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family building snowman

Burlington VT in the Winter

Try These 6 Magical Things to Do


Come winter, Burlington is a best of both worlds kind of destination. It’s just a stone’s throw from exhilarating winter activities like skiing and snowmobiling. But it has plenty of its own winter charm to boot.

In the winter, Burlington Parks operate outdoor ice rinks and even groom cross-country skiing trails. Ben & Jerry’s still churns ice cream and breweries and distilleries craft seasonal concoctions. Whether you want to embark on an adventure or keep things cozy, winter in Burlington is sure to delight.

Start with these six magical things to do in downtown Burlington and beyond. 

Outdoor Adventures

vermont family ski vacation

• Skiing •

Skiing and snowboarding are among Vermont's most popular winter pasttimes. Hit the slipes at Smuggler's Notch, Bolton Valley, Stowe, Sugarbush, or Mad River, all of which are within 45 miles of The Essex. Our concierges are at te ready to make recommendations based on your desired location, timing, and skill level. 

girl ice skating outdoors


In winter, Burlington’s parks become winter wonderlands. Once the temps stay cool enough, several parks actually operate their own outdoor rinks. Some of these rinks even loan out free skates or string twinkly nights for a twilight adventure. If you prefer skating indoors, you can also head to Leddy Arena

couple hugging in the snow


Sledding is a quintessential winter pastime anywhere it snows. But it’s extra special in Burlington. You’ll find ideal sledding hills everywhere from country clubs to community parks. Burlington Country Club opens up their grounds for winter recreation, so you can catch speed down the sledding hill or even cross country ski. 

family in sleigh


Burlington’s scenic landscape is all the more enchanting when seen by sleigh. Hop aboard a  Gentle Giants Sleigh Ride as you tour the Burlington countryside. Weather permitting, Gentle Giants offers rides every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., departing every 30 minutes. The cost is $40 per adult, $20 for children 4-14, and kids under 4 ride free. 

winter road in vermont

How Do You Vermont? 

Vermont is the ideal destination for countless adventures. Even (and especially) the adventures you have yet to discover. Whether you picture yourself plowing through powder on a snow mobile, cozying up in an art gallery, or just remaining open to the possibilities, you'll find something to love in Burlington.

What's your travel type? 

  1. Find My Vermont Style

Inside Activities

couple drinking beer

· Craft Beer Crawl ·

Warm up after a morning in the cold with a beer from Burlington’s booming craft beer scene. Here, you can sip on staples like IPAs and stouts, though many area breweries also craft seasonal specials with extra spice. Try Black Flannel Brewing Co. or 1st Republic, both located near The Essex. Sip your brew of choice in their tap rooms or enjoy a to-go growler in the comfort of your own room. 

rows of maple leaf shaped maple syrup bottles

· Visit Sugartree Maple Farm ·

In late winter, sap starts flowing and farms get to work turning it into sugary sweet maple syrup. Visit nearby Sugartree Maple Farm to see how they go from tree sap to a beloved breakfast syrup. At Sugartree, they even hang metal buckets on the trees for old times sake even though their operation is modernized.

chocolate turtles at a chocolate shop

· Savor Lake Champlain Chocolates ·

Ever wonder how chocolate is made? Lake Champlain Chocolates is demistifying the chocolate-making process at their lakeside factory. Savor melt-in-your-mouth gourmet chocolates, but only after you've checked out the chocolate sculptures and chocolate-making equipment.

winter hot tub in the snow

Relax & Renew

Feed your spirit at The Essex. Whether you spend your days ice skating or craft beer tasting, you'll find a refreshing place to lay your head at The Essex. Relax and renew in our resort's recently-rennovated accommodations and unique focus on cuisine culture

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