TulmeadowFarmScenic drives, movies under the stars, free concerts, and more. There’s still plenty to do in northwest Connecticut even if Labor Day’s just around the corner.

  • Drive a scenic highway. New England is famous for its stunning fall foliage. But why wait until autumn to take in the scenery? Take a spin now and beat the crowds of leaf-peepers that descend in the fall. Our favorite scenic drive? The 56-mile North Litchfield Hills loop travels west from Winsted, Connecticut, past rolling hills and farmland in Canaan, Massachusetts, and finally New York and the gorgeous Housatonic River Valley. Check here for a list of designated scenic drives in Connecticut.
  • Indulge your inner dairy queen. At the 240-year-old Tulmeadow Farm in West Simsbury you can get your fill of award-winning farm-made ice-cream, frozen yogurt and all the trimmings. The store started making its 16% butterfat gourmet ice cream in 1994 and has twice been voted “Best Ice Cream” in Hartford Magazine’s Readers Poll. Take a peek at the cows across the street or walk off the calories with a stroll around the farmland and wooded area just behind the farm store. Call ahead at 860-658-1430 for hours.
  • See a movie at a drive-in theater. Our favorite? The Pleasant Valley Drive-in in Barkhamsted. Thursdays through Sundays you can enjoy a double feature of new releases, plus classic cartoons during intermission. There’s also small concession stand. For low-cost family fun, the admission prices ($ 8/adult, $ 5/kids aged 6-12, free/kids under 5) can’t be beat. The best deal? $ 16 per car load every Thursday! Call (860) 379-6102 for movie times and ticket information.

Justine Ickes writes about culture, travel, education and people making a difference.