Vermont Culture/events

Festival Season

Summer in Vermont is bursting with festivals and fairs for anyone and everyone. We like to have a good time, and you can see that with how many events we have going on in June alone! From family friendly Renaissance fairs to more music festivals than you can count, we've got something for everyone. Check out the lineup: 

June 10th - (Warren) Sugarbush Brew-Grass Festival - Dozens of brewers, three bands, and a variety of food vendors make up the Brew-Grass Festival in the Lincoln Peak Courtyard.

June 23rd - 25th (Essex Junction) - Vermont Quilt Festival - The oldest and largest quilt festival in New England is back for another year! Contests, classes, presentations, exhibits, and much more make this a great way to immerse yourself in the quilting community.

June 23rd - 25th (Stowe) Stowe B3 Festival (Bikes, Brews, & Beats) - Kicking off on a Friday with a block party for the whole family. The rest of the weekend hosts multiple group rides and other events for mountain bike enthusiasts.

June 24th - (Waterbury) Grooves and Brews Festival - Following the Waterbury Parade and ending with the firework display, this festival brings you three kicking bands, tons of delicious food options, the best of von Trapp Brewery, and much more!

June 24th - (Stowe) - 25th Vermont Renaissance Faire - Travel back in time as you enjoy all the best of a festival with a Renaissance twist. Attendees are encouraged to come in garb, so it makes for some pretty memorable photos!

June 29th - July 1st (Warren) Frendly Gathering Music Festival - (There is no "I" in frends) With over twenty bands playing throughout the festival grounds this event is all about the fun. Enjoy camping, yoga, art, local food, dance workshops, and much more!

 

 

 

Pond Skimming Season

It's just about April which means pond skimming is just around the corner! For anyone who is at a loss for what this event could possibly be, it's just as it sounds. Contestants race down a small hill and try and see how far they can make it across a 'pond' with their skis or boards as they skim across the water. Awards are typically given out for best splash, longest skim, style, best costume, etc. It's a great pastime that draws hundreds to the mountains for a fun-filled day. 

Bolton, for example, designates a theme for each years' pond skimming event. This year is 1966 to celebrate their 50th year. Visit each mountain's page below for more details on their event.

April 1st - Stowe Mountain Resort

April 1st - Bolton Valley

April 8th - Sugarbush Resort

 

 

It's Snow Time!

We're smack dab in the middle of ski season and there are so many fun races, parties, and events at all the local mountains. Check out everything from a Retro 80's weekend in Stowe to an Island Weekend bash at Sugarbush Resort. Whether you ski, board, or fat bike, there is a race here for you. Check out the links below for detailed information on these events and registration for races. These are only a few of the many events in the area so make sure you check out each resort's calendar of events.

February 26th: Stowe Derby at Stowe Mountain Resort

March 4th: Castlerock Extreme at Sugarbush Resort

March 5th: High Fives Fat Ski-A-Thon at Sugarbush

March 8th: Bolton Valley Rail Jam

March 10th - 12th: Retro 80's Weekend at Stowe Mountain Resort

March 18th: Ski and Ride New England Party at Bolton Valley

March 19th: Sugarbush Mountaineering Race

March 25th: Island Weekend at Sugarbush 

Menagerie Makes Purple Rain

North Country Animal League is putting on an evening of fun and fundraising! Participate in the auction and raffle for a chance to go home with some sweet prizes. The theme is Purple Rain so come dressed in the 1984 movie attire, anything purple, or simply bad weather gear. Admission is $90 per person and tickets can be purchased here or by calling Tracy at (802) 888-5065 x 106. Expect delicious food, cocktails and a night of dancing! 

North Country Animal League is a limited-access facility which means they do not euthanize to make room for more animals. Every animal is spayed or neutered, treated for fleas, dewormed, and microchipped before they are adopted. This event is a great way to have fun and raise awareness and funds for a good cause. 

 

Come to Menagerie Makes Purple Rain on Saturday, February 4th from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm at the Stoweflake Resort and Spa!

Area Winter Festivals To Know About

                               

Hopefully, if you're living in Vermont, you actually like the snow, cold temperatures, and all the wonderful activities that come with this type of climate... or at least you don't dislike them. But whether you're a seasoned winter enthusiast, or are just starting to work on your 'icy-parking-lot-walking' form, there are a few winter celebrations in the area you won't want to miss.

Stowe Winter Carnival - January 14 - January 28

In its 43rd year, this Stowe carnival is 15 days long and full of tournaments, ice carving, skating, dance parties, movie nights, karaoke nights, brews, and a fishing derby. 

Shelburne Winterfest - Saturday, January 21

This indoor/outdoor winterfest at Shelburne Farms includes family friendly activities including sledding, horse-drawn rides, crafts, music, and a rock climbing wall by Northern Lights Rock and Ice.

Waterbury Winter Fest - January 17 - February 5

New England Landmark is a Proud Sponsor of Waterbury Winterfest!

10 days of awesome winter activities in and around Downtown Waterbury, and Waterbury Center. Partake in anything from guided hikes and classes to the Winterfest Snowball, craft beer tastings, and the highly competitive annual broomball tournament! (Some preregistration needed, so check out the schedule in advance.)

Montpelier's Ice on Fire Winter Festival - Sunday, January 29

A celebration of community along with the season, this festival features storytellers, theatre acts, music, facepainting, crafts and winter games, hot cider, chili, and warming hut to help keep warm.

Brrrlington Winter Bash - Saturday, February 25

A kid-centered celebration of snow-fun a the Miller Recreation Center in Burlington. Free snowshoeing, xc skiing, face painting, crafts, and youth yoga classes by Spark Youth Yoga. 

 

9 Tips for Creating a Family Friendly Home

Vermont is a great place to raise a family with most towns having tight-knit, supportive communities. Most areas offer lots of activities for creative fun for all ages. Check out the local schools and businesses in your area to see what they offer. The rural lifestyle of Vermont is great for instilling an appreciation for nature and a lifelong love of the outdoors. A lot of new homeowners are, or were, in the market because they want to start a family. Having a safe but stylish home doesn't have to be such a crazy transition. This is an article by Jaymi Naciri from Realty Times, entitled "9 Tips for Creating a Family Friendly Home that Marry Form and Function." Here are some ideas to get you started down this new path and ease some worries you may have. 

Having a kid and trying to make sure you don't lose your sense of style as the home gets overrun by bouncy chairs and toys? Maybe you've been in kidland for several years and are looking to reclaim some of your style. It can be challenging.

"As tricky as it may be to live comfortably in a small one-bedroom or studio, decorating a big family home has its hurdles, too," said MY DOMAINE. "There are so many questions to ask: What fabrics are kid- and pet-friendly? Which coffee tables won't take my toddler's eye out? How can I give myself a little privacy? Once you figure out what works best for your brood, the next big thing to consider is how to do it all in style."

Here are some tips to help you navigate the space between form and function.

Fight against dirty walls

"There's no getting around it: Walls take a beating with young ones around," said HGTV. "Cleats are casually tossed against white baseboards. Bedroom doors become backboards for basketball practice. A fresh expanse of drywall morphs into a blank canvas for that new set of crayons. Sticky fingers trail along hallway walls."

But that doesn't mean you can't have beautiful color. Just make sure you choose paint that is washable and wipeable. Some family-friendly favorites can be found here.

Watch those corners

Sharp corners are the bane of a new parent's existence. You can mitigate them by using pool noodles or edge guards, but they're not so stylish. A round coffee table instead of one that's squared off can be a great addition to your living room, both from a functional and style perspective.

Bring in a little fun

Adding in fun touches keeps your home lively. This chalkboard barn door does the trick, and it comes in a variety of different finishes and textures to match your unique style.

You can have the white couch

We always chuckle when we see home design shows that give a growing family a big white couch. That's not happening in our house, where materials are chosen expressly for their ability to resist spills and dog hair, and colors chosen to best disguise dirty fingers and puppy stains. But, white can be done. You just need some washable slipcovers, a little diligence, and a good washing machine.

You don't need a glider chair

It's one of the first things new parents-to-be think about when preparing for their first child. And a glider chair is a great place to hold, rock, and nurse a baby. But, unless you're planning on having several children in a row or see the chair melding into your décor beyond the baby stage (especially if you're intending to put it in the middle of your living room), you might be able to do without - especially if you're on a budget.

There's a lot of back and forth about how much of a necessity (or not) a glider is, but if you're on the fence, don't want to spend the money, or would rather focus on something that better matches your style and long-term décor needs, you're justified.

You don't need duckies and bunnies or baseballs and mitts in the baby's room

Nor do you need a gender-specific color. Check out the chic HGTV star Jillian Harris created for new baby, Leo.

Don't go with a cheap rug

You might be worried about wear and tear and stains with kids, but a quality rug may be a better option than something cheap. "Invest in a wool rug," said The Chriselle Factor. "Wool rugs generally come at a higher price point, but for the family-friendly home, they're worth every penny. They're soft underfoot, help break the tumbles and falls of the newly-walking, and they're much more durable against foot traffic - so more often than not, you'll be saving in the long run."

Get creative with storage

Whether your kids are brand-new or heading into their teens, you always need more places to put stuff, and you want them to be as nice to look at as they are useful. If you're in the market for a new kitchen table, consider a banquet with a lift-top bench or slide-out drawers. They make great places to store kitchen or dining items, bibs and towels, and kids' art supplies.

Coffee tables with drawers or ottomans you can slide under desks or taller tables are key for families and also make great options for extra seating in a pinch. But when it comes to toy storage, they can start to overrun your house.

One of the keys to a good design scheme is mixing it up with interesting shapes, colors, and textures, so consider this tip from Huffington Post: "Think outside of the box with your storage! Who says toys need to be stored in ugly plastic bins? There are so many gorgeous baskets (or even an unexpected roomy tote) at a range of price points. Storage that doubles as décor also makes cleanup a cinch."

Keep the big picture in mind

There are several great tips in this chic living room: Ottomans keep it cushy and can be moved out of the way for floor play. Bookcases stuffed with games and toys put everything your little one wats at arm's reach and are easy to put back for a tidy space. The concrete table is "perfect for kids' crafts," said MY DOMAINE. And bright pops of color and a ship chandelier keep it all interesting.

To read the original article click here.

Seasonal Fun

There are a lot of fun things to do leading up to the holidays. Many local towns have ongoing events for whatever your interest. Check out some of these events this month:

Nov 11: Rusty Nail Dance Benefit for Veterans

Nov 12 & 25: Cider Tasting: Champlain Orchards

Nov 12: 40th Annual Milton Pre-Christmas Craft Show

Nov 14: Pint Night at the Reservoir Restaurant and Tap Room

Nov 24: Turkey Skate in Stowe

Nov 25: Homemade Candy Cane Demonstrations

Nov 25 - Dec 17: Waterbury's Wrap It Up & Win

Nov 26: Waterbury Holiday Artisan Boutique & Small Business Saturday

Dec 2: 24th Annual Vermont International Festival

Dec 2 - 4: Mad River Valley Country Holiday Fest

Dec 3: River of Light Lander Parade

There's something for everyone! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season. Click here for more Mad River Valley Events, Waterbury Events, Stowe Events, and Burlington Events.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Halloween is quickly approaching, and there are so many fun activities for kids and adults alike.

Join the fun at the Wicked Waterbury Halloween Ball, a fundraiser for Revitalizing Waterbury! Costumes are a must, cash bar, adults only, dancing, fabulous munchies, special prizes and a silent auction. Auction proceeds will benefit RW and the River of Lights Parade. Learn more and purchase your tickets here

Trick or Treating: Waterbury is a hotbed of activity on Halloween with almost all of downtown participating. Best streets to hit include:

  • Randall Street
  • Stowe Street
  • Main Street
  • Winooski Street
  • Union Street

If you're in the Stowe or Morrisville area, both towns feature a Maple Street that's bustling with activity as well.

Looking for more than free candy this Halloween season?

For those willing to drive a little the biggest corn maze in New England is in Danville, VT, and Stowe features the Percy Farm Corn Maze. There are plenty of haunted houses and forests all around Vermont. Click here to see a list of Vermont Halloween Events. 

Grab a pumpkin from any of the local patches and go to town creating a masterpiece for the big day! There's something for everyone during Halloween in Vermont.

Prepare for a Rural Life: The Things You Don't Expect

This article from the staff at Realty Times highlights some of the benefits of switching to a more rural community. Some of these are completely up to you, like if you want to own a firearm for hunting or target practice. Trust us, there are plenty of other pastimes that don't include a gun. Taking up outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and winter sports are great ways to meet new people with shared interests. Vermont has a variety of options from city-like environments in Burlington to bustling towns like Waterbury and Stowe. While Waterbury and Stowe are more developed they still have plenty of wilderness just waiting to be explored. Moving to Vermont will change your life.

Making the move from city life to country living can be one of the best decisions you ever make. The lifestyle changes can be shocking at first but often have a strong positive impact on your health, family and overall quality of life. Chances are you've already put some serious thought into relocating, but there are many aspects of rural living that aren't as obvious as you think.

To better prepare yourself for a move to the country, take a moment to read over and consider the implications of the following insights. As a person who spent the first 13 years of her life in the heart of a bustling city before moving to the country, I can understand why it may feel like you're moving to an entirely different world. Everything around you will change, from the scenery to your mentality, and it's not a bad idea to prepare yourself and your family for the lifestyle transitions you will undoubtedly face.

The Perks of Mother Nature

Let's start with the obvious fact that the city endlessly burps out clouds of pollution and exhaust while the countryside constantly emits fresh, clean air. The close proximity to mother nature has a very positive effect on your physical and mental health. You don't have to deal with traffic, trash or a 5-mile commute to reach a city park. All you have to do is step outside and you're there.

Your children can play without constant supervision, which will give them a much greater sense of independence. You will have more room to spread out and indulge in new interests and hobbies. Growing your own food is common in rural communities and is a useful tool for adults to overcome a variety of health and social issues. Not only is it relaxing and therapeutic to spend time tending your garden, it's also a great way to cut down on your grocery bill too.

But with all this space and freedom come other factors you may not consider, factors that aren't necessarily drawbacks, but definitely worth noting. If you live in a big enough city, chances are you don't have a car, or if you do, it's economical and small. But out in the country owning a vehicle is a necessity (as is an Amazon Prime account), seeing as you can't walk to the grocery store or take public transportation to school or work. It's necessary to drive and most of the time it will take more than a few minutes to get where you're going. Owning a reliable vehicle, preferably with four-wheel drive, depending on how you intend to use it, is something to look into when preparing to move to the country.

Reshaping Your Hobbies and Social Circles

Now that you're living in a rural community, enjoying your space, freedom and hopefully a shiny new car, you might be surprised to hear gunshots in the distance or even nearby. Don't worry, the chances that the gun shots are crime-related are very slim. Instead, it's likely they're from a neighbor enjoying some target practice in his backyard or a hunter filling his tag for the year. These activities are completely normal and great pastimes to consider when moving to the country. If you're not quite comfortable with the idea of owning a firearm or unsure of how to safely use one, you can always buy an airsoft gun to first learn and potentially invest in a firearm-related hobby.

A major thing that most don't consider when moving to the countryside is the dramatic decrease in social interaction. You may notice a drop in time spent in your social circles when you move because you won't be around all of the time. But in return, you will be rewarded with a greater sense of community and, hopefully, an especially fruitful grapevine. Rural communities tend to be spread out but close knit. If someone doesn't have something you need, chances are they know someone who does. Prepare yourself for these social changes by visiting the community you're interested in and attending local classes or events to meet new people and make new friends.

Investigate the Community

Visiting the community you're interested in is another great way to prepare for your move. If you have children, make sure you do your research on the local school district; compared to city, educational programs can be few and far between. Don't worry, though, your children will benefit in many ways from a move to the country, especially when crime rates are significantly lower in rural areas than in the city.

Another thing you should prepare for is the cell reception or internet speed in your new home. Check out available internet providers so you don't wind up in a tight spot. If you work from home and use the internet a lot, or you're used to streaming Netflix on TVs, an iPad and your son's laptop, you might need to consider the implications of slow internet connection for where you want to live and the costs of improving it.

To read the original article click here.

First-Rate Fall Foliage

If you live in Vermont, one of the best times of the year is fall. The scenery around you changes on a daily basis from deep greens to an assortment of warm colors. Looking out your window to a collage of yellow, red, and orange is enough to make anyone grateful that this is their home. Luckily, we know it and celebrate it through many harvest and foliage festivals throughout the season.

In our area, you'll find the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival taking place from October 7-9. And, while fall is amazing, every season in Vermont is beautiful from snowy peaks to refreshing dips in our lakes. Living here, you get the best of every season. Vermont is an ideal place to raise a family with numerous outdoor activities for everyone year round.