Winter Fun

Here are some fun, kid-friendly options for getting out and about during the winter 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.








COMPLETELY FREE RESOURCES

The Nest at Good Beginnings

174 River Street, Montpelier
(802) 595-7953 info@goodbeginningscentralvt.org

The Nest is here for you to 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.

Drop in hours:
9-3 on Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays

Groups that meet at the Nest:
Mama’s Circle: Wednesdays 10 am-12 pm
Mama’s Circle is a Mama-hosted, mellow, and cozy meet up for busy parents and their kiddos prenatal to preschool.  All genders are welcome. Join us for coffee, tea, and good company!

La Leche League: 3rd Thursdays 9:30-11:30am

Nursing Beyond a Year: 3rd Fridays 9:30-11:30am

Mama’s Circle Barre

2nd Friday of the month from 9:30-11:30 am at Imagine Yoga,14 North Main Street

Mamas join us for a sanity-saving, self-care centered mama gathering. Mama’s Circle Barre is a Mama-hosted, mellow meet-up for parents and their babies. We are delighted to bring this circle to our amazing Barre families!

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, mountains of laundry, midnight feedings… the list goes on and on. At Mama’s Circle Barre, parents with babies are invited to enjoy some social time and FREE refreshments – including coffee!

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 Imagine Yoga!

Sunday Social with Good Beginnings

4th Sunday of the month from 4:30- 6:30 PM at Downstreet Community Space, 22 Keith Avenue, 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.

The Children’s Room at Thatcher Brook Elementary School

47 Stowe Street, Waterbury (802) 244-5605

Indoor play room. Craft materials, toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Weekly open gym and music and movement classes. Comfortable seating for parents, snack area, free coffee and tea, and parenting lending library.

Monday, through Friday 9:00-3:00pm (when school is in session)
Follows Thatcher Brook’s School Calendar

LIBRARIES

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

Aldrich Public Library

6 Washington Street Barre

Brown Public Library

93 South Main Street

Jaquith Public Library

122 School St, Marshfield

Kellogg Hubbard Children’s Library

135 Main Street, Montpelier

Waterbury Public Library

28 North Main Street, Waterbury

PLAYGROUPS & PARENT GROUPS

Babywearers of Central Vermont 

Fourth Mondays from 5:45- 7:15pm

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 meeting is 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..

Playgroups Locations throughout Washington County

Check out the calendar below for schedules, locations, and contact information for facilitators. Playgroups usually follow the school calendar for its respective community. Playgroups are typically closed on snow days and during school vacation weeks. Contact the facilitators for specific information about the playgroup you are interested in attending.

Orange County Playgroups

Organized through the Orange County Parent Child Center (OCPPC)
693 VT Route 110 Tunbridge  (802) 685-2264  info@orangecountypcc.org

The OCPPC facilitates free, weekly playgroups for families and caregivers with children birth to age five. They provide large and small motor activities, crafts, stories,manipulatives as well as a snack. Playgroups are a great way for connect with other families, find out about other resources in the area, and begin conversations about child development and parenting. (For a complete list of all Orange County playgroups, see the OCPPC website.) 

DANCE SING & JUMP AROUND

Kids Trade And Play

Capital City Grange, Route 12 South, Berlin VT
Call (831) 337-8632 or email birthsinnerlight@yahoo.com

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.

Monthly: Second Saturday of every month, 9:30-11:30am

Little Sprouts Open Gym

Montpelier Rec Center, Barre St. Montpelier, Vermont

The Recreation Center Gym is available on Wednesdays from 9 – 11 am for preschool age children with their parents or day care provider. Mats, balls, and other play equipment are available for use.

MamaSays Open Gym

Montpelier Recreation Center Gym, 55 Barre St., Montpelier

Good Beginnings is hosting Mama Says Open Gym this year! Starting Sunday, January 5th and meeting weekly, 11 AM – noon, through the month of March.

Come play inside with us at the Montpelier Recreation Department. We’ll open up the gym with mats to jump on, balls to toss, toys to ride and space to RUN! We’ve found that this is best for kids preschool and younger.

This event is only possible with the support from volunteers. Please let us know if you are able to volunteer your time to help host. Contact Good Beginnings at info@goodbeginningscentralvt.org or 802-595-7953.

Dance, Sing, and Jump Around!

The purpose of Dance, Sing, and Jump Around! is to provide an affordable (free!) and joyful venue in which children and adults can dance and sing together. We hope people will have so much fun that they will want to sing and dance more and more! The dances are very easy but also use traditional circle, square, and contra dance moves.

OTHER INDOOR DESTINATIONS & EVENTS

Berlin Mall

282 Berlin Mall Road, Berlin

The Mall is not just for shopping! For high-energy kiddos, it can be a nice option for gross motor play on cold or rainy days. Toddlers can climb on the kiddie rides and carousel (with or without a quarter) and there’s plenty of open space to run. Plus if Real Bounce is open, you may be able to get some energy out after paying admission.

City Center Atrium 

89 Main Street, Montpelier

Open 9 am until 8 pm on weekdays, this indoor courtyard has saved the sanity of many a Montpellier-area parent on cold, wet, rainy days. Grab a coffee from either La Brioche or Skinny Pancake and sit for a while while the kids blow off steam in the big, echo-y space. During the work day, kids can watch the La Brioche bakers make cakes.

The Y Family Time

Today’s families have incredible demands on their time. Long work hours, household chores, keeping up with a child’s busy schedule – all of this can make for a tricky balancing act. At the Y, they create opportunities for your family to spend time together through special family events as well as several hours set aside each week for family gym and family swim

Green Mountain Coffee Cafe and Welcome Center

1 Rotarian Place, Waterbury (877) 879-2326

The cafe is in a restored train station and offers indoor and outdoor seating. There’s space for kiddos to explore while you grab a cup of coffee. For a real thrill, time your visit for when the Amtrak train arrives…

Next Chapter Bookstore Storytimes

162 N Main St, Suite 100, Barre  802-476-3114 info@nextchapterbooksvt.com

Every Saturday at 10:30 am.

Studio Place Arts

201 North Main Street, Barre (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.

OUTDOOR DESTINATIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Barre Town Nature Trails 

Park at Barre Town Middle and Elementary School

Curtis Pond, Calais

Popular local destination for pick up ice-hockey and skating. Older toddlers can try out skating (bring your own equipment) or babies can get a ride pushed in a milk crate over the ice, fun!

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!

Montpelier Circulator Bus

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

LOW COST / SOME COST INVOLVED…

Central Vermont Gymnastics Academy

80 Commercial Drive, Waterbury

Open Gym 6 & Under: Monday & Friday 10-11:30AM. Cost is $7 per kiddo! 802-882-8324

Postnatal with Baby Yoga in the River Space

7 Main Street, 2nd and 3rd floors, Montpelier

Move and breathe…with your baby! Amy offers a relaxed class environment providing self-care techniques and lots of options for the different stages of postpartum. She shares her knowledge of pelvic floor health, core awareness, stress relief and therapeutic functional movement. This class is a great opportunity to come together with other new parents to nurture, strengthen and support your postpartum journey (and sleep deprived, achy bodies). We welcome you and babes to come as you are (over-tired, in your pj’s, not sure if your little one will be awake, asleep or crying)– to a supportive, safe and caring environment. Come! Get out of the house and be with others, let your little ones meet other babies and remember what it’s like to take a few moments for yourself!

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).

Sunrise Gymnastics

654 Granger Road, Berlin

Can be crowded on Sundays and during school vacations. For the younger set, the best times to go are weekdays when school is in session. They even have a Mommy and Me class in addition to Open Gym. Check out their website for pricing and schedule.

ROMP! Indoor Playground

An indoor play space for families and friends to come play together. Romp around in sock feet in our bounce castle, tunnel climber and pedal go-carts, or relax with a top notch espresso beverage and Wi-Fi access in our sitting area, with excellent visibility of the playground. Healthy snacks available for kids and their adults. Play structures and equipment are for ages 10 and under.