April 20 – 26

Welcome to the third week in Connecticut, it’s Earth Day and my birthday too.

Here is alittle FYI on us: We publish events submitted to our website, events that we have scoured the internet and emails for and of course include places that we love or aspire to visit in the below; which are all happening over the next 7 days. We always publish our own ideas of where to go and what to do; our content is never swayed by monetary conflicts of interest. So if you appreciate that please be kind enough to refer us to your family (friends and family) and be sure to let the places below know that we referred you.

We do not like to be redundant, so click here for activities that are mundane – some of these occur once a month too.

Now through Wednesday, April 22:

10am – 3pm: Eco Splash! We’ll spend a week celebrating Earth Day! Be amazed as tons of sand is transformed into a spectacular sculpture by Sandtasia, the Sand Sculptures of the Ocean State, throughout the week. Create a piece of art using scrap materials; meet and be enthralled by some very cool rehabilitated raptors. Plant a sunflower to take home, find out what’s fun about composting and the benefits of the humble red wiggler! Eco Splash will inspire you to help protect our ocean planet with fun conservation projects you can do at home, composting ideas and much more. Activities are free with Aquarium admission or membership. Live Birds of Prey Presentations on April 17-19 See live rehabilitated raptors and learn about what makes them such great hunters, including a bald eagle, red-tailed hawk and great horned owl. We will have two presentations a day at 11:15-11:45 and 1:15-1:45 on April 17-19 only. Mystic Aquarium, Mystic.

Now through April 26:

Museum Children Free Week In memory of Louise W. Willson. Free admission to children ages twelve and under when accompanied by an adult. White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield.

Monday, April 20:

6:30 – 8:30pm: Amphibian Love Songs As spring progresses and ponds melt, amphibians begin to appear and sing, but who comes out first and what do they sound like? Join us as we discuss the phenology of our local amphibian species from “quacking” wood frogs to “trilling” toads. We will explore our wetlands, so wear boots and clothes that can get a little muddy. We’ll provide nets and collection jars for gentle, up-close study. $7 per non-member. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

Tuesday, April 21:

4 – 6pm: ArtSmart Toad Hotels Fashion a fabulous garden abode for your resident garden toad. Famous works of art will inspire designs painted on a terracotta pot…complete with a vacancy sign and a painted pebble path!  Ages 7 and up. $15 per child. Trumbull Nature & Arts Center, Trumbull.

Wednesday, April 22:

9am – 12pm and 2 – 5pm: Earth Day Bioblitz! Join us as we take to the fields and forests for Earth Day! During this mini-bioblitz, we’ll be tallying up all the plants and animals that live at the Nature Center. Register your group in advance for the morning or afternoon session (or both!) and we’ll assign you to one of our staff-led teams. Natural history knowledge appreciated, but not necessary! Our staff will help with identifying flora and fauna. Bring your field guides and cameras. $7 per non-member. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

10am – 6pm: Earth Day The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village invites you to join us in a celebration of planet Earth! Our 14th Annual Earth Week Celebration is jam-packed with family-friendly entertainment and hands-on activities! 11:00am-3:00pm: Balloon Twisting – April’s Balloon Creations will make you a one-of-a-kind balloon creation of your choice! 11:00am-2:00pm: Free Child ID’s from New York Life Have a free Child’s ID created from New York Life insurance! 11:00am-3:00pm: Face Painting Pick a wild or whimsical design and have The Dime Bank Blue Crew make your adventure extra special with unique face painting! Nature’s Art Village, Montville.

4pm and 7pm: Little Boy: Believe The Impossible Little Boy is a powerful and moving, utterly unique story that will capture your heart and lift your spirits. Little Boy tells the heartwarming story of a little boy who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad home from World War II alive. The story reveals the indescribable love a little boy has for his father and the love a father has for his son. Set in the 40’s, Little Boy is a cinematic classic that captures the wonder of life through the eyes of an 8-year-old boy. $8.50 per adult, $6 per child. Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield.

Thursday, April 23:

6:30 – 8:30pm: Make It with Michael’s Workshop: Crayon Flowerpot Surprise a beloved teacher with this cute, colorful flower pot. $15 per flowerpot, including supplies. Michael’s Locations.

{Parents Time Out} 6:30pm: Eat, Drink and Learn Share a signature drink with friends and enjoy bites from a local specialty restaurant, then adjourn to the Sturgess Room for an engaging discussion. $40 per non-member. Ages: Adults 21+.  New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan.

Friday, April 24 – Sunday, April 26:

{Reoccurs May 1, 3 and 9} Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, Saturday at 5:30pm. Cinderella Italiano A high energy musical panto version of Cinderella, set in Italy where Cinderella meets a Godmother with an offer she can’t refuse! Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom, it’s a ball! $18 online, $20 at the door. Milford Center for the Arts, Milford.

Friday, April 24:

10am – 12pm: Pre-School Spring Tails and Tales Winter snows are melting and the forest is about to change! Stop! Look! Listen! What can we discover now that Spring is on its way? Join us for a special story-hour to find out. Bring a cushion to sit on, and your favorite stuffed animal to read to and teach about spring (both optional) as we explore both spring picture books and Goodwin Forest’s Discovery Trail. We will go walking rain or shine, so be sure to dress for the weather. Space is limited.  Registration is required. Free. Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center, Hampton.

11am and 4pm: Dinosaur Train Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure embraces the fascination that children have with both dinosaurs and trains, while celebrating important lessons on family and belonging. Come join Buddy, Tiny, King, Don and more in this fun-filled, interactive and immersive live trip back in time to an age when dinosaurs roamed the earth….and rode in trains! Little Buddy is a proud Tyrannosaurus Rex living happily in the Pteranodon family nest. But, what exactly makes Buddy a part of this family? What will happen when Buddy gets bigger and can’t fit in the nest anymore? Buddy wants to know, so the Pteranodons decide to hop aboard the one and only Dinosaur Train and set off on an adventure across the Mesozoic to take Buddy to see King Cryolophosaurus. The King’s giving a big concert in Troodon Town and Buddy wants to talk to the King and figure it all out. But, oh no… King is missing! Will Buddy and the gang be able to find the King in time for his concert? Just why is King hiding anyway? And will Buddy discover what makes him special and such an important part of the Pteranodon family? Let’s all take a ride on the Dinosaur Train to find out, together! Tickets: $15-$35 (plus per-ticket fees). The Palace Theatre, Stamford.

4 – 5:30pm: Frog Fridays with The Flanagan-Brown Boys Bring your curiosity! We will observe the amazing transformations that occur in vernal pools during several guided outings throughout the spring. Come to one outing or come to many, to see a wonderful array of creatures found in vernal pools this time of year; including frogs, salamander and frog eggs, tadpoles, salamanders, fairy shrimp, insect larvae, and more! Viewing scopes will be available. Space is limited for this popular program therefore registration is required. Program will be held in warm rain; Cold or steady rain cancels. Free. Highlawn Forest, Middlefield.

7:30pm: Astronomy Nights: Infinity and Our Universe Head to the Observatory to explore the night sky, planets, stars, and more! Start by learning about Infinity and Our Universe, followed by a visit to view the night sky through the Observatory’s 22-inch research telescope. The presentation portion of the program will be held rain or shine. Viewing hours are weather permitting. This program is suitable for children ages 5 and older. Non-Members: Adults $5, Children (5-17) $3. Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford.

Saturday, April 25 – Sunday, April 26:

8am – 5pm: Day Out with Thomas Thomas the Tank Engine is back at Essex Station for three special weekends in 2015: April 25-26 and May 2-3 are left. Percy will be visiting Essex Station to keep Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt company, and tell a special story. Visit with Percy, ride a train pulled by Thomas, and enjoy your favorite Thomas & Friends rides, activities, and characters. $24 per person, children under 2 free. The Valley Railroad Company; Essex.

Saturday 10am to 9pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm. The Meriden Daffodil Festival began as a community event 37 years ago and has grown into one of Connecticut’s premier celebrations. With food, crafts, music, fireworks, amusements and a parade that has to be seen to be believed, the Daffodil Festival is a springtime fun fest for old and young, couples and singles, families and friends. Held each year the last week in April, this Meriden, Connecticut, festival will celebrate its 37th year in 2015 with “food, flowers, fireworks and fun.” Amidst the 650,000 blooming daffodils in Hubbard Park, the visitor can enjoy an arts and crafts sale; the crowning of Little Miss Daffodil; a carnival with Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, giant slide, pony rides, miniature train; and “Meriden’s Silver Fork,” the food tent that houses 50 food vendors all from community non-profit agencies, each selling at least one unique food item. Saturday night is capped by a spectacular fireworks display, said to be one of the best in New England. The event attracts over 100,000 spectators annually. Hubbard Park, Meriden.

{Reoccurs May 2-3} 12 – 6pm: $40 Carload Days Quassy kicks off its 107th season with a $40 carload special. Up to 10 persons in a vehicle receive an all-day ride wristband for only $40, parking included. Offer valid both days with rides open noon to 6 p.m. Annual Egg Hunt for prizes at 3 pm, Sunday, April 26. Spirit Song on the Carousel Theatre stage both days starting at noon and meet and greets with Peter Rabbit. Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury.

Saturday, April 25:

6am: Early Morning Beaver Walk with Leo Kulinski, Jr and Gerri Griswold Leo and Gerri will take you along the Pine Island and Little Pond trails in pursuit of North America’s largest rodent! Dress for the weather! Coffee and muffins in the Ceder Room après- walk. White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield.

9am – 4pm: The 106th Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival The festival, started in 1909 by the CT Sheep Breeders Association as a program “to promote the keeping of sheep in Connecticut”, has evolved and expanded into a premier sheep and fiber festival. This event is a delightful agricultural and learning experience for the general public as well as shepherds and fiber enthusiasts. Admission is still only $5 per car. Rain or Shine. Tolland Agricultural Center, Vernon.

9am – 4:30pm: Join us at The PAST Antiques Marketplace, Yankee Magazine’s 2014 “Best Antiques Stop”, for a unique celebration of Spring! We are bringing The PAST outside for the day and showcasing our amazing antiques, crafts and collectibles vendors. Enjoy shopping in a peaceful and fun environment outdoors and catch one of our antique engines and machinery displays happening throughout the day! Nature’s Art Village, Montville.

9:30 – 10:30am: Trailside Stories Hike to a special location each week for a story in the woods!  Stories will come alive in the meadow, forest, and by the brook as we explore the woods in spring time. Families with children up to age 8. $5 Non-Members. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

10am: Junior Chef: Baking Bundts Bundt cakes are more popular than ever—and you will be, too, when you bake one for your family! In this class, we’ll make different flavors and sizes of Bundt cakes, then finish them with three scrumptious glazes: vanilla, chocolate ganache and lemon. Suitable for ages 5 – 13. Free. Williams Sonoma Locations.

10am – 12pm: Salt Marsh Walk From crabs to cord grasses, a salt marsh is like no other ecosystem.  Join the Mystic Aquarium and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center to learn about the plants, animals and ecology of the salt marsh by getting a little mucky looking for coffee bean snails, fiddler crabs, amphipods, glassworts, and much more!  Be prepared to get your feet wet! Cost is $5 per person. Barn Island, Stonington.

10am – 12pm: Magical Musicals Workshop – Look! Look! Look! Families are invited to participate in this free creative workshop based on Neighborhood Music School’s popular Audubon Arts summer program. Designed for children ages 5 – 12, this fun workshop will engage families in developing a “mini-musical” by writing original lyrics and songs, based loosely on the story line of a children’s book. At the end of the workshop, participants will perform the musical for an audience. Workshop instructors are NMS Drama Department Head Stephen Dest and voice instructor Matthew Harrison, who both teach at NMS’s Audubon Arts program. This workshop is based on the book “Look! Look! Look!,” by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (Author), Linda K. Friedlaender (Collaborator). Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate with children in these events. Each participating family will receive a free book at each event, while supplies last. Neighborhood Music School, New Haven.

10am – 3pm: Earth Day Fair will feature tours of our aviaries, live birds of prey programs at 11:00am and 1:30pm featuring our two eagles, the Bald and Golden, and a special story-telling starring Oscar, our Great Horned Owl, at 12:30pm. Other activities include owl pellet labs, nature-related crafts and face painting, live sheep and llamas. Free refreshments will be available. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children and seniors. Horizon Wings, Ashford.

10am – 4pm: Earth Day Celebration Every day is Earth Day at the Nature Center! We invite everyone to honor Mother Earth with our Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center co-hosting this annual event. Enjoy free hikes, live animals, and much more! Join one of our naturalists for an amphibian walk! Food and snacks! Local vendors and exhibitors! All are welcome, young and old—bring friends and family. Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, Ansonia.

11am: Llama Walk with Deb Elias from Country Quilt Llama Farm Stroll along our trails with a new friend! $15 per person. White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield.

11am – 12:30pm: Making Marks Do you remember being a child and the pure joy brought on by a box of crayons and piece of paper? Do you still find yourself sketching away every time you pick up a pencil? That’s because drawing is a natural impulse that stays with us throughout our entire lives. Whether you are sketching in a notebook or carving your name in the sand, this simple, stream-of-consciousness activity is a window into your deepest, truest self. Recommended for ages 12 and up through adults, Pre-register at FairfieldUBookstoreEvents@gmail.com. Cost: $18 plus tax includes the book, “Making Marks” and the art workshop with Elaine Clayton. Fairfield University Bookstore, Fairfield.

1 – 2:30pm: Bee Hotels Butterflies, bees and pollinators need homes too! Learn the importance of pollinators on a walk to the meadow, and then make a bee hotel out of natural materials to take home. These simple crafts provide an important shelter for the hardworking pollinators that live in our fields and forests. $7 per non-member. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

2pm: Happy Mealtime Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or spoon-feeding, from newborns to new nibblers, you’ll find advice and products on feeding favorites and mealtime must-haves right here! Free. Babies R Us Locations.

5pm and 7:30pm: Peter Gros of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Peter shares his exciting animal world, travel experiences and timeless tales. He highlights his many adventures with a mix of video clips and bloopers while introducing friendly exotic animals to audience members, and telling inspirational stories dealing with issues of conservation, travel, and wildlife filming. Peter’s fascinating stories have been thrilling and educating audiences across the country for years! Ages 4 and up. $25 per ticket. Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield.

{Kids Night Out} 5:30 – 8:30pm: Nature Night Out Take a grownup night out while your children enjoy a night with nature! Each evening, we’ll provide dinner and nature fun inside and out. Children can choose the excitement of a night hike or cozy stories inside, and then we’ll all meet up for s’mores by the fire. Dress your child for outside and send a flashlight. Ages 5-12. $30 non-member, $15 sibling. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

6 – 9pm: A Night at the Peabody Join us after hours and see the Museum come alive with games, crafts, scavenger hunts, live animals and some special surprises! Cost is $18 for nonmembers; advance purchase required. Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven.

6:30- 8pm: Spring Peepers Night Hike Come explore the magic of spring with us! We’ll visit the nature center’s vernal pools and ponds to listen for the peeps and croaks of frogs and other amphibians that let us know spring is in full swing. We’ll also journey through the woods and into the meadows in search of some awesome invertebrates, birds and bats. If we’re super lucky, we might even get a chance to spot a critter or two! Join our Naturalists for this fun, interactive and earth aware night hike to learn why these species are so important to our local ecosystem. Come dressed for the night weather and able to be outdoors in the dark for at least 1 hour. Non-Members: $10/person. New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan.

Sunday, April 26:

{Mommy Time Out} 11am: Spring into Action with Vitamix Spring into action with your Vitamix. We’ve partnered with The Blender Girl, Tess Masters, to give you expert tips and tricks on how to make the most of this powerful machine by preparing delicious and healthful recipes, including soups, smoothies and nut butters. Free. Williams Sonoma Locations.

11am – 4pm: The 5th Annual Danbury Kids Expo is for children of all ages, parents, grandparents and prospective parents or even anyone who is thinking about having a child. A portion of the admission fees will go directly to The American Cancer Society. The Kids Expo is informative, educational, entertaining, and fun for the whole family. Kids and adults are entertained and informed throughout the day with a diverse schedule of shows, entertainment, hands on activities and educational displays, magic shows, face paintings, interactive dance demonstrations, and much, much more. Exhibit booths allow consumers to fully explore a vast array of children and family oriented products and services in today’s marketplace. Mention DKE3 to save $3 online or at the door. Danbury Sports Dome; Danbury. Stop by our booth to say hello!

12pm – 5pm: 41st Annual Cherry Blossom Festival This celebration of spring commemorates the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973 by the New Haven Historic Commission in collaboration with the New Haven Parks Department and residents of the neighborhood. The Festival has grown from a modest event with a local band entertaining a handful of neighbors under lighted trees to a major New Haven all-afternoon event that draws well over 10,000 visitors. Entertainment includes: Horizon Wings Raptor Rescue, Nappy’s Puppets, cherry tree planting, children’s activities, and special this year – New Haven Clock Company. Entertainment on the festival stage. Wooster Square, New Haven.

1 – 4pm: Daffodil Day A plethora of daffodils might be in bloom to greet visitors as they follow the entrance drive leading to the Beaux Art style mansion for this annual celebration of spring. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the meadows planted by volunteers over the last decade. Throughout the afternoon there will be numerous activities for visitors wishing to celebrate spring.  Afternoon activities include kite flying and a dog parade. The parade will be led by Riley, the Wadsworth Mansion mascot. Free. Wasdworth Mansion at Long Hill, Middletown.

2 – 3:30pm: Phenology Hike Phenology is the study of subtle seasonal changes that occur in nature. Explore the trails at Coogan Farm and establish a baseline of observations that will change through the year. Moderate terrain, slow pace. $7 non-member. Coogan Farm, Mystic.

2 – 4pm: Cycles of Frogs Amphibians lead a double life from pond to land. We will examine the various life stages of different species from frogs to salamanders, learn when and where they lay their eggs, as well as head out to explore nature center wetlands. Wear boots and clothes that can get a little muddy. We’ll provide nets and collection jars for gentle, up-close study. $7 per non-member. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

2 – 4pm: Healthy Art, Healthy Heart We’ll explore trails seeking inspiration from nature to write about, draw or photograph.  Bring your journal, sketch pad, art supplies and/or camera; DPNC will provide supplemental art supplies. $15 non-member. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic.

4pm: BandJam If you think The Voice Rocks – You ain’t seen nothing yet!  The best middle school and high school band around will rock out at the Playhouse during Ridgefield BandJam 2015! What began as a charity event for The Playhouse has become a much anticipated competition where middle school and high school students perform before a panel of industry professionals for the title of BandJam Winner! Adults $20, Students $15. Ridgefield, Playhouse, Ridgefield.

Save the Date:

Monday, April 27; 1 – 2:30pm: Taste of Tinkergarten Come join us for a sample of what Tinkergarten class is all about. You’ll get to experience the flow of a class and a sample of the fun learning activities we enjoy each week. Parents, join your child or send your child with another caregiver and learn more about the experience by email. Ages 18 months to 5 years. Free. Selleck Woods, Darien.

Sunday, May 3; 10am – 5 pm: Kidologie Dives Into a Summer of Fun and Learning 50 kid-friendly exhibitors offer information on social, recreational, cultural and educational activities. Enjoy a day chock full of ideas for your family to get the very most out of summer.  All this is included with the Aquarium’s sharks, seals, touch experiences and amazing animals. On this special day the Aquarium offers fun learning opportunities, outdoor entertainment and discount coupons to the Aquarium gift shop. Free Aquarium + Event admission for one child with each paying adult. Plus you can enjoy strolling entertainers, hands-on activities for children, signature goody bags for families, giveaways, discounts and a chance to win a grand prize all-inclusive family vacation to Woodloch resort. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Norwalk.

For events in Hartford County click here.

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