Ideas for winter indoor activities in Vermont to keep the kids occupied in cold weather


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Trying to decide what to do with the crazy Vermont kids in the winter?

Maybe they come home from school on vacation, or you are tired of carrying all the gear around the slopes every weekend and want some winter fun on the go.

There are a variety of places and attractions that will let your child’s creativity, imagination and energy soar, far from the confines of their usual space.

Here are a few places across Vermont to go to engage mind, body, have fun, or socialize while working together.

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Indoor spots to get the wiggles out

For places to be active indoors or work on those gross motor skills, here is a list of places to check out.

Get Air Trampoline Park gives kids the chance to bounce back at their leisure with a one, two or three hour jump pass. In addition to the wall-to-wall floor trampolines, there is a dodge ball and trampoline basketball area, a jump pit and an obstacle course. Make sure to send the child with grippy socks, otherwise they can be purchased locally.

Get Air is at 25 Omega Dr., Williston. More information and tickets on getairsports.com/williston/

Justin Jackson, 10, from Ripton practices climbing with harnesses at Petra Cliffs in Burlington during a school trip on Monday October 18, 2010.

Climbing can be a fun way for your child to climb something other than furniture. There are a few climbing halls in the area that cater to both beginners in the sport and experienced mountaineers – Petra cliffs in Burlington and Subway rock in Essex.

Petra Cliffs is located at 105 Briggs St., Burlington. More information at petracliffs.com.

Metro Rock is located at 329 Sunderland Way, Essex. More information at vt.metrorock.com.

Monkey Do indoor play areacaters for toddlers up to the age of 10 with a variety of play structures including slides, soft obstacles and inflatable bounce areas. Grippy socks are a must have for kids and can be purchased for $ 4.

Monkey Do is located at 64 Harvest Ln., Williston. More information at monkeydoplaygrounds.com/.

Attractions to awaken the mind

ECHO, Leahy Center of Lake Champlain will help the whole family explore the science of Lake Champlain. The interactive, multi-level museum features exhibits, native animal habitats, a 3D theater featuring science and nature films, and daily programs. Annual subscriptions or day tickets can be purchased.

ECHO is located on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington at 1 College Street. More information on echovermont.org.

The Montshire Museum of Science will host Astronomy Day from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 28.  Pictured is a natural science exhibit at the museum.

Fairbanks Museum and PlanetariumThe circa 1889 Victorian building offers an eclectic mix of artifacts and natural science specimens to view as well as a public planetarium, exhibits and daily programs.

Fairbanks is located at 1302 Main Street in St. Johnsbury. For more information visit fairbanksmuseum.org.

Montshire Science Museum is another place to go for hands-on learning. The museum offers 150 exhibits on nature, technology, astronomy and the physical sciences. Memberships or day tickets are available.

The Montshire is located at 1 Montshire Road. in Norwich. More information at montshire.org.

To entertain

Free time entertainment offers much more than a 36-lane bowling alley. There are also over 50 arcade games, some of which offer tickets that can be redeemed for prizes. And, there’s a high-tech laser tag arena that can be booked for 15-minute interval games.

Free time is located at 215 Lower Mountain View Drive, Colchester. More information at sparetimeentertainment.com/colchester.

Movies are always a good cold weather activity to keep families entertained while keeping warm. Here are some theaters in the area and how to check out what’s going on.

Benjamin Chase, 7, from left, his father Evan Wissel and Devon DeMarse, Wissel's nephew, all from St Albans, pose with their costumes before the local premiere of

Essex Cinemas has six screens, including the T-Rex Theater, Vermont’s only large-format screen that is curved and measures three floors. It is located at 21 Essex Way # 300 in Essex. Tickets and info on essexcinemas.com.

majestic 10 has ten theaters with stadium seating. It is located in the Maple Tree Place Mall at 190 Boxwood St., Williston. Timetables, tickets and more information on majestic10.com.

Group fun that encourages cooperation

Escape Rooms give tweens and teens the chance to test their deductive skills and work together to solve clues to escape a themed storyline. Here are some places to challenge their intelligence and cooperation.

Escape room 60 in Williston, is located at 188 Boxwood Street, Maple Tree Place, next to the Majestic 10 cinema. More info and reservations at escaperoom60.com.

Players solve a crucial clue while attempting to solve their escape puzzles at Esc4pe located at 156 College Street in downtown Burlington.

The Great Burlington Escape Room is at 156, rue College More info and reservations at thegreatescaperoom.com/burlington.

Many of these places have specific COVID-19 precautions and restrictions in place. Be sure to check online or call ahead to be prepared and to find out if advance reservations are required to attend.

See also:New to Vermont winters? Here’s how to keep smiling until mud season (even if you don’t ski)

Contact reporter April Barton at abarton@freepressmedia.com or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.

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