For a tranquil experience with nature, hop across the Connecticut border and visit the newly opened Grace Farms in New Canaan. The space, formerly a horse farm, has 80 acres of meadows and woodlands to roam, a variety of community activities, and the newly constructed River building. The 83,000-square-foot building, designed by Tokyo-based architectural firm SANAA, actually looks like a river. The transparent structure, made mostly of glass and steel, meanders across the farm’s terrain, emblematic of a fluid, pooling river. It was built to blend into the landscape and to allow visitors to be inside while still feeling immersed in nature.
So, what exactly does one do at Grace Farms? Along with enjoying the property’s flora and fauna and relaxing in the River building’s courtyards and glass-wrapped rooms, visitors can participate in a range of activities, including coffee and tea service, meals in the River’s dining room, discussions and seminars, intimate concerts, family-friendly art classes, and athletics. Grace Community Church also offers a Sunday service, which is open to people of all faiths.
Photograph by Iwan Baan
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Grace Farms also has artwork for visitors to enjoy, with installations by several well-known artists adorning the property. Pieces include a textile work by Olafur Eliasson, an outdoor sound installation by Susan Philipsz, and a mural by Teresita Fernández.
Since there is no fee for admission or parking, Grace Farms is a perfectly budget-friendly destination for families looking to enjoy the outdoors or anyone who wants to enjoy a truly serene environment.