Three Springtime Things to Do

Three Things to See in Vermont This Spring (Including Baby Lambs!)

By Carolyn Fox and Pamela Polston
Story originally published in Seven Days on 03|23|2021.

Stroup Family Sculpture Park

Southern Vermont Arts Center, 930 SVAC Dr., Manchester, 362-1405

From indoor art galleries to 120 acres of forestland with trails flanked by the Green and Taconic mountains, the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester offers plenty of eye candy. Perhaps the most unique sightseeing option on this campus is the Stroup Family Sculpture Park.

In 1956, sculptor Simon Moselsio showed some of his works in a meadow along the center’s winding driveway. Today the park has grown into the largest sculpture garden in Vermont, with approximately 40 artworks, said executive director Anne Corso.

“With such a large and expansive campus, people can really create their own experience here,” Corso said. “You could hike up the driveway; you could hike through the trails; you could sit at any of the picnic benches and bring your own lunch … We see people of all ages and abilities of activity coming out and walking.”

While there’s an admission fee for the indoor galleries, which in spring showcase student art from southern Vermont, as well as member works, it’s free to stroll the grounds — and dogs are welcome. Nearby trails connect to Nature Conservancy paths, making a loop to Equinox Pond or a hike to Equinox Mountain possible.

In the area…

Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park, 340 Recreation Park Rd., Manchester, 362-1439
Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, 1005 Hildene Rd., Manchester, 578-1788
Moonwink, 4479 Main St., Manchester Center, 768-8671


69 Old River Rd., Woodstock, 457-2355. See website for season schedule and special events.

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, April means it’s time to meet those lambs! Billings Farm & Museum is just the place to commune with fuzzy baby sheep — not to mention calves, steers, goats, chicks, bunnies and Mother Nature.

As an operational dairy farm dating back to 1871 and a modern-day nonprofit focused on education and sustainable agriculture, Billings and its 200-plus acres of cropland offer an experience of rural Vermont farm life steeped in history.

Visit on opening day in April and get free Vermont-made ice cream. The Baby Farm Animal Celebration follows later that week — the babies will be in the barn, ready for up-close viewing, and families can get ready for gardening season by planting heirloom seeds in cups to take home. Sheep Shearing & Herding is at the end of April, with demonstrations, hands-on crafts and sheep’s-milk chocolate caramel made by the farm’s chef.

On quieter days, explore Billings’ walking trails, which wind about a mile along the Ottauquechee River. As the weather warms and the crops grow, guests can explore a quartet of themed gardens — heirloom, victory, pollinator and pizza — and, in late summer, the Sunflower House, a maze-like creation planted annually by the Woodstock Inn & Resort’s master gardener.

Return throughout the year to watch both plants and animals grow and take part in a full calendar of special events, including Family Sheep and Wool Weekend, Antique Tractor Day, a Family Halloween, Christmas at the Farm, and Wassail Weekend.

In the area…

Farmhouse Pottery, 1837 W. Woodstock Rd., Woodstock, 457-7481
Woodstock Farmers’ Market, 979 Woodstock Rd., Woodstock, 457-3658
The Yankee Bookshop, 12 Central St., Woodstock, 457-2411


10 Vernon St., Brattleboro, 257-0124

From the outside, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center looks deceptively small. But visitors will find a spacious, high-ceilinged lobby with open exhibition areas on both sides; additional shows are tucked into a warren of rooms in this former train station. The architectural details of the historic building, refurbished in 1972, compellingly frame the contemporary art it now houses.

The diversity of the BMAC’s exhibits is typical of the nonprofit’s mission to both serve the local community and bring in engaging artists from the region and country. Exhibits rotate through the center’s six galleries roughly every three to four months, with between 15 and 20 total every year.

In the area…

Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, 1223 Bonnyvale Rd., West Brattleboro, 257-5785
Grafton Village Cheese’s Brattleboro Specialty Cheese & Wine Shop, 400 Linden St., Brattleboro, 246-2221, ext. 101
Mocha Joe’s Café, 82 Main St., Brattleboro, 257-7794


Seven Days Staytripper Series

Created by Seven Days, the Staytripper: The Road Map for Rediscovering Vermont” series presents curated excursions statewide. The series was originally published from 2020-2022 and highlights Vermont restaurants, retailers, attractions, and outdoor adventures to spotlight all corners of the state.