New Canaan Summer Bucket List Every Teen Should Complete


Each high schooler only has four summers in New Canaan. This year the class of 2015 graduated on June 18, giving teenagers 70 full days of summer, until the Aug. 27 back-to-school start date.

New Canaan teens have about 280 days of summer in total through their high school years to try and experience new things, boost their college resume, and most importantly have fun. Factor in the snow days that add extra dates to the school calendar, the fall sports preseason that take up a week of the sunshine, and doctors appointments that parents have decided to squeeze in before the school year, there really isn’t that much time for high schoolers to experience everything that New Canaan has to offer throughout the summer.

Here’s a list I came up with of adventures, opportunities, and experiences that all high schoolers should take advantage of in New Canaan, whether these tasks can be completed in the remaining weeks of this summer or will have to wait until next summer. Some of these things I haven’t even taken advantage of and I will try to in my last week in this town before I head off to my freshman year of college.

The Waveny Cross Country Series is held every Tuesday throughout the summer. Photo by Mackenzie Lewis

The Waveny Cross Country Series is held every Tuesday throughout the summer. Photo by Mackenzie Lewis

1. Participate in the Summer Cross Country Series

Every Tuesday night throughout the summer, Club Connecticut hosts a series of 5k races. The weekly races starts on the Waveny West Lawn at 7 p.m. The next race this Tuesday is themed as a 3 Person Ekiden Relay. All are encouraged to participate.

2. Go to a Summer Theatre of New Canaan Show

The walkway from the parking lot by Dunning Field at New Canaan High School to the Summer Theatre of New Canaan tent. Credit: RJ Scofield

The walkway from the parking lot by Dunning Field at New Canaan High School to the Summer Theatre of New Canaan tent. Credit: RJ Scofield

Also held at Waveny, this summer Legally Blonde, Charlotte’s Web, The Wizard of Oz, and Cinderella were all put on by the Summer Theatre of New Canaan. Although the 2015 season of shows has come to a close, the performances were a huge hit among all New Canaanites. If you haven’t attended a Summer Theatre show make sure to attend one next summer.

3. Take Advantage of the Sidewalk Sale

Scenes from the 2015 Sidewalk Sale in New Canaan, July 18. Credit: Michael Dinan

Scenes from the 2015 Sidewalk Sale in New Canaan, July 18. Credit: Michael Dinan

Hosted by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, this is a perfect event for those who want to “shop until they drop.” If you haven’t been in town for the numerous sales and deals at all of the stores, then this is must. The event brings the town together all outside Elm and Main Street and is the best way to purchase back-to-school clothing.

4. Stop By Baskin Robbins For Two For Tuesdays

Baskin-Robbins. Credit: Michael Dinan

Baskin-Robbins. Credit: Michael Dinan

What could be better than two ice creams for the price of one? Stop by Baskin Robbins every Tuesday and receive an additional ice cream when purchasing one. This is great place to meet up with friends every Tuesday night and catch up with them throughout the summer.


5. Take A Trip To the John Milne Lake and the Grupes Reservoir 

Take a drive up North Wilton Rd and you’ll find this calm, beautiful place that meets Grupes Reservoir. Walking on the grass along the side of the water, you’ll feel as if you have left civilization. The lake and reservoir are great places for those who love outdoors to sit by and relax.

6. Become A Camp Counselor At the YMCA, Kiwanis, or Waveny

If you’re a teen that doesn’t want to let go of the summer camps that you grew up with, becoming a camp counselor is another way to take advantage of the time spent in New Canaan. Not only is it a great way to feel as if you are eight again, but the job is also a great leadership opportunity within the town.

7. Try Something From Every Table At The Farmer’s Market

New Canaan Farmers Market. Credit: Terry Dinan

New Canaan Farmers Market. Credit: Terry Dinan

Although the The Farmer’s Market is held in the spring and parts of the fall as well, the idea of food and local vendors gathering in the parking lot screams summer. Every Saturday, stop by the parking lot of the old Center School and try the many options of fresh fruit, vegetables, and try a slice of the bread, mozzarella and pesto.

8. Paint Something At Art & Soul

Even though half of the birthday parties you may have attended as a child were at Art & Soul, you are never too old to stop by and paint something. Whether you paint a bowl for you grandmother or trinket for yourself, this is a great place to have some summer fun on a rainy day.

9. Take An Art Class At The Silvermine Arts Center

If you’re an “art person” or even if you are not, the Silvermine Arts Center offers a variety of classes throughout the summer for all different levels of artists. They even offer teen workshops with different themes each week. Next week, the center will be offering multiple classes such as Youth Fashion Illustration, Youth Drawing, Creative Comics, and Figure Drawing. The following week before school starts, Let’s Face It, Exploration of Artists Mediums, Pottery: Throw On!, and Youth Landscape Painting & Drawing will be the classes offered for teens. Check out their website for more information.

10. Sing Your Heart Out At Peachwave

Peachwave frozen yogurt shop at 11 Forest St. is part of New Canaan's "Restaurant Row."

Credit: Mike Dinan

Stop by Peachwave for some frozen yogurt and participate in the a karaoke sing off with your friends. Throughout the summer and year Peachwave welcomes high school students to stop by for their many events such as Battle of the Bands and Open Mic Night.

11. Enjoy Some Time In Waveny Park

Throw a frisbee, take your dog for a walk, or just sit the grass at Waveny Park. Whatever you decide to do make sure to visit the Waveny as often as you can every summer.

12. Participate In The All Out For Autism 5K Race

Next Friday, the All Out For Autism race hosted by New Balance New Canaan will kick off with a 6:15 p.m. race for kids and those with special needs, as well as a 6:30 p.m. 5K race. The race is a great opportunity to raise awareness for autism in our community and the world as well as see lots of friends and other New Canaanites before the summer comes to an end.  You can register online or on race day.

13. Relax At Waveny Pool Or At The Clubs in Town

Credit: Mackenzie Lewis

Credit: Mackenzie Lewis

One of the reasons school is out of session during the summer is so that high schoolers can have a break from the stress of school. It’s important to relax in the summer as well by joining the Waveny pool or visiting any of the swim or country clubs in town.

14. Find A Job At a Local Businesses

Another motive of the summer could be trying to make earnings for yourself and to gain experience in the real world. There are many local businesses and stores around town that hire students for the summer. If you haven’t already had a job, stop by a store before the beginning of next summer to see if you could apply for a these opportunities.

15. Try Something New

No matter how you spend your high school summers in New Canaan, is essential that you try something new. If you fail you learn from your mistakes, if you succeed you’ll be pushing yourself further ahead of your peers and becoming an all around more well-rounded person.

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