Winooski is quickly becoming known as the Brooklyn of Burlington. With just over one square mile of land, Winooski packs a punch with its hip dining and drinking options. Though known to outsiders for its busy rotary, surrounded by popular restaurants and bars, Winooski is a diverse city with a rich history and plenty to do.
For over ten years, Sneakers has been my go-to for delicious breakfast. Not only is their food delicious and their waitstaff prompt and pleasant, but their menu caters to all appetites and is wallet-friendly to boot. Sneakers is bustling enough to make it suitable for kids but never feels too chaotic or loud. What’s more, even though you’re pretty much guaranteed a wait on a weekend morning, Sneakers will send you next door to Monkey House where you can grab a cup of coffee for yourself and entertain the family with board games or a round of pool while you wait for your table.
Best Outdoor Activity
When the kids need to just play, stop by the elementary school, as their playground is fantastic. But if you’re in the mood for activities for the whole family, stroll along the Winooski River Walk and the Winooski Nature Trail. The River Walk is very family friendly and gives kids an up-close view of the falls. For a little more adventure, continue onto the Winooski Nature Trail. This scenic route takes you along the river to the falls. Just over a mile in length, it’s well-maintained and manageable for active kids. Just be aware of the steep cliffs by the gorge.
Best Indoor Activity
Libraries are always special places, but they are especially so when graced with enthusiastic children’s librarians. Winooski Memorial Library may be small, but the energy of the librarians makes it larger than life. And though Winooski is packed with dining and drinking options, indoor activities are somewhat limited. When caught on a dreary day, the library is the perfect place to wait out the rain.
Best Money Saving Tip
On Sundays throughout the summer and early fall, the Winooski Farmers Market offers local produce and products for sale, as well as free live entertainment and activities for kids. Kids can join the POP (Power of Produce) Club for discounts and special offers, but even those who aren’t members are invited to enjoy the vegetable, farming and nutrition-related activities.
Secret Spots & Little Known Gems
For an afternoon of fun away from the bustle of the rotary, stroll up to Landry Park. After a pleasant walk from downtown through one of Winooski’s quaint neighborhoods, you’ll stumble upon this gem – great for a picnic or quiet walk. Let the kids explore the playground, watch the skate park, take in a baseball game, swim in the pool, or play tennis. In the winter, the sledding hill gets a lot of attention, as does the outdoor skating rink.
About the Author
Gretchen Stern is the mother of an active four-year-old boy. She spends her weekdays as the Organizational Development Manager at the Children’s Literacy Foundation, freelance writing for Parent Express, RootsRated, KidsVT and dancing to stay healthy (and sane). On the weekends, she enjoys exploring Vermont’s food, libations, rivers, and mountains. You can find her here.
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