Boat Show Sails Into Norwalk Harbor

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Celebrating it’s 40th year, the Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show®, the Northeast’s premier in-water boating event, docks at Norwalk Cove Marina September 22-25, 2016, offering area water lovers an all-access pass to discover why life is better with a boat. Thousands of boating novices and lifelong enthusiasts can check out the newest introductions and best deals of the season with exclusive show specials and competitive bargains on hundreds of boats, plus the largest selection of marine accessories. With 60 different varieties of watercraft for every budget and lifestyle, from luxury yachts and center console sportfishers to affordable family cruisers, the Norwalk Boat Show is the ultimate destination to shop and compare boats side by side in a beautiful waterfront setting.

Beyond the best in boating, the Show will offer new boaters and those looking to hone their skills the chance to boat confident and participate in interactive on-the-water workshops, join educational DIY seminars on maintaining, repairing and upgrading a boat at Fred’s Shed and try stand up paddle boarding in Try It Cove. There will also be family-friendly activities for all ages including free boat rides, live music and the chance to take in the last bit of summer on Long Island Sound.

Tickets are $15 for adults, and children 15 and under get in FREE when accompanied by a paid adult. Save $2 per ticket when you purchase online by September 21 at boatshownorwalk.com. Enjoy a $3 discount per ticket for groups of 10-30 people and a $5 discount per ticket for groups of 31 people or more.

For more information, to order tickets online, and to see updated features, seminar and event schedules, visit BoatShowNorwalk.com. Want up-to-the-minute information and fun? Follow the Show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Singles Night @ Sugar & Olives

Let’s face it, Fairfield County is great for families…but for the romantically unattached, meeting other singles can be challenging. If you’re not into the usual bar scene and have swiped left one too many times, Sugar & Olives is launching a singles night in their cafe on the Norwalk/Westport border. Beginnng September 22, and every Thursday night thereafter, stop by Sugar & Olives between 7-10pm to sip cocktails, listen to music and mingle with other solo locals!

Sugar and Olives is located at 21 Lois Street, Norwalk (Lois Street is across from Bed Bath & Beyond and Bow Tie Cinemas).

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P.S. Thank you to everyone who entered the Greenwich Wine + Food ticket giveaway! We had an overwhelming response and we wish we had tickets for everyone that entered. Congratulations to Dalita K. who was the lucky winner! Tickets are still available – click here to buy! Hope to see you there!

Property Brothers at KLAFFS!

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Late last year, we posted a story on our Facebook telling you that the “Property Brothers,” Drew and Jonathan Scott from the hit HGTV show, Property Brothers Buying and Selling, were in town to renovate a few Fairfield County homes. While they were here, they decided to hit up one of the areas most innovative home design stores, Klaffs in South Norwalk and included the location in a few episodes!

They chose Klaffs for their “5 distinct showrooms all-under-one-roof” and told the owners they liked the one-stop shop aspect and the ability to showcase all the different products and services they offer at different price points. But what makes KLAFFS truly unique is, you can actually try before you buy. Products such as showerheads, bathtubs, fans—rumor has it that the Property Brothers had a lot of fun playing with their products on the show.

Property Brothers Buying + Selling filmed (more than once) at KLAFFS last year, but KLAFFS remained tight-lipped about this exciting event – until now.

“We love having the Property Brothers here. Drew and Jonathan really know what they’re doing when it comes to home design,” said KLAFFS Chairman Joe Passero. “We waited until now to announce our involvement so we can make a big celebration out of it.”

And that they have… KLAFFS created a spectacular sales event to celebrate the premiere episode they appear in. The event runs from now to August 6th with 25% off storewide, up to 50% off select items, a weekly $500 gift card drawing and a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize. KLAFFS will also be re-introducing their delicious Chef Tastings for the run of this event, and why not – KLAFFS also has working kitchens in their showrooms.

The debut episode of KLAFFS on Property Brothers Buying + Selling premieres on July 20th at 9 PM on HGTV!

“To Be or Not to Be?” Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton

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There’s no question that you should make the 21st season of Shakespeare on the Sound a must-do this summer! Set along the picture-perfect shores of the Five Mile River in Rowayton’s Pinkney Historic Park, visitors can enjoy a Broadway-worthy take on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Check out some scenes from this year’s play and make a plan to attend the family-friendly production between now and July 3!

Extra special thanks to Jamie Roderick for the photos!!

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Spa Water Smoothies Low Cal, Big Flavor

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Premium smoothie and juice franchise Robeks has rolled out two new smoothies that radically reduce calorie counts and sugar content, plus a new upscale bowl, all that deliver on the exceptional, authentic flavor that has made the brand a hit for 20 years.

Through July 10, Robeks customers will be able to order these three new items that are made using Pineapple Ginger Spa Water and Cucumber Mint Spa Water

Apple Ginger Allure™: Made with new Pineapple Ginger Spa Water, this refreshing smoothie is made with a fresh Granny Smith apple, hand-picked fresh mint leaves, pineapple, banana, a touch of pineapple sherbet, and a squeeze of fresh lime. A medium smoothie has 246 calories, and just half the sugar of a regular smoothie.

Refreshing Cucumber Mint™: A balanced combination of new Cucumber Mint Spa Water, raw spinach, fresh cucumber, hand-picked fresh mint, pineapple, mango, banana, and a touch of pineapple sherbet. This light and refreshing smoothie has only 229 calories and half the sugar.

Pineapple Ginger Delight™: With 9 grams of protein and a complex array of unique ingredients, this smoothie is rich in vitamins C & A, calcium, fiber, potassium and iron. It is made with Pineapple Ginger Spa Water, a fresh Granny Smith apple, raw ginger, hand-picked fresh mint leaves, a squeeze of fresh lime, pineapple, banana, Greek yogurt and pineapple sherbet, and is topped with crunchy banana chips, shredded coconut, tender Granny Smith apple slices and tart dried cranberries

Find your closest Robeks location by clicking here!

CT Open House Day Invites Residents to Explore All The State Has to Offer

UnknownResidents are invited to explore all the state has to offer at its 12th annual Connecticut Open House Day on June 11! More than 170 attractions across our cosmopolitan cities and charming towns are participating in the event with free admission and special events at select historic and cultural sites, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. Locally, the 1750 Ogden House and Bellarmine Museum of Art in Fairfield, Art at Ives in Danbury, New England Ballet Company in Bridgeport, and the Westport Historical Society are participating.

For a full list of events, click here: CT OPEN HOUSE EVENTS!

Game Haven, a Video Paradise in Norwalk

13062298_649912878489190_168259627417929668_n-700x525If you have kids, you already know more than you ever imagined you ever would about video games. From Mario to Minecraft, kids can spend an entire afternoon trying to score points and win big. Now, there’s a new way for gamers to experience their favorite games in a more social, interactive way. Game Haven in Norwalk offers a chance for gamers to get together to learn new games, share tips, and meet new friends – and they do kids birthday parties too! We spoke with Brent Goren, founder and president of Game Haven to learn what they have to offer!

Fairfieldista: What makes Game Haven unique?

Brent: There’s nothing else like it here in Connecticut. Game Haven is a place to play video games, spend your time meeting new people, making friends, and be a part of a growing community.
Fairfieldista: What types of games do you offer?

Brent: We have everything that’s popular – from Minecraft and Super Smash Brothers to League of Legends, Hearthstone, Madden, and even Call of Duty
Fairfieldista: What age groups do you cater to? Are the games geared toward tweens, teens and adults?

Brent: Video games appeal to a wide range of ages so, at Game Haven, we also have to ensure that our facility caters to a wide range of ages. All participants must fill out a Liability Waiver. For kids under 18 we require parents to fill out an ESRB Parental Consent form in addition to co-signing the Liability Waiver.

Fairfieldista: Since you opened in December, what have your customers said about their experience?

Brent: It has been overwhelmingly positive! We’ve gotten great feedback and a lot of reinforcement. In a time where’s it’s so easy to lose face-to-face connection in a sea of social media Game Haven is here to provide Fairfield county with a place to reconnect, to relax, and to remember what real socializing is. A lot of our customers are excited for a few new events coming up in April – a Cosplay Costume contest and Computer Classes.

Fairfieldista:How does it work – do you buy tokens like other gaming centers?

Brent: The first time you visit us you’ll make an account and put time on it. Your time is basically “roll-over” minutes so any time you don’t use will stay on your account – waiting for you when come back. While you’re logged into our system all participants earn ggCircuit Coins – an in-store currency that you can redeem (like tokens) for free snacks, free drinks, and free swag.

Fairfieldista: Tell us about your birthday parties and summer camp>

Brent: Our birthday parties are very popular: Imagine the ultimate birthday party for your gamer kids – where you can sit back, relax, and know everyone is having a great time. Playing at Game Haven offers players an engaging experience in an inclusive environment for cooperative or competitive entertainment.
Fairfieldista: Why did you want to open a gaming center?

I’ve always loved video games and I love kids. My ex-wife really pushed me to do something that would make me happy – something that would feel really rewarding. And I know that as a kid I would have spent every waking hour at a place like Game Haven if it existed back then. I think Game Haven is arriving at a time when social experiences are rare for gamers. It’s very easy to be reclusive, staying home, sitting on the couch. We want to remind people that there are other people out there, like them, who enjoy the same snacks, drinks, and games. I also want to raise awareness levels in our community and dispel some of the social stigmas associated with video games. We’re championing a very important educational cause by teaching classes, hosting seminars, and working closely with the Norwalk After School Program, Norwalk Peer Outreach, and Summer Youth Employment Programs. Game Haven isn’t just a place to play video games – it’s a community center and a place to channel your passion for video games into something social, fun, creative, and educational. Most kids (and parents) don’t even realize that the multi-billion dollar video game industry – growing every year – has a ton of opportunities for non-gamer careers, professional gaming, and even gainful employment.

Fairfieldista: What are the most popular video games at Game Haven? What’s your favorite game?

Brent: The most popular game at Game Haven is Smash – by far. The community has responded overwhelmingly and people come out en masse when we host our weekly G.H.O.S.T (Game Haven Open Smash Tournament) and monthly Smash tournaments.

Personally, I love Star Wars and my favorite game these days is a toss up between Star Wars: The Old Republic and Heroes of the Storm (a MOBA by Blizzard). I also enjoy a little Hearthstone on my phone. And, I’ve been trying to sneak a little Black Desert into my evenings with little success – but it’s brand-new and got some incredibly innovative ideas that I find really engaging.

Fairfieldista: We’re hearing a lot about virtual reality – do you think that’s the future of gaming?

Brent: It is DEFINITELY the future of gaming. Right now it’s difficult to embrace wholeheartedly with the fledgling hardware and lukewarm software support. There are a TON of options from the Oculus Rift to the HTC Vive, Fove VR, Star VR, SONY’s Project Morpheus, Microsoft’s HoloLens, Samsung’s Gear VR, Razer’s OSVR, SteamVR…and, well you see my point. There’s billions of dollars going into development in this field. At Game Haven we’ve built a few of our best PC’s to handle VR when the first units are released to the public. Imagine having a VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY at Game Haven! The possibilities are endless!

Game Haven of Connecticut LLC
10 Cross Street
Norwalk, CT 06851

A New Q: Bobby Q’s to Reopen in Norwalk

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Bob LeRose, co-owner of Bobby Q’s Bodacious BBQ & Grill in Westport and Bobby Q’s Pit Stop in Greenwich, announced that their newest venture will be opening this summer in Norwalk at the new Waypointe District, located at 11 Merwin Street. The new 4,300 square foot location, which will accommodate 80-100 diners and include an outdoor dining area, will feature a new twist on old favorites from the Westport location.

“We’re excited to launch this new venture in this vibrant, up-and-coming area of Norwalk and make friends in our new community,” said LeRose. “While we are still working on the name of the restaurant and our menu, expect to continue enjoying our ‘pit to plate’ promise of the freshest BBQ, cooked daily, including traditional big plates of BBQ meats and sides, as well as some fresh dishes and new concepts. This will be in addition to an innovative cocktail menu, expanded craft beer offerings and a great line-up of bands to continue our commitment to offering the best local, live music in Fairfield County.”

LeRose’s Westport location has enjoyed a successful 11 year run in town, and will close its doors in April. The restaurant will continue to serve its award-winning BBQ and creative house drinks Tuesday-Sunday evenings, as well as host live music every Saturday night, beginning at 10:00pm, until its final day. In addition, Bobby Q’s will also be continuing to offer a Family Night promotions, inviting kids 12 and under to eat from the kid’s menu for free with each adult paid entrée on Tuesdays.

“To encourage our friends in the community to join in on the final weeks of our Westport location’s celebration, we will be offering each table a 15% off coupon to visit us in our new neighborhood after we open this summer,” added LeRose. “We will also continue to take catering orders during the transition period between Westport closing and Norwalk opening, so are excited to still see our community friends during these months.”

To continue to follow news on the new Norwalk location, follow @bobbyqs on Twitter and Bobby Q’s Bodacious BBQ & Grill on Facebook.

Connecticut Staycation Guide!

UnknownSticking around for spring break? The Connecticut Office of Tourism unveiled its new 2016 Official Spring/Summer Connecticut Visitors Guide, an inspirational travel storytelling magazine for planning vacations, getaways and outings in Connecticut.

The new, re-envisioned guides offer seasonal-specific travel experiences designed to inspire visitors to travel to Connecticut multiple times year-round. Each features current travel stories, experiences, events, attractions and destinations. The 2016 Spring/Summer printed guide is available now for free at Welcome Centers throughout Connecticut, by calling 1-888-CTvisit, and through www.CTvisit.com, where consumers can also view the digital edition.

“With this type of experiential storytelling, the new Connecticut visitors guide is revolutionary in state destination marketing,” said Randy Fiveash, director of Connecticut Office of Tourism. “Through these stories, Connecticut destinations come alive and allow prospective travelers to immerse themselves in the place and experience. The reimagined guide better reflects how today’s travelers look for ideas and inspiration.”

The 72-page seasonal guide is ideal for families, couples, groups and individuals interested in discovering or rediscovering Connecticut. Reinforcing Connecticut’s still revolutionary branding, it is filled with colorful images, travel stories, experiences, ideas and information and includes a state map. For additional travel ideas and information, clickable graphics are interspersed throughout the guide so consumers can click to www.CTvisit.com, Connecticut’s official tourism website.

The inspirational guide is organized by features such as “Six Summer Escapes,” “Lobster 24/7” and “If Walls Could Talk”; by departments including “Live from CT,” “Make a Splash” and “License to Thrill”; and by Connecticut’s five tourism regions.

New Mommy & Me Program at the Maritime Aquarium

Unknown-1Parents with preschoolers can share hands-on discoveries about sharks, turtles and other animals in a series of “mommy-and-me”-style programs in March at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The programs, called “Seal Pups,” let 3- and 4-year-old children participate together with their parents (or caregivers) in age-appropriate activities, up-close meetings with live animals and storybooks that relate to the week’s topics. The stories and animal encounters encourage preschoolers’ natural curiosity while also providing opportunities for parent-child fun.

“ ‘Seal Pups’ programs afford a chance to encourage curiosity in 3- and 4-year-olds in ways that go beyond what’s possible during a casual recreational visit,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of education. “And having parents or caregivers participate with the child means everyone will be comfortable and able to enjoy some memorable shared fun.”

Each program meets from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Choose a topic, and then choose between the weekday and the weekend presentation. Sign up for one, two or all three. Topics and dates are:

  • “Sharks!” – Wed., March 16 or Sat., March 19.
  • “Turtles!” – Wed., March 23 or Sat., March 26.
  • “Body Coverings” – Wed., March 30 or Sat., April 2.

Price per session is $12 for one child and parent/caregiver ($10 for Aquarium members). Additional Aquarium admission is optional.

Advance registration is required for all “Seal Pups” programs. Call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or register online for public programs at www.maritimeaquarium.org under the “Fun & Learning” tab.