“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 things they love about each local area. To read more in this series, click here.”
As a resident and mom in Northern Fairfield County, I have enjoyed exploring local towns with my family. Newtown is one of my favorite. It is a wonderful town to visit or call home, from its iconic and stately flagpole to its many restaurants, stores, and family destinations. Located in Northeastern Fairfield County, Newtown is a scenic country town with big farms, sprawling suburbs, convenient shopping, and happy residents. This town is friendly, large, yet cozy, and it is an easy drive to Stamford, Hartford, or New York City.
It was beyond difficult to be concise when exploring Newtown. There are so many great options for residents and visitors alike. Here are (more than) a few of my favorite things about Newtown.
The Great Outdoors
My children ask to go to the “park with the lion king rock” or Dickinson Park as most would call it. Kids will love all the places they can play at Dickinson Memorial Park! Remodeled in 2014, the playground now features slides, over-sized musical instruments, tunnels, and a zip line. The park offers a skateboarding area, five tennis courts, and a basketball court in addition to the playground. A perfect place for a family picnic!
The second largest lake in Connecticut provides a beautiful backdrop for Newtown. Lake Lillinoah Park is located at the end of Hanover Road and offers people a place to picnic and grill. Please note – there is no swimming at this location, just a boat launch.
Newtown residents can enjoy Treadway’s public pool and Lake Zoar in the summer through a parks and recreation pass. There are small quantities of non-member passes available for purchase each year.
We enjoy visiting the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary hiking trails, tossing stones in the brook, and running through fields. The sanctuary honors six-year-old Catherine’s memory, a kind and compassionate animal lover who lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. To continue her crusade of compassion, the CVH Animal Sanctuary was created in Newtown, CT. It’s a place where all creatures will know they are safe and people are kind. The sanctuary is host to many family events throughout the year.
I stumbled upon Castle Hill Farm as a location for our twins’ first birthday party. It was a “little pumpkin” theme in October, and guests enjoyed farm animals, pumpkin picking, and a hayride. Since then (2017), the farm has been a fall favorite to visit and our destination to cut down our family Christmas tree.
Until my twins started preschool Everwonder Children’s Museum was a weekly visit for us. We held a family membership and looked forward to our Tuesday visits. It didn’t matter how often we would go. Each visit was like a brand new experience. My children loved to explore each exhibit and check in on the museum’s reptile inhabitants.
Main Street Adventures offers the ultimate indoor play experience. They provide a safe, fun, and nurturing environment where children can play and explore in a state of the art playscape designed for ages 6 months to age 12. In addition, for the little explorers (age 3 and under), there is an enclosed play space with equipment suited to their age-specific needs. Main Street Adventures offers birthday party packages and private play options.
Edmonton Town Hall offers movies and live entertainment. Pre-pandemic, my family enjoyed seeing Frozen 2 on their screen.
Fairfield Hills Campus
The Town of Newtown owns the Fairfield Hills campus. Campus redevelopment is ongoing and offers opportunities for private and municipal uses. The location, immediately off Exit 11 of I-84 between CT Routes 25 and 34, provides easy access for businesses and residents alike.
The campus is home to town offices, the community center, the brewery listed below, ball fields, and plenty of wide-open spaces and sidewalks for children to ride bikes and play.
Whether you are looking for a family meal or a date night out, Newtown has you fully covered. Family favorites are the Blue Colony Diner, Lions Bleeker Street Pizza, and Foundry Kitchen and Tavern. Date night picks include Lucas Local Oyster Bar and Barnwood Grill.
I have often driven down the main street in Newtown and noticed an unoccupied inn. Just one glance at the beautiful structure, and I would have Gilmore Girl fantasies of opening and running it. Someone else had the same fantasy and recently made it their reality as Marygold’s on Main is open for business along with Good Old Days Pizza.
A favorite summer (ok- spring and fall) treat is Ferris Acres Creamery. We love to sit at the picnic tables and watch cows meander around the nearby fields or grab to-go quarts to have in our freezer.
Treats can be good for you too, as Boost Bowls have proved. Boost Bowls can fall in any category, but I put them in treat because their bowls are beautiful and delicious, and kid approved. Boost also has a large selection of smoothies, and a line of juice cleanses. They offer salads, sandwiches, toasts, and wraps make for great lunch or dinner choices. Their Newtown location (there is a Bethel and Southbury location) is brightly colored, and a fun stop in with the kids or a solo treat for moms!
The first winery in Newtown opened in the fall of 2020. Needless to say, I was very eager to get to this spot, and it did not disappoint. My husband and I visited Aquila’s Nest on a November weekend. We sat on the lawn and drank wine while watching the most amazing sunset.
Not a wine drinker? Not a problem in Newtown, which is home to two breweries. NewSylum and Reverie Brewing Company are both fun options for beer drinkers. NewSylum has a food menu with made-from-scratch pizzas, Bavarian pretzels, locally made cheese, charcuterie mini boxes, and wine options. Curbside pickup is available at Reverie for those who choose to enjoy their beer at home.
BD Provisions is a local low/zero waste shopping experience. They stock bulk food, coffee, cleaning supplies, and health and beauty items. I love buying items with no packaging. The mini animal crackers are my kid’s favorites!
The freshest and most delicious pasta can be found along with many other Italian specialties at Villarina’s. I always do a pickup of fresh ravioli before holiday dinners.
Health and Fitness
The Newtown Community Center is a multi-generational hub that enhances the community by promoting social interaction, health and wellness, creative opportunities, and personal growth. For a monthly membership fee, you can enjoy access to indoor pools. They host family-friendly activities, and rental rooms are available.
Boost Cycle is an indoor cycling experience – high energy, great music, and a super satisfying full body workout. You won’t regret trying this studio!
Balanced Pilates and Barre Studio is a friendly and encouraging environment where every client receives individualized attention. Their instructors can give modifications and variations for each exercise to ensure a safe and effective workout for people with any fitness level and any variety of physical limitations or conditions.
Family Fun Kuts gave my son his first haircut, and we never looked back. It’s nestled in the village of Sandy Hook, and all three of my kids beg to go here. In pre-COVID times I would have to pull them out against their will. They loved playing with the toys in the lobby, sitting in the car-themed chairs, and exploring the baskets of small toys on their laps during their haircut while watching their favorite cartoons. I had to give Family Fun Kuts its own category because it has been a huge reason to travel to Newtown.