Ticket prices, food costs, parking fees — having fun with your family outside your own home can quickly get expensive. Attending free events and activities cuts down on expenses, but those can be hard to find. Check out our list of the best free activities Vermont has to offer.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
An apple cider mill located in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Cold Hollow has the kind of country fun that’ll transport families 100 years back in time. Come to see them press fresh apple cider and make hot apple cider donuts, then treat yourself to a taste of their efforts. You can also pick up some yummy Vermont goodies to take home, like their cider jelly. Add a little education into the visit by taking the mill’s free, self-guided tour.
Location:3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road (Route 100), Waterbury Center, VT 05677
Bragg Farm Sugar House
For eight generations, the Bragg family has been producing pure Vermont maple syrup amongst the pines in East Montpelier. Not much has changed since the family first started the business — the maple farm still uses the traditional sap buckets and wood fires to make their 100-percent pure syrup. While the visit itself is free, you may want to bring along a couple of bucks to treat yourself to some maple ice cream in the farm’s ice cream parlor or pick up some syrup, maple candy, jam or other maple treats to take home.
Location: 1005 VT Route 14 North, East Montpelier, VT 05651
Rate: Free guided tour
Simon Pearce Factory Tour
Since 1971, Simon Pearce has been renowned for glassware since its first workshop opened in Kilkenny, Ireland. After relocating to Vermont in 1981, Simon Pearce made a name for himself creating handmade pottery and hand-blown glass creations. The factory tour lets you observe glass-blowing and potter-making artisans seven days a week, or sign up for a glass-blowing workshop and learn the craft for yourself.
Location: 109 Park Road, Windsor VT 05089
Green Mountain Audubon Center
Vermont is famous for the fall colors of its magnificent trees, and there’s no place better to observe this work of art by Mother Nature than on a hike along the five miles of trails in the Green Mountain Audubon Center. On spring and summer visits you might catch a glimpse of the over 100 bird species that make their homes in the center or maybe even a hummingbird in the butterfly garden. Your kids will also love the interactive displays in the Discovery Room and the incredible mountain view from Lookout Rock.
Location: 255 Sherman Hollow Road, Huntington, VT 05462
Rates: Free, however donations are appreciated.
Very Merry Traveling Theatre
Staging shows for children by children all across Vermont, the Very Merry Traveling Theatre operates as a unique 19th-century site traveling theater wagon, complete with a fold-out stage so that it can transform local parks into temporary live theater venues. As Vermont’s only traveling theater company, Very Merry takes its job seriously by introducing performers and audiences to classic works in drama and literature, such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and more.
Location: Shows staged at various locations throughout Vermont — check the online calendar for locations and dates. Permanent home — Very Merry Theatre, 119 Spruce Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401
Rates: Free — however, there are a handful of shows per year that do charge admission so be sure to check the calendar.