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What To Do With Kids in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom – 147 Things!

If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, there’s so much fun to be had in this rural corner of Vermont, whether you live here full time or are on vacation!  A few years ago, I wrote 102 Things to Do with Kids in the Northeast Kingdom – Vermont, but while the amazing, beautiful and adventurous character of the Northeast Kingdom hasn’t changed too much since then, there are definitely many more adventures awaiting your discovery.

Here’s an updated list, so get out there and play!

147 Things to Do with Kids in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom

In Winter…

1.  Take an old fashioned horse-drawn sleigh ride.  Check out this list to find a local sleigh ride.  Our family has enjoyed beautiful rides around the Kingdom, including on Darling Hill and in Sutton (Rainbow’s Edge).

2.  Let the kids go sledding on designated sledding nights at Burke Mountain, while you enjoy an appetizer and watch them from a slope side view of the Tamarack Grill.

3.  Learn to cross-country ski!  Click here for a list of Nordic ski areas in the Kingdom.

4.  Attend a Kingdom Trails Moonlight snowshoe/ski along the lantern lit trail out to a bonfire and hot chocolate.

5.  Take the kids to Burke Mountain to Learn to Ski or snowboard.  Simply one of the best places to learn to ski.

6.  Sign the kids up to participate in the Burke Mountain Torch-lit ski.  Your kids will have a blast bombing down the bunny trail at night time carrying olympic-like torches.

7.  Bring the kids to Jay Peak to play, ski and ride in the new Burton/Disney/Jay snow park.

8.  Sign the children up for a Winter camp at Northwoods Stewardship Center, where they will enjoy a winter learning experience and fun.

9.  Attend the annual Mother-Son Games night at St. Johnsbury Academy, sponsored by Good Shepherd School for mom-son bonding over indoor soccer and floor hockey.

10. Go snowmobiling on the VAST trails.

11. Attend the Valentine’s father-daughter dance at Good Shepherd School in St. Johnsbury.

12.  Grab some “Chowdah” at the annual Chowdah contest (part of the Lyndon/Burke Snowflake Festival) at Lyndon Outing Club.

13.  Sign the kids up to participate in the annual kids’ sled dog dash.  No dog or experience required–just show up, sign a waiver and your child will get pulled a short distance in a simulated race situation.

14. Watch and cheer on skiers at the Craftsbury Marathon – better yet, participate!

15.  Participate in St. Johnsbury’s First Night (New Year’s Eve).

16.  Cut your own fresh, real Christmas Tree.

17.  Go Ski!!!!  Try your luck on the slopes at Jay Peak, Burke Mountain, or the Lyndon Outing Club.

18.  Rent/buy or borrow snowshoes and hit the trails!

19.  Enjoy the Lyndon Burke Annual Snowflake Festival.

20.  Rent a “FAT” bike for Winter Biking – one of those cool new, trendy bikes with monster-size, fat wheels and explore designated winter bike Kingdom Trails!

21.  Build a gigantic snow fort or igloo.

22.  Learn to Figure Skate at the Jay Peak Ice Haus.

23.  Snuggle up to a fireplace or woodstove during a snow storm.  Play games, read books, laugh…enjoy time with your family.

24.  Make snow angels.

25.  Have a sledding party!


In Late Winter/Mud-Season/Spring…


26.  Check out how maple syrup is made at a real sugar house.  In winter, be sure to gobble up sugar on snow!!!

27.  Get stuck in the mud.  Is there really any better test of your “calm” parenting skills?

28.  Cheer on runners at the Dandelion Run and sign the kids up to participate in the kids’ race.

29.  Run or walk in the Mother’s Day Fun Run or Kids’ Race at Burke Mountain.

30.  Take the kids to the Kingdom Trails’ pump track.  They will have a blast on their mountain bikes!

31.  Run or walk in the Summer weekly Kingdom Trails Running Series race or meet up for a local run.

32.  Grab your bike and enjoy the NEMBA mountain bike festival (June).

33.  Enjoy Family Pizza night or catch live music at Parker Pie in West Glover.

In Summer…

34.  Go for a swim and family BBQ at Crystal Lake State Park.

35.  Check out the Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover.  Click here for contact information for tour dates or the museum.

36.  Sign the kids up for a camp through St. J Recreation or Newport Recreation.

37. Enjoy yummy ice cream at Carmen’s (the perfect after-activity family destination!) at the Lyndon Freighthouse.

38.  Sign the kids up for a learn to canoe camp at Northwoods Stewardship Center.

39.  Soak up the sunset as you walk along the Lake Memphremagog boardwalk (Newport).

40.  Catch a band concert on the Lyndonville Green (Wednesdays at 7pm throughout the summer).

41.  Take the kids to the circus!  Catch an amazing International Youth Circus Smirkus show at “home” in Greensboro.

42. Don’t miss the annual Stars & Stripes parade/festival!  Every July. Kids love this classic parade.

43.  Shop local and buy fresh, organic, affordable food at a farmers’ market–and support the local economy, too!

44.  Take the short drive down I-91 to Fairlee to catch a drive-in movie at the Fairlee Drive-in Theater.  With only a handful of drive-ins left in America, this family activity isn’t something you want to miss.

45.  Go for a Mt. Bike ride on the Kingdom Trails (recently voted the best trail network in North America).  There’s a trail for everyone!

46.  Pack a picnic and go to Willoughby Lake.  Enjoy fishing, swimming, boating.  Look for peregrine falcon.  In winter, check out the ice-climbers or take an intro class.  Ask around and maybe locals will feed you some tall tales, myths, or truths about the lake.

47.  Take your dog for a walk at Dog Mountain and check out the Dog Chapel (East Saint Johnsbury).

48.  Catch live Music at Friday Night Live in Island Pond.

49.  Watch a tractor pull at the Orleans County Fair.

50.  Attend the Bike and Brewfest at Burke Mountain (summer), or enjoy fresh microbrew at the Trout River Brewing Co.

51.  Grab a sweet treat at Chappy’s in East Burke.

52.  Go Geocaching!  There are lots of geocaches planted around the NEK!

53.  Hike the Moose Mt. Trail in Barton or the Burke Mountain Trail in East Burke.

54.  Watch a Summer children’s performance by the Vermont Children’s Theater.

55.  Buy fresh flowers, fruit, veggies, eggs or pies at a farmstand.

56.  Learn to Sail on Lake Memphremagog

57.  Catch the annual Burke Mountain Music Festival.

58.  Grab a butterfly net or two and let the little ones try “catch and release.”

59.  Sip fresh squeezed lemonade at the Caledonia County Fair.

60.  Fish for trout at Lake Seymour in Morgan.

61.  Visit the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington to soak up some NEK history.

62.  Enjoy the sandy beach at Brighton State Park in Island Pond.

63.  Take a scenic family ride on the Jay Peak Resort Aerial Tramway.

64.  Bring the kids to a real snack bar for guilty, yet delicious food!

65.  Step into a hot air balloon for a breath-taking exploration of the NEK’s vista.


In Fall (or anytime, really)…

66.  Drive the NEK’s backroads and soak up the natural beauty of dirt roads, fall folliage and eye-popping color.

67.  Stuff raffle tickets in shoe-boxes at the Burke Fall Festival, catch the morning parade through town, then enjoy music and food on the town green, kiddie games, and the annual ducky race.  Last Saturday in September.

68.  Ride the Burke Mountain lift for a scenic view of Willoughby Gap.

69.  Go apple picking.

70.  Get temporarily lost in the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville.

71.  Participate in Island Pond’s Annual Run/Bike or Walk Pond-a-Thon — Kids LOVE the huge prize table.

72.  Watch endurance athletes race in the Jay Peak Ultra Run.

73.  Catch the big game–you won’t want to miss the area’s two rivals in action!  St. Johnsbury Academy vs. Lyndon Institute.

74. Rake leaves into piles and jump into them!

75.  Take a final downhill ride down Burke Mt. before the Kingdom Trails close for the season!

76.  Visit the Maple Grove Farms Maple Museum.  Sample different grades of maple syrup.  Don’t forget to try maple sugar candy!


Practically Anytime, Really…

77.  Explore the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium.

78.  Grab a treat from Hollyberry’s or a made-to-order ”grinder” at the East Burke Market.

79.  Enjoy breakfast all day — think pancakes with REAL Vermont maple syrup!!! — at the Miss Lyndonville Diner.

80.  Lace up your running shoes, pull out the baby jogger and go for a run on breathtaking Darling Hill road in Lyndonville/Burke.

81.  Shop for quality toys at Frogs and Lily Pads (St. Johnsbury) or Village Kids (Lyndonville).  Be prepared, though, your kids won’t want to leave the store.

82.  Grab coffee or espresso at Boxcar & Caboose in St. Johnsbury, sip it slowly while your children enjoy the play area.

83.  Snack on freshly made bagels at Bagel Depot.

84.  Explore the Kingdom’s Natural Food Markets, like Newport Natural Foods in Newport or the St. J. Food Coop.

85.  Take a Cabot Creamery Tour.  The world’s best Cheddar Cheese!

86.  Eat a “Covered Bridge Sandwich” and grab fresh popcorn at the Northeast Country Store.  YUM, YUM, YUM.

87.  Explore an old NEK cemetary–like the one in Burke Hollow.  Show the kids how to do stone rubbings.

88.  Go PICK-UR-OWN berry picking.

89.  Take the family to Jay Peak’s Pump House for water fun!

90.  Soak up the beauty of Lake Memphremagog, which lies on the Canadian-U.S. border.

91.  Take the kiddies camping.  Enjoy the stars, fresh Vermont air and smores!

92.  Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Kingdom.

93. Paddle through the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

94.  Say hello to locals and make new friends at annual fundraising events like the Penny Auction at Lyndon Institute.

95.  Shop for Vermont Gear, Clothing and Gifts at Farm-Way in Bradford.

96.  Drive through a covered bridge.

97.  Buy an Annual raffle ticket to win a Subaru – perfect for navigating Vermont roads – at Catamount Arts!

98.  Visit the Art Gallery at Lyndon State College.

99.  Dig around town for research on the famous Darling Family.

100.  See an authentic one-room schoolhouse, White Schoolhouse Museum  – Burke Historical Society.

101.  Gawk at the gorgeous BurkeLyn Mansion.

102.  Visit Peacham.  Known as one of the most photographed villages in New England.

103.  Catch a performance, show, or take a class at Catamount Arts.

104.  Go horseback riding – take a lesson or enjoy a guided trail ride.

105.  Check out the great outdoor gear–and wish you owned one of everything on display!–at the Village Sports Shop in Lyndonville.

106.  Enjoy a memorable meal at Baliwick’s in St. Johnsbury, The River Garden Cafe, or Willy’s Restaurant.

107.  Get your skis or bike tuned up at East Burke Sports in East Burke.

108.  Look for fabulous finds at the children’s consignment shop, Village Kids Boutique, in Lyndonville.

109.  Did someone say Bag Balm?  Catch a factory tour or snap in front of the giant Bag Balm container on the building in the center of Lyndonville.  Yup, it’s made in the NEK.

110.  Visit The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, a private, nonprofit public library and art gallery.

111.  Go golfing at Jay Peak.

112.  Pull out the camera.  Snap photos of fields, cows, old churches, wildflowers, old farmhouses and country doors or fences.

113.  Watch the Elk Run (Behind Derby Cow Palace) in Derby.  Wow, is all I or my kids can say.

114.  Check out the independent businesses and boutiques in downtown St. Johnsbury and downtown Newport.

115.  Visit the Haskell Free Library & Opera House –  it actually straddles the U.S. / Canadian border!

116.  Go ATV riding on the VAST trails.

117.  Visit a waterfall, like Great Falls in Barnet.

118.  Look for Moose as you drive Vermont’s roads.

119.  Go diving in Lake Willoughby–a favorite of divers.

120.  Check out the Silvio O. Conte Fish & Wildlife Refuge on Rt 105 between Bloomfield and Island Pond.

121.  Paddle down a river–hire a guide or go on your own if you’re experienced.  Be sure to grab a guide map.

122.  Drive up the Burke Mountain Toll Road.

123.  Show the kids farm animals — bring them to see pigs, horses and VT cows or let them touch them, such as at the petting barn at the Wildflower Inn.

124.  Watch a farmer milk a cow.

125.  Walk your dog on a dog-allowed Kingdom trail.

126.  Shoot a video of your trip to the NEK and post it to YouTube.

127.  Go ice skating at the Fenton Chester Arena in Lyndon Center.

128.  Build a snow person family!  Check out the Wildflower Inn’s Project Snowman.

129. Roast marshmallows over a campfire.

130.  Attend a BIG bonfire.

131.  Go bird watching.

132.  Try to identify animal tracks in snow or mud with your children.  Play a guessing game.

133.  Visit the beautiful The Chapel of the Holy Family on Darling Hill Road.

134.  Visit Meadow View Farm and see how all-natural feed cattle are raised.

135.  Pamper yourself at Stepping Stone Spa.

136.  Sit under a tree with your favorite book, writing journal or drawing pad.

137.  Rent a cabin, cottage, or winter home and invite your family/friends to visit, play and enjoy Vermont’s NEK.

138.  Check out the beautiful vegetable garden at the Inn at Mountain View on Darling Hill.

139.  Get lost in the stacks of books at the Green Mountain Books & Prints in Lyndonville.

140.  Fly a kite in a Vermont field.

141.  Play Laser Tag in North Danville, ages 9-90.

142.  Attend an auction (check the local paper for dates/times).

143.  Catch the parade in Barton.

144.  Collect Vermont maple leaves or flowers and press them–or collect mini pine cones or unique stones.  Use them for projects with the kids later in the year.

145. Bring the kids to play and read at the Cobleigh Library on a Rainy Day.

146.  Spend the day rock climbing or ice climbing – find routes at Mt. Wheeler or  Mt. Pisgah.

147.  Write postcards to family and friends, telling them how much you love Vermont’s NEK!

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If you’ve made it this far, please add your favorite NEK activity in the comments below!  

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