2021 Vermont Holiday Activities for the Whole Family


Welcome to the always delightful, sometimes kind of cold Vermont holiday season!

Whether you stay in your town or decide to take a tour of the state, Vermont has so many terrific holiday activities in December, set in our gorgeous winter scenery. Here are some fun holiday activities to enjoy with your family.

hardwood trees with white lightsThe St. Albans Festival of Trees

November 25th through December 31st, Saint Albans

Enjoy a downtown tree walk throughout the entire holiday season. On November 27th, the tree lighting happens at 5:00 pm, followed by the appearance of Santa on a fire truck. There will be a fireworks display at 6:00 pm. Check out the schedule for many other fun activities, such as a tractor parade, a performance by the Vermont Choral Union, a puppet show, and a paint and sip. There are activities for everyone at this festival!

Winter Lights in the Park

November 25th through January 1st, 5:00 pm-8:00 pm, Essex Junction

Walk through Maple Street Park to enjoy music, trees, and a much-photographed lighted tunnel. Bring along your letters to Santa to drop in the Letters to the North Pole mailbox. Essex residents can also enter a holiday lights contest. Spectators can follow a map to view the entrants from December 8th through the 22nd, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm each night.

Celebrations of Trees

November 26th through December 12th, South Burlington

Check out beautifully decorated trees at the University Mall. Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win your favorite tree! Proceeds will benefit ANEW Place.

small santa ornamentChurch Street Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 26th, 12:00 pm-6:00 pm, Burlington

Kick off the holiday season with the Santa Parade at noon. If you miss Santa, you can visit with him outside Homeport on weekends or send him a letter in the mailbox in front of the giant Christmas tree. At 5:00 pm, catch the tree lighting ceremony, complete with a performance of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Winter Lights at Shelburne Museum

November 26th through January 1st, 5:00 pm-8:00 pm, Shelburne

Take a stroll through the museum grounds to see the beautiful, shining lights. The Weathervane Café will be open, serving snacks and hot beverages. Masks are mandatory for all visitors over age 2 while inside buildings and are strongly encouraged outdoors as well.

Christmas in the Park

November 27th, 2:30 pm-5:00 pm, Swanton

Join the community on the Swanton Village Green to start off the holiday season. There will be hot cocoa, cookies, and wagon rides. There will also be some special visitors.

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

November 27th through December 19th, Burlington

There are several opportunities to watch the classic ballet, The Nutcracker, starting on November 27th. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is playing Holiday Pops on December 11th. Mannheim Steamroller will present their unique takes on Christmas music on December 14th.

nutcracker ornamentHoliday Stroll

November 27th, 7:00 am-8:00 pm, Rutland

Shop local while enjoying a day of specials, sales, and promotions. From 2:00 pm-5:00 pm, enjoy a free visit with Santa at the Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum. Return for the tree lighting in Depot Park on December 3rd.

Holiday Train Exhibit

November 27th through January 8th, Middlebury

Check out a three-level Lionel train exhibit with a beautiful painted background of the Green Mountains. New for 2021 is a caboose with a camera to livestream its travels around the tracks. If you want to go on a Saturday, you should make a reservation.

Chanukah at Chabad of Vermont

November 28th through December 6th, Burlington

There are a variety of public menorah lightings, at various places, such as the UVM Green and the Statehouse. On December 5th at 10:30 am, enjoy a storytime and crafts at the U-Mall in South Burlington. Also on December 5th, there is a car parade and LED robot show starting at 4 pm.

chanukah mealVery Merry Middlebury

December 2nd through December 16th, Middlebury

Take a stroll to see the wreaths decorating downtown and the illuminated falls. Take pictures with character cut-outs. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus on December 4th at Triangle Park. Check out one of the three Midd Night Stroll evenings to enjoy extended shopping hours, specials, and giveaways.

Chocolate Walk

December 3rd, 2:00 pm-8:00 pm, Bristol

Start your holiday shopping while enjoying a variety of chocolate treats. This year, expanded hours will give shoppers more space and treats will be available to-go.

A Traditional Christmas in Stowe

December 3rd through December 5th, Stowe

Start off the festivities on December 3rd with a children’s lantern parade and tree lighting at 4:30 pm. There are also many activities on December 4th, such as a Santa stroll, a holiday bazaar, and cookie decorating. Don’t miss the hayrides throughout the village. Wrap things up with holiday skating on December 5th.

Holiday Lighted Parade

December 4th, 6:00 pm, Enosburg Falls

Watch vehicles and floats decorated with lights pass by in the 6th annual Holiday Lighted Parade. Immediately afterward there will be a tree lighting.

Lunenburg Gingerbread Bazaar

December 4th, 10:00 am-2:00 pm, Lunenburg

Enter the gingerbread creations contest and then enjoy perusing all the other entries. Decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus and go on the 8th grade’s cookie walk. You can also make an ornament craft, buy a soup lunch, and enter a raffle.

A River of Light Lantern Parade

December 4th, 5:00 pm, Waterbury

Craft your own lantern to walk in this parade or just show up to watch the creations march by. Enjoy the evening of light, music, and community spirit.

cup of hot chocolate held in mittensWilliston Town Tree Lighting

December 5th, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm, Williston

Watch the lighting of the town tree while listening to Christmas music. Enjoy a visit from the SD Ireland holiday light truck. Please bring a donation of new hats, gloves, mittens, or socks for the Williston Food Shelf.

Live Nativity

December 11th, 4:00 pm, Jericho

Join Catalyst Church on Raceway to view their live nativity scene. You can also enjoy free hot chocolate and Christmas carols sung by a bonfire.

Troy’s Toy Drive

December 11th, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm, Essex Junction

Bring an unwrapped toy or gift card to donate, and in cooperation with Toys for Kids VT, they will be distributed to Vermont children in need. While there, you can drive through and check out a variety of lighted trucks. You may also park and enjoy some refreshments and live entertainment, including train rides from Big Blue Trunk from 5:15 pm-7:00 pm.

Christmas at the Farm

December 18th through January 2nd, 10:00 am-4:00 pm, Woodstock

Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas, with plenty of photo opportunities. Meet some farm animals on a self-guided tour, dip candles, or toast up some s’mores. Weather permitting, go on a snowshoe trek or a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

Spruce Peaks Lights Festival

December 18th, 1:30 pm-7:00 pm, Stowe

Watch performances by Ice Dance International and join Santa on the ice as he passes out hats. At 6:00, there is a tree and village lighting, followed by a fireworks display.

No matter what you do, Vermont Mom wishes you the happiest of happy holidays!


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