When my friends in New York come to visit, we often look for interesting things to do that will interest both my kids and us adults. Last year that quest led us to Weir Farm, a National Historic Site located in Branchville, Connecticut. We hiked and then did pastel drawings with supplies provided by the farm. Recently we recently headed back for another day at this picturesque spot.
We started by hiking around the pond, over the tiny waterfall and around the grounds of Weir Farm. The hour-long hike through the woods was easy to take at a relaxed pace and allowed for plenty of picture opportunities. It’s important that you wear appropriate foot gear though — our sneakers were just right for climbing over rocks and ensuring we were all safe along the trail. Sandals or shoes with inadequate treads wouldn’t fare as well.
On the day we recently went, we learned at the visitor’s center that it was a painting day and watercolors were being set our for visitors to use. Also, there were two opportunities for kids to earn Junior Park Ranger badges. We opted for the later, choosing a Letterboxing activity.
Two hours later. Yes, two hours. The kids earned those badges with hard work and carried them away proudly. The activity took us all over the grounds to explore, learning the whole way. Among the highlights: a secret garden of sorts. By the end, we were starved so we opted to leave and skip the watercolors.
If You Go
Don’t repeat our mistake: head to the visitor’s center first! The park ranger can fill you in about things happening at Weir Farm that day which sometimes include watercolor painting (yes, you can join in!), talks and more. If you have young kids, they can also choose from two Junior Park Ranger activities that, if completed, will earn them a Junior Park Ranger badge. You’ll definitely want to pick up the activities first though so that you can complete them while walking or hiking.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.