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Sugarbush in summer: A perfect family retreat

June 4, 2013

Lareau Swimming Hole Mad River Valley Vermont

Gorgeous mountains? Check. Great local food? Check. Slopeside condominiums? Check. Sugarbush Resort has all of these things, making it perfect for a family ski vacation. But in the summer months those mountains turn from white to glorious verdant green, the Mad River thaws from an icy stream to the perfect place for a dip, and the farmers’ market and ice cream stands open up. Sugarbush makes a dream destination for a relaxing family summer vacation. So just what is there to do with kids at Sugarbush in the summer?


Disc Golf

Play disc golf. You may not be able to ski down the mountain in July, but you can still explore some of the Sugarbush trails, disc in hand, on one of two courses. Or, if that’s not your thing, try the zipline, trampoline, bike terrain park, or just take a relaxing lift ride to enjoy the views at the top. Sugarbush also offers week-long day camps for kids.


Go for a hike or a walk. Got little kids? The Common Road in Waitsfield is the perfect place for a stroll. Not only are spectacular mountain views, but if you start on the north end you’ll quickly pass a farm with sheep, chickens, and cows. If your kids are up for a more strenuous mountain hike, try driving to the top of the Lincoln Gap in Warren and climbing up to Sunset Rock – it’s just steep and long enough for kids to feel like they’ve accomplished something and on clear days you can see all the way to the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain in the distance.


Eat a maple creemee. The soft serve in Vermont comes in more flavors than just chocolate and vanilla. Everyone has their own personal favorite creemee stand; in Waitsfield, check out Maynard’s Snack Bar on Route 100B. Not only are the maple creemees to die for, you can get a delicious burger or lobster roll. Another treat that’s available in season is a fresh raspberry sundae.

Take a dip in the river. Snaking through the valley with its crazy twists and turns that earned its name, the Mad River offers numerous places for a refreshing swim on a hot day. A popular spot for families is Lareau’s swimming hole on Route 100 South. There’s a small beach as well as a huge glacial rock that makes a great spot to lie in the sun or jump off.


Meet a farmer. The Waitsfield Farmer’s Market is one of the biggest in the state. Check out produce, flowers, meat, cheese, breads and honey from a number of local producers. There’s always live music and plenty of samples. The market takes place every Saturday morning from mid-May to mid-October


Get artistic. Every summer, the Vermont Festival of the Arts offers numerous opportunities for both looking at and creating art. This year the entire month of August will be dedicated to exhibits, demonstrations, concerts, performances, and even cooking demonstrations and a food festival. Past activities for children have included a fairy house workshop where kids use found materials to make homes for magical visitors.

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