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Where to have outdoor fun Memorial Day weekend in the Danbury area

Kendra BakerMay 24, 2019

Those looking for some outdoor fun to kick off the unofficial start of summer don’t need to look further than their own backyards.

From New Milford to Ridgefield, there are many parks and lakes open Memorial Day weekend in the Greater Danbury area.

Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake Town Park in Danbury opens for the season this Saturday.

The 11-acre beachfront park at 36 East Hayestown Road — open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday through Monday — has benches, picnic tables, a concession stand, playgrounds and a boating dock.

There will be limited swimming areas this weekend due to the number of lifeguards available.

The boat ramp at the park is open to Danbury residents only. Passes for the ramp are available on site and at the Parks and Recreation Department. Non-resident boaters may use the state boat launch at Lattin’s Cove, 8 Forty Acre Mountain Road.

Daily or season passes are needed to access the park. Rates will be similar to last year’s, said Parks and Recreation Director Nicholas Kaplanis. Passes are sold at the park entrance.

Hatters Park

Danbury’s Hatters Park at 7 East Hayestown Road features a picnic pavilion, pond, banquet hall and playground.

A field permit is required to use the three softball fields. Gas-grilling is allowed at the park, which is open from sunrise to sunset.

Lake Kenosia Park

This 25-acre lakeside park in Danbury has a playground, spray park, soccer fields, benches and non-motorized boating.

There is no swimming allowed at Lake Kenosia, and use of the soccer fields requires a field use permit. Gas-grilling is allowed at the 10 Christopher Columbus Ave. park, which is open from sunrise to sunset. The spray park does not open until mid-June.

Rogers Park

The splash pad at Rogers Park in Danbury opens for the summer season on Saturday.

The spray park on Memorial Drive will be open daily from noon to 6 p.m.

Rogers Park is a 56-acre park with several fields, tennis and volleyball courts, a handball-paddleball court, concession stand and pond with a hiking/nature trail.

Squantz Pond

Anyone looking to picnic, hike, boat or swim can head over to Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield.

The 178 Short Woods Road park encompasses 172 acres on the southwestern shore of Squantz Pond.

Swimming is only allowed in designated areas, and lifeguards are typically on duty each day, Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The park itself is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Floating devices, snorkels, rough play, sand- or rock-throwing, “throw-catch” activities, soap or shampoo, fishing, alcohol and pets are not allowed at the park.

Parking is limited to 250 vehicles. Once capacity is reached, the park remains closed for the rest of the day.

Young’s Field

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly spot by the river, Young’s Field in New Milford is the place.

The active recreation area at 6 Young’s Field Road has a skate park, pavilion, playground, tennis and basketball courts and multi-use athletic fields.

There are benches, outdoor seating, a picnic area — and a kayak ramp on the Housatonic River across the street.

Conn’s Pond

Canterbury Pond, also known as Conn’s Pond, in New Milford is a peaceful one-acre park off Route 202 and is brimming with wildlife and features a picnic area, as well as benches.

Pets are allowed at Conn’s Pond, but alcohol is not.

Lynn Deming Park

Lynn Deming Park, at 134 Candlewood Lake Road North in New Milford, opens for the season this Saturday.

It is open from sunrise to sunset and features a picnic grove, pavilion and beach.

No alcohol, smoking or animals of any kind are allowed, and minors must be accompanied by a guardian.

Grills and picnic fires are not allowed in or near the beach area, and swimmers must remain in designated swimming areas.

Admittance is limited to residents and non-residents with valid day passes, and resident vehicles with authorized stickers. Resident walk-ins must show a valid Connecticut driver’s license or state-issued ID proving their New Milford residency.

Park passes are available through the Parks and Recreation Department.

Martin Park Beach

Martin Park Beach, at 19 Great Pond Road in Ridgefield, will open for the season this weekend.

It offers swimming and boating activities, as well as a pavilion with tables, playground, volleyball net and kayak, paddleboard and paddleboat rentals.

There is also a Water Mat, Wibit Slide and Zoom Floom.

Lifeguards will be on duty during daily operations from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Ridgefield residents get to enjoy free entry Memorial Day weekend. The park has restrooms, changing rooms and showers.

Visit the website for more information about Martin Park Beach and its membership fees.

Lake Lillinonah

Lake Lillinonah Park offers lake views, picnic tables, charcoal grills and a boat launch. Swimming, however, is not allowed.

The 196 Hanover Road park is open — to Newtown residents only — from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are portable bathroom facilities and limited parking. Cars must display a current park permit to enter the park. There’s a two-picnic-table maximum per group.

Fishing, sunbathing, waterskiing, diving and boat mooring are not allowed on the boat launch dock. A permit is required for boat launching, and all boats must be properly registered and meet all boating regulations.

Kent Falls

Kent Falls State Park, at 462 Kent Cornwall Road in Kent, features a covered bridge, hiking trails, pedestal grills, picnic tables and a waterfall that cascades down to the Housatonic River.

When the parking lot reaches capacity, the park closes until 10 spaces become available. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer months.

Alcohol and entry into water is prohibited, and drones are not allowed in state parks.

Parking fees for non-residents are charged on weekends until 6 p.m. Bathroom facilities are available at the park.

Visit the website for more information about Kent Falls State Park and its parking fees.

Kettletown State Park

On the eastern shore of Lake Zoar is Kettletown State Park — a public recreation area in the towns of Oxford and Southbury that offers include swimming, camping, hiking, picnicking and fishing.

The park at 1400 Georges Hill Road in Southbury is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

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