Ahhh… winter in Connecticut. It’s cold and seemingly long as far as seasons go. The good news is that there’s still time to take in some of Fairfield County’s fun winter activities. Don’t let the seasons change without checking these off your list:
Hit the Rink, Outside
Where: Mill River Park in Stamford or Longshore Ice Rink in Westport
When: Daily open skates at both locations
Bundle up and head to an outdoor rink for the authentic winter skating experience. You can go online for Mill River to reserve your 90-minute timeslot. Adults are $10, kids under 12 and seniors are $8. Skate rentals are available for $4. Longshore also has daily open skate hours but be sure to check the website just in case it’s been reserved for the occasional private event. Longshore offers unlimited ice time per day for $12-$15 per adult or $10-$12 per child. Lessons are available at the rink, too.
Seal Spotting Cruise
Where: Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
When: Every weekend through April
Dress warm and jump on a two-hour cruise into Long Island Sound where you’re very likely to observe families of seals near the Norwalk Islands. Learn all about them as aquarium educators teach us about the Sound’s marine population during the winter months. As an added bonus, cruisers can catch a glimpse of the visiting birds on the water like buffleheads, Brant geese and long-tailed ducks. Tickets are $35 per person. Face masks are required regardless of vaccination status. Book online.
Where: Stamford Museum & Nature Center
When: February 27-March 13, 10am til 2pm
Head into nature and learn how to make maple syrup from the pros as Stamford Nature Center experts tap more than 200 maple trees found on the 118-acre property and turn their findings into the most delicious pancake topping around. Labeled as Maple Sugar Fest Sundays, the Center will have lots of fun activities including tree tapping demonstrations and tastings, free popcorn and children’s games. Tickets are $10 for members, $20 for non-members. Preregistration is recommended, but walk-ins are allowed if space permits.
Sweat it Out
Prepare for an actual hour of bliss. Calme is the ultimate in relaxation when you book one of their super calming, warm infrared saunas. The super luxurious experience allows you to sit in one of their warm and cozy private saunas to detoxify, relieve pain, purify the skin and burn up to 600 calories. Bring a book, watch some Netflix (TVs are hooked up in every room) or just take a nap as your body sweats out your toxins, leaving you feeling fresh, relaxed and ready to take on the day. Sessions run about $70 each but package deals are available.
Where: Le Rouge Handmade Chocolates and Cakes by Aarti, 190 Main St., Westport
When: Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There’s hot chocolate and then there’s Le Rouge’s hot chocolate. The truly decadent and delicious hot chocolate at this adorable little chocolate shop and café will warm you right up after a full day of winter fun. They also offer some really inventive chocolate truffles and cakes as well as custom desserts made on premises. The owner, who is super sweet (no pun intended), is a skilled chocolatier and has traveled the world to learn her craft. She is truly passionate about what she does and you’re definitely not going to want to leave without a box of goodies for later.
Where: The Redding Roadhouse, 406 Redding Rd., Redding
When: Thursday through Saturday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
One of the coziest spots to grab a good meal around here is Redding Roadhouse. Known best for its burgers and wings, the Roadhouse also happens to house four roaring fireplaces made easy for people to warm up on a cold winter night. And, for an extra cozy dinner, head over on a Thursday for Ramen Night where there’s a special menu including miso mushroom or smoked brisket ramen bowls, served fireside. Yum.