Julia Tolstrup

Julia Tolstrup

Latest posts by Julia Tolstrup

Get on the Connecticut Art Trail with Passport

Connecticut is many things to many people. For some, the amazing local food scene whets the appetite and keeps them coming back for more. Others like to get out in nature on one of our states many trails. But if you're someone who just loves to while away an afternoon taking in great works of art, and maybe you're thinking it's time to get the kids involved, too, have I got news for you. The Connecticut Art Trail not only houses some of the most spectacular treasures but with the new and improved Connecticut Art Trail Passport it is also right at your fingertips.

This (Sort of) Secret Waterfall will Blow Your Mind!

Great Falls, a waterfall tucked in the Falls Village section of Canaan, Connecticut far up in the northwest corner of Connecticut, is a sight to behold. Though variable depending on the rains, when it’s on, it’s on. The falls have long been a popular sight for day trippers looking for a little escape. With hiking, views, and the chance for a little bit of floating and swimming (depending on skill level and currents, of course) it’s little wonder that this hidden gem is getting pretty popular.

Vikings Invade the Connecticut Coast!

I admit it, as soon as I learned there was a 115 foot Viking ship resting in Connecticut waters, I couldn't get the kids packed into the car fast enough. Not only does this speak to our family's Scandinavian heritage and a long standing interest in all things Viking, but also hello?! There's a 115 foot Viking ship resting in Connecticut waters! This sort of thing does not happen every day. But it's happening right now at Mystic Seaport and if you have time during these dog days of summer or over Labor Day Weekend, make a point to invite yourself aboard the Draken Harald Halfagre before the ship closes to visitors for the winter and sails away next spring. 

20 Things Your Kid Can Do to Support the Paris Climate Accord

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -Dr. Seuss

When it comes to making a difference in our world, even grown-ups can feel pretty small sometimes. It's hard to imagine that a single act could really change much of anything. But looking at the big picture can help. Imagine if everybody on your street did the same small things every day. And imagine if each of those neighbors told a friend, who started doing those small things, too. Before long, all of those individual little acts start to add up to big change. With the U.S. government's recent decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement in which individual countries pledge to do their part to curb global warming, now more than ever we need to think of ways we can start living a little lighter. Set aside a half-hour with your child and read this list of simple things kids and parents can do, together, to support the efforts and spirit behind the Paris Climate Accord.

Date (Night) Like a Pro in Fairfield County

OMG Date night. That nocturnal necessity designed to keep parents as sane as possible. I don't know about you, but for me, a successful date night involves getting out the door before bedtime. Sure, it's mostly because that way I'm home before my bedtime, but also because once in a while it's really OK to let somebody else read just one more book...a dozen times. Once you've made your escape...now what? It's easy to forget how to fill leisure time when you're a parent. That's why I've rounded up some date night ideas that are more than just dinner and drinks in Fairfield County. This is precious time, use it to step a little outside your comfort zone for some adventure (and then when you're done maybe dinner and drinks...)! So bring on the babysitter, lace up your big kid shoes, and get out there for some well-deserved you time!

Family Friendly Boat Tours in Connecticut

Sea legs. You either have them or you don't. For some, there's nothing more relaxing than drifting along the open water, catching a sea breeze, spotting marine life. For others...not so much. If you and your family fall into the former category and are hoping to get out on the water this summer, this post is just for you. Check out some of the fantastically fun family friendly (whew, say that five times fast) boat tours Connecticut has to offer and, when you're landlocked again why not grab a bite somewhere along the shore.

Guide to Fishing in Connecticut

My dad used to say that it wasn't a fishing trip we took when I didn't catch something. My childhood is full of fond memories of fishing trips by the shores of lakes and rivers and drifting along in our silent gray canoe. Connecticut has a lively fishing culture and a lot to offer kids interested in honing up their angling. Whether you need to know about licenses or classes, or just the best spots to cast a line, read on for the whole story on the what, where, and when of fishing in Connecticut.

Hibachi Dining with Kids: Japanese Restaurants in CT

First, the bad news: Benihana has not yet found its way to Connecticut. If you're unfamiliar with this giant among hibachi joints, you don't know what you're missing. But the good news is there are still a bunch of great places to find hibachi (also known as Teppanyaki) around Connecticut. I'll be honest, the first time we took my daughter to a hibachi restaurant, she jumped out of her seat and hid under the table as soon as the flames ignited. It has been many years since then and these days she asks to go. While hibachi may be a bit much if you have very little littles or just kids who tend to be more anxious, it can also be a really fun family experience. You'll know whether it's right for you. If so, here are some of the hibachi hot spots around our great state! 

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