Julia Tolstrup

Julia Tolstrup

Latest posts by Julia Tolstrup

Best Old School Arcades in Connecticut

Confession: The day my kids and I walked into an arcade with a giant-sized Space Invaders game, I may or may not have raced them to the token machine. There's just something about the flash and buzz of a good arcade that throws me right back to when I was a kid with a fist full of quarters. These days I hand off all my skee ball tickets to my kids, but I still get a thrill out of watching them pour out of the machines. I get an even bigger thrill watching my kids dart around like...well, like kids in an arcade! With winter still very much upon us, the season is just right for some indoor fun. Read on for a roundup of some of the best spots to get your game on in Connecticut.

Totally Free Stuff to Save You from February Madness

Well, it depends on which groundhog you ask--Punxatawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter while Connecticut's own Chuckles the groundhog predicts an early spring. Either way, we all know that even though February is the shortest month it can feel endless at times. Sure we've got the Super Bowl shaking things up this weekend, but it's still cold, it's still getting dark pretty early (though if you're like me you get excited when you realize it's 5:00 pm and still a little dusky) and it's all too easy to succumb to a case of cabin fever. In order to stave off any seasonal meltdowns, I've rounded up 10 family events and activities around Connecticut and the best part is they're all FREE! So when the road conditions permit, bundle up the fam and get out while the getting is good! For even more free stuff to do all year round, check out these 50 Free Things to do Indoors!

Go Karts, Baby! RPM Raceway is Coming to Stamford

Hi. It's January. I know. You're feeling stuck indoors, maybe a little bit remorseful about holiday indulgences, and let's face it...kinda stir crazy. We live in New England. That's totally normal. I promise. What we need this time of year is some indoor fun. When outdoors is either frozen or flooded, there's really no other option.

Home Holiday Light Displays in Connecticut

Ah, the cheerful glow of holiday lights; few things make a season brighter. And while there are lots of pro light shows you can take in around the state, let's not forget those neighborhoods where some houses go over the top when it comes to putting on a holiday light show. If you know where to look, you can find some truly dazzling displays. So pile in the car, fire up the GPS, and get your holiday light fix with these spectacular home holiday light displays around Connecticut.

Ultimate Holiday Experiences in Connecticut

Ask any kid what they love most about the holidays and you might get the same answer--PRESENTS! But as they grow up, while a few of those precious treasures may linger in their minds, it's the traditions and special memories that will really stick. Those little moments that made holidays so special are what nurture the nostalgia we often feel around this time of year. Here in Connecticut, there is no shortage of amazing opportunities to make one of a kind memories for your family during the holidays. Tap into the magic of the season at any one of these ultimate holiday experiences throughout the state.

Holiday Train Rides With Santa in Connecticut

To be honest, I don’t know the last time I saw Santa in a sleigh.  Nope, over the past several years, I’ve seen Santa arrive to greet crowds of believers in a fire truck, a police car, a helicopter, and a Porsche (really, Santa??). 

So it was no surprise when my 5-year-old came home from school telling me her friend Abby saw Santa on a train.  And she’s absolutely right – there are a few amazing Holiday Trains in Connecticut, where you and your kids can enjoy both your love of trains and the holiday season!  Watching the steam roll and waft in front of the train's headlight, while giant snowflakes fall will throw you back 60 years -- in the most wonderful, magical, 'It's a Wonderful Life' sort of way.  

North Pole Express and the Santa Special

By the time you read this, most of the good dates for the North Pole Express will be sold out. The good news is, this speaks volumes about the world-class holiday event in our very own backyard. The bad news, of course, is that unless you're willing to trek up on a random Tuesday night or wait until after Christmas (there are trains running until December 29) you might want to hold off until next year. But again, it's likely that even at this late date (and yes, the end of October/early November is very late when it comes to North Pole Express tickets) you will still be able to book in for a school night here and there. On the other hand, if you would rather take your little ones aboard the Santa train during daylight hours, the Santa Special is just the thing for you. And the best part is, it doesn't sell out nearly as fast. 

Ultimate CT Halloween Guide 2017

It has come to my attention that Connecticut sort of owns Halloween. You'd be hard-pressed to find yourself very far from an amazing haunted house, a fun-filled parade or celebration, or a quaint New England farm decked out for All Hallow's Eve. Halloween has been jostling Christmas for the top holiday spot for some time now, and while it isn't quite a foregone conclusion yet, it's safe to say that it's come a long way from the days of pillowcase trick or treating and glow sticks. Not that these steadfast traditions are going anywhere, don't you worry. Read on for your ultimate guide to the good, the even better, and the totally terrifying across the entire state this Halloween season. 

Pages