Winters in Vermont can be long and hard. Whenever late January rolls around I feel myself longing for spring as all of us in our house are feeling just a tad stir-crazy (OK, “a tad” might be an understatement).
So where can you go with the kiddos when you just NEED to get out for a bit? Here is a list of 13 places for indoor play in and around Burlington.
1. ECHO– This one is a personal favorite of my almost three year old. Lots of open space for kids to run around, cool fish to look at, a great water play area, and a play room for the little ones. They also always have cool exhibits going on for something a little different.
2. Regal Gymnastics– Their open gym is great for letting your kids get some serious energy out. There are trampolines, a giant foam pit, rope swings, balance beams and bars and a giant open floor with lots of fun toys out. You can head there on weekdays from 11 to noon or on Sundays from 1-2:30. They also have open gym times for older kids on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7-9pm.
3. YMCA Open Gym– This is another great option for those cold days. Every Friday 10:30 to 12:00 you can head to the Greater Burlington YMCA off College St. with your little ones. They have a ball pit, tricycles, hockey nets, balls, etc. out for the kids to play with.
4. The Library- All of the area libraries have story times throughout the week that is a great chance to get out of the house. The downtown Burlington library also has a great little play area with a lego table and puppet theater that my almost three year old loves to play in.
5. The VNA Family Room– I have not been here myself, but I have heard so many wonderful things about it from fellow mommas. It is located at the St. Joseph’s School in Burlington and has something for everyone. There is an infant room with low to the ground play structures and soft flooring, and then a room for older kids with a larger play structure, sand box, craft stations, etc. Another great thing- all the services are free!
6. Petra Cliffs– This is a great place for the older kids! They have youth climbing programs for kids ranging from 5-18 on Mondays and Wednesdays. You can also get a variety of climbing passes. The weight minimum for a climber is just 22lbs, so even your little ones can get started early!
7. Story and Music Times- There are so many wonderful story and music times in and around Burlington, which can be a great way to get out of the house. Be sure to check out Find and Go Seek‘s monthly calendar to find out what is happening around town each day.
8. Pizza Putt- This is one that I’ve heard mixed reviews on from parents. It seems that kids love it and parents aren’t so fond of it for a multitude of reasons. But either way, it can be a great way to let your kids get some energy out. They have golf, laser tag, a play structure, games, etc. and you can find some great coupons on their website.
9. Zachary’s Pizza– This is another one I’ve heard great things about but have yet to visit. While there are several locations, the Family Center can be find at their South Burlington location off of Williston Rd. They have a great play structure that is free to use as well as games for the older kids and their food is supposed to be pretty good. One piece of advice I’ve been given- make sure you bring socks for the kids as they need them to play in the play structure.
10. Gymstar Gymnastics– Located in Shelburne, they have a daily open gym that is an hour long. Check out their website for their full schedule. This open gym tends to be less crowded than Regal Gymnastic and less expensive.
11. Spare Time Bowling– This is another great option for some family fun! We recently took our almost three year old to Spare Time and she LOVED it. They have the computerized retractable bumpers that can be removed for other bowlers (super easy!) as well as a great arcade. Their restaurant, City Sports Grille, has a wide array of tasty food- not just burgers and hot dogs!
Want to take a day trip and explore something new? Check out these great options!
12. The Pump House Waterpark (Jay Peak Resort)- Indoor waterpark in the middle of winter?? Yes, please! While it is a bit of a drive, it is well worth it! Endless fun for kids of all ages.
13. Montreal Biodome and Science Center– Montreal is only about an hour and a half from Burlington and makes for a wonderful day trip! The Biodome has been described as a cross between a zoo, aquarium, and museum of science. There are activities for children of all ages. The Science Center is also a great place to visit. They have a space called Clic! which is a discovery zone for children ages 4-7 as well as countless exhibits for older children. Here’s another bonus for the Science Center…it is a sister site for your Echo membership so that means free admission! Woohoo!
So what places am I missing?? Where is your favorite spot?