Searching for family friendly activities is at the top of every parent’s priority list when visiting a new area. If that area happens to be Rutland, Vermont, be forewarned: the list of possibilities may exceed a simple weekend visit. From snack spots to educational museums and outdoor adventure, here are the best things to do in Rutland for families.
9 Family Friendly Things to Do in Rutland, Vermont
Family Friendly Food Finds
First thing’s first: food. It’s every parent’s’ nightmare when an empty belly turns into a crankiness, which can turn into a full-on “hangry” meltdown. Every family knows that grabbing a bite to eat can be an activity all its own, and luckily, Rutland County has plenty of places to fuel up on kid-approved food. If a stack of flapjacks does the trick, head east on Route 4 to Sugar & Spice in Mendon for a tasty all-day breakfast menu. For a quick and easy lunch grab pizza-by-the-slice (no toppings compromise necessary!) in Rutland City at Ramunto’s Sicilian Pizza, or one of the many pizza or sandwich shops in the area. The Saturday Vermont Farmers Market in downtown Rutland is a perfect place to pick up instant picnic supplies like farm-fresh veggies, fruits, and baked goods.
Wonderfeet Kids Museum
A delight for kids ages 1 to 100, the Wonderfeet Kids Museum in downtown Rutland is a popular afternoon activity for curious minds. The interactive museum uses “the power of play” to help kids flex their imaginations with exhibits ranging from familiar LEGO setups to Wind Tunnel experiments, a kid-sized Farmer’s Market, magical magnetic walls, clay modeling tables, and more.
Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center
Kids have free reign to climb the walls at one of Rutland’s indoor family friendly activities — the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center! A 25-foot ceiling, bouldering cave, and tread wall bring family fun to new heights — but don’t worry, parents, the staff will make sure you’re all equipped with basic belay skills before handing over the reins.
Slate Valley Trails
The Slate Valley and Lakes Region is home of Slate Valley Trails where over 50 miles of bicycling and hiking trails are available for individuals and families of all ages. All of the trails are completely free and open to the public. While visiting, there are several eateries and shopping to take advantage of in the Town of Poultney and surrounding areas.
How many strikes does the team have up its sleeves? Find out with a classic family outing at Rutland Bowlerama. The family entertainment center includes 32 alleys and a fun-filled Game Room with a pool table, darts, air hockey, and pinball machines.
The New England Maple Museum
From its journey as tree sap to syrupy-sweet pancake partner, learn about Vermont’s tradition of maple sugaring at the New England Maple Museum. Located in Pittsford just north of Rutland City, the museum is located right on Route 7 with a hard-to-miss maple syrup bottle out front (family photo op, anyone?). Inside you’ll find floor-to-ceiling murals and dioramas, an impressive collection of sugaring artifacts, and of course an array of syrups to try or buy.
Pine Hill Park
Trade town centers for tree-lined trails with family friendly activities like hiking or mountain biking at Pine Hill Park. The park boasts a collection of well-marked trails, mini bridges, and beautiful vistas. Biking families can pedal along 2.1 miles of Green trails while hikers can stretch their legs on a journey to Rocky Pond. The best part? Pine Hill Park is just one mile from downtown Rutland.
Nearby Killington Mountain is a winter haven for snow sporting families. As the largest ski resort in the eastern United States, it has enough terrain to keep your family busy for an entire weekend while you explore its trails. For the non skiers/riders, other winter activities include scenic Gondola rides, snowcat-drawn sleigh rides, and a snow tubing park. Far from docile during the summer days, choose an Adventure Center Day Pass for access to summer alpine tubing, a 5,000-square-foot maze, adventure ropes course, and more.
Rutland County State Parks
For a simple and enjoyable day outdoors, visit one of the many state parks in Rutland County for family friendly activities. Bomoseen State Park in Castleton sits on the shores of Lake Bomoseen with hiking trails, swimming, a playground, and a picnic pavilion. For an afternoon on the water, Branbury State Park in Brandon is a great place to go fishing or rent kayaks, canoes, or rowboats.
Do you have another suggestion to add to this list of family friendly activities? Share your favorite things to do in Rutland and help other parents visiting or moving to the area fill their days with family fun. Use the hashtag #realrutland on Twitter or Instagram, and tag us at @realrutland.