Connecticut

Post Hurricane Sandy Outings that are Open and Running in Fairfield County, CT

Oh, Sandy...what a week!  Much of Fairfield County is struggling with no power, limited resources and road access, and perhaps, most difficult of all, NO SCHOOL!!!!  With 5 days of no school down, and most likely several more to follow, my kids - and I - are starting to climb the walls.  

Now that we can safely leave our immediate neighborhood, we'll be hitting some of our favorite spots.  Below I've listed some parks, playgrounds and museums that are open, as well as some that have closed until they are restored to full operations. Our hearts go out to those who have lost more than power and a few trees in this storm. Life goes on and we hope that this list can provide a semblance of normalcy for those who are in desperate need of it.

Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT with Kids This Weekend November 3-4: Santas, Scarecrows & Parades

Many CT families are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We at Mommy Poppins wish our readers a smooth recovery and power restored quickly. Towns such as New Haven, West Haven, East Haven, Fairfield, Orange and Milford have delayed trick-or-treating until November 7. 

If you are able to get out of the house this weekend, we have some activities that will lift your spirits and give your kids a fun diversion. Just be sure to call before you go to make sure the event hasn't been canceled. While out and about be very careful of downed power lines and loose tree limbs.

Halloween Costume Parties, Carnivals and other Fun Events in Hartford County, CT

Hopefully Frankenstorm Sandy passes through without a re-enactment of last year’s Halloween power outages and trick-or-treating cancelations. There are so many fun Halloween festivities going on that we have our fingers crossed the weather doesn’t interrupt our plans this holiday. If you haven’t checked out any of the local Haunted Houses be sure to celebrate this year with one of these kid-friendly Halloween events in Hartford County.

The Family Wellness Center in New Britain is having a Halloween costume party Wednesday, October 31 from 10 am-12 pm. There will be Halloween themed games, activities and treats.

Saturday October 27, Blue Back Square in West Hartford will be hosting a Pumpkin Carnival & Halloween Stroll. Head over to the Whole Foods from 9:30-10:30 am for live music, giveaways, photo ops, games, and meet costumed characters. Then from 10:30-11:30 there will be a parade through Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center with trick-or-treating at participating merchants, opportunity to climb aboard a fire truck and more!

Mostly Free and Fun Things to do in CT with Kids This Weekend October 27-28: Fairs, Costume Parades and Super Heroes

As a kid, I remember pulling on my costume for the first time on Halloween each year.  Halloween was filled with dress up, candy and a huge carved jack-o-lantern on our front porch.  My kids have a very different experience with this holiday.  Usually by the time October 31st rolls around they've already worn their costumes half a dozen times at various events and parties.   Our front porch is adorned with an army of pumpkins and other decorations.  What was for me a one day event has for my children become a month-long extravaganza. 

As we enter the last weekend before Halloween we have tons of opportunities for your kids to dress up, collect candy, make crafts and have fun.  And best of all - many of them are FREE!

Halloween Train Ride Adventures in CT

Chug – a –Chug – a…BOO?  This Halloween train concept is a new one for me, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to check these out with my kids.  Last year my 4 year old and I took a Metro North train from Stamford to Greenwich (a ten minute ride) and she thought it was the greatest outing ever.  Wonder what she’ll think about some of these Halloween train adventures?

Our Visit to the Renaissance Faire in Hebron, CT

“Good day my lady”, the man fully clad in 16th century attire spoke in his thick British brogue. Surrounded by knights, Lords, horse-riding jousters and even King Arthur himself I thought I had stepped back in time to the Renaissance. Attend King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Festival and you will also get to experience what it was like to be a part of that era. This past Sunday I attended the opening weekend at the Hebron Lions Fairgrounds where the faire runs now until October 28. In its 14th season the festival is Connecticut’s largest Renaissance Faire.

GIVEAWAY! Family 4 Pack of Tickets to Attend the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Fully Charged Circus

What child wouldn't like to see "The Greatest Show on Earth"? Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus will be at the Webster Bank Arena October 18-21 2012. Fully Charged is the name of the show and there are sure to be many thrills. Mommy Poppins Connecticut is excited to be offering a Family 4 Pack of Tickets to one lucky winner.

The amazing acts include Tabayara, a dynamic animal trainer who can ride rearing stallions at a fully charged gallop and orchestrate majestic four-ton Asian Elephants in a symphony of dance. The kids will love Ukrainian strongman duo of Dmitry Nadolinkskiy and Ruslan Gilmulin, who are as wide as they are tall. The brawny twosome will lift large cumbersome telephone poles, which weigh up to half-a-ton, and twirl them above their heads while acrobats balance atop. There will be other thrilling acts that include extreme jumps and human rockets. Of course the clowns will be there to draw in the crowd as well.

Spa Birthday Parties for Kids (Central Connecticut)

Some of you have been envisioning this moment since baby girl was in utero.  Some of you cannot believe you just googled the words 'spa party'.   Either way, we've simplified the search for you in Central Connecticut, finding salons and spas that will provide the works for your girly girl and her gaggle of little girlfriends.  There are also several companies that simplify the  process by bringing the glam team to your digs. For even more great party ideas check out our Party Guide.

GIVEAWAY! 2 Tickets to see SPANK! The 50 Shades Parody at the Bushnell

This one is for moms (and dads) only! Mommy Poppins CT is giving away 2 tickets ($70 Value) to this new show which is a musical parody of Fifty Shades of Grey, the risqué novel which recently surpassed Harry Potter to become the fastest selling paperback of all time. Michael Mills, producer of SPANK!, says audience members can expect “a laugh-filled evening that captures all the escapist fun and absurdity of the novel. The Fifty Shades characters are brought to life with sexy and fun musical numbers.” Part Second City, part Chippendales, SPANK! delivers big laughs, sexy fun, and lots of surprises.

Lobby doors open at 6:30 p.m. in order for ticket holders to enjoy the company of friends and partake in a signature SPANK! cocktail. Fans can take a photo with the star of the show, and meet and greet the entire cast following each performance. If you don't win the tickets, don't fret. Mommy Poppins CT readers can get a $5 discount per ticket by using the password: GREY. Sounds like it could be a fun girls' night out!

Free and Fun Things to Do With Kids in CT This Weekend: Hayrides, Fairs and Teddy Bears 9/29-30

In my house we don't just carve a pumpkin in October.  We head to the pumpkin patch and fill an entire wagon with those orange gourds.  Our favorite farms are those where you can cut them right off the vine. We choose all shapes and sizes and sometimes like to speculate about what the pumpkins remind us of.  My favorite find last year was a pair of small pumpkins, one perfectly orange and round and the other a taller oval shape that I couldn't help but imagine would make the perfect "Bert and Ernie" Sesame Street themed pumpkins.  When we get home from our collecting trip we break out the yarn, pipe cleaners, paint, google eyes and of course our imaginations and turn that pile of pumpkins into creatures.  Past pumpkins have been transformed into a witch, mummy, spider, ghost - the possibilities are endless.

We've compiled lists of area farms where you can choose the perfect pumpkins for your porch and many of them offer additional activities like corn mazes, hayrides and my family's favorite - apple cider donuts.  Get the scoop here on area pumpkin patches in Western CT and Fairfield County. It looks as though it may be a cloudy weekend, but in the Northwest Corner of CT the fall foliage is definitely starting its glorious display. Kent, CT has been named the #1 Fall Foliage town in all of New England by Yankee magazine for two years in a row. Great place for a daytrip this time of year.

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