It's Not Christmas In Vermont Until You Do These 22 Enchanting Things
Ah, a Vermont Christmas… So much to do, and just a few weeks to squeeze it all in. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do this holiday season that will bring out the Christmas spirit in everyone from the Grinch to Ebenezer Scrooge. We want to give you the gift of plenty of
things to do in Vermont at Christmas time this year.
1. Manchester Vermont Lions Elf Express
Depot Street, Depot St, Manchester, VT 05255, USA
In mid-December every year, this whimsical holiday train leaves R.K. Miles Depot Station, taking its riders on a one-hour enchanting journey through the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont. Be sure to take a picture with the elf! Check up-to-date ticket info and times on the
Manchester Vermont Lions Elf Express
2. Ri Ra's Santa 5K Run and Walk in Burlington
What's better than watching a road race of Santas? In early December Vermont's first and only All Santa Race will take place on a scenic route starting on Church Street. All participants get a Santa suit - $45 to participate, free to watch. Re Ra's is a proud supporter of camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a camp for children affected by cancer. To check out the information on this unusual race, be sure to check out the
Ri Ra's Santa 5K
website as they plan this wacky race.
3. Santa Claus is Coming to town in Lyndonville
Freighthouse Market & Cafe, 1000 Broad St, Lyndonville, VT 05851, USA
On December 2nd and 3rd, fun and festivities will start at Cobleigh Public Library and continue at the Darling Inn. Holiday crafts and Santa, along with hot cocoa, cookies, and candy canes are all on the agenda. The North Pole Express Train will also be running, too! The North Pole Express Train, so hop on board and make sure you get your tickets for 2023. For more information, please visit
The North Pole Express Train
4. State House Tree Lighting in Montpelier
Vermont State House, 115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633, USA
See the 40-foot tree light up in front of the State House in December. The date is still to be determined, so please make sure to visit the
State Capitol website
for updates on the event. Rumor has it that holiday treats will be involved, so keep your eyes peeled.
5. St. Johnsbury Sparkles
Saint Johnsbury, St Johnsbury, VT, USA
This is an annual celebration at the beginning of December celebrating the holidays all throughout the city. There will be treats, sweets, merry music, crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Keep your eyes on the
Discover St. Johnsbury Vermont
website for up-to-date information.
6. The Polar Express in Burlington.
This magical experience is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Vermont Children's Trust Foundation. It's a wonderful experience for the whole family while helping a worthwhile cause. Be sure to hop on board the
Vermont Children's Trust Foundation website
for more information on ticket sales and this festive Christmas event.
7. Vermont's Own Nutcracker at the Flynn Center in Burlington.
The Flynn, 153 Main St, Burlington, VT 05401, USA
The classic Christmas ballet comes alive in a one-of-a-kind performance. Check the
event page for showtimes and tickets to these shows.
8. Light the Village and Train Hop in Essex Junction
Join the Village tree lighting and see your old favorites, including Santa at the Teen Center, the Roaming Railroad and model train displays in participating businesses and community partners. Grab a map and tour train hop stations for a chance to win amazing raffle prizes! And you won’t want to miss this year's new attractions – catch the free trolley shuttle to Maple Street Park for the festive lighted trees and music. Keep an eye on the
event page for Essex Junction
for up-to-date information.
9. St. Albans Co-op Lighted Tractor Parade
Saint Albans City, St Albans City, VT, USA
See a delightful collection of beautifully lit tractors parade through the streets at this whimsical holiday event.
10. Festival of Lights in Morristown
There will be events happening throughout the day in
, including a visit by Santa Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, a cookie walk, chorale music, and much more!
11. Festival of Trees in St. Albans, Vermont
Saint Albans City, St Albans City, VT, USA
St. Alban's Festival of Trees
is a family event with activities, a parade, music, and more, all in downtown St. Albans, Vermont. The concept of the festival is simple: create a Christmas tree and donate it. Anyone or any group can create a tree, in their own style, which is auctioned at the popular and highly attended gala.
12. Hartford Polar Express
39 S Main St, White River Junction, VT 05001, USA
On an exciting train ride along a meandering river to the North Pole, children of all ages will enjoy The Polar Express Story and holiday sing-alongs while sipping hot cocoa with a yummy homemade cookie.
Santa will board the train to greet each child and to hand out the first gift of the season - The Polar Express Bell. Tickets are on sale now, so head on over to the
Hartford Vermont Polar Express
website to pick up yours this year.
13. Santa Festival
Have you ever seen Santa's Workshop? Before you do, you must complete the Elf Training Program - find Santa's reindeer and catch all the gingerbread cookies! The weather might be cold, but the cocoa is always hot in downtown Newport during the Santa Festival. Just follow the sound of caroling to find winter sales, old-fashioned games for the family, and of course, the BIG MAN himself - SANTA! You won't want to miss the ornament workshop, handbell choir, or wagon rides at this awesome event.
14. A Traditional Christmas in Stowe
The community of Stowe and all of its visitors will, once again this year, kick off the holiday season with a tree lighting, a children's lantern parade, festive holiday decorations, wagon rides, reindeer, Santa & Mrs. Claus, carolers, candy cane pulling, holiday cookie decorating, and much more in this charming village! For more information on the annual celebration please visit the
15. Annual Tree Lighting in Shelburne
Watch just about everything come to light at this family-friendly event.
16. Breakfast with Santa at Holley Hall in Bristol.
Come and enjoy pancakes and sausages with Santa in Bristol. There will also be carriage rides, arts and crafts, live music, and more.
17. Christmas Tree Lighting in Colchester.
Colchester, VT 05446, USA
In early December, the trees will light up as kids enjoy the crafts, songs, cocoa, and cookies. Then, sing with the Colchester Community Chorus at the Meeting House. There are tons of events planned and if you want to get updates on each one as they plan it, please visit the
All Event Page for Colchester.
18. Community Christmas Caroling in Bristol.
Holley Hall, 1 South St, Bristol, VT 05443, USA
In December be sure to head to Holley Hall in Bristol. Everyone goes out to sing to the community. Keep an eye out for the exact date this year.
19. The Festival of Trees and Light in Stowe
The Current, 90 Pond St, Stowe, VT 05672, USA
An afternoon of family fun in early December at the Helen Day Arts Center kicks off the fabulous trees displayed at the center.
Editor's note: The Helen Day Arts Center has since rebranded to its new name, The Current. If you keep a close eye on
, they may be doing a Christmas event but they have not announced one yet.
20. Flashlight candy cane hunt in Bristol.
Santa has hidden candy canes all around the Green in Bristol! Bring your flashlight and help find them! You might even find a very special candy cane with a prize-winning ribbon.
21. Gingerbread House Exhibit in Middlebury.
Vermont Folklife Center, 88 Main St, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA
The Vermont Folklife Center will host its 18th annual Gingerbread House Competition and Exhibit. This year’s theme is A Christmas Carol, so check out the displays from December 2 - December 22.
Editor's note: For the last two years, this event has been virtual but for the latest information, please visit the
Vermont Folklife website.
22. Hidden ornament hunt in Middlebury.
Artist Ashley Wolff has designed 10 ornaments that are hidden in 10 store windows in downtown Middlebury. The lucky winner receives $100 in Middlebury Money!
Editor's note: There is no sign that
is doing this event in 2023, but you are more than welcome to enjoy her lovely art on her website.
We hope this year you have plenty of things to do in Vermont at Christmas to make the most of this magical time of the year. For a perfectly magical town this holiday season, be sure to check out
Woodstock at Christmas!
If you’re still looking for a few gifts to round out your list, we’ve made a
gift guide for travelers that is perfect for all of the adventurers on your list who can’t stop moving.
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