Day one of summer vacation and the score in this house is kids 1 million, mom 0. While I dreamed of three freshly scrubbed, idyllic children working together on community service projects and requesting additional math assignments, the reality is the trio argues over, well… everything. Who gets the pink spoon, who gets the cow mug, who gets to grab yesterday’s mail out the box... and this is only the very first day of school break! Clearly, Operation Get the Heck Out of the House needs to be kicked into high gear. And what better way to keep kids of all ages and interests occupied than local fairs and festivals? If you're up for a day trip, we've rounded up fun summer fetes in Hartford and New Haven counties, as well as Eastern Connecticut. But if you prefer a fest right here in your own Fairfield County backyard, read on.
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
Whether it's getting out of the house in the winter, or filling massive amounts of free time in the summer, having somewhere to go that's free -- even better! A host of museums in Fairfield County and New Haven County have caught on to that fact, offering up free events in the coming days, and even year-round in some cases.
There is nothing quite as heartwarming as the homemade Valentine’s Day cards you get from your little munchkins. But if your house is like mine, those homemade bundles of love leave a trail of construction clippings, marker stains, and a thin layer of glue on every surface. Instead, you can outsource Valentine’s Day preparations at one of several events in the coming days. Or, scrap that idea altogether for love-inspired cookie decorating or a proper tea with your tyke. Kiss kiss, hug hug, everyone!
Whether you're in need of full-time childcare or you're just looking for ways to keep the kiddos busy, dishing out cash for summer camp is hardly ever chump change. For many, summer camps can become a hefty expense running into well upwards of $300 per week. Lucky for us, there are a few options available here in Fairfield County (thanks to many town-sponsored programs) that won't break the bank this summer. Check out our summer camp guide for more ideas!
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.
Summertime is all about endless exploration, discovery and play...until every rock in your backyard has been turned over 347 times. So, in an effort to stimulate your kid's mind and sense of scientific wonder, consider the myriad of science camps we've found in Fairfield County. The course offerings are so wide (rocket building, forensic science, 3-D gaming, instrument making, salt water habitats by canoe, good old-fashioned mud), even the girliest girl who wouldn't DREAM of digging in the dirt can find her inner budding scientist (see the Discovery Museum's 'Spa Science')! For more ideas, check out our summer camp guide.
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.
Whether your kid bedazzles like a future Betsey Johnson or just likes to make a mess with paint, glue or glitter, there's an artistic option out there for his or her next birthday party. Yes, I said his. Pottery is obviously gender-neutral, but even some of the others on our list consider the fact that boys have a right-brain, too. Add in the fact that arts & crafts-based parties have built-in party favors, and something to focus that boundless energy on... just add cake and WHA-LAH!! For more fun party ideas check out our Party Guide! Here's some fun in Fairfield County.