Stratford

Pumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays for New England Families

New England is brimming with fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of autumn and Halloween. Whether you stick close to home or make a day or weekend trip out of it, going to a pumpkin festival or visiting a glowing jack-o'-lantern display is a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season. Here's a sampling of pumpkin fun in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine over the next month. Get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for a jack-o'-lantern display on your own front porch!

Top Indoor Play Spaces Near Fairfield County, Connecticut

Is your house bursting with pent-up energy as winter drags on? Not a problem! Pack up the kids, round up a few friends, and head to one of these colorful, safe, and exciting indoor play places in Fairfield County.

Whether you're looking for a more traditional playground environment in a clean indoor setting, or a place that invites lots of jumping, running, and tumbling, there's no need to drive far. There are many indoor play places and family fun centers offering a variety of safe and eye-pleasing settings, interesting programs, and well-trained, kid-friendly staff. For even more indoor fun check out our Connecticut Indoor Play Guide.

Family Friendly Waterfront Dining in Fairfield County

It took me a long to admit this to myself, but since we're among friends I'll just come out and say it: I do not enjoy eating in restaurants with my children. Or, at least I didn't. Now my kids are older and reasonable and do not have temper tantrums if their grilled cheeses are cut into quarters instead of halves--or at any rate they don't do it often. Even though, for a long time, my idea of "family friendly waterfront dining" was grabbing a blanket, some drinks, and those precisely cut grilled cheese sandwiches and heading to my town beach, I have recently branched out to actual restaurants where I leave the picnic basket at home. In the warmer months, there's nothing quite like a meal with a waterfront view, and the options in Fairfield County do not disappoint. Here are some of our favorites.

Boost Baby’s Brain Power in One of These Fairfield County Classes

If you have a baby, you know: Just getting out of the house can feel like an accomplishment. Like seriously. Now let’s talk classes. Does your baby really need to take classes? Yes. And so do you. Trust us. 

Taking a Mommy and me—or Dad and me, or Grandparent and me, or nanny and me—class can boost your babe’s brain power, help develop social skills and foster creativity. (Bonus: you can make some new mommy friends!) Classes also offer the perfect excuse to let your guard down and groove to your favorite kid tunes, make a glittery sticky mess, and just remember how to be silly. Here are some classes for you and your babe in Fairfield County. For more, check out our Connecticut Class Guide.

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. And we've also rounded up Science Museums in the Hartford area.

Get Crafty at These After School Art Classes in Fairfield County

Art.  So simple.  Yet, impossible to define.  What I will say is, it can be the antidote to the stresses of an uber-busy Fairfield County kid.  Yes, they need to do their homework, practice their gymnastics and/or hockey, learn the piano, attend swimming lessons, and hey, master computer coding, but what about an after-school activity that's theirs to make and mold?  There are art classes on everything from anime to weaving available, and you can enroll in a short session, or one that lasts all semester. 

"Light the Way" Lighthouse Art Exhibit Street Stroll

My kids love art (and walking) so what could be better than a stroll this summer down Main Street in Stratford to check out the 20 lighthouse sculptures in the "Stratford Light the Way" art exhibit? This is Stratford's second street art exhibit, following on its popular "Share a Chair" art benches in 2015. This summer, Main Street in Stratford is dotted with six foot tall fiberglass lighthouses, designed and painted by local artists. Those who love art, lighthouses, and strolling down Main Street will be pleased!

A Visit to Boothe Memorial Park and Museum

I've been to Boothe Memorial Park in Stratford a few times, and only one word comes to mind to explain it: quirky.  If you're interested in Americana, it's here. Architecture, here.  Railroads, here.  Genealogy?  Yep, it's here.  There's even an observatory on the grounds.  Oh, and a chicken house.  And a HAM radio club.  I'll stop there for now.  And while the 32-acre property is inundated with curiosity-filled buildings, there is also LOTS of room for young ones to roam.  Massive grassy hills shaded by 100-year-old oaks practically beg for someone to roll down them. 

Outdoor Ice Skating in Fairfield County

Outdoor skating and Connecticut have an on-again off-again relationship. When it snows, the ice has to be shoveled. When we have a string of warm temps, we get slush. A frozen pond in this state has become a rare commodity. And, sure, indoor skating has its benefits with its reliable ice, comfortable temperature and lack of bumps and all.

But there is just nothing like skating outdoors when the ice is good and the sun is shining. Think a picturesque pond surrounded by woods to block any breeze. Think rosy cheeks and cozy scarves. Think Currier & Ives. Are you with me?

We have rounded up some postcard perfect ponds, municipal skating spots, and one particular open-air rink that has drawn in crowds for more than two decades. For even more winter fun check out our winter guide and CT winter bucket list!

Cheap Summer Camps for Kids in Fairfield County

Whether you're in need of full-time childcare or you're just looking for ways to keep the kiddos busy, dishing out cash for summer camp is hardly ever chump change. For many, summer camps can become a hefty expense running into well upwards of $300 per week. Lucky for us, there are a few options available here in Fairfield County (thanks to many town-sponsored programs) that won't break the bank this summer. Check out our summer camp guide for more ideas!

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