As a native Connecticutian, I know where my loyalties lie. That said, I love Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Working as an innkeeper in a Connecticut bed and breakfast, even I get the itch to explore another charming town that’s:
- Near enough for a day trip
- And yet far enough away to feel like a world apart
And for me, Ridgefield, Connecticut, fits the bill.
Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Connecticut, Ridgefield is a charming town. It offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventure. From its vibrant Main Street to its serene parks, there’s always something to explore in this delightful town. Ready to uncover the best things to do in Ridgefield, CT?
Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, Ridgefield has something for everyone. We’ll take you through a journey of the most exciting indoor and outdoor activities that Ridgefield offers. So, let’s dive in and start exploring!
A Brief History of Ridgefield, CT
Ridgefield, a small town in Fairfield County, boasts a rich history. Their beginning dates back to the American Revolution, as it was first settled in 1708. It was officially incorporated in 1709. Then, Ridgefield witnessed the Battle of Ridgefield in 1777. Today, the town is famous for its picturesque Main Street. It’s so special, lined with elegant houses and civic architecture. It also has a vibrant cultural scene and numerous outdoor activities.
As you stroll down Main Street, you’ll notice the beautifully maintained St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. This community staple has been standing in the same spot since 1745. But don’t be fooled by its age. British soldiers burned the church down during the Battle of Ridgefield. The community later rebuilt it. Today, visitors can take a walk around the church grounds, admire its stunning interior, and soak up the town’s rich history.
Indoor Activities in Ridgefield, CT
Ridgefield offers a variety of indoor activities for those looking to escape the elements. Plus, it never hurts to enjoy a day of cultural exploration. From history and art museums to local theater productions, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do indoors.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best indoor activities you can enjoy while visiting Ridgefield.
Discover Ridgefield’s Rich History at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center
Step back in time at the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, located south of the town center. Here, you can immerse yourself in Ridgefield’s fascinating past. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, clothing, art, and furnishings. These items date from the 18th through 20th centuries. They include an original engraving of the Battle of Ridgefield and the original inn sign. Don’t forget to check out the famous cannonball embedded in the outer wall. This relic from the American Revolution has been stuck there for over 240 years.
After exploring the museum’s indoor exhibits, take a step outside. You can wander through the beautiful gardens surrounding the property. Admire the stunning rose arbor and reflecting pool, and imagine what life was like in Ridgefield during its early days.
Experience Art & Culture at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Founded by Larry Aldrich, this museum showcases works by many talents. You can find art by national and international emerging and mid-career artists. Some of the names include renowned creators like Frank Stella, Jack Whitten, Cindy Sherman, and Jeffrey Gibson.
The captivating exhibitions make this place special. In addition, the Aldrich Museum offers a variety of educational programs for people of all ages. While exploring the museum located south of the town center, don’t hesitate to ask the friendly guards about the displayed works. They’re always happy to share their knowledge and insight at one of the best museums in Connecticut.
Embrace Local Theatre at ACT of Connecticut and Ridgefield Playhouse
If you’re a fan of live theater, look no further than ACT of Connecticut and Ridgefield Playhouse. ACT of Connecticut is a non-profit professional theater that’s become quite the community staple. It has received 11 BroadwayWorld Connecticut Awards in its inaugural season in 2018. The cast includes Broadway stars as well as local talent from Westchester County and Fairfield County. ACT also offers a conservatory program, workshops, camps, and youth education classes.
Meanwhile, Ridgefield Playhouse is a performing arts venue that offers many shows. You can check out concerts, comedy acts, theatrical performances, and film screenings.
There’s always something exciting happening at these two local theaters.
Learn About Ridgefield’s Past at the Ridgefield Historical Society
History buffs won’t want to miss a visit to the Ridgefield Historical Society. This spot offers tours of two historic houses: the David Scott House and the Peter Parley Schoolhouse. The David Scott House, originally located at the corner of Main Street and Catoonah Street, was moved to its current spot at 4 Sunset Lane in 2001.
The Peter Parley Schoolhouse, on the other hand, is a historic schoolhouse dating back to 1756 and once served as the town’s school. The Ridgefield Historical Society is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. So, be sure to stop by and explore these fascinating pieces of Ridgefield’s past.
Enjoy Family Fun at Ridgefield Theater Barn
For a family-friendly outing, head over to Ridgefield Theater Barn, where you can enjoy various shows in a cozy, intimate setting. With cabaret-style seating, the theater offers a unique and enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages. Ridgefield public schools often get their students over here, in fact.
Located at 37 Halpin Ln, Ridgefield, CT 06877, the Ridgefield Theater Barn is a great spot to catch a show with your loved ones. Don’t forget to call ahead at 203-431-9850 to reserve your seats and check out their upcoming productions.
Outdoor Activities in Ridgefield, Connecticut
When the weather is nice, Ridgefield truly shines with its abundant outdoor activities. From serene parks and nature reserves to charming Main Street strolls, there’s always something to do outside in this lovely town.
Let’s explore some of the best outdoor activities Ridgefield has to offer.
Revel in Nature at Seth Low Pierrepont State Park Reserve
Seth Low Pierrepont State Park Reserve is a haven for nature lovers, offering various outdoor activities for all ages. Hike one of the five trails, cast a fishing line in the large pond, or enjoy a leisurely picnic in the picturesque surroundings. The park is full of facilities for its visitors. It has picnic tables, shelters, fishing berths, and a boat launch.
For a truly breathtaking experience, take a hike up Barlow Mountain. Here, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Pierrepont Lake, the Redding Hills, and Long Island Sound. With so much to explore, Seth Low Pierrepont State Park Reserve is the perfect destination for a day of outdoor adventure.
Unwind at Ballard Park
Ballard Park offers a peaceful oasis in the heart of Ridgefield. The park features five acres of beautifully landscaped formal gardens. It provides a serene setting for visitors to relax and unwind. Located at 485 Main Street, Ridgefield, Connecticut, Ballard Park is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
In addition to its tranquil gardens, Ballard Park hosts various outdoor events and concerts throughout the year. From live music performances to art shows, there’s always something happening at this charming park.
Explore Weir Farm National Historic Site
Weir Farm National Historic Site was once the home and studio of renowned Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir. Now, it is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The 60-acre property offers visitors a unique glimpse into the life and work of the artist. It also boasts the opportunity to explore the beautiful gardens and grounds.
Visitors can take guided tours of the house and studios on the border with Wilton, CT. They can also embark on a walking tour of the grounds or even sign up for an art class to unleash their own creativity. The site also offers a park brochure and trail map, making exploring the property at your own pace easy.
Sample Craft Brews at Nod Hill Brewery
If you’re a craft beer lover, visit Nod Hill Brewery at 137 Ethan Allen Hwy, Ridgefield, CT 06877. This local favorite offers a selection of expertly crafted brews, including:
- Their English-style Strong Bitter called Topstone
- Hoppy Pale Ale called Lil Slo
- Square Wave IPA
- Refletchsa Double IPA
- Trappist-inspired Single Ace of Wands
Nod Hill Brewery also features live music throughout the week, making it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a cold pint with friends. Call them at 203-617-1191 to check out their event schedule and plan your visit to one of the best Connecticut breweries.
Tee Off at Ridgefield Golf Course
For golf enthusiasts, the Ridgefield Golf Course is a must-visit destination. This 18-hole championship course was designed by the legendary George and Tom Fazio. It offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels.
The golf course also offers a driving range and private lessons with a PGA professional. To book a time or inquire about lessons, call them at 203-748-7008.
It is located at 545 Ridgebury Road, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877.
Stroll Down Main Street
Main Street in Ridgefield is a charming destination all on its own. It’s lined with elegant houses and civic architecture, making it absolutely picturesque. This street is home to various shops, restaurants, and attractions that will delight visitors of all ages.
You won’t want to miss shopping at the antique and vintage stores. Afterward, you’ll want to grab a bite to eat at one of the many delicious restaurants. You can also catch a movie at the theater. Regardless, Main Street offers something for everyone. Take your time exploring this delightful town center’s charming nooks and crannies.
Connect with Nature at Bennett’s Pond State Park
Bennett’s Pond State Park is a gem of Ridgefield. Visitors can connect with nature in a beautiful, natural woodland setting. The park features a 56-acre pond, making it an ideal spot for fishing, swimming, and hiking.
Its serene atmosphere and abundance of outdoor activities make it so special. Bennett’s Pond State Park is a wonderful destination for families and nature lovers. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this stunning piece of Ridgefield’s natural landscape.
Unleash Your Creativity at Garden of Ideas
Garden of Ideas was a unique outdoor space in Ridgefield where visitors could embrace their creativity and connect with nature. This 12-acre attraction featured a mix of cultivated and wild gardens, marshland, and woodland. It provided a stunning backdrop for artistic expression.
In addition to its beautiful, inspiring setting, Garden of Ideas also offered a variety of items for purchase. These items include freshly laid eggs in season and vegetable and ornamental plants. There were also handmade garden decorations like gnomes, Buddhas, and gargoyles.
Unfortunately, the Garden of Ideas recently closed.
Savor Delicious Cuisine at Ridgefield’s Top Restaurants
No visit to Ridgefield would be complete without sampling the delicious cuisine the town’s top restaurants offer. You’ll need to try the Italian delights of TerraSole Ristorante and the gastropub favorites of The Hideaway Kitchen and Bar. Here, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
Other highly rated dining options include the Lantern, Tablao, and Organika Kitchen. These spots ensure you’ll never run out of new and exciting culinary experiences to enjoy in Ridgefield. So go ahead, indulge your taste buds, and savor the flavors of this charming town.
Events in Ridgefield, CT
Each month of the year presents an excellent excuse to visit Ridgefield, CT!
A few annual events to look forward to in Ridgefield include:
- Restaurant Week in February
- Spring Stroll in April
- Memorial Day Parade in May
- Antiques Flea Market in June
- Summerfest in July
- Green Expo in August
- Fall in Love with Ridgefield in October
- Craft Fair in November
- Holiday Stroll in December
Directions to Ridgefield, CT
Branchville’s Metro-North Railroad station is located in the town’s southwest corner.
If you’re planning on driving from Greenwich or further south, head north towards the Merritt Parkway. Drive north on Route 137 through Stamford and on to Pound Ridge, New York. Ridgefield is northeast of Salem, New York. There are parking lots just off of Main Street.
With a car, you can explore more than Ridgefield Center. Other locales include:
- Titicus is located just north of the village on Route 116
- Ridgebury is in the northern section of town
- Scotland is located south of Ridgebury
- Farmingville is located northeast and east of the town center
- Limestone is located northeast of the town center
- Flat Rock is located south of the town center
- And Florida is located just north of Branchville
Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in Ridgefield, CT
Ridgefield is about about a 45-minute drive from our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast.
If you’d prefer to enjoy an extended stay in Ridgefield, there are some lovely places to stay nearby.
There is a cluster of Ridgefield bed and breakfasts around the intersection of West Lane and Main Street. You’ll know you’ve found it when you see the fountain. The West Lane Inn offers 17 charming rooms. They blend the charm of an intimate country inn with boutique hotel amenities. And the Fountain Inn offers six guest suites, dining room, library, salon, and patio seating. Both are within walking distance to Keeler Tavern and all the restaurants and shopping on Main Street.
If you’re willing to drive and you’d prefer hotels near Ridgefield, there are also chain hotels in nearby Danbury, CT.
Keep Exploring More Charming Towns in Connecticut, Like Ridgefield
Ridgefield is absolutely adorable and one of many charming Connecticut towns.
A few more cute towns nearby to Ridgefield that are worth a visit in their own rights include:
- Kent in Litchfield County
These and many more make fantastic CT day trip opportunities. Or you can plan a weekend road trip around a few of the most unique attractions in Connecticut, like Weir Farm in Wilton. The city of Danbury is also a unique Connecticut city, located northeast of Ridgefield on the aptly-named Danbury Road.
A few of the most unique things to do in Connecticut close to Ridgefield include:
- Greenwich Polo Club
- The Philip Johnson Glass House
- Sheffield Island Lighthouse
- Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market
Download a free copy of the CT Travel Guide for this and many more unique activities and things to do in CT!