By Caitlin Daulong
We get this question a lot. It came up again this week and so we decided a blog post was in order! Let’s face it: you likely didn’t come to the Burke area to spend your time inside. It can be a real bummer when your best laid plans become obsolete due to the weather, but we have some great indoor alternatives for you below.
Science, Natural History & Art – all in St. Johnsbury!
St. J is a quick 10-15 minute drive from the Burke area, which makes this the perfect option if rain is in the forecast for just a portion of the day. Start out at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, housed in an architecturally impressive Victorian stunner, which is a small but notable experience for children of all ages. The museum houses natural science specimens, historical artifacts, and ethnological items representing Oceania, the Near East, Africa, Egypt, Japan and native North America. The museum also offers scavenger hunts designed for children of all different ages, which is a great way to let your kids explore the museum independently.
The museum also is the home of the Lymann Spitzer Jr Planetarium, which is Vermont’s only public planetarium! They offer shows throughout the day, making this a perfect rainy day activity!
Once you’ve had your fix of the Museum and Planetarium, head just up the road and across the street to the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The building and architecture inside alone are impressive, but the real gem is the gallery at the back of the building. While this is best for older kids, a brief trip even with younger children could be worthwhile. The collection of art in the gallery is beautiful and stately, and much of the artwork is original. They also offer self guided tours.
Take a trip up North!
The beauty of Quebec is how otherworldly it feels just by crossing over the border. If you were able to plan ahead and bring your passports, a day in the Magog area of Quebec (just over the border) is full of awesome experiences for you and your family.
While Magog is roughly an hour drive from Burke, it is definitely worth it if you need to get away for a full day.
First up is the Abbaye-de-Saint-Benoit-du-Lac, an imposing Benedictine abbey nestled against Lake Memphremagog. The interiors and grounds of the church are beautiful, but what is truly impressive are the hand made cheeses, ciders and fruit compotes that are made and sold by the monks living in the community. Well worth a trip!
If you have younger kids who need to get out some energy, head to Tikito, which is an indoor amusement center for younger children. It’s open daily (except for Tuesday), and offers a great alternative for rainy days.
Go full ivy league in Hanover
Hanover, home to Dartmouth College, is another great day trip destination for a rainy day! What makes Hanover such a no-brainer is just how easy it is to make a day out of it. There are various parking lots throughout the main stretch of the city center, making parking a breeze. From there, you have a plethora of restaurants (we love TukTuk Thai and gelato from Morano is not to be missed!) and shops within walking distance and the Hood Museum of Art just a hop, skip and a jump away. Hood frequently offers family days on weekends, with a variety of hands-on activities and classes, so make sure to check out the schedule to see if you’re in luck!
A quick, less than 10 minute drive is the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich. Depending on the age of your kids, you can easily spend several hours at Montshire. There are frequently new exhibits available, so be sure to check out their website prior to visiting!
Did we miss anything? We would love to hear your favorite rainy day activities with kids in the area! Happy exploring!