Are you looking for fun free activities in Burlington? Here are some ideas!
The Saturday farmers’ market in Burlington is well-known. It runs from 8:30-2pm in the summer in City Hall Park in the heart of downtown. It’s a lot of fun to wander around and people-watch, plus there is free music. Check out the schedule of performers here. If you have a few bucks to spend, you can pick up a snack or even lunch. There are many vendors that sell prepared foods, everything from grilled local sausages to Nepalese curries. In the winter, the market is quieter and moves indoors. You can find it in Memorial Auditorium, just down the hill from UVM on Main Street where it intersects with South Union Street.
Church Street is a pedestrian street in the heart of Burlington. There are lots of restaurants and shops to explore and often performers will set up on the street. Saturdays and Sundays are particularly good days to find performers out on Church Street. There might be violinists, a mime or even a comedian! Church Street also has a number of annual events. The Discover Jazz Festival happens in late May or early June, the Festival of Fools and Sidewalk sale in early August and the Santa Parade and Lighting Ceremony in late November. Watch the Church Street Marketplace’s calendar of events for exact dates!
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Just south of downtown is the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory. You can walk there pretty easily from campus or you can hop the #5 bus from downtown. The factory offers free tours and chocolate tasting seminars. In the summer, tours are available every weekday and the chocolate tasting seminar is offered on Saturdays. The schedule changes seasonally, so check out the company’s website for the exact schedule when you’re ready to visit. After you tour the factory, you can stop in the factory store to stock up on your favorite chocolates. If you look carefully, you might be able to find the company’s discounted seconds for sale. “Seconds” are chocolates that aren’t picture-perfect but are still delicious!
Burlington and the surrounding area have a great system of parks, the most popular of which is the Waterfront Park. The Waterfront Park is home to a number of festivals and events, everything from the Dragonboat Festival to 5K races. On quieter days in the summer, you can take a picnic lunch and sit on the grass to enjoy your meal. In the winter, you can make snowmen and snow angels. On clear days, the Waterfront Park is a great place to watch the sun set over Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. You might be able to get a seat on one of the large swings along the waterfront board walk if you get lucky. Other parks in the area offer beaches for swimming, walking paths, playgrounds, ice skating and more. Check out the Burlington Department of Parks and Recreation’s website for more information about all of the parks.
UVM Home Sporting Events
Looking for something closer to campus to do for free? Your student ID will get you free tickets to student sporting events. Go cheer on your favorite Catamount team! Some sports (hockey, lacrosse, basketball and soccer) require tickets. Information about obtaining tickets is located here. Other sports (track and field, cross-country, skiing, field hockey and swimming and diving) do not require tickets. Just show up! The schedule for all teams can be found on the UVM Athletics website.