15 Best Things to Do in Ridgefield, CT

Ridgefield, CT
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Reserve a couple of days or a full weekend to fully enjoy the things to do and see in Ridgefield.

Owing to its 300-year history, this town in Fairfield County is one of Connecticut’s top attractions.

Ridgefield was established in 1709 in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, with two English colonists as its pioneers.

Much of the town’s 35-square-mile territory is unspoiled, as Ridgefield has remained a farming community over the years.

The town figured prominently in the American Revolutionary War, and its well-preserved relics are a few samplings of Ridgefield’s points of interest.

With New York City just some 60 miles southwest of Ridgefield, the town has become a popular leisure destination for New Yorkers.

Find out more about the town in the following list of the best things to do in Ridgefield, Connecticut!

Tour Weir Farm National Historical Park

Welcome sign of Weir Farm National Historical Park
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Weir Farm National Historical Park is located on Nod Hill Road, and your logical first stop within the 60-acre property is Burlingham House.

Open from May to October, it serves as the park’s visitor center.

The House features an art gallery and a book/souvenir store.

Visitor center of Weir Farm National Historical Park
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Upon request, you can also watch at the visitor center a film about the Weir Farm’s owner—the famous impressionist painter J. Alden Weir.

At the visitor center, you can arrange a guided tour of Weir’s home, where he worked in his studio between 1882 and 1919.

A painting at Weir Farm National Historical Park
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You can also visit Weir Farm National Historical Park’s lush and colorful gardens.

The visitor center provides a map of the trail on the adjacent Weir Preserve.

This out-and-back trail goes 4.3 kilometers extending to the neighboring city of Wilton toward the south.

Interior of a building at Weir Farm National Historical Park
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Visit the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Exterior of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
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A fashion designer and art collector, Larry Aldrich, founded this museum on Main Street.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s exhibits revolve around the works of emerging artists.

It also features thematic group exhibitions and displays significant works of established artists.

Interior of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
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The museum’s galleries were formerly housed in the Ridgefield landmark “Old Hundred Building,” constructed in 1783.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum also features a two-acre sculpture garden.

Explore Seth Low Pierrepont State Park

Seth Low Pierrepont State Park covers 305 acres and is accessible via Barlow Mountain Road, a few minutes from the town center.

A diplomat namesake of the park donated its acreage to Ridgefield in 1956, and the town designated it as a “walk-in” facility with no entrance fee.

Hiking, boating, fishing, and picnics are the activities to be enjoyed at Seth Low Pierrepont State Park.

The park features five blazed trails, including one looping around the south edge of its pond.

This water feature, alternatively called Lake Naraneka and Pierrepont Pond, covers 38 acres and has a launch for non-motorized boating.

Take Glimpses Ridgefield’s Past at Keeler Tavern Museum

History center of Keeler Tavern Museum
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History buffs living in Ridgefield established Keeler Tavern Museum on Main Street in 1966.

The museum building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At one time or another during the 18th century, the building served not only as a tavern but also as a farmhouse, post office, stagecoach stop, and hotel.

The Patriots also used it as their headquarters during the 1777 Battle of Ridgefield.

Much later, in the early 1900s, the building became the residence of a noted architect, Cass Gilbert.

Interior of Keeler Tavern Museum
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Keeler Tavern Museum exhibits items portraying rural life in Connecticut from the early 18th century to the mid-20th century.

Period furnishings grace the museum rooms, where guides in period costumes can answer visitors’ questions.

Outside, visitors can get awestruck by a cannonball lodged on a part of the museum’s outer wall.

They will also enjoy touring the museum grounds’ classic Garden House that Cass Gilbert built in 1915 for his wife, Julia.

At the Garden House, visitors will have an overlooking view of a brick-walled garden with rose arbors and a reflecting pool.

Exterior of the Keeler Tavern Museum
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Enjoy the Outdoors at Woodcock Nature Center

The waters of Woodcock Nature Center
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Straddling the boundary of Ridgefield and the town of Wilton, Woodcock Nature Center features an interpretive center and three miles of woodland trails.

Full-time naturalists man this nature center, which provides a handicapped-accessible boardwalk.

The boardwalk extends to a swamp and scenic trails offering views of Spectacle Brook and vernal pools.

Woodcock Nature Center’s role as a preserve can be appreciated best in its abundance of oak, other trees and plants, and wildlife.

Catch a Concert at Ballard Park

Ballard Park, located on Ridgefield’s Main Street, is famous for outdoor concerts and other special events.

Summer visits to the town promise to be livelier, with twice-a-week musical performances at this venue.

CHIRP (Concert Happenings in Ridgefield’s Parks CHIRP) organizes these concerts featuring bands of various genres.

There’s more to enjoy at Ballard Park besides these concerts.

This five-acre green space provides a playground, well-landscaped gardens, and shade trees.

The park also offers picnic tables, making it ideal for family visits.

Have a Round at Ridgefield Golf Course

Landscape of Ridgefield Golf Course
Don Williams, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Golfers visiting Richfield will have two choices in their chase for pars and birdies in the town.

One of their picks comes in Ridgefield Golf Course, the town’s municipal links, which opened in 1974.

Located on Ridgebury Road, this 18-hole layout was designed by course architects Tom and George Fazio.

The course offers a par 71 challenge over 6,444 yards from its longest tees.

Its course rating is 71.8, while its slope rating is129 set on Ridgefield’s rolling hills.

Players will encounter a more open front nine from tee to green but will find complex features upon hitting the greens.

Third hole of Ridgefield Golf Course
Don Williams, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tees on the back nine demand accuracy and are less forgiving, but their greens ease off in their less undulating surfaces.

Ridgefield Golf Course offers amenities such as a putting green, driving range, rental clubs, and a pro shop.

Playing golf as a guest is also possible at the Silver Spring Country Club’s private course.

Located on Silver Spring Road off West Lane, this 18-hole course plays at par 71 over 6,518 yards from its longest tees.

In addition to its golf facilities, the family-friendly Silver Spring Country Club has facilities for tennis, swimming, dining, and social events.

The grounds of Ridgefield Golf Course
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Applaud a Show at the Ridgefield Playhouse

A band at Ridgefield Playhouse
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National and regional acts are up for audience appreciation at the Ridgefield Playhouse on East Ridge Road.

This local stage is in the old building of Ridgefield High School, which now houses the Richard E. Venus Municipal Center.

The nonprofit theater has been presenting theatrical performances since 1938.

With a 500-person seating capacity, this cultural hub presents not only live music and dance productions.

The Ridgefield Playhouse also offers first-run movies, comedy, arts education, lecture series, and children’s performances.

Hike at Bennett’s Pond State Park

Bennett’s Pond State Park sprawls over 460 acres covering not only Ridgefield but also part of the neighboring city of Danbury to the south.

It’s ideal for hikers and mountain bikers, as the 17-mile Ives Trail Greenway passes through it.

This regional trail network also connects to nearby parks, including the Pine Mountain Reserve.

Bennett’s Pond State Park’s namesake pond covers 56 acres and offers opportunities for fishing.

This Ridgefield recreation area also allows fall archery hunting for deer only; firearms use is prohibited.

Scout Fun Opportunities at the Ridgefield Recreation Center

Exterior of the Ridgefield Recreation Center
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Located on Danbury Road, the Ridgefield Recreation Center is also the Ridgefield Parks & Recreation headquarters.

The agency runs and maintains more than 600 acres of the town’s parks, fields, trails, and recreational facilities.

The Ridgefield Recreation Center is home to various aquatic and wellness facilities.

Besides its fitness center, this recreational hub also boasts a 25-yard lap swimming pool.

It also provides a 2,800-square-foot Spray Bay, a zero-entry aquatic playground suited for all ages.

Tour the Peter Parley Schoolhouse

Exterior of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse
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At this centuries-old schoolhouse, visitors can listen to tour guides’ colorful stories about it.

Also called the Little Red Schoolhouse or the West Lane Schoolhouse, the Peter Parley Schoolhouse traces back to 1756.

Its current, larger building was built during the 19th century and operational until the early 1900s.

On display in the schoolhouse are memorabilia, including children’s period workbooks, desks, and toys.

The Peter Parley Schoolhouse, located on the corner of West Lane and South Salem Road, now also serves as the headquarters of the Ridgefield Historical Society.

The Ridgefield Garden Club, the town’s green-thumb advocate since 1914, maintains the schoolhouse grounds.

Swim at Martin Park Beach

Passes for individuals and families are traditionally available on Martin Park Beach starting from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day in September.

Besides swimming, this beach on Great Pond Road is also great for kayaking and picnics.

Lifeguards are on duty during the beach’s operating hours.

Martin Park Beach’s waters flow from the spring-fed Great Pond, just a short distance to the north, via a short stretch of the Norwalk River.

Fishing is allowed at the Great Pond, where various types of bass, sunnies, bluegills, and eels can be caught.

Support the Prospector Theater

Exterior of the Prospector Theater
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The Prospector Theater is located on Prospect Street and is run by a nonprofit advocating the noble cause of employing folks with disabilities.

It opened in 2014 and now has 250 employees, 75% of whom are identified PWDs.

This theater has four screens allowing its patrons to choose a wide selection of movies.

Besides screening old classics and the latest blockbusters, the Prospector Theater hosts film festivals and competitions.

Its building was once home to the town’s first movie house, the Ridgefield Playhouse.

Explore Ridgefield through The Museum in the Streets

Go on a unique heritage discovery trail via the 30 stations of The Museum in the Streets.

This walking and driving tour will take you to various historical markers across Ridgefield.

One marker sampling can be appreciated on North Salem Road, where a Settler’s Rock Marker is located.

Other markers along The Museum in the Streets include those for the 1777 Battle of Ridgefield, Smith Tavern, Elms Inn and Stebbins Homestead, and the Titicus School.

Watch Local Talents at the Ridgefield Theater Barn

This growing community theater was established in 1965 under the banner of the nonprofit Ridgefield Workshop for the Performing Arts, Inc.

The nonprofit’s stage, the Ridgefield Theater Barn, is located on Halpin Lane.

This rustic, repurposed dairy barn stages four shows each year, with open auditions conducted to choose its performers.

The talents of the series of dramas, comedies, and musicals shown in the Ridgefield Theater Barn are composed of raw talents and seasoned professionals.

The audience in this theater can enjoy its cabaret seating with candlelit tables, and they can bring food and refreshments while watching superior entertainment.

Final Thoughts

There surely is more to discover on the things to do in Ridgefield, Connecticut, given its rich historical heritage and unspoiled locality.

This town won’t disappoint visitors looking for significant points of interest in Fairfield County.

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