17 Best Things To Do In New Canaan, CT

This list of the best things to do in New Canaan, CT is long over due!

Now that we’ve been living here for close to seven years, we’ve hit every one of these spots and all of them are first rate!

One of the charming homes along South Street in New Canaan.

The Best Things To Do In New Canaan, CT

If you’re not already familiar, New Canaan is located in Fairfield County, CT, United States.

New Canaan is a quaint little Connecticut town, right off the Merritt Parkway, just an hour’s drive away from New York City.

We moved here roughly seven years ago from nearby Westchester County, New York.

Philip Johnson Glass House
The Philip Johnson Glass House museum during the Yayoi Kusama installation.

A Great Weekend Getaway

Surrounded by untouched nature preserves and historical landmarks in scenic New England – New Canaan, Connecticut is the perfect weekend getaway.

Nature lovers, or anyone needing a break from the city will enjoy this charming small town. 

Here are 17 fun activities to do during your trip to New Canaan, Connecticut:

Goat found in park in New Canaan
One if the goats from Irwin Park.

Nature preserves and parks

New Canaan Nature CenterWith 40 acres of untouched land, you’ll find a beautiful botanical garden, nature preserve, and greenhouse.

The nature center offers guided tours and programs where you can learn more about the natural sciences.

They even host birthday parties!

Browne Wildlife SanctuaryA short walking trail, the perfect place for those interested in the town’s ecology. 

Irwin parkOne of the newest parks in New Canaan, with picturesque walking trails and modern sculptures. 

There’s even a family of goats living there (which you can feed) in a fenced off outdoor space.

Mill Pond Park: If you happen to be around during the winter, Mill Pond Park is one of the best places to go ice skating. 

New Canaan Land TrustA prime hiking destination with several guided excursions and trails available. 

Perfect for the nature lover.

Bristow Bird SanctuaryCalling all bird watchers! Discover at least 100 different bird species in this 100-year-old

park.

Olive and George Lee Memorial Garden: This quiet gem of a botanical garden is hidden away on a residential street.

Be sure to visit during Azaela season when the whole garden really shines.

side of Waveny Mansion
Side of Waveny House at Waveny Park.

Historical landmarks and culture centers

New Canaan Historical Society: Learn more about the town’s fascinating history and stories from the locals themselves. 

Check the Society’s calendar as they offer several educational programs and family activities throughout the year.

Don’t miss the Tool Museum for a fun family event.

Waveny ParkA great park for large events, Waveny is home to a Tudor-style brick mansion (Waveny House) on 300 acres of beautiful gardens, woods and open area fields. 

This is also the best place for family fun, picnic areas and walking / nature trails.

You might even catch some live music on the great lawn. For the dog lovers, Waveny is also home to Spencer’s Run dog park.

Grace Farms: A center that celebrates the beauty of nature, community, and the arts with peaceful walking trails and an impressive amphitheater.

Don’t miss the coffee shop within this incredible architectural structure designed to look like a flowing river.

Summer Theater of New CanaanIf you happen to be in town for the summer theater program, be sure to catch one of their fun shows!

Inside Grace Farms New Canaan
Grace Farms via Most Lovely Things.

Art tours and galleries 

The Philip Johnson Glasshouse: Also known simply as the Glass House, is a mid-century historic house museum ideal for architectural enthusiasts and modern art lovers alike.

There are several important collections of contemporary art housed in the various buildings on the grounds. 

Be sure to book ahead for tickets.

Also, you’ll need to park your car or meet up at the visitor center and take a small tour van onto the grounds.

Silvermine Arts Center: With five galleries and an art school, the Art Center hosts weekly art classes and exhibitions all year. 

Carriage Barn Arts Center: A gorgeous 19th Century barn, where local artists and performers come together to exhibit their creations.

 

downtown new canaan ct
Downtown New Canaan.

Live like a local

Downtown New Canaan: A walkable, colonial-style downtown with a range of restaurants, trendy boutiques and art galleries.

You’ll find delicious food and shopping available from both local businesses and well-known brands alike.

Be sure to leave plenty of room to grab an ice cream cone at Gofer’s on Main Street and then head up Elm St. for some great window shopping.

Mead Memorial Park Mead park is another great place for the whole family with tennis courts, a play area and baseball field.

Residents of New Canaan consider this to be the town park due to it’s proximity to the center of town.

Farmer’s Market: Check out the local produce and stands, available from May to November.

daffodils in bloom at Irwin Park in New Canaan CT
Daffodils in bloom at Irwin Park.

Best Things To Do In New Canaan, Ct: Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this list of fun and interesting things to do here.

By no means is this list exhaustive, as I’ve just touched on the bigger attractions and highlights for a weekend excursion.

This is also a great town to live in, with an amazing public school system and so much more to offer.

I feel lucky to call New Canaan home.

If you do any of these things, be sure to let me know.

And, if you feel strongly about something missing from my list – I’d love to know this too!

PS: Be sure to check out the nearby Fairfield County Antique and Design Center and pick up a free copy of the Bedford & New Canaan Magazine while you’re in town.

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