Plan a Family Winter Vacation to Stowe

January 18, 2019


Stowe is one of those special four-season destinations that is perfect for a family getaway, especially in the winter. There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, whether you’re a skier or not. The Boston Globe recently named Stowe one of the “Best New England ski towns for non-skiers.” Here are idea starters for planning your family winter vacation to Stowe, Vermont:


When it’s winter in Stowe, one thing’s for sure – we like to play outside. Take a family-friendly guided tour, like Snowshoeing & Snow Tube Tour with Umiak Outdoor Outfitters, or cruise the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail on an e-bike rental through Lamoille Valley Bike Tours. Skiing and riding at Stowe Mountain Resort–situated on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak–is a surely a popular winter activity. [Insider Tip: Family vacations are just as much of a vacation for the parents. Leave your kids for adult fun on the slopes while they develop a love of snow with Stowe Mountain Resort’s world-renowned Ski & Snowboard Team based in the Adventure Center, where there are daycare options as well. It’s a win-win!]

While there are many outdoor winter adventures to enjoy in Stowe, there are also plenty of non-snow and indoor activities that are kid-friendly. Learn how ice cream is made, then enjoy a sample on a tour at Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Also in Waterbury, Cold Hollow Cider Mill is a top New England producer of fresh apple cider and one of Vermont’s most popular tourist attractions. Watch pure cider being made the real old-fashioned way with a traditional rack and cloth press built in the 1920s. Sample cider and fresh-made cider doughnuts!

Stowe also hosts several signature events throughout the year. Coordinate your winter getaway to line up with signature events like the Stowe Winter Carnival featuring ice sculpture demonstrations throughout town, as well as a competition that draws ice carvers from around the world. You’ll also discover unique events such as the Youth Ice Fishing Derby. Stowe Parks & Recreation offers public family events including a Daddy/Daughter Dance and Kids Night Out, a monthly event that gives the parents the chance to relax while children in grades K-5 can enjoy an evening of dinner, games, a movie and activities.


In Stowe, you’re sure to find several family-friendly restaurants and dining options with children’s menus. The Canteen at Stowe Mountain Resort is the perfect place to fuel up after a long day on skis. Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge is not only a favorite après ski destination, but also a place kids love to eat, with a coloring book and meal options like Pizza Rolls and Eddie Spaghetti. Piecasso also hosts live music and entertainment. Sushi Yoshi has a game room that’s sure to entertain your kids while relaxing with a Vermont craft beverage and is perfect for accommodating multiple families at the Hibachi tables. Reservations here (and at other restaurants) are recommended. Popular breakfast places include McCarthy’s Restaurant, a local gathering spot since 1974, and The Bagel, which makes 20 varieties of bagels from scratch every day by boiling and stone baking them to perfection.

[Insider Tip: Love chocolate? Try the house-made hot chocolates with local ingredients at Stowe Bee Bakery & Café, another popular après destination that’s also kid-friendly. Try the Classic American Hot Cocoa, which comes in flavors like candy cane, maple and peanut butter, the Parisian-style, a very thick and rich treat with 5 oz. of shaved Belgium chocolate melted into milk, or the Belgium-Style where you can stir in chocolate on a stick into a steaming cup of milk! All are served with whipped cream and come in kid sizes.]


There are many shops that carry clothing, toys, accessories and equipment rentals for kids. Once Upon A Time Toys has offered the most interesting and imaginative toys from around the world for 42 years – from vintage to new-age toys. Be sure to stop in on your birthday for a special birthday balloon! Outfit your winter adventures at Yellow Turtle, just next door in the Red Barn Shops. Need to rent skis? Check out AJ’s Ski & Sports or Pinnacle Ski & Sports. Everybody loves candy–especially when it’s homemade in Vermont. Be sure to stop by Laughing Moon Chocolates in the historic Stowe Village and take a sweet treat home with you.
Stowe Mercantile_Checkers Board
[Insider Tip: Stowe Mercantile has a checkerboard, piano, a photo booth and a cool vintage gondola that’s also perfect for taking pictures and preserving your special Stowe memories with your family.]

Plan your getaway

Stowe offers a variety of family-friendly lodging options for every taste–whether you prefer convenient slope-side access or closer proximity to shops, breweries and the historic downtown Village. Condos and townhouses, like Stowe Motel & Snowdrift and The Village Green at Stowe, are great for accommodating larger parties while providing easy access to restaurants and shops on the Mountain Road. Condos where you can walk to lift are available through Stowe Vacation Rentals. There’s a fun game room at the Hob Knob Inn, Bar & Lounge, which is close to a cluster of shops and restaurants on Mountain Road as well as wooded trails and parks by the Stowe Recreation Path.
Stowe Bowl

For a unique family-friendly experience, stay at one of the lofts at Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. Take the fun indoors at their onsite boutique bowling alley, or swim in the indoor pool. Traveling with another family, or looking to rent a home in a more remote area while still being close to all the great things Stowe has to offer? Stowe Area Home, located just 20 minutes north in Elmore, Vermont is the perfect option that sleeps eight comfortably. Tucked away on a private road, there are 2 bedrooms with en suite full baths, 2 luxurious convertible sleeping futons and a neat little sleeping alcove that’s perfect for children.
Sun & Ski Inn and Suites
[Insider Tip: Keep an eye out for lodging specials throughout the year. Save on stays 3 nights or more this winter during the New Year Great Savings Sale (book by January 24). There are also deals on midweek lodging when you Extend Your Weekend. Book early and save!]

Looking for help planning or booking your family vacation? Call (800) 467-8693 to speak with one of our local Vacation Planning Experts.

Photo courtesy: Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Mark Vandenberg, Stowe Mercantile, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sun & Ski Inn and Suites and Sushi Yoshi