Local Favorite: Shelburne Museum


When we moved here two years ago, one of the first recommendations I got for a good place to take my then one-year old was Shelburne Museum.

Dutifully obedient, and having no idea what else to do with myself across the country from anything familiar, I programmed the address into my nav system and headed out.

Xander and I mostly just wandered around outside that first visit; I wasn’t sure which exhibits would be kid friendly, or even what they really were, and I didn’t know about the play room in Owl Cottage, but we had a blast.

Shelburne Museum Round BarnThe iconic round barn building

It’s been one of our favorite places to visit ever since.

We have a sort of routine to our visits, but I try to mix it up every once and a while and add new things. We typically start by visiting (read: running through) the Ticonderoga. Then off to Owl Cottage to play with some toys and maybe do an art project. Lunch almost always follows (playing is hard work!). I pack a picnic if I’m good and plan ahead, but I must admit to being a huge fan of their café.

 Shelburne Museum CollageA great day running around outside and visiting robots.

After lunch is usually the easiest time for me to slip something new in that *I* want to see, though Xander has recently discovered the model train room, so that’s always on his agenda. He also loves taking the shuttle bus (“a bus, mama!”), so we’ll ride that around to the walk-through train car, say hi to the big bears, and, of course, ride the carousal before leaving.

Shelburne Museum BldgOne of the art buildings.

If you haven’t been, the museum is a beautiful way to spend a summer afternoon, with fun activities for the kids, and a gallery of Impressionist (and more!) paintings for the parents. Their café serves local food and their gift shop features local artists.

If you have been, what are your favorite  things to do?


  1. Wow! I actually didn’t know it would be a fun place to take the kids. We will definitely check it out, thanks!

  2. I’ve lived in Vermont for a total of almost 16 years and I’ve never been to the Shelburne Museum, in spite of living only 20 min. away. I think it’s a case of, “It’s right down the road if I ever have the chance to visit.” My kids have been on field trips. I really need to get there one of these days. Preferably on “half price for VT residents” day. 🙂


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