Shopping in Madison

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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.

77 Wall Street
Madison,
CT
US

Connecticut Magazine named R.J. Julia Booksellers Best Bookstore in 2010 and Examiner featured it. Seven Yelpers and seven Yahoo! Locals give R.J. Julia Booksellers an average of five stars, and more than 700 Facebookers are fans:

768 Boston Post Rd
Madison,
CT
US

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.

58 Commerce St
Clinton,
CT
US

You can hear the pinging sound of a golf ball being mashed by a driver throughout The Sound Approach Golf Academy, an indoor studio where clubbers can groom their games year-round. The studio serves as a year-round practice venue with its golf simulator, which lets you drive, pitch, and putt your way through famous golf courses brought to life on an immense screen.

On any given day, the nonsimulated, three-dimensional PGA pro Jon Wilson can also be found in the studio dispensing advice in private and group lessons. From mid-March through October, Jon also conducts conventional lessons at Kleins’ Golf Range. He’ll even travel to area courses to provide playing lessons, during which golfers can gain insight into course management and how to fix ball marks with an extra-long fingernail.

508 Old Toll Rd
Madison,
CT
US

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.

188 Boston Post Rd
Madison,
CT
US

The staff at Crystal Hanger Cleaners has served its community for 22 years. It's no wonder, then, that staff members put so much care into everything they do: from tailoring to wash-and-fold laundry service to preserving precious garments like wedding dresses and ruby slippers.

516 Old Toll Rd
Madison,
CT
US