The In-Cider Scoop on Vermont Fall Activities
Photos courtesy of the 251 Club
Fall in Vermont is one of the best times to connect with family. Between the incredible views, delicious seasonal treats and family-friendly activities that connect all ages with the landscapes and Vermonters who call it home, the season offers something for everybody.
Members of Vermont’s 251 Club aim to visit every town and city in the state. All that traveling means they have the inside scoop on the best fall activities and stops for all ages in Vermont, and they shared some of those inside tips with you.
Corn mazes are a popular fall activity, with just the right amount of challenge and the chance to make treasured family memories. Member Lauren Norford of Pittsford highlighted Hathaway Farm and Corn Maze in Rutland for the fun, unique patterns they make with the paths through the maze every year.
Another winner of a corn maze? Percy Farm in Stowe, according to 251 Club executive director Stephanie Young.
Percy Farm Corn Maze, photo courtesy of The 251 Club/Stephanie Young
“We love to go to the Percy Farm Corn Maze in Stowe. The corn maze is a perfect challenge for our family (not too hard, and not too easy)! Although I do have to admit one time, I had to call from the middle of the maze to get directions,” Young said. “Visiting Whitcomb's Land of Pumpkins and Corn Maze has also become a tradition for us. This is where we head to pick out our pumpkins to carve! But before we do that, we try our hand out at their corn maze. My kids love it because they have different checkpoints you have to look for that help you solve a puzzle. They also hide in the corn maze a special marked ear of corn, which if you find you win a small pumpkin or gourd. This always leads to some fun competition as to who can find it.”
Photo courtesy of The 251 Club/Stephanie Young
Cider doughnuts and orchards seem to go hand in hand in the fall. Sipping a hot mulled beverage while crunching on locally grown, fresh fruit is a classic Vermont fall activity and a club favorite, with suggestions coming in from around the state.
“For fall these past couple of years, we've loved visiting Shelburne Orchards to pick apples, drink apple cider, and chow down on cider donuts. The kids are always so excited and we end up picking too many apples, which just means we bake more pies,” said Kristin Garcia of Burlington. “We also hope to try a few new things this year - like a corn maze and the Sunflower House at Billings Farm.”
Shelburne Orchards, photo courtesy of The 251 Club/Kristin Garcia
“Brown's Orchard & Farmstand in Castleton, VT has the best cider doughnuts,” said Kristen Jarvi of West Rutland. A whopping four club members suggested visitors stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury for warm cider doughnuts and a live showcase about the making of Vermont’s fresh apple cider.
Member Cora Willis Cooper says she loves the cider doughnuts at Westminster’s Allen Brothers, while Gillian Sewake of Peacham recommends Cabot’s Burtt’s Orchard.
“Burtt's Apple Orchard in Cabot has the best (I do not say this lightly) apple cider donuts of all time, perfect for snacking in between bites of the apples, pears or other fruit you're picking,” Sewake said.
John Predom of Island Pond calls Monkton’s Boyer’s Orchard “a real family event,” with “cider donuts, Cabot cheese, apples, plums, corn, vegetables, honey, flowers, everything! Oh, and fresh squeezed cider too.”
Michael Leake of Bennington suggested a few southern Vermont spots, too, including “Sugar Shack in Arlington for doughnuts and creemees in summer, and Armstrong Farm in Bennington for their beautiful pumpkin patch.
Armstrong Farm, photo courtesy of The 251 Club/Michael Leake
The Sugar Shack has donuts that are light and fluffy and full of flavor, plus other treats and VT wearables. Armstrong has the best display around! They have fresh produce in the summer and you can get maple syrup and fall decorations (corn stalks, gourds) along with your pumpkins,” Leake said.
Donut at Sugar Shack, photo courtesy of The 251 Club/Michael Leake
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