Between its beautiful scenery and its deep rooted history, there is no shortage of field trips in Vermont. From historical landmarks to art museums to working farms, there is something for everyone to enjoy while learning in the process. Here are 21 field trips that will entertain both the kids and the kids at heart.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne
This museum is one of North America’s finest and most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Plenty to see and wide open spaces to play or have a picnic.
2. DAR John Strong Mansion Museum, Addison
For an hour or so, visitors are taken back to life during Colonial times in this historic gem. The museum is only open on weekends and holidays during the summer, but is well worth a visit.
3. UVM Morgan Horse Farm, Middlebury
The UVM Morgan Horse Farm is a gorgeous piece of horse heaven. Beautiful animals and scenery combined with learning experiences make a great family or individual outing for anyone who enjoys horses.
4. Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington
Here is a site of great historic significance to all who are interested to learn about the Battle of Bennington. The monument stands at the top of a tree lined street with many historic homes and it's all worth the ride to the top of the monument!
5. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich
There's no way a child should miss a visit to this extraordinary place which includes all kinds of science, both live and not. In winter they have three levels of interactive exhibits and a really helpful staff. In the fall and spring you will enjoy acres upon acres of hiking trails and outdoor exhibits. In summer the kids will spend all day in the water park, playing in the waterfalls and building water plumbing sculptures.
6. Park-McCullough House,
Park McCullough House is a beautifully preserved historic property built by Trenor Park in 1864. President Harrison stayed in the home during his visit in 1890 when he dedicated the Bennington Battle Monument. The house is a must-see for anyone who loves historic homes.
7. Robert Hull Fleming Museum, Burlington
You'll enjoy a visit to the Fleming Museum, located on the UVM campus. Varied exhibits of interest within the small, but beautiful, museum. A great idea for a rainy day in Burlington!
8. Lake Champlain Ferries
If your field trip brings you to New York and back, the Lake Champlain Ferries are a great way to get across the Lake and back. The ferries run very frequently so you don't wait too long and the loading is extremely efficient and you're right on your way. It's lovely to watch the water and scenery.
9. Take a gondola ride.
Ride on up to the top of any mountain that has a gondola and enjoy the stunning scenery. Every season is wonderful, so what are you waiting for?
10. Rock of Ages, Barre
You will enjoy this tour either self guided or with a knowledgeable guide. Be sure to watch the short video and visit the gift shop. Also check out the bowling lane before visiting the Hope Cemetery, an interesting and beautiful cemetery which uses stone from the quarry.
11. Bennington Museum, Bennington
This museum gives visitors a unique view into Vermont History through it's various forms of craftsmanship. Rather than a chronological view of history, visitors stroll through rooms dedicated more to the crafts of the people who lived here. Pottery, furnishings, paintings, quilting, metalwork, etc. are just some of the pieces assembled and on display.
12. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes
An excellent destination for history buff and nautical enthusiast alike.
13. Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock
The building, barns, and grounds are all lovely at the Billings Farm and the horses are simply majestic. The dairy cow barns are upscale barns, and a great way to see a working dairy enterprise. You'll love seeing the beautiful Victorian caretakers home with all the modern amenities. Don't miss the short informational film at the beginning!
14. Robert Frost Stone House Museum, Shaftsbury
It's fascinating to be able to imagine yourself in the home of such an inspired writer. The exhibits are contained within the few rooms of this lovely little house and bring back memories of grammar school days reciting poems in iambic pentameter.
15. VINS Nature Center, Quechee
From a very vocal screech owl to a pair of noble bald eagles, VIMS is home to a range of raptors that it has rehabilitated. You can see a presentation with live birds that is geared to children but also interesting for adults. After check out the area where the rehabbed birds live, where you will see up-close some amazing birds.
16. Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury
The exhibits are well done and expertly maintained at the Fairbanks Museum. Don't miss the 1 hour Planetarium show - it's well worth the visit.
17. Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester
Located in Southern Vermont, this art center is far from the typical. The museum space is lovely and the grounds are gorgeous. Outdoor exhibits are impressive against the backdrop of beautiful Vermont.
18. President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, Plymouth
This amazing historical gem showcases the life and times of Calvin Coolidge from childhood to adulthood as President of the United States. The homestead is a wonderful reminder of times gone by and the preservation of such a site is not to be missed. A great visit to see how things used to be 100 years ago.
19. Visit a sugar house.
If you plan your trip at the right time, watching a sugar house making maple syrup is awesome. There's a reason we call syrup "liquid gold!"
20. Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is beautiful all year long. The colors in the fall, winters of desolate beauty and springs and summers of boaters enjoying the pristine waters. There are major fishing tournaments, wonderful ferry rides and continuous activities throughout the year. Don't forget to look for Champ!
21. Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home,
Hildene is beautiful historic home with the original furniture giving you a true sense of what it was like to live back in time.
Don't let the weather hinder you from enjoying the beauty of the landscape and you'll want to come back to see the gardens in full bloom. The peonies are spectacular. Also on the estate is an impressive Pullman train car beautifully restored and gives you an idea of what traveling in style was like long ago.