19 Things to Do in Vermont in Winter: Hot Cocoa, Ice Skating, Skiing & So Much More

Ice skating rink at the Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe Vermont

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There are so many fun things to do in Vermont in the winter — it can truly be a snowglobe-style wonderland! But don’t fret if you don’t love the snow, Vermonters know how to get cozy indoors, too.

This guide covers all the best seasonal activities starting in Burlington and heading out from that main hub.

Get more specific suggestions for things to do in Burlington, Stowe, or Killington in winter.

Visiting other spots during your trip?

Check out our guides to Maine or New Hampshire in the winter to add extra seasonal fun to your itinerary.

Fun Things to Do in the Winter in VT

We organized these VT winter activities and attractions starting in Burlington and working your way out from there.

Burlington is one of our favorite spots in the state!

Wherever you end up, you’ll love the cozy vibes and snowy scenery.

If you visit late in the season, you might end up in Vermont’s mud season, so be sure to be prepared.

Have the Best Hot Chocolate in Burlington, Vermont

While there is so much festive shopping to be done on Church Street in Burlington, there is nothing quite like ordering a hot chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolates (65 Church St).

Choose from creative delights like Aztec Hot Chocolate and Old World Drinking Chocolate, and don’t miss out on the handmade marshmallow cube on top!

Stepping out onto the snowy streets with an indulgent and warm hot chocolate is the perfect idea for winter in Vermont.

For tons more suggestions, you’ll love our guide to winter in Burlington!

Unitarian Church at Burlington in Vermont with bunting

Eat Warm, Vegan Food in Winooski

Winooski is known for its amazing views of the Winooski River, and Pingala Cafe (One Mill St) sits just above the frozen water.

Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, Pingala has something amazing on the menu for you to try.

Once you’re full of warm and cozy vegan food, explore the river and unique structures along the water’s edge.

Take a Long Nature Walk in Shelburne, Vermont

More than 10 miles of long, snowy trails are waiting for you at Shelburne Farms (1611 Harbor Rd) in Shelburne, VT this winter.

You can walk, snowshoe, or cross-country ski on these winding trails, all while admiring the views of the incredible Green Mountains.

Be sure to check the website before visiting; they’re not always open, especially when conditions are too snowy.

Visit the Colchester Winter Carnival

Every year in February, the small Vermont town of Colchester hosts a beautiful Winter Carnival (Bayside Park) to celebrate the joys of the season.

From food trucks and concessions as far as the eye can see to rides for kids to snowshoe races, this carnival is packed with fun for the whole family.

This tradition is a favorite among locals and travelers alike, and is one of the many excellent reasons to visit Vermont in winter.

Go Outdoor Ice Skating in Barre, Vermont

You may be able to go indoor ice skating any time of the year, but in Barre, VT, the outdoor skating rink (48 Treatment Plant Dr) is an iconic Vermont thing to do in the winter.

Harkening back to old-school seasonal fun, this frozen pond doesn’t have all the bells and whistles most outdoor rinks have these days.

Instead, it’s all about getting onto the ice in the fresh winter air — that’s it.

This local spot is ideal for a date activity or fun for the whole family.

Just bring some skates and get to playing!

The outdoor skating ring is truly a hidden gem in Barre.

Close up of someone in ice skates on an outdoor skating rink

Visit the Spice on Snow Festival in Montpelier

Every winter in the state capital, the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture (46 Barre St #5) hosts the Spice on Snow Festival.

Celebrating roots and contemporary folk music citywide, this festival is a mix of free and ticketed events.

Local, national, and international musicians gather to play music, dance, and connect with fans of folk music in Montpelier.

If you’re taking a vacation in Vermont in winter — or if you’re local! — this festival should be a must-visit stop.

Ski and Snowboard in Stowe, VT

Some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the northeast can be found at Stowe Mountain Resort (5781 Mountain Rd).

The resort encompasses Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak; so you’ll get to ski one of the tallest mountains in New England!

Be sure to check the website before you go for tickets, snow reports, lift statuses, and much more.

Stowe Mountain is one of our favorite places in all of New England for skiing.

Red ski lift at Stowe mountain ski resort gondola, Vermont

Ice Skating and Shopping at Spruce Peak

Still in Stowe, you have to head to Spruce Peak to enjoy the outdoor skating rink and plentiful shopping opportunities.

Rent some skates and enjoy the fresh air and then grab a hot drink to warm up afterward.

This is a great family-friendly destination, too!

Note from Amanda: My sister takes her family here each winter — my niece first learned how to ice skate right on this rink!

Ice skating rink at the Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe Vermont

Visit a Distillery in Jeffersonville, Vermont

For those extra cold days, a flight of spirits from Smugglers Notch Distillery (5087 Vermont Rte 15) is sure to warm you up.

From flights to full pours, specialty cocktail samples, and more, the distillery in Jeffersonville can brighten up the snowy season.

They’ve also got treats like bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup and tons of fun gear to enjoy!

Check Out a Waterfall in Middlebury, Vermont

The historic and beautiful town of Middlebury is one of the best places to visit in Vermont in winter.

While the downtown area is amazing for shopping, eating, and more, a wonderful outdoor adventure is to visit Middlebury Falls.

Part of the Riverfront Park, the falls are gorgeous and look even better in the winter.

Bring a warm cup of coffee and tea and enjoy the amazing views.

Enjoy the Mad River Valley in Waitsfield, Vermont

Imagine this perfect winter day in Vermont…

First, you ski the Mad River Glen Co-Op (57 Schuss Pass Rd), which is one of the most unique and sustainable ski mountains in New England.

Then, you stop by The Mad Taco (5101 Main St) for incredibly fresh tacos and a cold beer once you’ve skied yourself halfway to exhaustion.

Waitsfield is the classic Vermont winter ski town; you’ll love it as soon as you visit and you won’t want to leave!

Explore Art Galleries in Warren, Vermont

Warren’s rich supply of art shops and galleries is the perfect Vermont winter activity.

In no particular order, a few of the best studios and galleries in and around Warren are:

A mix of fine art, studio classes, and more are awaiting you in Warren, making this one of the best places to go in Vermont in the winter!

Go Christmas Shopping in Woodstock, Vermont

Trust us: save your Christmas shopping for your winter trip to Woodstock, Vermont.

There are so many wonderful shops in Woodstock, from iconic Vermont gifts to boutiques with everything you need for everyone on your list.

Woodstock’s quaint, historic nature just makes shopping so much fun.

You’ll love strolling through the aisles and finding some of the best hidden gems!

Central Street Woodstock Vermont

Take a Scenic Gondola Ride in Killington, VT

If you’re visiting Killington for your Vermont winter adventure, be sure to spend at least one day at Killington Ski Resort (3861 Killington Rd).

While you’re there, besides enjoying all the skiing and snowboarding the resort has to offer, you should definitely take a scenic gondola ride to the peak.

Breathtaking mountain views and incredibly cool and fresh air are waiting for you on your scenic ride.

A tasty lunch from the Peak Lodge at 4,200 feet elevation wouldn’t hurt, either!

Welcome to Killington sign Vermont

Try Experimental Winter Cocktails in Ludlow, VT

In Ludlow, you can’t skip a day on the slopes at Okemo Mountain Resort…

But once you’ve had all the skiing and snowboarding fun you can handle, you’ve got to sit down for a drink at Main + Mountain Cocktail Bar (112 Main St).

Strong cocktails like the Good Ol’ Boy, featuring house brown buttered bourbon, are an iconic staple of this amazing bar.

Outdoor patio seating with fire pits, fire tables, and electric heaters make this one of the coziest Vermont winter activities.

Skiiers on a snowy day at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow Vermont

Cross Country Ski in Londonderry, VT

For some of the best cross-country skiing in the state, be sure to visit the Viking Nordic Center (615 Little Pond Rd).

With almost 13 miles of ski trails and 2 miles dedicated to snowshoeing, you’ll never run out of adventures at the Nordic Center.

Slide through old-growth forests, along the river, and through gorgeous farmland on these amazing ski trails.

Visiting the Viking Nordic Center is truly one of the best Vermont winter getaways and it has to go onto your VT bucket list!

Check out a Covered Bridge in Grafton, VT

While a winter road trip to see all the covered bridges in the state is a lovely idea, you might not have time to cover them all at once.

To tick one off your list, head to Grafton to seek out the traditional Kidder Hill Bridge.

Located on Bear Hill Road, take a right off of Route 121 onto Bear Hill for 0.2 miles.

The bridge is on the southern edge of Grafton; you’ll be able to pull over and walk around to explore even more.

The bridge was built in 1870 and is a beautiful marker of history.

Visit the Winter Farmers’ Market in Putney, VT

If you are the type of person who longs for the summers when farmers’ markets are in full swing, visit Putney, VT this winter!

The Putney Winter Farmers Market (130 West Hill Rd) takes place indoors and is filled with just as much abundance as the summer markets.

In November and December, you can weave through the market for tasty samples, winter crops, and other specialty items.

The farmers market is a perfect stop on your VT vacation.

Stop by the Brattleboro Winter Carnival

For one week in February, the Brattleboro Winter Carnival celebrates family fun, gratitude, and community.

Scavenger hunts, snow sculpture contests, glow discos, ski races, and so much more take place during this weeklong winter festival.

The Brattleboro Winter Carnival is a longstanding tradition and has been going on for almost seven decades.

This is one of the most fun Vermont attractions in winter, so be sure to visit in February!

For more things to do, check out our Vermont bucket list.

Snow in Vermont in December

According to Weather.gov, the average monthly snowfall in Vermont in December is more than 15 inches.

On average, about 17 days in December will be snow-filled.

You can expect that — more likely than not — a bit of snow will be falling during your VT winter vacation!

Final Words

Are you ready for all these fun and festive things to do in Vermont this winter? We hope so!

Share your favorite seasonal activities and events in the comments below.

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