Daily activities for kids and the family are abound in Fairfield County! Whether you want to spend the day with your children at a zoo, a museum, or just outdoors, we've got it all here. Want to see what's going on next weekend or when you have those few days off? Check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar!
Back to School Blast Off! - Pump It Up Norwalk
August 22, 2013 - Norwalk
Squeeze the last fun out of summer with special "Glow" effects lighting, games and snacks, plus all the jumping, bouncing and sliding excitement you can handle on giant inflatables.
Pequot Purls Knitting Group - Pequot Library
August 22, 2013 - Southport
Bring your latest knitting project to this weekly gathering of the Pequot Purls. All levels are welcome.
Beat the Heat Water Games on the Great Lawn - Pequot Library
August 22, 2013 - Southport
Kids of all ages are invited to don a swimsuit to play fun lawn games, including "Fill up the Bottle Relay Race." Then run through the sprinkler. Chalk games, too. Simple fun. Popsicles served. No registration required.
Dutchess County Fair - Duchess County Fairgrounds
August 22, 2013 - Rhinebeck
For six days each August, the 144-acres fairground hosts nearly half a million visitors who come to see farm animals on display, pig races, a horse show, milking demonstrations, and a variety of free shows throughout the day. Fair-goers can shop from hundreds of vendors selling crafts, clothes, jewelry, and more. Indulge in a mind-boggling array of fair food including the fair's specialty - milk shakes made by kids in the local 4H. And if you have energy left at the end of the day, there's a carnival with rides and games that light up the summer nights. The bathrooms are always clean. Parking is plentiful. And there's a very accommodating tent for nursing mothers to take a break and get some privacy. Can't get more family-friendly then this event and once you get past the drive up to Rhinebeck, we promise your kids will enjoy themselves.
Picnic Perfect Nights - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through August 28, 2013 - Stamford
Grab your picnic dinner and blanket on Wednesday nights for some late-night outdoor fun. Visitors enjoy a summer evening on the grounds. Heckscher Farm, Nature's Playground, the Meadow, and nature trails will be available to enjoy. Bendel Mansion and the Museum Galleries will be closed. Weather permitting. Wednesdays, June 12-August 28.
WRITING THE ADVENTURES OF MARVIN & MARCY MERCURY TOGETHER - Westport Library
Through August 28, 2013 - Westport
Drop in to write your part of a story about two outer space trailblazers and their Nebula Quest. The stories will be woven into one narrative and printed at summer's end as a book. Go to westportlibrary.org for more details. Beginning the last week in June.
Marine Life Study Cruises - Maritime Aquarium
Through August 31, 2013 - Norwalk
Join the crew of the research vessel Oceanic for an educational and scenic trip of the sound. Aquarium educators put participants to work in collecting and examining animals from all levels of the water column: plankton gathered at the surface (and viewed with a video microscope), crabs and worms grabbed from the muddy bottom, and a variety of fish, crabs, lobsters and surprises brought up in the trawl net. Advance reservations recommended. Go online or call ext. 2206 to for more information or to purchase tickets. Daily, July 1-August 31, 2013.
MathAlive! 2 the Extreme - Connecticut Science Center
Through September 01, 2013 - Hartford
This exhibition brings to life the real math behind video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more, and creates interactive, hands-on experiences that bring to life the math at work in each, whether in design, application or use. Videos and graphic displays feature professionals, celebrities and visionaries who explain how they use math in their respective fields. Along the way, animated character help visitors tackle the challenges, explaining the math involved, prompting and encouraging answers, and jumping in if visitors get stuck. On view May 28 through Sept. 1, 2013.
The 1750 Ogden House Tours - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through September 01, 2013 - Fairfield
Enjoy docent-led tours of the 1750 Ogden House and see how people lived in the 18th century. The house is furnished with period objects including textiles and fine pieces of furniture. Take a stroll through the kitchen garden, generously maintained by the Fairfield Garden Club, and view plantings used in colonial times. The Ogden House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sundays, June 1-September 1, 2013.
Meerkats - Maritime Aquarium
Through September 02, 2013 - Norwalk
Meerkats are members of the mongoose family that live in social �mobs� in the Kalahari Desert, in the southern African nations of Botswana and South Africa. No mere cats, meerkats are fascinating for living in structured but cooperative societies, including a foraging strategy where adults take turns standing guard upright on their hind feet, watching for predators, while the others eat.
The meerkats� exhibit offers opportunities for climbing, digging and exploring, with several feeding locations to keep them on the alert for incoming crickets. A viewing bubble lets visitors pop up right among the meerkats. Through September 2, 2013.
Lorikeets - Maritime Aquarium
Through September 02, 2013 - Norwalk
Step into a lush aviary to share a laugh and a squawk with tropical birds that will sip nectaar right out of your hands.
The exhibit features about a dozen varieties of lorikeets, which are colorful medium-sized parrots native to the south Pacific.
Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through September 02, 2013 - Stamford
This exhibition clears up the myths and explains that bats are actually gentle, beneficial animals. Lifelike models, special effects, multi-sensory interactive displays, a Gothic castle, and environmentally lifelike settings help visitors appreciate the wonders of the bat world. June 22-September 2, 2013.
Playland Amusement Park - Rye Playland
Through September 02, 2013 - Rye
Get ready to zoom, spin, splash, swing, and soar your way through acres of amusement park rides from the cooling log flume, to the famous Dragon Coaster, and all your other favorites!
- Starting Friday, May 24: $30 unlimited rides; $20 Junior (under 48") Spectator admission (no rides) is free for Westchester County residents and $10 for non-residents.
- $95 for unlimited rides all season, with a $15 discount for Westchester residents.
- $35 for spectator admission all season (no rides), for non-residents of Westchester County.
Acceptable proof of Westchester residency is a Westchester County Park Pass; New York State driver's license or non-driver ID; or a photo ID or report card from a Westchester County school.
For the season schedule go to ryeplayland.org or call the park at 914-813-7000. Use the website link to join the Playland E-Club and receive valuable discounts all season long.
Kissable Camels - Beardsley Zoo
Through September 02, 2013 - Bridgeport
Two visiting camels named Toby and Goliath, are visiting the zoo and kids of all ages are welcome to climb aboard these camels for a ride. A photo of the ride is included with the price. Children younger than 6 years old require an adult rider with them.
Toby and Goliath will be visiting the Beardsley Zoo through September 2.
International Children's Art Show - Maritime Aquarium
Through September 02, 2013 - Norwalk
Young artists from 22 countries--as well as those from numerous Fairfield County schools--celebrate their cultures in a special gallery display. The theme of the 2013 show is "Illuminate! Bringing My Culture to Light." The drawings and paintings were created by children ages 8 to 16 who were challenged to share a cultural belief or value that is meaningful to them. They also had to include a natural, man-made or symbolic source of light. The exhibit is displayed in The Maritime Aquarium's IMAX Theater lobby, which can be entered without paid admission. Through September 2, 2013.
Anytime Summertime Kids' Camp - The Little Gym of Westport
Through September 02, 2013 - Westport
A specially developed camp curriculum combines physical activity, gymnastics and play with arts, crafts, and special events. 3 years old to 8 years old. Monday-Friday, June 20-September 2, 2013.
FREE ADMISSION FOR ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY - Stepping Stones Museum
Through September 03, 2013 - Norwalk
As a participant in the Blue Star Museums program, Stepping Stones offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their immediate families from Memorial Day, May 28, through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America.
Dinosaur Revolution - Stepping Stones Museum
Through September 08, 2013 - Norwalk
Did T-Rex live closer in time to Apatosaurus or your mom? Were dinosaurs warm-blooded? Dinosaur Revolution challenges visitor knowledge, presents cutting-edge discoveries, and debunks popular myths. Experience what its like to feel the earth beneath your gigantic feet as you make tracks in the Triassic. Learn to fly as you glide through the Jurassic. Between May 28 and Aug. 11, a different dinosaur will be the focus of special, creative programming. Daily drop-in programs include arts, crafts, improvisation and play. During designated times each day, children will be able to take part in a dinosaur dig.
Dinosaur Safari - Bronx Zoo
Through September 08, 2013 - Bronx
The new attraction will include a ride through the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods with more than two-dozen animatronic dinosaurs up to 40 feet long which move, snarl, roar, and spit.
In anticipation of the new exhibit, the Bronx Zoo is offering New Yorkers a chance to vote for their favorite dinosaur species at bronxzoo.com/dino and win tickets to see the dinosaurs. Included in the vote: long-necked Brachiosaurus, the intimidating Tyrannosaurus rex, the gator-like Baryonyx, the massive Triceratops, or the flighted Quetzalcoatlus. Exclusive Bronx Zoo Dinosaur Safari stickers that can be used with a safari field guide will be given to those who vote.
Dinosaur Safari will include a ride through a two-acre area of the zoo, and will highlight the physical or behavioral adaptations many share with species that are alive today.
This limited engagement will run from Saturday, May 25 through Sunday, September 8, and will be included in the Total Experience Ticket.
A 20% discount is offered with online purchases for Monday and Tuesday visits. Tickets can be purchased in advance at bronxzoo.com/dino.
Flags Across America: The Photographs of Robert Carley - Bruce Museum
Through September 22, 2013 - Greenwich
After witnessing the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 from his Stamford office, Darien native and artist Robert Carley made it his hobby to capture the American spirit by taking photographs of Old Glory in many different forms including a chain-link fence, a pick-up truck, a surfboard and a farm silo. Flags Across America celebrates the American flag with approximately 30 photographic prints. July 14-September 22, 2013.
WATCHING WESTPORT: 50 Years of Art by Gabrielle A. Dearborn - Westport Library
Through September 25, 2013 - Westport
A selection of paintings and drawings will be on exhibit by the late Scottish-born artist who lived on Wright St. in Westport for five decades and painted everything she saw in town, at the beach, and in her own back yard. Through September 25.
Sensory Bounce - BounceU
Through September 28, 2013 - Stratford
This is a program for children and adults with sensory integration dysfunction, autism, and other disabilities with a sensory component. Teachers work on balance and coordination, auditory and tactile sensitivity, strength building, motor coordination, cooperative play, turn-taking, and social and verbal skills. Through September 28, 2013.
The Greenwich Art Society presents 'Looking for Bobbie Golden' - Greenwich Hospital - Garden Cafe
Through September 30, 2013 - Greenwich
Ellen Gordon will be exhibiting her new large format figurative collages. While her work is inspired by her drawings from private sessions with her model, Bobbie Golden, it speaks more about the creative magic that happens when inspiration and form collide. The artwork itself is the result of a searching process – finding the shapes and lines in the figure and composition.
Ellen Gordon's art training is from the Greenwich Art Society with Anna Patalano, Silvermine Arts Guild and the Rowayton Arts Centre.
What Is It? Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era - Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
Through October 06, 2013 - Norwalk
Victorian era gadgets, technologies and breakthroughs will be on display to introduce visitors to mid-to-late 19th century inventions and discoveries in many diverse areas including communication, transportation, manufacturing, medicine, food and recreation. Audiences might be surprised at how some of the historic breakthroughs are still relevant today. April 17 2013-October 6, 2013.
Exhibition: Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center - Katonah Museum of Art
Through October 13, 2013 - Katonah
"Remix" weaves the narrative of collage through the history of modern and contemporary art. Coined in the early 20th century from the French word coller, meaning to glue or stick, the term "collage" originally described a revolutionary method of art-making. Over time its definition has expanded to represent an approach to and perception of the modern world. The 100 artists featured in the exhibition utilize collage's core conceptual traits - heterogeneity, fragmentation, and appropriation - to address with clarity and immediacy the circumstances of their times. Remix explores the impact of collage on artistic and cultural expression and gathers together the diverse fragments of a rich artistic tradition.
On view through October 13. Museum hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10am-5pm; Sundays: 12-5pm. Closed Mondays.
Eggs-hibition: Unscrambling Their History - Bruce Museum
Through October 20, 2013 - Greenwich
This new exhibition will delight visitors with an array of eggs. From food to children's fairy tales, Fabergé eggs to pharmacology, Eggs-hibition explores the evolution of the egg, its prominent inclusion in creation myths worldwide, the complex simplicity of its design, and the inspiration it imparts to artists who have painted, bejeweled, photographed, and written about them. March 23-October 20, 2013.
Tours - Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate
Through November 11, 2013 - Sleepy Hollow
Kykuit, the six-story stone house and rolling hilltop estate that served as home to four generations of Rockefellers, is open to visitors beginning Saturday, May 4, through Sunday, Sep. 30, and Nov. 1-11. Open daily Oct 1-31. Kykuit's modern and classical art collection, architecture, and expansive gardens are consistently rated the top attraction in the lower Hudson Valley, and draw tens of thousands of visitors annually. Kykuit, which means "lookout" in Dutch, includes a six-story stone house, multiple terraced gardens, art galleries, outdoor classical and modern sculpture, and commanding Hudson River views. Its hilltop location overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades is 500 feet above sea level. Visitors to Kykuit learn the story of the Rockefellers, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, whose business acumen made him the richest man in America in his day. He later became the country's first great philanthropist. By his death in 1937, he had given away more than half his fortune through various philanthropic programs. Visitors can choose from four tours: Classic, Grand, Timesaver, and Selected Highlights. The Classic, ideal for first-time visitors, is a shorter experience than the comprehensive, three-hour Grand. Besides the mansion, both of these tours include time in Kykuit's art galleries, gardens, and Coach Barn, with its collection of horse-drawn carriages, vintage automobiles, and equestrian equipment. The 90-minute Timesaver is ideal for those on tighter schedules, while Selected Highlights maximizes time in the gardens. Visitors can buy tickets online in advance, choosing the exact tour, time, and date they want to visit. Tickets are on sale at hudsonvalley.org. Historic Hudson Valley recommends advanced ticket buying, particularly for weekend tours, which fill up quickly. Besides online, tickets may be purchased by calling 914-631-8200 (service charge additional) or at the Kykuit Visitor Center at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow. All tours start at the Kykuit Visitor Center; doors open at 9am.
Exhibition: There's a Map for That! - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through November 15, 2013 - Fairfield
Explore the ways in which our state has been surveyed, charted, imagined, and pictured over the years, combining science, art and history. There's a Map for That is a special exhibition organized by Connecticut Explored magazine in celebration of its 10th anniversary. This colorful exhibition explores many faces of Connecticut and the whys and ways of mapping them with large-scale, full-color reproductions of rarely-seen historic maps from the 18th Century to the present. August 15-November 15, 2013.
CANARY IN THE COAL MINE: The Plight of the Polar Bear & Planet Earth - Westport Library
Through December 01, 2013 - Westport
This exhibit offers a glimpse at climate change and what energy might look like in the next 150 years. August 16-December 1, 2013.
Phone Art - Old Town Hall Museum
Through December 01, 2013 - Stamford
Phone Art is a cutting edge exhibit of photographs, art and videos created with smartphones or tablets. Featuring works by California iPhonegrapher Bob Poe and a juried collection of work from artists nationwide. Novice, intermediate and advanced workshops are available. Visit picture-that.com for museum hours, workshop schedule and guided tours. June 14-December 1, 2013.
Echoes of Egypt: Conjuring the Land of the Pharoahs - Yale Peabody Museum
Through January 04, 2014 - New Haven
This exhibition will take you on a journey through two thousand years of fascination with ancient Egypt, the land of the pharaohs. Visitors will enter through a reproduction of the Egyptianizing gateway that is the entrance to New Haven's Grove Street Cemetery (designed by Henry Austin in 1839), and then discover how a culture that flourished thousands of years ago has impacted our own world. Echoes of ancient Egypt appear in art, architecture, and literature around the world from ancient Africa to medieval Europe and the Middle East, to modern North America. April 13, 2013-January 4, 2014.
In Vogue: A Runway of 19th Century Women's Fashion - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through January 05, 2014 - Fairfield
The exhibit features the fashion-forward women of the late-18th and 19th centuries. Every decade from 1780 to 1900 will be on the runway. From cage hoop skirts to sleeves so large a woman could barely turn her head, this exhibit will emphasize the making of a fashionable woman throughout the Colonial, Regency, and Victorian Eras of Fairfield's history. Peer through a sea of posh hats to catch a glimpse of these historical fashionistas. July 20, 2013 - January 5, 2014.
'Tornado Alley' - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 16, 2014 - Norwalk
This film invites the audience to follow along with a daring team of "storm chasers" as they work to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes. Sean Casey, star of the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" reality series, leads this mission to document one of Earth's most awe-inspiring events - the birth of a tornado.
Exhibition: Six Ladders - Katonah Museum of Art
Through April 21, 2014 - Katonah
Bright swaths of vibrant colors transform the Katonah Museum of Art's exterior in its newest outdoor exhibition, "Six Ladders," by artist Andrea Lilienthal. Lilienthal created a series of giant bamboo ladders for the Museum's stately Sculpture Garden that are whimsical and enigmatic; their brilliant colors electrify the natural surroundings.
Five ladders, with their cheerful colors and playful patterns, lean against the Museum's enormous spruce trees in various positions and at different angles. On the building's facade, a sixth, 30-foot ladder extends just short of the roofline - its form and ribbons of color energizing the wall and lending sculptural dimension to the flat expanse. Each of the ladders are hand-constructed from sturdy commercial bamboo, harvested in China, and painted with high-gloss outdoor enamel paint from Holland. Their surfaces are smooth and reflective, in contrast to the course-textured tree bark.
According to Katonah Museum of Art Curator Ellen Keiter, "These are not functional structures - their bottom rungs are too high to mount and the ladders fail to reach the top of their intended destinations. These are instead beautiful works of art; Andrea Lilienthal responds to the inherent geometry of ladders and the repetitive rhythm of their rungs. She finds beauty in their simple, minimalist construction."
"Lilienthal's ladders instill a sense of wonder and suggest that seemingly unreachable goals can be attained," she says.
Keiter explains that bamboo is a hollow-stemmed, woody plant that "bows, sways, and splits, so slight imperfections, even substantial cracks, add distinctive character to each ladder. No two ladders are painted the same, yet their similarly saturated hues coalesce into a lively visual harmony."
She adds, "The bands of luscious color wrap around the bamboo like candy confections, and bright confetti patterns alternate with stark black-and-white designs. A causal link exists between the artificial colors and the natural bamboo. On one ladder, Lilienthal painted white rings around the growth nodes of the bamboo; on another, the nodes demarcate the lengths of painted blue and orange sections."
Says Lilienthal: "These magnificent and mysterious trees [at the Katonah Museum of Art], whose tops are not even visible, dwarf the people and furniture below. In response to their super scale, I chose the ladder, a form with human scale and multiple readings: utilitarian ancient, mythic, and universal. The severe and stately trees support the bamboo ladders in an implied partnership; rooted and stable, the trees assist the ladders in their attempt to ascend. But ultimately, how do you mount an 80-foot Norwegian spruce tree? My answer was to climb it with imagination, affirming our connection to the natural world."
Lilienthal has used bamboo in her artistic practice for several years. In earlier installations, she aligned multiple painted, wrapped, or taped bamboo poles along a wall - works awash in color, but still relatable in size. However, her current exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art is in keeping with the majesty, diameter, and spacing of the giant spruce trees.
Adding to the intrigue of this exhibition are enlarged photographs of the Garden's spruce trees displayed in the Museum's two west windows adjacent to the lone 30-foot ladder. On first impression, the images appear as reflections. In this way, Lilienthal reinforces the relationship between the ladders and the trees while further playing with the viewers' perceptions and expectations.
Historically, ladders carry rich and universal associations. In many faiths and fables, ladders are a symbol of ascent, of travel, of reaching upward. In modern times, they represent progress and growth, allowing us to reach higher than we would otherwise be able to go. Ladders symbolize elevation: from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, and from the material to the spiritual. They are featured in art from prehistoric cave paintings to contemporary times. Jacob's Ladder, the metaphysical passage between heaven and earth, is mentioned in the first book of the Bible, and is represented in such disparate media as Renaissance paintings and popular
video games. There is a popular African-American spiritual, "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder," Eric Carl's beloved children's picture book, "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me," and innumerable colloquialisms regarding "the ladder of success."
On view through April 21, 2014 during Museum hours: Sundays: 12-5pm; Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.
Nature Encounters - Earthplace
Through August 10, 2014 - Westport
Stop by Earthplace for a program with one of the naturalists. You may meet an animal, take a guided hike or visit the pond. Saturdays year-round.
Story and Animal Program - Earthplace
Through August 10, 2014 - Westport
Children 5 and younger can visit Earthplace every week for story time and an animal encounter. Thursdays and Fridays year-round.
Animal Feeding at Earthplace - Earthplace
Through January 01, 2015 - Westport
Ever wonder what you feed a turkey vulture? Curious about how a box turtle chews with no teeth? Join Earthplace staff in the Animal Hall and Connecticut Birds of Prey exhibit for scheduled feeding times. Earthplace staff will be able to answer all your questions while giving each of the animals their daily meal. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays watch the animals in Animal Hall get fed. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays it's time to feed the Birds of Prey. The activity takes place year-round.
Toy Boat-Making Workshop - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2015 - Norwalk
Visit the toy boat-making area on weekends for a fun 20-minute boat-building project. Build and decorate a toy sailboat to take home as a special keepsake of your visit. Saturdays and Sundays year-round.