Vermont may be small, but it can sure be expensive! There are many places to enjoy the fresh outdoors in the summer, but how about having fun the rest of the year while maintaining a reasonable budget? But having fun doesn’t have to be expensive. That is, if you know where to look to have a little adventure and fun. Here are 11 suggestions of things you may not have considered exploring. And the best part? They can all be done for $10 or less! We’d love to hear what activities you enjoy while not draining your bank account. Leave us a comment below!
1. Crowley Cheese Factory - Rutland
Visitors to Crowley Cheese can see the dairy product being made by hand in the landmark factory that was originally built in 1882. Within the factory gift shop, guests can also sample many Vermont foods and purchase local craft items.
2. President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth
In addition to the actual homestead that serves as the birthplace and boyhood home of Calvin Coolidge, the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site contains a small village. Since the Village has been relatively untouched since the early 20th century, it acts as a living museum.
3. Go ghost hunting at Emily's Covered Bridge in Stowe.
This lovely covered bridge at the end of a winding dirt road is said to be haunted by the ghost of a girl named Emily, who supposedly hung herself after being jilted by her lover. If you dare....
4. Go Geocaching!
From easy to difficult, there are millions of hidden treasure hunts all over the world. They can be easily accessed via a free smartphone app or sign up for a free 30 day premium membership. There are 75 geocaches hidden near St Albans alone. Once you start geocaching, you'll quickly become hooked on this fun activity and will explore all of Vermont and beyond. (By the way, there is a Geocache hidden in Emily's Bridge!)
5. Check out a Farmers Market.
In warmer months, farmers markets are lively events, drawing people in for the crafts, food and music. Always free, always entertaining. It may seem far off, but it will be here before you know it. Find your favorite and make it a weekly outing!
6. Take a tour of Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury
Sure you've tried the ice cream, but have you seen how it's made? The cost is $4 per adult, $3 per senior. Kids 12 and younger are free. Lots of cool things to see - and taste - at this factory.
7. The Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier
Brush up on your local history and learn new facts and trivia at this wonderful museum. American history buffs will enjoy learning about the history of Vermont, the museum's exhibits dating all the way back to the area's pre-European roots. Admission is $5 for adults.
8. Stroll the Robert Frost Trail in Ripton.
Take a stroll on this very pretty trail near where Robert Frost used to take walks. Many of his poems are posted along the way. It is an easy hike of just over a mile. Definitely a great way to enjoy some nature and appreciate this world famous poet.
9. Take a tour of Maple Grove Farms in St. Johnsbury.
Visitors can take a tour of Maple Grove Farms to see how maple candy is made. Costing only one dollar, the tour is one of the greatest travel bargains anywhere. Visitors watch as maple syrup is boiled down to leave maple sugar, which is then poured into molds to set. At the end of the tour, free samples of maple candy are available in the gift shop. Visitors can also sample pure Vermont maple syrup and taste the different grades: Fancy, Grade A, Grade B, and Grade C.
10. Downhill ski - for just FIVE BUCKS!
Cochran's Ski Area in Waterbury offers their own version of Friday Night Lights. Downhill Night Skiing for just $5 from 5-8pm. A $5 ski pass?!?! Epic!
11. Check out the 2016 Penguin Plunge on February 5 & 6.
Locations in both Burlington and North Bennington will host nearly 1,500 brave souls who will jump into Vermont's icy lakes to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Vermont athletes. Free to watch, and donations are welcome for a great cause.
What are some activities that you enjoy that won’t break the bank? Whether year-round or special events, we’d love to hear them all! Leave a comment or reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.