One of my biggest goals is always to take advantage of where we live. There are a some great destinations just a few hours from Saratoga Springs and Shelburne Farms is one of them.
Trevor has been out of town for work for a while now so it was great to hit the road for a change of scenery. When you spend each day kind of doing the same things (getting ready for work, dropping kids off places, working a full day then the full night routine), it’s great to just see something new.
We packed up Sunday morning and hit the road for Vermont. The morning was cool and dark, but the clouds parted when we hit the Shelburne area. The farm didn’t open until 10 a.m. and we were early (of course) so we went into Burlington to The Doughnut Dilemma. I had read mixed reviews on Yelp and I think they were pretty accurate. The doughnuts were good, but I was curious if we were just too late to get some more creative flavors. They had varieties perfect for the kids – chocolate and strawberry frosted – but their website had ones topped with Trix and other creative doughnut concoctions. My Boston cream donut was good, but not out-of-this-world and they were pricey.
We hopped on the tractor wagon and rode to the Farm Barn. At first sight, the barn is stunning. It’s huge and imposing in the Vermont countryside. It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in New England. The grounds at Shelburne Farms is really beautiful. We explored the different animal pens – petting goats, sheep and donkeys. Kids were playing on the grounds, chasing chickens and just running everywhere.
If you aren’t doing one of their more formal tours or events, the Farm Barn is where you spend the bulk of your time. There are exhibits and play areas for kids, a cheese making spot and a small bakery. If you don’t have kids, there isn’t a whole lot to see and do here. If I could do it over again, I’d bring a more elaborate picnic lunch on a beautiful day and just enjoy the yard space more. We did sit out by a side chicken pen for quite some time. Hadley practiced her headstands and Bryn made a make-shift fort with a few trees.
For a mom who has spent a lot of time worrying about a million things, it was nice to hit the pause button and just sit and take in the scenery. The day was sunny and it really is a beautiful place to relax. I think that quiet corner of Shelburne Farms was worth the price of admission, but the cheese certainly didn’t hurt either.
We spent a few hours at the farm, but you can certainly spend more – walking on trails, etc. For some reason I was under the impression there was more sustainable farming – like organic fruits and vegetables, but I didn’t see any.
After the farm, we trekked to the Flying Pigs Bookstore in Shelburne. Our friend Emily was working that afternoon and it really was a great last stop in Vermont. We picked out some new books and some scratch activity books and hit the road back to New York.
The round-trip drive was totally worth it for those afternoon views of Lake Champlain with the peak leaf season. It really is a beautiful place that we live and I definitely needed that reminder this weekend.