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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Go Exploring: A Guide to Fun During Vacation Week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge Dinosaur Revolution - COURTESY OF MONTSHIRE MUSEUM
  • Courtesy of Montshire Museum
  • Dinosaur Revolution
My favorite part of holiday break is hanging out with the kids after the flurry of gift-giving. We love to pull on our warm boots and snow pants and explore the outdoors. But if the temps drop, or the company isn't up for bundling up in bulky outerwear, there’s plenty to do inside to keep your crew amused and on the move. We'll likely be heading to the Montshire Museum’s Dinosaur Revolution exhibit before it closes on January 2. Here are some other indoor ideas — and a few outdoors ones — to keep you entertained during the upcoming school vacation!

  • Animal admirers greet Santa’s graceful friends and learn how these marvelous creatures survive the snowy season at Reindeer Up Close at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Monday, December 26, 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 2 p.m. While at the science center, get answers to your kids' questions about clouds and hurricanes at the traveling exhibit, The Zula Patrol: Mission Weather.
click to enlarge "Flip, Fly, Fun!" - COURTESY OF SPRUCE PEAK PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
  • Courtesy of Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
  • "Flip, Fly, Fun!"

  • On temporary loan from the Smithsonian Institute, X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside and Out at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium illustrates evolutionary history through translucent photographs of ancient sea creatures, in an elegant combination of science and art. Before you plan a visit, call ahead and reserve tickets for a planetarium show, too.

  • Treat your gang to a special night out. "Flip, Fly, Fun!" at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe transforms the stage with a dazzling array of jugglers, acrobats, aerialists and clowns. Wednesday, December 28, 7 p.m.

  • Giddy-up! Silver bells jingle as horses trot cherry-cheeked riders over snowy rolling hills by sleigh at Shelburne Farms. Daily from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., December 24-December 31 (except Christmas day); weekends through February.

click to enlarge Christmas at the Farm - COURTESY OF BILLINGS FARN & MUSEUM
  • Courtesy of Billings Farn & Museum
  • Christmas at the Farm
  • Families spend a day at Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock savoring the season the old-fashioned way. Partake in 19th-century crafts in a restored farmhouse, keep toasty by a woodstove and enjoy tasty treats. Bring your warmest clothes to take a tour of the barn, meet the livestock and enjoy horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides. Daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., December 26-January 1.

  • Ring in 2017 at Montpelier’s New Year’s Eve, beginning with a 5K race at 2 p.m., followed by a magic show and evening fireworks. First Night Burlington makes merry with the Church Street Dancing Dragons Parade at 6 p.m.; circus arts, theater and music; and fireworks at both 6:45 p.m. and midnight. On the state’s eastern side, First Night St. Johnsbury caps the year with activities including Nimble Arts’ Ruckus Circus and the Family Fun Fair from 4-8 p.m.

  • Put your healthiest foot forward at FirstRun, a New Year’s Day 5K in Burlington. With two kids’ fun runs and costumes encouraged, this sporty morning event is a virtuous way to begin the new year.

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