HOW TO SPEND LESS THAN $30 AT THESE LOCATIONS ON YOUR VISIT TO THE SHIRES
One of the things most Vermonters pride themselves on is their thrifty and frugal nature (fiscally responsible is what we like to say). In any event, if you're traveling through and are looking to create some new adventures but are hard pressed for cash, here are some of our hidden secret gems for a good price! Looking for some inexpensive ways to make some memories? Have no fear, the Chamber is here, and we’ve got the hotspots to saving money and spending time in the beautiful mountains of Vermont.
W/W Homebrew - $30
One of the biggest events happening in Bennington, VT is the Wings and Winter Homebrew Festival. Tickets are $30 per person, but a ticket goes a long way. Admission includes Beer, Cider and Wine samples as well as wing samples from several local restaurants! Also about 100 styles of different beer will be on hand. So be sure on March 18th from noon to 4pm to bring your camera, and your devouring stomach for a great time!
GarlicFest - $8
I chronicled my experiences at GarlicFest and to recap: It was a blast. The best part? Getting to hangout with fellow citizens, tourists, and friends, while enjoying the mountains and fresh smell of garlic. Garlicfest is an economic and fun destination in the Shires.
Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival - $8 (Free for Kids)
The Art and Craft Festival has over 125 art and craft exhibitors ranging from fine art painting, photography, and sculpture to quality leather, textile, glass, ceramic, and woodcrafters to furniture makers and jewelers. There will be a large food market, as well as the Art Bus. Light fare lunch and snacks, beer, wine and soft drink vendors will be set up in the shaded picnic area with plenty of seating.
4Corner’s Homebrew Competition (summer) - $20
A true celebration of homebrewing, that includes a street fair with unique food and home brewed beer sampling. The whole dang County Street in Bennington has to shut down! A community enriching experience that pops up about yearly in the Shires, is an opportunistic time for some craft beers and photo ops for the profile.
Oktoberfest - $8
A niche in the beautiful season of Oktoberfest feels like a community get together in the beautiful shire mountains. The family atmosphere, overshadows the dark brews. And the Colgate Homestead Hubbell Park, is a pleasing view to look over as you enjoy your Donovan’s cider, or Ramunto’s dark roast.
The Famous Blue Benn Diner - $20
Eggs Benedict to die for and an atmosphere like no other, Blue Benn is a staple for breakfast lovers in Bennington. If you want to be cultured in the Shires palate you should make this stop and start your morning the right way. Oh and by the way, it was awarded Top 10 Diners in America by Men's Health Magazine.
Oldcastle Theatre “Movies” - $5
Oldcastle itself is a wonderful experience because of the iconic stage to crowd intimacy. If you ever wondered where to see some black and white films that shape the new era pictures we see today, Oldcastle is the destination. Watching movies at Oldcastle is a brilliant idea for a date night that two film lovers will enjoy!
Publyk House Trivia Night - $30
A local mainstay in Bennington Vermont, The Publyk House hosts trivia night every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm in the economic side of the restaurant, the Tavern. According to the Publyk House, “Trivia night makes other nights trivial.”
Hiking - $5
All across the shires you can get some exercise, while sightseeing for little to no expenses. The beautiful Vermont days are perfect to hike. Instagram loves nature. Lot of likes on that picture. $5 will get you some water and trail mix for your hike at our locally country stores!
Covered Bridge Museum - $9
Discover the history and legends of covered bridges (like the famous Green Mountain Boys of the Revolutionary War) in the world's first museum dedicated to their preservation. Explore the exhibits on engineering, construction, tools, and creators. Build and test your own bridge designs on the computer work station after viewing a video on the past and present construction techniques and uses of covered bridges. Don’t forget, you can drive around these suckers, all through the Shires area
Bennington Lanes & Babbling Brooks Indoor Golf Course - $14 for Bowling & $25 for the Golf Course
Attention competitive adventurers: You can never underestimate the feeling of a strike in bowling or hitting the hardest tee shot you can, also it's affordable. Make sure you are ready for two dollar Tuesdays and get your hands on some bowling balls or golf clubs.
Cinema 7 Tuesdays - $5
Where else can you go see blockbuster movies at a Cinema for only $5?! In the Shires our movie theaters take care of their customers especially on discount night! Another one for the film heroes out there. Looking to debate your friends about the new best movies? Worried about spending money for a new movie, but don’t want to risk a virus on your computer? $5 Tuesdays at Cinema 7 is here to help.
Sugar Shack - $20
Doubling as a Norman Rockwell exhibit and sweet tooth grocery store, The Sugar Shack in Arlington, Vermont is a one stop main hitter in the Shire area. All their main syrup is produced on site and they also have a variety of VT food products from jams, mustards to cheese & fudge, VT sweats & Tees, souvenirs, maple frosted sugar cookies, fresh baked pies and our famous homemade cider donuts. They also have examples, a 15 minute film, and other gift items for the art noir in the family. We put the $20 price tag because we know you won't be able to take your hands off the delicious treats
HolyCow Frozen Yogurt - $15
This is a nice memory for the “in-the-loop” fans. If you want to finish off a delicious meal, head on over to Main Street in Bennington for a frozen nightcap. The yogurt shop is one of a kind and it boasts a variety of flavors, stop by and get your taste soon! The $15 will cover you for about two servings...or just incase you get a second craving for this gem!
Chocolatorium - $20
If you want to expand your knowledge on a delicious topic, check out the Chocolatorium located at the East Arlington. This is a new chocolate exhibit, party and fun place to explore. Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of chocolate. Explore the history and culture of chocolate, where chocolate comes from and how it is made. And get yourself a delicious treat to match the experience of the Chocolatorium. We put a $20 price tag because we know people can't resist the amazing put a $20 price tag because we know people can't resist the decadent flavors of the Chocolatorium.
Doll House and Toy Museum - $10
This small house, that is now a efficient museum of dollhouses is definitely one of the quirkiest attractions of all in Bennington. The rooms are oriented and set in a certain mood that can make everyone feel at home. If you’re a fan of content and clean interior decorating, this is the stop for you.
Hildene - $20 a ticket
If you’re a history buff like we are, then the Hildene estate is a no brainer. Home to the only son of President Abraham Lincoln, Robert Lincoln and his famed estate shows the great taste, and his job of chairman of the Pullman Company, the largest manufacturer in the 20th century. The Georgian Revival mansion is set in scenic Manchester, Vermont and estate offers tours, educational classes, gardens, schools and camps throughout the year.
Bennington Potters Tour - Free
The Bennington Potters tour invites you to see their world renowned pottery in action (pottery which was featured in the Obama White House). Their ‘hands-on’ approach to the pottery-making process is unique in today’s manufacturing environment — as is their tour, where the potters themselves describe each step of many processes. We only tell you to bring some moolah, because the unique pieces are so damn cool. See a preview of their tour here in our Bennington Made series spotlight
Bennington Battle Monument - $5 a ticket.
The Bennington Battle Monument is 306 feet 4 and 1/2 inches tall (the largest structure in the state of Vermont) and was completed and dedicated in 1891. It is constructed from blue-grey magnesian limestone. The Monument was built to commemorate the Battle of Bennington which occurred on August 16, 1777, and is considered to be the turning point in the Revolutionary War. You'll want to take some beautiful photos next to the tallest, most attractive point of Bennington, Vermont.
Bennington Museum - $20 a ticket
This museum is a quirky venue to say the least, and honestly the most variety in a museum you will see. This destination packs it all in, part art gallery, part memorabilia, part music venue, part research center, but all class! The museum has been talked about in the New York Times not only for it’s exquisite art collection, but for it’s structured, clean and various beautiful art pieces. Don’t miss out on a gem in the Shires.
Bennington Farmers’ Market - Free (but be prepared to open your wallet for their homegrown eats!)
Saturday morning markets are a great way to gather with friends and neighbors and shop for tantalizingly fresh food. Stroll along the riverwalk, chat with the vendors about their wares, take in the colors and aromas of just-picked vegetables and fresh baked goodies, and enjoy the great sounds of local musicians. It’s also a way to stay proud and local, while eating healthy in a rather inexpensive manner.
Old First Church - Donations Accepted
Whether you are looking to praise the Lord or visit the eerily peaceful gravestones, this church doubles as a Robert Frost memento and place of worship (to both parishoners and poets alike!). Robert Frost's remains are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church. Although he was not a member of the church, he read his poem, The Black Cottage, at the rededication of our building in 1937, after its restoration to the original interior design. Make sure to pay your respects here to Frost, as well as many Revolutionary War veterans.
Sage City Symphony - Donations Accepted
For the musically inclined that want to make some memories in contemporary music, Sage City premieres new music every season, and the best thing? There is no admission fee for Sage City, just a grateful ask for donations. Let the music, mountains and melody wash away those city blues. You will not be disappointed.
We hope you get a chance to print off this list and check out most of these gems. Can't hit them all up in one weekend? Well, just come on back now ya hear!