This is for Sally, Pam, Ellen, Annette, Mo and all our friends from the South and West who have escaped this year’s good old fashioned Vermont winter. Today’s storm took a break this morning just in time for me to snap this photo of the furniture showroom and art gallery we call Stonehurst. It was 5F when I got to work today but warm and toasty inside.
Plenty of toboggans and sleds are out on the back porch, ready for action. But where are our young, hearty, adventurous riders? No need for a membership to Outer Limits this winter, Sean. Just bring your boots to work and trade your lunch for a couple good runs down the ski slopes. I’ll go too and we’ll share the prize for biggest loser in the 2014 weight loss challenge. Any teasing from Liz, Michelle and Loryn will surely cease and desist when we walk in all strong and fit.
Mother Nature was a few days late bringing us a white Christmas, but we finally have snow in southern Vermont. I have to admit, I have a love-hate relationship with winter. I love winter activities, but I hate winter chores. So, the other morning as I was digging out my car for the first time this season (winter chore), I focused on my favorite Vermont winter activities. There are a lot of things to do in Vermont during the wintertime, so I have narrowed down my list to 5 things, just for you!
Whether you are a snow bunny at heart, or are on the fence, there’s something on this list for everyone.
1. I’ll start with the obvious-skiing and snowboarding! Vermonters wait all year for winter so we can hit the mountains. We have ski resorts large and small scattered across the state. No matter your skill level, there is a mountain and an instructor perfect for you. Vermont skiing is so legendary, that a company called Ski Vermont was created. They track the current conditions, promote events and deals, and of course, help you find the perfect resort. If you’re a new Vermont visitor, or a returning visitor looking for a new adventure, be sure to check out Ski Vermont’s Resort Finder.
2. A little less athletic way to enjoy the snow is by going snow tubing! This winter activity is fun for children adults alike. The best part about this modern day sledding activity, is that you don’t have to walk back up a steep hill every time you slide down. Many resorts now let you relax as catch a ride back to the top. Okemo, Mount Snow, Smugglers’ Notch, and Magic Mountain are just a few places where you can snow tube in Vermont this winter. Be sure to look at your favorite winter resort’s website for snow tubing options.
3. Take a sleigh ride. Sleigh rides are a fun way to see the Vermont countryside. A quintessential sleigh ride brings you back in time, and allows you to enjoy the Vermont winter weather. Many farms in Vermont offer winter sleigh rides. Additionally, many mountain resorts will either offer horse sleigh rides, or can set you up with a local farm who offers them. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont offers horse drawn sleigh rides from December through February.
4. Go ice skating. Many communities have public skating rinks and offer skate rentals. Skating indoors or outdoor is equally as fun, and a fun winter activity. The Vermont Outdoor Guide Association has put together a list of skating rinks around the state. If you have your own skates, find a frozen lake or pond to go skating (if there aren’t any locals out on the ice, it’s probably not a safe place). Before you go skating over a body of water, make sure to read the ice safety tips on the bottom of the VOGA website, too. Your inn keeper will also have information about safe ice skating locations.
5. If looking at the snow through a window is more your taste, perhaps shopping may be on your Vermont winter to-do list. Our state is filled with locally owned shops. Just go to any downtown, and you will find a variety of stores. You may even run into a shop owner or two. One of my favorite Vermont shopping areas is Church Street Marketplace located in downtown Burlington, Vermont. They have shops, boutiques, coffee houses, pubs and restaurants galore. Church Street is well known for being an open air mall, as it is a closed off pedestrian walk way that has shops located on both sides. Vermont also has two factory outlet shopping locations: Essex Junction and Manchester. Find products from your favorite designers at a discounted price.
For more Vermont winter activities, the Vermont Tourism website has great information, travel tips, and ideas for your winter vacation.
What are your favorite Vermont winter activities? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.