Stowe and the surrounding Vermont towns is a great summer vacation destination for families. There are so many things to do in Stowe with kids during the summer months. Stowe is an easy road trip destination for families in the Northeast. The nice thing about vacationing in Stowe with kids in the summer is that even in August, it is not sweltering hot. The entire family will be comfortable enjoying picturesque Stowe with Mount Mansfield in the backdrop making every photo of your Vermont family vacation Instagram-worthy. Below are things to do in Stowe with kids this summer. There are a lot of things to do with kids during the summer months in Stowe, you should add Stowe to your next Vermont family road trip!
Things to Do in Stowe with Kids this Summer
There are so many things to do in Stowe with kids this summer. You can keep your family active and off their screens this summer with hiking, canoeing, kayaking and biking at Stowe. Below you will find 10 family friendly activities in Stowe and surrounding Vermont towns during your next Vermont road trip this summer.
Canoe or Kayak with the Kids at Lamoille River
If you are looking for things to do with kids in Stowe this summer, definitely add canoeing on Lamoille River as a must-do with kids during your Vermont family vacation. Lamoille River is a flat river with one of the calmness water you will ever canoe or kayak on. You will not encounter strong currents and big rocks on Lamoille River. Lamoille river is the ideal river for kayaking or canoeing with kids. It’s perfect for beginning kayak paddlers with little or no experience. Plus you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery at Lamoille River. Your kids will love kayaking under a covered bridge!
Canoe and Kayak rentals for Lamoille River are available from Vermont Canoe and Kayak. They offer rentals on single kayaks, tandem kayaks, standup paddleboards and canoes (life vests included in the rentals). The 3 seat canoes can fit a family of 2 adults and 2 children (kids sit on cushions). Your Vermont Canoe and Kayak guide will take you upriver on a shuttle, help you launch your canoe and also provide you with useful tips for paddling on Lamoille river on your own. If this is your first time on a canoe with your family, don’t worry. Lamoille river is so flat that it’s not difficult to navigate. You can definitely go on your own without a guide. You will have the choice to be dropped off at 4.5 miles upriver (1.5 hours of paddling), 6 miles upriver (2 hours of paddling) or 8.5 miles upriver (3 hours of paddling). If you are canoeing with kids on Lamoille River, I find the 4.5 miles upriver drop off is just right for the family. I canoed down Lamoille River with my husband and 2 kids (8 and 12 years old) and it took us 3 hours to do the 4.5 miles. The nice thing about the canoe or kayak rentals is that you get to keep it all day so you can take your time and leisurely paddle down Lamoille River. There are many beaches along Lamoille river for a picnic lunch or to take a dip in the river. Vermont Canoe and Kayak had a scavenger hunt for kids and it kept my kids engaged while paddling down Lamoille River. If you prefer to have a guide with you, Vermont Canoe and Kayak does several family friendly guided trips from the Ice Cream Float (Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream treat after Canoeing) to Maple Tours after canoeing. Vermont Canoe and Kayak is located in Jeffersonville on the other side of the mountain from Stowe. You will need to take the short and picturesque drive on the windy notch to the other side of the mountain to Jeffersonville near Smuggler’s Notch. Canoeing or Kayaking down Lamoille River is definitely a family friendly summer activity near Stowe. Vermont Canoe and Kayak at 4805 VT Route 15, Jeffersonville, VT (802) 644-8336
Pro Tip: If you are canoeing with kids in Lamoille River, I suggest doing the shortest 4.5 miles drop off point. Although they say it will take 1.5 hours to paddle the 4.5 miles, that is 1.5 hours of non-stop paddling. If you are on a canoe with kids, you know you will not be paddling non-stop since you will want to stop for lunch and the kids may want to take a dip. It took my family of four around 3 hours to complete the 4.5 miles down Lamoille River. Definitely pack lunch (love these insulated backpack cooler), snack and lots of ice cold drinks for the family. Don’t forget to protect your cellphones by keeping them in waterproof cellphone cases. I like these waterproof bags that can be worn as a backpack or over the shoulder to keep clothes and other items dry. I also find the waterproof fanny packs useful because they are larger than the waterproof cellphone cases so it can fit your cellphone, car keys and wallet. Don’t forget the sunblock and bug spray (although when we were there in July, Lamoille river was not buggy).
Bring Your Kids to Bike at Stowe Recreation Path (rec path)
Biking at Stowe Recreation Path is a family friendly summer activity in Stowe. The Stowe Recreation Path is a paved bike path spanning 5.3 miles starting at the historic Stowe Village and ending at a covered bridge. It’s a family friendly bike path because the Stowe Recreation Path is mostly level and flat. The Stowe Recreations Path is also a very scenic path with breathtaking mountain views. Stowe Recreation Path is perfect for the family because there is a lot to see and do along the way- you will cross bridges, stop for lunch at one of the picnic tables, take a dip at a swimming hole or take a break at the shops and restaurants near the path. There are several access points and parking to the Stowe Recreation Path.
Stowe Recreation Path Parking and Access Points:
Below are 4 different points of entry to the Stowe Recreation Path. There are also parking for Stowe Recreation Path. See map below for entry points and parking for Stowe Recreation Path.
- Stowe Recreation Path entry point from Lintilhac Park is located behind the Stowe Community Church on Main Street in Stowe Village.
- Stowe Recreation Path entry point from Chase Park is across from Stony Brook Condominiums on Luce Hill Rd just off the intersection of Rte. 108.
- Stowe Recreation Path entry point from Thompson Park is off Rte. 108 across from the Percy Farm Corn Maze.
- Stowe Recreation Path entry point from Topnotch Access is off Brook Road, just past Topnotch Resort on Rte. 108.
Take the Kids to Hike at Moss Glen Falls
Hiking to Moss Glen Falls is a family friendly summer activity in Stowe. If you are looking for a short and easy hike that is kid friendly, then definitely go hiking at Moss Glen Falls. Moss Glen Falls is a 5 minute drive from historic Stowe Village. The hike to Moss Glen Falls is a 10 minute hike from the trailhead parking area. It’s definitely very manageable for hiking with kids or if you are new to hiking. Your family will love the beautiful waterfall. Moss Glen Falls trailhead is located at 369-615 Moss Glen Falls Rd, Stowe, VT 05672.
Pro Tip: Signage for hiking to Moss Glen Falls is not great. Just follow the brook upstream and you will not get lost. Do bring bug spray. Be careful climbing on rocks, it can be slippery!
Mountain Bike at Stowe with Kids this Summer
Mountain biking is a family friendly summer activity at Stowe. There are miles and miles of bike trails at Stowe. Plus you can take your kids to bike at one of the mountain bike skills park at Stowe. They will love biking on the boardwalk bridges and moguls at the Mountain Bike Skills Parks! Take the kids to Mountain Bike at the Skills Parks at Trapp Family Lodge or Smugglers’ Notch.
Mountain Bike with Kids at the Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe VT
Trapp Family Lodge has an extensive network of mountain bike trails. There are also two bike skills parks for your kids to enjoy. Bike rentals are available at the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center. Trapp Family Lodge is located at 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, VT. Phone: 1-800-826-7000
Mountain Bike with Kids at Smugglers’ Notch, VT
During the summer months, the bunny hill at Smugglers’ Notch is transformed into a downhill mountain bike course complete with bridges and moguls. Bikers go uphill via the magic carpet. Smugglers’ Notch MTB Center also features a flat ground skills park, a pump track and extensive mountain bike trails all over Smugglers’ Notch resort. Mountain bike rentals (fat tire bikes) are available from Smugglers’ Notch MTB Center for both kids and adults. There are also Beginner’s Mountain Bike Skills clinics, Guided Mountain Bike Trail tours and private lessons/guides. Smugglers’ Notch is a short drive on the other side of the mountain from Stowe located at 4323 Vermont Route 108 South, Jeffersonville, VT. (800) 419-4615.
Bring the Kids to Swim at Stowe’s Swimming Holes
Swimming at Stowe’s swimming holes is a family friendly summer activity at Stowe. It’s a great way for the family to cool off during the hot summer months. Waterbury reservoir is swimming hole near Stowe located a short drive from historic Stowe Village. Waterbury reservoir is manmade with a swimming beach, picnic tables, concession stand and restrooms. There is also kayak, canoe and standup paddle board rentals from Umiak Outdoor Outfitters. Waterbury reservoir is located at 177 Reservoir Road, Waterbury Center, VT 05677. There is a day pass fee to access Waterbury reservoir.
Take the Kids for a Gondola Ride to the Peak of Vermont’s Highest Mountain
Taking the gondola up to the top of Vermont’s highest mountain is a family friendly summer activity at Stowe. Your kids will enjoy the gondola ride up to the top of Mount Mansfield at Stowe Mountain resort. Enjoy spectacular views while you ride up in one of Stowe’s signature red Gondolas. At the top of Mount Mansfield, you can access hiking trails or grab a snack at The Waffle. Stowe Mountain Resort is located at 5781 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672.
Play a Round of Disc Golf with Kids
If your kids like to throw frisbees then they will love playing Disc Golf. Disc Golf is similar to the traditional game of golf but instead of golf balls and golf clubs, you throw a disc into a metal basket (the hole). Like golf, you play on an entire 18 hole Disc Golf Course. Disc Golf is a great summer activity with kids in Stowe. There are two Disc Golf Centers near Stowe. The Trapp Family Lodge has an 18 hole Disc Golf Course and Smugglers’ Notch is home to two world renowned Disc Golf Courses.
Trapp Family Lodge Disc Golf Course at Stowe, VT
Bring the kids to play disc golf at The Trapp Family Lodge. The Trapp Family Lodge has an 18 hole Disc Golf Course. The Trapp Family Lodge Disc Golf Course starts near the von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant and takes the players through the forests and meadows on the grounds of Trapp Family Lodge. Trapp Family Lodge is located at 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, VT. Phone: 1-800-826-7000
Pro Tip: Grab lunch at von Trapp Brewing Bierhall before embarking on a round of disc golf with the kids. The von Trapp Brewing Bierhall is kid-friendly with a big outdoor patio and a good kids menu.
Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center at Jeffersonville, VT
Just a few miles from Stowe, on the other side of the mountain, you can take the family to the Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center which is internationally recognized as being one of the top disc golf destinations in the world. In fact, the two Disc Golf courses on Smugglers’ Notch- Brewster Ridge and Fox Run Meadow are ranked number 5 and number 11 in Disc Golf courses in the world! The Smugglers’ Notch Brewster Ridge Disc Golf Course is an 18 hole Disc Golf Course set in the woods. Kids will enjoy the hike in the woods while playing Disc Golf. The Smugglers’ Notch Fox Run Meadow Disc Golf Course is an 18 hole Disc Golf Course with beautiful mountain views. If you need instruction, Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center has Disc Golf Group Lessons and Private Lessons. However, lessons are not necessary to start playing Disc Golf with your kids. If you know the rules of golf and can throw a frisbee, you can play Disc Golf, you don’t need lessons. Smuggers’ Notch Disc Golf Center is located at 1239 Edwards Road, Jeffersonville, VT. 802-644-2477
Pro Tip: If you are playing during a hot, sunny day, the Smuggler’s Notch Brewster Ridge Disc Golf course will be a more comfortable course for families since it is shaded and set in the woods. Ice cold drinks are sold at the Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Pro shop in case you need and there are picnic tables outside the pro shop. You can also play an abbreviated 9 hole Disc Golf at the Smugglers’ Notch Brewster Ridge Disc Golf course in case you think 18 hole is too long. For a family of four (8 and 12 year old kids), it takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete an 18 hole disc golf course.
Bike with Kids at Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
The entire family will enjoy biking at Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT). Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is a newly constructed bike trail that is New England’s longest rail trail! The surface is made of crushed stone and since it is a rail trail there is not much of an incline so it is ideal for biking with kids. It’s also a safe bike path for families since there are no vehicular traffic at Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. During the summer months, Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is open to hikers, horseback riders and bikers. From Stowe, you can access Lamoille Valley Rail Trail from Cambridge (see below for Lamoille Valley Rail Trail parking information). Your family will enjoy biking at the picturesque bike trail where you will get to bike alongside Lamoille River and even bike by a covered bridge! If you need bike rentals at Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, you can rent bikes for the entire family at Bootlegger Bikes Bike Rental. Bootlegger Bikes has a satellite location at the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Cambridge Junction trailhead at 89 Cambridge Junction Road Ext, Jeffersonville, VT.
Where are the Entry Points and Parking at Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at St. Johnsbury at 543 Main Street – Trail Head at beginning of LVRT
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at Danville – Marty’s 1st Stop on Rt 2, just east of the village
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at West Danville – Joe’s Pond Beach, just west of Rt 2/Rt15 intersection
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at Morrisville – Oxbow Park
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at Hyde Park – Main Street and Depot Street
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at Johnson – Old Mill Park
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at Cambridge (Jeffersonville) – Cambridge Junction Trailhead and parking, approximately 1 mile from downtown via Greenway Trail, Rt 15 and Rt 108
- Cambridge has expanded their parking for Lamoille Valley Rail Trail! There are about 20 extra spaces in a mowed field on the right side of Cambridge Junction Road after crossing the Poland Covered Bridge.
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Entry Point at Cambridge (Jeffersonville) – Cambridge Community Center trailhead on Old Main St.
Take the Kids for a tour at Ben & Jerry Factory
Treat your kids to a factory tour at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, VT. The indoor tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory is approximately 30 minutes long and you will need to buy tickets in advanced to do the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. There is also a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop and gift shop at the Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury Factory. Ben & Jerry’s Factory are temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even without the indoor Ben & Jerry’s Factory tour, there are still lots to do with kids at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Treat your kids to their favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, shop at the outdoor gift shop, play at the outdoor Ben & Jerry’s playground and visit the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard. The Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard is a fun and interesting stop for the entire family. The kids will enjoy checking out the flavor tombstones. Ben & Jerry Factory is located at 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, VT-100, Waterbury Village Historic District, VT 05676
Treat the Kids to a Creemee at Vermont Maple Outlet
A visit to Vermont is not complete without a creemee. A Creemee is what Vermonter’s call a soft serve on a cone. Creemees come in many flavors but the maple flavored creemee is the most popular. I’m no creemee expert but hands down one of the best creemee near Stowe is from the country store of Vermont Maple Outlet (even my kids agree). Vermont Maple Outlet is a family owned producer of Maple syrup. Their maple flavored creemee is a must try. There is also a large selection of maple syrup (priced competitively) and other maple products at Vermont Maple Outlet. Don’t forget to stop in at the back room at their country store where you can see how Maple Syrup is made. Picnic tables and outside seats are available to enjoy your creemees. Vermont Maple Outlet at 3929 Vermont Route 15, Jeffersonville, VT.
Pro Tip: Vermont Maple Outlet is down the road from Vermont Canoe and Kayak. After a day canoeing or kayaking at Lamoille River, bring the kids to Vermont Maple Outlet for a creemee.
Family friendly Hotels in Stowe, VT
There are a lot of family friendly hotels in Stowe. The good thing about visiting Stowe during the summer is the Notch is open so you can easily stay at either side of the mountain (Jeffersonville or Stowe) and use your hotel as a base for exploring Stowe with the family. Below are family friendly hotels in Stowe, VT.
Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT
Trapp Family Lodge is a kid friendly hotel in Stowe, VT. You will feel like you are in Europe at this Austrian-inspired luxury hotel in Stowe as you take in the breathtaking mountain views from your hotel room. There are a lot of kid friendly activities at the family run Trapp Family Lodge (yes, the von Trapp of Sound of Music!)- swim at the outdoor pool, get a massage at the spa, enjoy a pint at von Trapp Family Bierhall, play a round of disc golf, go mountain biking at the skills park or take the kids on a hike! Your family will enjoy staying at this charming, luxury alpine lodge in Stowe. The Trapp Family Lodge is a 14 minute drive to Stowe Mountain Resort. Trapp Family Lodge at 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, VT
The Lodge at Spruce Peak, Stowe, VT
If you are looking for a luxury hotel that is family friendly at Stowe then you should stay at The Lodge at Spruce Peak. The Lodge at Spruce Peak is conveniently located at Stowe Mountain Resort, steps away from the restaurants and shops at the Village. Located at the base of Mount Mansfield, you will enjoy breathtaking mountain views at this ski in/ski out Stowe Mountain Resort hotel. There are lots to do for you and the kids at The Lodge at Spruce Peak during the summer months- enjoy complimentary hikes, s’mores, take in the mountain views as you swim at the outdoor pool, get a massage at the spa, play in the game room, take a gondola ride to the top of the Mount Mansfield, go on a zip tour, play a round of golf and more. The Lodge at Spruce Peak is located at 7412 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT.
Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT
Topnotch Resort is a family friendly hotel in Stowe, VT. You will enjoy the luxury accommodations at this kid friendly Stowe hotel. There are suites and 2-3 bedroom resort homes at Topnotch Resort that are perfect if you want more space during your Stowe vacation with kids. There are a lot of kid friendly things to do at this Stowe hotel- you can relax at the spa while the kids are taking lessons at Topnotch Tennis Academy. There are indoor and outdoor pools for the family to enjoy. Topnotch resort is conveniently located within a 7 minute drive to Stowe Mountain Resort. Topnotch Resort is at 4000 Mountain Road Stowe, VT 05672
Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, VT
Smugglers’ Notch Resort is a family friendly resort near Stowe. Although not as luxurious as The Lodge at Spruce Peak, the Smugglers’ Notch accommodations are condo-style units with full kitchens. There are lots to do with kids at Smugglers’ Notch during the summer months you almost don’t need to leave the resort! There are waterparks with slides, freshwater reservoirs with kayak and standup paddle boards, mini-golf, mining, outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts, gaga court, 26,000 square foot indoor game room, mountain bike skills park, skateboard park, disc golf courses, hiking trails and bike trails. There are also organized family activities (like family bingo) and evening entertainment (magic shows). Your family will enjoy Smugglers’ Notch which is located in Jeffersonville, at the other side of the mountain from Stowe. During the summer months, Smugglers’ Notch resort is a 10 minute drive from Stowe Mountain resort. Smugglers’s Notch is conveniently located to many of the family friendly activities on this list. Smugglers’ Notch Resort is at 4323 VT 108, Jeffersonville, VT.
Driving Distance to Stowe, VT from Northeast Metro Areas
Stowe is a great summer roadtrip destination for families in the Northeast. Driving distance to Stowe is an easy drive from the main metro areas in the Northeast. The drive from Boston, MA to Stowe, VT is approximately 3 hours long. New York City is 5.5 hours from Stowe, VT. NYC suburbs of Westchester County is approximately 5 hours from Stowe, VT while Greenwich, CT to Stowe, VT is a 4.5 hours drive. Bergen County, NJ is also within an easy 5.5 hours drive to Stowe, VT.
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