Vermont with Kids
- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
Vermont is an ideal vacationland for families, with lots of farm animals and old historic museums, and none of the schlock that passes for entertainment in other states (Vermont Teddy Bear notwithstanding). Lose yourself and rediscover your family on this weeklong circle around the northern half of the state.
Arrive in Burlington and make a beeline for the waterfront. Spend the first part of the day getting wet and exploring the exhibits at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. In the evening, keep an eye out for Champ the sea monster with a dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III.
Spend another day in Burlington, taking in the shopping along the family-friendly pedestrian promenade of Church Street. (Don’t forget to stop at Lake Champlain Chocolates for a bonbon or two.) In the afternoon, head over to the University of Vermont to see the mummies and the whale skeleton at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum.
Get up early for a drive south down Route 7 to Shelburne (45 min.). First stop is the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, where the kids can stuff a new friend at the end of the tour. Next up is the Shelburne Museum, an open-air wonderland complete with a full-size paddleboat and carousel. Finally, backtrack north up Route 7, then head west on Harbor Road to visit with the animals and stay at the inn at Shelburne Farms.
Continue south down Route 7 to Weybridge (45 min.), where your little pony-lover can get a fix at the University of Vermont’s Morgan Horse Farm. Afterward, take a fun family hike up Rattlesnake Cliff in Moosalamoo Recreation Area. Spend the night in Middlebury.
Continue south down Route 7 through Pittsford (30 min.), where kids can indulge their sweet teeth and pick up some maple candy at the New England Maple Museum. Continue south on Route 7 and then east on Route 4 to Killington (40 min.), to take in four-season family outdoor activities at Killington Resort, spending the night on the mountain.
Head east on Route 4 to Woodstock (20 min.) to visit the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, where kids can get close to eagles, hawks, and other raptors. (Visit in the early morning hours when the birds are more active.)
Keep heading east to Quechee (15 min.), stopping off at Quechee Gorge for a look down at the Grand Canyon of Vermont and a poke into the Vermont Toy & Train Museum (802/295-1550, $3 adults and children 3 and up) in the tourist village there. Finally, stop at Simon Pearce, where the whole family will love the glassblowing and pottery-making demonstrations.
Jump on I‑89 and head north, taking exit 6 to Barre (1 hr.), where the kids’ mouths will drop to stare down into the 600-foot precipice at Rock of Ages Quarry. Afterward, head north on I‑89 to Waterbury (30 min.) for the highlight of the trip—a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory!
After getting your fill of Cherry Garcia, continue north on Route 100, where the family can work off those calories with a stroll around the delightful village of Stowe (15 min.). The next morning, head back to Burlington (45 min.) with the kids’ heads full of memories.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition