Summer Fun

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

Completely Free

Since many playgroups take a break for the summer, here are some
free and low cost indoor options… 
for days when taking the kiddos outside just isn’t an option.

The Nest at Good Beginnings
174 River Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 595-7953

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:  9 AM – 1 PM  on Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays
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
Elimination Communication: 3rd Thursdays 1:00pm-2:00pm

Mama’s Circle Barre

Meets every 2nd Friday of the month 9:30-11:30 at Yoga Barre: 14 N Main St, Barre, VT 05641
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!

Library Story Hours
Many area libraries offer story hours and other events throughout the summer.  Call ahead or check their websites for details.

Aldrich Public Library
6 Washington St. Barre, VT 05641
(802) 476-7550

Brown Public Library
93 South Main Street, Northfield, VT 05663
(802) 485-4621

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
(802) 244-7036

Babywearers of Central Vermont 
174 River Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 (upstairs)

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. Monthly Meetings: Second Thursdays 9:30-11:30am Fourth Mondays 5:45- 7:15pm

Little Explorers Playgroup
Christ Church, 64 State St, Montpelier VT 05602

Free play group for children 0 to 5 and their caregivers.  Meets every Tuesday morning in the upstairs auditorium of the Christ Church from 9:30 until 11:30 AM.  Space may be limited; email in advance.  Sponsored by Capital Community Church.

Kids Building Workshop
Home Depot
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 to pre-register.

Next Chapter Bookstore Storytimes
162 N Main St, Suite 100, Barre VT 05641

Storytime: 10:30am on the 1st Saturday of every month.

Community Potluck
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
Montpelier, VT

FREE shuttle bus around downtown Montpelier. Runs hourly during the week. Nothing like a bus ride to entertain a toddler!

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  (831) 337-8632

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.

Kid-Friendly Local Restaurants
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).

Bagitos, Montpelier
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.

Grateful Yoga
15 State St #303, Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 224-6183

Contact Grateful Yoga for a schedule of their class offerings for young children.

Postnatal Baby Yoga
Tuesdays 10:30 – 11:30 Led by Amy LePage from Emerge and taught at Embodied studio, 7 Main Street, Montpelier

Followed by FREE Mother’s Gathering 11:30-12:30. Great for new babies – beginner crawlers. Cost: $12 drop in or 5 classes for $50.

Green Mountain Coffee Cafe and Welcome Center
1 Rotarian Place, Waterbury, VT (877) 879-2326

Open Gym at Sunrise Gymnastics
654 Granger Road, Berlin

Cost:  $10 for the first child, $5 each for siblings.  No charge for infants. 5-visit punch cards are available for $40.
Visit website for schedule.

Vermont History Museum 
109 State Street Pavilion Building (next to the State House), Montpelier, VT
(802) 828-2291

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
(802) 476-4605

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. Admission- Adults $5, Children $3, Family $10.
Open June-October, Wednesday-Saturday, 10AM – 4PM

Get Outside! Parks, Playgrounds & Walking Trails

North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-6206

Walk the trail along the North Branch of the Winooski or extend your hike into Hubbard Park or North Branch River Park. You can even hook up with the East Montpelier trail network.

Bolton Potholes
Bolton Valley Access Road, Bolton, VT

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.

Barre Town Forest Nature Walks
Tuesdays and Sundays; Meet at 44 Brook Street parking area.

The Barre Town Forest Friends lead easy to moderate nature walks through the summer. All ages welcome, and dogs on leashes too. If rain is heavy enough to require an umbrella, the walk will be canceled. For more info contact Marianne at 802-476-4185 or  Every Tuesday at 9AM starting June 6. Every other Sunday at 9AM starting June 4.

Millstone Hills Trails
Barre Town

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!

Hubbard Park
400 Parkway Street, Montpelier, VT 05602

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!

Playground 2000
59 Parkside Terrace, Barre, Vermont 05641

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.

The Natural Community Playground
Thatcher Brook Primary School, 47 Stowe St, Waterbury, VT 05676

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.

Hope Davey Memorial Park
51 S Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05677

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.

Waterbury Center State Park
177 Reservoir Rd, Waterbury Center, VT 05677

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.

Wrightsville Beach Recreation Area
369 VT-12, Middlesex, VT 05602

Park opens May 13th, 2017. Open weekdays 11-7PM and weekends 10AM – 7PM. Enjoy picnic areas, a swimming beach, disk golf course, boat rentals, and hiking trails.

Little River State Park
3444 Little River Rd, Waterbury, VT 05676
(802) 244-7103

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.

Festivals and Special Events

Completely Free

Summer Meals for Kids and Teens

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.

Just-For-Fun Movies
Third Wednesday of every month, 7PM Jaquith Library, 122 School Street, Marshfield

A wholesome flick fascinates viewers of all ages.

Spring Migration Bird Walks
May 6, 2017, 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM Cow Pasture & Middlesex Notch

Explore North Branch Nature Center  and other local hotspots for spring migrants, such as warblers, vireos, thrushes and waterfowl. Learn birding basics, expand your birding ear and discover more.

Barre Town Forest Nature Walks
Tuesdays and Sundays at 9AM; Meet at 44 Brook Street parking area.

The Barre Town Forest Friends lead easy to moderate nature walks through the summer. All ages welcome, and dogs on leashes too. If rain is heavy enough to require an umbrella, the walk will be canceled. For more info contact Marianne at 802-476-4185 or Every Tuesday at 9AM starting June 6. Every other Sunday at 9AM starting June 4.

Spring Into Summer Fest
Saturday, June 3 10AM -2PM, Barre Town Recreation Facility, 40 Websterville Rd

Free family fun! Bounce house, face painting, B-Recs Sports Challenge, Hands on Big Rigs, bike safety check, and more!
Click here for the flyer.

Adamant Blackfly Festival
Saturday June 3, 9AM – 4PM, 1313 Haggett Road, Adamant

Kids and adults bug out at this cheeky town fete “honoring” pesky local insects, with a pond walk at 9, a writers’ slam featuring Geof Hewitt at 11, a fashion show, live music, a pie eating contest and a parade at 2. All ages.

Kids Fest
Saturday June 10th
, Rusty Parker Memorial Park, Waterbury

Kids Fest is a day of ongoing entertainment, music and dancing, children’s activities and crafts, and free food and drinks. In addition to a wonderful celebration, this event is an opportunity for organizations that serve families with young children in the area to introduce themselves and for families to familiarize themselves to what Waterbury has to offer kids.

Barre Town Forest Fairy House Storytime
Sat Jun 10th, 1-2:30pm at the 44 Brook St. parking area in Websterville

Join children’s librarian and bagpiper Ian Gauthier for a short walk and stories followed by fairy house building with natural materials. For kids preschool and up, and their parents. The event will be canceled if there is rain. Organized by the Barre Town Forest Friends and the Aldrich Public Library.

What Would Pete Do? Leda Schubert Book Launch Party!
Saturday June 10th, Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier

Join us for a singalong, reading & signing with Leda Schubert to celebrate the release of her newest picture book, “Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing,” about her hero Pete Seeger. (Illustrated by Raul Colon, Roaring Brook Press, June 2017). Free and open to the public. With music, cake and refreshments!

Vermont Days Weekend
Saturday June 10th, and Sunday June 11th

Enjoy a free sample of VT’s excellent fishing, state parks, and historic culture! Vermont Days is an annual weekend in June celebrating the arrival of summer. Bring the family to your choice of Vermont state parks (free day use only), fish at any Fish & Wildlife fishing access (no license required for the day), enjoy FREE entry at State Historic Sites as well as FREE admission to the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, Vermont!

Vermont Breakfast on the Farm- Fairmont Farm
Saturday June 17th, 95 Lyle Young Road, East Montpelier, VT 05651

Come to Vermont Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Fairmont Farm to enjoy a free breakfast and learn how Vermont’s agricultural community works together to produce safe, delicious, wholesome food. This family-friendly event allows kids and adults alike to meet the farmers and the cows who make local dairy possible in Vermont! Registration required.

Independence Day Celebrations
Here are some popular Independence Day celebrations in Central Vermont. The best part is, you don’t necessarily have to choose just one — not all Independence Day parades happen on the 4th!

Saturday, June 24Waterbury
Monday, July 3rdMontpelier
Tuesday, July 4th: Northfield, Randolph, Warren, Worcester

The Family Olympics
Every Saturday morning in July from 10-12 Statehouse lawn, Montpelier

Free family activity that kicks off during the July 3rd Independence Day. There will be activities for all ages with a special section just for our Little Explorers aged 1 to 4 years. The 2017 Family Olympics will also include an Olympic Training Center that will feature huge inflatable obstacle courses, bouncy houses, and inflatable slides. All participants will receive a medal and be entered in a drawing for the Gold, Silver   and Bronze prizes.

37th Annual Ben and Jerry’s Free Outdoor Movie Festival, Ben and Jerry’s factory, 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676. 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 7th– Ghostbusters (2016), Rated PG-13
July 14th– Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Rated PG-13
July 21st– Zootopia, Rated PG
July 28th– Moana, Rated PG
August 4th– Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Rated PG-13
August 11th– Finding Dory, Rated PG

Festivals and Special Events

Some Cost Involved

Saturday May 27th, 2017 from 7AM – 1PM  713 Elm Street Montpelier, VT 05602

Join us for our 6th annual celebration of Birds! Bird Walks and Workshops Live Raptors Kids Activities Bird Banding Demo Bird House Building Photo Contest & More! Kids are free, $10 for members, and $15 for nonmembers

Touch A Truck
June 17th, 2017, Montpelier High School

The annual Touch a Truck event is on Saturday June 17th at 11:00am outside of Montpelier High School. A great day for family fun, children will have the opportunity to play on and touch all types of trucks. The event also includes entertainment, a bounce house. Concessions will be available. Event Prices: Family $10, Adult $4, Child (2-18) $3

June 23-25th, 2017 Millstone Hill, VT

Returns in 2017 with an expanded schedule of events creating a weekend-long celebration for all ages. All the favorite features of the Saturday night FireWalk including Bow Thayer, the Iron Guild, St. Andrew’s Pipe Band and the Pyrophone Fire Organ will be returning in 2017. Visit website for tickets and pricing.

Mad River Valley Strawberry Festival
Saturday June 24, 11 – 4 and Sunday June 25, 11 – 4, Hartshorn Farm

The sweet berry season spreads through the Mad River Valley with tasty confections, pick-your-own, flatbread pizza, oxen cart rides, live music, and more. Price: Food and drink available for purchase.

Circus Smirkus
July 5th & 6th Under the Big Top at Kenyon’s Field, Waitsfield

4 shows presented by Waitsfield Children’s Center. July 5-6 with shows at 1PM and 6PM. $23 adults (13+) $16 Child (2-12) $18 senior (65+) Kids under 2 are free.

HOWL Art’s Fest
July 21-23, Hubbard Park, Montpelier

The HOWL Family Arts Festival (HOWL stands for Hubbard Outdoor Wilderness Living) will be a celebration of the natural world that is right in our community’s backyard. For the first time ever, Hubbard Park will open its gates for a weekend of camping for Friday and Saturday night only. In addition the camping, the weekend will feature a multitude of activities for all ages. Some of the highlights include: Headlining bands on Friday and Saturday evenings, a giant slip ‘n slide near the sledding hill, night hikes, a hike to the mountaineers game and the pool for night swimming, evening bonfires, kids dance party and talent show, and more!

​Barre Heritage Festival
July 26 – 29, Downtown Barre

Bring the kids down for a day full of free fun. Enjoy the parade, check out the inflatable kids zone, grab some food and stay for the fireworks! Visit the website for the complete schedule