After the holidays, when the decorations are all put away, the cookies have been eaten, and the new toys have lost their novelty, moms and dads start looking for fun things to do with their kids. Here are our top five suggestions on what to do with kids that are fun and free in the Litchfield Hills.
Once a month for one week, White Memorial Foundation, the state’s largest nature sanctuary in Litchfield right off of Rte. 202 offers a museum-free week for kids. The January, Children’s Museum free week begins January 12 and runs through January 18th. This natural history museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This engaging facility features hand-painted and photographic murals, dioramas, a Children’s Corner, live animals, a working honeybee hive, a digital microscope, unique exhibits such as “The Art of Taxidermy,” and a fluorescent rock cave. For a challenge, try the museum scavenger hunt!
If you have a budding artist in the family head to the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield. The third Saturdays at The Aldrich are totally free for everyone and include family workshops from 10am to 3pm. Children 13 and under are free any day, with an admission-paying adult.
To explore the great outdoors, Flanders Nature Center on 5 Chruch Hill Road in Woodbury has a number of trails to explore for free. Walking the trails, kids will get a bonus because Flanders has planted several letterboxes on the family-friendly trails at their preserves and sanctuaries. Combining art and nature in a fun interactive way, letterboxing is a popular treasure hunting activity done worldwide. At Flanders, the letterboxing clues include educational comments about the natural world. Anyone who hikes at least twelve of the letterboxing trails at Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust, stamps the letters from those trails in their passport and presents their passport at the Flanders office will be given the opportunity to sign their Trail Name on our Letterboxer “Hall of Fame” board and will receive a small prize.
Explore the trails at the Sharon Audubon Center on Rte. 41 in Sharon to experience diverse wildlife habitats, which are home to a wide variety of plants, birds, and animals such as Bobcat, Beaver, River Otter, and Whitetail Deer. The Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, and Wood Thrush, among other neotropical migratory birds, breed in our woods in the summer while many other migratory birds use the property as a layover point during their long migrations. Visitors are welcome to explore and enjoy our center’s trails and gardens and view the aviaries, daily from sunrise to sunset.
Participate in the Backyard Bird County sponsored by the Connecticut Audubon Society. Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. If you are new to bird watching download the Merlin Bird ID app to participate. For more information click here.
Step 1 – Decide where you will watch birds.
Step 2 – Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 18-21, 2022.
Step 3 – Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings: