Who says you have to travel far to have a great spring break? There are plenty of family fun destinations within driving distance to create new memories and experiences all five days during the school break.
Some families may want to save that big trip for a time when the BA.2 COVID subvariant dies down somewhat, and others may have noticed an increase in prices and availability for hotel and flights this April.
You can make it a daytrip and sleep in your own bed, or do a quick overnight to lessen the daily driving.
Here is an itinerary for five family-friendly attractions within two hours drive of Burlington.
On Monday you can head out to the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, about a one and a half hour drive from Burlington.
With lots of hands-on science-themed exhibits, the Montshire inspires curiosity, trial and error and discovery to keep little hands and minds busy all day long.
There is also an extensive network of outdoor trails in the 100-acre woodland property to explore nature. Burn some energy in the forest-themed play area or take the planetary walk, traversing our solar system in a scale-model trek from the Sun to Pluto.
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The center is closed Tuesdays and facemasks were still required, as of early April. Starting in May, outdoor water exhibits open for the season.
Prices are $17 for adults, $14 for children ages 2 to 17 and free for members and children younger than 2.
More information at www.montshire.org.
Tuesday Theme Park
After having a museum day focused on knowledge on Monday, perhaps it's time for just plain fun. Did you know a major theme park is just a two hour drive from Burlington? Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, New York, features rollercoasters, rides and a waterpark.
Here are how many of the 50 rides at the park someone could ride based on their height:
Any height (many of these require an adult rider with child) — 18 total rides.
36 inches tall — 24 rides.
40 inches tall — 25 rides.
42 inches tall — 33 rides.
48 inches tall — 49 rides.
50 inches tall — 50 rides (however, there is one ride with a height maximum of 54 inches).
A one-day ticket bought online costs around $34.99 ($69.99 if bought at the gate). You can add a meal pass for $19.99 or a meal pass with a snack discount and a bottle to use all day long for $34.99.
More information at: www.sixflags.com/greatescape.
Wednesday Birds of Prey
For Wednesday, a day that combines learning, animals and reverential respect for birds of prey and their habitat, you can take an hour and a half drive to Quechee to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.
Get to see raptors up-close that are in the process of being rehabilitated, including eagles, falcons and owls. You can even get to know their names and a little about them before your visit as they each have a profile on the website.
There are a variety of live bird programs, an aviary, exhibits about the forest and the bird-dinosaur connection and nature trails to explore. A canopy walk takes visitors 50 feet above the forest floor and offers views of the Ottauquechee River. The walk is wheelchair and stroller accessible for much of its length.
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Tickets range in price from $15 for youth under 17 to $18 for adults. There are discounts for seniors, educators, military and college students.
More information at: vinsweb.org.
(Wrinkly) Thumb Thursday
For Thursday — a chance to splash around in a climate controlled environment at Jay Peak Pump House indoor waterpark, an hour and a half drive from Burlington.
The park features water slides, a lazy river, a flowrider, climbing wall and basketball, kids water playground and lots of seating with sight lines for parents who may want to watch rather than partake. An in-house café keeps you fueled for a day of swimming and splashing.
Day passes are $43 for those 15 or older, $35 for ages four to 14 and free for kids three and under. A large locker can be rented for $10 plus a $20 key deposit.
More information at: jaypeakresort.com/waterpark/features-rates.
The biggest trip yet is an international one and was saved for Friday in case you decide to stay through the weekend. The Zoo Ecomuseum outside Montréal, Québec, is once again open to American visitors and is a two hour drive from Burlington.
The zoo offers a chance to see 49 native Canadian species in a natural setting.
Advance online reservations are required as well as masking in the main pavilion, but masks are not required while outdoors.
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Adult tickets are $21.50 Canadian (which equates to $18.50 U.S.), and kids ages three to 15 are $12.75 Canadian ($10.75 U.S.) You can purchase online with a Mastercard or Visa specifying an American address.
Be sure to have your preferred identification for international travel and to check COVID guidelines for crossing the border.
More information at: zooecomuseum.ca/en/.
This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Spring break in Vermont: 5 attractions within two hours of Burlington