Exploring the Connecticut Suburbs? Check out These Amazing Parks!

Apr 30, 2021

Explore the great outdoors in (what could be) your new backyard!

Checking out local parks is a perfect way to get a sense of a community. Not only are parks great spots to hunker down side-by-side with other moms and dads, spending a few hours at one of these family-friendly hotspots gives you a sneak peek at how you could be spending weekends post-move. And if you’re exploring the Connecticut suburbs? You’ve got even more amazing options as you’re hitting Fairfield County parks and playgrounds — because these go-tos are home to everything from slides and swings to beaches, boats, dog parks, and more.

#1. Greenwich, CT

You don’t have to look far to find an outdoor haven in Greenwich. No matter which neighborhood you like, there’s a green space nearby. Pack a picnic or just let the kids run around in one (or more) of these Greenwich parks. Bruce Park Not far from downtown, you’ll find this scenic park complete with views of the Long Island Sound. Kids love the playground — in particular, the large dinosaur sculptures — while parents are all about the grills, picnic tables, and plenty of shady spots to relax. There are also hiking trails if you want to stretch your legs. Island Beach Park Hop on a ferry from Roger Sherman Park to reach this 3.9-acre town-owned island. With swimming, camping, and boating areas it’s the perfect afternoon getaway just two miles south of Greenwich Harbor. Greenwich Point Park For an in-town beach day, locals head to Greenwich Point Park. This sandy stretch has it all including a clambake area, a public marina and saltwater fishing spots. Feeling adventurous? This is also a popular park for wind and kite surfing. Binney Park Binney Park is a great spot for seasonal celebrations. This park hosts a July 4th fireworks festival. In the winter, you can take the kids ice skating on the pond. Throughout the rest of the year, residents visit this spot for its playground, walking trail, and tennis courts. Cos Cob Park This waterfront park has a colorful playground, picnic tables, and soccer fields. It’s also a beautiful spot to take an evening walk and watch the sunset. During the warmer months, events are held in the park’s amphitheater which overlooks the Long Island Sound. Byram Park Families can easily spend an entire day at Byram Park. Features include a public boat ramp, picnic tables, grills, and a clambake area. When the kids (or you) want to cool off, head to the beach or the swimming pool. The athletes in the family will love the tennis courts and baseball/softball fields. Roger Sherman Baldwin Park This is the park for big events. You’ll find families gathering here in the summer for movie nights and concerts. Plus, the annual Greenwich Town Party takes place here. If you move to town, plan to attend this popular event which features dancing, mingling, and live music, from bands like The Beach Boys and Lynyrd Skynyrd. From this park, you can also take a ferry to Island Beach.

#2. New Canaan, CT

New Canaan is home to large, sprawling parks with leafy hiking trails. If your vision of suburbia includes plenty of spots to hike, bike, and kick back with your pup, New Canaan could be a great match. New Canaan Nature Center Visit this 40-acre nature center and you’ll instantly feel like you’re in the middle of the woods. Let the kids explore the play garden or try to navigate the boxwood maze as a family. Do some bird watching as you hike along the well-marked trails. This park hosts a harvest festival, holiday market, and dog days. And fun fact: it’s home to the country’s oldest nature-based preschool. Mead Memorial Park Mead Memorial is more of a traditional suburban park. If you settle in New Canaan, you’ll probably spend plenty of summer nights cheering on the kids at the baseball fields or watching them run around the playground. You’ll also find walking trails and a bird sanctuary nearby.

#3. Darien, CT

Not only does this charming town offer 30 miles of coastline, but it features multiple parks with wooded walking trails and sports facilities. Baker Park This 12-acre park feels like a hidden gem, especially in the morning. Take the little ones for a stroll along the walking path or let them get some energy out on the playgrounds. In the afternoon, the rec leagues use the fields for soccer, softball, and little league. Tilley Pond Park Follow the trail around Tilley Pond for a quiet morning walk or jog. Let the kids run around in the grass while you watch them from one of many shaded benches on the perimeter of the play area. Woodland Park At almost 65 acres, this massive park is the perfect place to escape without really leaving your own backyard. Follow one of the two trail systems to get in a hike. You’ll pass ponds, streams, and exhibits on wildlife as you explore. You don’t have to leave your pup at home either — dogs are welcome to tackle the trails on leash. Cherry Lawn Park Locals love Cherry Lawn Park and it’s one of the busiest in town. It’s no surprise — this park features a huge playground with swings, multiple tennis courts, picnic areas, walking trails, and community gardens. This is a great spot to add to your list if you are hoping to chat with some residents before making any moving decisions.

#4. Westport, CT

If you move to Westport, you’ll likely spend LOTS of time at the beach. Make sure to visit one of the town’s most popular waterfront spots, Sherwood Island State Park. Sherwood Island State Park Connecticut’s first state park offers all of the coastal amenities you want. Sunbathe on the sand, swim in the Long Island Sound, or picnic under a shady tree. You can also fish anywhere outside of the designated swimming areas. As a bonus: parking is free for any car with a CT license plate.

Longshore Park Longshore Park has everything (and then some…). With a popular golf course, pool, tennis, pickleball, ice skating, and plenty of green space, this park is a favorite among locals and residents in neighboring communities. Plus, with marinas, boat launches, and sailing school, there are endless opportunities to get out and on the water during the warmer months. Compo Beach This 29-acre park winds along the Long Island Sound and borders the Saugatuck River — and that means plenty of beach-front access and activities, from volleyball to marinas and more. If your family loves kayaking, paddleboarding or sailing, this park is for you. That, though, is just a piece of Compo’s appeal. Here, you can shoot hoops, hit the skate park, play paddle ball or grab a bite at the concession stand and stroll the boardwalk. From October 1 through March 30 dogs are also welcome in designated spots.

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