Winter Adventure and Merriment

December 12, 2022

The holiday season continues as we get further into the month of December. The town is decked with wreaths, garland, ribbons, and lights, adding a magical touch to the naturally beautiful scenery. You’ll certainly want to stroll through the Factory Point town green to see Manchester’s holiday tree all lit up along with the Stratton Community Foundation’s Snowlight in Manchester trees! If you are in the area on December 18th or 25th come and see the annual Menorah Lighting celebrating the start and end of the Hanukkah season known as the Festival of Lights!  Many more events are still left to come, so head to to learn more about MANCHESTER MERRIMENT!

Courtesy Old Mill Road Media

Winter has officially arrived when the local Ski Resorts open their trails and start their lifts. Stratton Mountain, Bromley Mountain, and Magic Mountain are all within a 30-minute drive and offer incredible east coast snow adventures. Open daily beginning December 15th, enjoy everything from downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowmobile rides on the mountains. Check the mountains’ calendars of events to make the most of your winter experience!

Photo by Anthony Maclaurin

If barreling down a mountain sounds a bit beyond your speed, take up some more of the relaxed outdoor activities, after all winters in Vermont are not just for skiing and snowboarding.

Right in Manchester Village discover hundreds of acres of beautiful woods with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails scattered throughout the grounds of Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home. Remember to bring your own snowshoes or cross-country skis, as they do not offer equipment rental. If you don’t have your own equipment (or just forgot to bring it) head to The Mountain Goat in Manchester Center. They offer daily rentals on cross-country skis and snowshoes and offer a wide selection of outdoor gear to keep you warm and toasty. Winter is also the perfect time for sleigh rides! At Taylor Farm, they offer horse-drawn sleigh rides through the fields and into the woods which lead to a bonfire and warming hut where hot cider will be waiting for you. Wool blankets are provided to keep you warm.

Here in Manchester, you can also enjoy the classic wintertime favorite activity of ice skating! Head to the Northshire Civic Center/Riley Rink. As Southern Vermont’s largest indoor special events, multi-purpose facility featuring the area’s only Olympic-sized ice rink, they offer weekly public and private ice skating, ice-skating lessons, and hockey leagues.  If you don’t have your own skates, no worries, they offer skate rentals for all ages.

Courtesy The Vermont Flannel Co.

If outdoor adventure isn’t your thing, Manchester, VT is a shopper’s paradise offering world-class designer outlets, boutique shops, art and artisan galleries, plus delicious foods and confections for you to enjoy. Don’t miss out on exploring the many wonderful places to shop at the Manchester Designer Outlets. Fight the cold and find some extra comfort with the help of The Vermont Flannel Co. Having just opened a store on Depot Street this November, they offer patented flannel items that are guaranteed to keep the whole family warm and cozy all winter long.

Courtesy Epoch Artisans Gallery

The holidays are right around the corner, but don’t fret if you still have gift shopping to complete. Manchester’s shops and outlets provide an extensive selection to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. For some truly unique finds, stop into Epoch Artisans Gallery to browse regionally inspired collections from many local artists, designers, and makers.

Whether you are fueling up to hit the trails or are back in the valley enjoying some Après Ski activities, you’ll want to stop in at Charlie’s Coffee House for some tasty treats and a hot beverage to warm you up for more adventures! Charlie’s is located just off the Bonnet Street round-a-bout. Enjoy one of their freshly baked goods or grab a pre-made sandwich or salad for a quick, on-the-go meal.

The arrival of the cold weather usually brings about cravings for warm food and cozy environments. You’ll find both at Sam’s Woodfired Pizza Co. Step inside to be met with enticing aromas that waft from the woodfired brick oven. Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try out their new Maple Creemee-filled Cider Donut sandwich that will have your tastebuds dancing with joy!

Photo by John Burnham

If you haven’t started already, now is the time to plan for holiday dining! Make a reservation today at one of our local restaurants that are offering special holiday menus. Browse the local Holiday Dining Options and reserve your spot today!

If you are coming in from out of town, make the most of your time in Manchester and STAY with us! Choose from boutique hotels and resorts, charming inns and B&B’s, or classic motels. Find the best fit for your staycation, long weekend, or family getaway right here in Manchester!

Courtesy Inn at Ormsby Hill

Immerse yourself in the history of Manchester with a stay at local bed & breakfast, the Inn at Ormsby Hill. The original building at The Inn at Ormsby Hill was built in 1764 by Thompson Purdy and is one of the oldest structures in Manchester. Now this historic building houses the inn’s formal living room, the Gathering Room and the Library, as well as the Taft and Lincoln guest rooms. The basement portion of the inn still contains the marble slabs that were abundant in the 18th Century. The innkeepers, Jack and MaryAnn Orlando, will make your welcome warm and your stay unforgettable.

Another historically rich local inn is The Wilson House which offers Vermont lodging at its coziest. It also happens to be the birthplace of the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. This quaint hotel has preserved much of its history and serves as a popular destination for those in recovery. Nearly 150 years after its original opening, the East Dorset hotel has been restored both in physical condition and in its historic function as a small village hotel. The Wilson House, therefore, constitutes an outstanding representative of the modest hotels that flourished in Vermont villages during the latter 19th- and early 20th-century period when railroads provided the dominant means of passenger travel for business, pleasure, and recreation.

Photo by Terry Glassman

This holiday season, take some time to enjoy both outdoor and indoor adventures with the many memorable EXPERIENCES that can be found in and around Manchester, Vermont! We wish you warmth and love during this holiday season!

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