“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 10 things they love about each local area. To read more in this series click here.
This suburban community is located along the shore of Long Island Sound. Residents enjoy beaches, parks, historical museums, art galleries, and a variety of 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. Darien’s population is 20,732 and 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.
1. Bates-Scofield House
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. A nice park for a stroll, playing with your dog, or having a picnic. Woodland Park Nature Preserve is a public nature park which 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 arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Fairfield County. A 8-acre beach loaded with amenities including picnic tables and grills, bathhouse, 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. Chocolate Works of Darien
Children and guests will be transformed into “chocolatiers’ for the day. Make delicious chocolate creations on their 20-foot conveyor belt machine, mold, and decorate pieces of chocolate. You can drop in any time or call ahead to plan an event. It’s the perfect spot for a play date or even a moms’ night out.
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 along with their parents, grandparents or caregivers.
The Darien Y, the local YMCA which offers more than 300 programs. It has been an integral part of Darien for 50 years with its focus 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. Innovative new shops and well-known retailers. The Darien Sport Shop has unparalleled shopping with three floors featuring popular brands and sporting equipment. At Christmas time they have the most well known Santa Claus in the area. Bring the kids for a photo op, he is amazing with the children!
The Darien Playhouse is Darien’s sole commercial cinema. Twin theaters that offer an excellent movie selection. Private theater rentals for birthday parties and other events.
Hands on Pottery is a paint your own pottery studio. You can create your masterpiece using their palette of custom paints, stencils, stamps, brushes, and sponges.
A five-star library 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’s annual sidewalk sales. The event offers lots of family fun with children’s entertainment, bargain shopping, great food, bands, and collectible car show.
There are lots of family restaurants to choose from. My kids love the Sugar Bowl which serves breakfast and lunch daily. Great seasonal decorations, it’s a big hit! 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. They sometimes run kids’ events, definitely check their website for details. Rory’s is known as 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.
Have you visited Darien? Do you live here? What do you love about it?
Be sure to read all the posts in our Explore Fairfield County Series by clicking here.