Creating vacation memories

By Karen D. Lorentz

What makes for special vacation memories? There’s no one-size-fits all answer, but there are some fun things to do that might just tip the scales to remember the year when we didn’t have a ton of snow and we skied some and then explored the world of extracurricular fun!


The new Adventure Center at Snowshed is a great way to have some fun, especially riding the Beast Mountain Coaster, a 4,800-foot long twisting ride where you control the speed of your sled. The sled seats two persons, so it’s fun to take the little ones for a ride. The new Skyeride is a 600-feet long ride that rises 100 feet high and glides back down at 30 miles per hour. With side-by-side seating for two and great views, this is a fun ride for all ages.

Both rides operate Dec. 26, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016; for details, go to

Then there’s the K-1 Gondola ride and lunch atop Killington’s peak for a special treat with views galore.

For couples looking for a new place to explore and a unique experience, Preston’s in the Grand Hotel offers an avant garde lounge and restaurant for après, lunch or dinner. (See Dec. 23 issue of The Mountain Times.)

Join a new trend and ride a fat bike! Fat bikes are huge-framed bikes equipped with over-sized tires (3.6 inches wide) and are becoming more and more popular. Alpine Bike Works, located on Route 4 in Killington, is open year-round and offers a variety of fat bike rentals for you to explore the Killington region by pedal power. Fat Bike Vermont offers service, sales and local knowledge and tips on where to ride.

The Killington region has the best ski shops so if you are in the market for new fashions or gear, this makes a great way to spend some time with someone who knows skiing and riding.

The Killington Art Garage is great for families, although this creative space is not limited to kids, as there are activities for adults as well. Located across from Lookout Tavern, you’ll find this is the place to make cool creations and experiment with one’s artistic side (

There’s nothing like a massage to make your vacation memorable. I can recall the four resorts where I’ve had a massage because they were always so special—relaxing and rejuvenating! Reservations are advised and probably required during this busy time. Great way to melt away stress!

The Killington Grand Hotel Spa is open to the public for massages, facials and pedicures. Check out

The Spa at the Woods offers a full range of treatments from facials and manis to massages. Bonus: the large pool and hot tub are also open to the public. And there’s a fitness center as well, at 422-3139 or

The Pico Sports and Fitness Center is also open to the public. You can work out or swim in the 75-foot indoor heated lap pool. You’ll find dry heat saunas, cardiovascular equipment, strength-training machines for upper and lower body, free weights and benches, dance/aerobics/yoga studio, and more (


The new Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum on Center Street in Rutland offers families with young children a great way to spend some quality and educational, hands-on time. Fun for all ages (

Got adventurous teens or an adult looking for a new challenge? Check out the Green Mountain Climbing Center on Woodstock Ave. (

One of my favorite places for all things Vermont and country is the Rocking Horse Country Store on Route 4 next to the Best Western (open daily, 9-6). From Vermont foods and syrup to kids’ toys to Yankee Candles to gifts and souvenirs, the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is wonderful!

Rutland now has a new bookstore with a wonderful selection of books, a few doors down from the Paramount Theatre. Find your next good read at Phoenix Books on Center Street in downtown Rutland.

Want to take young kids to a park? Let your toddler run free in Main Street Park at the intersection of routes 4 and 7, as well as hoops at the new playground at White’s Pool off Jackson Avenue, which is grandkid approved. You can view a map at, the website of the Rutland Recreation and Parks Dept.

Pine Hill Park in Rutland, another Rutland Rec facility, offers wonderful hiking/biking trails. For info on the adjacent Giorgetti Ice Arena, visit

Also in Rutland, there is Rutland Bowlerama on S. Main St. (Route 7) and a new indoor golf facility at Stonehedge, 172 S. Main St.

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop on 221 Woodstock Ave. in Rutland is a great way to enjoy a special treat!

More to do

One fun trip to explore the Vermont countryside is to visit the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Chittenden. This is a favorite dining and cross-country/snowshoe destination, but it has a new spa and fitness center, salon and more, so check out

There are art centers and galleries galore—the Chaffee Gallery in Rutland, the Killington Arts Guild Gallery as well as Liquid Arts in Killington, and many galleries in Woodstock. Woodstock itself is a great town to explore for shopping and dining.

See the No Snow? No Problem! in the Dec. 23 Mountain Times for more to-do listings and phone numbers. Also, check out the ADE (Arts, Dining, Entertainment) section each week for more ways to enjoy vacation time.

Ring in a Happy New Year with great memories.

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