We spent our summer living just outside of Middlebury, a little town of just over 8,000 people in the western part of Vermont. With three kids five and under, we spent a lot of time looking for fun kids’ activities. Here are our eight favorite family-friendly activities in Middlebury, Vermont.
Explore the Downtown Shops and Galleries
The short walk down Main Street is filled with eclectic shops, art galleries, and cute places to eat. Before you start exploring, stop at Otter Creek Bakery for lattes, maple danishes and otter paws.
Meander down Main Street, turning left onto Park Street to visit Junebug Mother & Child. While you browse the gently used children’s clothing, the kids can have a blast in the playroom. Next follow Park Street to Frog Hollow Alley, at stop at Middlebury Chocolates to pick up treats for the kids to eat as you turn onto Mill Street and cross Otter Creek via the footbridge. Take some time to play in the green space, sit in the giant Adirondack chair, and enjoy and incredible view of the falls.
Printer’s Alley will take you back to Main Street, where a visit to the Edgewater Gallery on the Green is a must. The spacious, open gallery has great exhibitions open to the public.
Play at the Library
There are two great libraries in Middlebury – the Isley Public Library in downtown Middlebury, and the Sarah Partridge Community Library in East Middlebury. Both have great resources for little ones, as well as programming for kids such a Itsy Bitsy Yoga, storytime, and music & movement classes. The Isley Library has a children’s room filled with train sets, blocks, a puppet show stage, puzzles, and more.
The Isley Public Library children’s room is open Monday through Saturday during the summer. (MWF 10am to 5:45pm, T/TH 10am to 7:45pm, Sat. 10am to 3:45pm) The Sarah Partridge Community Library is open Tu & Sat from 9am to noon, and Thu from 2pm to 6pm.
Catch a Flick at the Marquis Theatre
Not only does the Marquis Theatre screen some great flicks for the family, the café serves up great southwestern food. Grab some nachos, tacos, or a cheese quesadilla to enjoy during the movie.
The Marquis Theatre is located at 65 Main Street in downtown Middlebury, and is open daily noon to close.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
Every Wednesday and Saturday from 9am to 12:30pm, local farmers set up shop at the Middlebury Farmer’s Market in the Marble Works north parking lot. Let the kids explore the stands and help choose produce for the family. Pick up some great baked goods, artisan cheeses, or a unique item from the craft vendors while the kids dance to the music of local musicians.
While you’re there, visit the Otter Creek Used Books. The kids can spend some time reading in the children’s room while you browse the great choice of books.
Otter Creek Used Books is located at 99 Maple Street, Marble Works, Middlebury. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday by chance.
Hike the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM)
Like the name implies, Trail Around Middlebury is just that – a 16 mile loop that encircles the town and offers the opportunity to hike and bike, and in the winter snowshoe or cross-country ski. Each section of the trail offers a unique experience – we really liked the loop in the Otter Creek Gorge Preserve.
Go Berry Picking
There are plenty of farms surrounding Middlebury that offer berry picking throughout the summer – everything from blueberries and strawberries to raspberries and blackberries. Not only does the experience help kids connect the food they eat with where it comes from, it’s a great outdoor activity. We always pay a bit extra because our kids tend to eat the berries as we pick.
Explore the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail
Just past East Middlebury, in the Green Mountain National Forest, is the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. This one-mile loop is an easy hike, peppered with quotes from Frost’s work. When in season, there are blueberry fields at the far end of the hike.
Directions From Middlebury: Travel south on Route 7 to where it intersects with Route 125. Travel east on Route 125 for 5.8 miles. The parking area is on the right.
Adventure at Branbury State Park
Just a short drive from Middlebury is Branbury State Park. There is a small beach area on the shore of Lake Dunmore, which is a lovely place to swim. The water deepens very gradually, making it a great place for the littlest of kids to splash in the water. The beach is surrounded by a grassy area perfect for picnics. If you forget to pack lunch, you can pick up hot dogs and ice cream at the snack bar.
If swimming isn’t what you had in mind, you can also rent canoes, kayaks, and rowboats to explore the lake. There are also hiking and mountain biking trails that connect to the state park, making it an awesome place for family adventures!
Branbury State Park is located at 3570 Lake Dunmore Rd., Brandon, Vermont 05733. The park is open daily 10am to sunset from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend. Bathrooms are available at the shore of Lake Dunmore.
These are just some of the many awesome Family-Friendly Activities in Middlebury, VT. What would you add?