Last week, I posted about day one of our two day trip to Vermont. If you are looking for kid-friendly, affordable locations, these are the post you want to read! And the plus side is that everything was indoors, so they are great choices if the weather decides not to cooperate.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like to have three pack and plays in a hotel room, here’s a glimpse! The boys woke up at 5:30 and we kept them mostly quiet for an hour until Elizabeth popped up from her own pack and play and immediately asked to go swimming. Who can say “no” to that sweet face while on vacation? We swam while Don got the boys ready and things packed up and then we ventured out for the day.
Our first stop was IHOP (ok, so basically my Whole30 re-introduction was a huge failure) for a lot of coffee and breakfast for everyone. Then we hopped over to Target located in the Burlington Mall because we had an hour to spare AND I realized I hadn’t packed enough formula to keep our hungry boys happy. Adding to my love for Vermont, the Target had this awesome mural painted by the cash registers.
With full bellies all around, we made our way to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne, which was about a 15 minute drive from the hotel. We got there about ten minutes before they opened at 10am (they were on winter hours, so check their website for operating hours and tour times) , but there was plenty to do outside to keep us entertained! There are a lot of photo ops, and a big grassy space for kids to run around while they wait. Once inside, we bought our tickets for the tour and looked around the store part of the factory. Tickets are reasonably priced: $4 for adults, kids 12 and under free, and active duty military are free as well.
While we waited for our tour, Elizabeth picked out a bear to make her own. They put a heart in the bear and then she got to “help” stuff her bear and cut the thread once it had been sewn up. She got so excited being able to participate in the creation of her bear.
The tour was about 30 minutes and was very stroller friendly. Our guide gave the history of the company, introduced the bears, explained what makes these teddy bears unique, and then showed us the factory floor and each step of the bear-making process as well as the bear hospital where people can send their hurt bears. The path of the tour is easy to follow as it is one platform that is stroller/wheelchair accessible. The guide stands on the factory floor and we were separated from her by a simple rail. The kids loved being so close to the everything, and there weren’t any bad spots. If you wanted to linger behind the group, it was easy to do so because she didn’t move too far ahead for the next talking-point. I highly suggest this tour! It was affordable, enjoyable, informative, and of course BEAR-Y FUN!! (I couldn’t resist)
Our second stop for the day was the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, VT. Tours leave at least every 30 minutes (but the day we went, they were leaving every 20) and tickets are $4 for adults, free for kids 12 and under, and $2 discount for active duty military. Again, a very affordable tour! We headed upstairs for a 7-minute video about the history of Ben and Jerry’s, and then our guide led us to a glassed room that looked down onto the production floor. The production room has numbers listed for each step, so we were able to follow along as she talked. Once the tour was over, we headed down to the tasting room where we were able to sample a very generous scoop of “Gimme S’more” (RIP Whole 30)
The tour was short and sweet (literally and figuratively), and then we headed back down to the car. The walkway between the factory and the parking lot has some fun picture opportunities and places to stop and learn more about Ben and Jerrys, so we meandered back down to the car and loaded up for our car ride home.
All three kids passed out for a good portion of the trip back to MA, and Don and I could not stop talking about what a great trip it had been. We packed so many adventures and memories into less than 48 hours and it was a huge victory that we had zero meltdowns or tifts (which can happen when you have three babes under three). Honestly, the only thing that would have made this trip better would have been going a week or two earlier when the trees had even more leaves and it was a titch warmer. But who can really complain about those minor details? Don study schedule is aggressive, and we don’t have as much time together as I had originally hoped, but little trips like this, and the accessibility we have to such amazing locations and experiences, makes the time away from him so worth it!
Pin this post for later, because Vermont is definitely not a place you’ll want to miss visiting!
Have you traveled to Vermont? What places did we miss? Where should we go next in New England?