In Great Bridgeport, Trumbull is an affluent suburban town on the Pequonnock River, which flows through a series of parks in a long green corridor.
As it happens, Trumbull has more open space and recreational areas per capita than any town in Connecticut.
Many of these parks are traversed by the Pequonnock River Trail, a 16-mile trail that begins in Long Island Sound in Monroe.
For thousands of years until the 17th century, the area was home to the Native American Golden Mountain Bogsett tribe, which maintained a reservation in the town.
Some of Bridgeport’s biggest attractions, like the Discovery Museum and Beardsley Zoo, are just a stone’s throw from the Trumbull town line and included on this list.
1. Beardsley Zoo, Connecticut
Bridgeport seemed destined for a zoo since PT Barnum was mayor in the 1870s.
During the Beardsley Park set-up, he would walk through the streets with his circus animals, a design by Frederick Law Olmsted.
The zoo finally opened in 1922 and today consists of nine main areas.
To highlight a couple, there are magnificent rainforest structures that provide habitat for South American species such as the golden lion tamarin, Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, Brazilian agouti, Yacare caimans and red-tailed python.
Along the Hoofstock Trail, you’ll encounter animals native to the Great Plains, such as bison, prairie dogs, and pronghorn deer, while a pack of Mexican wolves await at the WOLF exhibit.
A pair of Siberian tiger cubs were born in a predator habitat in 2017, and as we write this, a new enclosure is being designated for the zoo’s tigers.
2. Explore the Museum and Planetarium
A destination for STEM learning programs and a tourist attraction, the Discovery Museum features hundreds of hands-on exhibits.
These are located in areas like MoonBase Discovery, where kids can drive the rover to explore nanoscience, energy networks, learn about energy and conservation, sphere science, bring planetary science to life, and dare to discover, where young learners can Experiments to test scientific principles.
In 2019, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a neat, space-themed miniature golf course was set up throughout the museum.
The recently upgraded Henry B. duPont III Planetarium hosts presentations for all ages every day of the week, using high-resolution Spitz 512 projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system atop a 10-meter dome.
3. Explore the Adventureland of the Museum
After exploring the museum for a mental workout, you can enjoy an active outdoor activity in the surrounding woods.
There are 13 high ropes courses to tackle and around 200 tree top platforms connected by transitions such as various types of ziplines, cables and bridges.
Naturally, you will be given full safety instructions before departure and will be wearing a seat belt that will constantly “lock” thanks to the carabiner system.
The trails are color-coded by difficulty, making the experience suitable for everyone ages five and up.
4. Pequinnock River Walk
Trumbull is located on a 16-mile multi-use linear trail that follows the route of the Pequonnock River from Long Island Sound at Bridgeport Waterfront Park to the Centennial Divide Forest in Monroe.
In Trumbull alone, the trail winds its way through nine parks, reserves and wildlife areas, and you can almost walk or cycle the length of town under lush foliage.
To the south is Pequonnock Valley State Park, with a 5-mile bank of granite boulders deposited during the last ice age, alongside rapids and quiet stretches that seem to barely move.
At the Helen Plumb Building (Trumbull Chamber of Commerce), you can ride the railroad track at the bed of the Housatonic Railroad along the West Bank.
The railroad has served industry in the Pequonnock Valley since 1840 and merged with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in the 1890s.
The last train passed in 1935, and the wide, flat path is now popular with families.
5. Indian Ledge Park
Of all the green spaces in Trumbull, the most visited is Indian Ledge Park, which has served the town’s youth for decades.
The park is renowned for its BMX track, one of the best in the state, and some of the biggest performers in Chicago, Creedence, and Hall & Oates have played in the amphitheater.
The number of facilities on hand is plentiful, but all in all, you have two multipurpose fields, a floodlit softball field, a youth center, petanque fields, a winter toboggan hill and a playground with a picnic area.
Like many local parks, Indian Ledge Park has a parking lot for residents only, but is served by the Pequonnock River Trail.
6. Old Mine Park
For about 100 years, beginning in 1828, this park on the Pequnnock River has been home to a highly productive tungsten mine.
The Hubbard tungsten mine at Long Hill was the source of 60 other minerals and crystals, such as tourmaline, topaz, opal and beryl, until a fire ended operations in the 1910s.
In 1937, the site was beautified and the Old Mine Park became a place of rest and recreation.
A lovely pedestrian bridge has a walking path across the river, a picnic area, two gazebos and a multi-purpose grounds, all surrounded by quiet mixed woodland that is stunning in the fall.
7. Downtown Cabaret Theatre
If you’re looking for live entertainment, there’s a thriving, intimate live performance venue filled with plays, musicals, live music and children’s shows.
The main stage season, which runs from September to May every year, is worth watching.
In 2019-20, the feature will be featured in Mamma Mia! , Joseph and the Magical Colorful Dreamcoat, Bodyguard and Matilda.
There are basic deals in the lobby, but unless otherwise stated, all shows allow you to bring your own drinks and a picnic, which is convenient as the area has some great dining options, like a pizzeria a block away.
Children’s shows are awarded for their creative interpretations of fairy tales and classic tales.
8. Veracious Brewing Company
A few minutes north of Old Mine Park on Route 25, there is a craft brewery that offers plenty of ready-made beers.
Veracious Brewing’s convivial bar is open until 21:00 Thursday-Saturday and Sunday afternoons outside of summer.
Some beers to look into include Freddie, a strong American stout, Golden Summer, a Belgian-style single pale ale, Pedestrian Pale Ale, Noella, a sweet and bitter winter saison, and Bloobs, a traditional American wheat beer, but with a subtle blueberry flavor.
Veracious Brewing Company is part of the community, welcoming food trucks every Friday and Saturday, hosting karaoke nights and booking many local musicians.
9. Shelter Winery
Asylum Distillery is a family-run distillery that makes handcrafted spirits from premium ingredients, and visitors are welcome to take a peek behind the scenes.
Rob Schulten makes gin, whiskey and vodka (including ginger and cinnamon) in small batches, never adds sugar, and uses only non-GMO grains.
On one of Rob’s tours, you’ll learn where Asylum’s ingredients come from and learn about each stage from mashing to fermentation and distillation.
Then, you can try a 2-ounce sample and browse Asylum’s collection, which includes a luxuriously aged corn whisky with Connecticut maple syrup, or an unaged Fifth State Moonshine, available with sours, mules, gimlets and Mix the mint wine well.
10. Tashua Recreation Area
This community park in North Trumbull features a communal pool and a covered toddler pool, as well as a children’s playground and floodlit tennis and basketball courts.
Tashua Recreation Area has the added advantage of a highly rated public golf course.
Tashua Knolls is an 18-hole par 72 championship course set in a quintessential New England rolling landscape with mature trees, ancient stone walls and even a 200-year-old church and cemetery.
11. Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park
Families with restless children should check out this indoor trampoline park, which is part of a chain spread across the United States.
In a safe, padded environment, Trumbull’s Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park features attractions such as ninja classes, foam pits, and even a basketball court where kids can dunk, a climbing wall, trapeze, and a main jumping area that opens up jumps arena.
There are timeslots for kids under 6, and on Friday and Saturday nights of neon jumping, the park turns on black lights and flashes to host jumping parties for the kids.
12. Barnum Museum
The famous circus tycoon PT Barnum (1810-1891) impressed the city of Bridgeport and became mayor in 1875. During this time, he helped build the city’s hospitals, improved the water system, and installed gas lights in the streets.
The eccentric Barnum is remembered in this museum in a stately eclectic building from 1893, with Romanesque and Byzantine influences.
The building was hit hard by tornadoes and a series of storms in the early 2010s, and while renovations are currently underway, you can visit it Thursday through Saturday.
On the tour, you’ll hear the stories behind Barnum’s career, elephant treasures, and a wealth of artifacts associated with Barnum.
Hugh Jackman’s musical about Barnum, The Greatest Showman (2017) will of course appear, and your clue guide will explain what’s right and wrong with the film.
13. Trumbull Historical Society
The old Abraham Nichols farm at Huntingdon Turnpike in 1856 houses a museum about 300 years of Trumbull’s history.
Abraham Nichols is considered the first Englishman to settle in Trumbull sometime around the turn of the 18th century.
The farm remained in the Nichols family until Florence Woods (born Nichols) died in 1973, and the land was bequeathed to the local Methodist church and sold to Trumbull a year later.
The museum’s opening hours vary – 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 14:00-16:00 – but retains a wide variety of historical clothing, original images of Trumbull, decorative arts and fascinating details about the town’s development.
14. Bow Tie Cinema Marquis 16
For dates, family treats or a night out with friends, Bow Tie Cinemas in Trumbull is the best place to catch a movie in the Bridgeport area.
A lot of that comes down to the large plush reclining seats installed in a recent upgrade.
So you never have to worry about getting out of bed when people pass by or knock on your knees.
You’ll also have tray tables, as well as a small bar area so you can order something a little harder to go with the popcorn.
The BTX Auditorium is the premier choice for movie lovers, with a large screen, 4K projection and a 30,000-watt sound system.
15. Westfield Trumbull
The health of downtown Bridgeport is good, with local restaurants, bars, art shops, jewelry boutiques, and yoga studios, but sometimes you can’t get the convenience of a mall on your shopping trip.
Westfield Trumbull at 5065 Main Street was the state’s first enclosed mall, opened in 1964 by the Frogue Corporation. Today’s anchor stores are Target, Macy’s, JC Penney and Lord & Taylor, get Foot Locker, Sephora, Lush, Apple Store, H&M, Hot Topic, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch among the many stores you’ve been to.
When it comes to food, there are many chains like Panda Express, Dunkin’, McDonald’s, Popeye, Subway, Taco Bell and The Cheesecake Factory.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Trumbull, CT
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