During the summer who doesn't need lots of engaging ways to tire the kids out. While we've got posts on fun activities like biking, hiking, climbing and skateboarding, we know you may not have the time to read and digest them all when you're furiously strapping the "I'm bored!!!" kids into their car seats. Behold, the Fairfield County Cliff's Notes version—the list you can print out and stick in the glove compartment for that moment when you're all buckled up and ready to go—but you have no idea where. Get ready for some energetic fun in the sun with these fun family outings. Just bring your snacks and water bottles, and a sense of adventure.
Irwin Park - New Canaan
Most suited for the littlest of bike riders, this .75 mile paved loop is flat and easy – perfect for little kids just getting comfortable.
Weed Street (and Wahackme), New Canaan, CT 06840
Ridgefield Recreation Center Trails - Ridgefield
Another great option for little riders with three paved trails to choose from (.19, .24, and 1.17). Also, the rec center’s fantastic playground is right there.
195 Danbury Road, Ridgefield, CT 06877
Housatonic Rail Trail - Trumbull
With slightly older and more experienced bikers, you may want to check out the Housatonic Rail Trail in Trumbull. The 5-mile trail is relatively flat and easy to manage. Be sure to park on a street where a resident sticker is not required.
Tait Road (NOT Tait Mill Road), Trumbull, CT, 06611
Mianus Maze - Greenwich/Stamford
More ambitious – but still family friendly – Mianus Maze's various loops offer a combined 14+ miles of trails with differing degrees of difficulty. The old carriage paths are easiest for beginners, and more rugged trails are available for more experienced riders.
Old Mill Lane, Stamford, CT, 06902
Shelton Lakes Recreation Path - Shelton
The newly completed Shelton Lakes Recreation Path offers 4.1 miles of pre-dominantly crushed stone. Suitable for a variety of biking levels, the trail can be accessed at Pine Lake, where you find a parking lot.
Shelton Avenue, east of Meadow Street, Shelton, CT, 06484
Norwalk River Valley Trail - Norwalk/Wilton
This brand-new trail will eventually wind from the shores of Calf Pasture Beach, along the Norwalk River, to Danbury. Check their website to figure out which of the six existing trails will work for you.
Larsen Sanctuary - Fairfield
A 1.5-mile journey in the property adjacent to Connecticut Audubon Society.
2325 Burr St., Fairfield, CT
New Canaan Nature Center - New Canaan
The two miles of easy trails include marsh boardwalks and two observation towers overlooking the wetlands and catail marsh. When you're done hiking, you can enjoy the playground and everything else this popular nature center has to offer.
144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan CT, 06830
Mianus River Park - Stamford/Greenwich
This straddles Greenwich and Stamford with hard packed and easy to navigate paths, making it a great place to hike with kids. The park also features a 2.6 mile "nature trail" that includes 12 educational stations.
360 Merriebrook Lane, Stamford CT 06902
450 Cognewaugh Road, Greenwich CT, 06807
Devil's Den - Wilton
This preserve is the Nature Conservancy's largest in Connecticut. You can choose from a wide variety of loops depending on the distance and type of terrain you want to explore.
33 Pent Road, Weston CT, 06883
Tarrywile Park - Danbury
Over 21 miles of well-marked and maintained trails, with amazing views of downtown Danbury, Candlewood Lake and other historic sites. Print out the self guided tour.
70 Southern Blvd, Danbury CT, 06810
Webb Mountain Discovery Zone - Monroe
The 171 acre space offers a self directed scavenger hunt on easy to walk, well-marked trails. 27 learning stations encourage visitors to look for evidence of how the land has been used by people and animals. Each of the three trails is under 2 miles long.
71 Webb Circle, Monroe CT, 06848
Aspetuck Land Trust - Easton, Fairfield, Weston and Westport
Since the land in this massive preserve is not one big space, but dotted throughout the four towns, your best bet is to check their website. There are a number of great trails specifically tailored for kids throughout the preserve.
Shelton Lakes Recreation Path - Shelton
The "Rec path" is a popular, beautiful multi-use path located along five miles of the Shelton Lakes Greenway. Stroller and wheelchair accessible.
135 Shelton Ave, Shelton CT, 06484
Audubon Greenwich - Greenwich
Along the seven miles of trails you'll find breathtaking views and diverse environments. Bring your binoculars. Open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.
613 Riversville Road, Greenwich CT 06831
Huntington State Park - Redding
More than 7 miles of trail, great for family outings.
Sunset Hill Rd., Redding, CT
Saugatuck Falls Natural Area - Redding
Whether your family wants a flat course or hills, there's something here for you. 5+ miles of trails.
Enter at John Read Middle School, 486 Redding Rd., Redding, CT 06896
Letterboxing - innumerable locations!
This is a bit like geocaching, without the digital gadgets. Fun for all ages.
Greenwich Skatepark - Greenwich
Safe and supervised facility for kids age 6 and over. Skateboarding and inline skating. Skaters must wear full protective gear and children under 9 must be accompanied by an adult. Only Greenwich residents may buy annual memberships, but non-residents may register for camps and clinics.
Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, 100 Arch Street, Greenwich, CT
Graham Dickinson Spirit Skate Park - Ridgefield
Annual memberships are available for purchase by both residents and non-residents, but daily drop-in passes are also available. Camps and clinics available, too.
60 Prospect Street, Ridgefield, CT
Jennings Beach Skate Park - Fairfield
Free if you arrive on foot (or skateboard), but to park you must have a beach sticker (or pay the daily fee of $20 weekdays/$50 weekends). The park is supervised and allows both skateboarding and inline skateboarding. Helmets required.
880 South Benson Road, Fairfield, CT
Compo Beach Skate Park and Roller Hockey Center - Westport
This supervised park also features a blacktop area for those learning to skate. Children age 10 and under are required to have adult supervision and to wear helmets, wrist guards, and knee and elbow pads. Older skaters who have an appropriate waiver on file do not have to wear wrist guards and elbow pads. Week-long camps that run from 9 am to 1 pm are available for kids ages 8 and up throughout the summer.
60 Compo Beach Road, Westport, CT
Scalzi Park - Stamford
This is the only FREE skate park in Fairfield County with plenty of (also free) parking. Constructed in 2007, the park features ramps and several bowls. The skate area is gated during the winter and after wet weather, but it is not routinely supervised.
100 Bridge Street, Stamford, CT
The Skate Park at Calf Pasture Beach - Norwalk
Open 8 am to 9 pm (weather permitting). Admission is free, but you must pay for parking if you do not have a beach sticker ($20 weekdays/$25 weekends; $5 after 5 pm). On Friday evenings during the summer, they host an open skate with a trick competition and a DJ from 4:30-9:30 PM. Summer camps available.
Calf's Pasture Beach Road, Norwalk, CT
Adventure Park at Discovery - Bridgeport
The only outdoor ropes course for miles, this is an excellent way to spend a morning or afternoon.
4450 Park Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Carabiner's Indoor Climbing - Fairfield
This state of the art facility is right off 95, in the Fairfield Sportsplex.
85 Mill Plan Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824
Easton Community Center - Easton
This facility caters to all skill levels. Membership not required. Call 24 hours in advance to schedule a time.
364 Sport Hill Road, Easton, CT 06612
Sono Field House - Norwalk
Features a 1,500 square foot rock climbing area and an exciting ropes challenge course.
365 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Norwalk, CT, 06854
Contributors: Jacqueline Miller, Susan Isaak, Katie McKnight, Monika Nica