Winter Break in Central Vermont: Family Friendly Fun


Winter break is just around the corner for us Vermonters.

For Vermont transplants like my family, this is an unexpected week off in February that we are unaccustomed to. In excitement and anticipation, my family planned a vacation to Colorado. Then, our youngest son broke his leg. We canceled our trip and now we are scrambling for fun activities to partake in.

We live near Killington, which I recently (through a Google search) found out is not actually considered “Central Vermont”. But, for the purposes of this post, I am considering Central Vermont to be the area from Rutland east to Woodstock north to Montpelier and then west to Middlebury.

girls, snow, snowsuits, winter
Central Vermont offers lots of fun activities during winter break.

If you are like us and your winter break plans have recently gone ‘kaboom’ or you just haven’t had a minute to think about what to do that week, here are some ideas for Central Vermont winter break family fun:

Rutland Area

The Rutland area offers Winterfest, nine days of winter fun beginning on Saturday, February 16th. Events include a Story Walk, free skating, a 5K for autism awareness, night sledding down Center St., a snow sculpture contest, and curling for kids. There is at least one event planned each day. Activities on the schedule are for kids, families, and adults.

Pico Mountain will be open for the full week of break (as opposed to being closed on Tuesday and Wednesday). They will host a mini shred contest on Saturday, February 23rd for kids ages 13 and under.

Wonderfeet Museum is hosting a winter dance at the Palms in Rutland on February 23rd from 4pm-6pm.

Check out the special Raptor Encounter at Killington courtesy of VINS. You can experience live owls, falcons, and hawks right in Ramshead Lodge.

skier, skiing, snow, winter
Head to Pico, Suicide Six, Cochran’s, or the Snow Bowl to ski this winter break.

Woodstock Area

Woodstock will host its annual Snow Sculpture Festival from February 15-17th. Watch sculptures being made and vote on your favorites.

Suicide Six Ski Area will host a torchlight parade on Saturday, February 16. This begins just after sunset and promises to be fun for the whole family.

On Saturday, February 16, the Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT will host and Igloo Build. The event is free with museum admission and explores winter science. They have similar winter fun themed events all week!

It’s Owl Festival at VINS from February 23rd-24th. Learn about owls, get your face painted, and eat some delicious food!

Head to Billings Farm to tour the farmhouse, exhibits, and dairy farm. They are usually closed in the winter but open to visitors the week of break. You can also enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride.

Montpelier Area

Check out the Capitol Building in Montpelier for some outdoor ice skating. The Rink at State Street is located on the state house lawn and open to the public.

Cochran’s Ski Area offers family night skiing on Friday nights. Their “Friday Night Lights” consists of a community dinner and inexpensive skiing for the whole family.

Head to the Full Moon Snowshoe hike at North Branch Nature Center on Tuesday, February 19th. Hot chocolate and snowshoes are provided.

snowshoe, snowshoeing, winter, snow
Snowshoeing is a fun winter break activity.

Middlebury Area

Middlebury offers a Winterfest packed full of family fun. This winter festival runs the four days of President’s Day weekend. Events include a lantern walk, crafts and a movie, an ice show, skating and sledding, and snow carving. Fun for the whole family.

Middlebury College will host the 96th Annual Winter Carnival. This event offers free admission to ski events. The weekend kicks off with fireworks on the Ross Lawn.

The Middlebury Snow Bowl, a family friendly ski area, located in Hancock, VT, is offering special vacation week deals from February 18th-22nd.

The Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center in Goshen is hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday, February 17th. Fuel up and then stick around for some snowshoeing or skiing.

Other Ideas:

Check your local library and/or bookstore to see if they’ve added any additional programing for the week of break. They may already offer a weekly story time with craft that could be adapted for older children.

Stop in your town offices to see if any additional programs have been added to the calendar or if any facilities (like outdoor skating rinks) will have additional hours.

Borrow snowshoes from your local library. Most Vermont libraries offer snowshoes for checkout in both adult and children sizes.

Look into local gymnastic centers and bounce house gyms for additional hours and “open gym” time.

See if any local movie theatres will be showing older movies at reduced prices (or free) during the traditional school hours.

Please let me know in the comments what your family has planned for winter break, or if there are Central Vermont winter break activities I’ve missed in this roundup!



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