Resources for parents and educators in Southington, Plantsville, Marion and Milldale
Barnes Nature Center
Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center in Bristol, part of the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Inc., offers exhibits and activities, an extensive collection of reptiles and amphibians, live birds of prey, interactive exhibits, and hiking trails. 68 acres.
175 Shrub Road
Web Site: http://elcct.org/harry-c-barnes-memorial-nature-center/harry-barnes-nature-center/
Bradley Mountain Farm
Bradley Mountain Farm is located on a 200-year-old dairy farm, next to Crescent Lake, that is on the registry of National Historical Places. They offer opportunities to visit the farm, Goat Walks and Hikes, Goat Yoga, Soap Making Classes, Birthday Parties, Team Building activities, Farm Weddings and More.
For children in grades 2 to 12 there is a Junior Farmers 1/2 day drop off summer camp program.
Age 7-17 can participate in the Farm Explorers Membership evening program.
Goat Milk Soap is available for sale.
537 Shuttle Meadow Rd
Phone: (860) 385-4628
Web Site: https://bradleymountainfarm.com/
Our neighbors in Bristol, CT have several parks with playgrounds, hiking trails, sports fields and other amenities. Page Park has an especially good playground area.
Web Site: http://www.bristolrec.com/info/facilities/default.aspx
Centennial Park has a small playground and passive recreation area. 1.5 acres.
Our neighbors in Cheshire have several parks.
Bartlem Recreation Area, located on Route 10 across from Cheshire High School, has amenities that include the Community Pool, a 90 foot baseball diamond, soccer, lacrosse, Kids In Motion playscape, a pavilion, picnic area, community gardens and skate park.
The Quinnipiac Recreation Area on Cheshire Road has a playground towards the front of the property, an in-line skating rink and plenty of fields for running around.
Cheshire Park, located on Route 10 toward the Cheshire/Southington town line, has 75 acres, of which 25% are set aside for active recreation and the park has a basketball court, softball fields, a pavilion, picnic area, theater and tennis courts.
The 2.9 mile Farmington Canal Linear Park was designed to create a safe place for fitness activities along the Farmington Canal including walking, bicycling, running, in-line skating, cross country skiing and a place for people with disabilities.
Web Site: http://www.cheshirect.org/recreation-and-leisure/parks
Crescent Lake in Southington offers Boating, Fishing and Ice Fishing, hiking trails and picnic grove. Note that bowhunting is allowed (Seasonally; Permits Required) so wear bright colors and stay on the trails in season. 223 Acres; 56 Acre Lake
Shuttle Meadow Rd
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/crescent_lake.php
This park in Prospect has the Field of Dreams playscape area, a cinder track which runs for a full mile, basketball courts, soccer fields, picnic area, and an ice skating rink.
59 Waterbury Rd
Prospect, CT 06712
Hubbard Park in Meriden, has a recreation area with a bandshell, tennis courts, pavilion, swings and playground equipment. Castle Craig is a tower at the top of the park which offers a spectacular view of the Greater Meriden area. There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway and connects to hiking trails to the Tower. There is also a road to the tower which is open from May 1st through October 31st. 1,800 acres
Trail map: http://www.meridenlandtrust.com/Hubbard_quad.pdf
West Main Street
Web Site: https://www.meridenct.gov/city-services/parks-and-recreation/hubbard-park/
Hungerford Park Nature Center
The Hungerford Park Nature Center in Kensington is home to many domestic animals and native wild birds. There is a farm-yard, indoor exhibits, walking trails, and a picnic and play area. They offer preschool programs, summer programs, a 4-H club and rentals for birthday parties.
191 Farmington Ave
Web Site: http://www.newbritainyouthmuseum.org/
Indian Rock Nature Preserve
Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, Inc. offers educational programs, birthday parties and a summer day camp, with optional extended day hours, for grades K to 12 at Indian Rock Nature Preserve.
501 Wolcott Road
Bristol, CT 06010
Web Site: http://elcct.org
Southington's Jaycee Park has a picnic grove and passive recreation area. 4.2 acres.
20 Union Street
A family friendly amusement park and waterpark with themed events and activities. Home to the top-rated wooden roller coaster in the world, Boulder Dash, as well as the largest waterpark in Connecticut
186 Enterprise Drive
Web Site: https://www.lakecompounce.com/
Southington's Linear Trail is 4.1 miles in length. It currently runs from the Cheshire/Southington town line north to Hart Street (Southington). This paved trail is used for walking, bicycling, roller blading and strollers. The Southington "Rails to Trails" pathway is part of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/linear_trail_(_rails_to_trails_).php
Little People’s Playground
This park in Berlin is designed for 2-5 year olds. Fully fenced. Bathroom and water fountain. Lots of shade. Picnic tables. Nice playground features and large sandbox.
218 Kensington Rd
Phone: (860) 828-7009
Middletown Trail Guide
The Middletown Conservation Commission has created a guide to Middletown’s open spaces and trails. You will find information about conservation lands in the City that provide a variety of passive recreational opportunities, including hiking, walking, jogging, cross country skiing, bicycling, canoeing and kayaking, and last but not least studying nature. Many of the City’s open spaces have notable geological, scenic and ecological features. This guide provides directions to the popular well-used open space areas, as well as less familiar spots throughout the City. Each of these properties offers diverse opportunities for exploration and enjoyment: traversing broad open fields, following winding trails through wooded terrain, climbing rocky crags or paddling along lush water ways, and observing a variety of wildlife from birds to foxes, and deer to turtles. In season, the flowering trees and shrubs offer a colorful array. Autumn is particularly spectacular. All of the awesome beauty of nature flourishes within the City’s conservation properties waiting for you to discover it.
Web Site: http://www.cityofmiddletown.com/DocumentCenter/View/2583/Middletown-Trail-Guide-PDF
National Program for Playground Safety
The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) leads projects that increase quality and safety of play environments for the health and well-being of children. They offer comprehensive training to educators and advocates, undertake collaborative projects that improve research and support the development of best practices regarding safe and inclusive play environments, and advocate for policies that improve the quality of programs and the lives of children.
Web Site: https://playgroundsafety.org/
Panthorn Park in Plantsville has a child's playscape, hiking trails, fishing pond, picnic groves and a passive recreation. There are softball and lacrosse fields and tennis courts. Several competitive sports leagues meet here. 139 acres.
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/panthorn_park.php
Recreation Park in Plantsville has a child's playscape, swimming pool, picnic groves and a gazebo/community pavilion. There are softball, baseball, soccer and football fields and tennis, basketball, volleyball and bocce courts. Several competitive sports leagues meet here. The Southington Drive-in is located on the property and shows family-friendly movies on Saturday nights in the summer. 37.6 acres.
Note that the Recreation Park swimming pool will be closed for the 2023 season for renovations to the pool and pool house.
Maxwell Noble Drive
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/recreation_park.php
Riverbound Farm Sanctuary
Riverbound Farm Sanctuary, on the Quinnipiac River in Cheshire CT includes a house built in 1814 and 23.4 acres of diverse habitat preserved permanently as open space.
The grounds, which include hiking trails, an outdoor amphitheater and bird viewing blinds, are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. The nature museum is open the third Sunday each month from April to November. It is owned by the Quinnipiac Valley Audubon Society.
1881 Cheshire Street
Web Site: http://quinnipiacvalleyaudubon.org/riverbound-farm-sanctuary.html
SCCYMCA Camp Sloper
The YMCA Camp Sloper property is open to the public on Sundays and has a playground, hiking trails, Ninja Warrior Course, basketball courts, letterboxing, Frisbee golf course, lake for fishing and exploring, and the "Super Slide."
YMCA Camp Sloper can be rented for private events including birthday parties, team building programs or other rentals.
The YMCA Camp Sloper day camp program serves over 3,100 campers each summer, roughly 600+ campers per day. The program and facility are broken down into two program areas: the East Coast for younger campers in grades K-5 and the West Coast for older campers in grades 6-9. A Counselors-In-Training program is offered for those entering grade 10. A Pre-K program that runs from 9am-1pm is offered for 3 and 4 year olds.
Each coast has specifically trained staff members, activities, and facilities designed to meet the needs of that particular age group.
YMCA Camp Sloper is a fully insured State Licensed Day Camp.
They offer financial aid to qualified individuals and families.
1000 East St
Phone: (860) 621-8194
Web Site: http://www.ymcacampsloper.org
Every elementary school in the Southington Public School district has its own playground. These are available for public use when school is not in session.
Web Site: https://www.southingtonschools.org/schools/elementary-school
Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area
Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area focuses on conservation education, offering educational programs, demonstrations, and workshops pertaining to wildlife and natural resource management. These facilities include an education center with an exhibit area and a large meeting room, as well as interpretive trails, and habitat management demonstration sites. 771-acre state preserve.
341 Milford Street (Rte 69)
Web Site: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2723&q=326220&deepNav_GID=1655%20
Southington Dog Park
Southington Dog Park has a fenced area for dogs and their owners.
Note that children under 12 years of old are not allowed in the fenced area.
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/southington_dog_park.php
Southington Drive-In Theater
A drive -in theater showcasing movies old and new. Open every Saturday night from early June through September plus a Halloween screening in late October. Gates open at 6 p.m.
995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike
Web Site: http://www.southingtondrive-in.org
Southington Open Space
Southington has over 30 Open Space parcels, several which allow hiking and passive recreation.
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/open_space.php
Southington Recreation Department
The Southington Recreation Department offers a variety of programs for youth and adults including baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse, football, soccer, tennis lessons, swimming lessons, Music on the Green Concert series, summer playground program (aka as camp), summer theater and more.
Registration the Summer Theater and Summer Playground programs usually opens in March.
The Playground Program is open to Southington resident children, ages 5-12. The program is held rain or shine, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, at South End Elementary School & Recreation Park. There are three two-week sessions.
Their Kid's Entertainment Series is held on Tuesday evenings in the summer from 6-8 PM at the Community Pavilion on the Southington Drive-In property, 995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Plantsville. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy an evening of free entertainment. All ages are welcome!
Southington Town pools and the splash pad at Memorial Park are open seasonally to Southington residents only; however, each resident with proper ID may bring one (1) non-resident guest. Registration for swimming lessons at Recreation and Memorial Parks usually opens in May and June.
(NOTE: The pool at Recreation Park is closed for construction the summer of 2023.)
The Town of Southington Recreation Department is a proud sponsor of several youth sport leagues.
BASEBALL & SOFTBALL
Southington Girls Softball League
Southington Knights Travel Baseball
Southington Northern Baseball
Southington Southern Baseball
Southington Western Baseball
Southington Youth Basketball Association
CHEERLEADING & FOOTBALL
Southington Knights Travel Football & Cheerleading
Southington Valley Midget Football League
Southington Lacrosse Association
Southington Soccer Club
Southington Youth Soccer League
Southington Youth Wrestling Club
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/recreation/index.php
Timberlin Park and Golf Corse is owned by the Town of Berlin. It has hiking trails, a long paved trail/road good for strollers, a picnic grove and pavilion, and a (older) playground.
Drive past the clubhouse to the large parking lot at the bottom of the hill or turn left onto a small driveway and follow it to the back parking lot which is closer to the pavilion. The trail map does not show the paved path that goes to the east or the trail that runs parallel to it through the woods and comes back out along the paved path.
330 Southington Rd
Web Site: https://www.town.berlin.ct.us/egov/apps/locations/facilities.egov?view=detail&id=20
Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park in Southington has duck pond (no fishing), picnic grove, playscape, swimming pool and splash pad with changing rooms, basketball and tennis courts and football and baseball fields. 20.5 acres.
The pool area is open seasonally to Southington residents only; however, each resident with proper ID may bring one (1) non-resident guest. Proof of residency, like a driver's license, must be presented in order to gain entry.
More pool details and hours are at https://www.southington.org/departments/recreation/pools.php.
Web Site: https://www.southington.org/departments/highway_parks_department/veterans_memorial_park.php