By Chelsea Murray Kaneb

Summer is enjoying a drippy ice cream cone on a warm night. Memories of frequenting local ice cream parlors and stands each summer in my childhood are core memories pleasantly burned into my brain.

Getting a cone, cup, sundae, or even sharing a banana split after dinner on a summer night is a great American pastime, much like baseball. We’re now building more memories this summer as my daughter has discovered the allure of an ice cream cone. It’s pure magic watching her enjoy it, laughing and smiling as it drips down her hands and happily covers her face.

My daughter enjoying a vanilla cone at Arethusa farm in Bantam.

She’s a vanilla fan, which bodes well for me since she leaves my chocolate or funky flavor choice alone, for the time being, focusing all her energy on her cone. There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked waffle cones, seeing menus full of flavors, and enjoying heaping scoops on a warm summer night.

Luckily, we live in an area with dozens of delicious ice cream joints. Some of our favorites? Arethusa Farm Dairy (in both its main store in Bantam and in downtown New Haven where the First Lady popped in for a cone just last week), Peaches and Cream in Litchfield, Nutmeg Fudge Company in downtown Torrington, The Big Dipper in Prospect, Rich Farm Ice Cream in Oxford, Popey’s in Morris, Grassroots in Granby, and a new (to us) favorite, Tulmeadow Farm in Simsbury.

The Big Dipper in Prospect is annually voted the Best Ice Cream by Observer readers.

The Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream and the UCONN Dairy Bar are worth the trip and offer tasty treats with beautiful views of two of Connecticut’s most visited places. There are also a few Ben and Jerry’s locations sprinkled around, including in Canton and West Hartford that always spark joy.

Each one has a different touch to make the visits unique. Arethusa’s simple yet outrageously tasty old fashioned fresh, reasonably priced ice cream is one of the best in the land. After an evening playing around and picnicking at nearby Mt. Tom Pond, we stopped into Arethusa for a cone after dinner. My daughter was in her own personal heaven sitting on a brick wall in her sandy sundress covered in delicious ice cream. These simple moments have been some of my favorite moments shared with her and the snapshots will stay in my mind for a lifetime. The simple tradition of enjoying an ice cream cone on a lazy summer night is timeless.

In the comments section- What are some of your favorite ice cream places to visit in Connecticut? Do you prefer cones of cups?

Things Happening in Waterbury:

Brass City Jazz Fest on August 6

Free outdoor concert in Downtown Waterbury featuring Paul Taylor, #1 Billboard contemporary Jazz Artist with his saxophone, world-renowned jazz bassist David Dyson, who will be performing with Unit 3 Deep featuring internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Lori Williams; Billboard charting trumpeter Willie Bradley; Sherry Winston, Connecticut’s own national recording jazz flutist; and saxophonist Doug Jones.Other performers include Taylor Sorice, along with the Brass City Jazz Fest Band, headed by the event’s musical director and bassist, Steve Clarke. Bring a lawn chair, a blanket, some good vibes and enjoy a relaxing Saturday listening to the sounds of contemporary jazz music. Food trucks and arts and craft vendors will be onsite as well as a beer and wine pavilion. Artist merchandise with signed CDs, and other Brass City Jazz Fest merchandise will be available for purchase. The parking and admission is free. Location: 267 Grand Street at Library Park Saturday, Aug. 6 2:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. Contact (203) 757-0701

One of the most popular events every year in Waterbury.

Tunes on the Terrace: Funk That on August 7 from 2:00 PM- 4:00 PM at the Mattatuck Museum

More Sunday shows:

Sunday, August 7: Funk That

Sunday, August 21: Goza Latin Jazz Band

Sunday, September 4: The Hot Club of Black Rock

$15 Members / $20 General

Have some fun on your lazy Sunday afternoons by coming to the MATT to enjoy good food and drinks while listening to even better music. Concerts will be held on the rooftop terrace and moved inside to their performing arts center in the event of bad weather.

Lunch and Learn: The Flood of ’55 on August 10

Join Michael Dooling to take an in-depth look at the historic flood that devastated Waterbury in 1955. Michael will provide some fresh perspective on the Flood of ’55 relating the events leading up to it, the extensive damage to Waterbury, a connection to Hollywood, aid from unexpected places, and his family’s experiences. Michael C. Dooling is a retired archivist at the Mattatuck Museum, former news librarian at the Republican-American, and an author. When at the newspaper, he wrote dozens of local history articles and an award-winning weekly column titled Big Wheels. He is also the author of five books relating to true crime and regional history including Clueless in New England and An Historical Account of Charles Island. His presentation, titled Waterburied, has special meaning for him; he and family evacuated their home in Naugatuck in the aftermath of the Flood of 1955. Location: Mattatuck Museum 144 West Main Street Waterbury, CT 06702 on Wednesday August 10 from 12-1 PM. $5 Members | $10 General Contact: (203) 753-0381

Cinderella- July 23-August 7 at Seven Angels Theatre

This enchanting, Tony-nominated Broadway adaptation of the beloved musical will put a spell on audiences of all ages. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcases some of the songwriting duo’s loveliest tunes, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” as well as some new characters and surprising twists. Add a dash of fairy-tale romance, magical onstage transformations, and the iconic pumpkin and glass slippers—and you’re guaranteed to have a ball!

$20 for students, $29 for adults and a 4 pack only $99

Great treats before the show:

Saturday, July 23 – Sweet Maria’s

Saturday, July 30 – Cavallo’s

Friday, August 5 – Fascia’s

Sunday, August 7 – Big Dipper

Start: Jul 23 @ 7:30 pm End: Aug 8 @ 2:00 pm

Cost: $20 – $29




New Haven County:

Peach Festival on August 20 at Lyman Orchards Peach Festival starts at 11am. There will be Pick Your Own Peaches, freshly made peach treats, live music, a petting farm, horse-drawn hayrides, kettle corn from Jeff’s Kettle Corn, and a peach jam demo. Lyman Orchards Apple Barrel 32 Reeds Gap Road Middlefield, CT 06455 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Contact: (860) 349-6000 Visit Website

48th Annual Milford Oyster Festival on Saturday August 20th 10 AM-6 PM

The 48th Annual Milford Oyster Festival welcomes Scott Stapp, one of the greatest rock vocalists, to headline the main stage on August 20, 2022. Scott Stapp is a grammy award-winning songwriter, solo artist and lead vocalist of the rock band Creed. He has sold over 53 million records and has been streamed over 1 billion times. He also has eleven #1 singles. Opening for Scott Stapp will be the FOOZ FIGHTERS, the award-winning Foo Fighters tribute band. Led by Dave Grohl look-alike Nicky Rich, this sought-after tribute band plays to packed crowds across the world. In addition to the Main Stage entertainment, the event also includes a craft beer area at Lisman Landing, the Festival Car Show, Arts and Crafts vendors on the Green, amusement rides, canoe and kayak races, and 30,000 Oysters that will be locally sourced from Briarpatch Shellfish Company in Milford. Oyster Eve, the festival kick-off event, will be held on Friday August 19th, from 6:00pm-10:00pm at it’s new location in Fowler Field. Music, craft beers, wine, oysters and a wide selection of great food will be available on Oyster Eve. There is $5.00 entry on Oyster Eve for anyone over 14. For more information visit our website Downtown Milford, Connecticut 1 Shipyard Milford, CT 06460. Free admission.

Litchfield County:

PAL Summerfest July 29th 5 PM- July 31st 6 PM

Main Street, Torrington – Join Torrington PAL for the hottest event of the summer in downtown Torrington. PAL Summerfest features a carnival, car show, games and crafts, food trucks, music, a craft fair, 3 versus 3 basketball tournament and much more. 3 days packed with fun for the whole family.

Yoga in The Sunflowers August 6 – 20

A large airy tent will act as the yoga area. The tent faces the sunflowers, and cut flower field. The field is yours to walk before or after class. Refresh your mind, body, and soul with this relaxing outdoor experience. Only 20 tickets per class. Tickets must be purchased on their website, no walk-in ticket sales are allowed. Farmstead Location of The Farm 281 Weekeepeemee Rd. Route 132 Woodbury, CT 06798. Saturdays 9 a.m.-10 a.m. (203) 263-4550

Painting in The Sunflowers August 6 – 20

Join The Farm in their airy tent among the field of sunflowers for a sunflower painting experience. Led by Kate from the Golden Button Arts and Crafts Studio, two classes will be offered; Children’s class at 3pm and an Adult class at 5pm on the Saturdays of the sunflowers. A canvas, paint, brushes, chair, easel, and a wonderful sunflower field will be supplied. Show up early and grab something to eat, or drink at the snack barn or food truck. Walk the sunflowers and fields up to 1 hour before class pick your favorite to paint and take home with you.

Kids Paint 3pm – $25 plus admission

Adult Paint 5pm – $25 plus admission

Torrington Road Race on Saturday Aug 13

12 PM at Coe Park in Downtown Torrington, CT.

Wings & Things on August 11 at Quassy Amusement and Waterpark

Ticketed event includes a great summer menu including three kinds of chicken wings, hamburgers, hot dogs, and more. Evening ride/waterpark wristband included. Use promo code AUGUSTWINGS22 to purchase tickets. Quassy Amusement Park 2132 Middlebury Rd. Middlebury, CT 06762 for 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

Matilda the Musical at the Warner Theatre

Performances are July 30, August 6, 11, 12, & 13, 2022 at 8:00 pm and July 31, August 7 & 14, 2022 at 2:00 pm.

Matilda is playing in Torrington at the Warner Theater.

The story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny will be brought to life on the historic Warner Theatre’s Main Stage when the Stage @ the Warner production of MATILDA THE MUSICAL is presented on July 30-August 14, 2022. Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning musical is the captivating masterpiece that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts and could be the school pupils’ saving grace.

Sunday, August 7 at 2:00 PM is a SENSORY FRIENDLY performance. Thursday, August 11 at 8:00 PM is a Community Outreach Event, where tickets can be purchased on a “Pay What You Can” basis. A minimum donation of $5.00 per ticket is suggested. The Stage @ the Warner presenting sponsor is Hartford HealthCare/Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. Matilda is sponsored by Torrington Savings Bank. Venue: The Warner Theatre Oneglia Auditorium 68 Main Street Torrington CT 06790.

Harriet Luongo (Matilda), Katie Brunetto (Mrs. Wormwood), Patrick Spadaccino (Harry Wormwood), David Anctil (Agatha Trunchbull), Kelly White (Jennifer Honey), Leah Pesce (Alice), Phoebe Amankwah (Lavender), Zachary Sokira (Tommy), Madelynn Harris (Bruce Bogtrotter), Olivia Tonon (Amanda), Sawyer Delaney (Eric), Jonathan Parks (Rudolpho), Maci Duchemin (Nigel), Tyler Violette (Michael Wormwood), Abigail Svelan (The Acrobat/Dance Captain) and others….

Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival @ Goshen Fair Grounds on August 14

Goshen Fair Grounds, 116 Old Middle Street, Goshen, CT 06756

This coming August, the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival will celebrate its 25th year with one of its most outstanding line-ups to date. The 2022 festival will run from Thursday, August 11th through Sunday, August 14th. Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All contributions, less benefits of a certain value, are fully tax-deductible in accordance with the law (Tax ID #06-1457866).

General Information – Thursday is the first day of bluegrass music featuring the Telefunken Band Competition. The festival kicks into high gear on Friday and Saturday, with great bluegrass music on our Main stage concluding on Sunday starting with our Gospel show, and the best Regional acts and workshops on our Housatonic and Litchfield stages all weekend long.

What Else Is Happening? -There will be a series of free workshops, traditional crafts, storytelling, jam sessions, and a great variety of food available. We also will offer a children’s activity area.

Plenty of Field Picking: Bring your instrument and join in at the camping grounds for some good old fashion picking! Plenty of chances to play into the wee hours.

Princess Bride on Thursday August 18, Oneglia Auditorium 68 Main Street Torrington CT 06790

The Warner Theatre is proud to present its first ever Warner Block Party, as part of the 2nd Annual Litchfield Hills Creative Festival on Saturday, August 20. The Block Party will begin at 5 pm on Main Street in downtown Torrington. Main Street will be closed to traffic for the evening so attendees can celebrate, enjoy live performances, and participate in fun community activities. The “Main Stage” will be located under the Warner’s marquee where live music will be presented and coordinated by Red Room Sound Studio and the Warner Theatre. The 2nd Annual Litchfield Hills Creative Festival is presented by the NWCT Arts Council. The Block Party Main Stage will be emceed by National Recording Artist, and co-owner of Red Room Sound Studio, Lucinda Rowe. Live Music performances for the evening include: Lee Totten Frank Viele Audio Jane and our Headliner: Jason Ingriselli & the Miles North Band “The Warner Theatre regularly brings life to downtown Torrington, so we thought what better way to celebrate the summer, the Downtown Torrington Cultural District, and the Litchfield Hills Creative Festival by taking over the main street and throwing a block party filled with amazing music,” said Rufus de Rham, Executive Director of the Warner Theatre. “We are so lucky to have great local support this summer to make this concert and Saturday’s performance of The Lightning Thief free and open to the public. We hope you all join us!” The Warner Block Party is sponsored by Red Room Sound Studio, Building Healthier Communities Fund, and AKC Fund. The Summer Arts Program is sponsored by the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation and the AKC Fund.

2022 Creative Festival in Torrington put on by the NWCT Arts Council on August 20th

Click the link to find out all the details about the event celebrating the creative culture in the NW Corner of Connecticut this summer

KidsPlay’s 10th Birthday Extravaganza -Thursday, August 4, Torrington

KidsPlay is 10 years old. KidsPlay is celebrating with a fun-filled evening which will include two performances from Casey Carle’s BubbleMania!, Touch-a-Truck on Main Street, and family activities both inside and outside of the Museum.

Warner Theatre: Casey Carle’s BubbleMania! performances at 4:30 pm & 6 pm

Main Street:
Giant Games & Obstacle Course
Touch-a-Truck on Main Street
Bubble & Water Activities
Big Wheels Raceway & Build a Box City
Exhibit Prototype Displays
Food Trucks
KidsPlay Children’s Museum:
Exhibit Explorations & Maker Space Challenges

Beyond Van Gogh The Immersive Experience Open August 10, 2022- October 2, 2022. Connecticut Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A
100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford CT 06103

Through the use of cutting-edge projection technology and an original score, Beyond Van Gogh breathes new life into over 300 of Van Gogh’s artworks. Occupying over 30,000 square feet, Beyond Van Gogh is the largest immersive experience in the country, offering guests ample room to safely enjoy the exhibit. Comprised of over 4 trillion content pixels, this high-resolution portrayal of Van Gogh’s work gives guests the opportunity to become one with his paintings.

The visit will take around one hour with final entry one hour before close.


Sunday: 10am – 8pm (last entry 7pm)

Monday & Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday & Thursday: 10am – 8pm (last entry 7pm)

Friday & Saturday:10am – 9pm (last entry 8pm)