Santa BabyAre you traveling to the Burlington area for Christmas? Chances are you’ll see snow (and mistletoe). Here are some ideas for family activities available in the area the week before Christmas. 

1. Catch a holiday movie with your family at Main Street Landing in Burlington. The event is free and open to the public on a first come first serve basis. Donations are accepted and go to a different local nonprofit weekly. The movie being shown on 12/20 at 7pm is It’s a Wonderful Life and donations will benefit the Lund Family Center.  

2. Finish up some shopping while your kids enjoy story time at Buttered Noodles in Williston. Personally, this is one of my very favorite stores in Vermont for kids. Closeout pricing on clothes, a huge selection of toys, and a new consignment area are enough to get me through the door but the huge playroom (Noodle Nook) and 10am-1030am story time (Monday-Friday) is the icing on the cake! So if you aren’t finished with your shopping yet or if you decided to buy gifts on arrival to avoid the TSA wrapped package rules this is going to be your go to source for holiday prep. 

3. Take in a movie at the Mom’s Matinee in Burlington. Thursday mornings are mom-time at Palace 9 Cinemas. A different movie is offered every Thursday at 10:30 am. Movies play at a slightly reduced volume to be baby friendly and their is no pressure for the little rugrats to be silent. On 12/22 the movie showing will be Alvin and the Chipmunks 3, so pack up the kiddos and head over. 

4. Go on an actual sleigh ride in Shelburne. Shelburne Farms is hosting their yearly lineup of sleigh rides. Choose between a day time ride (daily 11a-2p every 1/2 hour) or a special evening ride (12/22 6p, 6:45p, 7:30p). The day rides do not require a reservation and are on a first come first serve basis. These 15 minute rides leave from the Welcome Center and are $8/adults, $6/children, under 3 FREE. A reservation is required for the Evening Sleigh Ride. These half hour rides are $15/adults, $10/ages 3-13, under 3 FREE. Discounts are available for Shelburne Farms members. 

5. Attend Itty Bitty Public Skating at the Leddy Arena in Burlington. This hour and a half of public skating time happens on Mondays and Thursdays from 10-11:30am. Cost is $8/family and skate rentals are only an additional $1/pair.  Activities are led on the ice and wee ones who don’t skate yet are welcome in sleds or strollers. No pre-registration required.

6. Bring the kids to the University Mall for Storytime with Mrs. Claus. Santa may be busy this time of year (and available daily at the UMall M-Sat 11-7) but Mrs. Claus has made time in her schedule (12/21 6:30p-7:30p) to read stories. Bring your kids in their pj’s and they will enjoy cookies and milk while Mrs. Claus reads from some holiday favorites. Storytime takes place on the carpeted area in front of JCPenney’s. If you find yourself at the mall on Monday, treat the kids to a magic show (12/19 6:30p-7:30p) and Wednesday is Kids Eat Free Night at IHOP (3pm-9pm w/ purchase of adult entree).  

7. Take a stroll down Church Street. At Christmastime, Church Street lights up at night like a scene out of storybook. Take a stroll down the street in early evening when all the lights are ablaze. If there’s a chill in the air you’ll have your choice of places to stop into for a hot beverage!

 Nasreen Stump is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont with her family when she’s not on the road for work. Follow her on Twitter @ramblingstump