11 Free Things to do this Spring

One of the joys of living in New England is the seasons.  The wonderful Spring weather is upon us, so get outdoors and enjoy some FREE:

  • Greenwich Annual Kite Flying Festival - Greenwich Point in Greenwich on Saturday, April 5th at 11:30am.  Feel free to bring a kite of any shape or size made of paper, plastic or fabric.  Award ribbons will be presented to all high flyers.
  • Mystic Slow Art Day - Mystic Arts Center in Mystic will celebrate Slow Art Day that encourages art to be viewed slowly.  Saturday, April 12th from 11am to 1pm.
  • May Exhibit at the Geary Gallery - Geary Gallery in Darien on Wednesday, April 23rd to Saturday, May 4th.  Open Wednesdays to Saturdays. Featuring Peter Max: A Retrospective (1960-2014)
  • Annual Cherry Blossom Festival - Wooster Square in New Haven on Sunday, April 27th. There will be music, food and activities for kids and pets.
  • Mini Maker Faire - inside Westport Library and on Jesup Green in Westport on Saturday, April 26th from 10am to 4pm.  Family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Although the event is free, you must register for tickets.
  • Meriden Daffodil Festival - Hubbard Park in Meriden running Saturday, April 26th to Sunday, April 27th.  There will be food, crafts, music, fireworks and amusements.
  • Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival - Tolland Agricultural Center in Vernon, CT on Saturday, April 26th from 9am to 4pm. Demonstrations, crafts, music, animals, food.  Parking $5 per car, but free admission.
  • 79th Annual Dogwood Festival - Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield on Friday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 4th.  Offers a range of entertainment.
  • Milford Living’s 7th Annual Kite Fly - Walnut Beach in Milford on Saturday, May 3rd from 12pm-3pm. Bring chairs, pack a lunch and the show.
  • Milford Harbor Duck Race - Fowler Pavilion in Milford on Sunday, May 4th.  Event will include food and family entertainment.
  • Music Haven Summer Performance Party - in New Haven on Friday, June 6th from 6pm – 8pm.  Celebrating the accomplishments of their 75 students with performances from the Haven String Quartet, Music Haven student soloists and ensembles.  Concert followed by a potluck reception.  Please bring a dish to share.

Events are subject to change.  Please check the website or call ahead to be sure there are no changes to the event from the date of this posting.

To find good sites for most events this spring, visit New England Travel and Tourism or New York Times Events in Connecticut.  What events do you enjoy in the spring for free?

Pinwheel Themed Dol

All this talk on my daughter’s Doljanchi (also referred to as a Dol), a Korean first birthday, and how to make a Dol Tower, I thought I would include a post of how I decorated with a pinwheel theme so you can see all the DIY and the final product.

As I mentioned in my post How to Make a Dol Tower, the Dol has the same constructs as the American birthday but combined with traditions like a Dol Table (featuring Dol Towers, fruit, banner, rice cakes, etc.), Hanbok (traditional outfit), traditional food and of course the Doljabi event (baby foretells the future).

Favors for the Dol

Favors for the Dol

Close up Favor for the Dol

Close up Favor for the Dol

The favors were Chinese take out contains with handmade pinwheels attached.  (Yes, I affixed silver beads to every pinwheel that decorated the Dol. Crazy, yes.) I only ordered 50 containers thinking only 40 people would attend the Dol.  When our numbers were finalizing around 60+, so I had to come up with alternatives.  So, the child favors were brown paper bags with handmade pinwheels attached.  (I looked for white bags, but couldn’t find any and in the 11th hour I just had to get them made already…so brown paper bags it was!)  The adult favors had candy and were given as they left the party.  (We even had a sign and placed the table near the jackets so people knew to take one as they left.)  The children favors were given as they arrived so they had a few little toys to entertain themselves.  The boy favors had bubbles, an inflatable ball and vintage painted wooden cars.  The older girl favors also had bubbles and an inflatable ball but they also had a princess ring and bracelet.  The younger girls favors had a rubber ducky instead of the jewelry.  The favors for the kids seemed to be a hit and giving them at the beginning of the Dol was the way to go!

Buffet at the Dol, featured on pinwheel food labels

Buffet at the Dol, featured on pinwheel food labels

Even the food got decorated with pinwheels!  I made food labels for each of the items served since we were not in a restaurant but had it catered in a clubhouse. All the food served at the Dol was a combination of my daughter’s nationality — Lebanese, Italian and Korean.

We also served the customary beverages, water, soda, wine (red and white) and craft beer.  I didn’t get a picture but instead of wine tags for the wine glasses, we had sharpies in the colors of the party for people to write on the glass.  (It comes off with water or rubbing alcohol. Yes, permanent marker comes off glass.) The special treat here was the craft beer.  There was three different styled IPA’s from Two Beagles Brewing. What a generous gift!

 

Doljabi board

Doljabi board

The Doljabi board goes along with the Doljabi Event.  The board is a decoration and placed on a table with small containers for party guest to “bet” on what our daughter will choose using a yellow ticket (featured in yellow on the bottom right corner of the picture).  Our daughter picked the microphone and we gave all those who selected the mic $1 scratch off lottery tickets.  The two grand prize winners won cash.

The board itself my husband designed and we had it printed at Costco on poster board paper.  We made the backing out of cardboard and affixed an easel to it.  Between the designing of the board, printing, and mounting you can easily spend well over $150.  These ‘decorations’ don’t come cheap, so planning a DIY way definitely can help make everything affordable!

It was a lovely party, but done completely for my husband and my daughter.  Our culture and heritage is important to my husband and I, and particularly important to preserve for our daughter.  So, I worked hard on putting this together and thinking through the details so it could be wonderful for them…and it was.  Now, next year I will be extremely small party and cake.  :)

Juliska – Warehouse Sale {3/1-3/9}

Juliska Winter Warehouse Sale 2014Juliska just announced their Annual Warehouse Sale!  It will be this Saturday, March 1st through Sunday, March 9th from 9am-5pm.

If you are looking for glass wear, stoneware, linens or other essentials, you shouldn’t miss this.  Prices are 40%-75% off of retail plus there is additional discounts on outlet merchandise!

Juliska F
441 Canal Street
Stamford, CT 06902

Gilt City – 20% Off Purchase

Gilt City is offering 20% off your purchase! Just use promo code 20HOLIDAY at checkout.

Not valid on mobile site or iphone app.  Other restrictions apply.  Maximum discount is $50.  Cannot be combined with other offers. Limit one per customer.  Offer expires 12/12/13.

Click here to start shopping!

How to Make a Dol Tower

Dol Table

Dol Table

My niece celebrated her first birthday last month seven months ago.  (I started writing this post a long time ago!) Like most American children’s birthday parties, it was accompanied by family, food and fun.  But this was not your typical birthday party.  It is a Doljanchi (also referred to as a Dol), a Korean first birthday, with the same constructs as the American birthday but combined with traditions like a Dol Table (featuring Dol Towers, fruit, banner, rice cakes, etc.), Dol-Bok (traditional outfit), traditional food and of course the Doljabi event (baby foretells the future).  This is a big deal.

So for my niece’s Doljanchi, I committed to making two Dol Towers — a chook-dol tower and the other with her American name, Hana.  The chook-dol tower means congratulations / celebration and the name tower can be the child’s Korean name.  Both will stay within the traditional confines and be decorated with dried beans.  It is also popular and more modern to make towers decorated with candy.  I did not go this route for this celebration, but considered it for my own daughters.

Dol Towers for Hana's 1st Birthday

Dol Towers for Hana’s 1st Birthday

For my daughter I decided to reuse the chook-dol tower from Hana’s party (so I didn’t have to make a new one!).  I did decide to make a tower with my daughter’s name and one with her Chinese zodiac sign, the snake.  Since the snake tower took over 60 hours I ruled out any additional towers.

Items For (One) Dol Tower:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks (jumbo pack)
  • Cylinder Base (I used a paper towel roll individually wrapped)
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Beans (2 bags of Lima beans, 1 black bean and 1 white bean)(snake: 2 white bean, 1 black bean, 1 green lentil bean)
  • Newspaper (to cover the work surface)
  • Clearcote or Shellac (optional)

I don’t have bulk food section in local grocery store so I had to buy bags of beans.  If you are going to buy bulk, don’t get the exact amount.  Allow for some extra as the size of each bean varies and it is good to have a selection when trying to fit it in certain areas. For the two towers (not including the snake), I used 3 bags of Lima, 2 white bean and 1 black bean with leftovers of each. The snake tower took a bag of lima beans, an additional bag of white beans as well as use of the leftovers of the white and black beans from the other towers.

For the cylinder base, there are a lot of options — concrete or building forms, cardboard wrapped around wood bases, formula canisters stacked together, oatmeal canisters or paper towel rolls.  Whichever you choose, you are looking for something 11″ high and 6″ wide.  The easiest route for me was a paper towel roll as I just had a baby.

If you are looking to use the tower again, I would recommend a sturdy base and sealing it with clearcote or shellac.

The two towers (not including the zodiac/snake tower) took me over 30 hours to do (not consecutively of course!).  I would give yourself a work space that won’t be disturbed and is comfortable! I was particular to how the beans were placed so it looked uniform.  If you are more casual about it, I am sure the time would take less!

OberBargain Tip: I used advanced planning again to use coupons for my Michaels trip.  For the paper towels, I didn’t buy an expensive brand but opted for the cheaper private label.  For three towers (chook-dol, name and Chinese zodiac) including the clearcote, cost $25.  Great savings when these go for up to $125 each!

 

Directions:

WHAT TO SAY

Typically the towers are featured in odd numbers.  What to say? As mentioned above, it is most common to have the traditional chook-dol tower meaning congratulations / celebration and a tower with the baby’s name (typically the korean name).  Another traditional tower featured is one with the Chinese zodiac sign.  These traditional towers are typically made with beans.  Outside of the traditional, towers are comprised of designs and decorated with candy.  For the purpose of this post, we are sticking with the traditional.  (Non-traditional will be another day ;)) So now that you know what you want to say.

1. Create the characters or image.  I did it in word and imported the Korean language.  (I also had my husband double check what it said.  I am glad it did because it wasn’t even close to correct.)

  • If you don’t want to create it, you can download a PDF of the chook-dol characters or zodiac symbol on the Korean 1st Birthday website

2. Then made a border around the characters and print it out.

 

PREPARING THE BASE

3. Place newspaper over the work surface.

4. Tape the paper printed with the design or wording onto the cylinder.

  • I also taped a blank paper to the other side of the cylinder since I used a paper towel and there was colorful writing on the other side that I didn’t want to come through.
  • Be careful not to use too much tape as the glue doesn’t stay very well on it.

 

ADDING THE BEANS

Outlined Details of Snake Zodiac Dol Tower

Outlined Details of Snake Zodiac Dol Tower

 

5. Using the glue gun, start glueing the beans to the paper.

  • I found it helpful to pour out the beans that I was using and segregate them into piles based on size as I went. This was quick and helpful for places I needed small beans or large.
  • For the chook-dol and name, I started with the black rectangle border first, then the body of the cylinder.  I left then did the characters inside the border and added the white beans last based on space.  I found this system worked best for me.
  • For the snake, I did the border of the snake first and then the detail (with the black beans).  I then added the green lentils.  Some recommended gluing a small area of the paper with hot glue and pressing the lentils into it.  It did not work for me (at all).  It made a mess and I found I had a lot of spaces that I had to individually glue lentils to (after cleaning the mess from my hands).  Maybe it will work for you!  I found it easier (and cleaner) to just glue the lentils individually.  Crazy, yes, but it came out so much nicer then the other method!  I then added the white beans.
  • I was going to add a chevron pattern to the back of the zodiac tower but it look HORRIBLE!  I ripped it out, taped paper to cover the area and just went with the basic pattern.  Should you decide to do a pattern on the back, my advice would be to stay with beans of similar size.  The beans I was going to use were too big and it looked awkward.
  • I saved the top of the tower last and added whatever patterns free handed as I glued the beans.

Although the project took a long time to complete, I am glad I had so much attention to detail as I am happy with the way it came out. These will be pieces that we can display for years to come!

Completed Dol Towers for my Daughter's First Birthday

Completed Dol Towers for my Daughter’s First Birthday

Dooney & Bourke – Winter 2013 Tent Sale

Dooney & Bourke LogoDooney and Bourke just announced their annual Winter Tent Sale!  If you are looking for a handbag, this is your opportunity with up to 50% off.  Merchandise will include discontinued items, seconds, and one-of-a-kind samples.  Items will range from women’s handbags and accessories, mens wallets and briefcases.

I was able to go to the pre-sale three years ago.  I scored a nice find and shared the details of the experience. It’s so worth the wait.  The sale will be held at Strawberry Hill Ave and Regent Street, Norwalk, CT.  (It’s a short walk away from the East Norwalk Train Station on Metro North.)  Hours for the Winter 2013 Tent Sale are as follows:
  • Thursday, December 12th — 10am to 8pm
  • Friday, December 13th — 10am to 8pm
  • Saturday, December 14th – 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday, December 15th — 11am to 3pm
For more information call: 800-347-5000 or click here for a map.

Wusthof Outlet – Holiday Sale {12/5-12/8}

The Wusthof Outlet in Norwalk, CT is having their annual Holiday Sale Thursday, December 5th to Sunday, December 8th.

Sale will feature regular discounts on the store models, overstocks, and discontinued models between 40% to 70% off – with an extra 20% off everything.

Hours for the sale will be 10 to 6 on Thursday and Friday, 10 to 4 on Saturday and Sunday.

WÜSTHOF
333 Wilson Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: 203-852-8000

Victorinox Swiss Army – 2013 Fall Warehouse Sale – The Details

Sigh, this year I could not go to the sale — but I had several different family members going so I felt covered!

Victorinox Swiss Army Grill 12" Wood Handle Fork

Victorinox Swiss Army Grill 12″ Wood Handle Fork

Victorinox Swiss Army Ergo-dynamic Vegetable Peeler

Victorinox Swiss Army Ergo-dynamic Vegetable Peeler

The overall offerings were the same as the past few years that I mentioned in an older post.  This year they had a large selection of coats ranging from wool, rain jackets, light jackets and for men, leather.  Some of the deal highlights we got were:

  • Grill 12″ wood handle fork (best deal!!) – $1 (normally $35)
  • Chef’s slotted fish turner 4″x6″ – $10 (normally $35)
  • Ergo-dynamic peeler – $4
  • Men’s Ts – $15 (normally $75)
  • Ski Gloves – $15 (normally $65)
  • Woman’s silver watch – $40 (normally $220)

We didn’t ‘need’ anything and came out relatively cheap with $75 worth of goods.  I know your question — is it worth it to go?  If you are looking for a high ticket item (like a watch) or just like to bargain hunt, its definitely worth it!

Victorinox Swiss Army Hooded Military Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army Hooded Military Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army City Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army City Jacket

Victorinox Swiss Army Ski Gloves

Victorinox Swiss Army Ski Gloves

Victorinox Swiss Army – 2013 Fall Warehouse Sale

The leaves are changing colors and the air is getting crisper.  It’s near that time again to stock up on chef knives, watches, clothes, luggage and more at the Victorinox Swiss Army annual Fall Warehouse Sale!
I can safely blame my husband for introducing me and making it a ‘must go’ every year! I usually arrive in the morning, wait for 1.5 hours, and then shop like I mean it!  By now, I am sure you are tired of hearing me talk about the wool/cashmere blend ankle length coat that my sister bought. It retails for $1,500+ and she got it for only $200!  Don’t need a coat? Don’t worry, other items are worth the wait, like a watch.
Interested yet?
The sale will be held at Victorinox headquarters at 7 Victoria Drive in Monroe, CT.  Hours for the Fall 2013 Warehouse sale are as follows:
  • Friday, November 15th — 11am to 9pm
  • Saturday, November 16th — 9am to 4pm
  • Sunday, November 17th — 11am to 3pm
They accept cash or credit cards.  Click here for directions.
I usually attend the event and write a details blog post.  I am not sure what will be manageable with the baby.  If you just can’t make it, you can always go to their company store that is open year round and save yourself the wait.  Happy Shopping!

Play Groups and Programs for Mom, Baby and Kids {Ffld County}

As some of you may know, I recently had a baby.  We are at the point where we are looking for activities locally (Stamford) and around lower Fairfield County…but we don’t want to break the bank for entertainment that the little one isn’t getting too much out of at this point!

I haven’t found one site that is a good resource for this type of information and the Moms I talk to are inquiring as well, so I thought I would put it in one place. Note, the information and pricing is current based on time of posting but subject to change.  Please check the link of each activity for more details and updated information. Listing includes places that allow participation of babies (minimally 12 months).  If there is something you enjoy and it isn’t listed, please let me know.  Hope to see you around town!

 

 MOMS GROUPS
Mom-to-Mom Playgroup @ Stamford Hospital
* All welcome; no registration required
* 0 months-4 months Wednesdays at 11:00am-12:30pm
* 4 months-12 months Wednesdays at 1pm-2:30pm
* $10 donation suggested

Mom’s Morning In
* Activity program for toddlers and pre-school aged children (infants welcome), no registration or reservations required
* Darien Community Association, Friday 10:00am (September to May)
* $10 per child (excluding Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Parade and Farewell Picnic)

Fit4Mom (incl Plum Mom Club, Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre & Body Back)
* Various locations depending on the class
* Free trial class

Moms’ Group at KaiaYoga
* All new and expecting Moms welcome; no registration required
* Greenwich location, Thurs 12:30-1:30pm
* Westport location, Wed 11-12pm
* Free

Jewish Community Center
* Playgroup from newborn to children up to age 2
* Memberships start at $35/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Babies & Babble yearly program $18 (member) / $25 (non-member)

Other places to find Moms Groups are:
* Pediatrician
* Meetups
* Facebook – (i.e. The Awesome Mommy Group )

 

STORYTIME
Stamford Library
* Programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers
* Free programs; Drop-in open to all; Registration required for majority of programs; Stamford residents get 1st priority
- Baby Time (pre-walking) drop-in Harry Bennett Mon 11:15am
- Mother Goose (walking) drop-in Weed Memorial Thurs 11:15am
- Fall and Winter-Spring Programs
* Museum Passes: free or discounted passes for area museums and state parks

Greenwich Library
* Programs for infants, toddlers and  children up to age 5
* Free programs; Drop-in open to all; Registered programs for Greenwich residents only
- Mother Goose Storytime (babies, toddlers & pre-schoolers; drop-in) Select Sat 10:30am
- Wee Ones (12m – 24m; drop-in) Mon 10:30am
- Fall, Winter and Spring Programs
* Museum Passes: free or discounted passes for area museums and state parks

Darien Library
* Programs for infants, toddlers and  children up to age 6
* Drop-in programs free; Registered programs are on a lottery basis. Open to Darien residents, children of those full-time employed in Darien, or Friends of the Library who donate $300 annually
- Baby Laptime (pre-walking; drop-in) Thurs 9:30am
- Toddler Tales (walking; drop-in) Wed 9:30am
- Fall, Winter and Spring Programs

New Canaan Library
* Programs for infants, toddlers and  children up to age 8
* Free programs. Drop-in open to all; Residents preferred for registered programs, non-residents to remaining availability
- Book Babies (pre-walking; drop-in) Wed 11am
- Book Babies (walking; drop-in) Wed 9:30am
- Fall, Winter and Spring Programs

Barnes & Noble
* Programs do not indicate age appropriateness
* Locations various, including Stamford and Norwalk
* Free; drop-in
- Storytime with Miss Ann, Stamford Town Center on Wed 10:30am
- Saturday Storytime, Stamford Town Center on Sat 10:30am
- Programs vary per time of year, check event calendar

 

MUSIC
New Canaan YMCA
* Programs for children from ages 1 to 5
* Annual memberships start at $164 depending on age/type of membership
* More Than Just Music program starts at $165

Greenwich YMCA
* Programs for infants through children ages 4
* Annual memberships start at $200 depending on age/type of membership
* Variety of programs (fee)

Jewish Community Center
* Programs for babies through children up to age 3
* Memberships start at $35/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Weekly programs start at $5 (member) / $8 (non-member)

Music Together Classes
* Programs for infants through children up to age 7
* Locations various, including Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan and Rowayton
* Free trial class
* $325 for 12 week class

Kindermusiq
* Programs for infants through children up to age 7
* Location in Old Greenwich
* Free trial class (cost of sessions not available)

Kids’ Music Round
* Programs for infants through children up to age 5
* Location in Stamford
* Free trial class
* $280 for 10wk session

CT Music for Aardvarks
* Programs for infants and up
* Locations various, including Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Westport and Rowayton
* $260 for 10- or 12-wk session (depending on the semester)

Mary Ann Hall’s Music for Children
* Programs for toddlers through children up to age 13
* Locations include Darien, Greenwich, Norwalk and Southport
* Free trial class
* School-year long sessions, starting at $580

 

BABY GYMS
Darien YMCA
* Programs for children from ages 1 to 5
* Annual memberships start at $250 depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Tumbleweeds 13 weeks program starts at $315 for members; $355 for non-members

New Canaan YMCA
* Programs for children from ages 1 to 18+
* Annual memberships start at $164 depending on age/type of membership
* Bouncing Bears program starts at $212

Greenwich YMCA
* Programs for infants through children ages 5
* Annual memberships start at $200 depending on age/type of membership
* Variety of programs (fee)

Jewish Community Center
* Programs for children ages 12 to 30 months
* Memberships start at $35/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Tumbling Tykes program starts at $247 (member) / $299 (non-member)

Family Tree Yoga
* Programs for mom and infant/baby, toddler and children up to age 16
* Locations include Stamford and Rowayton
* Free trial class
* $135 for 7 week series

Kaia Yoga
* Programs for mom and infant/baby, toddler and children up to age 13
* Locations include Greenwich and Westport
* 10 class card $195 (good for 3 months); $22+tax drop-in

Elements
* Programs for mom and infant/baby
* Location Darien
* Mommy & Me (6wk) program starts at $135

Little Gym
* Programs for infants through children up to age 7
* Locations various, including Stamford, Darien and Westport
* Free trial class
* $99 / month

My Gym
* Programs for infants through children up to age 13
* Locations various, including Stamford and Fairfield
* Free trial class
* Initial Membership Fee $75 + recurring fee

Great Play
* Programs for infants through children up to age 10
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Free trial class
* Annual membership $99, various membership plans starting at $99/month

Kids U
* Programs for children from ages 1 to 9
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Mommy & Me Fall tuition $295 (50min class) 11 wks

Tumble Bugs
* Programs for children from ages 1 to 6
* Locations various, including Greenwich and Norwalk
* Free trial class (cost of sessions not available)

Chelsea Piers
* Programs for children ages 1 to 4+
* Memberships start $95/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Various programs; Little Athletes Gymnastics programs (17wks) start at $415 (member) / $485 non-member

Italian Center
* Programs for children from ages 1 to 2 and youth
* Annual membership starts at $2,195 (plus $1,250 pledge); programs available to non-members for higher fee

 

AQUATICS
Darien YMCA
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 10+
* Annual YMCA memberships start at $250 depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Swim program starts at $204 (member) / $293 (non-member)

Stamford YMCA
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 14+
* Annual YMCA memberships start at $144 depending on age/type of membership
* Swim program 10wks starts at $118

Greenwich YMCA
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 5
* Annual YMCA memberships start at $200 depending on age/type of membership
* Swim program starts at $200

New Canaan YMCA
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 5
* Annual YMCA memberships start at $212 depending on age/type of membership
* Swim program starts at $235

Jewish Community Center
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 5+
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Memberships start at $35/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Swim program for 7wks starts at $140 (member) / $196 (non-member)

Sportsplex
* Programs for babies 4 months through children ages 3+
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Annual memberships vary depending on type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Swim programs start at $170 (member) / $210 (non-member)

New York Sports Club
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 5
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Annual memberships vary depending on type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Swim program (8wks) starts at $175 (member)

Chelsea Piers
* Programs for babies 6 months through children ages 6
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Memberships start $95/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Swim programs (17wks) start at $435 (member) / $510 non-member

Italian Center
* Programs for infants to children ages 3+
* Location Stamford
* Annual membership starts at $2,195 (plus $1,250 pledge); programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Swim programs start at $104 (member) / $128 non-member

 

MUSEUMS
Stepping Stones Museum 
* Exhibits for babies to children age 7+
* Location Norwalk
* Admission: Adults, Children: $15 (under 1, free)
* Annual memberships available starting at $155 (free admission for 2 adults & all kids in household)
- Norwalk residents and adults over 62 get 10% off price of membership
- Active Duty Military and their families get free admission from Memorial Day to Labor Day (5 passes)
OBERBARGAIN: 1st Thursday of every month between 5pm and 8pm, kids get in completely free

Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens
* Location Stamford
* Admission TBD (site keeps crashing computer! Will update ASAP)
* Rock climbing & high ropes

Maritime Aquarium
* Location Norwalk
* Admission: Adults: $20, Children: $13 (under 3, free)
* Annual memberships available starting at $150 (free admission for 2 adults & all kids in household)

Beardsley Zoo
* Location Bridgeport
* Admission: Adults: $12, Children: $10 (under 3, free)
* Annual memberships available starting at $50

Stamford Museum & Nature Center
* Location Stamford
* Admission: Adults $10, Children (4-17): $5 (under 3, free)
* Annual memberships available starting at $50

Darien Nature Center
* Location Darien
* Grounds and trails, free admission
* Annual memberships available starting at $70

New Canaan Nature Center
* Location New Canaan
* Grounds and trails, free admission
* Annual memberships available starting at $35

Audubon Greenwich
* Location various in Greenwich
* Sanctuaries, free admission
* Some programs and events require reservation or fee;
* Annual memberships available

 

SPECIALITY ACTIVITIES
Dance Adventure
* Programs for children ages 1 to 13+
* Location Greenwich
* Free trial class
* Programs start at $379 per semester

SoNo Field House
* Programs for children, youth and teens
* Location Norwalk
* Annual Memberships available; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Athletic programs and adventure area available

Chelsea Piers
* Programs for children, youth and teens
* Locations various, including Stamford
* Memberships start $95/month depending on age/type of membership; programs available to non-members for higher fee
* Athletic programs and adventure center available

 

STUDIO
Best Time Ever
* Welcomes children of all ages
* Location Stamford
* Projects start at $4 per craft

 

A friend and fellow blogger Dana from Mastering Mommy Brain suggested going to your local library for museum passes.  I only noted (and could find) Stamford and Greenwich Library’s, but highly recommend seeing what your local library has to offer for passes.  Thanks for the tip Dana!