Top 10 Family-Friendly Activities in Mad River Valley

Nestled in Vermont’s picturesque landscape, the Mad River Valley beckons visitors with a promise of unforgettable adventures. Renowned for its family-friendly vibe, the valley offers a plethora of activities catering to all ages, from hiking and skiing to arts and crafts at local galleries. Our Mad River Lodges are located in the bustling center of the valley, close to a myriad of attractions and serving as a gateway to the valley’s wonders.  

On your next family vacation, spend time at one of our family friendly lodges in Vermont for easy access to a variety of activities in Mad River Valley. Read on to discover the top 10 family friendly things to do in and around the area. 


Waitsfield Farmers Market 

Waitsfield’s summer farmers market transforms into a bustling hub of local culture and flavors, drawing visitors with its vibrant charm. Against the backdrop of Vermont’s scenic beauty, the farmers market showcases an abundance of fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delectable treats. Families delight in the lively atmosphere, and children discover new tastes and treasures while parents peruse the diverse offerings. It is open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. A visit to Waitsfield’s farmers market is the perfect family activity in Mad River Valley!  


Swimming Holes & Waterfalls 

During the summer months, you may find yourself wanting nothing more than a quick dip in the refreshing waters of the Mad River Valley. Some of the greatest swimming holes are found in our backyard, including the Riverside Park Swim Hole just a short drive from Warren Lodge. A little farther away, you can cool off in the Great Eddy Bridge and Lareau Farm Swim Holes. 

These are family friendly with shallow, lazy waters. Another way to beat the heat is by visiting the beautiful waterfalls in our area. Warren Falls offers stunning views at the end of a short hike with deep swimming holes popular for cliff jumping.  

Tip – Whenever you plan a day by the water, always check the weather forecast and avoid rain when possible as the rocks can be slick.  


Hiking & Nature Trails 

Waitsfield, VT offers a variety of outdoor activities, especially for families. For those with young children, the Blueberry Lake trail network is ideal for beginner-level hiking and mountain biking, providing a serene forest environment. For families seeking a bit more of a challenge, the Bragg Hill Road hike, featuring both paved and dirt sections, is a four-mile loop that offers panoramic views of the Mad River Valley. 


Swimming at the covered bridge in Waitsfield, VTWaitsfield Covered Bridges 

Visiting the iconic covered bridges is a wonderful family activity in Mad River Valley. The Great Eddy Covered Bridge, the second oldest in the state, is just a seven-minute drive from our Vermont lodge and is ideal for leisurely walks along the connected pedestrian path. Other scenic bridges to explore include Pine Brook and Warren Covered Bridges. Be sure to bring a camera for family photos. 

Visit Waitsfield Village 

Waitsfield is one of the larger towns in Mad River Valley and serves as a central hub for many activities perfect for visiting families. Waitsfield offers a mix of historic buildings, local shops, restaurants, and accommodations.  We suggest you visit Toast & Eggs, a great place for breakfast and lunch in a cozy setting. For those visiting Sugarbush Resort, stop by Rumble’s Bistro & Bar. They have a wide selection of choices and enough seating for larger families.  

Mad River Path 

The Mad River Path offers families a scenic walking and biking trail through diverse landscapes, including meadows and bridges over brooks. The trail is easily accessible, making it suitable for all ages. Along the path, visitors can enjoy bird watching and interpretive signs maintained by local volunteers. Several entry points to the path are located just a few minutes from our Vermont lodge. The Mad River Path actually runs right through our property. 

Art Galleries & Workshops 

The Mad River Valley is a great place for creative kids to enjoy themselves. Families can visit Mad River Valley Arts to partake in workshops and community activities. This August, parents and kids alike can attend the Vermont Plein Air Festival and experience painting in the great outdoors together. For a small-town gallery, visit Moosewalk Studios and get inspired by intricate country-themed paintings and photographs. They also offer classes allowing families to bond over their creations. 


Horseback riding in the Mad River ValleyFarm Visits & Animal Encounters 

The Mad River Valley offers several farm tour options that are sure to delight small children. A top recommendation is High Country Animals, a non-profit organization focused on improving children’s lives through farm-based education. Children can take riding lessons, attend summer camp, or enjoy interacting with the animals. For a true taste of the Vermont countryside, consider a tour at Hartshorn Farm. Visitors can explore the hydroponic greenhouse and backyard garden while sampling home-grown produce. Another great farm to visit is the Knoll Farm which has Icelandic sheep as well as the best views of the valley. 

Mad River Glen 

Just a five-minute drive from Mad River Lodge, Mad River Glen offers some of the best live music performances in the area. Drive up to Stark’s Pub in the evening to enjoy a family dining experience and the talent of local artists. The Summer Music Series, hosted as a collaboration between Stark’s Pub and Lawson’s Finest Liquors, is especially popular. From Mid-July through September, enjoy the festive atmosphere every Friday evening.   

Sugarbush Resort 

Sugarbush Resort caters to families seeking a memorable vacation with an array of amenities and activities. From the 71-par golf course to the scenic lift rides and hiking trails, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. The resort’s standout feature is its comprehensive childcare services and engaging kids’ programs, providing parents with peace of mind and little ones with endless fun. Summer camps are available for kids aged 4 and up. You can sign your kids up for the day or on a weekly basis while the adults in your group have fun exploring the Mad River Valley.  

On your next vacation to the Green Mountains, you’ll find all sorts of family activities. From hiking and mountain biking to attending an art class to visiting the local farms, there is no shortage of things to do in in the area. Select your perfect Mad River Valley Lodging  experience on our website, we guarantee the family vacation of a lifetime. 

Book Now