“Explore Fairfield County” is an informational series that provides a glimpse into the wonderful towns and cities in Fairfield County. Fairfield County is diverse in that it includes big cities, small suburbs, beaches, farms, and busy highways. It covers a large geographic area and, because of this, it has a lot to offer families! To help you get the most out of Fairfield County, our contributors have shared the top things they love about each local area. To read more in this series, click here.
The suburban community of Darien is located along the shore of Long Island Sound. Residents enjoy beaches, parks, historical museums, art galleries, and various restaurants. For recreation, the town includes four small parks, two public beaches, four country clubs, a hunt club, and two yacht clubs. Boston Post Road is known as Darien’s retail district, which soon became the Corbin District. Darien’s population is 20,732, and it has five elementary schools: Hindley School, Holmes School, Ox Ridge School, Royle School, and Tokeneke School. Middlesex Middle School is the town’s middle school, and Darien High School is the single public high school serving the town.
This classic New England saltbox features 18th and early 19th-century regional furnishings. They offer guided group tours and indoor activities. It was built around 1736; the house faced demolition until it was given to the Darien Historical Society and moved to a new site to become a museum. In 2005, the 1827 Scofield Barn was also donated to the Society and dismantled. In 2008, the barn was reunited with the house and joined to it by a new connector building.
2. Parks and Nature Preserve
Cherry Lawn Park is the perfect spot to take the kids year-round. A 27.5-acre park with four tennis courts, basketball court, community gardens, playground area, pond, gazebo, walking trails, fields, and several picnic areas. The ice cream truck makes its rounds here in the summer. Tilley Pond Park consists of 8.651 acres. It has walking/jogging paths and a garden area. There is a nice park for a stroll, playing with your dog, or having a picnic. Woodland Park Nature Preserve is a public nature park that offers a unique environment and habitat for wildlife. 64.7 acres of land, this park consist of multiple trail systems and two ponds.
Pear Tree Point Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Fairfield County. An 8-acre beach loaded with amenities, including picnic tables and grills, a bathhouse, a gazebo, and a concession stand. In addition, the Darien Boat Club is located at this beach. Weed Beach is a 22-acre park with a waterfront beach, picnic area, bathhouse, concession stand, children’s play areas, tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, a windsurfing area, and home to the Darien Junior Sailing Team.
4. Arts, Crafts, & More
Darien has several art offerings for children and adults to create art and classes for the performing arts.
Hands-On Pottery offers a variety of options to paint your own pottery. You can drop-in, book a party, or take it and make it at home.
Make Modern is a crafting and making studio in Darien. It offers weekly classes, workshops, and parties. They specialize in sewing, jewelry making, hand-lettering, and more.
The Darien Community Association is a privately funded nonprofit. For nearly 95 years, they have been making the community a nicer place to live by providing people of all ages a place to gather, give, and learn. Mom’s Morning In is a wonderful Friday morning program held monthly. The DCA provides entertainment for toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy with their parents, grandparents, or caregivers.
The Darien Y, the local YMCA, offers more than 300 programs. It has been an integral part of Darien for 50 years, focusing on improving individual health and well-being, developing the potential of kids, and giving back to the community.
Darien Nature Center is a non-profit organization providing educational programs to families in the community. They offer environmental educational programs, a diverse collection of live animals, and seasonal exhibits, films, and lectures.
Darien is a picturesque small coastal town. It is filled with innovative new shops and well-known retailers. The whole downtown is being reimagined as the Corbin District. The Corbin District will have a great layout incorporating all the shops, restaurants, and fitness outlets that Darien offers. It will also have residences and host concerts and other events.
One of Darien’s shopping treasures is the Darien Sport Shop. It has unparalleled shopping with three floors featuring popular brands and sporting equipment. They have the most well-known Santa Claus in the area at Christmas time. Bring the kids for a photo op; he is amazing with the children!
A five-star library is amongst the busiest public libraries in the state, with over 1,300 people visiting on an average day. They have the highest per capita circulation in Connecticut, with more than 32 items per resident checked out each year.
An indoor tennis club for group and private lessons. It’s been around for 30 years. They offer programs for players of all levels and all ages.
9. Sidewalk Sale
Every summer in July, Darien holds their annual Side Walk Sale. Held over three days, the event offers lots of family fun with children’s entertainment, bargain shopping, great food, bands, and a collectible car show.
There are lots of family restaurants to choose from.
The Sugar Bowl serves breakfast and lunch daily. Great seasonal decorations, it’s a big hit with traditional home-cooked style food.
The Melting Pot brings creativity to your plate and interactive fun to your dining with your little ones. Artisan cheeses, gourmet chocolates, and great entrees.
Rory’s is Darien’s original pub, a classic local favorite. They always have a good crowd of regulars. Delicious food, especially burgers and lobster bisque.
Everybody loves The Goose—the go-to place in the area for decent, reliable food.