If you're coming to Danbury on Thursday for the Dalai Lama's 1:30 p.m. lecture, and you have some free time on your hands, you might want to consider a round of golf at Danbury's public golf course, Richter Park.
What is remarkable about this park is it is in Danbury, a city, but all you see on its fairways is beautiful fall foliage, lakes and a blue sky. The rain may arrive on Friday, so Thursday could be your best bet. The front desk is telling people they have some open tee times in the afternoon, mostly, but maybe a few in the morning as well. Both Thursday and Friday have openings.
A second spot worth a visit is Tarrywile, a park off Southern Boulevard that includes a stone castle, farm fields, ponds, and wide ranging vistas. The park offers long and short walks with some more challenging than others. The park and the parking is free.
Another option for more active recreation is Rogers Park, which includes tennis courts, a children's playscape, soccer fields and a football field. If you're not planning to arrive in Danbury with two entire teams, the tennis courts may be a better bet.
People visit Danbury to take in the 230-plus stores at Danbury Fair Mall at I-84's exit 3. The mall includes restaurants and stores, as well as a parking garage and plenty of open-air parking.
If it really does rain on Friday, and you're out of the lecture by 11 a.m., you might consider a film at Loew's Theatres at Interstate 84's Exit 7. The theatre complex has 16 screens.