Connecticut Stores and Shopping

Half Off Flowers

Waterbury

$40 $20

Dutch expat imports exotic flower varieties for home gardens, arrangements, and bouquets

Half Off Shoes at Ente's Shoe Salon

Multiple Locations

$50 $25

Stock up on shoes from brands such as Uggs, FitFlops, and Frye; available in women's size 4–12 and in narrow or medium widths

83% Off Three Bracelets at Ally+Zoe

Danbury

$149 $24.99

Show off your knowledge of the stacking-bracelets trend by adorning your wrist with a set of three fashionable bracelets

50% Off Bike and Ski Gear and Services

Berlin

$20 $10

Mechanics get skis and snowboards ready for winter with a tuneup; stock includes bike helmets, accessories, and a ski shop

52% Off Shoes at Comfort Footwear Etc.

West Hartford

$25 $12

Shoppers can browse through an extensive selection of orthopedic, diabetic, professional, and casual footwear; free computerized foot scan

Up to 51% Off College and Sports Apparel

Multiple Locations

$50 $25

Classic navy-blue Yale T-shirts and vintage Hartford Whalers caps are sold alongside whimsical iPhone cases and "I Love CT" stickers

50% Off at Tina's Fine Lingerie

Middletown

$50 $25

Women shop collections of sultry body suits, bustiers, and hosiery or check out the array of bright swimwear and sky-high heels

Up to 54% Off Wine Class at Haight-Brown Vineyard

Litchfield

$70 $35

(23)

Wine tasting matches gourmet chocolates with globally sourced cheese, and includes a keepsake glass

50% Off Women's Clothing and Accessories at Sofia Mia

Monroe

$30 $15

Boutique offers trendy fashion for women with a selection of bags, scarves, jewelry, and clothing from yoga pants to dresses

Up to 62% Off Astronomy Sky Tour for Two

Lebanon

$130 $49

High-powered laser pointer and large telescope showcase planets, galaxies, and nebulae during guided astronomy tour

Half Off Consignment Apparel and Home Decor

Newington

$20 $10

Apparel and accessories by brands such as Coach, Free People, and White House Black Market; sea-glass necklaces crafted by local artisans

Up to 58% Off Upscale Wine Class with Tasting

Westport

$210 $89

During the 90-minute class, sommeliers teach guests to distinguish grape variety, vintage, and region; sessions include four to six samples

50% Off Upscale Boutique Clothing at Teen Scene Consignments

Canton

$30 $15

Shoppers can browse through new and gently used designer clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories at this trendy boutique

50% Off from Express Medals

South Windsor

$30 $15

Express Medals sells and ships medals for all occasions from cross country and softball to chess, cricket, and water skiing

Half Off Footwear at Runner’s Roost

Darien

$50 $25

(4)

Footwear from brands such as Nike, Asics, and New Balance; experienced staff focuses on injury prevention

Up to 50% Off Beauty and Wellness Products at Vital Rain

Newtown

$20 $12

Natural, toxin-free soaps, balms, and wellness aids for babies, new moms, and other health-conscious shoppers

Up to 60% Off Guitar Lessons

Southington

$230 $99

(7)

Instructors teach the basics of guitar-playing on rental instruments in private lesson rooms

57% Off Wine-Education Classes at The Wine Mapp

Greenwich

$90 $39

Two 90-minute wine-education classes cover wine basics and how best to pair wine and food; samples are included

75% Off a Wine Tasting at GrapesWine.com

Norwalk

$80 $21

Wine expert Jim Winston leads students through a class exploring 9–12 wines, ranging in quality from everyday to high-end cellar vintages

44% Off BYOB Wine & Art Night

Ridgefield

$45 $25

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

45% Off Jewelry and Accessories

Danbury

$20 $11

On-trend pendants, rings, scarves, and wallets, many of which boast the shop's own YSTRDY label

Select Local Merchants

Stampin' & Scrappin' Time stuffs its store with neat rows of vibrant paper, stamps, craft supplies, and more while helping shoppers craft memorably charming handmade cards and scrapbooks. Peruse the vast inventory of colored and patterned paper ($.50–$1.99/sheet) to begin crafting tableaus of past family vacations, first days of school, and victorious backyard chinchilla races. Hero Arts wood and cling rubber stamps ($7.35–$15.35) and Memory Box wood stamps ($6.35–$11.35) sport letters, filigrees, shapes, and more, allowing crafty customers to dip them in colorful inks ($4.35–$9.35) and add instant flair to pencil sketches of Parisian pigeon parades. Decorate a newly purchased white Ferrari with pens, markers, and watercolor pencils ($3.35–$8.85) and garnish the resulting creation with a selection of stickers ($2.35–$5.35) to finally impress blasé preschoolers. The creative and amenable staff stays on hand to offer advice, suggestions, and tips and tricks.

396 Main Street
Bridgeport,
CT
US

Since Jim and Mike Amore opened Jet Cleaners in 1956, the place has become a rite of passage not only for Mike Amore Jr., who worked there as a teen and now represents the third generation of his family's business, but for New Haven residents. The company's Facebook page fondly catalogs photos of staff through the decades, occasionally noting the growth of their careers and families, or marking their passing. The good feelings are mutual, as the community voted Jet Cleaners Elm City's Best Dry Cleaner and Tailor in 2011. Voting with their dollars, the Yale Repertory Theater and Yale Medical School entrust Amore and his team with their costumes and lab coats, a practice begun after hearing the school's dean relied on them to starch his upper lip. A light touch with these delicate materials extends to refreshing heirloom quilts and wedding gowns, as well as tailoring suits. Free weekly pickup and delivery services save trips to the cleaner's modernist building on State Street, which is instantly recognizable not only for its austere design but also for the garden flourishing within its glass walls.

687 State St
New Haven,
CT
US

The Hartford Courant keeps Connecticut's citizens up to date on state, regional, and national happenings with extensive news coverage supplemented by sections on sports, politics, and culture. The paper's in-depth news and editorial sections sharpen minds and widen perspectives, and Sunday's panoply of coupon savings slashes grocery bills and keeps restless shears from snipping away at hair. The sports section chronicles the triumphs and failures of professional athletes and local high-school football and soccer teams, and old editions can be shredded into pompoms for cheering on the UConn Huskies' basketball team. In addition to its fresh-off-the-presses news stories, the Hartford Courant promotes well-rounded leisure with listings of local entertainments and tips on cooking, health, and travel.

285 Broad St
Hartford,
CT
US

Many consider scuba diving a hobby or fun activity to do on vacation, but for Capt. Saam, it has become a lifestyle. He learned to scuba-dive more than 35 years ago and has gone on to not only establish his namesake scuba school but also obtain a US Coast Guard master license, teach scuba diving in Hawaii, and make regular tropical-dive trips. All of his scuba-diving and maritime experiences have pooled into a vast reservoir of knowledge which he passes on to his scuba-school crew—all of whom are NAUI- and PADI-certified instructors and dive masters. Together they immerse students in aquatic classes––both group and private––modeled after those practiced by police and fire-department scuba teams. They keep group lessons small—no more than seven students per session—to ensure personalized instruction and each student's safety.

Students develop their passion and ability to explore subaquatic terrains while also learning survival skills. They learn procedures to calmly handle accidents during first aid and safety courses, train to become lifeguards, or master the art of prying a friend out of a whale’s baleen. Those looking to clock in more hours exploring the ocean can opt for a local dive charter, which ferries 18-25 scuba divers and snorkelers aboard Capt. Saam's 34-foot Thompson Trawler as it sets sail to a variety of diving locations, from Smith's Reef and Sheffield Island to Gwendolyn Steers Wreck.

Though Capt. Saam's is a scuba school first and foremost, the center also offers equipment rentals and tank fills at its full retail dive shop, tropical-dive trips to the Caribbean, and a ground aviation-training course that teaches students the basics of flight.

863 E Main St
Stamford,
CT
US

Under the leadership of manager Michael Shinsky, New Balance's professional fit specialists employ their expertise and iStep machine to fit runners, walkers, and athletes with an appropriate pair of New Balance shoes. Properly fitted footwear prevents blisters, strains, and comparisons to clowns. A selection of athletic apparel garbs active people from head to toe, encouraging support and free movement. The shop gives back to the community by raising money for charity, hosting road races, and accepting used footwear donations for Kids Helping Kids and Soles for Souls.

128 Main St
New Canaan,
CT
US

Since 1994, KarTele has connected consumers with useful electronics and handy wireless devices from manufacturers such as Apple, Directed Electronics, and Pioneer. KarTele’s stock of high-tech gadgets such iPad tablets and iPhones enable mobile computing, and remote car starters let drivers access vehicles from far away, which comes in handy during cold-weather months or when being chased by a frisky squirrel. Experienced auto technicians deftly install these digital add-ons to cars and perform repair work on all of KarTele’s products.

511 Wolcott St
Waterbury,
CT
US