What better time than Fall to create new habits, especially regarding health. As you and your children start new routines for the school year, think outside the box. What other activities or family habits can you introduce to your children? Eating locally and moving for fun are 2 healthy habits that you and your family can practice to create a happy balance between food and life. For Labor Day weekend, my husband and I reinforced the message of moving for fun with a family trip to Vermont. With the cool weather and colorful scenery, Fall is the perfect time to head to Vermont to enjoy nature at it’s finest. Plus, there are tons of cute little cafes that offer farm-to-table produce! If you’re up for hiking, exploring farms or some homemade ice cream, head to Vermont for a weekend of family fun. For easy planning and a list of mom-approved activities, follow my guide for a healthy, happy weekend!
We headed to Vermont on Friday and stayed at The Kendron Valley Inn. I recommend looking for deals online and to always call to check availability as many websites may say “booked” online, but typically have vacancies when you call. The Kendron Valley Inn offers a complimentary breakfast! Each morning we had pancakes, Vermont maple syrup, homemade blueberry muffins and more. Plus, if it’s warm enough, you and your kids can swim in the Inn’s awesome pond. It was a great experience for my city kids!! Fuel their brains with an educational outing: a visit to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science for an educational presentation on raptures.
Later, introduce your little ones to hiking on the easy, flat trails. The boys found walking sticks and loved romping through the forest. They even pretended they were baby bald eagles as they sat in the life-size bald eagle nest at the trail head. Next, stop by the Billings Farm and Museum. We watched the cows being milked on the farm, learned about Jersey Cows, machine milking and more. Although this was our second time there, there was still so much to learn! Did you know that some farmers place eggs in specific areas around their farms, knowing their hens will lay eggs near another egg? Yes, it’s true. Farmers use this strategy so they can find their hens’ eggs when they are free-range chickens. While the chickens on Billing’s Farm are not free range, they are not caged in tiny crates either. You can actually observe the “pecking order” in their coop. And if you’re planning to visit the the Billing’s Farm–don’t worry! No matter what weekend you visit, there’s always something fun to do. Each weekend, Billing Farm’s hosts theme events like Harvest Weekend and Autumn Wagon Ride Weekend. Again, using a positive engaging experience like this can be the perfect way to introduce your family to new foods. Lastly, don’t forget to stop by the ice creamery for some homemade ice cream!! If you want to visit an organic farm, you can opt for The Neighborly Farms of Vermont in Randolph Center.
On Sunday morning, head out for another kid-friendly hike. There are many options including the Faulkner Trail, Prosper Road Trail Hike and The Pogue. We chose to hike The Pogue, which leads to this fabulous little pond known for its turtles sunbathing on the logs. Throughout the trip, my oldest son played photographer and took all of our pictures. Enjoy your family meals amongst the beautiful scenery! Pack a picnic and eat on the beautiful field just around the pond or head back to town for some locally grown produce and of course, cheese and ice cream at the Mountain Creamery Restaurant in the center of Woodstock. This place looks like an old café/dinner but serves kid-friendly fare. While the boys ate grilled cheese, I devoured a garlic scape wrap with veggies and my hubby enjoyed a pulled ham sandwich. We then concluded our meal by sharing a bit of what we like to call, “sometimes food” (food that we eat some of the time, and enjoy in moderation!) We shared two ice cream sundaes for dessert and wow, were they delicious! Fresh, homemade ice cream – there’s nothing better!
Since we stayed for a long weekend, we also visited Simon Pearce to watch them make their glass dishware. The kids found this fascinating! We then ate off their dish-ware at their restaurant on the river in Quechee, Vt. Other options include visiting the Maple Sugarhouse Museum and or the Sugarbush Farm. So hiking for fun (and exercise), eating locally grown veggies and homemade cheese and ice cream were the highlights of this healthy weekend. I can’t wait to go back and I highly recommend this trip to others wanting a weekend away; filled with both wilderness and the comforts of home. It’s about creating fun experiences for ways to encourage your kids to move, and learn about where our food comes from. Let me know if you’ve been to Vermont, plan to go, or if you have any other healthy weekend ideas!