Native American Green Corn Festival August 3 @ Institute for American Indian Studies

The Green Corn Ceremony is one of the most important celebrations in Native American life because corn is an integral part of religious and ceremonial life that brings communities together. The Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut is holding their 15th annual Green Corn Festival on August 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to observe this time treasured tradition.

Join Museum Staff, Members, and Friends as they welcome the first corn of the season with music, drumming, dancing, children’s activities, stories by a professional Native American Storyteller, and much more! Wander the trails to our 16th century replicated village, tour our museum to learn about Native Cultures, check out the crafts in our gift shop, and try your hands at corn-centric crafts. A special treat is the powwow styled food such as frybread that is not to be missed.

A special highlight planned for this year’s event is a performance of the Native Nations Dance Troupe led by Erin Lamb Meeches, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. These traditional dances evoke the beauty, honor, and tradition of Native People.

About Green Corn

The expression “Green Corn” refers to the first ripened sweet corn that you can eat. The Green Corn Ceremony is marked with dancing, feasting, fasting, and religious observations. In the Eastern Woodlands Native people depended on three staples – corn, beans, and squash. These food items were called “The Three Sisters.” The Three Sisters were mixed together to make a vegetable dish called succotash that is still popular today.

Admission for this event, held rain or shine is $10 for Adults; $8 seniors; and $6 for Children.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village and Wigwam Escape and a Museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut.

Haunted Lighthouse Cruise offers Fearsome and Friendly Family Fun August 3 & 4

One day of Halloween just isn’t enough for some Halloween enthusiasts! Not to worry, the Seaport Association of Norwalk has a magical brew of events that will thrill young and old alike on the Haunted Lighthouse Cruise to Sheffield Island taking place on August 3 and 4. This fun-filled, child–friendly event is perfect for a family summer outing…and, best of all the chance for kids to dress up in their favorite costume before October 31! To reserve your tickets

A 45-minute cruise through Long Island Sound listening to tales of the sea sets the stage as passengers approach the 150-year-old Sheffield Island Lighthouse that is located on a wind and wave-swept deserted Island. The only way to find out what fearsome and friendly spirits reside here is to hop off the CJ Toth ferry and get ready to explore this uniquely spooktacular place with its abandoned lighthouse that has attracted supernatural beings every August for centuries.

Witches and wizards have carefully decorated the rooms of the Sheffield Lighthouse with added touches by the ghosts of lighthouse keepers that lived here in lonely isolation for long periods of time. In these rooms, visitors will find all manner of otherworldly fun – it is where spooks, spirits, spiders, sea witches, and creatures of the night abound.

It is horrifically fun to roam through the rooms of the lighthouse that seem to twist and turn and where there is a surprise around every corner! There is even one very special room that is completely dark where only the strong of heart and pure of mind should dare enter

Tickets and Times
The Haunted Lighthouse Cruise takes place on August 3 and 4 and the ferry leaves at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on both days from the Seaport’s Dock located on 4 North Water Street in South Norwalk. It is best to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure in order to snag the best seat and to facilitate boarding the ferry. The ferry only carries 49 passengers by law so advance reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve your tickets for this horrifically fun event click here


When the beach outing or the picnic is rained out, what to do with restless kids on a wet summer weekend? Plenty of possibilities await in Western Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County, where special indoor exhibits from bats to dinosaurs to a working carousel are guaranteed to bring smiles. Families can join a workshop learning how to make their own clocks or even have a “stay-cation” at a resort with an indoor water park.

Fairfield County’s perennial family favorite museums are offering special don’t-miss exhibitions this summer.

meercats and kids copy

In Norwalk, the Maritime Aquarium is featuring Africa: From the Desert to the Sea, starring amazing creatures from exotic fish to adorable meerkats, geckos and awesome giant boas. Playful meerkats are a favorite, and special windows allow following them into their underground burrows. A viewing bubble even lets young visitors stand up right among the meerkats.

Not far away in Norwalk at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Dinosaur Revolution, a special exhibit through September 8, lets youngsters uncover fossils and facts about dinosaurs as they navigate a giant maze.

Big Chicken by Clementine Hunter Minnesota Children’s Museum
Big Chicken by Clementine Hunter Minnesota Children’s Museum

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center has a new exhibit through September 2 called Masters of the Night, starring bats, those mysterious and often misunderstood mammals. Visitors can try out a variety of fun and informative interactive stations featuring life-like models, such as “Bat Ears,” “Feast in Flight,” and the “Echo – Echo Unit.”

In Greenwich, Eggs-hibition: Unscrambling Their History at the Bruce Museum through October 20 promises to enthrall all with its array of bird eggs, edible eggs, and eggs both ugly and beautiful.


A ride on an old-fashioned merry-go-round is a treat for all ages, and it is included in the price of admission at the Carousel Museum in Bristol. This unique museum offers one of largest collections of antique carousel pieces in the country in its “Golden Age of the Carousel” exhibit. Visitors also see the workshop where antique carousel creations are restored. Upstairs, a Museum of Fire history awaits and the museum includes a changing art gallery and a children’s craft center, as well.

New England Carousel Museum
New England Carousel Museum

Waterbury’s Timexpo: The Timex Museum is a fascinating place for older kids with its Time Tunnel and a colorful history of watch making. Fun for all is the museum’s Make A Clock workshops offered every Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Workshop participants choose among many designs, decorate and assemble their own working clock.


Waterbury also offers a unique splurge solution for a rainy weekend. It is always 84 degrees and sunny at the Coco Key Water Resort and Conference Center, where a 50,000 square foot indoor water playground offers an Adventure River, water slides, raft rides, activity pools with water basketball and the Parrot’s Perch Interactive Play Island with a special shallow Kiddie Entry Area. If you don’t want to stay the night, day passes are available.

For more information about family activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color,
152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in
Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968,
Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at and

Gary-The Olivia Theater Announces Summer Season

Side View of Theater at Abbey of Regina Laudis
Side View of Theater at Abbey of Regina Laudis

The Gary-The Olivia Theater is located in Bethlehem Connecticut on the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis. This lovely open-air theater built in 1982 seats 300 people. The theater is covered but opens at the back to the woods of the Abbey land, and the trees and birds are often a feature of the theatrical world that is created on stage. The link between drama and monastic life is an ancient one, but The Gary-The Olivia Theater in particular owes its existence to Reverend Mother Dolores Hart, the actress, who in 1963 gave up a successful Hollywood career to become a nun at the Abbey. Each summer several annual performances are given in this theater.

The Pitman
The Pitman

The Pitmen Painters written by Lee Hall and loosely based on a book written by William Feaver will be performed June 14 – June 23. The Pitmen Painters is an inspirational story about a close-knit group of miners in Northeast England in the 1930’s who enroll in an art appreciation class as a way of bettering themselves. The story follows members of the group as they interact with a university art instructor, experiment with actual painting and gradually build a body of work that establishes them as The Ashington Group, a briefly celebrated group of painters in the 30’s and 40’s. Receiving critical acclaim in London and on Broadway, The Pitmen Painters is a humorous, thought provoking and moving testament to friendship, human aspiration and the transforming power of art.

The Gary Oliva Theater
The Gary Oliva Theater

A second show, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical Fiorello will be performed from August 1 – 11. Fiorello follows the dynamic professional and political career of Fiorello La Guardia. Elected to Congress in 1916 and 1918, and again from 1922 through 1930 La Guardia served as Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945 and was a major influence in the making of modern day New York. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest mayors in American history. Only five feet tall, he was called “the Little Flower” (“Fiorello” is Italian for “little flower”). The original Broadway production opened at the Broadhurst Theatre in 1959, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960.

General admission seats ($20 Pitmen. $22 Fiorello) for these shows are available now online at For special group rates (10 or more) please contact Susan Hackel 860 355-5553 or e-mail

The opening night gala/fundraiser for The Gary-The Olivia Theater is on June 14th (opening night, The Pitmen Painters-$25 pp) and on August 1st (opening night, Fiorello-$28 pp) with wines from Walker Road Vineyards in Woodbury, CT paired with local farmstead cheeses and a meet and greet with the performers.

For area information