Whether you’d rather bundle up or hunker down, we’ve got the best Vermont winter activities for you!

Snow boots? Check. Winter coat? Check. Hat and gloves? Check and check. No matter your ride (ski, snowboard, sled) or vibe, Vermont is ready for you. And if watching the snow fall from inside a cozy restaurant or bookstore sounds more appealing to you, we’ve got you covered.

Bundle up, get your hygge on, and check out our top things to do this winter in Burlington, Vermont!

Students have endless outdoor activities to explore while studying in Vermont.
Amazing things happen when Champlain students combine their passions for filmmaking and riding the slopes. Photo by Peter Cirilli ’16 // Cirilli Photo

Explore Vermont in Winter

Winters in Vermont are no joke, but that’s no reason to stay inside all season. Beat cabin fever by throwing on your warmest gear and heading out to explore all the adventures Vermont has to offer, even in the coldest months.

For fans of The Sound of Music, why not pay a visit to the Von Trapp family at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe? They offer snowshoeing and cross-country skiing expeditions for a brand-new perspective on the Green Mountains. On the way back to Burlington, stop by the Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co. to warm up, and stock up on unique Vermont souvenirs at the Cabot Cheese Farmer’s Store and try some free samples of local cheeses while you’re at it.

Vermont is home to many beautiful ski mountains.
Champlain College students take full advantage of the Sugarbush Ski Resort thanks to the heavily discounted season pass and organized transportation. Photo by Ryan Bent ’08 // Ryan Bent Photography

Ride the Mountains of Vermont

Want to hit the slopes during your weekend in Vermont? Sugarbush Ski Resort is only 45 minutes away from the Champlain College campus, making it a perfect getaway. Did you know Champlain students can ski and snowboard at Sugarbush for only $75 a season? Other notable ski mountains in the area include Jay Peak, Stowe Mountain Resort, Bolton Valley, and Smugglers’ Notch.

Maybe skiing is not your winter sport of choice. We get it. For those of us who can’t resist the charm of ice skating and sledding, there are options right here in Burlington. There are multiple ice rinks around town, but Callahan Park is easy to get to and beautiful. The outdoor community rink is free to use, and there are skates, hockey sticks, and pucks available at the warming hut for students to borrow for the afternoon, free of charge. As for sledding, look no further than Champlain’s Finney Quad. Grab a friend and a sled, and enjoy the ride.

We love our local farms here in Vermont! While you’re in Burlington, make sure to get a taste of all our farm-to-table food. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

Find Cozy Places to Stay Warm

Of course, some days are just too cold, even for the most dedicated skiers and riders. On those frosty occasions, there are still many things to do. The Champlain Valley Expo hosts events throughout the year, from bingo nights to renaissance fairs to the Champlain College Commencement ceremony.

And it wouldn’t be a visit to Burlington without catching a show at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts or the Vermont Comedy Club. The arts are a huge part of the culture in Burlington, and we love to support local artists and performers.

The Vermont Comedy Club is the place to go if you’re looking for an evening of great entertainment. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

Discover the Taste of Vermont

Vermont is known for the farm-to-table movement, and Burlington in particular is proud to support local farms to source their ingredients. Before you head out for your day of winter fun, fuel up at the Hotel Vermont for a locally sourced brunch, featuring eggs from Maple Wind Farm and pastries from Barrio Bakery in the Old North End of Burlington. You might even catch a fire pit blazing on their back patio.

Vermont's Church Street Marketplace is adorned with holiday lights throughout the winter months.
Pick up a hot chocolate and enjoy the lights on Church Street all winter long. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

For a meal, look no further than the Farmhouse Tap & Grill on Bank Street in downtown Burlington. With cheeses from the Champlain Valley, vegetables from Pitchfork Farms, and Vermont Heritage pork, their menu offers you a taste of Vermont as you’ve never had before. While waiting for your table, head down to the Farmhouse basement to play some board games beside a cozy fire.

Finally, you cannot come to Vermont without tasting some maple syrup. Although the sugaring season is in the spring, it is still well worth your time to take a short drive out of Burlington to learn more about Vermont’s famous maple syrup. Palmer’s Sugarhouse in Shelburne, VT offers by-appointment tours of their family farm throughout the off-season. You might even get a taste of a special Vermont snack: sugar on snow. Simply drizzle maple syrup on snow and devour nature’s own snow cone.

Winter Wonderland

Come join us for the Champlain College Winter Open House to experience the winter wonderland for yourself! Photo by Peter Cirilli ’16 // Cirilli Photo

Vermont winters are all part of the experience of coming to live and study in Vermont. Luckily, we’ve gotten good at staying warm and finding fun during the coldest months of the year. So when you come to Burlington for the Winter Open House, make sure to get out there and experience the amazing adventures Vermont has to offer all year round! Can’t make it then? Book a Campus Tour and Information Session to see what we’re all about.

Read more about the top 10 reasons to apply to Champlain College and register for our Winter Open House here.

Champlain Media Team

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