Family-Friendly Things to Do in Burlington, VT in the Winter

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If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Burlington, VT in the winter with kids, you’ll find no shortage of options. From ice skating and sledding to cross-country skiing and snow tubing, there is something for everyone.

This outdoorsy town has plenty of winter activities for active families who love the outdoors. If the temps are too cold for outdoor fun, enjoy staying warm at one of the indoor museums and historic sites.

burlington vermont in the winter

While Burlington is a great destination for families in all seasons, there is nothing quite like winter in New England, especially Vermont.

Is Burlington, Vermont Worth Visiting in the Winter?

Absolutely! While it’s cold in the winter, Burlington is a fun town with lots to do. Especially for families who love the outdoors. There is also great food, cute little shops, and picturesque scenery that can’t be beaten!

Related: 14 Popular Things to Do in Vermont with Kids

What is There to Do in Burlington, VT with Kids in the Winter?

Burlington, VT is a great place for kids in the winter! There are plenty of things to do, from sledding and ice skating to snowshoeing and skiing.

If you’re looking for something a little warmer and low-key, Burlington also has plenty of museums, tours, and restaurants that are perfect for families.

girl lacing up ice skates

Go Ice Skating at One of Burlington’s Skating Rinks

There are several indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks in Burlington, so don’t forget to bring your ice skates!

  • Waterfront Park is located in the heart of downtown Burlington and offers stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. In the winter, the park features an outdoor ice skating rink that is open to the public from November through March. Skate rentals are available on-site, and there is also a heated changing room for those who need to warm up.
  • Cairns Arena is another great place to go ice skating with kids in South Burlington, VT. It offers a variety of public skate sessions throughout the week, including family skates, stick and puck, and party rentals. The arena also has concessions available for purchase during the winter months.
  • Gordon H. Paquette Ice Arena This full-service ice skating facility that offers public skating sessions, stick and puck, and public skate for families with little kids. It also features a party room and pro shop with skate rentals, figure skates, hockey equipment, and other items for sale.
  • Battery Park is a popular spot for outdoor skating in Burlington. The park features a hill that is perfect for sledding, as well as a playground and picnic area.

Spend the Day at Catamount Outdoor Family Center

The Catamount Outdoor Family Center is located just outside of Burlington and has plenty of fun things for families to do.

Go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ride the trails on a fat bike. Equipment rentals are available if needed.

child sledding on a blue sled

Find a Great Sledding Hill

Finding a great place to go sledding is a winter must! Luckily, there are plenty in the Burlington area. These are some popular ones.

  • Calahan Park is a city-owned park that has sledding hills for all experience levels, which makes it a great place for the whole family. Small and medium slopes for little ones and steeper hills for older, more experienced riders. All of the hills lead to a ball field, providing a safe place to slow down without obstacles.
  • Centennial Woods is a nature preserve located in Burlington that features a popular sledding hill. The hill is open to all ages and offers a great view of the city skyline. There is also an easy-to-access trail for those who want to take things slow.

Spend the Weekend at Bolton Valley Resort

Bolton Valley Resort is located just a short drive from Burlington and offers a variety of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. There are also indoor activities such as a swimming pool and a bike and skate park.

Bolton Valley also offers ski and snowboard lessons, as well as rentals.

maple snow

See How Maple Syrup is Made

New Englanders take real maple syrup very seriously, especially in Vermont. Find out how real maple sugar is made, and don’t forget to buy some to bring home!

Sugartime is typically in mid-February through mid-April. If you’re heading up to Burlington during that time, make some time to stop by one of the sugarhouses in the area.

  • Palmer’s Sugarhouse in Shelburne is one of the best sugarhouses in Vermont. While you’re there, you can also enjoy horse rides, sugar on snow, and views of the Adirondacks.
  • Sugartree Maple Farm is also a great spot for maple syrup lovers. The farm has been tapping trees since 1880 and offers tours and tastings of their delicious maple products. Take a tour to see how things have changed over the years, or sit back and enjoy some pancakes with Vermont’s finest syrup!

Stay Warm at One of Burlington’s Museums

  • The Echo Leahy Center for Lake Champlain is located right on the lake and is a great place to learn about Lake Champlain. They can also learn about Champ, the sea monster that is rumored to live in the lake. Children will also get to see turtles, fish, snakes, lizards, and other small animals up close.
  • The Shelburne Museum has many interesting collections, including the circus, toys and dolls, paintings, and interesting buildings to explore, like a jail from 1890, the blacksmith shop, a circus building, and a lighthouse, to name a few. The museum is also home to a spectacular winter lights display.

Visit Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is a working farm located on the shores of Lake Champlain that offers educational programs for kids year-round. In the winter months, kids can learn about how farmers care for animals in cold weather, as well as how to make maple syrup.

The farm also offers activities like snowshoeing and sleigh rides.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Ethan Allen Homestead

The Ethan Allen Homestead is a living history museum located on 100 acres of land, which includes woods, meadows, and hills. The homestead offers tours of the house and grounds, as well as demonstrations of how things were done during the 18th century.

In the winter months, visitors can enjoy activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the grounds.

burlington, vermont in the winter

What is the Snowiest Month in Burlington, Vermont?

Whether you are looking to play in the snow or avoid it, knowing the snowiest months in Vermont is something you might want to keep in mind. In general, the snowiest month in Vermont is usually March, with an average of 17.5 inches of snow. However, February and December are also both quite snowy.

What to Pack for a Winter Getaway to Burlington, VT with Kids

Burlington is a magical place for a winter getaway with kids. There are plenty of fun things to do, such as snow tubing, sledding, skiing, and more.

Since there are so many things to do, make sure you are prepared by packing the right gear to make the most out of your time in this wonderful town.


Vermont can be cold, so be prepared with clothing you can layer and waterproof boots and gloves.


Rentals are available for snowshoes, tubes, skis, etc., at the mountain resorts. Having your own will save money and allow you to enjoy winter recreation without all of the crowds.


Be prepared for anything if you plan on spending time on trails. Pack as if no one else will be around. It’s better to have gear that you don’t need than to need it and not have it with you.

Final Thoughts

There’s sure to be something fun for the whole family to enjoy if you go to Burlington, VT in the winter with kids. So get out there and explore all that this beautiful city has to offer.

Oh, and don’t forget to dress warmly. It can get pretty chilly up there in the winter!

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