Courtesy of Green Mountain Audubon Center
Here's one way to survive Vermont’s looooong winter: Get outside. Outdoor events offer fun for the whole family and many cost little or nothing to attend. Below you'll find a roundup of some of the best things in store during the coming months. A word of advice: Dress warmly and bring an extra pair of socks for everyone. A thermos of hot chocolate isn't a bad idea either!
Starry-eyed riders sail over Shelburne Farms’ snowy fields in Full Moon Sleigh Rides, powered by a team of Percheron draft horses. Thursday, January 12 & Friday, February 10.
Nature-lovers of all ages explore exhibits and snowy trails at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science’s Winter Wildlife Celebration. Family-friendly guided tours and talks fill the morning, followed by indoor and outdoor games, crafts and a crackling campfire with toasty treats in the afternoon. Saturday, January 14.
Hot chocolate fuels wanderers during North Branch Nature Center’s Full Moon Snowshoe Hike beneath lunar light. Snowshoes provided. Saturday, January 14.
Families face the skies in Starry, Starry Night. Guided by the North Branch Nature Center’s staff, amateur astronomers learn the winter constellations, identify planets and check out the Pleiades and other celestial sights through a telescope. Dress warmly. Friday, January 20.
Shelburne Winterfest offers indoor and outdoor family activities, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, crafts, music, tasty treats and sledding. Saturday, January 21.
Aspiring anglers bundle up for a frosty morning at the Ice Fishing Derby, part of the Stowe Winter Carnival. Hot chocolate and refreshments keep the kids chipper and limited equipment is available for use. Ages 14 and under. Saturday, January 28.
Ice on Fire in Montpelier fêtes the heart of winter. The community festival begins with a parade of giant puppets at 2 p.m., followed by songs, theater skits, stories, winter games, satisfying snacks and a hearty bonfire. Sunday, January 29.
The Rikert Center’s Nordic Rendezvous and Back-to-the-Barn Tour celebrates snow with cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing on scenic trails to Robert Frost’s writing cabin, followed by spiced cider around a bonfire, a buffet dinner and a rousing barn dance. Saturday, February 4.
At the Green Mountain Audubon Center, adventurous kiddos and their parents search the snow for animal tracks and homes during the Family Trek. Then the group builds a campfire and makes merry around a crackling blaze, with snacks and hot chocolate. Saturday, February 4.
Wintervale invites the whole family to Burlington's backyard with children’s games and activities, plus local food and drink available for purchase. Free cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals and three miles of groomed trails to explore make for a fun — and active — day. Sunday, February 12 & Sunday, March 12.
A longtime tradition at the Montshire Museum of Science, Igloo Build features igloo expert and author Dr. Bert Yankielun leading a hands-on, all-ages workshop in domed-shelter construction. While at the museum, check out their new exhibit, Making Music: the Science of Musical Instruments, which combines stories and science, and an opportunity to make your own sweet sounds. Saturday, February 18.