Stamford, Connecticut, is beautiful slice of New England, a vibrant metropolitan city surrounded by quaint small townships. These 5 free and family friendly things to do can help you have an affordable family vacation in Stamford.

1. Cove Island Park — Park on the street and walk in for free access to Cove Island Park. Take a train ride around the park, which also has two beaches, grills, volleyball courts, a jogging track and a big lawn for kite flying or soccer.

2. Sound Waters Aquarium — Free for first time visitors. The aquarium includes local sea life such as terrapins, seahorses, and a touch tank full of crabs and starfish. A historical society has exhibits on maritime history. 

3. Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens — A greenhouse filled with exotic plants and trees and trails for hiking. Free on Wednesdays.

4. Twin Meadows Boundless Playground — This is a special outdoor adventure experience for all children, even ones with disabilities such as paraplegia and blindness. Built at the Still Meadow School as part of a mission to bring regular and handicapped families together. Free for everyone from dawn until dusk.

5. Friday Films at Ferguson Library —Each Friday there is a new feature-length film, some classics mixed in with recent releases. The library also hosts a variety of other events including cartooning classes, book clubs and playgroups.