“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 it has a lot to offer families! To help you get the most out of Fairfield County, our contributors have shared what they love about each local area. To read more in this series, click here.”
As a resident and mom in Northern Fairfield County, I have enjoyed exploring local towns with my family. Newtown is one of my favorites. It is a wonderful town to visit or call home, from its iconic and stately flagpole to its many restaurants, stores, and family destinations. Located in Northeastern Fairfield County, Newtown is a scenic country town with big farms, sprawling suburbs, convenient shopping, and happy residents. This town is friendly and large, yet cozy, and it is an easy drive to Stamford, Hartford, or New York City. It was beyond difficult to be concise when exploring Newtown. There are so many great options for residents and visitors alike. Here are (more than) a few of my favorite things about Newtown.
The Great Outdoors
My children ask to go to the “park with the lion king rock” or Dickinson Memorial Park, as most would call it. All ages and stages of children will love the Dickinson Park campus. Remodeled in 2014, the playground now features slides, oversized musical instruments, tunnels, and a zip line. The park offers a skateboarding area, five tennis courts, a gaga ball pit, a basketball court, and a playground. An inclusive playground was added in the summer of 2022. The park now has three new pieces of wheelchair-accessible equipment: a glider, merry-go-round, and wheelchair swing. All have ride-on access, so no transfer from a wheelchair is required.
The second largest lake in Connecticut provides a beautiful backdrop for Newtown. Lake Lillinoah Park is located at the end of Hanover Road and offers people a place to picnic and grill. Please note there is no swimming at this location, just a boat launch.
Newtown residents can enjoy Treadway’s public pool and Lake Zoar in the summer through a parks and recreation pass. There are small quantities of non-member passes available for purchase each year.
Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve is an 86 acre parcel is situated on the southerly side of Great Hill Road and was donated to Newtown Forest Association in 1997 through the estate of Josephine Holcombe. The property boasts an elevation of 830 feet above sea level, it is the highest point in town, and affords spectacular views of three counties from the 30 acres of hay fields on the property.
We enjoy visiting the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary hiking trails, tossing stones in the brook, and running through fields. The sanctuary honors six-year-old Catherine’s memory, a kind and compassionate animal lover who lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. To continue her crusade of compassion, the CVH Animal Sanctuary was created in Newtown. It’s where all creatures will know they are safe and people are kind. The sanctuary is host to many family events throughout the year.
I stumbled upon Castle Hill Farm as a location for our twins’ first birthday party. It was a “little pumpkin” theme in October, and guests enjoyed farm animals, pumpkin picking, and a hayride. Since then (2017), we’ve returned for fun autumn activities, sing-alongs with Music Together, and cut down our Christmas tree at the farm.
We have had a family membership to Everwonder Children’s Museum since 2018, and until my twins started preschool, we made a weekly trip to the museum. Our favorite day to attend was Tuesday or Thursday to catch Mrs. Fagan’s story lab. It doesn’t matter how often we go; each visit is like a brand-new experience. My children love to explore each exhibit and check in on the museum’s reptile and furry inhabitants. Everwonder directors Meredith and Robyn always take the time to chat with us, take out an animal and share scientific tidbits about new exhibits.
Edmonton Town Hall offers movies and live entertainment. They often have free movie weekends, and the theater and event spaces at the hall can be rented for parties.
Newtown Salt Spa is the perfect place to unwind either solo or in a Mommy and Me session. My children had a blast in the salt with the toys provided.
Fairfield Hills Campus
The Town of Newtown owns the Fairfield Hills campus. Campus redevelopment is ongoing and offers opportunities for private and municipal uses. The location, immediately off Exit 11 of I-84 between CT Routes 25 and 34, provides easy access for businesses and residents alike.
The campus is home to town offices, the community center, the brewery listed below, ball fields, and plenty of wide-open spaces and sidewalks for children to ride bikes and play.
Whether you are looking for a family meal or a date night out, Newtown has you fully covered. Family favorites are the Blue Colony Diner, Lions Bleeker Street Pizza, Toro, Sal e Pepe, Bagel Delight, Cover Two, My Place, Uncle Matt’s Bakery, and Foundry Kitchen and Tavern.
Set right on Newtown’s picturesque Main Street is Marygold’s on Main and Good Old Days Pizza. Marigold’s offers brunch, lunch, and dinner, along with special events like tea and champagne brunches, and has the most beautiful spaces for special events like showers and weddings. Good Old Days serves square and thin and crispy pies, but my favorite is the veggie pizza roll with locally sourced veggies.
Ferris Acres Creamery is a favorite summer (and spring and fall) treat. We love to sit at the picnic tables and watch cows meander around the nearby fields or grab to-go quarts to have in our freezer. Another frozen favorite is Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop.
Treats can be good for you, too, as Boost Bowls have proved. Boost Bowls can fall into any category, but I put them in treat because their bowls are beautiful and delicious, and kid-approved. Boost also has a large selection of smoothies and a line of juice cleanses. They offer salads, sandwiches, toast, and wraps that make for great lunch or dinner choices. Their Newtown location (there is a Bethel and Southbury location) is brightly colored, and a fun stop-in with the kids or a solo treat for moms!
Aquila’s Nest is my favorite Newtown destination. No matter how often I visit, each time is a unique experience. I thoroughly enjoy the vineyard’s rosé and wine slushes. The versatility of Aquila’s Nest makes it the perfect destination for any event. Each week there is a new schedule of events, food trucks, live music, and activities held at the vineyard.
From days out to nights out, date nights, family time, visiting with one friend to a group of twenty, Aquila’s can host it all, and it is pet-friendly, so don’t forget your four-legged friends.
Not a wine drinker? Not a problem in Newtown, which is home to two breweries. NewSylum and Reverie Brewing Company are both fun options for beer drinkers. NewSylum has a food menu with made-from-scratch pizzas, Bavarian pretzels, locally made cheese, mini charcuterie boxes, and wine options. Curbside pickup is available at Reverie for those who enjoy their beer at home.
Cocktails anyone? Fresh to Newtown is Perfusion Bar, serving craft cocktails and expresso.
BD Provisions is a local low/zero waste shopping experience. They stock bulk food, coffee, cleaning supplies, and health and beauty items. I love buying items with no packaging. The mini animal crackers are my kid’s favorites!
The freshest and most delicious pasta and many other Italian specialties at Villarina’s can be found. I always do a pickup of fresh ravioli before holiday dinners.
Health and Fitness
The Newtown Community Center is a multi-generational hub that enhances the community by promoting social interaction, health and wellness, creative opportunities, and personal growth. For a monthly membership fee, you can enjoy access to indoor pools. They host family-friendly activities, and rental rooms are available.
Boost Cycle is an indoor cycling experience with high energy, great music, and a super satisfying full-body workout. You won’t regret trying this studio!
Balanced Pilates and Barre Studio is a friendly and encouraging environment where every client receives individualized attention. Their instructors can give modifications and variations for each exercise to ensure a safe and effective workout for people with any fitness level, physical limitations, or conditions.