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Neighborhood Gems (Help!)

‘Neighborhood Gems’ could use some serious updating…hint, hint…

What is your favorite family-friendly restaurant?  Do tell.

Neighborhood Gems is written by you, for you.  What do you and your kids love about your neighborhood?  What are your favorite kid spots in the area? Spill it all in a comment or send an email to kidhaven@email.com.  Include the name of the neighborhood plus the name of the town, if outside of New Haven.

F.Y.I.  Lots of people look at this page.  They do.  Now I just need your input to make it worth their visit!

New Haven neighborhoods

Downtown

parks ‘n playgrounds:

the rest:

  • Gourmet Heaven. A small shop on Broadway, Gourmet Heaven sells food products, flowers and they have a great buffet.  You can’t see the buffet from the street and might not know it’s there, but once inside, you’ll find a decent spread of food from Italian to Asian and everything in between.  And yes, they do have staples like mac n’ cheese for the kids.
  • Ashley’s Ice Cream on York Street is oh so delicious after lunch, or anytime really!
  • Window shopping along Broadway.
  • Simply admiring the amazing architecture.

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East Rock

parks ‘n playgrounds:

  • East Rock Park.
  • Hooker School Playground, especially the really cool little climbing wall.

the rest:

  • Lulu’s Coffee House on Cottage! On Saturday and Sunday mornings I think there are more kids than adults there and there is a lot of sidewalk space for the kids to ride their bikes.

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Westville

parks ‘n playgrounds:

  • Blake Street Playground. It’s semi-shady and never too busy.
  • Edgewood School Playground.
  • Edgewood Park duck pond in the Spring and Fall, plus the big sprinkler in the summer.

the rest:

  • Mitchell Library stay and play.
  • Hot chocolate and cupcakes at Deja Brew Café.
  • Dominican confections at Manjares Fine Pastries.
  • Fresh veggies and schmoozing at Edgewood Park Farmer’s Market.
  • Westville Village Shops (Mirabelle, Yarn, Village Gifts, etc.), Galleries (Jennifer Jane, Kehler Liddell, Lyric Hall) and restaurants (Lena’s, Delaney’s, Bella’s).
  • Feeding the polo ponies near the Yale Bowl.

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Surrounding Towns

Bethany

parks ‘n playgrounds:

  • Veteran’s Memorial Park on Route 42 has a brand new playground (’09) that’s next to a lovely little lake with a nice walking path around it.
  • There is a great, new playground behind the Community School in Bethany.
  • Field of Dreams on Waterbury Road in Prospect, CT (just north of Bethany).

the rest:

  • Billy’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream on Amity Road.
  • Hidden in the woods, the Yale Observatory on Hilldale Road is open to the public from time to time.  Folks that go there love it!

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Milford

parks ‘n playgrounds:

  • Eisenhower Park is the best park for kids in Milford.  There are big and little swings, a play structure, a large sandbox and a small, covered pavillion with tables.  Both tennis courts and an exercise loop with various workout stations are adjacent to the park.

the rest:

  • Scoopy Doo’s Ice Cream near the boat yard.  It’s a Milford favorite.  While Scoopy Doo’s ice cream isn’t anything special, it’s in the best location.  It’s especially fun to grab your ice cream and walk around looking at all the sailboats in the marina.
  • The Cone Zone on Boston Post Road has the best soft serve ice cream in Milford, hands down.
  • Bistro Basque.  Call the babysitter and have a date night at this tapas restaurant.  Noisy but really yummy.

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North Haven

parks ‘n playgrounds:

the rest:

  • North Haven Public Library (and Wallingford Public Library, too!).  Great places to play and read on a rainy day, or really any day kids feel like playing inside.

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West Haven

parks ‘n playgrounds:

  • Painter Park Playground, a wooden climbing structure with lots of “secret” passageways, infant and child swings, sandbox and adjoining sports fields.

the rest:

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Whitneyville

parks ‘n playgrounds:

  • DeNicola Park on Treadwell Street.  The best part of this playground during the summer is how shady it is.  Most of the playground is well-covered by trees, more so than any of the other nearby playgrounds.  Other pluses are its relative compactness, cleanliness, mix of age-appropriate equipment and availability of seating.  Behind the playground there’s also a running track, open field and basketball court.  Many a Whitneyville resident has held a child’s birthday party at DeNicola.  Oh and no sandbox, but that sometimes nice, too, right?!

the rest:

  • Bread Basket/Laundry Basket.  Yep, you can get your muffins and cleaning at the same place!  Don’t worry, they don’t actually do the cleaning on premises.  (Rumor has it they’re just a convenient Whitneyville middleman for Rainbow Cleaners further up Whitney Ave.)  Locals rave about their blueberry muffins – very moist, fresh and blueberry’ish – as well as the cardamom bread and daily soup.  While the owner makes it clear he’d like you to get (more/re-)acquainted with his Lord & Savior, he’s not pushy and is very nice in general.

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Woodbridge

parks ‘n playgrounds:

the rest:

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessie Jewell permalink
    November 1, 2009 9:38 pm

    Hi there! We live in the Morris Cove neighborhood of New Haven. It’s a great neighborhood with parks, beaches, a nature preserve, antique carousel, bird migration site, marina, and more. I’ll write up some more about the neighborhood for kidhaven if you’re interested. It’s also an area where homes are more affordable than in other parts of New Haven. I love living here – it’s quiet and friendly and so much more!

    • kidhaven permalink*
      November 2, 2009 2:09 am

      (I just realized that I think I mis-read your last name as your first name :0( So sorry! That’s what I get for catching up on comments late at night. I think I’ll just leave it at hello…) Hello! Yes, I’d love it if you could put together a list of your favorite places in Morris Cove. You can follow the formatting/categories used in ‘Neighborhood Gems.’ Yay, I’m so excited! Thanks in advance :0)

  2. November 9, 2009 7:31 pm

    Hi, if anybody is interested a few of us started a playgroup/comunity bulliten board. i would love to share with you other parents and this site all the great activities we have found in New Haven and the surrounding areas there are too many to post here it would take me hours! But in my reserch i have found an amazing amount of family oriented events ranging from story time and sing alongs to more unusual and exciting things.
    http://www.meetup.com/littleexporersplaygroup

    • kidhaven permalink*
      November 10, 2009 2:23 am

      Hi Mary! Thank you for telling kidHaven readers about ‘Little Explorers Playgroup.’ However, is it possible to re-write this comment on kidHaven’s new site: kidhaven.com? They are actually two different sites and I’m in the process of breaking the wordpress.com site down. Also, while I have your attention, would you like me to add your playgroup to the ‘Playgroups’ page under the ‘Resources’ tab? And also, if you’d like to talk about sharing more details about your great, family-friendly finds around the area…I’m all ears!

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