I think a backyard ice hockey rink sounds like something straight out of a Rockwell painting (well, maybe not the hockey part, but humor me here). Snow falling, a stand of trees in the background, the unmistakable scraping sound of metal on ice. Whoops. How idyllic is this gonna be if my boys have no clue how to skate, much less handle a stick?! Being that this is the Northeast, there are a good many rinks in Fairfield County where your little boys and girls can learn the game (while you hone your bleacher warming skills). For more winter fun, check out our Winter Fun Guide.
Brandee Gilmore made the turn from media maven to mommy with the birth of her first son in 2008. During her 'maven' days, she produced and directed television shows for Bravo and the Outdoor Life Network, before settling into TV newsrooms in Maryland, Washington D.C., New York City and Connecticut as an on-camera reporter, anchor and writer. Aside from moonlighting for Mommy Poppins CT, Brandee also acts as Media Coordinator and PR consultant for Olive My Heart, a gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop in Hudson, Ohio. Brandee graduated from Long Island University, Southampton, with a major in marine science and completed her Masters in broadcast journalism at Boston University. Brandee has been married eight years, and has two sons. She lives, bakes obsessively and plays backyard baseball in Trumbull, CT.
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Latest posts by Brandee
You might think of ice fishing as something people only do in Alaska or Minnesota...or the movies. You'd be mistaken, come late January or early February! Weather permitting, right in the Fairfield area, you can whip out your auger and put a line in ... not to mention spend hours of quality time with your family. This particular Mommy Poppins doesn't know a jig from a lure, but she did scour the state's fishing message boards for tips on where to find the honey spots. And if that's more of an outdoor winter adventure than you need, what about day-tripping out east to see the annual eagle migration? You can track them by land, sea, car, or train. Cabin fever, be gone!! And we've also rounded up where to see the Hartford area eagles.
Getting outside this time of year doesn't come naturally for many -- it can seem far more fun to curl up with cocoa on the sofa and binge-watch movies. But children (and you) NEED to get outside, breathe fresh air, and take in some Vitamin D. The trick is finding a fun way to work up a sweat in freezing temperatures. In Fairfield County, you can get the adrenaline going by strapping on some snowshoes or cross-country skis. For other cold-weather adventures, check out our Winter Fun & Activity Guide.
If you find yourself sans extended family this Thanksgiving in Fairfield County, maybe you're miserable, maybe you're counting your blessings. Either way, you've no doubt realized that cooking a feast for a family of four seems somewhat ludicrous. Perhaps going to a restaurant seems even more ludicrous, but hear us out... Some of the best chefs in the state are keeping their doors open, and are probably already prepping for the pumpkin soup, butternut squash ravioli, pecan nut tarts, and egg nog creme brulees they have planned -- not to mention a perfect slice of turkey and NO MESS to clean up. We've also listed restaurants open on Thanksgiving in Hartford County and Litchfield County.
Fall is upon us, friends, and that means I need a pumpkin on the porch VERY soon. Even if you aren't into Halloween, picking a pumpkin is an autumnal ritual for many, and the perfect excuse to get outside on a crisp afternoon. Fairfield County has more than a few great spots to seek out your jack-o-lantern-to-be, and most places offer activities like corn mazes and hayrides as well as cider donuts and other seasonal goodies. Check out our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide for lots of other great info! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and don't miss out on CT fun again!
During the summer who doesn't need lots of engaging ways to tire the kids out. While we've got posts on fun activities like biking, hiking, climbing and skateboarding, we know you may not have the time to read and digest them all when you're furiously strapping the "I'm bored!!!" kids into their car seats. Behold, the Fairfield County Cliff's Notes version—the list you can print out and stick in the glove compartment for that moment when you're all buckled up and ready to go—but you have no idea where. Get ready for some energetic fun in the sun with these fun family outings. Just bring your snacks and water bottles, and a sense of adventure.
Preschool. How could something so full of fun and games be so, so, so agonizingly difficult to select?! Surely, there was a time when it was either 'the one around the corner,' or that 'Montessori one across town. No more. The Montessori approach has been joined by Bank Street, Project Approach and Reggio Emilia (and no doubt, others I've never heard of). There's also a wide range in cost. And scheduling. And wait for it…admissions requirements. There are easily hundreds, if not thousands of options for preschool in Fairfield County. Mommy Poppins and her friends have, at least, HEARD good things about the following preschools, or have children enrolled in them. Surely, we've missed some good ones, so please jump into the conversation and let us know where they are (especially you city dwellers out there -- Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport)!
This is, seriously, one of the cutest towns in Fairfield County. Classic New England. Classic Connecticut. It is something straight out of a Norman Rockwell. I quickly googled just to make sure none of them actually was based on a New Canaan setting, and learned I'm certainly not the first writer to make the comparison. That being said, it's also home to some of the nation's wealthiest ... so, yes, you did read that price at the pump correctly. Our first list of 25 Things to Do in New Canaan was written a few months ago but there is so much to do we've added another 25 here. Enjoy!