15 Best Things to Do in Ridgefield, CT

Ridgefield, CT

I've spent countless seasons nestled in the heart of Fairfield County, soaking up the quintessential charm of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

It's not just a town; it's my home, brimming with rich history, vibrant culture, and an undeniable sense of community spirit.

From the moment I moved here, I was enchanted by the serene landscapes and diverse activities.

It's my pleasure to guide you through the endless opportunities for fun, relaxation, and exploration that await you in my beloved Ridgefield.

Whether you're a lifelong resident or a curious visitor, I promise this journey will be a memorable one.

So, sit back, relax, and explore the 15 best things to do in Ridgefield, Connecticut!

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Step Back in Time at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center

History center of Keeler Tavern Museum
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Every now and then, I like to take a leisurely stroll down Main Street and find myself transported to yesteryears at the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center.

It's like stepping into a time machine, back to the 18th century, where you are greeted by period furnishings and knowledgeable costumed guides.

I remember going there for a wedding once, and it was nothing short of magical.

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

The moment you step into the romantic garden, filled with abundant flowers, you feel like you're part of a fairy tale.

Visits to the museum are not just about weddings; they are educational too.

You can feel the history seeping from the walls, making the stories come alive.

Spend a Night at Ridgefield Theater Barn

Every so often, I find myself craving a touch of culture and live entertainment.

When that happens, I head straight to Ridgefield Theater Barn.

Nestled in the heart of our town, this little gem is a treasure trove of one-act plays and top-quality shows.

Every visit to Ridgefield Theater Barn feels like stepping into a new world.

The theater is charmingly quaint, with an intimate atmosphere that makes each play feel personal and engaging.

Yet, despite its seemingly small size, the venue has grand plans for expansion.

I can't wait to see how it will continue to grow and evolve.

One of the things I adore about the Ridgefield Theater Barn is its cabaret seating arrangement.

You are allowed to bring your own food and drink, which adds a fun and economical aspect to the whole experience.

The thrill of watching a fantastic performance while enjoying a homemade picnic is unparalleled.

Immerse in Nature at Ballard Park

A day spent in Ballard Park always feels like a day well spent.

It's a broad, beautiful haven, a perfect blend of nature and community facilities.

The park is home to a new playground that kids find intriguing with its different ropes and play elements.

Although some might argue that the playground is too innovative, it's sure to engage adventurous little ones.

Taking a stroll around the park is truly a delight.

There's so much more to explore beyond the standard playground.

The flower garden, for instance, adds a touch of beauty that's hard to resist.

It's been lovingly maintained and is a continuous source of inspiration for me.

Just being there, surrounded by the stunning array of flowers, is a tranquil experience.

I've often found myself lost in thought, sitting on one of the many benches scattered around the park, truly savoring the beauty of the surroundings.

The park also boasts several picnic areas, providing the perfect spot for a family day out or a casual get-together with friends.

Have Fun at Ridgefield Playhouse

A band at Ridgefield Playhouse
Pblaszka, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's always a thrill to spend the evening in the heart of my town at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

A gem in our community, this place offers a seamless blend of local and national acts, from musicians to stand-up comedians.

One of the most memorable experiences I had there was when I went to see Melody Gardot perform.

Her voice, coupled with Philippe Powell's mesmerizing piano skills, transported me to a small nightclub in France.

The way Gardot and her band connected with the audience was truly captivating.

Revisit the Town's History at the Ridgefield Historical Society

Every time I visit the Ridgefield Historical Society, I find myself immersed in the captivating 300-year history of our town.

The society is housed in one of the oldest buildings in the area, a beautifully preserved structure that radiates antiquity.

I was surprised at how vast it is on the inside, almost as if it reflects the extensive history it holds within.

The charm of the place is hard to capture in words.

One of the features I highly recommend checking is the vault below.

It's filled with scores of artifacts, each telling a unique story about our town's past.

It's like stepping into a time machine and being transported back to the era of New England British and European settlements.

The society also offers walking tours of the main street in town.

I find it fascinating to stroll down the same streets where our ancestors once walked and to see the historical landmarks they left behind.

Wander Around Ridgefield Parks & Recreation

Most days, you'll find me strolling around Ridgefield Parks & Recreation, soaking up the small-town charm and natural beauty.

The park offers a quaint walking path and a delightful playground, perfect for an early morning jog or a fun day out with the kids.

However, I can't help but miss a small bistro or coffee shop in the park.

A warm cup of joe would be a great accompaniment to the quiet serenity of the park.

Discover Contemporary Art at The Aldrich

Exterior of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Robacols, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every now and then, I love treating myself to a quiet afternoon, indulging in my passion for contemporary art and local culture.

Those days I find myself drawn to the charming Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

Nestled in an 18th-century refurbished building, it offers a fresh perspective on art by showcasing the works of emerging contemporary artists.

The museum has a warm, welcoming environment.

Each visit feels like a new adventure, as the exhibits are regularly updated with innovative pieces.

Interior of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Robacols, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum shop is another highlight.

It's filled with delightful finds, from beautiful art books and unique trinkets to an impressive selection of postcards - ideal for art-inspired keepsakes or gifts.

The Frank Stella’s stars exhibit on the museum grounds never fails to captivate my attention.

It's a breathtaking outdoor spectacle that adds an unexpected charm to the museum.

Explore Hemlock Hills' Hidden Beauty

The cracking of twigs underfoot, the rustling of leaves overhead, and the quiet whisperings of a nearby stream—these are the sounds that accompany me through the meandering trails of Hemlock Hills.

Nestled in the heart of Ridgefield, Connecticut, this forest reserve has been my sanctuary, workout venue, and backdrop to countless adventures.

The trails of Hemlock Hills offer a unique blend of challenges and rewards, perfect for a seasoned hiker like myself or a novice finding their stride.

Each path has its own surprises - from the steep and rocky slopes to the calm, gentle streams.

My dog, a scruffy terrier with boundless energy, joins me on these adventures.

She is particularly fond of the rocky terrains where she can test her agility.

The sight of her scrambling happily up and down the rocks never fails to bring a smile to my face.

One of my favorite trails is the yellow-blazed "Ives" trail.

The trail culminates in a breathtaking panorama of lush valleys, a sight that always leaves me in awe.

The area is stunning around the end of September when the leaves change color, and the landscape transforms into an artful canvas of reds, oranges, and yellows.

Pay a Visit to Martin Park Beach

I can't count the number of times I've visited Martin Park Beach.

It's like a little slice of heaven in our bustling town.

The parking, for instance, is abundant. No need to drive around in circles hunting for a spot.

But what I find most appealing is the cleanliness.

The beach is well-maintained, with clear sand and inviting waters.

If you're planning to go for a swim, though, keep in mind the water does get quite deep.

But not to worry; there are always lifeguards on duty.

See the Wild at Bennetts Pond State Park

The waters of Bennetts Pond State Park
Brianegge, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

When I need a break from the urban bustle, I often retreat to Bennetts Pond State Park, which offers a taste of the wild in our backyard.

But with the wild comes the wilderness.

The park's vastness is captivating, with the trails stretching out invitingly, often around the serene periphery of the lake.

These trails delight hikers looking for a long walk in the heart of nature.

Just a word of caution: navigation can be tricky since some trails aren't clearly marked, and you might find yourself on an unintended extended hike!

The true wilderness experience at Bennetts Pond State Park is not without its share of surprises.

Summer visits, for instance, could be a bit challenging.

Mosquitoes, wasps, and even poison ivy are part of the park's natural ecosystem, so be sure to come armed with bug spray and wear long pants and sturdy shoes.

Go Hiking at Seth Low Pierrepont State Park

The first time I set foot in Seth Low Pierrepont State Park, I was immediately captivated by its lush, green surroundings.

Embarking from the parking lots near Knollwood and Twixt Hill Road, the trails welcomed me into a verdant wonderland that seemed a world away from my own backyard.

The park has a unique charm that sets it apart.:The park's extensive network of trails provides countless hours of exploration.

With several miles waiting to be traversed, your feet will never tire of the rich, diverse terrain.

But be warned: parking can be scarce. So be sure to arrive early to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.

While the park is a hiker's dream, it also serves as a haven for fishermen and boaters.

The lake's crystal-clear waters are a draw for locals and tourists, providing the perfect backdrop for a peaceful day of boating or fishing.

Play a Golf at Ridgefield

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

If I had to pick a favorite pastime, my heart would always lead me back to the lush greens of the Ridgefield Golf Course.

This gem is not only one of the finest public courses around, but it's also my go-to place when I need a break from the hustle and bustle of life.

The Ridgefield Golf Course is consistently well-maintained.

Despite its popularity and heavy usage, the course staff manages to keep the greens in pristine shape.

More than once, I've marveled at their efforts, especially when the fairways shimmer in the golden hue of the setting sun.

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

One particular instance comes to mind when the summer has been unusually dry; I was pleasantly surprised to find the course in great shape.

Although the speed of the greens was inconsistent from one hole to the next, it added a challenging layer to the game that made it even more enjoyable.

What's more, the Ridgefield Golf Course has a congenial atmosphere.

I've met some genuinely nice gentlemen here who've made my golfing experiences all the more memorable.

The camaraderie on the course often extends to the clubhouse, where a cold, delicious beer awaits after a round of golf.

The food is good, and the sunsets are spectacular, making it the perfect way to end the day.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Weir Farm National Historical Park

Welcome sign of Weir Farm National Historical Park
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

If you ever find yourself yearning for a creative escape, the Weir Farm National Historical Park is my well-loved sanctuary.

Tucked away amidst rolling hills and untouched wilderness, the journey to the park is as therapeutic as the place.

Driving through this scenic route, you feel you've been transported to a different era.

The park is teeming with a natural splendor that changes with every season.

In June, the entire place is a vibrant green, offering a visual feast for artists and nature enthusiasts.

Visitor center of Weir Farm National Historical Park
Nancy Kennedy / Shutterstock.com

But the charm of the park isn’t limited to its natural beauty.

Every inch of it brims with history and art, a testament to the renowned painters who have sought inspiration here.

As you step into the studios and the farmhouse, you'd feel like you've walked into a time capsule.

What sets this place apart is the opportunity to be a part of its creative legacy.

The park offers free art supplies for you to paint en plein air.

Sitting on the grass, capturing the essence of the surrounding beauty on a canvas, is an experience like no other.

It's not just about creating art; it's about becoming a part of a historical narrative.

A painting at Weir Farm National Historical Park
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Visit the Woodcock Nature Center

The waters of Woodcock Nature Center
Jllm06, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's something truly magical about immersing yourself in the heart of nature. And that magic comes to life at Woodcock Nature Center.

My first visit there was to participate in a program aimed at exploring the vernal pools and seeking out the local wildlife.

The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. The grounds are a delightful combination of woods and water, offering a scenic view that captivates you instantly.

The nature center is primarily composed of trails, perfect for those who love to wander and explore.

There's also a small but charming playground made from cedar amidst the woods.

Final Thoughts

Ridgefield is not just a town; it's my home.

It's a place that has something for everyone, a community that's warm and welcoming, and a town where history and modernity harmoniously blend.

A day in Ridgefield, Connecticut, is truly a day well spent.

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