When summer boredom sets in, there are the obvious places to keep kids busy like the movies or museums. But if you’re looking for some truly special ideas that don’t break the bank, you don’t have to travel far.
- Merwin Meadows Park off Lovers Lane in Wilton is easy to miss, but once you visit you’ll never forget it. The lakeside beach is a favorite spot for little ones to swim and explore. Then head over to the gated playground and end the adventure with dinner grilled fresh on one of the park’s barbeques.
- Farmers Markets aren’t just for grown-ups. There’s plenty at the Wilton and Westport farmers’ markets (on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively) for little ones too. Live music, delicious fresh fruits and baked goods — plus, who can resist a free sample from our favorite local bakers and chefs?
- The Norwalk River Valley Trail will eventually span 38 miles from Norwalk to Danbury, but for now we can enjoy the completed portion that makes a nice little loop around Wilton Center. Little ones will enjoy an easy hike along the Norwalk River where you’ll see waterfalls and all sorts of wildlife. Stop along the way for ice cream at Scoops.
- Get a head start on back to school shopping. Beat the lines at the mall and support some local small businesses. If your Mini Me shares your shoe fetish, head on over to the new Petite Chou Chou in Wilton. Their perfectly edited collection of kids’ shoes and great customer service sold me from day one. (I’m a regular!) In Westport, hit Groove or Wishlist for trendy pieces.
- The Westport and Wilton libraries offer a treasure trove of (air conditioned!) kids’ activities. Check out their event calendars for fun activities like drop-in crafts, scavenger hunts, outdoor concerts and story hours.
If all else fails, send your kids outside for some good old fashioned, unstructured summer fun. I find that sometimes we underestimate the power of sidewalk chalk, buckets, pails and jump ropes.