A wonderful place for visitors of all ages, Vermont is the land of maple syrup, spectacular fall colors, and charming family-run farms. Classic Vermont activities include visiting the Maple Museum, taking a fall foliage train ride through the beautiful landscape, and visiting the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, but kids will also love visiting lesser-known places like the Birds of Vermont Museum and the St Johnsbury Athenaeum. If you have a sweet tooth, consider taking the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour or visiting the Chocolatorium to try some delicious samples and make your own chocolate bar.
© Shelburne Farms
Proudly owned by a nonprofit educational organization, Shelburne Farms is a 1,400-acre working farm that actively works to educate the public about sustainable farming practices and food systems. The Visitor Center and Farm Store are open year-round, but the best time to visit is between the middle of May and the middle of October when the Farm Barn is open. Visitors can take a guided tour of the property in an open-air wagon, but families will particularly love the Children's Farmyard, where kids can learn about farm life by participating in activities like cow milking, donkey grooming, and gardening.
1611 Harbor Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482, Phone: 802-985-8686
2.Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour
If your kids go crazy for ice cream, the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do in Vermont.
During the standard 30-minute tour, visitors will learn about the company's history before being shown the production room, where the guide will explain how the manufacturing process takes place from start to finish. If you book a VIP tour, you'll also get to spend some time in the Flavor Lab making your own ice cream masterpiece. After your tour, don't forget to stop by the Scoop Shop to sample a new flavor or indulge in an old favorite.
1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, VT-100, Waterbury, VT 05676, Phone: 866-258-6877
3.Billings Farm and Museum
© Billings Farm and Museum
Not far from the charming village of Woodstock, the Billings Farm and Museum is a working dairy farm with a wonderful outdoor museum on the property. The historic farmhouse is open for tours, and there are plenty of exhibits detailing what life was like on a farm during the 19th and early 20th centuries. If you want to learn even more about farm life, there are often live demonstrations of butter churning, and cheese making. The farm also hosts regular meet-and-greets with cows, sheep, and chickens, and visitors are welcome to stop by the livestock barns to see the dairy cows, horses, and oxen.
69 Old River Rd, Woodstock, VT 05091, Phone: 802-457-2355
4.Birds of Vermont Museum
© Birds of Vermont Museum
Home to an impressive collection of approximately 500 lifelike bird carvings, the Birds of Vermont Museum was established by a local naturalist who wanted to educate the public about the important role birds play in the planet's ecosystem. Many of the carvings are displayed in dioramas designed to replicate a variety of different habitats, and there's also a room dedicated to showcasing extinct and endangered species. There are several places you can spot live birds as well, including a tree house, a viewing window, and a network of outdoor walking trails. Guided bird walks are held on the last Saturday of every month.
900 Sherman Hollow Rd, Huntington, VT 05462, Phone: 802-434-2167
5.Bromley Sun Mountain Adventure Park
© Bromley Sun Mountain Adventure Park
Located at the Bromley Mountain ski resort, the Bromley Sun Mountain Adventure Park is an exciting summer destination that offers fun for the whole family. Among other things, visitors can play mini golf, take a scenic chairlift ride up the mountain, or zip down the enormous alpine slide. If you're looking for an even bigger adrenaline rush, you can take a ride on the Sun Mountain Flyer, a half-mile zipline that can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The park is open between the end of May and mid-October, and tickets can be purchased online or in person.
3984 VT-11, Peru, VT 05152, Phone: 802-824-5522
6.Bryan Memorial Art Gallery
The peaceful mountain community of Jeffersonville has been attracting talented landscape painters for more than a century, and at the Bryan Memorial Art Gallery, visitors can see a marvelous collection of beautiful paintings inspired by the scenery of Vermont. The exhibits are best suited to older children and adults, but they're rotated on a regular basis to feature both new and returning artists, so there's always something new and exciting to see. If your kids have a serious interest in painting, you can even enroll them in one of the painting workshops held at the gallery from time to time.
180 S Vermont 108, Jeffersonville, VT 05464, Phone: 802-644-5100
7.Button Bay State Park
© Oleksii Sergieiev/stock.adobe.com
Encompassing more than 250 acres on the shore of Lake Champlain, Button Bay State Park is a four-season destination for outdoor recreation. The lake is perfectly suited to boating, swimming, and fishing, but there's also an outdoor swimming pool for visitors to use. The fishing access road is plowed in the winter for ice fishing. A family-friendly hiking trail meanders through the park, and during the summer, there's a park interpreter who hosts evening campfire programs, arts and crafts activities, and guide hikes. If you want to stay the night, you can choose between cabins, campsites, and lean-tos.
5 Button Bay State Park, Vergennes, VT 05491, Phone: 802-475-2377
8.Catamount Fishing Adventures
© Catamount Fishing Adventures
Owned and operated by a local fisherman who has his fly-fishing instructor certification, Catamount Fishing Adventures invites visitors to come enjoy the incredible fishing around Stowe. Fishing excursions are offered year-round; fly fishing and spin fishing are popular during the spring, summer, and fall, but the company also offers ice fishing trips during the winter. Anglers of all ages and abilities are welcome, and all equipment is typically provided if needed. Trips usually last either four or eight hours, but shorter trips can sometimes be arranged if you have small children or are on a tight schedule.
699 Glen Brook Rd, Stowe, VT 05672, Phone: 802-253-8500
9.ECHO Science Center
© ECHO Science Center
Conveniently located right on the Burlington waterfront, the ECHO Science Center is a marine-themed children's museum with a focus on Lake Champlain. The main exhibit features a replica of a historic ship called The General Butler and an aquarium full of freshwater fish, but there are also exhibits covering topics like the geology and history of the Champlain Valley, the ways in which the watershed affects to ecosystem, and the culture of the local indigenous people. Many of the exhibits feature hands-on aspects designed to keep kids entertained, and the center also features a 3D theater that regularly plays educational films.
1 College St, Burlington, VT 05401, Phone: 802-864-1848
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10.Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
© Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Established in 1891, the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is a family-friendly natural history museum where kids and adults alike can learn about the wondrous world we live in. The collection boasts more than 30,000 objects taken from all over the world, but the museum has a strong hands-on focus as well, and visitors can learn about various aspects of the natural world by tinkering around in the Exploration Station. Other highlights include a living display of local, seasonal plants and flowers, a unique collection of mosaic art made from insects, and a butterfly house that's open during the summer. Planetarium shows are held every day.
1302 Main St, St Johnsbury, VT 05819, Phone: 802-748-2372
11.Green Mountain Audubon Center
© Green Mountain Audubon Center
Hidden away in the foothills of the Green Mountains, the Green Mountain Audubon Center sits on a 250-acre property consisting of fields, wetlands, and forests. All of these habitats provide plenty of opportunities to see wild animals no matter what the time of year, and there are approximately five acres of hiking trails to explore. During the summer, visitors can also stop by the butterfly house to marvel at the colorful insects. The trails around the center are open to the public year-round, and special events like birdwatching walks and maple sugaring demonstrations are held on a regular basis.
255 Sherman Hollow Rd, Huntington, VT 05462, Phone: 802-434-3068
12.Green Mountain Railroad
© Green Mountain Railroad
Vermont is known for its spectacular scenery, and one of the best ways to see the views is by taking a ride on the Green Mountain Railroad. The railway has been family owned and operated since 1964, and it offers trips out of both Burlington and Chester, with a variety of exciting experiences to choose from. Listen to music aboard the Lounge 91, participate in an interactive comedy show on the Murder Mystery dinner train, or admire the colorful fall foliage on one of the scenic autumn trips. All train rides are family-friendly, but some dinner trains are restricted to children older than 6.
Burlington, Vermont, Phone: 800-707-3530
13.Henry Sheldon Museum
© Henry Sheldon Museum
Found inside the historic 1829 Judd-Harris House, the Henry Sheldon Museum was established in 1882 to showcase the private collection of the historian it was named after. The permanent exhibits feature furniture and art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and although much of it is from Sheldon's original collection, the museum is constantly expanding. There's also a gallery that hosts a regularly rotating series of temporary exhibits, which typically feature various aspects of Vermont history or the works of local Vermont artists. The museum is open every day except for Monday and major holidays.
1 Park St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-2117
14.Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
© Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Set right on the shore of Lake Champlain, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the lake's fascinating history and culture. The museum has a strong focus on archaeology, and the highlight of its collection is its fleet of replica ships, which introduce visitors to this part of history in a fascinating, tangible way. However, the museum also boasts a collection of more than 15,000 historic artifacts and images, many of which are displayed in more than a dozen museum buildings. The museum is open between May and the middle of October.
4472 Basin Harbor Rd, Vergennes, VT 05491, Phone: 802-475-2022
15.Montshire Museum of Science
© Montshire Museum of Science
Dedicated to fostering a lifelong curiosity in science and the natural world, the Montshire Museum of Science is a hands-on museum that can be found on a 110-acre property near the Connecticut River. There are approximately 150 permanent and rotating exhibits related to nature and science, including a live honeybee colony, an interactive discovery lab, and an exciting bubble room. The property also features three miles of hiking trails for visitors to explore, and between the middle of May and early October, kids can also splash around in the water exhibits at the outdoor Science Park.
1 Montshire Rd, Norwich, VT 05055, Phone: 802-649-2200
16.New England Maple Museum
© New England Maple Museum
Some of the best maple syrup in the world is produced in Vermont, and the New England Maple Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of this sweet treat and see how it's made. The exhibits feature a fascinating array of artifacts and historic sugaring equipment, and you can take a guided tour or explore the museum on your own. Visitors will also get to try the different kinds of syrup, and you can pick up your favorite type at the gift shop, which also sells other delicious maple products like maple candy, maple cream, and maple mustard.
4578 US-7, Pittsford, VT 05763, Phone: 802-483-9414
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Nestled in the beautiful Champlain Valley, the Shelburne Museum boasts an unconventional collection of more than 100,000 pieces of artwork and historical artifacts spanning four centuries of human history. There are 39 separate exhibition buildings for visitors to explore, many of which are historic pieces of architecture that have been relocated. However, the best thing about the museum is its diversity; there aren't many museums at which you can see Monet paintings, American circus paraphernalia, and an old jail house all in one place. The main campus is open May through October, and certain buildings are open during the rest of the year.
6000 Shelburne Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482, Phone: 802-985-3346
18.St Johnsbury Athenaeum
© St Johnsbury Athenaeum
The cultural heart of the town of St Johnsbury, the St Johnsbury Athenaeum is a historic library and art gallery that was established by the Fairbanks family in the late 1800s. The art collection remains much the same as it was in the 19th century, providing a fascinating look back in time, and it features Victorian pencil sketches and Hudson River School landscape paintings. Admission is free, and the center is open to visitors Monday through Saturday. Several times a month, there are family-friendly events like arts and crafts programs, creative writing workshops, and story time for young children.
1171 Main St, St Johnsbury, VT 05819, Phone: 802-748-8291
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19.The Bennington Museum
Tucked away in southern Vermont, the Bennington Museum showcases an excellent collection historical Vermont artifacts and local artwork, including the world's largest collection of paintings by the renowned artist Grandma Moses. Most of the exhibits are hands-off, but kids can play to their hearts' content in the Grandma Moses Schoolhouse, which offers board games, old toys, and period clothing perfect for dress-up. If you want to spend some time outdoors, the museum also operates a beautiful interpretive wildflower trail and a 14-mile driving loop that tours the most significant sites from the Battle of Bennington.
75 Main St, Bennington, VT 05201, Phone: 802-447-1571
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© The Chocolatorium
It's hard to find a kid who doesn't love chocolate, and if you want to dedicate a few hours to this decadent treat, there's no better place to do so than the Chocolatorium. The fun exhibits are full of information about the history of chocolate and how it's made, and visitors can get some hands-on experience with the Make Your Own Chocolate Bar activity. It's always possible to do a self-guided chocolate tasting when the Chocolatorium is open, and between April and December, there are also hour-long guided chocolate tasting programs led by a professional chocolatier.
261 Old Mill Rd, Arlington, VT 05250, Phone: 802-375-6037
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21.The Nature Museum at Grafton
© The Nature Museum at Grafton
The Nature Museum at Grafton is an interactive museum where the whole family can enjoy learning about nature, particularly the wildlife of Vermont. The exhibits feature stuffed animals and realistic dioramas, and kids can also participate in fun activities like digging for fossil, playing dress up as their favorite animals, and crawling through a replica bear cave. When the weather is good, you can also borrow an Adventure Backpack from the front desk and explore the property's gardens, forests, and trails. The museum is open on Thursdays and Fridays year-round, and it also opens on Saturdays between June and September.
186 Townshend Rd, Grafton, VT 05146, Phone: 802-843-2111
22.The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory
© The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory
One of the world's largest teddy bear producers, the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory makes approximately 500,000 artisan teddy bears every year. Visitors can take a guided tour of the factory to see how the bears are made by hand; tours are offered five times a day and take approximately half an hour. However, most visitors stay longer than an hour so that they can browse the bears in the shop, visit the Bear Hospital, and perhaps even create their own bear. If you're lucky, you might also be able to participate in a Teddy Bear Picnic or other special event.
Shelburne, VT 05482, Phone: 800-988-8277
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23.Vermont Folklife Center
© Vermont Folklife Center
Created to preserve and share the rich cultural heritage of past and present Vermonters, the Vermont Folklife Center is dedicated to helping people of all ages develop a better understanding of other people's histories and perspectives. The ethnographic exhibits are changed on a regular basis, and there are usually interactive programs featuring local musicians, storytellers, and other people who want to share their experiences. There are also more than 10 chances for one-on-on apprenticeship experiences with local artists and craftspeople, and during the spring and fall, the center hosts storytelling workshops designed to help participants explore the communities they belong to.
88 Main St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-4964
24.Vermont Institute of Natural Science
© Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Sitting on a 47-acre property in Quechee, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science is an educational organization and bird rehabilitation center. There are plenty of fun things to see and do, including live raptor shows, a songbird aviary, and informative, kid-friendly exhibits. Visitors of all ages will also love the Forest Canopy Walk, a unique ADA-accessible boardwalk that uses the sloping landscape to lead visitors into the treetops with almost no elevation gain. The center is open seven days a week year-round, and in the summer, there are nature camp programs for kids between pre-kindergarten and Grade 8.
149 Natures Way, Quechee, VT 05059, Phone: 802-359-5000
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25.Vermont Marble Museum
© Vermont Marble Museum
Established to commemorate the Vermont Marble Company, which was founded in 1880, the Vermont Marble Museum is an excellent place to learn about one of Vermont's most important natural resources. The exhibits cover everything from the history of marble to the ways it's used today, and visitors will get the chance to see many different kinds of marble, including both local and imported varieties. There are also several geology exhibits, one of which features a triceratops skeleton. After exploring the museum, you can visit the on-site gift shop to pick up a unique marble treasure to take home.
52 Main St, Proctor, VT 05765, Phone: 800-427-1396
25 Fun Things to Do in Vermont with Kids of All Ages
- Shelburne Farms, Photo: Shelburne Farms
- Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour, Photo: alessandrozocc/stock.adobe.com
- Billings Farm and Museum, Photo: Billings Farm and Museum
- Birds of Vermont Museum, Photo: Birds of Vermont Museum
- Bromley Sun Mountain Adventure Park, Photo: Bromley Sun Mountain Adventure Park
- Bryan Memorial Art Gallery, Photo: vbaleha/stock.adobe.com
- Button Bay State Park, Photo: Oleksii Sergieiev/stock.adobe.com
- Catamount Fishing Adventures, Photo: Catamount Fishing Adventures
- ECHO Science Center, Photo: ECHO Science Center
- Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, Photo: Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
- Green Mountain Audubon Center, Photo: Green Mountain Audubon Center
- Green Mountain Railroad, Photo: Green Mountain Railroad
- Henry Sheldon Museum, Photo: Henry Sheldon Museum
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Photo: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
- Montshire Museum of Science, Photo: Montshire Museum of Science
- New England Maple Museum, Photo: New England Maple Museum
- Shelburne Museum, Photo: bhamms/stock.adobe.com
- St Johnsbury Athenaeum, Photo: St Johnsbury Athenaeum
- The Bennington Museum, Photo: jt/stock.adobe.com
- The Chocolatorium, Photo: The Chocolatorium
- The Nature Museum at Grafton, Photo: The Nature Museum at Grafton
- The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, Photo: The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory
- Vermont Folklife Center, Photo: Vermont Folklife Center
- Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Photo: Vermont Institute of Natural Science
- Vermont Marble Museum, Photo: Vermont Marble Museum
- Cover Photo: emf_images/stock.adobe.com