Ready for Halloween? A Haunting at Mill Hill in Norwalk October 15 and 22

As the sun sets, on Mill Hill in Norwalk, the spirits come out to play. Take a lantern-light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard and hear chilling tales from the spirits of Norwalk’s past on Saturdays, October 15 and 22 (rain or shine). Tours are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour will be followed by refreshments in the old one-room schoolhouse. This pre-Halloween event is organized by the Norwalk Historical Society.

During “A Haunting at Mill Hill,” participants will hear stories of murder, death, destruction and more while they meet renegade Tory Easias Bouton, Chester, the haunted Civil War statue, and other entities from Norwalk’s colorful history. The cemetery is located at 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851.

Space for each tour is limited so reservations are recommended (203-846-0525). Advance tickets are $10 for adults/teens and $6 for children ages 8-12 (not recommended for children younger than 8). Tickets at the door are $12 for adults/teens and $8 for children. There is a $2 discount for Norwalk Historical Society members. For more information visit http://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.

About Mill Hill Historic Park

The Mill Hill Historic Park consists of three historical buildings and the third oldest Burying Ground in Norwalk.

The Burying Ground on Mill Hill dates to 1767 and was originally called Whitney’s Hill after a miller that opened a mill on the site. A list of those buried in the Mill Hill Burying Ground was recorded in 1924 and consisted of the names on the headstones that were clearly readable. Not all that are buried on Mill Hill are accounted for because in the Colonial Period less than a third of the burials were marked with an inscribed headstone. Some of the time, a simple rock was used.

Several notable buildings are located on the grounds of the Mill Hill complex. The federally styled brick Norwalk Town House dates to 1835 and served a multiple of purposes over the years as a gathering place for special groups.

The Law Office of Governor Fitch is also on the grounds. Thomas Fitch was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. Restored in 1971, the small colonial style building I saw on the grounds was reconstructed as a colonial law office. Originally, it was part of the kitchen wing of Governor Fitch’s house. I was told that it was the only portion of the house that survived the burning of Norwalk by the British on July 11, 1779. The house that stands on Mill Hill today, was once located in East Norwalk. It was moved in 1956 because it was in the construction path of the Interstate 95.

The red-clapboarded building known as the Downtown District School House is also located in the complex and was built in 1826. The building was used as a school until 1871. The British destroyed the original school, and the present schoolhouse was built on the lines of the first utilizing its original foundation.

New Canaan Nature Center’s 42nd Annual Fall Fair October 15

The crisp days of autumn are here! It is a glorious time of year in Connecticut when families can enjoy traditional fairs and festivals amidst a backdrop of orange, scarlet and gold leaves.

The New Canaan Nature Center’s 42 annual Fall Fair is chock full of traditional fall fair activities that will please young and old alike. Visitors to the Fair will enjoy pony rides, a “haunted” woodland trail, apple slingshots, nature-based crafts, a hay maze, cupcake and pumpkin decorating, and fire engine rides on New Canaan’s antique fire engine, Old Faithful. The giant bungee jump, one of last year’s most popular attractions will also be back along with the “Kids On The Go” obstacle course and other inflatable rides.


The Fall Fair will feature a wide range of entertainment throughout the day. The Moses Brothers band will entertain families with a live performance of their blues/bluegrass/rock music from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. The 4th Annual Apple Pie Eating contest will begin at 3 p.m. with categories for youth and adults. There is an entry fee ($5 for youth and $15 for adults) and prizes will be awarded. Other live shows include birds of prey demonstrations, shadow puppet shows and story readings between 10:30am – 2:30pm.

New this year will be an “Eco-Village” where attendees can learn about the latest products, services and businesses to help green their home, family and life. Participating Eco-Village sponsors/exhibitors include Alteris Renewables, BPC Green Builders, Going Green Landscape Lighting, Graze Delivered, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. and Vinylume Inc. Renewal by Andersen.

A wide range of fresh foods will be available to purchase throughout the day, including grilled hot dogs, pulled pork and vegetarian sandwiches, pizza, hot soup and hot and cold beverages. A variety of homemade baked goods will be for sale courtesy of Nature Center volunteers.

Admission to the Fall Fair is free and parking is available at St. Mark’s and the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets can be purchased for $1 each for the activities and food, which range from 1-7 tickets.

About the New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization that is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature. The annual Fall Fair helps raise funds to maintain and offer this community treasure admission-free to residents of New Canaan and the surrounding area throughout the year. For more information about the Fall Fair visit www.NewCanaanNature.org of call (203) 966-9577.

HawkWatch and Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar at Greenwich Audubon Through Nov. 20

Each autumn, 17 species of hawks, eagles and vultures migrate southwest over Quaker Ridge’s scenic hilltops in northern Greenwich.

The fields are one of the highest locations in town and the sweeping views are an excellent vantage point for spotting birds. On clear days in September when winds are from the North, birders may count a few thousand broad-winged hawks as they swirl in ‘kettles’ before heading South along migration routes.

In the late 1960’s, birders searched Fairfield County for the best sites where large numbers of migrating raptors could be observed. Over several years, more than a dozen sites were tested on weekends and in the end, it was determined that the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Audubon Greenwich, was the best site in the area.

Ever since 1972, migrating hawks have been officially counted as they pass over Quaker Ridge (a.k.a. Hawk Watch Lawn). As part of the network of hawk watch locations nationwide, the Greenwich Audubon Society hired a full-time hawk watcher in 1985.The Official Hawk Counter staffs the site 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday, from August 20-November 20, each year.

On weekends, volunteer counters help to staff the site. Anyone is welcome to volunteer to become a counter at the Audubon’s Hawk Watch. The more eyes the better because the seasonal counts average 18,000 raptors. You don’t need to be able to identify the hawks. Greenwich Audubon simply needs eyes watching the skies! In fact, some of the best spotters are beginners that know very little about identification. Volunteers count and record the data and then, researchers can try to gauge the health of Northeastern raptor populations.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the Greenwich Audubon Center during this exciting time of year and to ask questions, talk with volunteers, and enjoy counting eagles, hawks, and falcons from Hawk Watch Lawn.

For detailed data about raptor sightings at Greenwich, visit http://www.hawkcount.org.

Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar October 1 & 2

Coming up on October 1 & 2, at the peak of the migration spectacle, Greenwich Audubon will host the ‘HawkWatch Weekend Festival & Green Bazaar’ that will feature two days of live birds of prey and animal shows, hands-on nature education, bird workshops, activities for kids, eco-shopping, food, and more! Festival is Rain or Shine from 11 am-5 pm. Admission is $7 for youth/$10 for adults (New or current Audubon Members: $5 for youth / $7 for adults). $35 National Audubon Society family memberships will be available at the Festival Gate.

For more information visit http://greenwich.audubon.org. To learn more about exhibiting or the schedule, call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239.

About the Audubon Center at Audubon Greenwich

The Audubon Center in Greenwich opened in 1942 as the National Audubon Society’s first environmental education center in the United States on land donated by Eleanor Clovis Reese and H. Hall Clovis. The 295-acre sanctuary has approximately seven miles of trails that lead to a hardwood forest, old fields, lake, streams and vernal ponds. Reminders of the past are the stone walks, an old apple orchard and original New England homestead buildings. Audubon Greenwich’s main sanctuary is the site located at 613 Riversville Road, which is comprised of 285 acres, with 7 miles of walking trails. There you will find the Kimberlin Nature Education Center building with exhibits, staff offices and classrooms. The Center contains the Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center with hands-on nature activities and interpretive natural history exhibits, the Kiernan Hall Nature Art Gallery, a Wildlife Viewing Window and honey bee hive exhibit, a Nature Gift Store: books, binoculars, birdfeeders, gifts. The Kimberlin Center is also available for event rentals and children’s parties. Audubon Greenwich is comprised of 11 other sanctuaries totaling 686 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, and 15 additional miles of hiking trails.

16th Annual Colonial Fair at Woodbury CT’s Glebe House Sept. 18

Woodbury, whose name means a dwelling place in the woods was settled by 17 colonists in 1659 making it one of Connecticut’s oldest western inland towns. In 1673, Woodbury was purchased from Chief Pomperaug of the Pootatuck Indians. The present day Main Street (Rte. 6) was laid out in the 1670’s along an old Indian trail where Chief Pomperaug is buried.

Woodbury was always a prosperous town. By the end of the 18th century, it was a thriving center of agricultural trade. In the early 19th century, industrial growth led to a building boom and many of the houses and four of the five churches along Rte. 6 date from this period.

One of Woodbury’s architectural gems is The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden dating from the 1740’s. The Glebe House became a minister’s farm or glebe for Woodbury’s first Episcopal minister, John Rutgers Marshall. Only weeks after American Independence was secure, a group of clergy met secretly at the Glebe House, to elect the Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury as the first Bishop in the new nation, a decision that assumed the separation of church and state, and religious tolerance in the new nation. This event established the Glebe House as the birthplace of the Episcopal Church in America.

On September 18th the Glebe House is gearing up for its 16th annual Colonial Fair & Muster Day in the Hollow on Sunday, September 18 from 1:00-5:00.

The Pisgah Mountain Primitives will return to demonstrate blacksmithing, rope making and colonial cooking. Other colonial craft demonstrations will include spinning, quilting, wood working and basket making.

Children will have the chance to make candles, practice quill writing and churn butter. Colonial stories will be told by professional storyteller Joyce Marie Rayno and Sandi Eustace from Double D Pony will hitch up Dixie and Diego to their cart for pony rides.

The museum has special tours planned along with food, music and much more colonial era fun for the entire family. The Fair is free for children under 18 and $5 for adults.

FEARSOME OR FRIENDLY, FUN FILLS THE LITCHFIELD HILLS FOR HALLOWEEN


Dracula, Frankenstein and other heroes of the horrors will be on hand, while spooks and spiders, ghouls and goblins will abound in haunted graveyards. The Litchfield Hills of Northwestern Connecticut will be filled with unique ways to celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October. Families can choose from fearsome to friendly, with many chances for younger children to don their costumes and parade in happy small town celebrations.

Scary Scenarios

For chills, make haste to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, which has been called “The granddaddy of the horrifically good time.” An unholy order of monks keep watch over the graves in the dark caverns of the Catacombs here and a dark and misty fog envelops the graveyard where zombies and night stalkers have wakened from the dead. Some are real; others are amazing animatronic creations made by The Haunted Graveyard’s crazed staff. Recommended for adults, teens and very brave children, the park opens at dusk weekends from September 30 to October 31, and runs to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, to 10 p.m. on Sundays. The Haunted Graveyard will not be open October 2 and rides will not be open on October 31st. Lake Compounce will also be operating 17 thrill rides including Boulder Dash, Wildcat, Down Time, and Zoomerang. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Associations. (www.lakecompounce.com)

This will be the 45th year for the annual Witches Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum in Bristol. The Graveyard Of Classic Ghouls sets the atmosphere as you enter the dungeon where accurate life-size figures of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and others are featured in 13 scenes or dioramas based on the vintage movie chillers. Many of the figures are made from the actual life casts of the actor’s faces, plus some original costumes or props, in a wax museum style setting with special voice tracks by Vincent Price, Mark Hamill, and John Agar. Many Hollywood props are on display and vintage films may be shown outdoors, weather permitting. A special highlight this year is the display of the classic 1966 “Batmobile” for the opening weekend of Sept. 30 to October 2. Hours are Friday through Sunday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., September 30 to October 31. The Museum is not recommended for children under age 7. A $2.00 donation is suggested for all ages! (www.preservehollywood.com)

Historic Happenings
At the historic Glebe House Museum in Woodbury on Saturday, October 22 costumed spirits will lead the way through the Ancient Burying grounds, where 20 of Woodbury’s most famous and infamous ‘spirits’ await at their gravesites to relate tales from the darker side of 18th and 19th century Woodbury. There will be a spooky candlelit tour in the museum itself and stories and tales from Moll Cramer, the Witch of Woodbury, told in the Museum cottage. Madame Suzolo will be offering Tarot Card readings and there will be free fall refreshments for all. The Hollow will be closed to traffic and the area, including the walk to and through the cemetery will be lit with over 200 luminaries. Hours are 5 pm to 9 p.m. The rain date is October 29. http://www.theglebehouse.org.

The night of October 29 also brings the Halloween Spooktacular at the Tapping Reeve Law School on Rte. 63 South Street in Litchfield beginning at 6:30 PM.. The Litchfield Historical Society has partnered with the White Memorial Conservation Center for a spooktacular that promises candlelight reading of excerpts from the Washington Irving classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” interpreted by local thespians, Ilvi Dulac, Jane Coughlin, and Michael Medeiros. Next get ready to take a guided walking tour along Gallows Lane, site of the hanging and death of America’s first mass murderer. The evening ends at White Memorial’s A.B. Ceder Room with spooky treats. Here kids will also meet an owl and a bat and watch out for other things that go bump in the night! Bring a flashlight! Halloween costumes are suggested but not required! (860-567-0857). http://www.whitememorialcc.org

Once again this year, the festively decorated Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is scheduling Halloween Weekend train rides on its vintage trains on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30. The Halloween Express will take costumed passengers on a scenic 20-mile round-trip ride that runs along Mattatuck State Forest to the Brass Mills of Waterbury and back to the spectacular Thomaston Dam amid splendid fall foliage. Free pumpkins are given to every child as long as the supply lasts. (860-283-RAIL; http://www.rmne.org).

Hunt Hill Farm on Upland Road in New Milford is hosting “The Silo and the Supernatural” on October 30 from 4pm to 6 pm. Participants will enter the realm of the paranormal with The Northwest Ct Paranormal Society’s professional investigator John Zontok and Bob Mills, a professional photographer who helps the team differentiate true paranormal pictures from forged images. Tools of the trade, the history of paranormal photography, and audio of ghostly voices and videos of what could be a revolutionary soldier will be shared and experienced. Local hauntings, including a Barkhamsted barn investigation featured on the Animal Planet’s “The Haunted” series and “My Ghost Story are highlights of this macabre evening of paranormal fun. Due to the nature of this program, ages 12 and up please. (860-355-0300). http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.

Small Town Fun—for Free!!

Everyone is invited to join the 35th Annual Kent Pumpkin Run on October 30th. The festivities begin with a Kids Fun Run at 11:15 AM followed by the 5 mile run / walk at noon. The spectator friendly certified course starts and finishes at Kent Green in front of Town Hall. Festivities include music, refreshments (including Billy’s famous Pumpkin Soup!), face painting, Halloween fun and much more.

The 19th Annual Halloween on the Green in Danbury will take place on Saturday, October 29 from 2 pm to 4pm with a Costume Parade scheduled for 3:30 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest, Cutest and Funniest get-ups. Children will have their own costume parade and games and get to decorate a pumpkin. (203-792-1711; http://www.citycenterdanbury.com).

Bristol is hosting the 17th Annual Free Halloween Carnival and Costume Parade for boys and girls up to 5th grade that will take place on October 30, from 11:45 to 3 p.m. at Rockwell Park. The parade begins at noon and Amazing Andy’s Magic Show follows. Carnival games, arts and crafts, Big Daddy’s Racing, an old fashioned photo booth, Twinkles and Jingles the clowns and Train Rides are also on the agenda. Each child will receive a free reflective trick or treat bag. Children participating in the Costume Parade will receive a small bag of treats. There is no charge to participate in the Fall/Halloween Carnival. (860-584-6160)

The Big Day

On October 31, beginning at 4:30 pm, the annual Halloween Costume Party for Children will go on at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, with the costume contest scheduled for 5 p.m. Ghoulish games and fun are promised, along with a crazy costume contest and what is billed as “frightening foods.” Kids are free, but adults are asked to contribute $1.

Finally, anyone who is in the area on Halloween night is invited to join the Safe Halloween fun at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville from 6pm to 10pm. Sponsored by the Terryville Lion’s Club, it will feature hayrides, games, food and treats. All you need to participate is a non-perishable food item for the Plymouth Food Pantry.

For more information about Halloween happenings and other fall events and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, http://www.visitwesternct.com.

Stamford Downtown Summer Restaurant Weeks Through Monday, September 5, 2011

It is back again this year — the Stamford Downtown Restaurant Weeks that runs through September 5th. This annual long awaited and popular three weeks of dining lets you experience lunch or dinner in Stamford Downtown at prix-fixe daily specials. What better way to enjoy your favorite restaurant or try a new one!

There are three tiers of restaurant pricing making sure that there is something for everyone’s budget. The restaurants range from Japanese to Mexican, fish to Italian and even burgers to name a few of the many evocative choices that will please even the most discriminating palate!

The Participating Restaurants

In the $10.11 lunch and $15.11 dinner tier you can dine at: Black Bear Saloon, *Grand Burger (dinner only), Kujaku Japanese Restaurant, Lola’s Mexican Kitchen (excludes Fri./Sat.), Lucky’s Classic Burger and Malt Shop, SBC Downtown Restaurant and Brewery, *Tiernan’s Bar and Restaurant, and Volta Gelateria Creperia.

Restaurants offering fare in the $12.11 lunch and $20.11 dinner tier are: Butterfield 8 Restaurant and Lounge, Capriccio Cafe (lunch only), Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant, Quattro Pazzi (excludes Fri./Sat.), Remo’s Brick Oven Pizza Company and Tengda Asian Bistro.

In the final tier dining establishments offering lunch at $20.11 and dinner at $30.11 include: *Aria Restaurant, *Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bar Rosso (excludes Fri. & Sat.), *Capital Grill, Chez Jean Pierre (excludes Sun.), Columbus Park Trattoria, *Emme of Capri, EOS Greek Cuisine (excludes Fri./Sat.), Mitchell’s Fish Market, *Morton’s Steakhouse (Dinner only), Nappa and Co. (lunch only), Tappo Restaurant (excludes Fri./Sat.), and *ZAZA Italian Gastrobar (excludes Fri./Sat.).

To download PDF’s of the menus of the above restaurants visit: http://www.stamford-downtown.com.

Stamford’s Restaurant Weeks Don’t Forget the Kids!

In partnership with the Stamford Hospital, Stamford Tables will host KIDS’ FANS 5-2-1-0, a program designed to promote nutrition and fitness in Stamford. All children under the age of 12 will be offered a healthy lunch for $6.95 and dinner for $9.95 at all above listed restaurants except those with a *.

Popcorn and the Avon Theatre

A special highlight of Restaurants Weeks includes a fabulous offer by the Avon Theater. The first 3,000 patrons will receive a voucher for a free small popcorn with the purchase of a general admission ticket to the Avon Theatre on 272 Bedford Street. The voucher is valid through 9/30/2011. The Avon Theater is a member based non-profit Art Deco Theater that offers the best of independent, world and documentary films, foreign and Hollywood classics, and educational programming. For a list of events, please visit http://www.avontheatre.org.