Things to Do with Kids In and Around Grafton
As part of our resort fee, all Grafton Inn guests have access to trail passes and mountain bike rentals at Grafton Trails, a network of hiking, biking and ski trails right in the town of Grafton. In summer, the Ponds offers mountain bike camps for kids, a bike terrain park, swimming, paddleboat rentals, canoeing, and hiking.
In winter, Grafton Trails is a destination for Nordic skiing with 15km of groomed terrain (5k of which has snowmaking capabilities), plus snowshoeing and snow tubing. Ski, snowshoe and fat bike rentals are available at the Ponds’ warming hut.
Behind our Homestead building, Grafton’s swimming pond — fed by the Saxton’s River — is a perfect way for kids and families to cool off on a hot Vermont summer day! A shallow beach area is perfect for wading and splashing, and the deep end’s rocky wall is a launch pad for cannonballs. Lounge chairs line a open and spacious poolside patio.
Right here in town, the Nature Museum features hands-on exhibits, both indoors and outdoors, and dioramas, focusing on the region’s plants, animals, and geology. The museum offers programming and events for kids ages three and up (yes, even for teenagers), and invites you to explore the natural world in New England.
The Scoop is a seasonal ice cream stand at Rushton Farm in Grafton, scooping locally made ice cream, sundaes and floats. Open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day on Saturdays and Sundays.
Nearby Family Fun in Southern Vermont
Okemo Mountain: Ludlow, Vt.
30 minutes – A destination for jam-packed family fun year-round. In the summer, Okemo’s Adventure Zone includes a mountain coaster, their mountain bike park, disc golf, bungee trampolines, a climbing wall, and the high-flying Big Air Bag. Also at the resort are zipline tours, a ropes course, two 18-hole golf courses, and a large family-friendly swimming pool with a water slide. Their summer concert series is a good reason to stay into the evening!
In winter, Okemo’s slopes are another family favorite, as is their indoor ice rink, snow tubing, kids night out program, and mountain coaster (yes, it’s year-round!).
Bromley Mountain: Peru, Vt.
35 minutes — Kids of all ages (literally) love Bromley’s Adventure Parks in the summertime — this on-mountain hub of family fun has trampolines, zip lines, a climbing wall, a mini-golf course, waterslides, rides, and games. Adrenaline junkies, try your hand at Bromley’s ropes courses (with five difficulty levels), two ziplines (where you’ll travel up to 50 mph), and the ever-popular Alpine Slide.
In other seasons, you can hike a piece of the Appalachian Trail up Bromley Mountain, and in winter, Bromley is a favorite with skiing families thanks to its varied terrain and their ski school programs.
Retreat Petting Farm: Brattleboro, Vt.
35 minutes – The Barnyard at the Retreat Farm is home to more than 50 animals to visit, touch, and groom, including ox, miniature horses and sheep. Educational workshops are offered upon request, and the Grafton Village Cheese Co. store in Brattleboro is right next door!
Montshire Museum of Science: Norwich, Vt.
1 hour — This hands-on science museum is a regional favorite, with indoor and outdoor exhibits relating to natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Bring a swimsuit in the summer for the water exhibits!
Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center: Quechee, Vt.
1 hour — Ideal for families traveling with their teens in toe, the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center offers Central Vermont’s tallest rock climbing experience. Traverse your way through 24 top ropes and 14 lead lines, and then practice your bouldering.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science: Quechee, Vt.
1 hour – Birds of prey and all types of avian activities can be found at VINS. Kids will be rapt at the live raptor shows and feedings, get up close to eagles, falcons, owls and more, and can learn about the center’s rehabilitation efforts in demonstrations. The Songbird Aviary, Nature’s Playground and .75 miles of nature trails (which connect to the Quechee Gorge) round out the visit.