It’s always a great time to visit Greater New Haven. Southern Connecticut’s climate offers four seasons of action. At the first sign of spring, shed your winter gear and celebrate nature’s reawakening with The Audubon Shop’s annual bird walks at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, the stunning Japanese cherry blossoms along Wooster Street in New Haven, and the breathtaking Daffodil Festival – 600,001 bulbs in all of their glory – at Hubbard Park in Meriden. Blessed with 40 miles of prime shoreline real estate, sunbathing, swimming and cruising the Thimble Islands are cherished summer pursuits. Soak up the arts outdoors at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, the Annual Craft Expo in Guilford, and performances by Elm City Shakespeare in New Haven's Edgewood Park. The festival season is packed in August with the Potato and Corn Festival in North Branford, the Milford Oyster Festival and the Odyssey Greek Festival in Orange. With the refreshing fall air more fairs beckon. The North Haven and Guilford fairs are timeless New England agricultural The festival season is packed in August with the Potato and Corn Festival in North Branford, the Milford Oyster Festival and the Odyssey Greek Festival in Orange. leisure CALL 1-800-332-STAY 35 Cherry Blossoms in Wooster Square events with livestock, rides and custom- ary carnival treats. Head to the farms to pick-your-own apples and pumpkins or challenge your sense of direction in puzzling corn mazes. If you want to marvel at dazzling fall foliage, try Rt. 63 through Woodbridge and Bethany. Seasonal lights and holiday shop- ping merge beauty and practicality from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. In the town centers you are surrounded by festive decorations while you explore eclectic boutiques on the quest for the perfect gift. In your travels, revel in the illu- minated beauty of Silver Lights in Hubbard Park or Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven. Ward off the post-holiday blues with a fun-filled and educational trip to Yale Peabody Museum. If you are a hearty soul, brave the frosty weather to track eagles and seals on their annual pilgrimages. Toad's Place Derek Dudek