Fun Things to Do in Stowe VT in Winter

Stowe, Vermont, nestled in the picturesque Green Mountains, transforms into a winter wonderland when snow blankets its landscape. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone seeking cozy indoor activities, Stowe offers a plethora of winter adventures to suit every taste. From thrilling outdoor sports to relaxing scenic experiences, here’s your guide to making the most of winter in Stowe.

Outdoor Adventures

Skiing and Snowboarding at Stowe Mountain Resort

Ski & Ride In Stowe, Vermont | Spruce Peak at Stowe - Mt. Mansfield Skiing

Stowe Mountain Resort stands as one of the premier destinations for skiing and snowboarding in the Northeast. Nestled at the base of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, the resort boasts a wide range of trails catering to all skill levels. From gentle beginner slopes to challenging expert runs, Stowe Mountain offers something for everyone. The resort’s consistent snowfall and extensive snowmaking capabilities ensure excellent conditions throughout the winter season.

Mount Mansfield itself offers iconic skiing experiences with its diverse terrain. Skiers can enjoy thrilling descents and stunning views from the top of the mountain, accessed via lifts that efficiently transport guests to various points along its slopes. The resort also features amenities such as ski schools, equipment rentals, and apres-ski dining options, making it a comprehensive winter sports destination.

Cross-Country Skiing at Trapp Family Lodge

Trapp Family Lodge — Cross Country Skiing

For those seeking a more serene and scenic winter activity, Trapp Family Lodge provides an idyllic setting for cross-country skiing. Set on 2,400 acres of pristine Vermont countryside, the lodge offers over 100 kilometers of groomed trails that wind through forests, meadows, and rolling hills. The trails cater to both classic and skate skiing techniques, accommodating skiers of all levels.

Cross-country skiing at Trapp Family Lodge is not just about the sport but also immersing oneself in the natural beauty of Vermont’s winter landscape. Skiers can expect well-maintained trails, breathtaking vistas, and the chance to spot local wildlife along the way. The lodge also offers rental equipment, lessons for beginners, and guided tours for those looking to explore beyond the groomed trails.

Snowshoeing Adventures

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Snowshoeing in Stowe offers a unique way to explore the region’s winter wonderland at a slower pace. Many local establishments, including Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe Mountain Resort Cross Country Center, provide snowshoe rentals and access to trails suitable for this activity. Snowshoers can venture into forests blanketed in snow, traverse open meadows, and even access trails that are not groomed for skiing.

Snowshoeing is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels, making it a family-friendly activity. It allows participants to experience the peacefulness of the winter landscape while providing an excellent cardiovascular workout. Guided snowshoe tours are available for those seeking a more educational or adventurous experience, often led by knowledgeable guides who share insights into the local flora, fauna, and history.

Dog Sledding with Eden Mountain Dog Sledding

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Eden Mountain Dog Sledding offers a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of dog sledding through Vermont’s snowy wilderness. Located on a working dog sled farm with 3,000 acres of private trails, Eden Mountain provides an immersive experience where guests can interact with friendly huskies and mixed-breed dogs. The adventure begins with meeting the dogs, learning about sled dog care, and assisting in harnessing and hitching the team.

Once on the sled, guests can sit back and enjoy the ride or even take a turn driving the sled under the guidance of experienced mushers. The trails wind through forests and open spaces, offering a blend of excitement and tranquility as the sled glides over the snow. Advanced reservations are required for dog sledding tours, ensuring a personalized and memorable experience for all participants.

Ice Skating at Spruce Peak Village Center

Ice Skating in Stowe, Vermont | Spruce Peak at Stowe - Ice Skating

Located at the base of Spruce Peak, the Spruce Peak Village Center features an open-air ice skating rink surrounded by the scenic beauty of Stowe’s winter landscape. Ice skating is a favorite activity for families and couples alike, offering a fun and festive atmosphere during the winter months. Visitors can rent skates on-site and enjoy skating sessions illuminated by twinkling lights in the evening.

The rink provides a picturesque backdrop of the surrounding mountains and is often accompanied by music or other seasonal entertainment. Skating at Spruce Peak Village Center is a delightful way to unwind after a day of skiing or snowshoeing, providing both exercise and enjoyment in the heart of Stowe’s mountain resort community.

Scenic and Relaxing Activities

Sleigh Rides at Trapp Family Lodge and Gentle Giants

Sleigh & Carriage Rides at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT

Trapp Family Lodge and Gentle Giants offer enchanting sleigh rides through Stowe’s picturesque winter landscape.

  • Trapp Family Lodge: Guests can embark on horse-drawn sleigh rides that meander through the resort’s sprawling 2,400-acre property. The sleighs, pulled by powerful Belgian horses, glide past snow-covered meadows and through tranquil forests, providing a peaceful and romantic experience. Blankets are often provided to keep riders cozy as they take in the breathtaking scenery and perhaps catch glimpses of local wildlife.
  • Gentle Giants: Located along the Mountain Road and Stowe Recreation Path, Gentle Giants provides another delightful sleigh ride experience. Their sleighs, pulled by majestic Percheron and Belgian horses, traverse routes that include scenic spots like the West Branch River and a covered bridge. This family-friendly activity allows guests to enjoy the beauty of Stowe’s winter wonderland in a traditional and memorable way.

Both Trapp Family Lodge and Gentle Giants offer sleigh rides that capture the essence of Vermont’s charm during winter, making them ideal for couples seeking a romantic outing or families looking to create lasting memories against the backdrop of snowy vistas.

Scenic Drives through Smugglers’ Notch

A Winter Trek Through the Notch in Stowe

Smugglers’ Notch, a narrow mountain pass at the foot of Mount Mansfield, offers a scenic drive that is closed to regular traffic during the winter months, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Winter Activities: The closed road becomes a haven for winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking. These activities allow visitors to explore the area’s unique rock formations, scenic overlooks, and natural beauty in a peaceful and undisturbed setting.
  • Historical Significance: Beyond its natural beauty, Smugglers’ Notch holds historical significance as a route once used by smugglers during the 19th century. The area’s history adds a layer of intrigue to winter excursions, enhancing the experience for those interested in both outdoor recreation and local lore.

Culinary Experiences and Cozy Retreats

Range Restaurant and Bar | Brasada Ranch

Winter in Stowe offers opportunities to indulge in culinary delights and enjoy cozy retreats after a day of outdoor adventures.

  • Dining: Stowe boasts a variety of restaurants and cafés where visitors can savor Vermont’s culinary offerings. From hearty soups and stews to gourmet meals featuring locally sourced ingredients, dining establishments in Stowe provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere to unwind and refuel.
  • Cozy Accommodations: Many lodging options in Stowe offer cozy accommodations, ranging from quaint bed and breakfasts to luxury resorts. After a day spent skiing, snowshoeing, or exploring, guests can relax by a crackling fire, indulge in spa treatments, or simply enjoy the comforts of well-appointed rooms with views of snow-covered landscapes.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center

Craftsbury Outdoor Center: A Sustainable Touring Center Facility — Cross Country Skiing

Located north of Stowe in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center offers a serene retreat for winter enthusiasts.

  • Activities: In addition to cross-country skiing, the center provides opportunities for snowshoeing, ice skating, and other outdoor pursuits amidst 400 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Guests can explore groomed trails, enjoy guided tours, or participate in organized activities such as animal tracking or nature studies.
  • Indoor Amenities: For relaxation and rejuvenation, the center features indoor amenities like a sauna, fitness room, and the services of a certified massage therapist. These amenities provide a perfect complement to outdoor adventures, allowing visitors to unwind and recharge in a peaceful environment.

Stowe Arena

Stowe Arena - Stowe

Stowe Arena offers an indoor ice skating experience that is perfect for families and individuals alike.

  • Ice Skating: Open from June through March, the arena provides a venue for public skating sessions, ice hockey games, and skating lessons. Skates are available for rent, and beginners can use assistive devices such as cones and crates to help maintain balance on the ice.
  • Community Events: Throughout the winter season, Stowe Arena hosts various community events and activities, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of winter in Stowe. Whether attending a hockey game or participating in a themed skate night, visitors can enjoy the camaraderie and spirit of the local community.

Indoor Attractions

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Indoor Dining and Shopping

After a day of outdoor adventures or indoor activities, visitors to Stowe can enjoy the town’s offerings of indoor dining and shopping experiences.

  • Restaurants and Cafés: Stowe boasts a diverse selection of restaurants and cafés that cater to a range of tastes and preferences. From cozy bistros serving hearty comfort food to upscale eateries offering gourmet cuisine, dining establishments in Stowe provide a welcoming atmosphere to savor locally sourced ingredients and Vermont specialties.
  • Boutiques and Shops: Explore Stowe’s boutiques and shops, which offer a variety of goods including locally made crafts, artisanal products, and unique souvenirs. Whether browsing for gifts or treating oneself to a special item, Stowe’s retail scene showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of local artisans and entrepreneurs.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

For those interested in exploring the cultural and historical aspects of Stowe, indoor attractions offer insights into the town’s heritage and community spirit.

  • Museums and Art Galleries: Stowe is home to several museums and art galleries that showcase local history, art, and culture. Visitors can learn about Vermont’s rural heritage, view exhibitions of contemporary artwork, or explore interactive displays that highlight the town’s evolution over time.
  • Historic Sites: Explore historic sites in and around Stowe, including preserved buildings, landmarks, and sites of cultural significance. Guided tours and self-guided walks provide opportunities to discover the stories and traditions that have shaped Stowe into the charming destination it is today.

Culinary Experiences

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Local Cuisine and Dining Atmosphere

Stowe’s dining scene is characterized by a diverse array of restaurants, bistros, and cafés that celebrate Vermont’s culinary heritage and local ingredients.

  • Farm-to-Table Dining: Many restaurants in Stowe pride themselves on sourcing ingredients locally, showcasing the region’s seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, and locally raised meats. This commitment to farm-to-table dining ensures fresh, flavorful dishes that highlight Vermont’s agricultural bounty.
  • Cozy Atmosphere: Winter in Stowe creates a perfect backdrop for cozy dining experiences. Restaurants often feature warm, inviting interiors with crackling fireplaces, rustic décor, and panoramic views of snow-covered landscapes. It’s an ideal setting to relax and enjoy a meal after a day of outdoor activities.
  • Vermont Specialties: Sample Vermont specialties such as maple syrup-glazed dishes, artisanal cheeses paired with local wines or craft beers, and hearty comfort foods like savory stews, soups, and freshly baked breads. These dishes reflect the region’s rich culinary traditions and commitment to quality ingredients.

Dining Options

  • Fine Dining: Stowe offers several fine dining establishments where guests can indulge in gourmet meals prepared by talented chefs. These restaurants often feature seasonal menus that showcase creative interpretations of Vermont’s culinary staples, ensuring a memorable dining experience.
  • Casual Dining: For a more relaxed meal, explore Stowe’s casual dining options ranging from charming cafés and bistros to family-friendly restaurants. These establishments offer a variety of cuisines to satisfy diverse tastes, whether craving international flavors or classic American fare.
  • Après-Ski Dining: After a day on the slopes or exploring winter trails, indulge in après-ski dining experiences at local resorts and lodges. Enjoy hot beverages like mulled cider or hot chocolate, accompanied by hearty appetizers or gourmet snacks that provide the perfect end to a day of outdoor adventure.

Culinary Events and Festivals

  • Winter Events: Stowe hosts culinary events and festivals during the winter season that celebrate food, drink, and local culture. These events may include food tastings, wine pairings, cooking demonstrations, and specialty dinners featuring guest chefs or themed menus.
  • Maple Season: Vermont’s maple season in late winter is a highlight for culinary enthusiasts. Many restaurants feature maple-inspired dishes and maple-themed events, allowing guests to savor the sweet flavors of freshly tapped maple syrup in a variety of culinary creations.

Local Breweries and Distilleries

  • Craft Beverages: Explore Stowe’s local breweries and distilleries to sample craft beers, artisanal ciders, and spirits made with Vermont-grown ingredients. Many establishments offer tours, tastings, and opportunities to learn about the brewing and distilling processes firsthand.
  • Tasting Rooms: Visit tasting rooms and taprooms to enjoy flights of locally brewed beers or spirits, paired with snacks or small plates that complement the flavors of each beverage. It’s a great way to relax and experience Stowe’s vibrant craft beverage scene.

Cooking Classes and Workshops

  • Hands-On Experiences: Enhance your culinary skills with cooking classes and workshops offered in Stowe. Learn from professional chefs who share their expertise in preparing regional dishes, seasonal specialties, or techniques for incorporating local ingredients into everyday cooking.
  • Farm Visits: Some culinary experiences in Stowe include farm visits where guests can learn about sustainable agriculture practices, harvest fresh ingredients, and participate in farm-to-table cooking demonstrations. These immersive experiences provide insights into Vermont’s agricultural landscape and culinary traditions.


Stowe, VT, in winter is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and a haven for those seeking relaxation amidst stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re speeding down ski slopes, exploring serene trails on snowshoes, or enjoying a peaceful sleigh ride, Stowe offers unforgettable winter experiences for all ages and interests. Plan your winter getaway to Stowe and immerse yourself in the magic of Vermont’s snowy season.