Posted by: endyvendy | August 15, 2009

Scenes from the Carnival

Scenes from the Summer Days Carnival… If you haven’t been yet, Saturday’s the last day (opens at 3). The carnival is located at Golfland, 95 Hartford Tpke.  Don’t miss all the fun!




Posted by: endyvendy | August 14, 2009

Rockville Community Alliance Presents to Town Council

Tuesday, August 18th the Rockville Community Alliance will present its list of Top Ten Priorities for Rockville at a meeting of the Town Council.  The list represents the accumulated experiences, visions, and research of a variety of individuals and groups within Vernon-Rockville, taking into account not only the needs of Rockville businesses and citizens, but also the value Rockville holds for the larger Vernon community.  Some items on the list include a more comprehensive approach to blight issues, a purposeful and well-organized energy plan, and an examination of our educational system.

The Top Ten Priorities is intended to offer a focal point for collaborative strategizing and action.  Join the RCA and the Town Council on Tuesday, August 18th at 7:30 for a presentation and lively discussion!

Posted by: endyvendy | August 11, 2009

Summer Carnival Starts This Week

The Summer Days Carnival is almost here! The Carnival, which will be held at Golfland, will run August 13-15th, with free admission! And don’t forget to come out in support of our town’s rising young stars at the Talent Show on the 15th.

Proceeds from the carnival will benefit Vernon Parks and Rec, the Lions’ Club, and the Rockville Exchange Club.

Posted by: endyvendy | July 14, 2009

Staycation Vernon-style, Pt. 3

Following the two previous staycation posts (one on Vernon itself, another on the surrounding area), this post will suggest more ideas for free/low-cost family activities in the area.

University of Connecticut – Storrs Campus

UConn Storrs has a lovely campus for strolling in any case, but there’s more to do down there than simply visit Gampel Stadium. Here are some ideas for spending a day in Storrs.

Barns – if you enter Storrs on 195 heading east, take a left when you see long yellow poultry houses on the left as you enter campus. Park at the cow barn on the right after the chickens and enter to visit the cows and calves. You may even get to see them get milked! Next walk down and around the huge hill (Horsebarn Hill it’s called) or drive until you see sheep, more cows, and horses. You can park by the horse arena and picnic in the shade by the horses. Young foals are often eager for attention, especially if you offer them grass in your hands (keep the hands flat, though!). For dessert, head over to UConn’s Dairy Bar.

Museum of Puppetry – this little museum is staffed with friendly volunteers who are happy to show you around and provide interesting details about the exhibits. If you’re lucky they might even take down a vintage puppet and show you how it works! Though the museum is small, there’s plenty to look at and a hands-on room allows children to try out some puppet-craft themselves. Changing exhibits and events make this a place to visit at least a couple times a year.

William Benton Museum – this museum is a treat for anyone, but the rotating exhibits and comparatively laid-back atmosphere make it a favorite with kids – there’s always something new. If you’ve never taken your kids to an art museum and aren’t sure what you do at one with them, be adventurous – it’s a lot of fun. We tend to play games like “tell the story of this piece” with a painting or sculpture they’re interested in, asking about the motivations and feelings they observe. We do “I Spy” and “Find-the-Animal” and scavenger hunts. Whatever you do, just wander easily wherever their interest goes without feeling the need to “teach” them about each exhibit. Just have fun!

K-9 Olympics – these will be held at the Depot campus (near the Museum of Puppetry) on July 25th. I’ve heard this is a lot of fun, but somehow every year we have a scheduling conflict and can’t make it. This day-long event features K-9 teams from all over the state exhibiting various skills and sales from merchandise are donated to local charities.

Museum of Natural History – the campus also includes a small Museum of Natural History and an Archaeological Center that are fun for the kids.

Posted by: endyvendy | July 14, 2009

Informational Meeting on Residential Solar Panels

On Thursday, July 16th there will be an informational meeting on leasing residential solar panels. It will be sponsored by St. Johns Episcopal Church’s Environmental Committee and Sunlight Solar Energy. The meeting will be held at the St. John’s Parish Hall, 523 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon from 6:30-8:00 pm. This event’s free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. This sounds like a great opportunity to learn how to protect our planet while protecting ourselves from rising utility rates.

Posted by: endyvendy | July 9, 2009

Staycation Vernon-style, Pt. 2

What follows are a few ideas for things to do in the area around Vernon. Part 3 will focus just on UConn activities. Part 1 (staying in Vernon itself) you can find by scrolling below.

In the Area
Vintage Baseball – bring a picnic and you’ve got all you need to take a trip back in time and enjoy an afternoon of Vintage Baseball down in Hartford. Go Senators!

Hartford Riverfest – July 11th don’t miss it! In case you haven’t gotten your fireworks fix yet, this is your event. Live music, kids’ activities, a President Lincoln Sculpture Garden, and lots of food. There are concerts and cultural festivals on the river all summer, so try to make it down at least a couple times. It’s well worth the effort!

Mansfield Drive-in – Wednesdays you can get a carload in for $18. The Sunday flea market is also a great source of entertainment for all ages.

Hytone Farm Tour – tour one of the Farmer’s Cow dairy farms in Coventry on July 11th, 12-3. They usually have goats and other critters to pet, and of course you can learn all about the way milk is farmed and processed.

Boundless Playgrounds in Manchester and South Windsor – these two playgrounds are imaginatively constructed and full of innovative structures that will please all ages. Both feature sand play areas, toddler play structures, walking trails, and are very accessible. Not all that shady, but with all this cloudy weather we’re having this summer, who needs shade?

The Lutz Museum – The Lutz is a great rainy-day adventure. It’s not all that expensive, and our local library has a pass in any case. There’s an ocean room with a boat to climb, a submarine to crawl in, and lots of marine activities. The farm room allows children to try milking the Lutz cow, gather eggs, sell and store produce, and cook in the farm kitchen. And of course the animal room features all sorts of rescued animals up close and personal – turtles, chinchillas, rabbits, snakes, chickens, owls, and much more.

Wickham Park – Admission to Wickham Park ranges from $3-5, depending on the day, but for a few bucks, you get access to a number of great activities. The park contains trails of course, but it also contains an aviary (with real emus!), a nature center, playgrounds, sports facilities, and a disc-golfing course. A perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Hiking – there are lots of great hikes in the area outside of Vernon of course. Two favorite spots: Case Mountain in Manchester (you can pick wild blueberries there in season) and Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union (keep an eye out for beaver activity).

Posted by: endyvendy | July 8, 2009

Vernon Garden Club Annual Garden Tour

The Vernon Garden Club’s annual tour is coming up July 11th. I did this tour a few years ago as a new gardener and it was an absolutely lovely way to spend an afternoon. The gardens were beautiful and varied, and people were friendly and helpful. In some locations you could purchase baked goods to enjoy as you strolled. Definitely something to check out!

Posted by: endyvendy | July 7, 2009

Staycation Vernon-style, Pt. 1

There are TONS of fun free/cheap things to do in and around our little town in summer. Here are some ideas for local fun. See earlier posts for further ideas about staycation in CT and New England or to learn more about the low-cost hobby of letterboxing. Disc-golfing is also a popular, low-cost hobby in this area, especially fun for older children and adults who are looking for a little challenge on their next hike. Other ideas? Send ’em in! More installments about the surrounding area to come…

In Vernon

The Rockville Library as always has an amazing roster of events going every week. Folks from towns all around come, so be prepared to get there early as it is sometimes very busy. These events are FREE, though some may require advanced registration. Our family favorites: Mother Goose Storytime on July 15th (the pre-K crowd goes crazy for this one), the Purple Rock Productions Puppet Show “Rapunzel” (see earlier post on this) on July 22nd and later “River Tale” on August 12th, Roaring Brook Nature Center‘s “Reptiles and Amphibians” on July 7th, and musician Les Julian‘s concert on July 17th.

National Night Out – This entirely free event in Talcott Park (behind Town Hall) offers a night of family fun. Live music, inflatable bouncing castles, the park’s playground, booths offering games and information, and of course, food, all make this a don’t miss opportunity for getting out in the community. August 4, 5-8pm.

Summer Concert Series at Park Place – This event, sponsored by the Rockville Downtown Association, features a different live performance the second Thursday of every month.

Jesusfest features music, displays, animals, workshops, and food on July 12th in Rockville, 11-6.

The Parks

Hockanum River Linear Park – has a play area suitable for both toddlers and older elementary-age children, a large field great for kites and games, and a hiking trail that runs by a river and can be as short (or as long) as you need it to be. There are grills and picnic tables and a covered gazebo picnic spot. It’s a dog and kid-friendly park, but keep in mind that the play area isn’t shaded and there aren’t any bathrooms.

Read More…

Posted by: endyvendy | July 4, 2009

Earn Free Solar Panels for Vernon

solar panel

Vernon has already earned $10,000 of free solar panels simply because 100 residents have signed up for Clean Energy through the state’s clean energy program with Sterling Planet. It’s easy to simply alter your existing electric account so that it incorporates the clean energy plan. Check out this pdf for information or visit Sterling Planet.

And if you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint, having conversations about going green in Vernon, or about imagining new models of community, don’t just think about it – do it! Jeff Boulrice, our local Clean Energy contact, is a good resource for finding out about local clean energy alternatives in more detail, and if you’re interested in finding out what other communities worldwide are doing, look here for an overview of a movement in the UK called the Transition Initiative which aims at a “morality of scale” in approaching climate change and community building.

Posted by: endyvendy | July 4, 2009

July in the Sky Not Flooded Out

wen's pics 353It was a small miracle, given all the rain we’ve had, but somehow July in the Sky managed to squeeze in between storm systems. The pictures (most courtesy of Jim Sendrak) speak for themselves. Children ran themselves silly in circles on the downtown green and then collapsed into tired, ice-cream covered heaps with new friends. Adults enjoyed the classic rock of the Rewired Band and later the stirring patriotic music of the Windham Concert Band. Local restaurants Russ’s Time Diner, Pizza Palace, and Athens Pizzeria were busy. The Push, Pull, and Pedal parade contained a lively assortment of inventive entries. And that’s just the Rockville half of the celebration… Thanks to Parks and Recreation and to the Rockville Downtown Association for organizing this Vernon tradition and thanks to the event’s sponsor, Price Chopper/Kraft.  Check out this video for a sample of the fireworks.



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