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Linda Brophy

Top 5 Vermont Fall Activities to do Before Winter

There's a common saying about Vermont weather -- "Don't like it? Wait five minutes." Just as the forecast is known to change drastically in the Green Mountains, the seasons are also known to change dramatically and over, what seems every year, a very short time. This is especially noticeable when it comes to fall in Vermont. The transition to cold weather always seems to catch some people off guard and underprepared.

Not only are there important and practical to-do's that must be tended to, but also a handful of fun and enjoyable fall activities that no one should miss out on. Here's a list of the top 5 Vermont fall activities to check off before Old Man Winter arrives.

1. Get out and enjoy the fall foliage The Green Mountains are renowned for having some of the most colorful and eye-catching foliage colors in the country. Every year thousands of leaf-peepers flock to the valleys, riversides and covered bridges to capture and immortalize these breathtaking images. Savvy 'peepers visit Vermont ski resorts to ride the chairlift and get a birds-eye view or hike to hidden fire towers dotted among the state's many vistas to admire the fall color palette at its finest.

2. Stack some Firewood There's a long-standing romance between Vermont and firewood. Not only does it serve as the primary source of heat for many homes, but everything from the cutting and splitting, to the stacking and burning represents a feeling of accomplishment and the time-honored tradition of living off the land. Plus, nothing compares to the thawing warmth of gathering near the wood stove on a cold Vermont winter night.

3. Go apple picking Vermont harvest season is a necessary part of shifting from fall to winter and apple picking is one of the best parts. Wandering the orchard rows is a great activity to do with kids and the reward is crisp, juicy and delicious. Mmmm, cider donuts.

4. Winterize your home As the nights cool, it's important to start checking your heating system, clean the chimney and close the storm windows to ensure your home stays toasty and efficient throughout the winter. Here's a great winter checklist to complete before the snow flies.

5. Attend an Oktoberfest or other fall festival Despite the many responsibilities we have when winter in Vermont is approaching, it's important to remember that fall is time for celebration. Summer has passed, the harvest is done and there's a wealth of fresh food, and beer, to enjoy. The Mount Snow Oktoberfest is a great place to sample some of the finest fall brews and browse a bevy of artisan crafts to add some fall flavor to your home.

Want to enjoy fall without the work? Visit one of our Vermont rental homes and leave the wood stacking and winterizing to us.

At Long Lederhosen, Oktoberfest is Returning to Mount Snow

Time for a little word association. Ready? Here we go.

Lederhosen. Polish buffet. Beer. Keg toss. Crafts. Polka music. If any, or all, of those made you think Oktoberfest at Mount Snow, you're absolutely right. If not, then the answer to the next question should be a no-brainer. Where are you going to be on Oktober 6-7, 2012? Oktoberfest at Mount Snow. Very good.

Come hungry, and thirsty, because after 14 years of hosting Oktoberfest, Mount Snow knows how to throw one heck of a "Feier"... that's German for celebration. For their 15th annual fall festival the base area will be packed with family-friendly Aktivitäten... you guessed it, activities. (Look at you speaking German all of a sudden.) That's right, just because there will dozens of craft beer vendors sampling their seasonal nectars, doesn't mean the kiddies can't join in the fun.

Children's activities include a variety of arts and crafts, pumpkin painting, face painting, a hay pile, and the new favorite "schnitzel toss."  Adult activities will, of course, include sipping on locally and regionally brewed Oktoberfest ales, the keg-toss challenge, horseshoe tournament and stein holding competition. A favorite festival event that be returning is The Apple Sling Shot along with the new event known as the one man saw. Everyone can enjoy delectable German-inspired foods like brats, schnitzels, wursts and plenty of sauerkraut, and dance to live polka music that will fill the village air.

Want to get a different perspective on the Oktoberfest festival? Take a scenic lift ride to the summit to enjoy a birds-eye-view of the breathtaking fall foliage the Mount Snow Valley has to offer. Back at the base, over 40 artisans and craftsmen from across New England will have fine hand-crafted furniture, art and more to browse and purchase if you desire.

Once you've had your fill of Oktoberfest (ale, food, music or atmosphere), retire to one of our vacation rentals, hang up your "dirndl" and slip off to dream land.


  1. Juan on

    hi! im in karlsruhe for the year as an au pair as well and I just got here a liltte over a week ago. its been kinda lonely and boring so far. does it get better? right now im trying to take things in short goals, like in 2 months ill see how I feel and if I'll want to go back home to chicago. what are your thoughts? did you ever feel like you werent going to survive a WHOLE YEAR? ahhh its so daunting.

    Pumpkin Festivals Let Their Light Shine

    New England would be remiss if it didn't celebrate the arrival of fall. Fall festivals, jaw-dropping foliage colors and apple cider are just a few of the well-known ways we mark the change in seasons. But where would fall be without its iconic harvest crop -- the pumpkin? Imagine Thanksgiving Day without pumpkin pie or Halloween without jack-o-lanterns. It just wouldn't be right. That's where the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival comes in.

    The Keene Pumpkin Festival is an internationally-known fall festival that honors the beloved orange orb with the most impressive collection of carvings you've ever seen. People flock from miles, states and even countries away to witness, and contribute to, one of the nation's largest pumpkin collections. For over twenty years, pumpkin festival lovers have gathered in downtown Keene, New Hampshire to combine their finely carved jack-o-laterns in the ultimate fall celebration.

    The Keene Pumpkin Festival even held the Guiness World Record for the Most Lit Jack-O'-Lanterns Displayed. Its record of 28,000 pumpkins was later broken by a fall festival in Boston, Massachusetts that tallied 30,128 jack-o-lanterns. That's a lot of hours carving faces and scooping out seeds. So now there's even more reason to visit the Keene Pumpkin Festival and help to reclaim the world record. (Just don't forget your pumpkin.)

    WHERE: Downtown Keene, New Hampshire WHEN:  October 20, 2012, Noon-8:30pm

    Not only is the Keene Pumpkin Festival a popular local tradition, but it's one of those great family-friendly activities to do with kids. Kids (of all ages) can preview their Halloween outfits during the children's costume parade and enjoy fun activities like the 45-foot ferris wheel, pumpkin carving and even pumpkin bowling. Food vendors offer a wide selection of lunch items and pumpkin-inspired treats. Come early to join the one-mile foot race, enjoy a mid-day picnic in the pumpkin-lined common and stay to see the tower of pumpkins lit up after dark.

    Carving pumpkins can be tiring, luckily we've got lots of short-term rentals just under an hour from the festival grounds. With any luck, this will be the year they smash (pun intended) the World Record again and you'll get to be a part of the historical moment.

    Harvest Season Never Tasted So Good

    If Vermont had to choose just a few things to offer visiting foodies, its cheese would be right at the top of the list. And nothing pairs better with great cheese than some delicious wine. Enter, the Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival returning to Mount Snow on September 21-23, 2012.

    Take an early fall weekend and pack it with excitement around the localvore food movement and endless opportunities to learn about Vermont's artisan wine and cheese producers (while sampling them all, of course) and you've got a winning combination. That's just what the Wine and Harvest Festival does.

    The weekend kicks off with live entertainment and open galleries in downtown Wilmington during village stroll. From there on the days are filled with pairings galore, Vermont wine tasting and even a chance to take a Vermont cheese tour and visit several local cheese producing farms.

    In the evenings, foodies will delight at the numerous dinner and wine pairing events hosted by area restaurants. Local chefs' demonstrations and live cooking competitions round out the weekend at Mount Snow and provide even more opportunities to sample mouth watering appetizers,entrees, and, of course, a good glass of wine will never be far from reach.

    WHEN: Friday-Sunday, September 21-23, 2012 WHERE: Wilmington, Dover and surrounding towns

    This event is a great way to enjoy the fall and tantalize your taste buds with the unique and adventurous flavors being created by Vermont's specialty food producers. Not to mention, you'll get to enjoy the picturesque backdrop of Vermont fall and rich foliage color that decorate the hill sides. Your touring will even pass by a handful of fall farm stands and apple orchards where you can enjoy some of the best fruit, right off the tree.

    Don't worry about over-filling on cheese, wine or all the excitement. You can always uncork an evening bottle and relax at one of our short-term rentals, located less than 5 minutes from downtown Wilmington.

    2012 Mount Snow Brewers Festival

    With Vermont, comes craft beer. With summer, comes brew festivals. So, logically, it follows that every summer in Vermont comes the Mount Snow brewers festival. This year in fact, celebrates 18 long and thirsty years of gathering at the base of Vermont's most southern ski area to celebrate our locally and regionally crafted beers.

    Join your fellow hop-heads and beer fanatics for a two-day tasting session of flavorful and seasonal libations that perfectly complement the relaxing atmosphere and clear Vermont mountain air. Brewers travel from near and far, across the state, across New England and heck, even across the country to share samples of their finest ales, stouts, IPAs and more.

    If you've never been on a Vermont brewery tour, here's a chance to tour many of them in one stop. Vermont favorites like Harpoon Brewery, Long Trail, Magic Hat Brewing, Otter Creek and Woodchuck Ciders make the trip annually to represent their home state and show off their latest batches of the good stuff.

    Mark the calendar for September 1-2 this year to grab your drinking buddies, set the GPS for Mount Snow, Vermont and put the pedal to the metal. The taps will be flowing from noon to 6pm both days and the good times, good music will continue all throughout the day. More than 30 breweries are expected to be on hand.

    The 2011 summer brewfest was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Irene and the 2012 Winter Brewers Festival due to the lack of snow. So this is the first brewfest at Mount Snow since last year's winter edition. It's high time to drink some beer. So make sure you're there to enjoy it.

    WHEN: September, 1-2, 2012, Noon  to 6:00PM WHERE: Mount Snow Ski Area, West Dover, VT

    Buy tickets online at mountsnow.com

    If you're looking for Mount Snow area lodging during the event, we have plenty of short term vacation rentals available here at Chimney Hill (about a 10-minute drive from the brewfest area) and easily accessible from the MOOver bus routes.

    As always, be sure to drink responsibly and designate and designated driver before you tap into selection at the 18th Annual Mount Snow Brewers Festival.

    Cruise Your Way to Classic Car Shows in Vermont

    Vermont is a beautiful state to drive in and with a full tank of gas and a trusty Vermont road map, there's no end to what you can see and do. With picturesque pull offs and no billboards to ruin the mountain views it's no wonder so many classic car lovers come here just to enjoy the drive. Vermont car shows are a popular hangout for members of car clubs and you don't have to be a classic car owner to enjoy these kind of events.

    Vermont car shows are as much fun for spectators as they are for the owners of these fine vintage automobiles.  Anyone who likes cars can see classic and antique cars, trucks, and even motorcycles. If it has wheels and an engine, you'll probably find it at a Vermont car show. Can't ditch the family to hang out with your fellow car buffs? Bring them along. Car shows often have activities for kids and all members of the family. Like Flea Markets, swap and trade events, crafts, vendors, collectibles and more.

    The Manchester and Bennington Car Shows are popular annual events that draw in vintage show cars from all over New England. After you've perused the lot and taken in all the flaring tail fins, shiny chrome bumpers and old-fashioned clown horns you can handle, check out the tractor-pull competition and see rusty old John Deere's take on the new guys, and win!

    Can't wait for the annual event to roll around? Cruise Night in Brattleboro, Vermont is a great car club that meets up every Saturday night in the summer time at the Staples shopping plaza. Swing by and check out a slew of rides from hot rods and muscle cars to the gangster era big-fender Buicks and chopped-top Chevy's.

    Where you're ready to set the cruise control for bed, we've got a nice collection of short-term rental homes to show you.

    2012 Fourth of July Celebrations

    Summer is a time to celebrate and enjoy the outdoors and Vermont state parks, ballfields, small villages and parks are a perfect setting to do just that. When Independence Day nears, they become the picturesque backdrops for the music, parades and fireworks that are part of a proper July 4th celebration.

    Fourth of July celebrations are the perfect family outing with great kids' activities, entertainment, food options and, of course, stunning fireworks shows to cap off the evening. There are even some celebrations before and after July 4th, so make a plan to hit them all and get a full taste of what Vermont Fourth of July celebrations have to offer.

    WHERE: Wilmington, VT WHEN: July 6, 2012, 5:00PM WHAT: 35th Annual Independence Day Party and Fireworks

    Bring the family to Baker Field, located behind Twin Valley High School at 5:00 pm. Enjoy music, face painting, food and craft vendors then curl up on the grass for a grand fireworks show at 9:00 pm.

    WHERE: Wardsboro, VTWHEN: July 4, 2012, 9:00AMWHAT: 63rd Street Fair and  Fourth of July Parade Southern Vermont's oldest July 4th celebration features over 40 vendors with food and Vermont crafts, kid's games, street musicians, clowns, and chicken BBQ. Tour the art show at the library barn, search for new reading at the book sale, and see a dazzling quilt show in the church. Homemade pies and deserts will be for sale. Street Fair starts at 9:00 am; Parade at 10:00 am.

    WHERE: Brattleboro, VT WHEN: July 4th, 2012, 10:00AMWHAT: By the People: Brattleboro Goes Fourth

    Who said fireworks had to come at the end? Brattleboro's 2012 July 4th celebration kicks off with the Firecracker 4-miler road race at 9:30 am, followed by the annual Fourth of July Parade at 10. Then from 1-9:30 pm, Living Memorial Park becomes a full blown carnival packed with exciting events for the kids, swim races, small fry baseball, live music and a giant fireworks show to round out the evening.

    WHERE: Readsboro, VT WHEN: June 30, 2012, 11:00AM WHAT: Readsboro Independence Day

    A full day of activities begins with the Independence Day parade at 11:00am, followed by games, bouncy houses, cotton candy, a lumberjack competition and much more. It's not everyday a town celebrates a "Quasi-quin-centennial" or 225th anniversary, so you're sure to be in for a treat. Fireworks display at 9:00 pm.

    Looking for a place to stay for firework spectating and Independence celebrating? We've got plenty of short-term rentals not far from the parade routes and cotton candy stands.

    By-the-glass Wine Tasting in Vermont

    While wine may not be Vermont's primary agricultural claim to fame (think maple syrup), that doesn't mean there isn't a great selection of wineries producing quality reds and whites throughout the Green Mountain State. Even better, there's a myriad of retail shops and vending connoisseurs around who love wine, which means where you can't get the full vineyard experience, a wine tasting is still easy to come by.

    Wine tasting is a fun activity to do with family or friends, for special occasions or just a girls day out. Also, a coupon for a wine tasting makes a great thank you, birthday gift or anniversary present. Here's a list of three nearby places where you can wet your palette and sample some fine red and white from Vermont and beyond.

    Putney Mountain Winery, Putney, VT

    Putney Winery takes a non-traditional and careful approach to creating an array of award-winning sparkling, still and dessert wines made from fresh, local fruit. They hand-crush fresh fruit including heirloom apples, pears, rhubarb, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries then press and craft the wine on-site. Tastings can be done at the winery outlet located in the  Basketville storefront from 11-5 daily.

    Honora Winery and Vineyard, Jacksonville, VT

    Looking to do your average wine tasting, stop in for a glass and call it quits? You can do that here. Or you can get the full experience. Honora offers a complete tasting and tour package that includes your first glass of wine and snacks when you arrive, but from there it just gets better and better. Take a full tour of the winery and vineyard and afterwards, enjoy a picnic basket lunch for two prepared by the chef and your choice of a bottle of red or white to wash it down. Full package costs $199 per couple and is available only on the 2nd and 4th Friday and Sunday, June through August. Honora is open for tastings every day with no appointment.

    Windham Wines, Brattleboro,  VT

    To say they have a few wines on hand is putting it lightly. Windham Wines takes wine and wine tasting seriously. That's why they stock over 450 wines and keep them sorted by geography. You can make a trip around the world in flavor before you find the wine of your dreams, but it's sure to be a labor of love. Wine tastings are listed on their online calendar. Come on a tasting day and be prepared to leave with a worldly sampling of the various wine-producing regions.

    When you've finished off your last sample for the day, point your designated driver in the direction of one of our short-term rental homes and sleep off your tasting sessions in comfort. We're not far from where the wine flows like, well wine.

    Where to hear summer concerts in Vermont

    Hear that? It's the sound of the conductor striking up the band. The strings and woodwinds are warming up. The crowd is buzzing in anticipation of the first notes and everyone is gathered under the open sky because music festival season is upon us. So grab your blanket, brush up on your Mozart and come enjoy some summer concerts as they fill the fresh Vermont air.

    Vermont summer concerts and outdoor performances are great for music lovers of all ages and all musical interests. Whether you're looking for kids activities or you're just out for a night of easy listening, Vermont's got a host of summer concerts lined up that will get your toes tapping and fill your soul with music.

    Check out a few of these summer concert series and music festivals near Wilmington, VT.

    Marlboro Music This chamber music festival is located in Marlboro, Vermont and has been drawing musicians and classical music lovers for decades. Lasting nearly two months long, the festival hosts an extensive calendar of summer concerts from June to August that transform the foothills of southern Vermont into a musical oasis. Marlboro concerts can sell out quickly, so it's  encouraged to order and reserve seats well in advance.

    Manchester Music Festival Amidst great shopping outlets and scenic views in Manchester, VT this annual music festival provides both classical ensemble performance as well as education and lesson for aspiring young cellist, violinists, pianists and more. In addition, every Thursday evening from July into early August, they present a concert featuring a different ensemble.

    Yellow Barn Summer Music Festival Founded by a cellist and pianist as a summer retreat for Manhattan-based music students, Yellow Barn has developed into the annual home of educational programs, artist residencies, workshops and performances that focus on the artistic growth of the participants. What does that mean for non-musicians? There's a packed calendar of summer concerts to hear from early June through August.

    Music New England's Event in a Tent Just like the name says, this summer concert is a one-day, outdoor music and entertainment spectacular under a big top tent and features everything from jugglers and circus acrobats to mass orchestra performances. You can even take acrobatic workshops, Didgeridoo lessons and join in a giant fiddle and violin group performance. Pack a picnic  and enjoy plenty of kids activities with the family, like face painting and drumming, before the music begins.

    After the final notes of the encore ring out, our short-term summer rentals will provide a comfortable place to rest and let the music in your head lull you off to sleep.


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      What to do with kids in Vermont

      You've rounded up the little ones, packed the car with toys and snacks, and set your GPS for the Green Mountains of Vermont. One question remains... what are you going to do? Vermont offers kids activities by the dozen, in all seasons and for all kinds of weather. There's so much to see and do, you'll have no trouble tiring out the little ones with a day out in Vermont.

      In winter, head to one of the many  Vermont ski resorts and enjoy tubing and sliding on snow. In fall, take the kids blueberry or apple picking to enjoy the views and tastes of foliage in New England. When road trip season hits and the weather is warm and sunny, take advantage of playing outdoors with some of the following kids activities.

      1. Bromley Mountain Adventure Park and KidZone Fun Park - When the last piles of snow disappear, Bromley Mountain Ski Area switches over to a full-blown adventure park for young kids and the young at heart. Parents and kids will share the fun of water slides, mini-golf, climbing walls, giant trampolines, zip lines and more. Kids under 48" are just $20 for a full day pass. Open daily from 10:30 am - 5 pm.

      2. Southern Vermont Natural History Museum - Located on the Hogback Mountain Scenic Overlook on Route 9 in Marlboro, VT the museum features live and mounted exhibits of over 600 native New England birds. Learn about wildflowers and Vermont wetland inhabitants. In good weather, hike to the nearby summit of Mt. Olga for amazing views into Massachusetts and New Hampshire, that span nearly 100 miles on a clear day. Open daily in the summer from 10 am - 5 pm

      3. Kids Playce - Just like the name says, this indoor play space is the "play"ce to find fun kids activities including a book nook, mazes, play areas, crafts and more. On an overcast day, take a ride into Brattleboro, grab a coffee and Mocha Joes, then head to Kids Playce and let the kids interact and make new friends in a interactive fun environment. Open Wed-Fri: 10 am - 5 pm, Saturdays: 10 am - 4 pm

      After a long day of playing in Vermont, lay the rug rats down for a cozy night at one of our summer vacation rentals, centrally located between these destinations of fun.

      • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363