“Explore Fairfield County” is an informational series that provides a glimpse into the wonderful towns and cities in Fairfield County. Fairfield County is diverse in that it includes big cities, small suburbs, beaches, farms, and busy highways. It covers a large geographic area and, because of this, it has a lot to offer families! To help you get the most out of Fairfield County, our contributors have shared the top 10 things they love about each local area. To read more in this series click here.
Established in 1639, the Town of Fairfield is on the eastern side of Fairfield County. The southern side of town is heaven for those craving a coastal lifestyle, while the northern side of town is full of beautiful trees and green space. There are roughly 60,000 residents in Fairfield, and over a third of the household’s are home to families. There are 11 neighborhood elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. The town is also home to a few parochial schools, Fairfield Prep, Notre Dame High School, along with Fairfield University, and Sacred Heart University.
1. All the Beaches
There was no question that this belongs at the top of the list. From the Jennings Beach Marina on the north side of town, to Sasco Hill Beach in Southport, there is no shortage of sandy spots to enjoy some sunshine. You can also take swimming and sailing lessons through Fairfield Parks and Rec at certain beach locations, and rent out pavilion space at Penfield Beach. Dogs can run around during the off-season and if you ever need photos taken for a wedding, prom, or holiday cards, our beautiful beaches make the perfect backdrop.
2. The Sandcastle Playground
I remember this playground being constructed when I was a child. It really brought the community together then, and it still does the same thing now. From the castle complete with a bridge to the personalized bricks laid along the walkway, there is so much to love about this spot. It’s the perfect place to jump on a swing, play Frisbee in the open space, or enjoy dinner on a picnic table. Please note that during the beach season, you do need a Fairfield Beach sticker to park your car by this playground.
3. The Farmer’s Market
This is a new Sunday tradition for our family. The farmer’s market runs on the Sherman Green from June through October. It is filled with fresh produce, special sweets, and many items made with love by amazing local community members. And while all the items to purchase are top-notch, it’s the friendly faces that really make the market special. Our daughter loves to visit Ian and Liz at their Cross Cultural Kombucha tent (warning: this kombucha will ruin all other kombucha for you!), and Jane (aka “the pickle lady”) of Janes Good Food, who is always serving samples of her homemade pickled veggies with a smile and kind words.
4. The Public Libraries
The Fairfield Public Library has been one of my favorite spots in the world (seriously) since I could walk. Now, as a mom, I love taking my toddler to “Book Babies” and other family-friendly events sponsored among the stacks. The best part is that we actually have a branch library in town, and the Pequot Library, meaning there are even more books to enjoy, and activities to participate in!
5. The Town of Fairfield Christmas Tree Lighting
The first Friday in December holds a special tradition in town—the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the town green. Carols are sung by local choirs and candy canes are abundant. The best part? Santa and Mrs. Clause come racing into town on a firetruck! The First Church Congregational Holiday Bazaar opens the same night as the lighting and is right across the street, so you can attend two staple holiday events in the same evening!
6. Adorable Shops Galore
There is absolutely no shortage of adorable local shops to stop into when it’s time to make a purchase. In the Mood Intimates is the place to buy intimate wear, No. 299 is one of my favorite spots to grab a gift for a friend, and Saltwater has adorable children’s clothing and jewelry. Since reducing, reusing, and recycling has always been important to me, I am a huge advocate for Gumdrop Swap and The Label Exchange. You can save money and save the environment!
7. Food for Days
I started calling out specific places to grab a nosh, but this post has to end sometime! Seriously, there are too many spots to begin to name. From American to Indian, to seafood to vegan options, Fairfield has become one of the hottest spots in Connecticut for going out to eat. I will say that the Magic Mushroom Elixer at Catch a Healthy Habit is literally addicting. You’re welcome.
8. An Abundance of Family Activities
Whether it’s painting at Hands on Pottery or The Studio, or checking out the turtles and owls at the Audubon Society, there are countless fun places to take the family. There are also events held at Giant Steps for free, and in the summertime, there are tons of outdoor activities hosted all over town.
9. Responsible Babysitters
This. Is. Clutch. Between two high schools and two universities in town, there is always a rock star student available to look after your children. The University Sitters page on Facebook is insanely helpful. What good are all the indulgent evening events in town if you don’t have a trustworthy person to leave your kids with?
10. The Political Involvement
That’s right—I said political involvement. Local politics matter and the enthusiasm and dedication surrounding both the Democratic Town Committee and the Republican Town Committee are enviable by other towns. There is no better way to raise responsible citizens than to get your young ones involved in campaigns, whether that means knocking on doors for your favorite candidate together or answering their never-ending questions about the lawn signs as you drive throughout town. I joined my dad for canvassing when I was in elementary school, and while the early Halloween candy I received from registered voters was sweet, the lessons pertaining to the importance of government have stuck with me to this day.
And honestly, that is just the beginning of all the wonderful things about this town. I have lived in three other Connecticut towns, as well as in the state of California, and there is a reason that my heart has always led me back to Fairfield: it truly is home.
Have you visited Fairfield? Do you live here? What do you love about it?
Be sure to read all the posts in our Explore Fairfield County Series by clicking here.