Stamford Winter Events

Just over twenty miles from New York City, Stamford, Connecticut is a cold New England Coast town in the wintertime. When snow doesn’t block you inside, there are plenty of events and activities in Stamford to keep you busy and in the winter spirit throughout the season. From giant balloons to rappelling Santas, Stamford has it all in the winter.

UBS PARADE SPECTACULAR

Downtown Stamford, CT

Held each year at the beginning of winter in downtown Stamford, the UBS Parade Spectacular is one of the world’s largest helium balloon parades. Everyone has seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, with its giant balloons floating through Manhattan on Thanksgiving, but it turns out many of those balloons have been at the real show in Stamford the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The parade is Stamford’s way of welcoming the winter holiday season.

For behind the scenes fun, you can visit the parade preparation site at Hoyt and Summer the night before the parade. From 3:00-6:00 PM, you can watch the giant inflatables come to life and view various entertainment acts as the crews work.

HEIGHTS AND LIGHTS

Landmark Square, Stamford, CT

If the Giant Balloon Parade welcomes Thanksgiving, the Heights and Lights festival welcomes Christmas. At the beginning of December, Stamford residents and visitors gather around Landmark Square to watch the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The proceedings begin with Santa Clause rappelling from the top of the 22-story Landmark Square Tower- Santa then joins the crowd in lighting the huge tree and enjoying live music and entertainment.

RESTAURANT WEEKS

Various restaurants, downtown Stamford, CT

What better opportunity to try out a nice, warm meal than a winter day? How about getting a meal at a discounted price? Well you’ve got it with Stamford’s Winter Restaurant Weeks. The event is a partnership between dozens of downtown Stamford’s finest eateries offering special prices for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday. In 2009, the event is being held from February 23 through March 8.

GO VERTICAL

727 Canal St, Stamford, CT, 06902

(203) 358-8767

Near downtown Stamford, this indoor rock climbing gym is perfect for adventure seekers who don’t want to be stuck inside during the cold winter. While the outside may be blustery cold, climbers can be nice and warm inside the Go Vertical gym, one of the largest indoor climbing facilities on the east coast. Beginner walls are available if you’re just starting out, and more advanced walls are also available for experienced climbers.

BOW TIE CINEMAS

Landmark 9

5 Landmark Square, Stamford, CT, 06905

(203) 324-3100

Majestic 6

118 Summer St, Stamford, CT, 06901

(203) 323-1690

A quintessential winter activity, going to the movies is a great way to spend some family time and keep the kids entertained. Two Bow Tie Cinema locations are found in downtown Stamford. The Landmark 9 and Majestic 6 are good examples of this northeast theater chain’s policies of bringing the class back to the movies. Bow Tie theaters feature no advertising and better features than average movie theaters. Both cinemas show recently released films and the Majestic also has the capability to show 3-D flicks which are popular with kids. Go before 6:00 PM Monday-Friday, and before 4:00 PM Saturday, Sunday, and holidays to get the special matinee price, which is $7.50 for kids under 11 and $8.50 for adults.

FERGUSON LIBRARY HARRY BENNETT BRANCH

115 Vine Road, Stamford, CT, 06905

(203) 351-8291

Sometimes winter is the perfect time to curl up by the fire and get lost in a sweeping literary classic. The Ferguson Library system of Stamford has several branches around the city, the largest of which is the Harry Bennett Branch. This library has big windows overlooking a wetland area, which looks beautiful cloaked in snow in the winter months. Kid-friendly features include several children’s sections, pre-school computer terminals with educational software, and the Story Circle area for library programs. Check the library’s online calendar to keep up with events and children’s programs ranging from storytelling to movies at all Ferguson Library branches. You’ll be warm and cozy with all the reading you’ll ever need.

STAMFORD TOWN CENTER

100 Greyrock Place, Stamford, CT, 06901

(203) 324-0935

This huge mall is a “super-regional” shopping destination, with more than 100 stores and dining options. Retailers include European giant H&M, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue, plus all of the common mall stores. Shopping is a heated, indoor activity, but you’ll still want to dress warm as the Town Center is a lifestyle center shopping center, meaning the shops are arranged around open plazas and streets. You may have to walk outside to get between stores.

ARENA AT HARBOR YARD

600 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT, 06604

(203) 345-2300

Just 20 miles from Stamford, Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard is a major event center for Connecticut, and is worth the short drive on a cold day. The home team is the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, so check out the world’s most popular winter sport, hockey, at the arena. Traveling events like concerts, Disney on Ice, and Sesame Street live also come to the venue, so check the website to find out what’s going on this week.

All these celebrations and activities, especially those found throughout downtown Stamford, are sure to keep you and your entire family busy even on the chilliest of days in New England. If all else fails, don’t forget that you’re not too far from the largest city in the nation with all its attractions, but definitely bring a parka if you’re headed to New York. Stay warm and have a great time!