More than a dozen times—that's how often Treehouse Comedy Productions has been voted the "Best Comedy Showcase" by the readers of Fairfield County Weekly. As the first full-time comedy showcase in Connecticut, Treehouse Comedy Productions has curated stunning selections of world-class standups for more than three decades. The heavy hitters in the Treehouse family tree include Rosie O'Donnell, Jon Stewart, Bill Mahar, Chris Rock, Gilbert Gottfried, and Jerry Seinfeld, who once bid farewell to standup at Treehouse gig just before his TV show, That's So Jerry!, became a hit. With roving locations at area restaurants, casinos, and bars, the arbiters of spit-takes continue to cull the sharpest cut-ups in the country for weekly showcases.
Rookies Sports Club performs a full-court press on the senses, sporting a menu with a mouthwatering array of grilled and fried snacks and displaying 10 television screens that allow fans to survey the scores around the league. The whole baseball squad or the Russian Olympic go-kart shot-putters can share an order of 50 Rookies signature wings ($38), swaddled in a choice of eight sauces. The Bronx Bomber steak burger creates a favorable matchup against offensive hunger pains, boasting a lineup of chopped sirloin, caramelized onions, applewood bacon bits, and blue cheese ($15.99). Rookies Sports Club also stocks a frosty collection of craft beers for a postgame celebration/commiseration, from the Belgian Gulden Draak Triple Ale to the coppery Keegan Ales Hurricane Kitty IPA. While nursing a glass of Black Dog Ale, guests can listen to sports commentators pontificating over their choice of game from a set of cordless speakers.
Each year, the banks of the Saugatuck River transform from a serene New England retreat to a raucous Southern street fair during the annual two-day Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. The syncopated chords of live blues performers waft through the air as visitors nosh on barbecue, jerk chicken, and other down-home favorites supplied by local eateries. Visitors can showcase their own culinary skills by helming grills during barbecue competitions, or highlight their stomachs’ capacity without undergoing embarrassing public x-rays during pie- and rib-eating contests. Carnival-style entertainment rounds out the festivities, ranging from a mechanical bull to inflatables for tots.
With a shared exuberance for the sport of rowing, Yan and Olga Vengerovskiy founded the Maritime Rowing Club in 1996. Yan honed his skills with the Ukrainian National Rowing Team, and Olga sharpened her oars with the Russian National Team, where she won a championship. After achieving their individual and team goals in the sport, Yan took to coaching the Soviet Union Junior Women's National Team from 1973 to 1991 and Olga shared her knowledge with students at the Specialized School of Olympic Reserves in the Ukraine. To bring the Maritime Rowing Club to fruition, the couple gathered a team of experienced rowers to help them share the experience of recreational and competitive rowing with their new community in Norwalk. The squad trains interested parties of all ages through programs covering both rowing styles of sweep and sculling along the dark blue waters of the Norwalk River. In recognition of their excellence in promoting the sport, USRowing honored Yan and Olga with the John J. Carlin service award in December of 2011.
Home to more than 1,000 marine animals, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk entices visitors of all ages with glimpses of the Long Island Sound’s rich ecosystem. Pintsize adventurers thrill at the touch tank, which puts friendly rays and other inhabitants of the Sound at arm's reach. Sharks swiftly navigate a glass-enclosed exhibit, giving visitors an up-close view of the powerful creatures without having to disguise themselves as bigger sharks. The friendly staff members feed seven harbor seals three times a day, inviting landlubbers to watch and ask questions as the whiskered inhabitants chow down. A six-story screen displays larger-than-life images in the IMAX theater, as educational tales of seafaring critters and jungle dwellers inspire folk ballads about the family cat. The behind-the-scenes tour steers visitors through the jellyfish nursery and fish kitchen before piloting toward the Open Ocean exhibit, where participants can toss in fish to feed the sharks, and then after-dinner mints to curb the indecorous effects.
Believing that learning and behavioral disorders stem from improper communication between brain hemispheres, Brain Balance Centers offers a drug-free, multi-faceted system to boost brain function. Physical and cognitive exercises combine with easy-to-follow dietary changes to improve social, academic and behavioral issues associated with ADHD, Asperger's, and other social and learning disorders without the use of medication. Now more than 50 Brain Balance Centers practice this Hemispheric Integration Therapy, with professional teams tailoring programs to help kids improve focus and behavior, academic performance, communication, and social skills.