Burlington’s Top 20 Summer Activities


Summer is almost here.  The kids are almost done with school and hopefully, with fingers crossed, the nice, warm weather will return.

On Friday, we helped you create your Bucket List of things to do for the summer.  Today I’m going to give you a few more ideas to add to your arsenal.  So here it is, the Top 20 Summer Activities in Burlington (aka your 1 Stop Shop for Summer Fun).


[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Parks:[/typography]

1. Waterfront Park:  What’s not to love about this park!  Plenty of space for a picni…you can dock your boat (if you have one)…a creemee stand…and the beautiful lake to gaze upon.  Not to miss is the yearly 4th of July Fireworks Celebration, kids will love staying up late and watching the amazing display of pyrotechnics but don’t forget some earplugs for the little ones, things can get a bit loud.

2.  North Beach:  Great sandy beach to dig and build sand castles and an awesome place to get wet during those hot summer days.  There’s also a big playground for when you’re feeling a little waterlogged but aren’t ready to leave the sun and sand just yet.

3.  Leddy Park/Beach:   What I love about Leddy is that there is so much available for summer fun.  There’s a park with playing fields, ball courts, a playground, and hiking trails.  You can also stop by and check out the Arena if you’d like to try your hand at ice skating during the summer.  And of course the beach area, a little more difficult to get to than North Beach but I also find it a little less busy as well.

4.  Oakledge Park:  Located in Burlington’s South End, this park has multiple fields, courts, shore line, and a cool tree house to explore.  I also hear the sunsets at Oakledge are pretty spectacular!

5.  Bike Path:  If you’re a bike enthusiast then get out there on the bike path and go.  It starts in the south end near Oakledge and winds it’s way along the shore of Lake Champlain for 7.5 miles until it connects with the Colchester Bike Path.

[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Festivals & Fairs:[/typography]

6.  Champlain Valley Fair:  What’s not to love about this iconic state fair that’s over 90 years old!  It’s got rides, farm animals, fair food, tractor pulls, and big name concerts.  Not to mention it’s a great place to sit back and people watch.

7.  Vermont Brewer’s Festival:  Ok, so not so family friendly but sometimes you just need to do adult things with other adults.  Vermont is quickly becoming a leader in local mirco-brews.  If nothing cools your palette like a cold beer on a hot day then plan for this festival in mid-July.

8.  Dragon Boat Festival:  If you’re looking to inspire the kids to do be a part of something bigger than themselves why not check out the Dragon Boat Festival.  It’s a day of fitness, fun and fundraising as teams raise money and compete in an effort to end cancer.

[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Educational:[/typography]

9.  Ethan Allen Homestead & Castle:  Visit the homestead of local folk hero Ethan Allen on the Winooski River Intervale.  Inside the museum are hands-on exhibits and multi-media presentations and outside are plenty of trails and a wildlife habitat to explore.  Further up the road on North Avenue is Ethan Allen Park where you can hike to the top of a very small hill and visit the castle…er I mean Tower, open during the summer every day, for an exceptional view of Burlington and beyond.

10.  Shelburne Museum:  You want history, you got it!  Head on over to this beautiful museum for a walk back in time.  I’ll let you read Emily’s post about why Shelburne Museum is great for kids.

11.  Shelburne Farms:  Who doesn’t love Shelburne Farms?  If you haven’t explored it yet, you’ve got to give it a try this summer.  Kids will love chasing the chickens, milking the cows, the tractor ride to and from the Farm, and just running amok.  If you want a more personal story about the farm read Tessa’s story about growing up on the farm.  So cool!

12.  ECHO:  What it lacks in colorful, exotic fish dislays, ECHO more than makes up for in it’s presentation on history and ecology.  They have some pretty cool permanent exhibits but there travelling exhibits are awesome…from now until Sept. they’re hosting a Dinosaur exhibit!

[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Arts & Entertainment:[/typography]

13.  Flynn Theater:  Music, dance, theater…the Flynn has it all.  Perfect for a night out with your special someone.

14.  Battery Park Concert Series:  Free concerts in the park!  Burlington City Arts sponsors these concerts through the summer, usually on a Thursday evening, in July.

15.  City Hall Park Concert Series:  More free concerts in the park.  Twice weekly, BCA puts on another concert series from 12-1pm with a variety of acts.

16.  Burlington College Movie Nights:   Held rain or shine, Burlington College does 1 family friendly movie a month (series of 4) under their tent.  Don’t forget your popcorn!

17.  Main Street Landing Movies:  Watch a movie and support a local non-profit.  Run by donations only, Main Street Landing plays incredible classic movies.  A different movie plays every Tuesday night at 7pm.

[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Sports:[/typography]

18.  Lake Monsters:  Sure you could take a trip to Boston to see the Red Sox but why go there when you’ve got an incredible local team to cheer on.  Only 9 days until season opener!

[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]A Mish Mash of the Rest:[/typography]

19.  Farmer’s Market:    Every Saturday from May – October head on over to City Hall Park to walk the Farmer’s Market.  They’ve got so many good things…good food, good drink, and fresh fresh fresh everything.  It’s a feast for the senses!

20.  Summervale:   Local food, local music…go ahead and invite all the friends you want to this party.  Every Thursday night during the summer the Intervale Center plays host to local vendors and musicians and puts on a party.  It’s a great way to spend a beautiful summer evening.

So there you have it!  Save this post to your Favorites, Pin It, print it off and hang it on your refrigerator.  Have it handy because there are a ton of things happening this summer in our beloved Burlington.




  1. thanks shannon! while henry is going to 2 camps this summer, its for only 2 weeks. i’ve decided to create a more structured day for us three–ruby, henry and i. it’ll be nice to add in these little trips to build out our day!


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