Winter Guide: Lots of Family Fun When the Weather Gets Bad | Entertainment
The Northeast Kingdom and the North Country have a lot to offer in the outdoors throughout the winter, but the region can be just as fun indoors with offerings for the curious, the creative and the adventurous. .
At the top of almost every list of sights to see in the NEK is Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in Saint Johnsbury. The 130-year-old Natural History Museum features an impressive collection of animals, artifacts, tools and more, housed in a Victorian stone building listed on the National Historic Register. The museum also offers temporary and temporary exhibitions as well as Vermont’s only public planetarium. You will need to plan your visit, however, as the museum typically closes for most of January, its traditional downturn, for maintenance, renovation and improvement projects. (www.fairbanksmuseum.org)
A short walk south of St. Johnsbury’s Main Street from the Fairbanks Museum is Saint Johnsbury Athenaeum. While the Athenaeum (150 years old in November) serves as the city’s public library, it houses a large art gallery filled with a collection of Hudson River artists, genre paintings, and masterpiece reproductions. Renaissance and Baroque work. The most prominent of the paintings is the Domes of Yosemite, an oil painting nearly 10 feet by 15 feet by Albert Bierstadt depicting the famous California landscape. (www.stjathenaeum.org)
If you are interested in historic libraries with unique characteristics, consider heading north to Derby Line to visit the Free Haskell Library and Opera. The Haskell is the cornerstone of two communities in two countries, as it was purposefully built between 1901 and 1904 over the Canada-U.S. Border with part of the building in Derby Line, Vermont, and the other in Standstead, Quebec. The facility typically hosts both library events downstairs and theater and performance events upstairs in the opera house. (haskellopera.com)
If the performances pique your interest, be sure to check in at Arts of the catamaran in Saint Johnsbury. Catamount is a multi-faceted arts organization comprising of cinemas, art galleries and as a local promoter and ticketing venue for local shows. Catamount partners with local entertainment series and venues to deliver world-class shows throughout the region. (www.catamountarts.org)
One of the newer performing arts centers in the region is the Highland Arts Center in Greensboro, Vermont HCA offers a year-round program of events, performances and exhibitions in a state-of-the-art facility that offers a return to a theater in the round. (highlandartsvt.org)
Across the Connecticut River you will find the Tillotson Center in Colebrook, NH The Tilly, as it’s called, is a cultural heritage center, art gallery, and performance center. From humble stable beginnings, the multi-purpose facility was remodeled and expanded just over a decade ago and is home to facilities from the Colebrook Area Historical Society and the Connecticut River Artisans Group. (www.tillotsoncenter.org)
Southern New Hampshire is the Colonial theater in Bethlehem, which also serves as a home for arts, film, music and culture in the north of the country. A visit to the Colonial can be a shoulder season visit, as it typically closes in the dead of winter. (bethlehemcolonial.org)
For art lovers, there is no shortage of places to visit, including MAC Arts Center, Newport, Vermont (maccenterforthearts.com); Grass Roots Art and Community Effort, Hardwick, Vermont (graceart.org); NEK Artisans Guild, St. Johnsbury (www.nekartisansguild.com); NH Craft League, Littleton, NH (nhcrafts.org); Gallery in Wren, Bethlhem, NH (www.wrenworks.org)
If a movie is your style, take a look at these theaters that run all winter:
Finally, for thrill seekers who still want to be indoors and warm during the winter, look no further than Jay peakis inside Pump House Water Park. The Pump House is a year-round indoor water park with a myriad of slides, lazy river, flowrider surf station, children’s play area, deep water pool and more. Day passes are available for those looking for a day trip. Jay Peak also has a cinema, indoor climbing wall and recreation center open to the public. (jaypeakresort.com)
This is just a sample of the many indoor attractions the region offers throughout the winter. Even more attractions are open in the spring, summer and fall for those looking for a repeat trip to the area.