In the spirit of TV scavenger-hunt races and exploring local cities in a new way, the team behind Urban Scavenger Race organizes hunts designed to support neighborhood businesses and raise money for the Stamford and New Haven communities. Before each four-hour race, teams of two to four people or very human-looking robots arrive early to sign in and show off their family-friendly costumes to judges, who will select a winning getup. Upon receiving a clue sheet, teams venture into the city, using only public transportation, smartphones, and the kindness of strangers to track down the locations hinted at in the clues. Teams have to acquire a stamp or take a group photo at each destination, making sure to return to the sponsor site before time is up. Afterward, participants aged 21 and older get a wristband for an after party that includes drink specials and snacks.
For the past 34 years, Soaring Adventures of America has presented earth-bound clients a variety of ways to explore the skies. First, their balloon rides take crews of up to four on a peaceful journey to heights as high as 2,000 feet in the air, capped off with a champagne or fruit juice toast. The pilots are FAA commercially certified, and the balloons are inspected for every 100 hours of flight to ensure a safe experience. More adventures are to be had on glider rides where passengers get the chance to grab the throttle and make their own way through any clouds or misspelled skywriting. For a maximum adrenaline rush, though, there's no better option than a tandem skydive and the raw thrill of falling 13,000 feet.
The Island Belle—a historic, three-story Mississippi River–style paddle wheeler—has carried passengers along the Virginia coastline, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi river, and other scenic waterways. Food is served aboard the vessel during breakfast, luncheon, and dinner cruises, which feature entrees such as stuffed pork loin with prosciutto, dried apricot, and sage. For those who are more thirsty than hungry, bartenders mix stiff drinks during cocktail cruises.
During the month of October, Fairview Tree Farm breaks out into Halloween-inspired atmosphere for hayrides. The nursery and farm welcomes guests for a series of spooky nights spent riding across a 1.5-mile route as spooky decorations and creatures attempt to rattle riders. Concessions are available before and after the ride, allowing customers to forget about their fear or their spilt candy corn with hot dogs, popcorn, and hot chocolate.
Schooner Inc began in 1975 as a means to highlight the plight of the Long Island Sound and to help amplify the positive difference that the Clean Water Act was starting to make in US waters. Today, the company connects more than 8,000 people each year to the beauty and history of New Haven Harbor via public sails, summer camps, and educational programs.
For the last 23 years, the Quinnipiack—central Connecticut's only traditionally rigged tall ship—has hosted hands-on marine experiences for kids and adults. The New Haven mayor has officially decreed the schooner to be the city's flagship, as well as the ship Most Likely to Wear Couture Sails. The spacious boat was named to honor the Native Americans who inhabited the region and is helmed by an experienced and friendly crew.
The licensed guides at Ghosts of New York usher guests on fun and spooky walking tours starring some of the city's most infamous sites. Explore the Big Apple's eerie side with Ghosts of the City, which seeks out the spirits of Walt Whitman, P.T. Barnum, and Joe Piscopo's career. Literary buffs will thrill to the pursuit of Edgar Allan Poe and fellow Greenwich Village specters Aaron Burr, Eleanor Roosevelt, and her pet dog Fala, said to be chasing its insubstantial tail to this day. Seekers of more modern frightening fare may opt for the Ghosts of the Upper West Side tour, which starts from the Ghostbusters building and moves on to highlight the haunts of Irving Berlin and John Lennon. Check out the calendar to plan your tour.