Summer Activities to Enjoy with Kids
Summertime Family Fun.
Vermont summers are short but sublime. Our entire landscape is a playground of sparkling lakes and green mountains. Of all the things you really must do… Camp out. Climb a mountain. Go fishing. Have a picnic. Plus, these favorite local activities!
Treats & Sweets.
Wilcox Dairy has been making ice cream since 1929 and their farm is a local landmark. To get there, head south on 7A, past Equinox Valley Nursery. Order up a double scoop (we vote Maple Walnut) and take in the views. They’re nothing short of perfection.
Meet the Cheesemakers!
Your littles will love a tour of historic Hildene with its gorgeous gardens, walking paths, floating boardwalks, and most of all — goats! The solar-powered barn at Hildene Farm is home to a herd of these Nubian cuties. You can pet them, feed them, and learn all about the cheese-making process.
Spend the Day Lakeside.
Just north of Manchester, Emerald Lake State Park boasts a cozy beach, picnic area, snack bar, and boat rentals. You can swim, fish, or take a pedal boat around the little island. Pure Vermont and best of summer!
Take a Trail Ride.
One of the best ways to explore our beautiful landscape is atop a well-trained horse! Danby’s Chipman Stables offer guided trail rides seven days a week, weather permitting, for beginners and experienced riders. You can’t beat the views or the company. For a really memorable adventure, arrange a sunset ride and bonfire with your crew.
Up the Speed!
Zipline through an Aerial Adventure Park. Whoosh down the famous Alpine Slide. Saddle up for the Sun Mountain Flyer. If you bring the kids to Bromley, you’ll be the Vacation Hero. Opens Memorial Day Weekend for the season.
Ride the River.
What’s better than a sunny day, a bunch of tubes and a cool, clean river? The folks at Battenkill Riversports can hook you up with gear and shuttle you to drop off, but plan on 30 minutes there and back from Manchester. Worth it if you plan to spend the day afloat, soaking up the sun and scenery!
Blast the Clays.
Older kids will love a go at Covey & Nye’s Sporting Clays Course. One of the top instructional programs in the country, the Covey & Nye School is managed by renowned expert Lars Jacob. Lessons are designed to suit your expertise and run 90 minutes.
Take a Dip.
Dating to 1785, Dorset Quarry is the first commercial marble quarry in the nation. While the extracted stone was used for hearths, doorsills, and headstones, it was also incorporated into the New York Public Library Building! Today, fed by natural springs, it’s a treasured local swimming hole. If you visit, be respectful! The quarry is located on private land and rules and regs are posted.
See for Miles.
Take the winding drive up Mount Equinox to a breathtaking panorama of mountain splendor. Green, White, Adirondack, Berkshire and Taconic mountain ranges all within view! Save a few minutes to explore the exhibits.
Farmer’s Markets & Pick-Your-Own!
Grab a taste of summer at area Farmer’s Markets. Buy fresh fruit, flowers, and veggies. Hear music and meet the makers. In Manchester, Thursday afternoons at Adams Park. In Dorset, Sunday mornings at Williams Store. In season, Dutton Farm Stand offers pick-your-own strawberries (a short, pretty drive to Newfane) and East Dorset’s Mad Tom Orchard, raspberry picking galore.
Hike to the Pond.
The Equinox Nature Preserve is a local treasure — 900+ acres of hardwood forest, protected by the Equinox Preservation Trust, the Nature Conservancy, and the Vermont Land Trust. It’s trail system loops and winds for eleven miles along the side of the mountain, with a mainline to the summit. The Pond Loop is perfect for a casual outing, and little hikers. Dogs are welcome on leashes!
What did we forget? Tell us in the comments.
We’ve mapped your route through Manchester to pack a picnic basket so you can enjoy one of summer's greatest (and simplest) pleasures.
Favorite Manchester area day hikes include summer treks toward jaw-dropping vistas, pristine swimming holes, and waterfalls. Plus, family-fr...