Bijou Theatre: Bridgeport, CT
The Bijou is an iconic and historic theater that has been revitalized and renovated after its vacancy since 1996. Over a hundred years old, the Bijou brings a modern stomping ground for up-and-coming theater troupes, live music and even comedy shows. Take a step back into Bridgeport, circa 1900s, where you enjoy one of the live theater performances through the Summer Arts Program. 13! The Musical (7/18-7/20), as well as The Secret Garden (7/25-7/27) are being shown, and if you feel inspired after watching the summer blockbuster, The Great Gatsby, there is a New York City Swing live music concert on August 2.
275 Fairfield Avenue (203)-332-3228 thebijoutheatre.com
Danbury Ives Concert Park
This outdoor amphitheater is a great place to bring a blanket and just sit and listen to live music by accomplished artists. Located on forty acres of lush scenery and gardens, this location is a calm and back-to-nature venue. The Ives’ Summer Celebrity Series in the month of July brings a diverse range of artists from classic performers, such as Tony Bennett (July 13), to new songwriters like Brandi Carlile (July 20). There is also jazz and classical music festivals that bring this venue back to its roots—the park is named for local composer Charles Ives.
43 Lake Avenue Extension (212)-260-4700 ivesconcertpark.com
Hartford Comcast Center
Though located around an hour away from the Fairfield County area, the grand and popular Comcast Theater in Hartford brings the big names into Connecticut for the summer. Popular country music acts are the perfect getaway to fun tailgating with friends. The center prides itself on offering inexpensive lawn seating that sell general admission tickets; perfect for a picnic on the grass, or square dancing in your cowboy boots. They also offer box seating for concerts, where you can see big names such as Rascal Flatts (6/15) or Tim McGraw (6/28) and Kid Rock (7/12). Other superstar acts include The Black Keys (7/9), Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson (8/31) and Fairfield’s own John Mayer (8/16).
61 Savitt Way (203)-265-1501 Tickets can be bought on ticketmaster.com
The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz
Coming up on its 22 year, the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz began in the summer of 1992 by Paul Brown, a noted jazz bassist from Hartford. This free-of-charge concert is known to be the largest free jazz event in New England, having attracted 55,000 fans last year. It is held in Bushnell Park with three nights and two days of smooth jazz to be performed on the Performance Pavilion and the Friends of the Arch Stage. Enjoy the sounds of jazz while taking in the view of Hartford’s skyline and the summer stars on July 19, 20, and 21.
Bushnell Park 30 Arbor St, Hartford CT (860)-727-0500 http://www.hartfordjazz.com/contactus.html
There is no better time to enjoy a Lobster Fest than in the heat of the summer. You’re in for a treat with more than one Fest just around the corner: The 35th Annual Lobsterfest and Chicken Barbeque on July 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is a way to enjoy a little (or a lot) lobster, corn, chowder and burgers, while viewing the fine art exhibits on display.
Niantic Town Hall Grounds 108 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic (860) 705-7800 nianticlions.org
Don’t fret if you missed that one, because the 4th Annual Lobster Fest in East Haven will be held on July 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy the summer "musts," such as lobster, mussels, corn on the cob, fruit, and desserts for just $25 per person (adults) and $4 (children). Buy your tickets through July 21.
Old Stone Church, East Haven 251 E. Main St., East Haven (203) 467-2907 oldstonechurchucc.org
If you’re more of a wine lover, the Fifth Annual CT Wine Festival may be something to think about. On July 27, from noon to 7 p.m. and July 28 from noon to 6 p.m., enjoy fine wines from local vintners, specialty wine classes and foods while listening to live music. Buy your tickets in advance for $25 or buy them at the door for a few dollars more. The tickets will be well worth it with free wine tastings, a festival wine glass and a tote bag..
Goshen Fairgrounds 116 Old Middle St., Goshen (860) 677-5467 ctwine.com