking about the solar eclipse on August 21st, of course! For the first time since 1979, parts of North America will be treated to a total solar eclipse—a rare moment when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, temporarily blocking the sun. 

How dramatic the eclipse is will depend on where you are located geographically. People in the states that fall in a diagnonal line from Oregon to South Carolina are in the path of "totality," meaning they'll be exposed to a complete blocking of the sun. The rest of us will see a crescent shape as the moon partially blocks the sun from our view. Nevertheless, scientists and educators nationwide are encouraging everyone to plan to watch this astronomical phenomenon. So we tapped John Aviste, a civil engineer who runs the popular Edge on Science camps in New York and Massachusetts, to help us understand why—and how—families in all of Mommy Poppins' nine regions should witness the eclipse. Whether you've been preparing for this moment for years or are just catching up now, read on for some useful tips—from explaining eclipse science to little ones to ensuring that everyone's peepers stay protected.

Weekday Picks: Kids Opera, Family Concert, Summer Fair: August 14-18

Summer fun is slowly coming to an end and CT kids will be heading back to school in the next few weeks. Thankfully, there's still time for some last blasts of summer fun; our end of summer bucket list has 25 excellent ideas on how to end summer on a high note. This week enjoy a free opera for kids, a sunflower maze, and an old fashioned country fair

The Event Calendar is continually updated with free events, activities, and the best things to do in CT so check back often and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to be sure you don't miss a thing.

Connecticut's Best Sunflower Patches and Places to Cut Your Own Flowers

One thing I always look for forward to is the blooming of tall, fresh-faced sunflowers, peering over me, bringing the sunshine a little bit closer to earth.  My family loves to be surrounded by fresh flowers as well as bring them into our home, and there is nothing better than cutting your own (forget grocery store bouquets!). If flowers make your day like they do mine, then you will want to check out the great places you can dance amongst the daisies here in Connecticut. And, of course many of these places offer pick your own berries, veggies and fruit too.

For Family Thrills, Try Whitewater Rafting—Just a Few Hours from Boston

Surrounded by the flat, meandering Charles, Boston has a reputation for some great kayaking and canoeing. But whitewater adventures? Not so much. However, in just a few hours or less, you can find real-deal rapids that rival many you might find in the southern mountains or even out west. Even better, southern New England is home to some experienced guide companies who run family-focused trips that introduce beginners to whitewater rafting with an eye toward safety, education, and fun. If you think your crew is game to try some whitewater rafting, here's a breakdown of three companies who operate trips in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and southern Vermont.

Summer Daytrip to Monroe

Monroe is a quiet, little outpost north of Bridgeport on the way to Danbury, with the obligatory (and lovely) town green/gazebo this state is known for.  But that old town center is now a long way into town from the highway — most of Monroe's hustle and bustle these days is along one of two corridors — route 25 or route 111 (Monroe Turnpike), near the Trumbull line.  That being said, there are a couple of outdoor gems off the beaten path that make a trek out from lower Fairfield County worth the time spent getting there, whether your kiddos are tiny or teens.

Weekend Fun: Waterski Show, Pirates, and All Things Italian

The dog days are upon us, and soon it will be time for back-to-school shopping. But there is still time for a few more weekends of summer fun. For starters how about learning about the history of the very first airplane flight, which took place right here in Connecticut (no matter what North Carolina says). For more down-to-earth fun, learn about the role pirates played in Colonial trade. And after you've worked up an appetite, refuel with pizza, porchetta, sausages, pastries, and gelato at the 50th Annual Italian Festival. As always, in the event of rain, be sure to check that your intended activity is still on before jumping into the car.

We hope you'll follow Mommy Poppins Connecticut on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and subscribe to our newsletters to stay in touch. Have a great weekend!

Science, Machines and Nature Museums in Fairfield County, Connecticut

From trying on a real space suit, to jumping into a the cockpit of a full-size helicopter, to touching a shark, Fairfield County offers some top-notch museums when it comes to science, nature, and machines. Featuring authentic and original equipment, imaginative and creative displays of abstract scientific concepts, and a variety of hands-on, interactive engagement, kids are sure to love exploring these Fairfield County museums. And so will their grownups!

Looking for more STEM fun? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

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