Established in 1928, Mead Farm provides lessons and riding time for beginners and experts, educating budding equestrophiles and catering to old horse hounds' galloping needs. Taking place every Friday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., between May and September, the couple’s horse ride makes an excellent romantic outing or opportunity to get on the good side of a horse-riding probation officer. The evening starts with a brief introduction to equine care, covering mounting tips, how to control a distressed horse, hoof care, and Pegasus-wing clipping before sweethearts are sent on their way, securely astride their noble steeds. Twosomes are then guided by a member of the Mead Farm staff on a one-hour ride. Upon return, sweethearts are treated to a one-hour wine and cheese tasting with other couples, delighting taste buds with piquant pours and delicious dairy bites while basking in a horseback-ride-generated romance aura.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center has come a long way since its founding in 1936. Over the decades, its sprawling grounds have grown to include areas focused on nature, agriculture, astronomy, art, and history. On a hill lies the Henri Bendel Mansion. This once-private residence echoes classic British manor houses with its lead-framed glass windows, half-timbered walls, and stone gargoyles that speak in cockney accents. Visitors can view the ground's sculptures before going inside to gaze at the museum galleries and rotating exhibitions, which explore topics in art and pop culture.
Back outside, more than 80 acres of nature trails wind through the trees. One such trail leads to Nature's Playground, where kids soar down slides and play in a treehouse. Elsewhere, the accessible Wheels in the Woods trail lets people of all abilities explore the forest.
Crossing over Bendel's Pond brings visitors to Heckscher Farm, where kids learn basic animal care. The New England?style farm, which stands next to an otter pond, home to otters Bert and Edie, encompasses structures such as the Cheshire Barn, which was built in 1750 and houses heritage-breed animals, including chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, and llamas. The Stamford Observatory sits west of the farm and offers visitors an opportunity to peer into a 22-inch research telescope (on Friday evenings, weather permitting), to view the night sky.
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.
Stepping Stones Museum for Children encourages kids to learn through play with permanent and traveling exhibits tailored to different age levels and activities designed to develop growing brains. The newly renovated 22,000-square-foot space—which boasts five main galleries with more than 100 hands-on activities—was founded in 2000 to expand children's minds through an interdisciplinary mix of subjects, including art, culture, literacy, and string theory. Because kids learn best by doing, the museum's interactive exhibits are perfect for improving cognitive function. Tykes 0–36 months explore the multidimensional Tot Town, and the futuristic Energy Lab powered by wind, water, and sun keeps older kids conducting experiments amid an array of vibrant colors and textures. Outside, the museum's gigantic open-air tent known as Celebration Courtyard hosts an oversized checkerboard and big foam building blocks. A community garden teaches little ones about butterflies and edible plants, and Healthyville employs computer games to educate kids about nutrition, the body, and why you shouldn't eat fake fruit.
The 43rd season of the Greenwich Classic Film Series runs from February through May and will treat modern audiences to film classics from the '30s–'70s. Each movie is preceded by an informative introduction from an esteemed speaker, who returns after the film to smack serious film-science into the brains of each popcorn-munching audience member. Each speaker then engages newly educated audiences with a lively Q&A session in which cinema enthusiasts can inquire, "What else was that one actor in?" and, "So the knife symbolized Dadaism, right?" Peruse the schedule for a full list of screenings. The genre-spanning roster boasts the austere Marx Brothers tragedy Duck Soup as well as the wacky comedic stylings of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. While each membership card grants viewers access to either Monday- or Tuesday-night screenings, members may attend movies on their noncard showing night or pass membership cards to friends (with advance notice) for no extra charge if scheduling conflicts related to soccer practice, hair washing, or senate votes should arise.
For the past 34 years, Soaring Adventures of America, which boasts an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, has presented earth-bound clients a variety of ways to explore the skies. 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.