Everyone knows that the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont are the ultimate place on the East Coast to play during the winter, but don’t overlook this magical New England state for summertime fun. From outdoor adventures to fabulous festivals, the Vermont ski resorts have you covered all summer long.
Adventures in the Great Outdoors
Here’s an event where Mom can get down and dirty and the family can cheer her on. At Killington’s Dirty Girl Mud Run, participants ages 14 and older will run, jump, hop, bounce and splash their way to the finish line through challenging and fun obstacles. After conquering the course, plan to celebrate at an awesome after party. Most of all, expect to leave with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. This year’s Dirty Girl Mud Run happens on July 11, 2015.
Have a pair of kids angling for some serious fun? For the second year running, the Kids Adventure Games are returning to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Kids ages 6 through 14 team up and enjoy the thrill of an adventure race that encourages teamwork, problem solving, sportsmanship, environmental awareness and fun. The Trapp Family Lodge is situated on 2,500 acres just outside of the charming town of Stowe and is a veritable outdoor playground for families. This year’s games will be held July 11 and 12 , 2015
Never had the opportunity to go to camp as a kid? Here’s your chance. Now in its second year, Mount Snow’s popular family camp offers families the chance to unplug and reconnect through activities like hiking and mountain biking, high ropes course adventures, capture the flag and evening bonfires. Big, family-style meals, pool time and comfortable, spacious accommodations round out three-, four- and seven-night all-inclusive packages. Family camps begin on either July 26 or August 2, 2015.
Head to Okemo Mountain every Friday throughout the summer for what Yankee magazine considers the best free music series in New England. The Jackson Gore Summer Music Series brings a variety of local and regional bands to the courtyard of the Jackson Inn to kick off the weekend from 6 to 9 p.m. each Friday. Bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets and enjoy the evening. Jackson Gore Village is full of summertime action for families. Spend the rest of the weekend bungee jumping or zooming down the mountain coaster at the Adventure Zone, play golf or hike the nearby trails.
Pack a picnic and relax with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra at Woodstock’s Ski Resort. Soft green grass and flitting fireflies provide the backdrop for an evening with the symphony under the stars. The theme of this season’s concert is one of enchantment and whimsy — perfect for a magical night in Vermont. The concert concludes with the spectacular 1812 Overture, marches and fireworks. Woodstock is another quintessential Vermont village. Spend a few days strolling through town, visiting the Billings Farm and Museum, hiking in the National Historic Park, and indulging in a stay at the Woodstock Inn. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2015. Grounds open at 5 p.m.
For a different kind of musical celebration, don’t miss Quechee, Vermont’s Ottauquechee MusicFest. Now in its second year, this festival is held in an amphitheater set up at the Quechee Club’s ski area. Theatrical vocal and dance performances feature well-loved hits by artists like The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Maroon 5, and Supertramp. This year’s performances take place on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.
Fun Family Festivals
Few things say summer like a handful of plump, juicy blueberries and Okemo Mountain Resort has a whole day dedicated to celebrating these sweet, blue orbs. On Sunday, July 26, the resort is celebrating everything blueberry at the Okemo Blueberry Fest beginning with a pancake breakfast in the Jackson Gore courtyard. Spend the day enjoying live music and games, try your luck in the pie eating contest, and pick-your-own blueberries on a nearby farm.
Make your way north to Jeffersonville for the town’s annual Festival of the Arts. A highlight for area visitors, enjoy a day strolling along Jeffersonville’s charming Main Street and viewing the works of dozens of talented regional artists. Beyond the artwork, family activities include music by the Green Mountain Swing Band and Eames Brothers, games and fun for the kids, and plenty of food offerings. Jeffersonville is a short drive from Smugglers’ Notch resort, a haven for classic Vermont-style summer adventures. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
— Gina Vercesi
Gina Vercesi is a freelance writer with a passion for exploring nature and the outdoors. Gina features off-the-grid family travel adventures on her blog, Kids Unplugged, and writes as the “Unplugged” Traveling Mom for the Traveling Mom Writer’s Network.