There are so many great bakeries in every corner of Connecticut. But, like many of you, my daughter’s school is a nut free facility. For everyone’s safety, if we want to send in treats for celebrations and birthdays, they have to be store bought and in their original sealed containers. For really special celebrations, like birthdays and holidays, I like to bring in something a little more festive than a box of Oreo Cookies. Thankfully, Connecticut has a growing list of bakeries that can provide a fresh-baked treat that everyone can enjoy.
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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 Downtown 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.
It's never too late to organize a super simple Halloween Party. This year I hosted our fifth annual neighborhood party and tested out some frighteningly easy Halloween snack recipes. They must have been a hit, because my little ghosts and goblins didn’t let out a single boo in protest. Now that I have my fifth party under my (witch's) hat, here are a few tricks for how to host your own Halloween Party.
Fairfield County provides one of the most enriching and diverse independent educational experiences in the country. There are so many opportunities available, it may be hard to choose the right match for your child. Although the school year may have just opened, it is the perfect time to start thinking about the 2017-18 academic year. Admissions season is just gearing up, so make sure to make note of open houses and admissions schedules.
All of the schools on this list provide a thoughtful educational experience for the youngest of learners, and are sure to set the stage for a lifelong love of learning. Most of these programs run for the academic year, from the hours of 9-3. Many provide enriching before and after school programs for parents who need to extend the school day.
The days may be getting shorter, but the cool, crisp, fresh air of fall is the perfect time to have a picnic. If you are looking for a picturesque country setting, Fairfield County offers some wonderful locations to park your basket and unroll your blanket. Picnics are a perfect way to take advantage of a sunny day and get together with family and friends.
Some of Fairfield County’s best parks and beaches are also great places to have a picnic. Whether you are a history buff, want a little adventure, or just want to enjoy the bucolic setting of Connecticut estates and lakes, there is something on this list for you.
There are two things that every child needs to thrive: fresh air and food. Sure, they also need unconditional love, education, support, etc, etc, etc, but lucky for us, fresh air and food are pretty easy to come by in Fairfield County.
Some of our first family dining experiences were at outdoor restaurants - the atmosphere just seemed a little bit more relaxed than being stuck inside with a screaming infant. Take advantage of the extra hours of light this summer by enjoying these outdoor dining experiences. From the traditional lobster roll, to the not-so-traditional walking nachos, to lakefront, to beachfront, Fairfield County has a little bit of everything. Make sure you check out the Facebook and Instagram accounts of these restaurants to take advantage of special events and menus. And read our post on fun restaurants across the state where kids can play while you eat and relax.
One of my favorite things as a child was searching the seashore for shells. To be honest, I never cared much to go into the deep, dark water. Perhaps this is why I loved tide pools so much- I could spend hours mining through rocks and sand and collecting all the little creatures and shells that the tides left behind. Fortunate for us, we can enjoy the unique ecosystem of the Long Island Sound on many of our Connecticut Beaches
Now that I am a parent, I love sharing this great New England tradition with my daughter. I love the sense of exploration that tide pools enable without the need for floatation devices. They also provide the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. Each one of the beaches in this list offers the perfect setting for your budding marine life expert. Make sure you check out the tide charts before you hit the road.
Slides are fun in playgrounds, in pools, and maybe even in your own backyard. However, the notorious “summer slide” is nothing to joke about. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “numerous studies have confirmed that children experience learning losses in math and reading without continued opportunities for skill building over the summer.” The good news is, summer learning experiences surround us if you know where to look. Take advantage of all of our cultural institutions, nature centers, libraries, and museums by turning Fairfield County into a living classroom.
Some of my favorite “educational moments” happen way outside the classroom. Summer sets the perfect stage for exploration and adventures. Fairfield County offers engaging summer reading events at almost all the libraries, live theater performances, and hands on science and nature experiences. You can even take summer learning on the road and enjoy one of these Science, Machines, and Nature Museums in Fairfield County.