One of my favorite parks in CT is Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford. The first time I went there, my then boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed. We were married there nearly ten years ago. Now it is a special place we bring our kids once a year. With beautiful buildings and gardens, a beach that is suited for digging up shells and sea glass, and a huge lawn for flying kites and picnicking, Harkness is the perfect backdrop to a day out with the family.
You can host your big family get together at Harkness. Just get there early to claim a set of picnic tables and a cooker. We always walk past a smoking grill and probably drool a little! We definitely have to host a reunion there someday, so that our food can be the envy of other park-goers!
If you choose Harkness as your wedding destination, you can rent the outdoor stage area or the impressive mansion. Either way your guests will be wowed and your photos, beautiful.
We have lost a kite in one of the tall trees skirting the edges of the sprawling lawn.
On our most recent trip, last Sunday, we brought the girls' bikes and they road the big loop that passes by the stables, gift shop and gardens. The kids trotted through the Mansion gardens before the wedding that just happened to be scheduled started. They pretended to be fairies and yes , I'll admit, I was so inspired by the iron gates overgrown with ivy, the tranquil fountains and tiny pathways, I pretended to be a fairy too! Go for the entire day or just a couple of hours and know you'll have a good time regardless.
Tips and cost:
We happened to go on the last Sunday that they were charging, but it was still only $6.00. If you were to go now, it would be free.
Pack a lunch, kite, bikes, frisbee or throwing ball of your choice.
Pets allowed but must be leashed and please clean up after it.
Plan on doing a lot of walking and taking a lot of pictures!