Pleasantville's HamletHub Fri, 30 Jul 2021 08:39:37 -0400 Friends of Lasdon Park & Arboretum (FLPA)

Think Spring! On Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 Friends of Lasdon Park & Arboretum (FLPA) will hold their Plant Sale and Garden Show.

FLPA explains, "Every year Friends of Lasdon hosts a wonderful event which has quickly become a favorite among seasoned gardeners and beginners alike. A huge selection is available for every garden."

Throughout the weekend there will be demonstrations and mini-seminars. Learn tips and get valuable information about your gardens and plants.

FLPA says, "This year our Plant Sale will feature a wide variety of hard to find and popular favorite annuals for you to fill your gardens, decks and patios with explosions of color and fragrance! Annuals are easy to plant and care for and will make a perfect solution to boost your home’s curb appeal or make your outdoor spaces more cozy. Most varieties will bloom continuously all season, lighting up your gardens with bold vibrant colors to enjoy."

A complete schedule is posted on the FLPA website.

FLPA Member Preview Night is Friday, May 19.

To learn more, visit the FLPA website here.

Lasdon Park, 2610 Amawalk Road, Route 35. Katonah

]]> (Friends of Lasdon Park) Places Tue, 21 Apr 2020 12:07:00 -0400
58th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show This Weekend!

58th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show

The 58th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show features 185 juried artists from 26 states, Canada, and Israel, including 34 new artists. The show is ranked #2 Fine Art and Design Show in the Nation, based on sales reported by exhibitors to Sunshine Artist, a premiere art and craft show publication. A broad range of art in every medium and price point will be on display, including painting, printmaking, drawing, pastels, mixed mediums, sculpture, photography & digital art, wearable art, and fine crafts. Free personal consultants, trained in fine art and interior design, are available to assist visitors in selecting art that best fits their taste and decor.

“The Armonk Outdoor Art Show is a must-see event every fall for thousands of discerning art lovers from the Hudson Valley and NYC metro area” said Anne Curran, Executive Director of the show. “It’s also a fun experience for the whole family with free activities for kids and collaborative art projects, great food vendors, and beer and wine. So, come for the art and stay for the fun.”

Come for the Art...

The 58th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show continues its long tradition of showcasing well curated and diverse fine art.

Learn about what inspires our 2019 Featured Artists:
Jennifer Ardolino, Michael Patterson, Evan Lorberbaum, Natalya Khorover Aikens and Nnamdi Okonkwo.

Stay for the Fun! 

Free Fun-Filled Activities for All Ages

Art and entertainment for kids ages 1-5 with adult participation
Interactive programs for kids ages 5-12, sponsored by The Harvey Schooland Emerald Tree & Shrub Care Company
And an Engaging Alliance of Arts Organizations:
Food, Craft Beer and Wine – Diverse Vendors and New Additions!
Including: Luke’s Lobster, Captain Lawrence Brewing, Fortina and BBQ by Taylored Menus
General $14.00, Seniors $12.00, 18 and under: Free

Ample free parking on site. Sorry, no dogs allowed.

58th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show
Saturday & Sunday, September 21 & September 22
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Rain or Shine.
205 Business Park Drive, Armonk, NY 10504
Show Benefits North Castle Public Library

Learn more:

]]> (Michael Dardano) Events Fri, 20 Sep 2019 10:10:00 -0400
Westchester County Partners with Family Services To Get Kids in Need Back to School Ready

Annual Program fills 1,200 backpacks with new school supplies for low income Westchester County children

Helping local children start the new academic school year ready to learn, Westchester County partnered with Family Services of Westchester to launch the “Backpacks to School” Program for 2019. Each summer, The Sharing Shelf, a program of Family Services of Westchester, runs a county-wide drive between May and August to raise the funds needed to purchase new school supplies for elementary, middle and high school students. The Sharing Shelf is seeking to raise $35,000 to fill at least 1,250 backpacks with new binders, notebooks, folders, crayons, pencils, pens and paper this year.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “When we think back on our ‘first day of school’ memories from childhood, we probably think about our Mom or Dad dropping us of at school with a new book bag, filled with new school supplies for the year. But for many kids living in Westchester County, a backpack filled with colourful notebooks, a lunch box, pencils and pens, is something they can’t afford. A new backpack stuffed with school supplies can make all the difference, and this program helps us to do just that.”

The Sharing Shelf Program Director Deborah Blatt said: “The Sharing Shelf believes that every child deserves to start the school year prepared and ready to learn. Keeping children in school is one of our goals. We are proud to partner with Westchester County to ensure that so many low income children will walk through the school doors next month with a new backpack and new school supplies. We hope each child will have a smile on their face and confidence in their step, putting them on the path to learning and future success."

Businesses and employees who have already pledged their support for the 2019 backpack drive include Regeneron, Schott, SwissRe, Dechert LLP and the Westchester County Department of Corrections union.

In 2018, the Sharing Shelf distributed over 1,450 backpacks and over 35% were requested by Westchester County’s Department of Social Services. Nearly 60,000 Westchester County children live in low-income homes, and 36% qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Meanwhile, the average family spends $122 on school supplies, a sum that can be out of reach for low-income families and those living below the poverty level in Westchester County.

The backpacks will be distributed before Labor Day to children throughout Westchester County. To find out more about how to help or to donate, please contact The Sharing Shelf Program Director,

Deborah Blatt at or (914) 305-5950. You may also visit

About Family Services of Westchester

Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) is a private, not-for-profit agency serving our community since 1954. Headquartered in Purchase, FSW runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs that reach 30,000 children, teens, adults, and families a year. Programs include adoption and foster care for children; Head Start and Pre-K programs for Westchester’s youngest students; Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other mentoring programs for teens; social support for the elderly; assistance to veterans; and educational and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. We are licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide comprehensive mental health services at seven Family Centers (Hastings-on-Hudson, Mt. Vernon, Pelham, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, and Yonkers) and five school-based mental health clinics. For more information about FSW, visit

]]> (George Latimer, Westchester County Executive) Charities Mon, 05 Aug 2019 09:22:38 -0400
Entergy Screenings Under the Stars Brings Free Outdoor Movie TONIGHT

Entergy Screening Under the Stars TONIGHT "How To Train Your Dragon 3"

This summer, Sharc Creative and Westchester County Parks will showcase a family-friendly movie series on a 50 ft screen at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla. 

Friday, August 2 - HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3

The public arrives a few hours before dusk, blankets are scattered across the lawn, picnics are abundant, and the show lights up the sky. Memories are created.

Admission and parking are free.

Moviegoers should bring blankets, folding chairs and a picnic. Refreshments will also be available for sale. In the event of rain, the movie will be canceled.

Entergy Screenings Under the Stars is presented by Westchester County Parks and Sharc Creative.

Learn more here.

]]> (HH) Todays events Fri, 02 Aug 2019 07:32:48 -0400
Entergy Screenings Under the Stars Brings Free Outdoor Movies to Westchester July 12 and August 2

Entergy Screening Under the Stars Summer of 2019

This summer, Sharc Creative and Westchester County Parks will showcase a family-friendly movie series on a 50 ft screen at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla.

Friday, July 12 - HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3
Friday, August 2 - HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3

The public arrives a few hours before dusk, blankets are scattered across the lawn, picnics are abundant, and the show lights up the sky. Memories are created.

Admission and parking are free.

Moviegoers should bring blankets, folding chairs and a picnic. Refreshments will also be available for sale. In the event of rain, the movie will be canceled.

Entergy Screenings Under the Stars is presented by Westchester County Parks and Sharc Creative.

Learn more here.


]]> (Sharc Creative) Events Thu, 11 Jul 2019 08:24:00 -0400
CHADD Meeting on Monday, April 8: Special Education Is Not Just Academics


CHADD (Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a national non-profit, parent-based organization that offers support and information on AD/HD. Meetings are the 2nd Mon of each month.

Support Session: 6:15 - 7:15 PM - facilitated by our Social Workers

General Meeting: 7:30 PM

  • Topic: "Special Education Is Not Just Academics" Addressing Social-Emotional Well Being
  • Speaker: Michael Gilberg, Esq. -- Special Education/Disability Attorney

A $5.00 Donation is requested of nonmembers. This can be applied toward membership the same evening.

Our new location:

Select Human Services, Inc.

17-19 Marble Ave 

Pleasantville, NY 10570 (Visit us online It is a brick building with 'Select' in the glass window.

Look for our yellow CHADD signs too.

Free Parking after 6 PM:

  • At meters on the street
  • OR in the lot behind the building. Even though there are names on the spaces, they are also available.

4 minute walk from Pleasantville train station, where you can catch a Harlem line train or a Westchester Bee Line bus.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Events Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:38:14 -0400
POSTPONED! Harvey Cavalier Summer Camp OPEN HOUSE is Now Saturday, March 9!

Harvey Cavalier Summer Camp, originally planned for today, Saturday, March 2, has been postponed due to the weather. The Open House will now take place on Saturday, March 9 from10:00 am to 2:00 pm. 

At The Harvey Cavalier Camp, kids design their own camp day. They can choose from more than 50 engaging activities within technology, dance, crafts, athletics, swimming, ice skating, fine arts, and performance. If kids can imagine it, we probably offer it! Create a camp day that works with your family's schedule and summer plans. Full-day programs include lunch, a T-shirt, and a sports bag.

Call today (914-232-0581) to register and learn more Harvey Cavalier Summer Camp.

Visit Harvey Cavalier Summer Camp online here.

Harvey School is located at 260 Jay Street, Katonah.

Harvey Cavalier Summer Camp

]]> (HH) Events Sat, 02 Mar 2019 03:31:00 -0500
25 Prospect Street Comes to Jacob Burns Film Center Tomorrow!

Documentary 25 Prospect Street at Jacob Burns Film Center on February 27

On Wednesday, February 27 beginning at 7pm, 25 Prospect Street will be shown at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY.

25 Prospect Street is a documentary about the Prospector Theater, which is an incredible theater located in Ridgefield, CT which provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities.

The Town of New Castle hopes to follow the model of the Prospector Theater for our Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, working with our Every Person is Connected (EPIC) Committee.

]]> (Town of New Castle) Events Tue, 26 Feb 2019 11:10:00 -0500
Paul Shaffer Announced as Special Guest Performer Thursday Night at Harvey

Bedford’s Paul Shaffer, longtime late-night TV band leader and sidekick for David Letterman, will be a special guest performer this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Harvey Presents: Grace Kelly and Kirsten Maxwell in the Walker Center for the Arts in Katonah.

In what promises to be an outstanding evening of musical entertainment, Shaffer, a singer, composer and musician, will take Harvey’s Lasdon Theater stage in the show headlining two young, rising stars in the music industry.

Grace Kelly, a singer and saxophonist who tours nationally and internationally, has also performed several times in the house band for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” She is a recent winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Kirsten Maxwell, who accompanies herself on guitar, has been compared to Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell. The New York native has opened for several top acts, including Melissa Etheridge. Each young artist will perform as part of a double bill. 

Tickets for Harvey Presents: Grace Kelly and Kirsten Maxwell are $30 for adults and $20 for students.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, visit

]]> (Chris DelCampo) Events Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:12:59 -0500
Pleasantville Blood Donors Will Receive $5 Amazon Gift Card

 Urgent need for blood and platelet donations

Donate by Dec. 19 and receive a $5 Gift Card

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors from Pleasantville to give now to ensure blood is available for medical treatments and emergencies during the holiday season.

Blood and platelet donations often decline during the holidays. Regular donors are busy with holiday activities, and travel and severe winter weather may cause blood drive cancellations. Yet donations remain critical for patients like 4-year-old Wyatt Monacelli who is in the midst of intense chemotherapy treatments for leukemia. He has received a number of transfusions since his diagnosis in June and will likely need more. Locations in and around Pleasantville are:

town date time location address
Greenwich 12/1/2018 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church 1 West Putnam Ave
Greenwich 12/8/2018 8 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Greenwich Public Safety Complex/New Greenwich Police Department 11 Bruce Place
Greenwich 12/12/2018 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Greenwich Town Hall 101 Field Point Road
Stamford 11/30/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Bobby Valentine's Sports Academy 4 Largo Drive S
Stamford 12/8/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tully Health Center 32 Strawberry Hill Court
Stamford 12/15/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. St Cecilia Catholic Church 1184 Newfield Ave.

“We are fortunate to have had so many donors give the gift of life to our child so far throughout the course of his treatment, and even more so, we are lucky to have had a supply of blood available for him when he needed it,” said Julianna Monacelli, Wyatt’s mother.

Donors are urged to give now to ensure that families like Wyatt’s don’t have to worry about the availability of blood this winter. In thanks for helping meet the urgent need around the holidays, all those who come to donate blood or platelets now through Dec. 19, 2018, will receive a $5 Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at

Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Another way to help keep the blood supply strong is to host a Red Cross blood drive this winter. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

]]> (Red Cross) Events Mon, 26 Nov 2018 09:47:25 -0500
IT'S HERE! The 57th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show will take place on September 29 and September 30

The 57th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show will take place on September 29 and September 30 at 205 Business Park Drive in Armonk.

This fine art and fine crafts juried show is sponsored by the Friends of the North Castle Public Library, Inc. Proceeds benefit the North Castle Public Library and its Whippoorwill Hall theater. The Art Show is run by community volunteers. Armonk, part of the Town of North Castle, is located in Westchester County, which has a population of 949,113.

It is 35 miles north of New York City. Nearby communities include Bedford, Chappaqua, Rye, Scarsdale and Greenwich. Fairfield County, CT, which includes Greenwich and Stamford, has a population of 916,829. You can learn more about Armonk by visiting the Town of North Castle, Armonk Chamber of Commerce, and All About Armonk websites.

The Show is 1/4 mile from Exits 3/3S off Route I-684, 10 miles north of I-287 and I-95, 5 miles from the Merritt and Hutchinson Parkways, 20 minutes from the Tappan Zee Bridge (see where we are on the map for traveling directions). Parking is free and within walking distance. Food is available for purchase at the Show.

If you would like to become an Art Show volunteer, please let us know. For more information about the Art Show, e-mail us at

]]> (Armonk Outdoor Art Show) Events Sat, 29 Sep 2018 06:55:00 -0400
Enjoy a cold one, Pleasantville!

TGIF and raise your glass because today, Friday, September 28, is National Drink A Beer Day!

A recent report by 247WallStreet indicates that beer drinking among Connecticut residents has dwindled as of late. Come on Connecticut! We’re ranked #49 of #50 for beer drinking, consuming 20.7 gallons of beer annually. That might seem like a lot, but not in comparison to New Hampshire which placed first by consuming 40.6 gallons of beer annually!

In the past decade, local breweries have been popping up all over Connecticut and around Pleasantville. The State of Connecticut coined the phrase  “The Connecticut Beer Trail” to highlight the many beer destinations. According to Connecticut Brewers Guild, promoters of Connecticut breweries, as of September 2018, there are 80 operational breweries (with many more on the horizon).

Here is a list of local breweries near Pleasantville that you can check out:

Name Location Phone Website
Half Full Brewery 43 Homestead Ave, Stamford, CT 06902-7204 (203) 274-8788
Lock City Brewing 54 Research Dr, Stamford, CT 06906-1428 (203) 313-6454

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

Enjoy a cold one while taking in the magnificent colors of fall in New England. Of course, safety first - before hitting the trail (beer trail) name a designated driver.

For more information check out Connecticut Breweries here.

]]> (National Drink a Beer Day) Neighbors Fri, 28 Sep 2018 12:52:52 -0400
It’s Autumn in Pleasantville! Time to Get Lost!

Get lost in the beauty of the season! Strolling (or running, skipping, walking) through a corn maze is one of the adventures of fall (and it’s perfect for all ages!) Lucky for us, Connecticut is home to several corn mazes that boast beauty, art, and creativity!

According to Corn Mazes America, the first modern corn maze was created in the early 1990s in the United States. By 1998 there were between 50-100  and a decade later, 2008, it’s estimated that there were over 800 corn mazes in the United States! We did some searching but could not find the exact number of corn mazes that exist in American today, but safe to say, the number exceeds one thousand! 

Below please find the Maze or Mazes within forty miles of Pleasantville.  

Place Town Address Phone
Plasko's Farm Trumbull 670 Daniels Farm Road 203-268-2716
Castle Hill Farm Newtown 25 Sugar Lane 203-426-5487
Jones Family Farm's Pumpkinseed Hill Shelton 120 Beardsley Road 203-929-8425
Benedict's Home and Garden Monroe 480 Purdy Hill Road 203-268-2537

Most corn mazes are open on weekends, but we recommend calling ahead of time or checking the Farm’s website for exact dates and times of operation. In addition to the joys of getting lost in the cornstalks, many of the farms offer fun fall activities including hayrides and pumpkin picking.


]]> (Laurie Gibbons) Events Thu, 27 Sep 2018 06:57:25 -0400
10 Things Pleasantville Residents Can Do in Connecticut This Fall (No Pressure)

Remember in years past when everyone feared missing out on summer - that mythical, shimmering, relaxed yet activity-packed, summery summer? That era is over; summer has lost its FOMO-inducing glow. Fall has taken over.

Now, I love fall. (Except for the part where I turn a year older and the other part where I have to rake my lawn.) But lately, fall - or rather, the hype surrounding it - has gotten out of hand. These days, we can't just appreciate the foliage and buy a new sweater, we have to hoard sickly-sweet orange candles, expertly style a nursery full of mums on our front steps, sprinkle everything with pumpkin spice (which, come on people, is nutmeg and cinnamon, doesn't that sound a thousand times more appetizing anyway?), and go apple-picking in leather boots even though it's still 75 degrees out. And that's before we even get to Halloween, and the whole thing really goes into full faux-spider-web-covered overdrive. (It is interesting that Thanksgiving doesn't factor into the autumnal craziness too much; could it be because the holiday has mostly resisted commercialization?) The Fall Industrial Complex is real, and the pressure is intense.

And in Connecticut, the seasonal mania is especially strong, because while summer weather lasts for three months or more in a good year, fall weather - that perfect, crisp-but-not-cold, sunny, leaf-saturated, booties and scarf weather - lasts about two weeks. (Unless we get one bad storm in September or early October and skip straight from summer to snow.) Fall is limited edition, and limited edition products always come with especially frenzied promotion.

This year, the fall craziness began weeks ago, weather and the calendar date be damned, but now it's picking up the pace as a few signs of actual autumn have appeared. It's getting cooler overnight, pumpkins have started popping up at farm stands, and last week, in Litchfield County, I saw not only some orange-tinged branches but an entire grove of bright red trees.

So I thought I'd write a list. These fall suggestions, all of which I have done recently or hope to do soon, are ways to take advantage of the season without losing your mind over it. In other words, you could put on a $150 flannel shirt and Instagram these activities while jumping in a leaf pile, but you don't have to.

Eat all the apples.

I'm probably not going to be picking apples this year (and I'm definitely not going to be doing it while dressed like a fashion blogger) but I will certainly stop by some farm stores and grab some local apples and cider. (In fact, I already have the apples, from Scott's Yankee Farmer in East Lyme. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has a listing of farm stores and stands by county.

Check a farm winery off the list.

I love visiting Connecticut wineries, both because they tend to be gorgeous and because, well, they have wine. And ever since first I stopped at the adorable farm market at Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry, I've wanted to try their wines. Unlike most local wineries, Holmberg produces mostly fruit wines and ciders. I've never gotten into these - I've always been strictly a red wine person - but if I'm ever going to like them, it will be on a pretty Connecticut farm in the fall. They're open for tastings Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. through October.

Hike amongst the leaves.

I have a long list of Connecticut attractions I intend to get to someday, and not a few of them are hikes. Two in particular have been on the list for years and, more to the point, seem like particularly good bets for capturing fall foliage. (Because as much as I hate the whole leaf-peeping thing, I can't stop myself from trying to get some good leaf pics each year.) They are Mount Tom State Park in Litchfield, and Mohawk Mountain State Park in Cornwall and Goshen. Both involve towers. Hopefully I'll get to one; maybe I'll manage to get to both. But even if I have to stick to parks closer to me, I'm sure I'll spend at least a little time this fall in the colorful outdoors.

Go to a country fair or festival.

Growing up in Westport, fall was synonymous with the Apple Festival, which brought decadent food, crafts, student dance recitals, and campaigning politicians together in our local high school. The Apple Fest, as we called it, is no more, but other fall fairs and festivals live on elsewhere throughout the state. If you've never been to a traditional agricultural fair, the kind with animal barns, rides, tractor pulls, and fried dough, this is a must. Most of Connecticut's fairs end in late summer, but three take place in the fall: the Harwinton Fair, October 5, 6 & 7 and the Portland Fair, also October 6, 7, and 8. There are also festivals all over Connecticut, with themes ranging from apples to pumpkins to oysters to foliage to...well, just search for one near you, or by date, on

Browse in a garden store.

I plan to go to to one or two of Connecticut's awesome garden stores (garden centers? nurseries? you know, the ones that aren't just a place to buy mulch and bulbs, but an experience) to take in the atmosphere and gaze at all the seasonal plants and gifts. I'm fond of Smith's Acres, but one of my other favorites, Salem Herbfarm, closed two years ago, so maybe this year I'll find a new favorite. (Any suggestions? Comment below!)

Get the beach to yourself.

Though summer is my favorite season, summer's favorite activity is my favorite activity to do in the fall. I avoid beaches as much as possible between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but as soon as they're FREE, nearly deserted, and neither too sticky nor too cold, I'm back. This fall, I'm sure I'll hit some favorites close to home, like Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Ocean Beach Park in New London, and Waterford Beach Park. But I'd also like to go back to Cove Island Park if I'm in the Stamford area, and maybe discover some new beaches, if there are any I haven't found yet.

Sneak in some day or weekend trips.

I know, I know, this isn't a something to do in Connecticut. But if you live here, this is the season to take advantage of living in a wonderful place that's also very close to many other wonderful places which happen to be crowded in summer and freezing (or nearly shut down) in winter. Among the places I'd like to return to are Long Island's east end, just a ferry ride away from New London; some Hudson Valley towns like Saugerties and Catskill; Providence; and Block Island. Some I haven't been to yet that I hope I can squeeze in are Boston's Harbor Islands; City Island, NY; and perhaps some new-to-me small towns in New Hampshire or Maine.

Stroll around some downtowns.

This is as simple as it gets, but Connecticut is packed with extremely pretty towns and historic cities that really come to life when you take the time to explore them on foot. And there's something special about walking around a town green or along an old-fashioned Main Street when it's cool enough to order a warm drink, but not too cold to consume it outside. I hope I have time to add some more City Walks and Town Center Strolls to the blog this season. I'd like to get back to Pawcatuck, New Milford, and Hartford, among many others.

Wander through a historic cemetery.

For some reason, I usually find myself in old cemeteries in summer, sweating and fighting off mosquitoes, or in winter, unable to read headstones covered in snow. (See: my trips to the Old Norwichtown Cemetery in Norwich and Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.) But autumn is a far superior time to lose yourself in the details of the dead. It's a way to get that Halloween-y vibe without having to make a costume or go to a party with dry ice in the punch. Plus, weather-wise, fall is a much more comfortable time to go searching for notable graves in venerable little burial grounds or exploring some of the larger, park-like cemeteries built as serene public spaces for the living as well as final resting places for the deceased. Some particularly haunting options (among many) are Griswold's Kinne Cemetery, Bridgeport's Mountain Grove Cemetery, and Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground, but often, in New England especially, the best cemetery is the one you discover unintentionally by the side of the road.

Stretch out your summer.

Labor Day, the start of the school year, and the crickets chirping might make you feel like summer is over and gone. But many seasonal businesses stay open well into October - and sometimes beyond - and lots of stereotypically "summer" activities are just as enjoyable in the fall. Many of Connecticut's ice cream stands, for instance, keep serving frozen treats past whatever date you might imagine is your last chance to indulge. Lobster shacks, too, usually stay open, if with limited hours, into the fall. Captain Scott's Lobster Deck and Fred's Shanty in New London and Abbott's and Ford's in Noank stay open into October. Farmers' Markets get the most attention when their tables are overflowing with summer berries, but in addition to the larger markets that are open (usually indoors) year-round, regular smaller markets often extend their season into the fall. The Department of Agriculture provides a list of markets with dates, and there's almost certainly one open in September or October near wherever you may be going. Recently I got into a conversation about picnics, and realized they're also a summer staple that doesn't have to end in August. For a classy picnic option, grab some food at the Marketplace at Guilford Food Center in Guilford and eat on a bench on the town green. For an old-fashioned, rustic experience, get lunch at Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre and eat at Wethersfield Cove. And for cheesy fun and a huge variety of food choices, shop at Stew Leonard's in Norwalk, Danbury, or Newington. Outdoor eating options for those towns include two spots that have been on my Connecticut to-do list for years, Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, and Tarrywile Park in Danbury. As for Newington, any excuse to go to the park with America's smallest natural waterfall, right?

Johnna Kaplan is a freelance writer and editor living in New London. You can find her on Twitter @johnnamaurie, on Instagram @johnnakaplan, and on her website, This post was originally published at The Size of Connecticut.

Photo by Johnna Kaplan


]]> (Johanna Kaplan) Life Tue, 25 Sep 2018 09:57:31 -0400
Blood Emergency!! Summer Blood Drive in Pleasantville on August 8

While it is not unusual for the blood donations and supplies to decrease towards the end of summer, this year a state-wide blood emergency was declared on June 11th and is still in effect. In this situation, shortages have to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis. If the need for blood were to spike due to any reason, lives could be lost if supplies are not on the shelf and blood needs to be shipped in from other areas. Those potentially affected include accident and burn victims, cancer patients, premature babies, women with complications of labor and delivery, etc.

If you haven’t already donated this summer, the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department and the Pleasantville Volunteer Ambulance Corps will be hosting a Summer Blood Drive at the Pleasantville Fire House, 75 Washington Ave, on Wednesday, August 8 from 2:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Since it is also difficult to organize community drives during the summer, blood donors from all towns are welcome to come to lend their help.

For questions regarding eligibility (travel, medications, last donation, etc): call (800) 688-0900. To sign up: on-line at or call (800) 933-2566. Although it is helpful to let the organizers know in advance that you plan to come, walk-ins are always accepted.

Direct access to online registration:

]]> (Angela Usobiaga) Charities Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:25:45 -0400