When your child takes those first steps into toddlerhood, it becomes obvious that the game has changed. No more baby that sleeps soundly in a carrier, or is amused by being pushed around in a stroller. Toddlers hit the ground running and are ready for some hands-on interactive fun. Those loveable bundles of joy have endless energy and an unquenchable desire to explore their surroundings. That's why we've rounded up 25 places in Fairfield County we know toddlers will love, from active play options to animal fun to sweet treats. Many of the destinations on our list are free, and some of the activities also appeal to older siblings.
Check out our top 25 tot spots and if we missed any of your favorites, please add them in the comments.
1. Silverman’s Farm - Easton
Pick fruit, pet the animals. One stop farm-fun shopping.
451 Sport Hill Rd., Easton, CT 06612 203-261-3306
2. Devon's Place - Norwalk
This is inside Mathews Park, and includes a playground and splash pad. Its famous neighbor is our next entry.
295 West Ave., Norwalk, CT 06850
3. Stepping Stones - Norwalk
The best children's museum for miles. Toddlers go batty for the water play area. Although most of the museum is intended for walkers, make sure you check out the pre-walker area of tot-town. This soft play areas provides a frequently sought after play space for the smallest museum patrons.
303 West Ave., Norwalk, CT 06850 203-899-0606
4. Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center - Westport
This place is so cute, educational, and manageable with just enough animals to elicit squeals of joy. Earthplace offers an indoor museum filled with interactive areas and an animal hall. If the weather is cooperating, you can also enjoy their trails and outdoor Birds of Prey exhibit free of charge. Make sure you check their daily calendar for special events.
10 Woodside Ln., Westport, CT 06880 203-227-7253
5. The Maritime Aquarium - Norwalk
A fantastic aquarium with plenty of hands-on opportunities for adventurous types. This is a popular Fairfield County destination offers something for everyone - including a soft play area for the youngest explorers.
10 N Water St., Norwalk, CT 06854 203-852-0700
6. Best Time Ever - Stamford
Mommy and Me art classes with really cute projects are a core part of the business here. Best Time Ever has an impressive collection of drop-in crafts that would spark just about anyone’s imagination.
633 Hope St., Stamford, CT 06907 203-614-8511
7. The Cookie Workshop - Trumbull
Drop in to this nut-free bakery to roll, decorate and bake together. Gluten-, egg- and dairy-free doughs available!
100 Corporate Drive, B104, Trumbull, CT 06611 203-452-8872
8. Boothe Memorial Park - Stratford
You kind of have to see it to believe the level of quirk here. Americana, architecture, playgrounds, room to roam. And free, too.
5800 Main St., Stratford, CT 06614 203-385-4052
9. The Discovery Museum and Planetarium - Bridgeport
This made the list because it's generally quiet, and there's a lovely little gated play space devoted to toddlers. Check our your local library’s museum pass program. Some offer a free trip to the Discovery Museum for up to four children!
4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604 203-372-3521
10. The Giggling Pig - Shelton
This warm, friendly art studio takes tykes as young as two for drop-off.
472 River Road, Shelton, CT 06484 203-919-1153
11. Tumble Jungle - Newtown, Fairfield, Norwalk
A place for them to bounce off the walls. That is all. And enough!
12. Stamford Museum & Nature Center - Stamford
This wonderful place has all kinds of domestic animals and great rotating exhibits indoors. With a daily schedule of events, there is always something going on at the SMNC. Their festival weekends offer some hands on fun for the whole family.
39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT 203-977-6521
13. Giant Steps - Fairfield
It's more than a retail location. There's an indoor play space, a Lego table, a train table, and a tiny stage for the musically inclined. Shop for any upcoming birthday parties, or come for one of its free classes.
226 Kings Hwy E., Fairfield, CT 203-873-0754
14. Stew Leonard's - Danbury, Norwalk
The place if famous. And dare I say it's the closest thing you're gonna get to Disney World (or Chuck E. Cheese's) in Fairfield County. Singing barnyard animals, milk bottling and ice cream on-site.
15. Housatonic Valley Rail-Trail - Trumbull
Just over three relatively flat miles meandering along the Pequonneck River. Bring your stroller and get removed from the hustle and bustle of life. (Unless you have a town of Trumbull parking sticker, you'll have no choice but to park at the Tait Rd. trailhead, as opposed to the Old Mine Park end).
16. Beardsley Zoo - Bridgeport
A walk in the park with animals everywhere. What more could they want?!
1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06610 203-394-6565
17. Mead Memorial Park - New Canaan
A great playground with excellent (seasonal) concessions and lovely ponds where you can feed the ducks.
241 Park St., New Canaan, CT 203-594-3618
18. New Canaan Nature Center - New Canaan
Another great spot devoted to the great outdoors in this beautiful, all-American town. This FREE destination offers a variety of activities. Before you take a walk one of of their two miles of hiking trails, make sure you stop at the Visitors Center and grab one of their backpacks filled with activities to complete on the trail.
144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT 06840 203-966-9577
19. Webb Mountain Discovery Zone - Monroe
There's a proper hike to be had here—either super simple or a little more advanced. Grab the free scavenger hunt page to enhance your visit.
71 Webb Cir., Monroe, CT 06468 203-556-9737
20. Jungle Gym at Olé Soccer - Fairfield
This brand-new indoor play space is clean, with plenty of seating, and water fountains and bathrooms in the same enclosure.
525 Tunxis Hill Cut Off, Fairfield, CT 06825 203-873-0309
21. Ferris Acres Creamery - Newtown
A place parents will go crazy for, too. The ice cream is to die for.
144 Sugar St., Newtown, CT 06470 203-426-8803
22. The Beach - Pick the closest one!
One of the best parts of living in Fairfield County is the proximity to the shore line. Even in the cooler months, the beach is a great place to explore your natural surroundings
23. Insports - Trumbull
In addition to sports programs, there's a great open playtime.
29 Trefoil Dr., Trumbull, CT 06611 203-268-1214
24. Jones Family Farm - Shelton
Wonderful berry and pumpkin picking in a stunning hilltop setting.
606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd, Shelton, CT 06484 203-929-8425
25. Chip's - Trumbull, Fairfield
I'd dare you to show me a kid who doesn't love pancakes, but I've been to enough rodeos to know there's always ONE. Anyway, for the rest of us: here. Pancakes. Best around.