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Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and Around Fairfield County

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2014 Survey of Connecticut's Best for Places to take Fairfield County Kids

Fairfield County and the surrounding area is rich in fun events and exciting places. It was hard for our readers to select their favorites from the hundreds of choices! The venues listed below are wildly popular with kids and families in our area. But don’t miss out on ALL the other wonderful places as well! Browse through our site and discover lots more to do!To stay on top of ALL of the opportunities for kids in our area, please make sure to sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter!


1.    Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo creates wonderfully wild experiences for children and families all year 'round. Located on 52 beautiful acres in Bridgeport, the state’s only zoo features more than 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Explore our South American Rainforest with free-flight aviary, the New England Farmyard, Victorian Greenhouse, and prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas. Visitors may enjoy a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and take a spin on the colorful indoor carousel.

 

2.   Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

The nationally recognized aquarium focuses on the fascinating marine life in Long Island Sound and its watershed, including prowling sharks, curious seals, rambunctious river otters, stately sea turtles, pulsing jellyfish and thousands of other animals. The Aquarium also offers: educational programs, including public study cruises out onto the Sound; changing special exhibits; and Connecticut's largest IMAX movie theater, with a screen that’s six stories tall! The not-for-profit attraction is the centerpiece of the popular South Norwalk (or “SoNo”) neighborhood, with fun shops, nightclubs and restaurants.

 

3.    Levitt Pavilion

One of the longest-running free outdoor festivals in the nation featuring world-class and family-friendly arts, entertainment & stars! The acclaimed Children's Series runs Wednesdays, with pre-show face-painting and fun. Pack a picnic & lawn chair! 

 

4.    Stepping Stones Museum for Children

At Stepping Stones Museum for Children, the hands-on exhibits and educational programs engage, inspire and delight every child — as well as countless parents and caregivers.

 

5.    My Local Library

Of course, the libraries in Fairfield County are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication.

 

6.    Earthplace - The Nature Discovery Center

The mission of Earthplace is to educate the community about nature and the environment. Earthplace maintains a 62-acre wildlife sanctuary with trails, features an interactive natural history museum, houses live wildlife for public viewing, and hosts many public nature programs and events.

 

7.    Sportsplex at Fairfield

A campus of unique athletic and recreational facilities, delivering the most comprehensive sports and fitness experience in Connecticut. 

 

8.    Bridgeport Bluefish

Family-friendly professional baseball right here in Fairfield County! A member of the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

 

9.    Gazy Brothers Farm

Gazy Brothers Farm is going on its fourth generation of farming. The Gazys currently produce approximately 25 acres of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and plants on the farm and on neighboring properties. Besides the farm stand, the Gazys sell produce at a roadside stand on Route 67 in Oxford, several farmer’s markets, and a few grocery stores when extra produce is available and through a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA). Produce is not organic, however, it is grown using an integrated pest management program, which reduces the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals to ensure healthy plants and flavorful produce.

 

10.    Audubon Society

Our mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats.

 

11.    Discovery Museum and Planetarium

Connecticut's premiere science museum and planetarium is right in Bridgeport! It is a hands-on interactive museum for all ages with over sixty-five exhibit areas.

 

12.    Mystic Aquarium

As New England’s hands-on aquarium, Mystic Aquarium offers guests a variety of up-close encounters with a wide range of marine animals, including endangered African penguins and New England’s only beluga whales. Dive below the sunlit seas in Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below, the aquarium’s newest exhibit full of captivating imagery, breathtaking recreations, emotional soundscapes, hands-on activities and thrilling entertainment that transport you to the moment and inspire your course for exploration and discovery.

 

13.    Downtown Cabaret Theatre

A professional non-profit theatre in Bridgeport that includes a 30-year Cabaret Children's Theatre Season, as well as a well established Cabaret Nights series of concerts.

 

14.    Connecticut Children's Museum

The Connecticut Children's Museum building houses three programs, interwoven in purpose and philosophy: Creating Kids Child Care Center, Creating Curriculum Child Care Provider Training Program and the Connecticut Children's Museum itself. Each is inspired by the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, articulated by Harvard psychologist, Howard Gardner. This is a rich and resourceful, cutting edge educational theory, which recognizes the multiplicity of children's intelligences and honors the different ways children learn.

 

15.    Connecticut Science Center

With 150 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, there is endless exploration.

 

16.    Lake Compounce

New England's Family Theme Park. It is the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in North America, having its genesis more than 165 years ago in 1846!

 

17.    Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The Aldrich is one of the few non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States, and the only museum in CT devoted to contemporary art. Family and student programs are available regularly throughout the year. Over 7,000 students annually to connect to our world through contemporary art. The Museum is located at 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

 

18.    Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Run by the Valley Railroad Co. Essex Steam Train hosts CT River Valley tours, parties, mystery dinner trains, North Pole Express. Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s 2½-hour journey begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley – designated “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy.

 

19.    SportsCenter of Connecticut

A unique family entertainment experience in Shelton with a driving range, mini golf, lazer tag, fun bowl, arcade, batting cages, and the only double-decker ice rink for hockey and public skating. We are a great place for birthday parties!

 

20.    Jumpin' Jeepers

Located in Mahopac, NY, Jumpin' Jeepers is a family favorite for many Fairfield County kids, especially those who live in the northwesterly parts of the county. It is a clean, developmentally appropriate and eco-friendly indoor children's playspace. A two-level play structure, a castle bounce house, ‘Jeepers Junction’ for imaginative play, ‘Tot Lot’ for the youngest explorers. Jeepers Café provides a selection of all natural and organic snacks are available for that perfect healthy ‘pick me up’ for children and adults. Gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free snacks are available. Special programs for kids with special needs.

 

2014 Winners in Special Categories

In the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in six categories. Here were their choices.

Favorite Place to Have Fun INSIDE

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Chelsea Piers CT

CPCT offers the most comprehensive sports programs available. Athletes of all ages and abilities will find 400,000 square feet of unparalleled sports facilities and a vast array of sports classes, camps, leagues and programs.

Favorite Place to Have Fun OUTSIDE

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Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo creates wonderfully wild experiences for children and families all year 'round. Located on 52 beautiful acres in Bridgeport, the state’s only zoo features more than 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Explore our South American Rainforest with free-flight aviary, the New England Farmyard, Victorian Greenhouse, and prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas. Visitors may enjoy a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and take a spin on the colorful indoor carousel.

Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum

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Stepping Stones Museum for Children

At Stepping Stones Museum for Children, the hands-on exhibits and educational programs engage, inspire and delight every child — as well as countless parents and caregivers.
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Favorite Performing Arts

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Levitt Pavilion

One of the longest-running free outdoor festivals in the nation featuring world-class and family-friendly arts, entertainment & stars! The acclaimed Children's Series runs Wednesdays, with pre-show face-painting and fun. Pack a picnic & lawn chair! 

 

Favorite Kid-Friendly Farm

Silverman's Farm

Silverman's Farm provides the total farm experience, with an animal park, pick your own apples and peaches starting in August, country farm market, fresh-baked pies, and lots more! A wonderful place to bring your family in late summer and fall!
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Favorite Nature Center

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Seasonal fun awaits you at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. Bring friends and enjoy a picnic on the Meadow, explore more than 80 acres of nature trails, drop in to the Heckscher Farm and say hello to the animals, and don't miss the latest exhibition in the Bendel Mansion Museum Galleries. The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a place for families. Come discover, learn, and enjoy!



Favorite  Sports Team

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Bridgeport Bluefish

Family-friendly professional baseball right here in Fairfield County! A member of the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center

 

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