DEEP to Host 18th Annual No Child Left Inside® Winter Festival
Free Family-friendly Torrington Event Will Be Saturday, February 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(HARTFORD) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) celebrates the outdoors all year long. The No Child Left Inside® 18th annual Winter Festival at Burr Pond State Park in Torrington is planned for Saturday, February 3. Children and their caregivers are invited to join DEEP for multiple fun, outdoor winter activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Winter Festival is a partnership between the City of Torrington, DEEP’s No Child Left Inside® (NCLI), an initiative to provide children with opportunities in Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests, and DEEP’s Fish with CARE (Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education), a long-standing program designed to teach beginners about fish and fishing.
“Getting outdoors in Connecticut is a four-season experience, as our State Parks and Forests offer such a diverse range of invigorating and fun opportunities for visitors,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Through this annual tradition, we invite families to learn about, care for, and enjoy the environment, thanks to our state parks staff and volunteers who love sharing their experiences about Connecticut’s great outdoors. Please join us and create meaningful outdoor memories with the children in your life.”
The NCLI Winter Festival is free, and registration is not required; everyone is welcome to attend. Activities planned for the day, depending on outdoor conditions, include winter games, bonfires, outdoor play, marshmallow roasting, winter hikes, and visits from Resources in Search and Rescue, the Connecticut Valley Siberian Husky Club, DEEP’s Environmental Conservation Police, Chuckles the Groundhog from Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester, and more. If there is safe ice, there will be ice fishing demonstrations. DEEP’s Fish with CARE staff and volunteer fishing coaches will be on hand to demonstrate and teach fishing techniques.
Please dress for the cold weather (including waterproof boots, not shoes nor sneakers) and bring a sense of fun adventure. There will be a variety of interesting outdoor activities for the family to experience together. CT Boy Scout Troop 1 also will be selling food at the event (cash only).
Burr Pond State Park is located at 384 Burr Mountain Road in Torrington. Limited on-site parking is available at the park and at the Burr Pond Boat Launch Ramp. Off-site, nearby parking is available during the event at the Burrville Fire Training School located on Burr Mountain Road in Torrington and at RBC Bearings Aircraft Products Inc. located at 2788 Winsted Road in Torrington. Free shuttles run between the event and these parking locations throughout the day during event hours. Please note that the last shuttle leaves Burr Pond for the off-site parking areas at 3:00 p.m.
If the event is postponed due to the weather, it will be rescheduled for Sunday, February 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and updates will be posted on Connecticut State Parks social media accounts.
DEEP reminds those venturing outdoors in the cold winter that safety comes first. Ice thickness varies on all water bodies due to environmental factors including in-lake water circulatory patterns, snow cover, and the type and amounts of recent precipitation. If there is ice on the pond, please keep to the designated activity area only. The ice-based activity area will be identified by signage and state park staff and volunteers. Please visit DEEP’s ice safety page https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Outdoor-Recreation/Ice-Safety to learn more.
Keeping Warm Outdoors During the Winter
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) www.healthychildren.org has some valuable tips on how to keep children safe and warm on a cold winter day.
- Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Remember waterproof warm boots, gloves or mittens (to keep hands warmer), and a hat. Layering is a good idea as are moisture-wicking fabrics and clothing that’s geared to the sport.
- The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
- The sun’s rays still can cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen.
In addition, sneakers are not appropriate footwear for being on the ice.
Visit No Child Left Inside® at https://portal.ct.gov/ncli for more programs, and visit Burr Pond State Park at https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Burr-Pond-State-Park for directions.
Established in 1913, the mission of the Connecticut State Park System is to provide natural resource-based public recreational and educational opportunities through a system of state park and forest recreation areas, environmental centers, and nature centers that provide an understanding of, access to, and enjoyment of the state’s historic, cultural, and natural resources. Connecticut has 110 state parks and 32 state forests attracting around 17 million visitors each year. Those driving Connecticut registered motor vehicles are provided free entrance to the parks thanks to the Passport to the Parks program. For more information on Connecticut State Parks, visit our new website, Connecticut State Parks and Forests (ctparks.com) or https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Connecticut-State-Parks-and-Forests.