The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of year and I love that there are so many family friendly events in VT to enjoy! Here are just a few of our favorites…
Christmas Tree Lighting on Church St.
Although this event took place yesterday, this had to be included on the list as it is a wonderful family holiday tradition! Each year a 100 ft. Christmas tree is lit on Church St. following a parade and play. Not only is the tree lit up, but Church St. itself is lit up with over 100,000 lights!
Kid’s Mini Horse and Buggy Rides on Church St.
Each Saturday on Church St. (through December 22nd) your little ones can enjoy an authentic horse and buggy ride! Rides leave from the Top Block of Church St. and run from 11am-3pm.
Lake Champlain Waldorf’s School Annual Holiday Fair
This is a fabulous event to get a lot of your local Christmas shopping done along with some wonderful activities for the kids!
Friday, Novmeber 30 – 6:30 to 9:30pm, Evening Shopping Event Come for the hand-crafted gifts, stay for the live music, caffè lattes and savory treats! For adults and older teens.
Saturday, December 1 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, European-Styled Family Fair Huge artisan market, holiday singing, craft making, storytelling, magical activities, circus games, drumming, cake game, home-cooked café and more!
The North Pole Express
The Polar Express is an event that is super popular but requires a family to enter a raffle to win the opportunity to purchase tickets. For those that don’t win the raffle there is still a great local event called the North Pole Express.
Families get to experience the old time magic of Christmas aboard fully enclosed and heated vintage coaches as they travel to The North Pole to pick up lively elves, Mrs. Claus and, of course, Santa. Snuggle in (pajamas are encouraged but not required) for narration, hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies and caroling on the way to The North Pole where Santa boards the train and greets all passengers and presents them with a special gift.
This event is on Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, December 2nd with rides at noon, 2, 4, and 6pm. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time here.
A Christmas Carol
Come see this classic tale at the Flynn Theater on Sunday, December 2nd. Featuring a 30-member cast, a live orchestra, elegant costumes, lively dancing, and show-stopping special effects, Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s beautifully staged musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, is a perennial Flynn holiday favorite. This beloved performance shares the tale of tight-fisted, middle-class merchant Ebenezer Scrooge, and ultimately shows that a greedy world can be healed by brotherhood and unselfishness.
You can purchase tickets here.
Live Nativity Scene and Tours in Hinesburg
Bring your family to an outdoor live dramatization of the First Christmas on Saturday, December 8th. Guides will lead small groups on tours to experience Bethlehem on that special Christmas Eve. Pet the sheep, meet the innkeeper, see baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary in the stable, and smell frankincense at the Wise Men’s campfire, and more.
Head to the Flynn Theater on December 15th and 16th to see Vermont’s Own Nutcracker. Vermont Ballet Theater is returning for its eighth season with their enchanting production of The Nutcracker ballet. Now performing exclusively at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, it has quickly become a Christmas tradition for Vermont families.
All ages will be enthralled with VBT’s Nutcracker . It makes for a great family tradition or a wonderful date night with your spouse! Visit the Flynn website to order tickets.
Sleigh Rides at Shelburne Farms
This is a wonderful family tradition that allows you to experience a true winter wonderland experience!
- Dates: December 21-January 1 (except Christmas) + Every Weekend in January & February
- Time: Every half hour, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- Fifteen-minute rides leave the Welcome Center on the half hour, weather permitting.
- Seats are first-come, first-served.
- Group sleigh rides available by advance reservation.
Holiday Artist Market
On December 22nd and 23rd, artists from Burlington City Arts Summer Artist Market join together with new artists to produce a festive holiday market of fine art, craft and design. This event is located at Contois Auditorium on Church Street and runs from noon to 7pm.
What other local events are a must on your holiday calendars?