Latest posts by Ally Noel
Ahhh, summer—the sun rises early and sets late, and the day's pace is slower. There are countless hours to fill with excitement and relaxation, and our Connecticut Summer Fun Guide will help you plan some seriously awesome adventures. On those days not spent at the beach, Connecticut's many outdoor festivals and fairs will have your family feasting on cotton candy or dancing in your lawn chairs. Indulge in fresh strawberries, introduce the kids to poetry and jazz, show them how cool old cars can be, and listen to their screams of excitement coming from carnival rides. Grab a picnic basket and a blanket, pack your camera, and marvel at all the fun Connecticut’s festivals and fairs have to offer.
Want more? We've got guides on TONS of idea on how to get the MOST out of Summer! Check out our Theme & Water Parks Guide for ideas to stay cool, or peruse through our complete Summer Fun Guide. Click through to our listings for all the details, including address, time and prices.
STEM activities are all the rage in education right now, and for good reason. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) – and the Arts for STEAM – are crucial to kids’ learning and our future. But how to get your younger children interested?
They might not be ready for coding, but many preschoolers under age 5, and even toddlers, can enjoy some basic STEM principles through play. Although one of my family’s admitted guilty pleasures is relaxing with a little screen time, I was inspired by the upcoming national Screen-Free Week (April 30-May 6, 2018) to take my daughter on a STEM binge instead.
We built an apple boat, a toothpick-marshmallow castle, attempted a pom-pom drop, and indulged in baking soda science. Read on for a list of 25 tried-and-true screen-free STEM activities to do with your preschooler.
I remember receiving some electrical socket covers as a baby shower gift - the women around me were so excited, “You are going to need those” I heard several times. Then there was that time I texted a photo of my daughter rolling over and received a text from my mom stating something along the lines of “time to put up the baby gates”. “I’ve got time”, I thought to myself.
I realized I ran out of time when I shared some video of my daughter taking her first steps and the Internet responded with “now the fun starts!” Except, it wasn’t fun. All of a sudden my comfortable home became a deathtrap. I was sure that every edge of furniture would lead to my beautiful baby’s demise. Short of wrapping my baby girl in bubble tape, I knew it was time to call in the professionals. From fireplace guards to full blown playroom design, these local Fairfield County companies will ease your mind and provide a safe space for your child to develop and grow.
Although Mother Nature has had a few extra tricks up her sleeve this winter, signs of spring are slowly spreading across the state. The daffodils are blooming in Litchfield, trails are ready for the pitter patter of feet in Stamford, and ice cream cones are just about ready to be filled in Newtown. Perhaps the biggest sign of the change of seasons for many of us is spring break and its five whole days free of school and routines.
Before children, I would mock those parents who sat in their car waiting in the drive-through line at Starbucks. While I had the luxury of walking right up to the counter and ordering my foamed caffeinated beverage, they would sit in their cars and wait. On the way out, I would walk by and smugly think “beat ya”, to myself while they still waited in their cars.
My, how times have changed. Nowadays, if there is a drive-thru within a ten mile radius I will drive to it. When the nurse asked me which pharmacy I use, I automatically chimed “CVS, the one on Willard. You know, the one with the drive-thru”. Drive-thru dry cleaning? Sign me up! Stuck in the car during nap time? Curbside delivery it is! Thankfully, Fairfield County has its fair share of drive-thru, drive-in, and delivery establishments that go beyond Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds.
Beach life is the good life, right? Sure, your lazy days of summer spent lounging in the sun may seem like a thing of the past, but exploring the Connecticut coastline with a toddler in tow is a whole new kind of fun. Chances are you are just a quick trip away from one of these beaches & lakes to explore around the state. So, after you have thrown in the bathing suit, swim diaper, change of clothes, another change of clothes, sunscreen, more sunscreen, bug spray, a towel, another towel, sand toys, and a beach chair (you know, for all that sitting you are going to do), it’s time to hit the road and check out one of these toddler approved spots.
What makes these parks “toddler approved”. Well, for starters, all have bathrooms and concessions. They also have a little something else to occupy your wee one's sense of wanderlust. From nature centers, to splash pads, swimming pools and campgrounds - each one of these beaches should make planning a summer day feel like a breeze!
“Let’s just have a simple in-house party” are my famous last words. Some party hats, cake, and pizza are all these kids need for a good time, right? Anyone else out there start off with the best intentions, then get hit with the harsh reality that entertaining a horde of sugared-up and party-crazed kids is far from simple? I've realized that sometimes it takes a little outside the box thinking to entertain even the pickiest of critics (aka: your kid.)
Here's a simple solution: host the party at home, but outsource the entertainment (and maybe even the decor!) Below are several outfits that will come to your home and put on an extraordinary party that goes beyond clowns and face painting. From circuses to hula hoops, there is something for everyone. For more party ideas check out our Party Guide!