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Vermont Family Summer Fun Guide



Areas to Explore Plus...

Ice Cream Shops Fab Festivals Swimming Spots Outdoor Art



The first customizable cardboard tabletop pinball system

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1 BUILD: One hour assembly

2 DESIGN: Using recycled bits and craft supplies

3 PLAY: Your rubber band and gravitypowered pinball!

Flip out on dozens of artist-designed cardboard pinball machines all free to play this summer!

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Cathy Resmer

Adventure or Bust!




Mary Ann Lickteig ART DIRECTOR

Brooke Bousquet


Last year, Kids VT published our first-ever Daytripper, a guide to summer fun in Vermont, created just for families. But as we discovered while putting it together, there are just too many amazing things to do, places to eat and hikes to take to fit into one publication.

Kaitlin Montgomery






Kirsten Cheney Todd Scott Rev. Diane Sullivan CIRCULATION MANAGER

So … we’ve decided to do it again! The second edition features different geographical parts of the state, like the Mad River Valley and the route from Middlebury to Manchester. You’ll also discover new ideas for parks, trails, bakeries, restaurants and cultural sites to visit all over the Green Mountain State. Many of the activities are free. For attractions that aren’t, we’ve noted the admission costs. The roundup sections contain detailed lists of delicious ice cream and creemee shops, aweinspiring outdoor art, fun festivals, and public swimming pools. There’s also a collection of historic sites; visiting them will earn points toward our new Good Citizen Challenge. This civics-themed project for kids runs through mid-October — find more information on page 33. Winter can be a long slog in Vermont. When summer rolls around, we’re all ready to get out and explore. We hope this guide inspires locals and visitors alike to hit the highways and dirt roads in search of adventure this summer.



Jessica Rae Gordon

The Daytripper: Vermont Family Summer Fun Guide is published annually and circulated in northern and central Vermont by:

©2018 Da Capo Publishing Inc.

All rights reserved. P.O. Box 1184 Burlington, VT 05402 802-985-5482


P.S. From top: Cathy Resmer and family at Stillwater State Park, Alison Novak and family camping at Burton Island, Brooke Bousquet and family on Camel’s Hump, Mary Ann Lickteig’s son jumping at Warren Falls, Cathy’s car packed for a camping trip

Find more articles, reviews and a robust events calendar in our monthly magazine, available at more than 700 locations around Vermont and at And check out our sister publication, Seven Days, which delivers local news, views and culture every Wednesday. SUMMER 2018




Green Mountain Transit 802-540-2468

Youth ages 7-17 | $25 | June 18-August 24 GMT's Youth Summer Fun Wristband gives your family access to convenient, safe, reliable transportation while connecting you to the activities that matter most!

To purchase your Youth Summer Fun Wristband, visit Green Mountain Transit

Wristbands also available at GMT’s Downtown Transit Center or our administrative office at 15 Industrial Parkway, Burlington.

Feeling Festive?

Save the date for these all-ages annual events BY BRETT STANCIU 1. Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft & Music Festival Friday, June 15-Sunday, June 17, at 70 Village Green Circle in Quechee, The longest-running New England hot-air balloon festival, held on Father’s Day weekend, features music and all-ages entertainment, including a rockclimbing wall and high-flying Euro Bungee.

2. Do Good Fest Saturday, July 14, at National Life Group in Montpelier, This full-day, communitycentered gathering features eclectic food vendors, live bands and booths run by local nonprofits, some featuring kids’ projects.

3. Lake Champlain Maritime Festival Festval Thursday, July 26-Sunday, July 29, at Waterfront Park in Burlington, The city’s waterfront is the scene for a summer celebration with nightly concerts, an international food court, arts and crafts, and an antique boat show.

4. Festival of Fools Friday, AugustSunday, August 5, in downtown Burlington, Some of the world’s most talented street performers bring their busking skills to Burlington during this annual outdoor jamboree.

5. Dog Mountain Summer Dog Party Saturday, August 4, at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury,

8. Champlain Valley Fair

Tuesday, August 7-Saturday, August 11, at Addison County Field Days Grounds in Vergennes,

Friday, August 24Sunday, September 2, at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction,

This agriculture-centered event celebrates rural Vermont with racing pigs, draft horse- and oxen-pulling competitions, a cow milking parlor, rides, and 4-H youth exhibits.

Carny curiosities combine with agricultural exhibits, traditional fair food, daily parades and midway rides at this large fair, which signals the end of school vacation.

7. Open Farm Week

9. Glory Days Festival

Monday, August 13-Sunday, August 19, at various locations in Vermont,

Four-legged furry friends and their two-legged owners spend the afternoon romping through the late artist Stephen Huneck’s 150-acre preserve, with live music from acoustic duo WhiteSteer. 3

6. Addison County Fair & Field Days

This weeklong celebration offers visitors up-close and hands-on opportunities to learn about local food and meet growers. Events vary from farm to farm, with activities including goat and cow milking, pickle preserving, fiber arts demos, farm dinners, and 5 scavenger hunts.

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Saturday, September 8 & Sunday, September 9, in downtown White River Junction, This annual shindig fêtes the town’s choo-choo history with children’s entertainment, a model train show, a Lego exhibit, a mini steam engine and Green Mountain Train Excursion rides along the Connecticut River.

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See festival websites for admission prices.



Beautiful Burlington

Outdoorsy fun and good food in a picturesque college town BY ALISON NOVAK

There’s nothing quite like the Queen City in the summer. The lake glistens, the pedestrian marketplace bustles and the bike path teems with runners and cyclists. Whether you’re in the mood for shopping, strolling and dining or biking, boating and swimming, Vermont’s largest city has you covered.


BCA Center

Centennial Field

135 Church St.,

98 University Rd.,

This free art gallery next to Burlington City Hall on the Church Street Marketplace features often-edgy exhibits by artists from Vermont and beyond. It’s the perfect stop after lunch at the Saturday Burlington Farmers Market in City Hall Park.

ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain 1 College St., This lake aquarium showcases more than just fish and turtles. Traveling exhibits rotate several times a year. This summer, look for “How People Make Things,” which shows how familiar childhood objects are manufactured and was inspired by the Mister Rogers’ factory tours. Champ Lane, a play space for ages 6 and under, features a deluxe water table, multilevel boat, play café, and rustic tree house with a slide conceptualized by Phish set designer Russ Bennett. For older kids, the Northfield Savings Bank 3D Theater presents a changing lineup of nature- and sciencethemed movies. Admission, $11.50-14.50; free for children under 3.



Community Sailing Center 505 Lake St., Rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and sailboats at this water-sports hub, which also offers summer camps. Nautical novices can take private family sailing lessons with 48 hours’ notice.

Home to the Vermont Lake Monsters minor league team, the historic ballpark hosted its first game in 1906. The 2018 summer season includes 38 home games — with themes like Harry Potter Night and Hot Dog Heaven, during which fans can feast on 25-cent franks. The Kids Fun Zone, located behind the team’s clubhouse, offers a speedpitch station, bounce castle and obstaclecourse inflatables. Don’t miss a photo op with mascot Champ or a chance to run the bases following every game on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Kids 12 and under can sign up for CHAMP’s Kids Club, which entitles them to free admission to five select home games every summer. Tickets, $5-15; $5 for Fun Zone admission.

Food & Drink Bluebird Barbecue 317 Riverside Ave., This laid-back Southern-inspired joint serves up slowcooked meats and kid-friendly dishes like mac and cheese and chicken wings. Try the Family Reunion, a smorgasbord on a large metal tray that gives hungry diners a sampling of the restaurant’s offerings, from brisket to pit beans.

Spot on the Dock 1 King St., on the dock, The surf-themed waterfront restaurant — a spin-off of the Spot in Burlington’s South End (210 Shelburne Rd.) — offers outdoor seating and tasty dishes, from dinner salads to fish tacos. An enclosed play structure at the front means kids can climb and slide while you sip your mango margarita and watch the sun go down.

New Word Tortilla and SoYo Frozen Yogurt

Parks, Biking & Beaches Burlington Bike Path Eight miles of paved path runs from just south of Oakledge Park to the Winooski River. Between miles 2 and 3, Ice Cream Bob’s creemee stand, ECHO and Andy A_Dog Williams Skatepark offer perfect stopping points. Extend your ride by connecting to the Island Line Trail, which takes riders three miles into the middle of Lake Champlain on the Colchester Causeway. Hop on Local Motion’s bike ferry to traverse a 200-foot gap in the causeway, then continue into the Champlain Islands. Don’t have your own bikes? Rent ’em at Local Motion (1 Steele St.) or Skirack (85 Main St.). Note: The causeway was damaged in a May storm. Visit for the latest information on its status.

Battery Park 1 North Ave., This 14-acre park boasts a large playground and panoramic views of Lake Champlain. Historical monuments include a decorative cannon that commemorates the park’s history as a military camp during the War of 1812 and a wood sculpture of Chief Grey Lock, the Abenaki tribe’s greatest warrior. In the warmer months, Beansie’s — a retrofitted school bus that’s been serving up hand-cut fries and Michigan dogs since 1944 — sets up shop in the park’s northwest corner.

696 Pine St.,, Looking for a casual dinner-and-dessert combo? In an industrial space in Burlington’s artsy South End, New World serves up large and reasonably priced burritos and wraps on your choice of white, wheat, tomato, curry or spinach tortillas, made fresh daily. Next door, SoYo makes tangy, small-batch froyo from local dairy products and offers an array of toppings, from fresh fruit to chocolate chips.

Mirabelles Café & Bakery

North Beach 52 Institute Rd., Families can while away the hours at Burlington’s largest beach, which offers swimming, food concessions, a playground, and kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals. Picnic tables, grills and a paved pavilion make it an ideal spot to meet up with other families for an al fresco meal.

Just outside Burlington…

198 Main St.,

Red Rocks Park

The nearly 30-year-old Burlington institution makes its elegant pastries, decadent cakes and multitude of cookies from scratch. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Breakfast and lunch options — from popovers filled with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon to the Cuban-style panini accompanied by a cup of soup — are just as mouthwatering.

Just over the Burlington-South Burlington border, this 100-acre municipal park offers trails lined with maple, ash, hickory and oak trees for hiking, running and dog walking. At the southeastern edge of the park — which gets its name from the iron-rich quartzite rock that underlies it — there’s a sandy beach with 200 yards of waterfront access.

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Sweet Sites

Our favorite family-friendly state park campgrounds BY CATHY RESMER

1. Grand Isle State Park

4. Burton Island State Park

About 30 minutes from Burlington, Grand Isle’s 226 acres include a nature center and a rocky beach with a stunning view of the Vermont shoreline. A stand of trees near the playground conceals a small clearing that makes an excellent secret clubhouse or fort.

This island campground is accessible only by boat; a ferry between Burton Island and Kamp Kill Kare in St. Albans runs several times a day. There aren’t many sites, or people, so the trails and beaches are never crowded. Cars aren’t allowed on the island, so older kids can explore on their bikes without parents having to worry. A marina attracts enough boaters to justify a wellstocked store. Sites on Burton Island are in high demand, which is why they’re more expensive and difficult to reserve. Because it’s impossible to hop in the car and leave with a cranky kid who can’t fall asleep, parents of babies and toddlers might want to consider another park.

2. Elmore State Park This Lamoille County gem boasts hiking trails and a sandy beach. The two moderately challenging routes up Elmore Mountain lead to a spectacular view at the top — and a rickety fire tower that will challenge anyone with the slightest fear of heights. If you’re looking to splurge a bit, try the amazing Fire Tower Pizza in lieu of a campfire dinner, available at the Elmore Store. Call ahead so it will be ready when you go to pick it up.

3. Groton State Forest There are several state parks within this oasis at the southern edge of the Northeast Kingdom, all close to hiking trails, a nature center, Lake Groton’s Boulder Beach and a seasonal store. Campers can drive right up to their sites at Stillwater and Ricker Pond, which both offer water access and the occasional loon sighting. Nearby New Discovery, a quieter car-camping destination, features trailheads and a play area. Families looking for a more serene retreat can opt for remote camping at Kettle Pond, where sites are accessible only by foot or boat.


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5. Half Moon Pond State Park Much smaller and quieter than nearby Lake Bomoseen, Half Moon Pond is a safe place to practice paddling a canoe or kayak, both of which are available for rent. Half Moon is also an ideal home base from which to explore the day-use only Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park, with its peaceful Japanese garden, wildflower meadows and extensive network of rocky trails.

Camping fees start at $18 for tents and $25 for lean-tos, with additional costs based on campsite location, and number of people and pets. Find a full list of Vermont’s 55 state parks at And check out the Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge, a family-oriented scavenger hunt that runs through October 15, at venture-vermont.html.





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The Lake Champlain Islands Orchards, fossils and the country’s oldest log cabin BY MARY ANN LICKTEIG

When glaciers carved Lake Champlain centuries ago, they left a strip of narrow islands, stretching like a string of pearls between Milton, on mainland Vermont, and Alburgh, on a peninsula that borders Canada. “The islands,” as they’re now known, are home to five historic towns, five state parks and 200 miles of shoreline. Samuel de Champlain landed here — on Isle La Motte in 1609 — when he entered the lake that now bears his name. Today, migratory birds flock here, as do outdoor enthusiasts looking to bike, camp, and reel in bass or perch. Hackett’s Orchard and Allenholm Farm


Arnold Zlotoff Tool Museum 72 Route 2, South Hero, The late Arnold Zlotoff was a New York City industrial arts teacher who bought a complete set of bridge builder’s tools when he was in college and continued collecting tools until he ran out of space more than 30 years later. His 3,000 treasures date from Colonial times and come from a variety of trades and industries. See bark spuds, froes, twibils and more in a massive restored barn on the grounds of Apple Island Resort. The museum is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


86 South St., South Hero, 111 South St., South Hero, A tradition since 1967, Hackett’s is a familyowned farm and market that offers 47 varieties of apples — the picking season starts in late July — cider doughnuts, maple syrup and more. The orchard produces other summer and fall fruits and an array of vegetables. Just down the road, Allenholm Farm is a seventh-generation apple farm that also offers raspberries, blueberries and tart cherries at its farm stand. Meet goats, horses and Willie the donkey, who loves peppermints. Enjoy a maple creemee at the farm and take home one of Papa Ray’s homemade fruit pies for dessert.

Goodsell Ridge Preserve 239 Quarry Rd., Isle La Motte, See fossils in the outcroppings on this 83-acre preserve, where interpretive trails and a visitor center tell the story of the 460-million-yearold Chazy Fossil Reef, a world-renowned geological treasure that underlies much of the bedrock of southern Isle La Motte. It was formed by hard-shelled marine organisms and reef dwellers, such as gastropods and cephalopods. Take the “Walk Through Time Trail,” where 80 colorful panels depict the history of life on Earth. Each foot represents one million years. See more fossils at the smaller, 20-acre Fisk Quarry Preserve nearby.

Hyde Log Cabin 228/230 Route 2, Grand Isle Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., this 1.5–story cabin built by Revolutionary War veteran Jedediah Hyde Jr. around 1783 is believed to be the oldest log cabin in the country. A Connecticut native, Hyde came to the islands with his father to survey land for Ethan and Ira Allen. The cabin, constructed of cedar logs harvested on the island, was home to Hyde and his descendants for 150 years. Spinning wheels, butter churns, a wooden sap bucket and a wooden ladle from 1785 are among the period furnishings inside. The $3 admission also gets you into the 1814 Block Schoolhouse next door. Kids under 14 are free.

Food & Drink Seb’s Snack Bar 295 Route 2, South Hero Ask a local for favorite summer eats, and you get a one-word answer: Seb’s. The beloved snack bar serves up burgers, fries, hot dogs and Red Hots, which are hot dogs split vertically, grilled and served on a bun with mildly spicy meat sauce, mustard and raw onions. Seb’s serves four flavors of creemees and 38 flavors of hard ice cream, including Playdough, bright-yellow vanilla ice cream flecked with hot pink and blue sugar-cookie gems.

Blue Paddle Bistro 316 Route 2, South Hero, This 10-year-old restaurant is the latest product of the more than 25-year friendship between owners Phoebe R. Bright and Mandy Hotchkiss. “I never want a plate to be pretentious,” says chef Phoebe. “It’s about the flavors complementing each other.” Burgers, sandwiches, coffee-crusted pork tenderloin and pan-roasted duck breast are among her specialties. Resident “Paddle Pups” Wyeth, Watson and WyNott recently found fame as faces of Vermont Lottery’s “It’s a Dog’s Life” scratch-off tickets.

Parks & Beaches Sand Bar State Park 1215 Route 2, Milton, Named for the natural sandbar between South Hero and Milton, Vermont’s most popular day-use park offers a sandy, 2,000-foot beach that’s great for swimming. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent. With a large playground, picnic tables, grills and a snack bar, it’s easy to spend a day here. Bring cash or checks; this park does not accept credit or debit cards.

Pelots Natural Area 1256 Pelots Point Rd, North Hero, Three loops, totaling three miles, wind through fields, a sugar bush, mixed hardwoods and a cedar stand; they’re home to osprey, herons, hawks and the occasional eagle. Ducks, beavers and turtles are sometimes visible from trails along the marsh, and the parking lot offers spectacular panoramic views of the night sky.

Hero’s Welcome 3537 Route 2, North Hero, Walk, bike, paddle or drive to the general store that’s been a purveyor of goods and island gossip for nearly 220 years. The deli serves wraps, salads and sandwiches, which come on homemade rolls — with the exception of the Little Hero, a PB & J served on plain white bread with the crust cut off. Take time to peruse the store’s vast inventory, ranging from home accessories and beauty products to sun hats and gadgets.

The North Hero House 3643 Route 2, North Hero, Welcoming guests since 1891 — when they arrived by steamboat — this inn and restaurant features seasonal Vermont food, including produce grown on-site. Diners enjoy nouvelle American cuisine in the main dining room; on the porch, where picture windows overlook Lake Champlain; and outside at the Steamship Pier Bar & Grill. Bonus: There’s a kids’ menu.

Alburgh Dunes State Park 151 Coon Point Rd., Alburgh, This park takes its name from the sand dunes near the center and west end of its south-facing, 3,200-foot beach, one of the longest on Lake Champlain. The beach and dunes together create a barrier island, a coastal formation more common along ocean shorelines. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent, but the park has no drinking water or changing rooms, so come prepared.



It’s summer at Shelburne Museum. Get here!

OPEN EVERY DAY FROM 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. Saturday and Sunday, June 16 & 17

2018 Exhibition Schedule

Shelburne Museum Classic Auto Festival Celebrate Father’s Day Weekend with vintage cars, hands-on activities, BBQ, and more!

In the Garden, March 17–August 26

Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Bench Space, May 1–October 31

Circus Palooza Goes West Inspired by the special exhibition Playing Cowboy, saddle up for rodeo carnival games, square dancing, live music from the Starline Rhythm Boys, and a circus show extravaganza! New this year!

July 6, August 3, and September 7, 5–7:30 p.m. Free First Friday Eve Free admission to the entire campus and special programming to celebrate the glory of summer evenings at the Museum!

6000 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne, VT 05482

Playing Cowboy, June 23–October 21 Crystal Cawley, May 1–October 31 New England Now September 15, 2018–January 13, 2019 Mapping an Uneven Country: Bird’s Eye Views of Vermont November 10, 2018–March 3, 2019

Become a Member and get free admission, invitations to special programs and more!

Outdoor Art

Inside voices aren’t required to appreciate these eclectic exhibits BY ALISON NOVAK

1. Murals of Burlington From a mosaic-style hummingbird on the side of American Flatbread (115 St. Paul St.) to renderings of neighborhood kids by local artists Mary Lacy and Sloan Collins in the Old North End (above), B-town is home to an abundance of street art. Find a mural walking tour at South End-based artist group Anthill Collective also offers a self-guided tour of its members’ spray-painted creations at

2. Helen Day Art Center’s “Exposed” Stowe, More than two dozen diverse sculptures by local and national artists decorate the village of Stowe and its five-mile-long recreation path in this annual exhibition, which runs from July to October.

3. Cold Hollow Sculpture Park 4280 Boston Post Rd., Enosburg Falls, Opened in 2014, this 35-acre Franklin County property boasts more than 50 largescale steel sculptures that span 45 years of work by artist David Stromeyer. Admission is free, bathrooms and guides are available at the welcome barn, and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy in the meadow.

4. Path of Life Sculpture Garden 36 Park Rd., Windsor, Inspired by a Japanese garden in Ireland, this 14acre field on the banks of the Connecticut River features 18 sculptures of different sizes and materials that represent the stages of life, including a small stone that stands for birth and a hemlock-tree maze that represents childhood. Visitors can also explore five miles of wildflower-lined walking trails; enjoy bratwurst, soft pretzels and beers at Harpoon Brewery (which shares a parking lot with the property); or rent tubes, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards from Great River Outfitters.

6. The Silo Project Roundabout of Routes 15 and 108, Jeffersonville Painter Sarah Rutherford transformed a pair of old 36-foot concrete silos into the largest outdoor mural in Vermont in 2016. The face of a bearded farmer adorns the north silo in honor of Vermont’s past. The south silo shows an 8-year-old child wearing overalls, representing the state’s future. Both feature a hermit thrush and a red clover, Vermont’s state bird and flower.

5. Lemon Fair Sculpture Park 4547 Route 74, E. Shoreham, Art enthusiasts can take a onemile, self-guided tour of 32 pieces of art — from abstract geometric shapes to animal sculptures — on this pastoral property that opened to the public in 2016. It’s free to visit, and a box near the parking area includes information sheets about the artists and their works, some of which are for sale.

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The Mad River Valley

Small-town strolling, pizza eating and mountain climbing BY BRETT STANCIU

This rocky river valley casts a spell on visitors with its scenic landscape of rugged mountains, farms and classic Vermont villages. The area boasts two ski areas — Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen — and offers plenty of picnicking and wading spots. Mad River Valley Taste Week, from August 4 through 11 (, features a jam-packed lineup of food-focused tastings and tours, with a pig roast kickoff after the Saturday Waitsfield Farmers Market. Or simply spend an afternoon strolling through a small town while savoring a maple-sweetened ice cream cone — and summer, while it lasts.


Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design 45 Bridge St., Waitsfield,

Warren Store 284 Main St., Warren, Built in 1839 as a stagecoach inn and boarding house, the country store is still a community hub in this small town, which hosts a renowned Fourth of July celebration. Stock up on eclectic items, from penny candy to homemade granola, Vermont-made pottery to wooden toys from Middlebury-based Maple Landmark. Then pick up a deli sandwich for lunch. Selections range from the Pestopalooza to a Cajun meatloaf sandwich aptly named the Big Easy.


This eclectic collection showcases the beauty of manufactured objects — from cars to toasters — with work by distinguished designers like Frank Lloyd Wright, Norman Bel Geddes and Frank Gehry. A classic toy exhibit includes Lincoln Logs, Legos, sleds and more. Admission, $1-5 suggested donation per adult; 25 cents for visitors under 21.

Sugarbush Resort 102 Forrest Dr., Warren, Adventurous kiddos fly high on an 800-foot zip line or soar up to 25 feet on a bungee trampoline. For those less daring, the Super Bravo Express chairlift runs continuously to the mountaintop.

Hop off and hike down or ride back. Either way, the views are breathtaking. An Adventure Ticket — which includes disc golf, chairlift rides, the zip line and the bungee trampoline — is $49 for children and $55 for adults.

Hartshorn Organic Farm Stand 54 Quarry Rd., Waitsfield, Owned by fifthgeneration Vermonter Dave Hartshorn, this roadside stand features fresh veggies, jams and pickles, farm-made maple products, and seasonal pick-your-own strawberries and blueberries. Call ahead to learn about their agricultural tours, with topics from medicinal herbs to culinary mushrooms.

Food & Drink American Flatbread 46 Lareau Rd., Waitsfield, Although the wait can be long, the pies are worth it. Baked in a wood-fired oven, they range from classic cheese and herb to Vermont sausage with caramelized onion — and they’re only available after 5 p.m. (The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but parties can put their name on a wait-list starting at 4 p.m.) While adults relax with a local brew, kiddos spread out on the Lareau Farm property, equipped with lawn games, toys and a fire pit. On a hot day, cool off with a dip in the Mad River at the swimming hole across the street.

The Sweet Spot 40 Bridge St., Waitsfield, With a focus on locally sourced dairy, eggs, fruit and veggies, this café’s savory menu changes seasonally to ensure the freshest ingredients. In addition to salads and sandwiches like pulled pork served with pickled veggies, the small establishment offers its own homemade Scout’s Honor ice cream and ice pops in flavors like blueberry-mint.

Parks & Biking Blueberry Lake Off Plunkton Rd., Warren, Owned and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, this shallow, man-made lake is a choice swimming spot for little ones. Its spring-fed, clear water attracts kayakers, anglers and birders. A substantial mountain biking trail system offers adventures into surrounding woods via cycle or foot.

Camel’s Hump

Prohibition Pig

Huntington and Duxbury,

23 S. Main St., Waterbury, Located in downtown Waterbury, the Pro Pig boasts a menu specializing in smoked meat, an on-site brewery and a bustling, casual atmosphere. Try the hand-sliced beef brisket, chopped pork barbecue or duck-fat poutine. Vermont grilled cheese or pasta with butter should satisfy the picky eaters in your party.

The Mad Taco 5101 Main St., Waitsfield, Locals and tourists dig this south-of-the-border fare, ranging from tamales to carnitas. Family platters serve four, with a kids’ menu offering up pint-size burritos or trusty grilled cheese. If you’re in Montpelier, check out the restaurant’s other outpost on Main Street.

At just over 4,000 feet, Vermont’s third-highest mountaintop provides above-treeline panoramic views. Accessed through Camel’s Hump State Park, Duxbury’s Monroe trailhead, located on Ridley Brook Road, offers both a relatively flat loop with views of the summit and a more challenging ascent. Or try the popular Burrows Trail on the Huntington section of Camel’s Hump Road.

Sunset Ledge Lincoln Gap Rd., Lincoln, This easy-to-moderate hike of 2.2 miles is named for its stunning western view of Lake Champlain and the rocky Adirondack Mountains beyond. After an initial steep climb, much of this trail is relatively flat, making it suitable for family trekking. SUMMER 2018


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I Scream, You Scream Ben & Jerry’s may be the most well-known, but other shops are churning and scooping their own sweet treats BY MARY ANN LICKTEIG

1. Palmer Lane Maple 1 Old Pump Rd., Jericho, It’s not hard to find a maple creemee in Vermont, but these are made from a creemee mix from St. Albans Cooperative Creamery and Palmer’s own pure maple syrup. The sweet, smooth concoction is pumped into a cup or a cone — including a gluten-free option — and can be topped with homemade maple sprinkles. “It’s the crushed maple candy sprinkles that puts Palmer over the top,” says one fan. Sizes range from the $1 baby, which comes in a tiny cone, to the $4 five-swirl-high regular. Three other flavors change weekly.

2. Canteen Creemee Company 5123 Main St., Waitsfield, What do you call a mile-high creemee coated in granola and blueberries, drizzled with yogurt sauce and crowned with doughnut holes? Sundae Breakfast. That’s just one of the creative confections that Canteen Creemee builds atop a cone. The “vertical sundaes” at this foodie-friendly snack bar are engineering feats sculpted from homemade ice cream and sauces. Somebody Else’s Wedding Cake marries marshmallow and chocolate ice cream in a twist, coats it in white-chocolate-andolive-oil dip, then garnishes it with fondant flowers. The menu changes every three weeks, but “we’re totally nut-free,” says owner Charlie Menard.

3. The Scoop 4066 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne, Made in small batches churned on-site, the Scoop’s extensive menu ranges from chocolate and vanilla to Mocha Mud Pie, Almond Joy, Seven Layer (which is packed with coconut, walnuts, butterscotch, fudge

swirl and graham crackers) and White Gold (vanilla ice cream mixed with white chocolate, butterscotch chips, cookie dough and a fudge swirl). Also on the menu are soft-serve ice cream, sorbet and a vegan frozen dessert. With burger joint Archie’s Grill next door and a large green space where kids can turn cartwheels and play beanbag toss, it’s one stop for dinner, dessert and entertainment.

4. Lu•lu 185 Main St., Vergennes, Touting its “farm-to-spoon” business model, this small-batch artisan ice cream company — recently relocated from Bristol — aims to produce intensely flavored ice cream using local ingredients whenever possible. Elegant and eclectic, the flavor list includes basil, lavender, lemon curd, sweet corn, mimosa and tiramisu as well as more traditional vanilla bean and Seriously Chocolate. More S’mores has a dark chocolate base mixed with chopped homemade dark-chocolatedipped graham crackers and artisan marshmallows. Pig Out is maple ice cream flecked with maple-candied bacon pieces. There are sorbets, too. And visitors can watch it all being made.

5. The Village Scoop 419 Main St., Colchester, Facebook This shop, with a drive-through-window option, sells four flavors of creemees (vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry and maple) and more than 30 flavors of Gifford’s hard ice cream in homemade waffle cones that come plain or chocolatedipped. There are two barstools inside and bench seats, picnic tables and Adirondack chairs outside. A child-size water fountain on the deck is good for washing down the Peanut Butter Delight, the best-selling sundae.

6. Vermont Cookie Love 6915 Route 7, North Ferrisburgh, Don’t let the name fool you. Cookies may be this roadside shop’s first love, but it’s got room in its heart for ice cream, too. The soft-serve comes from Kingdom Creamery in East Hardwick; the hard ice cream comes from Wilcox Ice Cream in East Arlington; and the whipped cream, hot fudge and salted caramel sauces are made in-house. Here’s a glossary of the other terms you’ll need to know — Crush: the crushed housemade cookies used as sprinkles; Lovewiches: ice cream sandwiches made with intact cookies; and Love Pops: chocolate-covered frozen cookie dough on a stick.

7. White Cottage Snack Bar 863 W. Woodstock Rd., Woodstock, In business since 1957, this quintessential snack bar was rebuilt after Tropical Storm Irene sent floodwaters, mud and trees into the building in 2011. Still along the Ottauquechee River — just a few feet closer to the road now — White Cottage scoops Gifford’s ice cream and swirls soft-serve. Sundaes, root beer floats, frappes and authentic banana splits are on the menu. Picnic tables overlook the river. “Moms, bring the towels and bathing suits,” says owner John Hurley, “because the kids are going in!”

8. Chill Vermont Gelato 32 State St., Montpelier, chillvermontgelato.

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The heart of Vermont’s capital city is home to this family business that makes Italian-style gelato from scratch in small batches. Similar to ice cream, gelato contains less cream 7 and air and is served slightly warmer to bring out its flavor. Chill makes the Sicilian variation, which doesn’t include eggs. Flavors include Belgian chocolate, chocolate-orange, espresso, frutti di bosco, salted caramel and Mintpelier.










From Middlebury to Manchester

Marble and mares, bakeries and books BY ALISON NOVAK

It takes about an hour and a half to drive from the quintessential New England college town of Middlebury to the equally quaint tourist town of Manchester. The route between the two is full of opportunities to learn about Vermont’s agricultural and geological history, linger at a bookstore or coffee shop, or hit the biking and hiking trails. Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum


11 Center St., Rutland,

UVM Morgan Horse Farm 74 Battell Dr., Weybridge, A five-minute drive northwest of downtown Middlebury, this 215-acre farm — open to visitors from May through October — has more than 40 Morgan horses, one of the earliest breeds in the U.S. Take a tour of the spacious stables to see these elegant animals, learn the difference between fillies and foals, and peek at the ponies, whose stalls are organized alphabetically by their names. The equine-enamored can peruse tchotchkes in the gift shop and watch a seven-minute movie for a little horse history. Be sure to pose with the imposing metal statue of Figure, the breed’s founding stallion, before leaving via the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge. Admission, $2-5; free for children under 5.

Northshire Bookstore 4869 Main St., Manchester Center, Located in the center of town, this family-owned, independent shop occupies 10,000 square feet, including a large floor devoted to children’s books. The store also has a selection of toys, stationery and Vermont products and hosts frequent author events. Grab coffee, baked goods or lunch at the attached Spiral Press Café. 24 THE DAYTRIPPER

Vermont Marble Museum 52 Main St., Proctor, Touted as the world’s largest marble exhibit, this museum tells the story of Vermont’s marble industry and offers a hard look at U.S. history in the Hall of Presidents. The hands-on Earth Alive! geology room goes even further back in time and explains how all this rock got here in the first place. Just a quartermile walk from the museum, see for yourself how the marble was blasted free and dragged from the Sutherland Falls Quarry in the 19th century using ropes, pulleys and a team of oxen. Admission, $4-9.

Kids ages 8 and under play in a pretend farmers market, diner and construction zone at this nonprofit children’s museum. Other interactive exhibits that encourage imaginative play include a Lego and robot area, and a designated infant and toddler space. On July 13, 20 and 27, enjoy free admission from 6 to 8 p.m. and activities on the surrounding streets during Downtown Rutland Partnership’s Friday Night Live. Admission, $5. Closed on Mondays.

Food & Drink Dorset Rising 3239 Route 30, Dorset, A boutique bakery and café in the center of historic Dorset, this homey spot offers beautifully decorated cupcakes, cookies and cappuccinos, as well as savory offerings like breakfast banh mi and cranberry turkey club sammies.

Parks & Biking Falls of Lana

Fire & Ice 26 Seymour St., Middlebury, Diners in the mood for a sitdown meal will find steaks, burgers, seafood and pasta dishes at this locally owned restaurant that borrows its name from a poem by former summer resident Robert Frost. Fishing, boating and airplane memorabilia will give kids something to talk about, and an $8.95 children’s menu includes a sundae. The salad bar, which the restaurant calls the biggest in Vermont, features shrimp, veggie sushi, carrot cake, a bread bar and more.

A & W Drive-In 1557 Route 7, Middlebury, Carhops take your order at this seasonal fast-food spot, open May through October. Cheeseburgers, onion rings and root beer floats served in frosty mugs will give your kids a taste of life in the good ol’ days.

Gourmet Provence Bakery 37 Center St., Brandon, This casual outpost of the fancier Café Provence, one block south, offers French-style baked goods, panini and salads, plus local Vermont products including cheeses, chocolates and condiments. Pick up provisions and head to nearby Moosalamoo National Recreation Area for a picnic.

Mother Myrick’s Confectionery 4367 Main St., Manchester Center, This family-run sweets shop, which started selling fudge in 1977, whips up cookies, caramels, butter-crunch toffee and its famous Lemon LuLu, a moist citrus pound cake. A summer reading program started by owners Ron and Jacki Baker almost 30 years ago rewards kids with goodies if they bring their book logs into the store.

Route 53, 3.9 miles south of Route 7 intersection, Salisbury, This waterfall in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area receives five out of five stars from the New England Waterfallsw guidebook. It’s composed of several cascades and a deep, cool swimming hole. If you’re in the mood for a hike, there’s an option for a 3.2-mile loop that starts at the Falls of Lana Picnic Area, taking hikers on to the Rattlesnake Cliffs Trail and Aunt Jenny Trail.

Robert Frost Interpretive Trail 537 Robert Frost Rd., Ripton, Across the street from the cabin where the celebrated poet spent 39 summers, this onemile, toddler-friendly loop is dedicated to Frost’s words and the landscape that inspired them. The trail winds over rivers and streams and through blueberry patches and birch trees, with poems and other quotations posted on plaques along the way.

Pine Hill Park 2 Oak St. Ext., Rutland, Sixteen miles of single-track trail for mountain biking, trail running, walking and geocaching lure visitors to this 325-acre woodsy plot maintained by the City of Rutland. The well-marked Carriage and Redfield trails — old logging roads — offer additional hiking opportunities and picturesque views of Blue Ridge and Pico mountains.

Mount Equinox Route 7A, Sunderland, At 3,848 feet, this is the highest peak in the Taconic Range. Visitors can motor up to the mountain’s summit via Skyline Drive, a 5.2-mile road with twists, turns and sweeping views. Seasoned hikers may prefer the steep, rocky Mount Equinox Trail (6.5 miles roundtrip). The Saint Bruno Scenic Viewing Center provides historical info, restrooms and tables for picnicking. SUMMER 2018


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Cool Pools

Swimmers of all ages flock to these accessible alternatives to Vermont’s lakes, ponds and swimming holes BY BRETT STANCIU

1. Button Bay State Park

4. Middlebury Town Pool

5. Sand Hill Pool

5 Button Bay State Park Rd., Ferrisburgh, 475-2377,

298 Buttolph Dr., Middlebury, 388-4020,

208 Sand Hill Rd., Essex, 878-2973,

Water toys beckon babies and toddlers to the wading pool. Big kids will enjoy doing cannonballs off the diving board. $2-4 admission.

Dual diving boards in the deep end distinguish this suburban oasis, which also includes a splash pad. $2-4 admission.

This sweet state park pool — equipped with a small waterslide and a gently graded shadow end for little ones — is conveniently located near attractions including the Rokeby Museum. Pool access included with $2-4 park admission; free for children under 4.

6. St. Albans City Pool 99 Aldis St., St. Albans, 524-6796,

2. Elm Street Recreation Center


Elm St., Montpelier, 223-6829, Surrounded by ball fields, a playground and picnic tables — and a short drive from the Statehouse — the Capital City’s pool offers a relaxing respite from the summer sun. $4.50-12 admission; $21 per family.

3. Maple Street Park and Pool

Friendly staff and fields for frolicking make this a pleasurable place to beat the heat. $3-8 admission.


7. Waterbury Community Pool

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Anderson Field, Waterbury, 244-6340, Take a dip, then head to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Store for a scoop or two, and you’re living the Americone Dream. $5 admission; $10 family day pass.

75 Maple St., Essex Junction, 872-3370, A slide and splash area keep the little ones cool while older kids rock out to music in the big pool. $5-7 admission; half-price after 6 p.m.






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The Northeast Kingdom Biking trails and hearty breakfasts, quiet beaches and nesting loons BY BRETT STANCIU

Just a tenth of Vermont’s population — about 64,000 folks — live in the three northeastern counties that make up this rural region. A journey into the Kingdom takes travelers down dirt roads, through a picturesque landscape of farms, villages and woods inhabited by black bears, moose, bobcats and wild turkeys. Consider taking a weekend to explore the area, pitching a tent for the night at Brighton State Park or bunking in the sixperson cottage at Crystal Lake State Park.

Attractions Kingdom Trails 478 VT Route 114, East Burke, Winding through woods and fields, this intricate network of trails offers both steep challenges and gentle grades. While experienced bikers tackle single tracks like Coronary Bypass or Dead Moose Alley, kids and others less confident on two wheels can put their pedals to work on the pump track or attempt the easier Chutes & Ladders loop, designed specifically for skill-building. Admission, $7-15; free for children under 7.


Jay Peak Resort 830 Jay Peak Rd., Jay, Alpine skiing is fun, but so is summer hiking on ski trails. In warm-weather months, Jay’s mowed slopes are sprinkled with wildflowers, not snowflakes. Clearly marked paths offer strenuous, moderate and low-key treks. Consider a one-way or roundtrip ride on Vermont’s only aerial tram ($7-17 per person; free for children under 4) or check out the Pump House — the resort’s indoor water park. Admission is $39 for ages 15 and up; $29 for ages 4 to 14; and free for children under 4.

Haskell Free Library and Opera House 93 Caswell Ave., Derby Line, Vermont, As a center of culture and learning, this one-of-a-kind library straddles two countries and two languages. With a front door in the United States and the circulation desk in Canada, the library’s reading room features a line down the middle delineating the international border. An ornate, fully functioning opera house with spectacular acoustics on the second floor has hosted celebrities including Williams Jennings Bryan and the Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson.

Food & Drink Martha’s Diner 585 Route 5, Coventry, Facebook The shiny, small-town chrome dining car is worth an early morning or midday meal stop. Order breakfast or lunch; hearty fare includes plate-size pancakes, fried chicken and poutine, a specialty from nearby Québéc.

Newport Natural Market and Café 194 Main St., Suite 104, Find healthy foodstuffs, from locavore produce to artisan cheese, at this crunchy market. A café in the back satisfies appetites with a hot bar and homemade soup. Sandwich selections include a vegetarian Full Monty Burger made with tofu, nuts and tahini; an East Meets West combo of kimchi and cheddar cheese; and a kids’ PB&J, too.

Vermont Pie and Pasta Company 4278 Route 5, Derby, From seafood to burgers, the offerings at this relaxed, family-oriented eatery cater to a hungry crowd. Mainstays include panini with Vermont ham or bacon, toothsome desserts like tiramisu, and the restaurant’s signature wood-fired pizza. It also offers takeout.

Miss Lyndonville Diner 686 Broad St., Lyndonville, Facebook Serving three meals a day, this old-fashioned diner is a Kingdom favorite with its ’50s-era ambience and traditional menu that includes cinnamon-roll French toast, home-style meatloaf and maple cream pie.

Parks & Beaches Bald Mountain Long Pond Rd., Westmore, The loftiest peak in the Lake Willoughby area, Bald Mountain offers a moderately challenging ascent, with a round-trip total of just over four miles. A restored fire tower at the rocky summit rewards hikers with spectacular views of Seymour Lake, Lake Memphremagog, parts of the Green Mountains and New Hampshire’s White Mountain range.

Maidstone State Park 5956 Maidstone Lake Rd., Guildhall, This remote park epitomizes the Northeast Kingdom’s beauty with its pristine lake, carved deeply by glaciers nearly 12,000 years ago. Now a protected home for nesting loons, Maidstone features prime fishing, moderate hiking trails, and beaches for swimming and sand play.

Sentinel Rock State Park Hinton Hill Rd., Westmore, A mile and a half north of picturesque Lake Willoughby, this day-use state park features an impressive glacial erratic — an enormous boulder deposited about 13,000 years ago by retreating ice. The 356-acre park has two short wheelchairaccessible trails, dotted with panels explaining the area’s geological and farming history. Take a dip at the nearby public beach located along Willoughby’s western shore.

Moose Mountain Wheeler Mountain Rd., Barton, Beginning at Wheeler Pond, this trail offers multiple options. A half-mile ascent leads hikers to Moose Ledge for a rewarding view of the pond and surrounding area. More ambitious adventurers can continue to the summit, then hook up with Lake Willoughby’s Mount Hor trail system.



Past Perfect

Seven of the region’s best historic sites 1. Vermont Statehouse 115 State St., Montpelier, Open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday — and some nights and Saturdays — Vermont’s golden-domed capitol building is one of the nation’s oldest and most accessible. Visitors can walk right in and wander the halls or take a free, guided tour, available late June through October. Highlights include the elegantly restored House and Senate chambers, as well as the Cedar Creek Room, decorated with an enormous oil painting of the Civil War battle for which it’s named, in which Vermont troops played a decisive role. Chances of spotting actual lawmakers are lower in the summer; the state’s part-time legislature is in session from January to May.


3. Bennington Battle Monument

5. Rokeby Museum

15 Monument Cir., Bennington,

Explore Vermont’s connection to the Underground Railroad at this National Historic Landmark, which is open from mid-May through late October. Four generations of the abolitionist Robinson family lived on this homestead. In the 1830s, they’re believed to have harbored fugitives running from slavery. The site’s Underground Railroad Education Center vividly illustrates life during the antebellum era and hosts events devoted to contemporary civil rights and racial justice issues. The main house, built in the 1780s, is full of period furnishings; the grounds also contain remnants of the Robinson’s Merino sheep farm. Admission, $8-10; free for children under 5.

4334 Route 7, Ferrisburgh,

Built to commemorate the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington, this gray limestone obelisk stands 304 feet, 4.5 inches tall, making it the tallest structure in the state. An elevator ferries visitors to an observation deck near the top with panoramic views of Vermont, Massachusetts and New York — appropriate, given that the fighting actually took place five miles away, near Walloomsac Heights, N.Y. Statues and plaques surrounding the tower memorialize the heroes of this skirmish that helped turn the tide of the war. Admission, $15; free for children under 6.

6. Hubbardton Battlefield


2. Calvin Coolidge Homestead

4. Fort Ticonderoga

102 Fort Ti Rd., Ticonderoga, N.Y.,

3780 Route 100A, Plymouth,

The Vermont homestead where Calvin Coolidge was born — on July 4, 1872 — is also the place where the Republican lawyer was sworn in as the 30th president after the sudden death of his predecessor, Warren G. Harding. Coolidge’s father, a notary public, administered the oath of office there on August 3, 1923. From the end of May through October, visitors can tour Coolidge’s boyhood home, as well as several other buildings in Plymouth Notch that are part of the state-owned site. The village actually served as “the 1 5 Vermont White House” during the summer of 1924, 4 when Coolidge and his entire retinue descended on the town for the month of August. An on-site cheese 2 6 factory still produces artisan cheese, and a restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. Admission; $2-10; free for children under 6. 3


This former military outpost on Lake Champlain’s Ticonderoga Peninsula changed hands several times during the 18th century — most memorably when Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured it on May 10, 1775, giving the Americans their first victory in the Revolutionary War. Admission is pricey ($24 for per adult; $10 for children ages 5 to 12), but the tickets are good for two days: plenty of time to explore the King’s Garden and climb Mount Defiance. The view from the top of the fort — and the narrow channel it defended — illustrates the 7 spot’s strategic value.

5696 Monument Hill Rd., Hubbardton, Colonists clashed with redcoats on this remote battlefield in July of 1777 in the only Revolutionary War engagement that took place entirely in Vermont. The Americans lost, but they put up a good fight. Visitors can wander the meadows where the fighting took place and read up on the history of the conflict and the period in the on-site museum, open from late May through midOctober. Reenactors portray British and American soldiers during a living history weekend on July 7 and 8. Admission, $3; free for children under 15.

7. Justin Morrill Homestead 215 Justin Morrill Highway, Strafford, Strafford native Justin Morrill never attended college; he dropped out of school at age 15 to work full time as a shopkeeper. But during his 12-year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, he made higher education accessible for countless other Americans by championing the Land Grant Colleges Act, passed in 1862, which established publicly funded institutions of higher learning in every state. Learn more about this remarkable Renaissance man, who also served in the U.S. Senate, by touring his Gothic revival home and farm, open from late May to mid-October. Admission, $6.

Local libraries lend out complimentary passes to many of these sites.



Take the Challenge! O


Looking for a fun and educational GOOD summer project for your kids? ITIZEN

Help them complete the Kids VT’s Good Citizen Challenge. Participants earn points for completing civics-themed activities. Designed for kids ages 9 to 14, the Challenge is open to all Vermont K-12 students.


Kids who earn at least 251 points — the number of towns in Vermont — will win a Good Citizen medal and T-shirt, as well as prizes from local businesses, and will be invited to meet state officials at the Statehouse in Montpelier. CHALLENGE



Visiting any of the historic sites on page 32. Attending a city council meeting. Talking with a veteran about his or her military service. Naming the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Writing a poem about America. Drawing a cartoon that explains how the three branches of government work.

For more details or to download a scoresheet, visit, or find one in the June, July, August or September issues of Kids VT. Deadline to submit your scoresheet: October 9, 2018.

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Maple Maze

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Vermont Daytripper 2018  

Family Summer Fun Guide: 5 Areas to Explore! Plus: Ice Cream Shops, Fab Festivals, Swimming Spots, Outdoor Art

Vermont Daytripper 2018  

Family Summer Fun Guide: 5 Areas to Explore! Plus: Ice Cream Shops, Fab Festivals, Swimming Spots, Outdoor Art