Discover Adventures Tailor-Made for Children
Some of Vermont’s tours and experiential visits seem tailor-made for children. Try a factory tour at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream for a bird’s-eye view of the production room and get a taste of the flavor of the day. Lake Champlain Chocolates takes you behind the scenes too, as does the Maple Grove Maple Museum where you can see maple syrup and candies being made. For another kind of treat, the entertaining tour of The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory follows the entire process from cutting, sewing, and assembly, to stuffing and dressing.
Any number of how and why questions can be answered at Vermont museums that cater specifically to children. See our recommendations, and don’t forget the Shelburne Museum, where kids love exploring a 220-foot long steamboat that once carried people and freight in high style. There’s also exciting Revolutionary War history at many Vermont State Historic Sites.
Vermont also welcomes families with attractions designed for loads of outdoor fun. Take a whole day at Bromley to enjoy the zip line, giant swing, water & alpine slides, and bumper boats. There’s an alpine slide at Stowe, too. Combined with their trampoline, climbing wall, obstacle course & Gondola Skyride, Stowe is bound to please.
For a different sort of outdoor exploration, there are countless pick-your-own farms where, depending on the season, you can pick berries, apples, pumpkins, and even your own Christmas tree. Corn mazes are the latest in great family fun. What could be more memorable than winding down paths flanked by 10-foot tall cornstalks? For information about family-friendly farms, click here.
For bigger views, your kids can explore Vermont by train or boat, on horseback, by wagon or sleigh, or even with llamas. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe offers sleigh rides, and you'll find horseback riding in all parts of the state. Take the Green Mountain Flyer train in southeastern Vermont or special excursions in the Champlain Valley. To get out on North America’s sixth-largest lake, take a ferry ride from any of five Lake Champlain towns, or head out on a boat excursion out of Burlington and Shoreham. For underwater tours without getting wet, check out the Shipwreck Tours in Burlington or the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
Part of the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, on Burlington’s waterfront, ECHO will take you underwater to explore the science and ecology of the 6th largest lake in North American. Live programs throughout the day, lots of interactive exhibits for kids, and a Science Café make for a full visit and entertainment for the whole family.
Artist Studio Tours
Vermont is home to an impressive number of highly talented artists and craftspeople who open their studios to welcome visitors for conversation, demonstrations, browsing and sales. Learn more: Putney Craft Tour, Rock River Artists Open Studio Tour, and Vermont Open Studio Weekend.