Shelburne Farms, Vermont

On a recent trip to Vermont, we were able to spend time at Shelburne Farms. Somehow, I was not expecting much from this stop and planned it as a quick break on our way to Burlington. I was pleasantly surprised! I knew there would be cute farm animals, but what I didn’t anticipate was the stunning grounds, impressive barn structure and eager staff ready to educate the kids on everything farm related.

Visiting Shelburne Farms

Riding the tractor up, you clearly see right away that this is no ordinary barn. Built during the “Gilded Age” by a Vanderbilt, the barn is both massive and architecturally beautiful. It’s nearly as impressive as the Royal Mews in London (Royal Barn). The grounds were designed by Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park; they are expansive and make for an excellent day of hiking.

In the 1970’s, when the family needed money to maintain the large structures, they turned the farm into a non-profit, thus benefiting from the tax break. The non-profit educates visitors about the sustainable farming and they do an excellent job entertaining any questions you may have.

My kids loved petting various farm animals, milking cows and goats, collecting eggs, feeding bottles to baby cows and goats and let’s not forget watching the delicious cheese being made.

You have an option when you arrive on which tour to take. We just did the barn, but next time I would recommend seeing the whole property. That way you can see the Breeding Barn, the Coach House and the house which was converted to a lovely inn.

This post is part of Photo Friday on Be sure and head over there to check out more travel photos from around the world.

Photos courtesy of Nancy Solomon

Relevant Links:

Ciao Bambino recommended family-friendly hotels Vermont

Stowe, Vermont with kids

Skiing in Vermont with kids

Kid-friendly luxury getaways by Ciao Bambino and Lexus

Stowe Vacations


  1. With all the craze going on in farm-to-table or paddock-to-plate dining, I’m jumping on the bandwagon myself. Farm tours are a great way to show our kids where their food comes from…and hopefully, educate them to make better choices on their own. Of course, it’s just always good fun seeing cute animals as well!

  2. Our family just paid the farm a visit as well. We, too, didn’t know what to expect but were overwhelmed with the beauty of this place…not to mention the educational aspect of it. I just updated my blog yesterday with details of our visit. Great day!!!

  3. We also enjoyed the Vermont Teddy Bear Company headquarters in Shelburne. These animals were stuffed, but just as cute!

  4. I love this area and know it well, as I am a graduate of the Middlebury College Language schools (Italian). It is one of our family’s favorite areas and the beauty is luscious and verdent and just simply breathtaking. It has stayed a part of our lives as we met there, were married there and go back often.

  5. Nancy-
    You we in my “backyard”! We just love Shelburne Farms and glad you enjoyed it too. Vermont kids are so fortunate to grow up being able to participate in weekly pre-school programs at the farm or just visit regularly with mom and dad. As my kids have outgrown those, we now find ourselves hiking the property or attending the harvest festivals or other special events that are constantly happening on the farm.

    Visitors to the area should check the events calendar, there is always something going on. And not always at the Farm Barn. We love packing a picnic with the family for the Mozart Festival concerts on the lawn at the Inn during the summer months.

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