The Real Ghost Stories of Western Connecticut

By Monica Nika

As the cool October winds chase withering leaves down our streets at night while the pale lights of Halloween jack-o-lanterns flicker on the porches neatly decorated with frost-bitten mums, let's remember the 'real' ghosts and tell the stories of the 'truly' haunted places of Western Connecticut.  Read Connecticut's 'truest', spookiest and saddest haunted tales below.

Halloween Parties and Events in Fairfield County, CT 2011

By Monika Nica

Your kids can barely wait to put on their funny-scary-spooky Halloween costumes and hit the streets for some trick-or-treating. Why not spice up this favorite fall holiday with a special Halloween event or party? Something special is coming to most Fairfield County communities this October, as well. Read through our list to select the coolest event for your family for Halloween 2011!

Stepping Stones Museum for Children Debuts Math-tastic Exhibit: Cyberchase

By Sheila Hageman

Stepping Stones Museum for Children opened their new traveling exhibit this weekend, which is based on the Emmy award-winning PBS KIDS GO! math mystery series Cyberchase. The unique, educational and fun exhibit encourages children to make use of their critical thinking skills and approach math with an investigative, positive attitude.

My family visited the exhibit on opening day and spent at least thirty minutes absorbed in “math” fun.  The most interesting part was that at no time did my children even seem aware that they were “doing” math! Depending on your child’s age and stage, you can make this exhibit as consciously math-oriented as you like.  The best part is that your kids will be absorbing math concepts even if you don’t point that fact out to them.

The fun, cartoon-style exhibits were very appealing to all my children who range in age from one to seven.  My oldest most definitely got the most “mathiness” out of it, but my two-year-old was thoroughly engrossed by the bright colors and hands-on activities.  Even my one-year-old could pull himself up to some activities and feel a part of the action.

Fun and Free Things to Do in CT this Weekend with Kids: Norwalk Boat Show, CT Renaissance Faire, Free Museum Day

This weekend we've listed loads of fun things to do with the kids here in CT. The weather looks iffy so check the forecast before you head out. If some activities get rained out there's still plenty of indoor options for you such as Free Museum Day, Kent Library story time, an open skate session, “What To Do When a Bully Bothers You” performance,  as well as the SkippyJon Jones musical. Stepping Stones Museum will debut its new CyberChase Math exhibit on Saturday. You can also refer to our indoor playspace guide. But dear readers, we really hope the sun shines through because we have quite the roster of incredible fairs, shows, festivals and celebrations. The CT Renaissance Fair opens it's doors this Saturday, as does the Norwalk Boat Show, Durham Ag Fair and the CT Antique & Machinery Festival (just to name a few)!

This week we listed 13 Fun Things to Do this Fall with Kids in Litchfield County. We also posted about After School Activities and Classes for Tweens and Teens in Fairfield County. Fairfield Library has a great FREE tutoring program it is offering to students of all ages so we did a post of Free tutoring resources. Hope it helps!

Have you heard? Parents magazine has nominated Mommy Poppins for Best Local Blog! Please take a minute to vote for us. We'd REALLY appreciate it. Now, back to this upcoming weekend. Read more to see the extensive listing we've corralled for you. You can find even more events on our events calendar. Share the love and friend us on facebook and twitter to get daily insider scoops. Have a great weekend!

Free Tutoring and Homework Help Resources for Connecticut Kids

Many families are searching for ways to cut back on expenditures in order to stay within the family budget. Tutoring is one of those things that some children absolutely need yet it can be quite expensive. Parents should check into their local library to see if they offer services of some kind. For example, The New Milford Library has a homework help page that includes coverage of most topics including math, science, history and music. They even have a long list of homework help links. At the New Haven Free Public Library they provide reference assistance, homework help and readers advisory at the Young Adult desk weekdays after school. Call Sunnie at (203) 946-8130 ext. 234 for assistance.

The Fairfield Public Library launched a new program this Fall for students of all ages: live, one-to-one help from certified tutors online 24/7. Any patron with a valid Fairfield Public Library card can access the online services from the library or right from home.  A resume writing service is also available. The service is completely free for the Fairfield community.

Free and Fun Things to Do This Weekend with CT Kids: Fairs and Art Fest, Open Farm Day, Wilderness Survival 9/17-18

Wowza, I wish I had a time machine this weekend so that I could manipulate the clock and attend all of the fun  and creative events planned. There are loads of options and you'll be hard-pressed to choose just one. Wilton, Orange, Woodbury and Fairfield are having fairs this weekend. In Woodstock you can experience their Civil War Living History event. For survivalists, check out the free wilderness survival workshop in Kent and for animal lovers do the behind the scenes aquarium tour in Norwalk. There's even a hay bale search in Woodstock and a Rubber Duck Race in Woodbury. Club Getaway and K.E.L.F. are joining forces and opening the club for the day to families. Kayaking, the rock climbing wall and zip-lines are just a tiny bit of the activities to choose from on Sunday.

This week we've rounded up apple picking farms and are giving away tickets to the CT Renaissance Faire (the drawing ends this Friday night at 5pm.) If you are looking for after school activities in Fairfield check out our post. Join our growing facebook community and LIKE us today. You can also friend us on twitter to stay up to the minute with reminders of what's happening around town.

On a more serious note, our New Jersey editor has recently participated in a roundtable discussion for a CBS news special: "Bullying: Words Can KIll". It airs this Friday, September 16 at 8pm EST. The program covers the affects of bullying and explores methods to address it. Read more for the low-down on what's happening this weekend.

CT Renaissance Faire Ticket GIVEAWAY: Enter now! Ends Friday night at 5pm

Head out to the Connecticut Renaissance Faire for a unique family outing this Fall. I'm told it's even better if you dress yourselves up in period costume like the cute little bumpkin in this photo. Best part is that you can WIN FREE TICKETS right here. If you've never been to a Renaissance Faire - here's the scoop:
The Connecticut Renaissance Faire recreates a medieval English village at festival time, and their guests of honor are none other than King Arthur and Queen Guinevere themselves. Meet the royal couple, sing and dance along to period music, check out a variety of handmade wares in the medieval marketplace, partake of a juicy roasted turkey leg, test your skill as a warrior at the Hitting & Stabbing Emporium or in a safe and friendly contest of arms, and watch armored knights jousting on horseback.
In addition, the Connecticut Renaissance Faire is hosting a number of special events and theme weekends, including its popular “Halloween Knights” featuring safe trick-or-treating with our merchants and a nighttime flaming joust. Read more for directions on how to enter the drawing.

Norwalk Boat Show Ticket GIVEAWAY for Mommy Poppins CT Readers

The Norwalk Boat Show starts September 22 and runs through the 25th. It sounds like a really fun weekend in the Norwalk Cove Marina for water and boating enthusiasts. They have tons to do with the kids and guess what? We have 4 adult tickets to give away as well as 4 Blackbear pirate books and toy bears (kids get in for free). That means your family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) can bring another pair of adults with you. If you would like to win tickets through Mommy Poppins CT please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and write a comment below. You can also leave a comment on our Facebook page. You have a really good chance of winning so don't wait. Enter now. Drawing begins today and ends Friday, Sept. 9th at 5pm. Good luck!!

Things to do with the kids at the Norwalk Boat Show:

Meet 17 year old Ammy Sunderland, the youngest solo sailor ever to attempt to circumnavigate the globe. We all heard her story last year when her boat capsized in the Indian Ocean 12,500 miles into her journey and she was presumed lost-at-sea for two anxious days. She'll be on hand at the festival sharing her new book Unsinkable.

Back to the Lunchroom: Nine Steps to Healthy, Happy Kids

It’s that time of the year again. Time to choose new lunch boxes and get ready for the big day. While your kids may be more interested in what’s on the outside of their lunch boxes, what’s more important is what they’ll find when they open them at lunchtime.

The best time to implement any new ideas and guidelines on what goes in your kids’ lunch boxes is now—at the beginning of the school year. While some of these ideas may seem to create more work for you, in the long run, a few extra minutes of work will create a lifetime of healthy eating habits for your family. 


Here are some tips on how and what to pack inside lunch boxes to make both you and your kids happy!

ASAP After School Arts Program Litchfield County, CT: September Schedule

The After School Arts Program (ASAP), in its thirteenth year, is offering September workshops throughout Northwest Connecticut for residents and non-residents of Region 12 (Washington, Roxbury, and Bridgewater). I like the interesting and different after school activities that they offer at a reasonable price. Even better, all classes are taught by professional artists. Besides classes, ASAP offers many workshops. In October you and your child can join them on a field trip to Soho for the day. Listed below are the September workshops for all ages. You do not need to be a resident of Region 12 to attend.

Preschool (Ages 3-5)
Singing, Rhythm & Movement with Tom Hanford

Wersebe Hall, Washington

Wednesdays, 1:00-1:45pm

September 21, 28, October 5, 12

4 Sessions: $45

Vocal exercises, animal sound choral singing, simple traditional singing games, large movement with scarves, and rhythmic play with drums, bells, and shakers are just some of the fun elements of this musical movement experience.

Primary: Grades K-2
Storytelling with Lisa Worth Huber

Booth Free School Library, Roxbury

Tuesdays, 3:40-4:40pm

September 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18

5 Sessions: $55 for Residents; $75 for Nonresidents

Come celebrate the magic of stories.  We will create a storytelling circle where Lisa will share some traditional folk and fairy tales sure to spark the imagination. Together we will use the story threads from these ancient tales to weave our own stories, creating characters and situations that will delight, while laying the foundation for more advanced story construction.


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