Here are some fun, kid-friendly options for getting out and about during the summer months! Have something you’d like to share with other parents? You can submit an event to our online calendar.
We emphasize free or low cost activities and also include ‘hidden gems’ or ‘insider tips’ that we learn about from other parents in the community. Every family is different; please exercise discretion and common sense in determining whether an activity is right for your family.
For Those Rainy Summer Days
Here are some free and low cost indoor options… for days when taking the kiddos outside just isn’t an option.
Take a break from the action, rest between errands, meet with friends, or enjoy playtime in a cozy, warm child-friendly setting. Free coffee, tea, and parenting lending library. Weekly group meetings are welcome; please let Good Beginnings know if you are interested in setting up a regular meeting time for your parent group.
Summer Drop In Hours: Wednesday-Friday 9 AM – 1 PM
Mama’s Circle: Weekly Wednesdays 10:00am-12:00pm
A Mama-hosted, mellow, and cozy meet up for busy parents and their kiddos prenatal to preschool. All genders are welcome.
La Leche League: 3rd Thursdays 9:30-11:30am
LLL Nursing Beyond a Year: 3rd Fridays 9:30-11:30am
Yoga Barre: 14 N Main Street, Barre
Meets every 2nd Friday of the month 9:30-11:30 at
Parents are busy and overwhelmed – we know! It can help so much to know we aren’t alone in our journey through sleepless nights, poop explosions, strained resources… the list goes on and on. Parents with babies are invited to enjoy some social time and FREE refreshments!
The Circle brings moms together to foster a sense of community so we all feel connected and less alone in our unique-but-shared experiences. Come as you are, when you can, for as long as you can. Judgment-free zone. Leave with your cup refilled.
*A coupon for a free yoga class will be given to each new parent that attends Mama’s Circle Barre thanks to the wonderful folks at Yoga Barre!
Come refill your cup before starting a new week. Every fourth Sunday of the month, families gather at Downstreet’s community space for a light supper and a chance to connect with other parents. Free for parents and caregivers with children 3 and under. Older siblings welcome! RSVP encouraged.
Library Story Hours and Museum Passes
Many area libraries offer story hours, passes to local museums, and other fun events throughout the summer. Call ahead or check their websites for details.
Aldrich Public Library
6 Washington St. Barre, VT 05641
(802) 476-7550 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brown Public Library
93 South Main Street, Northfield, VT 05663
(802) 485-4621 email@example.com
Jaquith Public Library
122 School St, Marshfield, VT 05658, (802) 426-3581
Kellogg Hubbard Children’s Library
135 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 05602 (802) 223-3338
Summer hours: Mon – Fri 10:00am-5:30pm; Sat 10:00-1:00pm
Waterbury Public Library
28 North Main Street, Waterbury
Babywearers of Central Vermont
174 River Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 (upstairs in the loft)
Babywearers of Central Vermont is an educational non-profit that teaches families how to use carriers effectively and safely. Our monthly meetings are free and open to all. They are a great way to learn about babywearing, connect with others, and support each other as parents and caregivers. Fourth Monday 5:45- 7:15pm
Kids Building Workshop
759 Harvest Lane, Williston, VT, 05495
Handy helpers learn do-it-yourself skills and tool safety! Construct a free seasonal project at Home Depot every first Saturday of the month from 9-12. Visit www.workshops.homedepot.com to pre-register.
Capital City Grange Hall on Route 12 in Berlin
Every first Saturday at 6PM. This is a free family-friendly event.
Studio Place Arts
201 North Main Street, Barre, VT (802) 479-7069
Galleries and opening receptions are kid friendly and free to the public. A wonderful place to connect with the art culture and spend time with your child. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00am – 5:00 pm Saturday noon – 4:00 pm
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center, VT 05677
Watch the bakery make fresh apple pies, tour the mill and get a fresh sample of apple cider!
Montpelier Circulator Bus
FREE shuttle bus around downtown Montpelier. Runs hourly during the week. Nothing like a bus ride to entertain a toddler!
Summer Playgroup Schedule
Many playgroups take a break for the summer, but these groups still meet on a weekly basis.
For Those Rainy Summer Days
Some Cost Involved
Kids Trade And Play
Second Saturday of every month 9:30-11:30am Capital City Grange, Route 12 South, Berlin VT
A clothing exchange at the Central Vermont Capitol City Grange. Kids clothes newborn to Junior size 12, as well as toys and books. Three dollar fee per family. Contact Erin with any questions you may have (831) 337-8632 firstname.lastname@example.org
The following restaurants have features that make them ‘kid-friendly’ such as a collection of children’s books/toys, a play area, or interesting visuals for little ones. They are also doable on a budget (eg coffee and a bagel).
McDonalds- Berlin (as another playground option)
Red Hen Bakery- Middlesex
Manghi’s Bakery- 28 School Street, Montpelier
This local bakery is a favorite among families for its 5 cent rolls for kiddos. Open Monday through Friday 7 am until 4:30 pm.
No charge for infants. 5-visit punch cards are available for. Visit website for cost and schedule.
An indoor play space for families and friends to come play together. Don’t forget to bring your socks.
The Ice Center
546 River Road, Waterbury
Public skating is a great way to bring the community together, stick and puck time is a fun way to stay active, and renting the ice for a party is a fantastic way to enjoy healthy recreation.
Twin City Family Fun Center
708 Rte US 302, Berlin
Bowling, laser tag, arcade, and a sports Bistro all under the same roof.
Vermont History Museum
109 State Street Pavilion Building (next to the State House), Montpelier,
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Closed state and federal holidays. One admission fee gives access to both the Vermont History Museum and the Vermont Heritage Galleries. Adults: $7; families: $20; students, children, seniors: $5; members and children under 6: free.
Vermont Granite Museum
7 Jones Bros Way, Barre VT
Discover the science of granite and the heritage of Vermont’s granite industry. The Museum is committed to providing engaging learning experiences for children, teens, and adults. Open June-October, Wednesday-Saturday, 10AM – 4PM
Play on a Playground!
Barre Street Playground
58 Barre Street, Montpelier
Located behind the Montpelier Senior Activity Center at 58 Barre Street. Also accessible from behind 46 Barre Street, via Monsignor Crosby Ave.
East Barre Park and Playground
12 Pleasant Street, East Barre
Parking at the East Barre Playground is available at the end of Pleasant Street. Drive south on Route 110 out of East Barre Village, just past the St. Cecilia & St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church turn left onto Pleasant Street.
Elm Street Playground
Elm Street, Montpelier
Located behind the Montpelier Pool.
Hope Davey Memorial Park
51 S Main Street, Waterbury
In addition to the playground, this park has a large picnic pavilion, BBQ pit, basketball court, skate park, baseball field, disk golf course, and nature trails.
Lower Graniteville Playground
3 Baptist Street, Graniteville
The Lower Graniteville Playground is located at the corner of Graniteville Road and Baptist Street in the Lower Graniteville Village. The playground is next to the Post Office.
Corner of Elm and Summer Street, Barre
Fenced in playground for children of all ages to enjoy. Recently remodeled.
59 Parkside Terrace, Barre
This is quite the playground for little one to do lots of climbing, running and swinging. It even has a skate park next door for the older kids.
South Barre Park Playground
26 Wilson Street, South Barre
The South Barre Park is located behind Hannaford’s Market. Wilson Street provides access to the playground.
The Natural Community Playground
Thatcher Brook Primary School; 47 Stowe Street, Waterbury
This playground has a brick labyrinth, a water garden and slides built into the hillside so no one can fall off and everyone can ride down.
Trow Hill Playground
291 Hill Street, Barre
The Trow Hill Playground is located on Hill Street between West Cobble Hill Road and Balsam Drive, one hundred yards above the Trow Hill Grocery. It was last renovated in 2016. The public may also use the basketball and volleyball courts located at the EMS Station, at the intersection of U.S. Route 302 and McLaughlin Road.
Upper Graniteville Playground
10 Park Street, Graniteville
The Upper Graniteville Playground is on Park Street, which intersects with Graniteville Road between Cogswell Street and Donahue Road.
Upper Websterville Playground
19 Brook Street, Websterville
The Upper Websterville Playground is located on Brook Street. Next to the Post Office, turn off of Church Hill Road into Brook Street. The playground is a very short distance up Brook Street. It was last renovated in 2015.
Barre City Municipal Pool
59 Parkside Terrace, Barre
Check out the website for more details.
Bolton Valley Access Road, Bolton
Check out the Bolton Potholes, one of Vermont’s most preeminent swimming holes. These large, round, rock “bowls” are located on the Joiner Brook falls about six miles out of Waterbury, just a quarter mile up the road to the Bolton Valley Resort.
Camel’s Hump State Park
3508 Camels Hump Road, Duxbury
Climbs the east side can be somewhat challenging, but there’s also an accessible loop with its own parking area.
Dog River Recreation Area
Dog River Road, Montpelier
The Dog River Recreation Area has softball fields where our summer leagues are held as well as serving as a soccer field for the youth program in the fall. There are picnic tables and a couple of grills near the river for small get-togethers.
Green Mountain Club
4711 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center
The Vermont’s Long Trail System, with its 272-mile footpath, 166 miles of side trails, and approximately 70 backcountry campsites (many featuring shelters) offers endless hiking opportunities for the day hiker, weekend overnighter, and extended backpacker.
400 Parkway Street, Montpelier
Enjoy Vermont’s natural beauty in Montpelier at Hubbard Park. Hike up to the tower, visit one of the shelters, explore many trails, this park is great for the whole family!
Little River State Park
3444 Little River Rd, Waterbury
Little River State Park is a campground state park on the 850-acre Waterbury Reservoir in Waterbury, Vermont. It is located in Mount Mansfield State Forest.
Mad River Path
4061 Main Street, Waitsfield
Public pathways from Warren to Moretown to foster a healthy community by connecting the people, businesses and special places of the Mad River Valley.
44 Brook Street, Websterville
Many of these mountain biking trails also make for good rambles or walks. On some sections of trail, be on the lookout for cool sculptures carved by local artists!
Montpelier Public Pool
Elm Street, Montpelier
The Montpelier pool often has family fun events. Look on their website for more information, schedules, and admission fees.
Nature Walks in the Barre Town Forest
44 Brook Street, Barre
Marianne Kotch will lead easy to moderate walks along trails and up to lookouts. All ages and newcomers welcome. All walks begin at the kiosk at the 44 Brook St. and last approximately an hour and a half. Dogs on leashes welcome. If it’s raining enough for an umbrella, the walk will be cancelled. Explore the trails of the Barre Town Forest and part of the Millstone Trails system every Tuesday at 9:00 am, beginning June 4, 2019, and continuing through September 24.
North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street, Montpelier
Northfield Memorial Park Pool
365 King Street, Northfield
Resident and non-resident season pool passes are available at the Northfield Memorial Pool or at the Town Clerk’s Office. Daily passes may only be purchased at the pool.
Rusty Parker Memorial Park
51 South Main Street, Waterbury
This park in the heart of downtown Waterbury hosts weekly Farmer’s Markets, with free live music to follow. Plus it’s perfect for the little ones to hop on a swing or go down the slide while the caretaker can rest in the shaded gazebo area.
Waterbury Center State Park Reservoir
177 Reservoir Road, Waterbury Center
90-acre park on a reservoir offers picnic sites, boat rentals, a nature trail, a swimming beach, picnicking, grills, restrooms and changing areas. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 10 am to sunset.
Waterbury Swimming Pool
27 Butler Street, Waterbury
Swimming lessons, open swim, and more! Learn more about when the pool is open, and the fee on their website.
Wrightsville Beach Recreation Area
369 VT-12, Middlesex
Enjoy picnic areas, a swimming beach, disk golf course, boat rentals, and hiking trails.
Special Summer Events
No application, no registration, 18 and under eat for free! Call 2-1-1 or text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find drop-in summer meal sites anywhere in Vermont.
Ice Cream Social
Tuesdays on the playground, hosted by the Town of Barre- Recreation.
Come out and meet your neighbors, enjoy some ice cream, and recreate.
Third Wednesday of every month, 7PM Jaquith Library, 122 School Street, Marshfield.
A wholesome flick fascinates viewers of all ages.
Annual Ben and Jerry’s Free Outdoor Movie Festival, Ben and Jerry’s factory, 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100, Waterbury.
All shows start at dusk, bring your own chair. If you require special assistance in order to attend a movie, please call Ben and Jerry’s at 802-882-2064.
- July 5th- Wreck It Ralph, Ralph Breaks the Internet – rated PG
- July 12th- Spider-Man, Into The Spider-verse – rated PG
- July 19th- How to Train Your Dragon, The Hidden World – rated PG
- July 26th- Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018) – rated PG
- August 2nd- Grease (a sing-a-long version) – rated PG
- August 9th- Mary Poppins Returns – rated PG
Some Cost Involved
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!
Ben and Jerry’s- 1281 Waterbury Stowe Rd Route 100, Waterbury.
Bragg Farm Sugarhouse- 1005 Vt Rte 14 N, East Montpelier.
Canteen Creamery– 5123 Main Street, Waitsfield.
Chill Gelato– 32 State Street, Montpelier.
Crossroads Beverage and Deli– 52 N Main Street, Waterbury.
Dairy Creme- 320 State Street, Montpelier.
Leonardo’s Italian Gelato & Sorbet- 131 South Main Street, Barre.
Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks- 1168 County Road, Montpelier.
Pump and Pantry- 33 Business Center Road, Williamstown.
Simon’s Store and Deli– 377 River Street, Montpelier.
The Snack Shack- 515 North Main Street, Barre.
The Sweet Spot- 40 Bridge Street, Waitsfield.
Some markets allow you to spend your SNAP/3SquaresVT benefits. For WIC families: Attend a Farm to Family activity this summer and get coupons for fresh, local fruits and veggies from the Farmers’ Market!
Barre- Jones Brothers Way, Saturday mornings.
Chelsea- North Common, Friday afternoons.
Montpelier- 60 State Street, Saturday mornings.
Northfield- Town Common, Tuesday afternoons.
Plainfied– Mill Street Park, Friday afternoons.
Randolph- 44 South Main Street, Saturday mornings.
Waterbury- 2 Rotarian Place, Thursday afternoons.
Waitsfield- Mad River Green, Saturday mornings.