RJ Julia Booksellers bestows written-word consumers with a cornucopia of books and reading-related events. Absorb the text or fresh-pine scent of RJ Julia's many entertaining tomes with a Booklovers Club membership, a program that gifts members with a 10% discount on books and 20% off two storewide sales. Booklovers also receive five free in-store event tickets and special postal mailings and email bulletins notifying them of RJ Julia's more-than 300 events each year, which include workshops and entertaining writer discussions that enable readers to meet, speak, and hold hands with their favorite authors.
The clothing curators at Poppies scour the stylish shelves of recently closed boutiques to outfit tykes in new and what it calls "gently loved" duds at 50%–75% off retail prices, including garb from brands such as Burberry, The North Face, and Lilly Pulitzer. Boys ascend into fashion with Charlie Rocket pants ($16.99) or dress like their favorite professional hedge-fund manager in sleek blue blazers ($18+). Children can dress head-to-toe in Tea Collection apparel including shirts, dresses, and shoes ($11.99+) or saunter into class sporting Ralph Lauren threads ($10+). The boutique's bibs, baby strollers, and handcrafted gifts are ideal presents for baby showers or inscrutable insults at retirement parties.
Beneath the low-hanging evergreen bows and weathered wood of the Deacon John Grave House—built in 1685—more than 40 microbreweries set up tents filled with kegs and bottles of suds. Foam flingers such as Blue Point, Harpoon, and Narragansett pour IPAs and summer ales, joining brewers of more exotic potions such as gluten-free beers or ales crafted by Trappist monks. As guests sip samples and snack on pizza and burgers, the deep bass vibrations of live bands aerate the beer for maximum flavor. All proceeds from the afternoon’s revelry go toward funding the SARAH Foundation, whose agencies provide programs and services for Connecticut residents with intellectual and other disabilities.
At Indian River Marina, gentle currents of scenic tidal wetlands host kayakers of all skill levels during four-hour nautical treks. To start each paddling odyssey, guests select from a medley of vessels including tandem, convertible, and recreational kayaks before launching from the marina's shores. As bluejackets drift atop the intimate waterways, layers of blossoming frondescence volunteer leafy greens to create a flowing framework of natural surroundings. After four hours of high-fiving the gregarious tides, shellbacks return to the marina to picnic or shower away the tears of overly attached oars.