Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend at the Zoo!

I decided to take my niece Ella to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport this past Saturday – and we had a wonderful time! One of the best things about the Beardsley Zoo is how child friendly it is. The zoo has loads of interactive activities for young and old alike. Best of all, the Beardsley Zoo is just big enough without being overwhelming.Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo exhibits hundreds of animals, primarily from North and South America. Many of the animals are endangered or threatened species, which means there aren't many of them left in the world.

A big hit with Ella, was the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas. We also enjoyed a stroll through the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep and other barnyard critters. Next, we took a walk along the hoofstock trail that featured bison, pronghorn, and deer.

High on our list too see was the Bald Eagle exhibit. A Zoo volunteer was on hand to tell us about two of the eagles, Temp and Kada that came to the Zoo from the Alaska Raptor Center. We learned that Bald Eagles use their talons to catch fish, and therefore tend to live near water sources such as lakes and rivers. We learned that they will scavenge carrion, steal other animals' kills and catch small mammals. Bald Eagles, who have an average life span of 28 years, are believed to mate for life and build enormous nests for the pair of eggs they will lay each year.


Next we peeked in at the Brazilian ocelot kitten born January 22 and her mother, Kuma. Both cats were napping in a beautiful rainforest environment. We enjoyed looking through the foliage for a glimpse of the two rare ocelot kittens, Red & Maned. Next we were enchanted by the antics of the Golden Lion Tamarins...whose energy seemed boundless...just like Ella's!

Our last stop was a walk through the "Alligator Alley" exhibit, home to five new alligators. The new deck gave us a terrific view of these reptiles as they went about their daily activities and feedings.

We learned from a volunteer on site that Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo's alligators are between the ages of four and five and are still small, the largest weighing approximately 55 lbs, while the smallest averages 30 lbs. They range from four to five feet long. Known to grow continuously throughout their lives, these creatures are known to reach lengths of thirteen to twenty feet and weights from 400 to 2,000 pounds! They can bite down with 2,000 pounds of pressure with a mouth that contains 65 teeth. Formerly an endangered species, more than one million adult alligators live in the wild today, representing a conservation success story!


On our way to the Carrousel for a spin we stopped to admire two beautiful Amur (Siberian) tigers and the Andean (spectacled) bears.

About Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $12.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members are also admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut. For more information, visit http://www.BeardsleyZoo.org

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TAKE A GINGERBREAD BREAK IN WESTERN CONNECTICUT



Lots of places feature colorful gingerbread houses for the holidays, but Kent, Connecticut goes a step further.
The whole town will take part in the second annual Kent Gingerbread Festival from November 25 to December 30. Everyone is invited to follow the Gingerbread Walk through town to view imaginative and ingenious gingerbread delights in over 50 shop windows. Visitors can enjoy the displays as they stroll, then vote for their favorite creations at the Gingerbread Station, 1 Kent Green Boulevard. The station will have its own displays of entries from the local gingerbread baking contest and will also offer baking and craft classes Phone (860) 927-1463 for schedules. Besides gingerbread displays, Kent will have special events every weekend, from pancakes with Santa to caroler and a Messiah sing-along.

MORE SWEET TREATS


Kent has the biggest show, but Connecticut’s Litchfield and Fairfield Counties offer several other impressive gingerbread displays guaranteed to delight, as well as the chance to take home some of the prize creations or make your own gingerbread confection.


More than 60 buildings, with horse and sleigh teams, ponds, boats, and sledders, all dressed up in Christmas splendor will be featured at the 44th annual Gingerbread Village, a lavish display from December 3 to 10 at St. George's Church on Tucker Hill Road in Middlebury. Everything is for sale, available to take home when the display ends. Admission is Free. Hours are Saturday, December 3rd 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, Sunday, December 4th, Noon to 8 p.m., Monday, December 5th to Friday, December 9th 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 10th, 10a.m.to 4 p.m. Call (203) 758-9557 for information.

The third annual Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center November 12 through December 18 shows off imaginative confections made by some of the area's best pastry chefs, restaurants, and caterers. DiMare's Pastry Shop of Stamford, SoNo Baking Company of South Norwalk and Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes of Greenwich are among those who are vying for first prize from a panel of special judges. These are far from ordinary houses; one of the past displays was a perfect miniature of the Duomo Cathedral in Florence, Italy. Visitors are invited to vote for the “Fan Favorite” of the year. Learn more at www.stamfordmuseum.org.




MAKE YOUR OWN

Those who are inspired to make their own gingerbread houses should contact the Silo Cooking School in New Milford. Each year The Silo offers classes for parents and children (ages 5 and up). There are classes also for adults, who enjoy appetizers and mulled wine as they assemble their architectural masterpieces. Classes are held several times on November 25-27, December 2-4 and December 9-10. The cost is $85 for each adult team or each parent-child team, up to 3 people. The classes sell out every year but would-be bakers can check for openings or waiting lists at (860) 355-0300. The Silo is part of the Hunt Hill Farm Trust so they are found on-line at www.hunthillfarmtrust.org/index.php?/silo/cooking)

For more information about gingerbread adventures, directions to events and listings of all the holiday doings in the region, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, www.visitwesternct.com. They offer a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to the attractions in the Litchfield Hills and a free color Fairfield County Getaway Guide.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Lights Are Back On — At Sheffield Island Lighthouse


It has been over one-hundred years since the lighthouse on Sheffield Island off the coast of Norwalk has cast it’s light across the waters of Long Island Sound. Tonight, that will all change thanks to NRG Energy Inc. A low-energy reflective light has been installed in the tower and will be turned on for the first time in over 100 years today. Activated in 1868, the Sheffield Island Lighthouse was in service for 34 years until its retirement in 1902. The lighthouse served as a navigational beacon before the Greens Ledge Lighthouse was built. Today, Greens Ledge Lighthouse is a beacon for pleasure and commercial boaters cruising Long Island Sound.

The Norwalk Seaport Association purchased the lighthouse in 1987 for $700,000 from Thorston O. Stabell, who bought the structure from the U.S. government years prior and used it as a summer residence. Today, the Sheffield Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the Association. Visitors to the island can stroll along the shoreline of the island and explore the lighthouse museum and nature preserve that is home to a number of seabirds and other island wildlife.

The new light on the island will not be used for navigational purposes, rather its intermittent light, visible from the Norwalk side of Long Island Sound is a reminder of the history of this important maritime landmark and a beacon that will welcome visitors to Sheffield Island.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fearsome Or Friendly, Fun Fills The Litchfield Hills For Halloween


Dracula, Frankenstein and other heroes of the horrors will be on hand, while spooks and spiders, ghouls and goblins will abound in haunted graveyards. The Litchfield Hills of Northwestern Connecticut will be filled with unique ways to celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October. Families can choose from fearsome to friendly, with many chances for younger children to don their costumes and parade in happy small town celebrations.

Scary Scenarios

For chills, make haste to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, which has been called "The granddaddy of the horrifically good time." An unholy order of monks keep watch over the graves in the dark caverns of the Catacombs here and a dark and misty fog envelops the graveyard where zombies and night stalkers have wakened from the dead. Some are real; others are amazing animatronic creations made by The Haunted Graveyard's crazed staff. Recommended for adults, teens and very brave children, the park opens at dusk weekends from September 30 to October 31, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays. The Haunted Graveyard will not be open October 2 and rides will not be open on October 31st. Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Wildcat, Down Time, and Zoomerang. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. (www.lakecompounce.com)

This will be the 45th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol. The Graveyard Of Classic Ghouls sets the atmosphere as you enter the dungeon where accurate life-size figures of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and others are featured in 13 scenes or dioramas based on the vintage movie chillers. Many of the figures are made from the actual life casts of the actor's faces, plus some original costumes or props, in a wax museum style setting with special voice tracks by Vincent Price, Mark Hamill, and John Agar. Many Hollywood props are on display and vintage films may be shown outdoors, weather permitting. A special highlight this year is the display of the classic 1966 “Batmobile” for the opening weekend of Sept. 30 to October 2. Hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., September 30 to October 31. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. A $2.00 donation is suggested for all ages! (www.preservehollywood.com)

Historic Happenings

At the historic Glebe House Museum in Woodbury on Saturday, October 22 costumed spirits will lead the way through the Ancient Burying grounds, where 20 of Woodbury's most famous and infamous 'spirits' await at their gravesites to relate tales from the darker side of 18th and 19th century Woodbury. There will be a spooky candlelit tour in the museum itself and stories and tales from Moll Cramer, the Witch of Woodbury, told in the Museum cottage. Madame Suzolo will be offering Tarot Card readings and there will be free fall refreshments for all. The Hollow will be closed to traffic and the area, including the walk to and through the cemetery will be lit with over 200 luminaries. Hours are 5 pm to 9 p.m. The rain date is October 29. www.theglebehouse.org.

The night of October 29 also brings the Halloween Spooktacular at the Tapping Reeve Law School on Rte. 63 South Street in Litchfield beginning at 6:30 PM.. The Litchfield Historical Society has partnered with the White Memorial Conservation Center for a spooktacular that promises candlelight reading of excerpts from the Washington Irving classic, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" interpreted by local thespians, Ilvi Dulac, Jane Coughlin, and Michael Medeiros. Next get ready to take a guided walking tour along Gallows Lane, site of the hanging and death of America's first mass murderer. The evening ends at White Memorial's A.B. Ceder Room with spooky treats. Here kids will also meet an owl and a bat and watch out for other things that go bump in the night! Bring a flashlight! Halloween costumes are suggested but not required! (860-567-0857). http://www.whitememorialcc.org

Once again this year, the festively decorated Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30. The Halloween Express will take costumed passengers on a scenic 20-mile round-trip ride that runs along Mattatuck State Forest to the Brass Mills of Waterbury and back to the spectacular Thomaston Dam amid splendid fall foliage. Free pumpkins are given to every child as long as the supply lasts. (860-283-RAIL; www.rmne.org).

Hunt Hill Farm on Upland Road in New Milford is hosting “The Silo and the Supernatural” on October 30 from 4pm to 6 pm. Participants will enter the realm of the paranormal with The Northwest Ct Paranormal Society's professional investigator John Zontok and Bob Mills, a professional photographer who helps the team differentiate true paranormal pictures from forged images. Tools of the trade, the history of paranormal photography, and audio of ghostly voices and videos of what could be a revolutionary soldier will be shared and experienced. Local hauntings, including a Barkhamsted barn investigation featured on the Animal Planet's "The Haunted" series and "My Ghost Story are highlights of this macabre evening of paranormal fun. Due to the nature of this program, ages 12 and up please. (860-355-0300). www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

Small Town Fun—for Free!!

Everyone is invited to join the 35th Annual Kent Pumpkin Run on October 30th. The festivities begin with a Kids Fun Run at 11:15 AM followed by the 5 mile run / walk at noon. The spectator friendly certified course starts and finishes at Kent Green in front of Town Hall. Festivities include music, refreshments (including Billy's famous Pumpkin Soup!), face painting, Halloween fun and much more.

The 19th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 29 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups. Children will have their own costume parade and games and get to decorate a pumpkin. (203-792-1711; www.citycenterdanbury.com).

Bristol is hosting the 17th Annual Free Halloween Carnival and Costume Parade for boys and girls up to 5th grade that will take place on October 30, from 11:45 to 3 p.m. at Rockwell Park. The parade begins at noon and Amazing Andy’s Magic Show follows. Carnival games, arts and crafts, Big Daddy’s Racing, an old fashioned photo booth, Twinkles and Jingles the clowns and Train Rides are also on the agenda. Each child will receive a free reflective trick or treat bag. Children participating in the Costume Parade will receive a small bag of treats. There is no charge to participate in the Fall/Halloween Carnival. (860-584-6160)

The Big Day

On October 31, beginning at 4:30 pm, the annual Halloween Costume Party for Children will go on at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, with the costume contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Ghoulish games and fun are promised, along with a crazy costume contest and what is billed as “frightening foods.” Kids are free, but adults are asked to contribute $1.

Finally, anyone who is in the area on Halloween night is invited to join the Safe Halloween fun at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville from 6pm to 10pm. Sponsored by the Terryville Lion’s Club, it will feature hayrides, games, food and treats. All you need to participate is a non-perishable food item for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For more information about Halloween happenings and other fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, www.visitwesternct.com.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Unwind from the Daily Grind! Unwind from the Daily Grind! Travel tips, sneak peaks, special events, and first hand travel destination information… around the corner, up the street and around the county About Janet Serra CELBRATE THE FALL HARVEST AT STAMFORD MUSEUM AND NATURE CENTER OCT. 15 AND 16

The crisp days of fall are a glorious time of year in Connecticut and part of our New England Heritage. What better way to celebrate the fall than to visit the Stamford Museum and Nature Center www.stamfordmuseum.org this weekend for the Harvest Festival. The fair is located on 39 Scofieldtown Rd. in Stamford and takes place on October 15 and 16 from 11 am to 3 pm.

Kids will enjoy hayrides, apple cider demonstrations, a scarecrow contest, pumpkin carving, llama trekking, farm animal demonstrations and many other fun activities.

As Halloween is just around the corner, children are encouraged to wear a costume and participate in the Harvest Festival parade led by a special guest! Many other activities will keep families busy including an apple slingshot, corn husk dolls, live music, face painting, farm tool demonstrations, cauldron-cooked corn, storytelling, and children’s crafts.

A special highlight of this year’s harvest festival includes the chance to meet the newest members of Heckscher Farm – two female guinea hogs. Families are invited to help name these two new residents during Harvest Festival Weekend. Visitors can make suggestions for the piglets’ names as part of Stamford Museum and Nature Center’s “Name Our Pigs” Challenge. The people who suggest the winning names will receive free admission for four to the Maple Sugar Weekend (in March 2012) and Spring on the Farm Weekend (in May 2012) at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Last Chance to Win A Harley


Have you ever wanted to win a Harley -- and to cruise the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut amid the beautiful firecolors of fall? If this is a dream of yours then take a chance with the clever raffle offered by the New England Carousel Museum (http://www.thecarouselmuseum.org) in Bristol.

There are only three weeks left until the New England Carousel Museum draws the winning ticket for the lucky winner of its annual raffle! The 2500 tickets that benefit the Carousel Museum are running out, fast --- to avoid disappointment buy your tickets today...it might be your lucky day!

For only $20.00 per ticket, you have a chance at this year's first prize, a fabulous 2011 Harley Davidson Fat Boy! The second prize is a 5' x 8' trailer, and the third prize is a $100.00 gift certificate redeemable at Yankee Harley Davidson in Bristol.

Tickets can be purchased on line by visiting their homepage (http://www.thecarouselmuseum.org), just scroll down the page and look for the "fat boy" and download the raffle form. Fill out the form and send it along with your check for $20 to: The New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol, CT 06010 to receive your ticket and a chance to win a classic Harley Fat Boy! Make sure to make your check payable to the Carousel Museum!

The Fourteenth Annual Raffle ends on Saturday, October 29th. There will be a public drawing at 7 P.M at the New England Carousel Museum when the three winners will be revealed! Everyone is welcome to attend the drawing, but the winner need not be present. The winner will be contacted immediately upon completion of the drawing.

Tickets may be purchased at the Carousel Museum at 95 Riverside Ave in Bristol and are also availabe at Andy's Hair Studio, Hamelin & Sons Garage, Pine Street Package Store, Martino's Market, Farmington Bank in Farmington, Webster Bank on Pine Street, Mikes Hair Design, the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Wine & Spirits, Yankee Harley Davidson, Greer's Chicken, South Side Market, Harvest Bakery, Bristol Glass, Trim Unlimited. Chute Gates in Terryville, the Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford, Jerzie Joe's in Southington and Sam the Clams in Plantsville also sell raffle tickets on behalf of the museum.

The Museum is located at 95 Riverside Avenue, Route 72 in Bristol. For more information, call the Carousel Museum at (860) 585-5411. Fax: 860-314-0483, E-mail: info@thecarouselmuseum.org, Web site: www.thecarouselmuseum.org.

About the New England Carousel Museum

The New England Carousel Museum was founded as a nonprofit educational organization in 1990, in Bristol, Connecticut. Visitors to the Museum will tour two floors of fascinating displays, exhibits and galleries including: The New England Carousel Museum, The Museum of Fire History, The Fine Art Gallery and The Greek Museum of Art and History. In season the New England Carousel Museum also manages the historic Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford CT.

Friday, October 7, 2011

WACky Halloween for Families at Westport Arts Center on October 23


Sometimes "WACky is fun! On Sunday, October 23, from 2 to 4 pm toddlers, children, parents and grandparents are invited to the Westport Arts Center to have some "wacky" fun that will feature all new creative mixed-media arts projects inspired by Halloween. Participants are encouraged to come in costume to really enjoy this festive event!

Families will build 3-dimentional haunted houses, create "WACky" Halloween hats, and make costumes using fabric and an eclectic mix of materials...sounds like fun already! Attendees will also have the opportunity to explore the current exhibition, "Love: In the Eye of the Beholder," coinciding with Westport Country Playhouse's production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night, or What you Will."


In chatting with the Director of Education, Danielle Ogden, she told me that "it's the only program of its kind in the area that provides creative arts experiences that attract a multi-generational audience. This particular Family Day is one of our most popular programs. It is a festive event, where kids dress in wacky costumes and enjoy creating Halloween-themed projects with their families." To me this is an event that should not be missed!

Admission is $10/child; admission free for adults and kids under two.




About The Westport Arts Center


The Westport Arts Center is a visual and performing arts organization dedicated to creating arts experiences that enrich the lives of area residents and the entire community. For more information, contact Westport Arts Center at 203-222-7070, www.westportartscenter.org. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Civil War Artifact Appraisal Day at Gunn Museum in Washington, October 15


This year marks the 150 Anniversary of the Civil War and Connecticut is one of many states that have commemorated this important anniversary in our nations history with a vast range of evocative events. The Civil War was perhaps the most trying time in our nation's history, as this war rocked our nation to its very core. It is estimated that 620,000 soldiers perished and every aspect of society was impacted in the north as well as in the south.

Connecticut sent 55,000 men to war; a figure that reflected 12% of Connecticut's total population and for men that were between the ages of 15 and 50, this number reflects 47% of the population, a figure that is unparalleled in Connecticut's history. Connecticut organized 29 regiments and supplied a full third of Union weaponry.

Support for the Union and its War against the South is only one aspect of Connecticut's history, as 40% of the state's population opposed the war and gave tremendous political strength to the Peace Democrats, a group that tried to stop Governor Buckingham from supporting President Lincoln and the war. Understanding the history of the Civil War helps to define Connecticut's past as well as our future. The many events that commemorate the Civil War helps us to understand where we have been, where we are and where we are going.


A special Civil War artifact appraisal day will take place on Saturday October 15 from 12-3pm in the Gunn Museum in the charming town of Washington. The public is invited to bring their Civil War artifacts to be evaluated by Thomas Zanavich, a long-time dealer and the guest curator of the current exhibit. He will answer your questions and verbally appraise items for estimated age and value. Do you have artifact that you suspect might be from the Civil War? It is always interesting and fun to bring in a suspected "treasure" for evaluation by an expert that knows the period and can identify authentic artifacts.

There is no charge for admission or appraisal, but donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required, call 860-868-7756 to reserve your spot.

The Gunn Museum's exhibit, Letters from the Battlefield: Stories of Washington's Civil War Soldiers, will be open for viewing from 10am-4pm this day. The exhibit ends on October 30th. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, on Washington Green. Call 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for information.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ready for Halloween? A Haunting at Mill Hill in Norwalk October 15 and 22


As the sun sets, on Mill Hill in Norwalk, the spirits come out to play. Take a lantern-light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard and hear chilling tales from the spirits of Norwalk's past on Saturdays, October 15 and 22 (rain or shine). Tours are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour will be followed by refreshments in the old one-room schoolhouse. This pre-Halloween event is organized by the Norwalk Historical Society.

During "A Haunting at Mill Hill," participants will hear stories of murder, death, destruction and more while they meet renegade Tory Easias Bouton, Chester, the haunted Civil War statue, and other entities from Norwalk's colorful history. The cemetery is located at 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851.

Space for each tour is limited so reservations are recommended (203-846-0525). Advance tickets are $10 for adults/teens and $6 for children ages 8-12 (not recommended for children younger than 8). Tickets at the door are $12 for adults/teens and $8 for children. There is a $2 discount for Norwalk Historical Society members. For more information visit http://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.



About Mill Hill Historic Park

The Mill Hill Historic Park consists of three historical buildings and the third oldest Burying Ground in Norwalk.

The Burying Ground on Mill Hill dates to 1767 and was originally called Whitney's Hill after a miller that opened a mill on the site. A list of those buried in the Mill Hill Burying Ground was recorded in 1924 and consisted of the names on the headstones that were clearly readable. Not all that are buried on Mill Hill are accounted for because in the Colonial Period less than a third of the burials were marked with an inscribed headstone. Some of the time, a simple rock was used.

Several notable buildings are located on the grounds of the Mill Hill complex. The federally styled brick Norwalk Town House dates to 1835 and served a multiple of purposes over the years as a gathering place for special groups.

The Law Office of Governor Fitch is also on the grounds. Thomas Fitch was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. Restored in 1971, the small colonial style building I saw on the grounds was reconstructed as a colonial law office. Originally, it was part of the kitchen wing of Governor Fitch’s house. I was told that it was the only portion of the house that survived the burning of Norwalk by the British on July 11, 1779. The house that stands on Mill Hill today, was once located in East Norwalk. It was moved in 1956 because it was in the construction path of the Interstate 95.

The red-clapboarded building known as the Downtown District School House is also located in the complex and was built in 1826. The building was used as a school until 1871. The British destroyed the original school, and the present schoolhouse was built on the lines of the first utilizing its original foundation.

Norwalk Seaport Association Stages Murder Mystery to Preserve Historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse October 21!


Who done it? Find out as Norwalk Seaport Association (NSA) hosts a murder mystery dinner, “Double Trouble,” to benefit Sheffield Island lighthouse. The event will be held at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., and includes hors d’oeuvres and dinner while guests solve an exciting and entertaining mystery.

“It’s great fun to stage this murder mystery in support of our ongoing efforts to demystify the historic beauty and magnificence of our Sheffield Island lighthouse,” said Tom Shrum, president of the non-profit, volunteer-run NSA. “There’s no better way for southern Connecticut residents to show our pride in our local maritime heritage.”

This is the second event this year to benefit the lighthouse. In March, a sold-out crowd at NSA’s Light Keeper’s Gala collectively donated a record $49,000 for the environmental organization’s stewardship of the lighthouse.

Reservations to the murder mystery are required. Tickets are $75 per person for Seaport Association members and $85 for non-members, and can be purchased online at www.seaport.org.

About Norwalk Seaport Association

Norwalk Seaport Association was established in 1978 and stewards the Sheffield Island lighthouse, which celebrates 142 years as the jewel in Long Island Sound. During the summer, its C.J Toth ferryboat takes visitors to Sheffield Island for tours of the historic lighthouse, special events and enjoyment of a walking trail through the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge.

NSA provides environmental education programs that use Sheffield Island and offers diverse special events and community projects, including the annual NSA Oyster Festival, now in its 34th year. This event attracts up to 50,000 people during three days in early September and provides $200,000 in fundraising opportunities for more than 20 other local non-profit organizations. In addition, the Seaport Association helped create Norwalk’s Coastal Area Management Plan; establish the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; and revitalize historic South Norwalk.

More information can be found at www.seaport.org.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Canaan Nature Center’s 42nd Annual Fall Fair October 15


The crisp days of autumn are here! It is a glorious time of year in Connecticut when families can enjoy traditional fairs and festivals amidst a backdrop of orange, scarlet and gold leaves.

The New Canaan Nature Center's 42 annual Fall Fair is chock full of traditional fall fair activities that will please young and old alike. Visitors to the Fair will enjoy pony rides, a “haunted” woodland trail, apple slingshots, nature-based crafts, a hay maze, cupcake and pumpkin decorating, and fire engine rides on New Canaan’s antique fire engine, Old Faithful. The giant bungee jump, one of last year’s most popular attractions will also be back along with the “Kids On The Go” obstacle course and other inflatable rides.


The Fall Fair will feature a wide range of entertainment throughout the day. The Moses Brothers band will entertain families with a live performance of their blues/bluegrass/rock music from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. The 4th Annual Apple Pie Eating contest will begin at 3 p.m. with categories for youth and adults. There is an entry fee ($5 for youth and $15 for adults) and prizes will be awarded. Other live shows include birds of prey demonstrations, shadow puppet shows and story readings between 10:30am – 2:30pm.

New this year will be an "Eco-Village" where attendees can learn about the latest products, services and businesses to help green their home, family and life. Participating Eco-Village sponsors/exhibitors include Alteris Renewables, BPC Green Builders, Going Green Landscape Lighting, Graze Delivered, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. and Vinylume Inc. Renewal by Andersen.

A wide range of fresh foods will be available to purchase throughout the day, including grilled hot dogs, pulled pork and vegetarian sandwiches, pizza, hot soup and hot and cold beverages. A variety of homemade baked goods will be for sale courtesy of Nature Center volunteers.


Admission to the Fall Fair is free and parking is available at St. Mark's and the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets can be purchased for $1 each for the activities and food, which range from 1-7 tickets.

About the New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization that is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature. The annual Fall Fair helps raise funds to maintain and offer this community treasure admission-free to residents of New Canaan and the surrounding area throughout the year. For more information about the Fall Fair visit www.NewCanaanNature.org of call (203) 966-9577.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Discovery Museum Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month October 8th


The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is proud to announce free admission as part of its celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month on October 8th. To celebrate the day, Bi-lingual docents will be on hand to show visitors around the musuem.

The day's events will showcase Hispanic scientists, engineers, and inventors whose genius expanded the frontiers of science and space and improved the social and health conditions of populations around the globe.

Visitors to the Museum will discover the rich, Hispanic legacy and ongoing discoveries which contribute to our quality of life, whether it is finding the cure for leprosy or being the first female astronaut in space to represent the Latino population (with almost 1,000 miles logged!)

Events highlighted will include a Skype video conference with scientists at Arecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico, with the distinction of being the largest of its kind in the world! There will also be Hands-On Dynamic Demonstrations (some bi-lingual) throughout the day.

A special favorite will be the four Full-Dome Planetarium Shows (some bi-lingual) that are being offered throughout the day. Make-and-Take children's activities, and a peak at the new traveling exhibit "Contraptions" will round out the fun.

A special feature will be live broadcasts by Radio Cumbre from the Discovery Museum that will include drawings for free museum memberships and passes.

About The Discovery Museum and Planetarium

Connecticut's pre-eminent science and planetarium resource for more than 60,000 visitors, school children, and teachers. The mission of the Discovery Museum and Planetarium is to "engage, excite, and educate" in the exploration of science, technology, and innovation.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is a hands-on interactive museum for all ages with over sixty-five exhibit areas featuring "see, hear and touch" explorations of science, technology and ideas.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is located at 4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604. http://www.discoverymuseum.org.