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From Cheerios to Cocktails

How Female Bonds Endure



They say friends are people who know you well, but like you anyway. When it comes to women, society tends to view them as a den of adversity filled with petty jealousies and cattiness. But is that really true?

I’ve certainly had my own experiences. I met my friend Melissa Tohill when our oldest daughters were nine months old at a Gymboree class. (The girls are now 13.) I see her almost every week. Then, there’s my friend Margaret Rieck. We’ve shared laughter and tears. And, I love it when she calls us “family, not family.”

That’s the thing about mom friends. When they click, they really click. Take Kelly Leatherwood, for example. She loves to talk about six women that are more than just friends; they’re family. Moving from San Francisco, the Leatherwoods arrived in Fairfield hoping to make new friends and after a few introductions at a Mommy & Me event at the Fairfield Public Library, their group was born. The kids, still friends despite different schools and interests, span from age 4 to 17. Like her friend Deb Placey says, they’ve gone from “Cheerios to college applications.” Leatherwood says she feels so fortunate to have such a tight-knit group of women. “I feel very blessed,” she explains. “It’s like I have a second set of sisters.”

According to social worker Nicole Zangara and author of Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, meeting new friends can elicit a major fear factor and many times women will settle for a “toxic” friendship rather than seek out a healthy one.

“Finding new friends is almost like dating, you make an emotional connection and communication is key,” she says.

Zangara also made the comparison between men and women. While men may have good friendships too, they’re built on action. They’ll get together and play golf. Women make deep connections and place more emotional investment in the relationship.  That’s why women tend to become more upset when the friendship doesn’t work out.

Lasting female bonds are a Fairfield norm. Like Leatherwood, Kelly Imschweiler, Sarah Puerini, and Sarah Lehberger all met each other through The Welcome Club of Fairfield and Easton. They ended up forming long-lasting friendships as a result.

For Imschweiler, having regular contact with women who understood the trials of everyday motherhood was like a breath of fresh air. “If I told everyone, ‘Oh great, another snow day!’ I wouldn’t have to explain myself.”

Puerini moved from Fairfield and now lives outside Boston. But for Lehberger, distance doesn’t matter. “We met when our girls were around 15-18 months old, and they were our first kids. So we got to experience a lot of the firsts together and bond over the craziness of it all,” she said. “What really made us close was her ability to really see me for who I was outside of being a mom or a wife. She appreciated me as a person despite all of my imperfections.”

But what happens when playgroups become a thing of the past? According to long-time Fairfield resident Jean Whitney, you just continue to foster good bonds. Whitney attends a knitting group at Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport. If you think it’s all for little old ladies, think again. “It’s just extraordinary to be part of this group of women of all ages,” she said. “There is a need for women to have a place to feel open and honest. At my age, I have as many friends leave this world as come into it!”

Trevor Crow, a marriage and family therapist in Southport and author of Forging Healthy Connections, couldn’t agree more with Whitney’s point.  “These are people who have your best interests in mind. They’re not judging you and you feel safe.”

In the frequently cited 2002 UCLA study on how men and women handle stress, there was a huge difference. Not surprisingly, men handle stress with an increase of testosterone in a “fight or flight” manner. But when women are under stress, they have an increase in oxytocin, which calms and renders them more likely to tend to children and bond with other women.

But even more compelling, the study showed that those who had the most friends over a 9-year period decreased their risk of death by 60%. And, that follows us through the aging process. Women whose husbands died were less likely to become sick afterward when they had a close friend to get them through the experience.

So, the next time you want a girls’ night out, just tell your husband your health depends on it.

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July 2017

Join us on Sunday, July 23, at 11:15 am for activities at Captain’s Cove Marina in Black Rock Harbor at 1 Bostwick Avenue in Bridgeport.  In the 18th century, the Historic...

Cost: $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

Where:
Captain’s Cove Marina in Black Rock Harbor
1 Bostwick Avenue
Bridgeport, CT
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Beres Hammond returns to headline the 2017 Westside Reggae Festival on Sunday, July 23! There isn’t an aspect of romantic relationships that Beres Hammond hasn’t transformed into a...

Cost: Advance $25-45, Day of $35-55

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave. Ext.
Danbury, CT  06811
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Telephone: 203-837-9226
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
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Dave Hart & Elizabeth Erin Kemler perform. See these two Americana artists make beautiful music together.  Dave and Elizabeth present a delightful evening filled with original songs,...

Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members, free for children 12 & under.

Where:
Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens
151 Brookdale Rd
Stamford, CT
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An ensemble-based show with beloved music, heartfelt writing, and a story that takes a village to tell.   IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a not-for-profit summer theater program for area youth...

Cost: TICKETS: $12 or $15 at the door

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THE KLEIN
910 FAIRFIELD AVE
Bridgeport, CT
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For over a decade now, Australian roots performer Xavier Rudd has peddled good vibes like it’s 1969. Like Jack Johnson, independent Australian musician Xavier Rudd combines a love of surfing...

Cost: $38 Standing Room Only Members Save: $3/ticket

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The Warehouse FTC
70 Sanford St
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Telephone: 120-325-91036
Contact Name: Box Office
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Cost: Free

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Stamford Downtown
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Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: (203) 259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
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Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

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For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

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Over 20 farms and food producers will have everything you need for beach picnics, Sunday dinner, even your weekly shopping. Five CT farms, including Fairfield’s own Little River Farm,...

Cost: Free admission.

Where:
Sherman Green
1451 Post Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

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Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
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Hosted at Silvermine Golf Club in Norwalk, this charity golf tournament is loads of fun, featuring live entertainment, high-value prizes, plenty of food and drink, great auction items, and poignant...

Cost: $275/single | $1,000/foursome

Where:
Silvermine Golf Club
95 N Seir Hill Rd
Norwalk, CT
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Telephone: 203-762-9990
Contact Name: Scott Gance
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Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

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“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Find a previously-loved treasure for yourself and a friend at "The Best Book Sale in New England." Over 140,000 books, plus CDs, DVDs, and records can be found under the tents on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: (203) 259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

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Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

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Connecticut Ballet’s Summer Dance Caravan returns to Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts for the annual free performance on Tuesday, July 25 at 8:00pm. The state’s professional...

Cost: Free

Where:
Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts
Jesup Green
Westport, CT  06880
View map »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Find a previously-loved treasure for yourself and a friend at "The Best Book Sale in New England." Over 140,000 books, plus CDs, DVDs, and records can be found under the tents on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: (203) 259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

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Summer’s hottest party attracts thousands and celebrities the Best of Westchester winners – the top vote get restaurants, shops, services, and professionals – showcased in the...

Cost: $85

Where:
Glenn Island Harbor Club
299 Weyman Ave
New Rochelle , NY  10805
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Sponsor: Westchester Magazine
Telephone: 914-345-0601
Contact Name: Jen D'Ambrosio
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Nicole Atkins With her throaty vibrato and lushly orchestrated pop songs, Nicole Atkins made her debut in 2006, bringing to mind a blend of Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn, and Jenny Lewis. She was...

Cost: $28 Standard Members Save:$3/ticket

Where:
FTC StageOne
70 Sanford St
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 120-325-91036
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic that changed American musicals forever dawns at Goodspeed for the very first time. Cowboy Curly and farm girl Laurey are taking their sweet time falling in...

Cost: $28-$80

Where:
Goodspeed Opera House
6 Main Street
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »


Sponsor: Goodspeed Musicals
Telephone: 860-873-8668
Website »

More information

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Rachel Platten at Alive@Five "Fight Song" singer is coming Thursday eveing July 27, 2017 to Columbus Park for Alive@Five 21 and Over Only Thursday nights...

Cost: $15.00

Where:
Columbus Park
205 Main St
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Crowne Plaza Stamford, Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, Sheraton Stamford Hotel, Hotel Zero Degrees
Website »

More information

The Wild Reeds can be defined by one word: Harmony. However, the music is nearly indefinable. The sound from this LA based band dips in and out of multiple genres - some ethereal folk, a hint of...

Cost: $15/ $18 Day Of

Where:
FTC StageOne
70 Sanford St
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 120-325-91036
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

The Wild Reeds can be defined by one word: Harmony. However, the music is nearly indefinable. The sound from this LA based band dips in and out of multiple genres - some ethereal folk, a hint of...

Cost: $15 / $18 Day Of

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic that changed American musicals forever dawns at Goodspeed for the very first time. Cowboy Curly and farm girl Laurey are taking their sweet time falling in...

Cost: $28-$80

Where:
Goodspeed Opera House
6 Main Street
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »


Sponsor: Goodspeed Musicals
Telephone: 860-873-8668
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Easy, breezy melodies and soul-shaking grooves radiate from this genre-bending roots trio. Dangermuffin brings thoughtful tunes that are both heartfelt and truthful. Their haunting harmonies and...

Cost: $22 Standard

Where:
FTC StageOne
70 Sanford St
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 120-325-91036
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

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Show Less...

Mock Stock is a day long tribute band music festival.  From A to Z and all letters in between, Mock Stock salutes classic rock’s best bands. THIS YEAR’S LINE UP: Draw the Line...

Cost: Advance $20, Door $25

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave. Ext.
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-9226
Website »

More information

East Norwalk Blue will be offering food, drinks and a raw bar complete with oysters and clams harvested from pristine coastal Connecticut waters. In addition, they will be having a hands-on oyster...

Cost: $50.00

Where:
7 Edgewater Place
Norwalk , CT  06855
View map »


Sponsor: Norm Bloom & Son Oyster Company
Website »

More information

Music Theatre of Connecticut presents the next installment of MTC’s Hot Summer Nights series, Leslie Orofino: “Cocktails with Cole: The Life and Music of Legend Cole Porter”....

Cost: $25-$35 for single tickets. Reservations suggested.

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Telephone: 203-454-3883
Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Juried artisans showing one-of-a-kind works in  fine arts and fine crafts will be featured at the 3rd Annual Stamford Art Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and 30, from 10 am to 5 pm,...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Harbor Point
00 Washington Blvd #200
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic that changed American musicals forever dawns at Goodspeed for the very first time. Cowboy Curly and farm girl Laurey are taking their sweet time falling in...

Cost: $28-$80

Where:
Goodspeed Opera House
6 Main Street
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »


Sponsor: Goodspeed Musicals
Telephone: 860-873-8668
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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