20 Fun Budget Friendly Winter Travel Ideas in Vermont with Kids

Gliding down the snow, riding to the top of the mountain summits, walking sugar trails, and more.  Find out how we did it, on a budget!

Here is a list of budget friendly activities that will have you and your little ones experiencing the beautiful state without breaking your ‘wallet’.  We did it!

  1. Visit a sugar house, or two or three – you will find sugar houses all across Vermont.  Late winter/ early spring they begin to tap the sap from the trees.  You will experience the tapping process and taste the various grades of maple syrup.  The Sugarbush farm, in Woodstock, has a sugar maker quiz for kids, if they pass the quiz they become Certified Sugar Makers with a certificate and all, for FREE!
  2. Have some Sugar on Snow! With so much syrup all around you, make snow cones.  In a small cup gather snow into a little ball and pour over maple syrup.  You will find this at some sugar houses, the Audobon Center or make your own.  Purchase your maple syrup at a market or directly from the sugar farm, it is half the price than at tourist shops.  
  3. Go cheese tasting – several places are open for cheese tasting and they are free.  As you drive check for signs at local farms and stores, stop and have a taste of Vermont’s cheeses.  Here is a good list for a Vermont cheese tour.
  4. Visit a cheese museum and Calvin Cooldrige’s birthplace at the Plymouth Cheese Company.  You can watch the cheese making process and then take a walk upstairs to see the cheese making equipment from the early 1900’s.  It’s all free.  Plus outside, visit president Cooldrige’s birthplace and village.  A beautifully preserved little town.
  5. Ice Skate – you will find outdoor rinks in Killington and Woodstock.  These are two good options and all budget friendly starting at $3 for children’s skating: The Foundry at Summit Pond and Proctor Skating Rink.
  6. Visit Bookstores and take home a book souvenir of Vermont.  Stowe, Woodstock and Manchester have the cutest bookstores with great children’s sections and a selection of books specific to Vermont.  The Northshire Bookshop in Manchester has kids walking up the Hogwarts Castle, the entire third floor is for children, with reading nooks, a reading loft, a play area for toddlers surrounded in board books from floor to ceiling and unique seating areas for kids.
  7. Earth Sky Time Farm, in Manchester, will turn your kids into skilled bread makers.  The farm has different experiences depending on when you visit.  They make amazing sour dough breads and hoomoos (their version of hummus which is amazingly good).  The staff is always friendly and helpful.  You will find lots of kids hanging at this farm.
  8. Gondola ride at Killington.  You don’t have to ski to ride a gondola to the top of a mountain for a amazing views and eats! Plus kids 6 and under are FREE!  Theirs different options for Gondola rides, the highest peak in Killington is at the end of their slopes where you will find Pike Peak Lodge, grab something to eat with the amazing mountain views at the top of the mountain surrounded by skiers. 
  9. Science museum in Berlington is a great place to explore and play freely if you need a break from the cold temperatures and the snow.  It is also part of the Museum Passport program, so if your science museum is an affiliate, your family’s entrance is comped. 
  10. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory – Tour the factory floor and watch them making the flavor of the day and the packing process.  Best part, tour ends with your own scoop of ice cream!  The company sources all non-GMO ingredients, fair trade and works with local farmers that practice sustainable farming.  If your going to eat ice cream, eat this ice cream!  Factory tour is $4 for adults and free for kids 12 and younger.
  11. Cold Hollow Cider Mill – get free cider samples, watch them make the cider through the windows that peak into their factory and buy some legendary cider doughnuts (for just $4).  Plus Cold Hollow’s bakery is filled with all sorts of apple goodies and a bakery with sandwiches for hungry tummies. 
  12. Von Trapp Family Lodge – This lodge is HUGE and filled with history.  Take a tour of the lodge with a Von Trapp family member on Wednesday’s or Saturday’s.  Eat at the new brewery, kid friendly too.  Enjoy an evening at the lodge lounge with music, games, a library, delicious sandwiches and craft beers from their estate. Buy a book of their story as a souvenir and have history to come to life with your kids.
  13. Eat! Vermont has many child friendly places to enjoy a meal.  The Mon Vert Café in Woodstock has great local, organic options, coffee, hot chocolate and a little free library with books for children and adults.  Sit, relax, while the kids skim through the little free book library.  You will find many family options across Vermont that tailor to kids and good local food. 
  14. Skip the hotel and Airbna house.  It’s more economical than a hotel, more spacious and you can save money on meals by having breakfast, lunch or dinner in your own home.  Spend time cooking in doors, to defrost from playing in the snow.  Without daily commitments and distractions you can slow down and spend time as a family.
  15. Play lots of games and enjoy your view.  Bring card games, or ask your hotel or vacation rental if they have board games.  Plan on spending some cold nights inside drinking hot chocolate and playing board games.  You might be surprised, this might turn out to be what your children enjoy the most of your vacation.
  16. Go Sledding!  Buy sleds at Target or Walmart on your way into Vermont and enjoy the hills of your B&B home or at a local park.  The villages of Stowe and Killington have parks with hills where you can spend your afternoon sledding and playing in the snow.
  17. Sugar & Spice is the place to eat and pick out a favorite souvenir, all in one place.  The restaurant is a sugar mill, making your meal educational, fun and delicious.  Across the street from Sugar & Spice in Rutland is a Norman Rockwell museum and shop.  Kids are welcomed.  It’s a great exposure to art and history.
  18. Snow tubing in Killington is so much fun.  With big hills to tube down and a lift to bring you and your tube back up, it’s a fun family adventure to do together at the Killington Lodge. 
  19. Billings Farm and Museum takes you through the history of Vermont.  Museum is both indoors and outdoors, so dress warm.  Check their daily schedule for activities including dairy demonstrations, sugaring demonstrations and much more.  Plus walk through a fully restored 1890 farm house.
  20. Walk through the towns of Montpiller, Stowe, Woodstock, Manchester, Burlington.  Find local spots to buy a hot chocolate, visit vintage general stores, stop at wood covered bridges to take pictures, visit local farms and see the cows, donkey’s, sheep’s and other animals, take in the beautiful sites of the Green Mountains.

Vermont truly an enchanted winter wonderland and a spectacularly, beautiful State!

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