Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Go for a Hike
- Take Another Hike
- Bruce Museum
- Bruce Park
- Greenwich Audubon Center
- Greenwich Point Park / Tod's Point Beach
- Great Captain Island
- Greenwich Avenue Shopping
- Greenwich Polo Club
- Chelsea Piers
- Greenwich Historical Society Bush–Holley House
- Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk
- Spas in Connecticut
- The Bruce Museum Seaside Center
- More to see
- Where to Stay
- Where to Eat in Greenwich
Greenwich Connecticut is close enough to New York City that it is on a commuter rail line, but far enough away that New Yorkers can spend a weekend here to escape the city. And for families, the town offers a wealth of activities. Here are some of the fun things to do in Greenwich, CT with kids.
The writer was hosted by the Delamar Greenwich Harbor hotel. Opinions expressed are her own.
Since the start of the pandemic, short road trips have become more popular. And now, with gas prices surging, staying close to home is an even better idea. So New Yorkers looking for a family weekend away, should head to Greenwich.
Greenwich is more than a town filled with hedge fund managers. It has a thriving arts community and many free and low cost activities.
Just over the New York state border from Westchester County, Greenwich, Connecticut is also easy to get to by public transportation. It has three stops on MetroNorth, so New Yorkers without cars can get here in about an hour from the middle of Manhattan. And if you’re from further away, Greenwich can be home base for day trips to NYC. But don’t forgot to add to your itinerary all the fun things to do in Greenwich, CT with kids.
Go for a Hike
Montgomery Pinetum in Cos Cob has miles of trails. Some hiking trails are paved, so you can use a stroller. Be sure to look for the stone hut and remains of a stone building.
The Greenwich Botanical Center, on the grounds of the Montgomery Pinetum, has low cost family events. Parking and admission to the Pinetum and Botanical Center are free.
TravelingMom Tip: There is no food for sale so bring your own snacks or lunch and drinks.
Take Another Hike
The Babcock Preserve has a 4.1 mile loop trail that allows dogs and horseback riding. Be careful where you step! [don’t worry – horseback trails are separate from hiking trails]. You will see wetlands, forests and wildlife.
Babcock Preserve has a picnic area at the entrance. You can hike to a waterfall and look for river otters, rabbits and horned owls, along with ancient trees and wildflowers.
This art, natural history and science museum has been undergoing a huge renovation, with more than double the old gallery space. For the first time, the Bruce Museum will have a sculpture gallery.
The main floor art galleries will always be free and the Bruce will also finally have a restaurant. The Bruce’s permanent collections include mineral and rocks, fossils, gowns from the 1830s to present, decorative arts and American and European paintings and sculptures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
TravelingMom Tip: The Bruce Museum offers free admission on Tuesdays.
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This park, adjacent to the Bruce Museum, has a huge playground. There are walking trails. This is also the place to ride bicycles.
Greenwich Audubon Center
Greenwich Audubon Center, part of Audubon Connecticut, has seven miles of hiking trails. The center is a great place for bird watching and has a fall festival to watch migrating birds.
The interactive Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center in the Kimberlin Nature Education Center reopened after my Greenwich trip. The green Education Center uses recycled materials and geothermal heating and cooling. The learning center has natural history exhibits, a puppet theater, story corner, live animals and a wildlife observation window.
TravelingMom Tip: Pick up a Letterbox Activity Sheet to find the hidden boxes on the trails.
Greenwich Point Park / Tod’s Point Beach
Greenwich Point Park, also known as Tod’s Point Beach, has a large white sand beach and walking trails through a forest. On a clear day, you can see the Manhattan skyline. The beach is also a path for migratory birds.
Tod’s Point Beach, in Old Greenwich, is open to everyone from November – April only. Non-residents can buy day tickets from May- October.
TravelingMom Tip: Make friends with a resident, who can bring you in to Tod’s Beach during the season.
Great Captain Island
You have to take a ferry to this island beach, which is part of the fun. Ferries run seasonally, from the Arch Street Ferry Dock, and you need to buy both a ferry ticket and park pass to visit.
Great Captain Island is more than just a beach. There is a 911 Memorial, a bird sanctuary and a historic lighthouse built in 1868. You might see nesting egrets and herons and an osprey nesting platform.
TravelingMom Tip: Bring binoculars.
Greenwich Avenue Shopping
Depending on the age of your kids, this can be a highlight. Greenwich Avenue shopping runs the gamut from the Funky Monkey toy store to designer bags on the (not very) cheap at The RealReal consignment shop. What does it say about my life choices that even heavily discounted, I still could not afford one of the handbags sold here on consignment?
Other store include an Apple store, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermès, (don’t even ask about those prices) Sephora and Lululemon. When my girls were teens, this strip would have been their jam. There’s also a Tesla showroom.
Historic buildings on Greenwich Avenue include the Beaux Arts Town Hall, built in 1905, and the RH Greenwich – The Gallery at the Historic Post Office. Even if you aren’t shopping for home furnishings, check out the 1917 neoclassical building, which has a courtyard, second story conservatory and rooftop garden.
Greenwich Polo Club
At the Greenwich Polo Club you will realize that you are not in Kansas anymore, or Manhattan. Go on a Sunday to see one of the public matches. Matches start at 3pm, but go early to walk around. The Sunday matches start in June and are on most Sundays through September.
For families, get the least expensive east lawn seating. Bring a blanket or low chairs and a picnic lunch. There is also food for sale, including from a food truck.
TravelingMom Tip: Bring a hat and sunscreen! There is no shade.
Chelsea Piers in Stamford, like the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, offers a variety of drop-in sessions for kids and adults. There are pools with big slides, rock climbing with ropes and a giant trampoline. There is also n indoor gym for little kids, ages six months to five years.
TravelingMom Tip: Reserve in advance; although there are walk-in slots, they are limited and you don’t want to disappoint your kids or your husband.
Greenwich Historical Society Bush–Holley House
This National Historic Landmark and historic house museum in Cos Cob dates to 1728. Children (and adults) might be surprised to learn that one of the early owners was also a slaveowner. You can only see the Bush-Holley House by guided tour, Wednesdays through Sundays.
The Bush-Holley House served as a center of the Cos Cob Art Colony. There are beautiful gardens to explore. And in warm weather, the Music on the Great Lawn concert series is ideal for a family picnic. There is live music from 6:30 – 8pm and you can bring your own food.
TravelingMom Tip: The Bush-Holley House has free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.
Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk
Just a short drive from the town of Greenwich, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk can take a full day to see everything. You can see meerkats, Long Island Sound otters, sharks and jellyfish. There is a shark and ray touch pool and an interactive discovery zone for young kids. Be sure to see the seal feeding demo, which takes place throughout the day.
Marine Life Encounter Cruises are two hour and a half boat trips on the Long Island Sound. You have to be at least 42 inches tall to take the tour, and the boats are not handicapped accessible. If you don’t have enough time, you can experience the marine wildlife in the 4D theater.
TravelingMom Tip: Avoid parking fees and traffic; take the MetroNorth the short ride to Norwalk and walk a few minutes to the aquarium. Children under five are free; kids from ages five to 11 pay $1.
Spas in Connecticut
The Delamar Greenwich Harbor has a full array of massages, facials and body care, plus a nail salon. If you stay at the hotel, one parent can watch the kids while the other gets a relaxing treatment. I got a massage and was thrilled with how quiet and relaxing the spa was. Often at NYC salons, a white noise machine can’t quite block the bustle of the city. Here, it was quiet and soothing. H House spa offers CBD massage therapy in addition to more traditional treatments. Chelsea Piers also offers massages.
The Bruce Museum Seaside Center
This offshoot of the Bruce Museum is in Greenwich Point Park. It is open seasonally, from late June to early September.
The Seaside Center focuses on nature and is housed in a lovely Queen Anne-style building.
More to see
The historic site, Putnam Cottage, on the old the Boston Post Road, was known as Knapp’s Tavern. Knapp’s Tavern housed General Putnam and hosted General Washington during the Revolutionary War. And in summer, Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich has an annual series of free Movies in the Park in Binney Park.
Where to Stay
I spent two nights at the Delamar Hotel, where we borrowed the free bicycles and rode around Bruce Park and Greenwich Avenue. The hotel offers free parking, an electric vehicle charging station and has a Tesla that will take you within a three miler radius for free (though Tesla’s have self-driving capabilities, this one will be driven by a hotel employee).
In warmer weather, the hotel offers cruises on the Long Island sound on its electric motorboat or its historic steamboat, the oldest working ship in the country.
The hotel has broad family appeal. It loans out board games for all ages, lights a fire pit in the evenings outside and has live music Friday evenings. And of course the daily continental breakfast has enough food to set you on your way each day. There is yogurt, whole fresh fruit, pastries, juice and granola bars. And the coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the library are available all day.
You can walk from the hotel to Bruce Park and the Bruce Museum, Greenwich Avenue restaurants and the train station.
The Delamar is also dog friendly. We even saw a well behaved pup eating inside the hotel’s destination restaurant, l’Escale.
Where to Eat in Greenwich
Greenwich Avenue has many casual (though not inexpensive) places to eat. We had lunch at Meli-Melo Creperie where the toddler next to us had a full blown tantrum and the staff gamely tried to cheer him up.
We had a tears free meal, with homemade soup (every day there are at least a dozen choices, with many vegetarian) and a delicious buckwheat crepe with roasted onions, goat cheese, olives, capers and roasted tomatoes.