Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pick up the July Issue

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

We're encouraging you to soak up some summer with the July issue of Kids VT. Read the second installment in this year's Vermont Day-cations series, featuring the Billings Farm & Museum and Santa's Village as destinations.

Just in time for beach reading, Seven Days literary editor Margot Harrison shares a list of recommended reads for young adults. We also take a look at the new VT State Parks app Oh, Ranger, paddle the mighty Winooski River, and dine out at the A&W Drive-In in Middlebury. When you're out enjoying the sunshine, use our new mobile website to easily find events or family resources near you.

Feel free to let us know what you think about this issue - good, bad, or ugly. Send us a letter, an email, or Facebook comment to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rainy Day Family Fun

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 8:40 AM

It’s shaping up to be a cloudy, wet week. Here's a list of some of our favorite indoor activities that will help you and your kids get through a rainy summer day.

  • 1. Check out your local library. You know what they say: Give your kids a book, and, well, they’ll have a book. Give your kids a library card, and they’ll have books for the rest of their lives. Libraries usually host story time (check out our calendar listings for ongoing story times) and other kid-friendly programs during the day. While you’re there, sign up for the Vermont summer reading program to keep your kids reading through the summer months! Click here for a list of libraries.

  • 2. Take in a movie. Support your local theater, and add some nostalgic charm by heading to a historical spot like the Savoy in Montpelier. Others, such as the Big Picture in Waitsfield, offer food and events. At the Palace 9 in South Burlington, you can catch live showings of operas and theater performances from Lincoln Center or London’s National Theatre. Some theaters also have special showtimes for families with young children, or nursing mothers. Click here for a list of local movie theaters.

  • Bouldering at Petra Cliffs - SKY BARSCH GLEINER

    3. Looking for something a little more active? How about indoor rock climbing? Petra Cliffs Climbing Center in Burlington provides climbing and bouldering for all ages and levels. They also offer their services for birthday parties and summer camps. Check out this Fit Families piece about Petra Cliffs from our August 2011 issue.

  • 4. If you’ve got a young Tony Hawk on your hands, try the Talent Skatepark in South Burlington, where you can flip, grind, ollie and jam to your heart’s content. Talent also gives summer camps and skateboarding lessons. Some ski resorts, such as Smugglers' Notch, also have skating facilities – check their websites for more information.

  • spare-time.jpg

    5. Strike out at the bowling alley. Get your bowling shoes on and hit the lanes! Lights and music usually turn bowling into a party, while games and snacks are available for those who aren’t so keen on knocking down pins. You can also turn this into a stealthy math lesson, as you and your kids count up the scores. Click here for a list of bowling alleys.

  • 6. Visit the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury. Kids will love to explore the wildflower table, bug mosaics, and planetarium, among this natural history museum’s many attractions. And if the weather changes, you’ll be the first to know – this is VPR’s Eye on the Sky broadcasting station.

Want more ideas? Browse our Family Resource Guide — and don’t forget to share reviews and comments about your experience.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pick Your Own Strawberries

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Strawberries from the Charlotte Berry Farm. - SACHI LEITH
  • Sachi Leith
  • Strawberries from the Charlotte Berry Farm.

Summer is almost upon us. For Vermont fruit farmers, shortcake eaters, and berry enthusiasts, this means one thing – strawberry season. Not strawberry season at the grocery store, where the giant berries tend to look like red, seed-covered versions of the Incredible Hulk, but strawberry season at your local berry farm, which passes so quickly, it’ll be gone before you can say “freezer jam.”

To help with the influx of ripened berries that need picking, many farms around the state offer to let you pick your own and buy as many as you can gather. For some, like the first customer at Charlotte Berry Farm on Saturday, that’s almost 17 lbs. If you’re feeling a little less ambitious, you can pick a flat, a quart, or as little as a pint.

Siobhan P. picking berries at the Charlotte Berry Farm.
  • Siobhan P. picking berries at the Charlotte Berry Farm.

Picking your own summer berries is a great activity to do with kids. They’ll work off some of that endless supply of energy running from patch to patch in search of the tastiest berries. After the requisite in-field taste testing and the abundance of fresh, delicious berries you’ll have on the ride home, you won’t need to bring along a snack. And, in this era of omnivorous dilemmas and frightening uncertainty about what’s really on our dinner plates, you’ll all be able to learn a little bit about where your food comes from.

Over the summer, many berry farms phase through strawberries to raspberries, and then on to blueberries, though some specialize in one fruit. Each location is different, so it’s best to call ahead to ask about their hours and picking schedule. Click here for a list of pick-your-own places to try this strawberry season.

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camps central

The Willowell Foundation Camps

The Willowell Foundation Camps

Monkton, VT

The Willowell Foundation hosts week-long day camps for children ages 4-12 at our property in Monkton, Vermont. Spanning 230 acres and seven distinct ecosystems, the Willowell land offers diverse exploration in an environment filled with natural wonder. Skilled and caring camp leaders bring children of all ages together by combining…(more)

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