20 Things To Do In Stamford CT

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Stamford is Connecticut’s third-largest city and is packed with fun activities. There are so many things to do in Stamford, from exploring parks and museums to wandering around shopping streets and drinking in lively bars.

Stamford is less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan and The Hamptons. So, you can easily pop across the state border and check out Stamford, Connecticut, as a day trip from New York. Although Stamford is the state’s business district, you’ll also find many other attractions worth seeing. So, here’s a guide to the best things to do in Stamford to help you plan your next visit to New England.

Stamford, Connecticut

20 Things To Do In Stamford

stamford residential area with lots of trees and charming houses
Exploring parks and green spaces is one of the relaxing things to do in Stamford Connecticut.

1- Visit The Stamford Museum & Nature Center

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center has 118 acres of space and sits in the woodlands of North Stamford.

The museum combines art, history, nature and agricultural sciences to provide an eclectic experience.

Learn about the Natural History of New England, see some native American totem poles, prints of works by Dalí and Warhol, and other Connecticut artists.

Outside, the nature centre combines beautiful greenery with a contemporary sculpture garden and a large farm.

This outdoor space truly celebrates Connecticut and New England’s rural heritage.

As well as traditional animal breeds, there is also the opportunity to see llamas, alpacas and burros.

This is an exciting place to take the kids, as there’s a lot to discover.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center is at 39 Scofieldtown Rd, Stamford, CT 06903.

2- Philip Johnson Glass House

Philip Johnson designed the Glass House in 1949. This architectural design embodies the ideas of minimalism, transparency and reflection.

This unique building was originally designed as Johnson’s weekend getaway and he used the house for over 60 years until his death.

On the grounds of the Glass House, there are other unique and interesting structures, including the Brick House, which Johnson used for guests.

Philip Johnson Glass House is at 199 Elm St, New Canaan, CT 06840.

3- Cove Island Park

an osprey catching fish
Watching birds of prey and other wildlife in the parks is one of the top things to do in Stamford Connecticut.

Head to the southeast side of Stamford to Cove Island Park, a tranquil park to escape city life.

Cove Island Park is more than just a park; there’s also a brilliant beach on the water.

During summer, it’s a lovely place to hang out, sit on the sand, and play in the park.

There is a large children’s playground, plenty of room for a picnic, cycling paths and a mile-long nature trail.

There are rocky areas on the water that are popular among anglers looking to cast their lines.

If you are into bird watching, this park is also considered an Important Bird Area.

Cove Island Park is at 363 Weed Ave, Stamford, CT 06902.

4- Watch A Show At Curtain Call

things to do in stamford ct this weekend
Watching a show is one of the things to do in Stamford after dark.

An excellent thing to do in the evening with kids is to check out Curtain Call, a community-run theatre company that hosts a variety of performances and shows.

They have previously performed plays such as Much Ado About Nothing, Matilda and Greece.

If you are in the Stamford area during the summer, enrol your kids in one of Curtain Call’s acting, writing, comedy, dance classes or workshops.

Also, check out Curtain Call’s ‘Shakespeare on the Green’, which are free Shakespeare performances held at the Sterling Farms Golf Club.

It’s an ideal event to introduce your kids to the wonders of Shakespeare.

Curtain Call is at 1349 Newfield Ave, Stamford, CT 06905.

5- Breath Fresh Air In Cummings Park

Cummings Park on Long Island South gets its name from the former mayor of Stamford, Homer Cummings, who also became Attorney General under Roosevelt.

This is another of Stamford’s great outdoor spaces, a green park with boardwalks, sports fields, a fishing pier and Cummings Beach.

There’s a public marina where you can rent a boat and take it out on the water.

This isn’t just a good park during summer. In winter, the big hill becomes a popular sledding spot.

Cummings Park is at Shippan Ave, Stamford, CT 06902.

6- Fort Stamford Park

Stamford has many excellent parks that are perfect for escaping from the bustle of city life.

Fort Stamford Park sits on the foundations of a 340-year-old Revolutionary War fort and is a charming park complete with gardens, sculptures and stone-pillared pergolas.

The Goodbody Garden is a must-see activity as this botanical garden is tranquil and beautiful. So, pack a lunch, find a picnic spot and relax for a few hours.

Summer is a lovely time to visit to see the flowers in full bloom.

Fort Stamford Park is at 900 Westover Rd, Stamford, CT 06902.

7- Cruise The Harbour On A Tiki Boat

things to do in stamford ct boats moored at the marina
Going sailing or on a cruise is another one of those fun things to do in Stamford, CT.

A perfect activity on a warm summer’s day in Stamford, hop aboard one of Captain John’s Tiki boats for an enjoyable tour of the harbour.

This boat tour is the perfect activity for enjoying with friends and the floating tiki hut has a bar that serves refreshing drinks.

Enjoy the serene views of Long Island Sound as you cruise around.

You can find Captain John’s near the Harbor Point Marina at 4 Star Point.

8- Discover Nature At Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens

outdoors things to do in stamford orange flowers closeup
Wandering around the Botanic Gardens is one of the things to do in Stamford for lovers of gardening.

The Arboretum is one of the city’s most sought-after green spaces, opening up a world of discovery.

There are 3,500 species of plants in 12 unique gardens.

Many of the plants are native to New England, but there are also more exotic plants from the Caribbean, Mexico and Africa.

Some plants were planted more than 100 years ago and have been part of the Stamford landscape for quite some time.

Explore the 12 gardens by wandering around nine trails.

This is a place to truly escape city life and immerse yourself in tranquillity and nature.

Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens is at 151 Brookdale Rd, Stamford, CT 06903.

9- Enjoy The Outdoors In Mianus River Park

This river park follows its namesake river and sits on the boundary between Stamford and Greenwich.

This park has nearly 400 acres (161 ha) of forested nature, ideal for hiking, jogging, mountain biking, fishing and exploring.

You can even cross-country ski along the many trails when the snow falls.

Mianus River Park is filled with chipmunks, birds and squirrels and a popular spot for dog walking.

Kids can enjoy this river park because the trails are mild to moderate in difficulty, and there’s so much to see.

Make sure you pack your backpack with water, snacks, or even a picnic because there are no places to buy supplies.

Mianus River Park is at Merriebrook Ln, Stamford, CT 06902.

10- See The Stars At Stamford Observatory

Within the Stamford Museum and Nature Center grounds, you’ll find the Stamford Observatory.

The observatory’s dome houses an impressive 22-inch telescope used for research purposes.

The observatory holds public viewing sessions from 8 pm to 10 pm on Friday nights.

Stamford Observatory is at 151 Scofieldtown Rd, Stamford, CT 06903.

11- Admire The First Presbyterian Church

things to do in stamford ct for history
Admiring church architecture is something to do in Stamford if you have time.

It’s one of the most breathtaking churches in New England.

The First Presbyterian Church was designed by Wallace Harrison, the same man who took part in constructing the Rockefeller Center.

Inside the church, the stained glass windows are vast and include 20,000 pieces of glass. The triangular shape of this church also makes for an impressive entrance.

First Presbyterian Church is at 1101 Bedford St, Stamford, CT 06905.

12- Stroll Along West Beach

If you are in Stamford and are longing for a beach, check out West Beach in Rocky Neck State Park.

Behind the beach, you can walk along the boardwalks on a gentle stroll to watch a sunset.

There are also hiking trails, a salt marsh and a camping area within the Rocky Neck State Park.

If you like birds, then head to the salt marsh where there are a variety of bird species so keep your eyes peeled for herons, ospreys and cranes.

West Beach is at Shippan Ave, Stamford, CT 06902.

13- Check Out The Ferguson Library

Located on the corner of Broad Street, The Ferguson Library is an iconic emblem of Stamford.

This Georgian Revival building dates back to 1910.

Of course, you can visit if you need to find some books, but there are also several other reasons to go.

Every Friday night, the Ferguson Library hosts a movie screening for kids. There are also exhibitions, workshops and activities for kids to partake in throughout the week.

Ferguson Library is at 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford, CT 06901.

14- Watch A Musical At Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre is the go-to place to catch a live show in downtown Stamford.

It seats 1,580 and hosts a variety of performances, including off-Broadway musicals, concerts by the Stamford Symphony Orchestra, as well as comedians and shows for children.

Palace Theatre is at 61 Atlantic St, Stamford, CT 06901.

15- Shop For Art On Bedford Street

Bedford Street is one of the main streets in Stamford. Here you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants as well as a hive of activity.

Throughout the year, there are several festivals, street markets and things to do along Bedford Street.

Check out Arts & Crafts on Bedford between June and September, a street-style market showcasing amazing handicraft goods by local and regional artists.

There is everything from African art, homemade candles, jewellery, clothing and more.

Find a unique gift for Christmas or a birthday, or treat yourself to something handmade.

It’s a great way to support local businesses and get yourself something to remember your time in Stamford.

16- Drink Beer At Half Full Brewery

best things to do in stamford ct
Visiting brewery is another thing to do in Stamford when you need some time out.

Try the craft beer at Half Full Brewery or Third Place by Half Full Brewery.

The breweries concoct various beers, including IPAs, blonde ales and pale ales.

There are also fruit-infused beers for those who want something a little fruity and different.

Half Full Brewery doesn’t serve food, but food trucks frequently turn up at the venue.

Half Full Brewery is at 43 Homestead Ave, Stamford, CT 06902 and Third Place is at 575 Pacific St, Stamford, CT 06902.

17- Eat Italian At Café Silvium

Another top Stamford restaurant and a place to check out when you’re in the city is Café Silvium.

If you are looking for more-ish Italian dishes, then this is the place to go.

Choose from fresh pasta dishes, including seafood Linguini, creamy lasagna, or Mediterranean seabass.

This is a delightful lunch or dinner spot, that will have you feeling as if you’ve been transported right to Italy.

Café Silvium is at 371 Shippan Ave, Stamford, CT 06902.

18- Dine At Brasitas

After all those parks and hours of exploring, you’ll want to find a great place to eat.

Brasitas is one of the most well-renowned restaurants in Stamford.

It serves up Pan-Latin cuisine that is delicious and superbly presented.

Step inside Brasitas and experience their tropical-themed décor and elegant atmosphere.

There are taco starters, plantain chips and seafood. Try the Pollo Curry Caribeño, a juicy chicken dish that feels filling but fresh, or duck, shrimp, Red Snapper and steak.

Brasitas is at 954 E Main St, Stamford, CT 06902.

19- Join The Locals At Casey’s Tavern

things to do with kids in stamford hamburger and fries
Eating in a tavern or a diner is one of the fun things to do in Stamford with kids.

If you are looking for a restaurant bar to unwind in the evening, then this Stamford joint is for you.

Casey’s has a vibrant atmosphere, friendly staff and good pub grub too.

Grab a few beers and tuck into a juicy burger, Shephard’s Pie, corned beef, sandwiches or a curry.

There’s a definite local vibe to Casey’s, with regulars sitting at their usual tables inside or on the patio out back for some evening sunshine.

Casey’s Tavern is at 85 Woodside Street Stamford CT 06902, 85 Woodside St, Stamford, CT 06905.

20- Have A Milkshake At Elm Street Diner

fun things to do in stamford ct milkshake in a mug piled high with popcord, donut and chocolate
A calorie bomb! Having a milkshake is one of the fun things to do in Stamford when you need some energy.

Elm Street Diner serves up classic American breakfasts with a Greek twist.

Their menu is enormous and you could spend 30 minutes deciding what to have.

They serve classic breakfast and lunch favourites, including Benedicts, omelettes, pancakes, waffles and French toast.

Try one of the famous Elm Street milkshakes, which is excessively decorated, stacked high with wafers, cream, cookies, and a sugar-rush-inducing craziness.

Elm Street Diner is at 463 Elm St, Stamford, CT 06902.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!