New last year is the Ascutney Outdoors organization. They have worked to make Ascutney Mountain in Brownsville, VT a place for all to enjoy for various activities.There’s something for all winter outdoor enthusiasts at Ascutney Trails. Fat-bikers, snow-shoers and cross-country skiers can enjoy the vast trail network hugging the flanks of Mt Ascutney. Back-country skiers and snowboarders can hike up and ski/ride down some of the most unique and challenging back-country terrain in the area. The Ascutney Rope Tow was built in 2015, and welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all ages to enjoy lift-served skiing at Mt. Ascutney once again. There is no charge to use the trails but you do need your own equipment. Check out their website for events planned and future improvements. www.ascutneyoutdoors.org/new-events/
December Weekends & Dec 24–Jan 1- Woodstock, VT – 10am–4pm Christmas at the Farm at Billings Farm & Museum. (excluding Christmas Day) Learn how Christmas was celebrated in late 19th-century Woodstock in the farmhouse and linger in the cozy kitchen as treats are baked in the woodstove. Holiday programs and making historic ornaments. Don’t miss a winter visit to the farm. Horse-drawn sleigh ride or wagon rides, Dec. 26–Jan. 1(weatherpermitting). www.billingsfarm.org/
Jan. 7-8 – South Woodstock, VT – Sleighing Combined Test and Sleigh Rally, Green Mountain Horse Assn., weather dependent so check the website for more info: https://www.gmhainc.org/ecategory/combined-driving-pleasure-driving-events/ This is a great spectator event!
Jan. 14 – Quechee, VT – Winter Wildlife Celebration at VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science), www.vinsweb.org
Jan. 14–16- Woodstock, VT – 10am–4pm Sleigh Ride Weekend at Billings Farm & Museum. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, jack jumper sledding; dairy farm and restored farm house. www.billingsfarm.org/
Jan. 21 – Woodstock, VT – indoor Winter Farmer’s Market – Masonic Hall, 10-1pm
Jan. 21-22 – South Woodstock, VT – Sleighing Combined Test and Sleigh Rally, Green Mountain Horse Assn., weather dependent so check the website for more info: https://www.gmhainc.org/ecategory/combined-driving-pleasure-driving-events/ This is a great spectator event!
Feb. 4 – Hartland, VT – Annual Tiki Torch Trek, 6-8pm – check website for location & details – see below:
“A community evening of outdoor fun! Ski or snowshoe on trails lit by Tiki Torches, eat a great meal and enjoy the bonfire and music. Come and see old friends and make new ones! More information in January, on our website and on posters around town. The TTT will be held even in extreme weather conditions (below 0 temps/ice, etc), but the event may be moved to the Rec Center in this case. So please plan to join in the fun no matter what Mother Nature has in store for us!! ” www.hartlandwintertrails.org
Feb. 11 – Brownsville, VT – Ascutney Winterfest, 9-2pm, www.ascutneyoutdoors.org
Feb. 11 – 26 – Woodstock, VT – Sleigh Ride Weekends, Billings Farm & Museum, 10am – 4pm
Feb. 14 – Woodstock, VT – Jazz – Woodstock Town Hall Theatre, 10am
Feb. 18 – Woodstock, VT – indoor Winter Farmer’s Market – Masonic Hall, 10-1pm
Feb. 17–19 – Woodstock, VT – The Vermont Flurry: Woodstock Snow Sculpture Festival. Woodstock Village Green. Presented by Pentangle Arts. www.pentanglearts.org /
Feb. 18–26 – Woodstock, VT – 10am–4pm Sleigh Ride Week at Billings Farm & Museum. Sleigh rides, sledding with jack jumpers; dairy farm and farmhouse; programs and hands-on activities, presidential cookie favorites and spiced cider. www.billingsfarm.org/
Feb. 25 – Quechee, VT – Owl Festival at VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science), www.vinsweb.org
Mar. 18 – Woodstock, VT – indoor Winter Farmer’s Market – Masonic Hall, 10-1pm
Mar. 25 & 26 – Woodstock, VT 11am–1pm March Maple Madness. Sugar on snow & maple butter popcorn, free on the Green. Maple Taste-A-Round, 6:00- 8:30 pm, $25. www.woodstockvt.com
Below are places of interest – dining – touristy – entertainment:
Some fairly new restaurants in the area! Check it out:
The Hartland Diner in Jessup’s Plaza at Hartland 3 Corners – open 7 days a week for lunch and breakfast (served all day!).Note: Hartland Diner in Hartland 3 Corners will be closed on Tues. & Wed. for the months of Feb. and Mar. Back to open 7 days a week April 1st.
The owners of the former Stella’s restaurant have opened a restaurant in Windsor at the railroad station (Windsor Station Restaurant and Barroom)serving dinner with lots of music events as well!
Opened in Quechee, Singleton’s Market and Jake’s Market with food items, deli, Vermont products and clothing. It has almost everything you could need from fresh fish, homemade sausages, wine, beer…the list is endless!
Another restaurant in Woodstock – The Worthy Kitchen where the Eastender used to be (on the East end of Rt. 4)! Very casual atmosphere, limited menu but the specials change and the food is great (highly recommend the steak!). Draft Beer choices are endless and there is also a token wine selection. The bartenders/wait staff are great fun too!
Another new restaurant on the West end of Woodstock is On the River Inn and in Quechee, The Public House, near the putt-putt golf, offering food and craft beers. A new restaurant in White River Junction is Piecemeal Pies serving English savory pies.
If you are returning to the area from previous visits please note there are lots of restaurants in the area you may wish to try: Trap Door Bakery and Deli in Quechee, and in Woodstock: Melaza Bistro, Pi Brick Oven Trattoria and Pi Martini Tapas Bar(with Jazz music every Wed. at 7pm), Anchor Wat and Mon Vert Cafe. Of course, many of my “old” favorites are still there: Kedron Valley Inn and Tavern(S. Woodstock)-every Sun. is Burger and Beer night; Keeper’s (Reading), The Black Rock Restaurant (Springfield), Long Trail Brewery(Bridgewater) for lunch, Harpoon Brewery (Windsor), Simon Pearce restaurant and The Parker House Inn(Quechee) and many more!! The Kedron Valley Inn is only 3 mi. from the cabin. Bentley’s restaurant in Woodstock offers dancing to their DJ on Friday and Saturday nights at 10 pm. Harpoon Brewery (at Artisan’s Place in Windsor) is open some evenings for dinner – check first as their schedule changes. In the summer there is often Oven-Fired Pizza offered outside.
Another food “establishment” which has garnered a big following is the “elevated food truck” called Chef Brad’s Crazy Side. The food truck has relocated from Hartland to Rt. 4 near the Fat Hat on the way to Quechee. They now have an actual building which is open for breakfast and lunch. Brad is a fantastic chef, thus the big following. You can follow the restaurant specials on his Facebook site. People rave over his chicken in a basket. I personally like his hamburgers or lamb-burgers and sweet potato fries. When the temperatures are cool I always try one of his homemade soups.
I recommend a visit to Sugarbush Farm (www.sugarbushfarm.com) where they have a wonderful educational display and video on sugaring, an animal petting area and a wonderful cheese and maple syrup tasting room with of course a gift shop full of goodies to take home or buy for gifts.
Harpoon Brewery – Windsor – don’t forget live music on Thurs. evenings. And visit Farmstead Cheese (Sustainable Farmer) next door! They offer lots of local products. During the summer they have oven fired pizzas for sale to eat on the picnic tables outside. Also in the same complex there is the Silo making Vermont’s own Vodka/Gin/Whiskey/Moonshine. Often the Silo and Farmstead Cheese team up with some local musical talent and hold a special event at the Silo, serving cocktails and food bites. These places are located in Artisan’s Park in Windsor off Rt. 5 – home to many other interesting places such as Simon Pearce outlet store and Great River Outfitters who feature a lot of Water Activities – check out their calendar http://greatriveroutfitters.com. Sometimes in the winter dog sledding is there – check with www.braeburnsiberians.com
Brown’s Tavern is also open for dinner at the Ascutney Resort nearby along with their Maple Kitchen restaurant which features Prime Rib on Thursday nights. Ascutney Mountain has been revived as Ascutney Outdoors which now has a ski tow rope and there is no charge to ski there. There are also trails which have been opened for biking and hiking.
If you stop at Mike’s Mobil just off Rt. 91 on Rt. 12/5 you’ll find some hot foods to choose from as well as deli sandwiches made to order, to keep you from needing to cook that first meal! Large selection of beer,wine, and coffee. It’s also the closest place to get diesel.
Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT gets top marks for it’s displays for young and old including the outside grounds www.montshire.org
The Windsor Station Restaurant(Windsor, VT) has live music every Tuesday and Friday. Harpoon Brewery (Rt. 5 Windsor) has live music every Thursday and first Saturday as well as brick oven-fired pizzas on the weekends(Summer and Fall). Browns Tavern (Ascutney Resort, VT) has Live music every Sunday Skunk Hollow Tavern (Hartland 4 Corners) has live music every Wednesday and Friday. For details of who is playing check the links below.
For Windsor area entertainment information:
Windsor Station: http://windsorstationvt.com/live-music
Brown’s Tavern: http://brownstavern.webs.com/apps/calendar
Skunk Hollow: http://www.skunkhollowtavern.com/Entertainment.aspx
For info on what’s happening at the Woodstock Town Theatre then check out: www.PentangleArts.org
For more cultural activities in the nearby area check out these sites:
The nearby Billings Farm Museum has an activity going on most of the weekends.
www.hop.dartmouth.edu Hanover, NH
www.TupeloHall.com White River Junction, VT
www.ClaremontOperaHouse.com Claremont, NH
www.OperaNorth.org Lebanon, NH
www.NorthernStage.org White River Junction, VT
www.ArtistreeVT.org Woodstock, VT2016