Ally Noel

Ally Noel

Latest posts by Ally Noel

Exploring Silence at Grace Farms

I don’t know about you, but lately my mind has been racing - my lists have been growing lists and my “to dos”  have been expanding at a remarkable pace. So, when I had the opportunity to Explore Silence with Grace Farms Foundation’s Arts Initiative, I jumped at the chance. 

My daughter and I have been to Grace Farms several times since its opening in 2015. When I try to explain my experience there to people, I frequently find myself at a loss for words. Grace Farms is a completely unique experience nestled in backcountry Fairfield County, and to understand this facility, you truly have to “experience” it.  

Trick-Or-Treat Neighborhoods in Fairfield County

Trick-or-Treating was a LOT of fun as a kid, but it is arguably more fun as a parent.  Personally, I’ve hit some rough, tantrum filled, patches along the way - empty neighborhoods, houses half mile apart, long driveways, no street lights, speeding cars - I never knew how many things there were to think of when planning your All Hallows Eve! Then, one year we hit trick-or-treating gold!  We found a neighborhood in Fairfield County  that was filled with kids, candy, and plenty of Halloween Spirit.  This got me thinking, what makes a trick -or- treating neighborhood great? 

Freakshakes - More Than a Milkshake

In my house, we like to mark big occasions with a special little treat.  Last day of school? Let’s get a donut! First day of school? How about a milkshake? But, sometimes not just any old milkshake will do. Sometimes you need to go big. Sometimes it’s a REALLY big occasion that needs  you to go so big that your milkshake needs its own zip code. Connecticut has a rich variety of ice cream parlors (check out our favorites in New Haven, Fairfield, New London, and Hartford) and over-the-top food experiences from Insane Ice Cream to a Chocolate Trail.  The latest wave of Frankenfoods to sweep the Nutmeg State seems to be Freakshakes. 
 

Build, Sail, Dance, Eat, See the Stars and Some Street Art in New Haven

Known as the birthplace of American pizza, the city of New Haven lives up to its reputation as a first class foodie destination. Thanks to Market New Haven, you can experience many culinary delights in the city of pioneering restaurateurs. But New Haven is more than a foodie town. It’s a place to explore history and architecture, art and culture. It's where ideas are nurtured and celebrated. Happily, it’s also very accessible to families and is wonderfully walkable. Take the kids for a day trip or a weekend getaway and experience the city for yourselves with this list as your guide. 

5 Kid Birthday Party Themes You Can Pull Off in a Small Space

When it comes to birthday parties, my daughter might want to dream big. However, the reality is our living space is quite small.  

Fortunately for her, she has a mom who loves to host creative parties; who likes the challenge of figuring out how to make small spaces work no matter what idea she comes up with. These five themes are big on imagination, even if you are short on space. Most of these activities can take place in one room and be personalized to appeal to boys and girls of a variety of ages. 

Find more tips on hosting a kid's birthday party in a small city apartment, from keeping the favors simple to curating the guest list.

5 Simple But Cool Slime Recipes to Make with Kids

As a child of the 80s, slime ranks pretty high in my archive of childhood memories. It was the stuff that made Ghostbusters awesome, and many of my childhood dreams involved running through an obstacle course getting covered with the stuff. Yet somehow the slime of the new millennium is even cooler. Even better that you can make it in the comfort of your own home with a few simple ingredients. Check out more cool boredom busters and crafts to do with kids.

Viewer Guide to the Parade Spectacular in Stamford

You may have heard of that other Thanksgiving Day Parade.  You know, the one that you have to get up at the crack of dawn, wait for hours in the street, and spend your Thanksgiving smooshed against strangers trying to catch a glimpse at floats as they work their way down Broadway.  Lucky for us Nutmeggers, we have the UBS Parade Spectacular that has all of the fun with none of the hassle.  For as long as I have lived in Fairfield County, the Parade Spectacular marks the beginning of the holiday season. Featuring 16 giant balloons, marching bands, fantastic floats, clowns, and a special visit from Santa, the Stamford parade is recognized as one of the best in the country. 

From where to park, to some insider tips, this guide provides you with all the information you need to make the Parade Spectacular a highlight of your family’s holiday season. For more seasonal activities, check out our November Go List

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