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Stars, Bars and Live Music

You're tired, maybe exhausted. But don't just lie there. Here are a few ways to unwind and recharge in the area.

After a full week of demands on your time, you may get to the perfunctory load of laundry, maybe even clear out your inbox before crashing on the couch, remote in hand. But there is life after Friday at 5 that can help you rejuvenate without asking too much in return, including some great deals and steals.

There’s always something soothing about the night sky, and every Friday the Stamford Observatory holds an open house from 8 to 10 p.m. (8:30-10:30 May 1-Sept. 4) for up-closer-and-personal viewing through a 22-inch telescope.  Astronomy Nights scheduled every other Friday begin with a 7 p.m. presentation on a relevant stargazing topic. Museum members are admitted free and non-members are a mere $3 ($2 for children.)

If you're looking to increase energy and decrease stress simultaneously, yoga is one means of doing so. And what finer surroundings to enjoy your personal practice or sample your first class than Ridgefield’s Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum? That's right. The Vinyasa-style (constant movement) class, led by a certified instructor, is held in the atrium 10:30-11:30 a.m. every Saturday, and — for an extra stressbuster — it’s free.

If it’s a fine vino that motivates you to leave home, check out New Canaan’s The Pine Social, which offers bottles of wine for half price Sunday nights (a maximum discount of $40, one bottle per table, and the discount does not apply on holidays.)

Sometimes all it takes to unwind is a little music, and there's no shortage of pubs and eateries offering free live music on weekends and some weekdays. These include, to name just a few: Sails American Grill (Rowayton); The Pine Social; The Beach House Cafe (Greenwich); Bobby Q’s (Westport); O’Neill’s (South Norwalk); The Shack Hometown Grill (Fairfield); Huntington Street Café (Shelton); (Ridgefield/Branchville) and countless other noteworthy venues. Musical note: Volumes will vary.

No list would be complete without a grateful nod to our local museums, libraries and nature centers, all teeming with opportunities for refuge, recreation and some of the best programming around — often for free.

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