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
174 River Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 595-7953 email@example.com
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. 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
Elimination Communication: 3rd Thursday 3:30-11:30
Mama’s Circle Barre
2nd Fridays 9:30-11:30, Yoga Barre,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 Yoga Barre!
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
Library Story Hours
Many area libraries offer story hours and other events throughout the summer. Call ahead or check their websites for details.
6 Washington St. Barre, VT 05641
(802) 476-7550 firstname.lastname@example.org
93 South Main Street, Northfield, VT 05663
(802) 485-4621 email@example.com
122 School St, Marshfield, VT 05658, (802) 426-3581
135 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 05602 (802) 223-3338
Summer hours: Mon – Fri 10:00am-5:30pm; Sat 10:00-1:00pm
28 North Main Street, Waterbury
PLAYGROUPS & PARENT GROUPS
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. Tuesdays 11:30-12:30pm
Playgroups Locations throughout Washington County
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.
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.)
DANCE SING & JUMP AROUND
Capital City Grange, Route 12 South, Berlin VT
Call (831) 337-8632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
The Recreation Center Gym is available on Wednesdays from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. for preschool age children with their parents or day care provider. Mats, balls, and other play equipment are available for use.
Montpelier Rec Center, Barre St. Montpelier, Vermont
Every Sunday through March 4th come play inside at the Montpelier rec center! We open up the gym with mats to jump on, balls to toss, toys to ride and space to RUN! Best for kids from birth to about 5 or 6 depending on older kids energy level and awareness of the little ones! Age appropriate toys available for babies too! Donation of $1 per child helps us pay for the space! Please let us know if you are able to volunteer to host one of the Sundays! Contact Courtney at email@example.com or message mama says from our facebook page.
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
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.
89 Main Street, Montpelier, VT
Open 9 am until 8 pm on weekdays, this indoor courtyard has saved the sanity of many a Montpelier-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.
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, we 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, VT (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 around 10:20 am when the Amtrak train arrives…
162 N Main St, Suite 100, Barre VT 05641, 802-476-3114, firstname.lastname@example.org Special dates:
November 26th, authors if “A Farm for Maisie”, the 3rd in the Sheepover series.
December 2nd, Rusty’s dewees will be here Singing and reading
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.
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
Experience the holidays in true Vermont fashion at the Very Merry Waterbury Holiday Stroll. Local stores, restaurants and breweries invite visitors to shop their vast array of products, provisions and services. Pick up a Wrap It Up & Win card and enter to win prizes!
Saturday, February 6, 2017 from 10:00am-12:30pm
Spaulding High School Cafeteria, Barre
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.
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!
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!
ICE ON FIRE Winter Festival at North Branch Nature Center
February 4th, 2018 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.
December 21, 5pm
Come for potuck, singing, puppet theatre, Morris dancing, bonfire and more!
LOW COST / SOME COST INVOLVED…
80 Commercial Drive, Waterbury 802-882-8324
Open Gym 6 & Under: Monday & Friday 10-11:30AM. Cost is $7 per kiddo!
15 State St #303, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: (802) 224-6183
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).
- 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.
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