COMPLETELY FREE RESOURCES
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
Mama’s Circle: Wednesdays 10:00am-12:00pm
Mama’s Circle is a Mama-hosted, mellow, and cozy meet up for busy parents and their kiddos prenatal to preschool. Our first circle will be January 18th, 2017. 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
The Children’s Room at Thatcher Brook Elementary School
47 Stowe Street, Waterbury, VT (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
The Katherine Paterson Children’s Room has programming for children throughout the year. Check our calendar for the full list of upcoming events and our Facebook page for weekly updates.
Children’s Story Hours:
Mondays at 10:30am
Tuesdays at 10:30am
Children’s Story Hours:
Mondays from 10:00-11:00am
Thursdays from 10:00-11:00am
Jaquith Public Library
122 School St, Marshfield, VT 05658, (802) 426-3581
Join children’s librarian Sylvia Smith for story time, and follow up with playgroup with Cassie Bickford. For children birth to age six and their grown-ups. We follow the Twinfield Union School calendar and do not hold the program the days Twinfield is closed. Snack provided.
Children’s Story Time:
Wednesdays from 10:00-10:30am (followed by the 10:30am playgroup)
Kellogg Hubbard Children’s Library
135 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 05602 (802)223-3338
Library hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00am-5:30pm. Story Hours twice a week. Check webpage for schedule; sometimes the story hours ‘travel’ to alternate locations. Play area for young children, games and puzzles, train table, library services including parenting books.
Children’s Story Hours: Tuesdays at 10:30am, Fridays at 10:30 am
Waterbury Public Library
28 North Main Street, Waterbury, (802) 244-7036
Babies & Toddlers Story Time: Mondays at 10 AM
Snuggle with your baby or toddler as we sing, tickle and bounce our way into a lifelong love of language. Get ready for high-energy literacy with songs, active rhymes and stories. Got the wiggles? This is the place to be. Recommended for newborns – 36 months.
Preschool Story Hour: Thursdays at 10 AM
Join us as we travel to new places through books, puppets, and felt boards. A craft may be provided. We’ll shake our sillies out with movement-based rhymes. Each week’s story hour features a different theme, with stories and/or crafts based on that theme. Recommended for ages 3-6 years.
PLAYGROUPS & PARENT GROUPS
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.
Second Thursdays, 9:30-11:30am.
Fourth Mondays 5:45- 7:15pm.
Embodied Yoga Studio
7 Main St. Montpelier, VT
Please join us for this free gathering and enjoy a cozy place to spread out, talk, nurse, sip tea and connect in a supportive environment with other moms about this thing called Motherhood! Moms and Infants – 2 year olds welcome.
Building Bright Futures Playgroups
Locations throughout Washington County
Organized through the Central Vermont BBF Council
Weekly playgroups throughout Central Vermont. See calendar (download below) for schedules, locations, and contact information for facilitators. Also a weekly Dads and Kids playgroup/dinner at the Family Center and Open Gym at the Montpelier Rec Center on Wednesday mornings.
Each playgroup follows 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.
DANCE SING & JUMP AROUND
FREE FAMILY-FRIENDLY traditional New England dancing & singing event happens Jan-April 2017 on 2nd SUNDAYs 3-4:30pm at
Old Plainfield Opera House on Route 2. There is a crossing guard! Also, healthy nibbles and live music.
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 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.
Little Sprouts Open Gym
Montpelier Rec Center, Barre St. Montpelier, Vermont
Wednesdays from 9-11am.
MamaSays Open Gym
Montpelier Rec Center, Barre St. Montpelier, Vermont
Sundays throughout the winter starting in January.
Exact time of day still TBD. Contact email@example.com for information.
Orange County Playgroups
Organized through the Orange County Parent Child Center (OCPPC)
693 VT Route 110 Tunbridge, VT 05077 (802) 685-2264
Brookfield: Tuesdays, 9:30 – 11:30 am, First Congregational Church
Randolph: Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30 am, St. Johns Church
(For a complete list of all Orange County playgroups, see the OCPPC website.)
OTHER INDOOR DESTINATIONS & EVENTS
Berlin Corners, VT
Open 9am – 9 pm most days.
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.
Capital City Grange Hall 2nd Annual Family Fun Day
Saturday, January 22, 2017 from noon until 9 pm
6612 Vermont 12, Berlin, VT (802) 229-9425
A day of free activities and attractions for the whole family: kids & adults! Contact FCCGHVT@gmail.com for more information.
City Center Atrium
Main Street, Montpelier, VT
Open 9 am until 8 pm on weekdays, this indoor courtyard is a warm, open space where little ones can run and climb. During the work day, kids can watch the La Brioche bakers make cakes. Caregivers can grab a coffee at either La Brioche or Skinny Pancake and sit and watch the fun.
Saturday, February 6, 2017 from 10:00am-12:30pm
Spaulding High School Cafeteria
Come dabble with snow, oobleck, live music, silly putty, building toys, and more. Fun (and messy) activities for children ages birth to 6 and their families. Free refreshments. Every child takes home a free book. Free Event.
Green Mountain Coffee Cafe and Welcome Center
1 Rotarian Place, Waterbury, VT (877) 879-2326
The cafe is in a restored train station and has indoor and outdoor space for kiddos to explore while you grab a cup of coffee. For a real thrill, time your visit for around 10:20 am when the Amtrak train arrives…
10:30am on the 1st Saturday of every month
Capital City Grange Hall on Route 12 in Berlin
EVERY FIRST SATURDAY @ 6 pm. 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.
Tuesday – Friday 11:00am – 5:00 pm
Saturday noon – 4:00 pm
Orchard Valley Waldorf School, 2290 VT-14, East Montpelier, VT 05651
Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:00am 2:00pm
Join us for this beautiful day of activities promoting peace, love, and joyful embrace of community on our East Montpelier campus. Horse-drawn sleigh rides through the fields! Storytelling and puppet shows, crafts and more! Face painting, snow cave and bonfire, and our ever-popular Cake Game. Yummy lunch and snacks in our café, too. No admission charge; fees for activities.
OUTDOOR DESTINATIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Barre Town Nature Trails
(park at Barre Town Middle and Elementary School)
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!
ICE ON FIRE Winter Festival
North Branch Nature Center
January 29th, 2017 2-5pm
Bundle up and come out for this snowy celebration of community. Children’s activities, winter games, theater, song and storytelling. Opening parade at 2pm, closing bonfire at 5pm. Food, hot cider, hot chocolate. Snowshoes provided, bring xcountry skis, and sleds. Call 802-223-0577 for more info or to volunteer.
Millstone Hills Trails
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!
Onion River Sports Annual Snowshoe Romp in Hubbard Park
Hubbard Park, Montpelier
Join us for our annual Snowshoe Romp in Hubbard Park on Friday, February 3 from 6-8pm at the Old Shelter in Hubbard Park! We’ll have demo snowshoes from MSR, Atlas and Tubbs for all ages to try out on our .5-mile lantern-lit snowshoe trail. We’ll also have a warm fire, hot chocolate, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! So dress warm, bring a headlamp, and enjoy a night in Hubbard Park with friends and family. This event is FREE and open to all ages!
LOW COST / SOME COST INVOLVED…
Central Vermont Gymnastics Academy
80 Commercial Drive, Waterbury 802-882-8324
Open Gym 6 & Under:
Monday & Friday 10-11:30AM
Cost is $7 per kiddo!
Address: 15 State St #303, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: (802) 224-6183
Contact Grateful Yoga for a schedule of their class offerings for young children.
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
- Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury
- McDonalds, Berlin (as another playground option on cold days)Red Hen Bakery, Middlesex
- Manghi’s Bakery, Montpelier
28 School Street, MontpelierThis local bakery is a favorite among families for its 5 cent rolls for kiddos.
Open Monday through Friday 7 am until 4:30 pm.
Sunrise Gymnastics, Berlin
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.
Cost: $10 for the first child, $5 each for siblings. No charge for infants. 5-visit punch cards are available for $40.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30 until 12:00 noon
Sunday 3:00 – 5:00 pm