We try to collect resource links here to give the CCS community valuable and enjoyable options for virtual activities. This page is a work in progress, (and is in need of updating, too) so check back often!
In the early days of COVID, CCS staff put together this amazing list of activities and resources. In addition to a mesmerizing beluga whale webcam, there are science experiments, recipes, virtual tours, music, movies and fitness options.
Summer Walks Inspiration
Make your walk more interesting and do this walking tour of Burlington murals.
If walking in Burlington, see and hear the Summer Concert Series: “Every Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer, the Summer Concert Series provides a lunchtime concert in City Hall Park, energizing the downtown district with vibrancy while supporting local musicians”
Out For Lunch
Looking for a new place to eat lunch? The Vermont food truck scene is growing as restaurants grapple with safe re-openings. Enter the town name or zip code on the Food Trucks In website to find a local food truck. Click on “About” to find the truck website. Most food trucks use social media for the most recent updates on menu, location and opening, so also follow them to get the latest info.
Beansies Bus opened in April at their usual spot in Burlington and is serving lunch regularly
Out Front Foods is open at Leddy Park and their Home Depot Williston location will open soon
Jamaican Supreme Food Truck is open for take-out at their Lime Kiln Road location in South Burlington
Still Smok’n VT is open and serves up barbecue at their Pearl St. location in Essex Junction
Waterbury Winterfest (Wanderlust) Jan. 29-Feb. 26
The Waterbury Winterfest is COVID-safe, and open to all. Create a team, choose a mascot, follow the challenges and upload to win prizes. Activities marked with a * are open for folks outside of Waterbury.
Vermont Land Trust offers a winter edition of Backyard Bingo! This scavenger hunt bingo experience can get the whole family outside for an afternoon of learning and adventure. When you see one of the items on the board, check it off. Get five squares in a row in any direction, and you win Bingo!
Airing live on CBS (Channel 3) or streaming on the CBS app (free) or other paid TV subscriptions.
Don’t forget the Puppy Bowl at 2 p.m., see ways to watch here.
Jeopardy Labs: Build your own game or use an existing game. Browse for a range of topics. If using existing games, review the questions first to assess if they are reasonable and relevant. Share your Zoom screen to play the game. Full link: https://jeopardylabs.com/
PBS Field Trips: Go to PBS Learning Media and enter “Field Trips” in the search bar. This site is student-oriented so check ahead and review curriculum suggestions before launching an field trip activity. Share your Zoom screen to follow along. Full link: https://vermont.pbslearningmedia.org
Social Drawing: Learn to draw popular characters with animator Michael Woodside. Share the Zoom screen, draw together and chat about the classic movies these characters are from. Full link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbz0SRP7ftKQWKSHvIKPBzQ/videos
Viking TV (PBS sponsor): A library of free, short documentary videos on topics ranging from wildlife, art, food, travel, history and exploration. Browse through the videos together to find interesting topics. I recommend this 10 minute video on Abbey Road Studios for Beatles fans, or this 12 minute video Animals with Purposeabout working animals. Full link: https://viking.tv/
Major League Baseball Fan Page: Listen to player walk-up songs, browse the links on the page, and click on the club logos at the bottom of the page for team-specific activities. Full link: https://www.mlb.com/fans
Ailey Extension (of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) has a YouTube channel with free instructional videos including West African, Salsa and Theater dance. Also, for a limited time the Ailey Dance Theatre has posted free videos of past performances.
Dreamwalker Dance Company, based in Toronto, Ontario, has a free Vimeo channel with performance and instructional videos.
Birders and Citizen Scientists
All About Birds from Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Learn about identifying birds, songs, and feeders. View bird cams from across the globe, learning videos and even create rap songs with bird and animal sounds. Use eBird to track your sightings and contribute the data to scientists at Cornell and Audubon. Can be shared over Zoom or in-person.
View the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium Facebook live presentation of the Great Convergence (Jupiter and Saturn on Dec. 21), hosted by Science Educator, Bobby Farlice-Rubio. The museum also has a YouTube channel (Convergence video not yet posted but lots of interesting videos on animals, astronomy and nature.) Also contribute your wildflower photos to the museum Virtual Flower Table.
Vermont virtual activities to check out:
Gardening videos with VPR’s Charlie Nardozzi: Chase off the winter blues and learn all about gardening with Charlie Nardozzi. He shares recommendations on controlling weeds, growing blueberries, and forcing spring bulbs and tons more.
Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe website: Using the menu at the top of the page, browse the site to find video, photo and written information to learn about Vermont’s first citizens history, the Abenaki Trails project, Abenaki artists and exhibits, preservation and much more.
Vermont Women’s Festival of Crafts Virtual Market Missing craft fairs? Browse products from over 80 talented Vermont artisans from home. Open until December 18.
Vermont lights and beyond:
Train enthusiasts, follow the Vermont Rail System on Facebook for their “Vermont Lights the Way” Holiday Display Train Schedule. They post stops regularly and will come through Burlington in the coming weeks.
John Wilking of South Burlington decorates his house with lights that sync to music playing on 88.1 FM (or 88.3 FM). Located on Dorset St. just south of the Nowland Farm and Old Cross Rd. crossroads. Once it gets dark cars typically line up to see the show, so plan your evening! Read more and find other places to view lights in this Burlington Free Press article. Take a photo and email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org share on the CCS Facebook page for the #VermontLightsTheWay campaign.
National drone light shows, sponsored by Wal-Mart and Intel are scheduled for Dec. 9, 10, 13, 16, 18 and 20 at cities across the U.S. View the light show live via Wal-Mart Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, find the links and more info on this Wal-Mart page.
Check out Zumba.dance for an international selection of free and paid Zumba classes. Sorted by date and class time. Use the filter to select class type, timings and durations. Click on the class for description and Zoom link. Zumba Gold and Zumba Gold-toning are considered low-impact and good for beginners. An account is required to access the Zoom link.
Cooks and chefs, Vermont PBS is hosting a free Q&A with Lidia Bastianich on December 9 (tonight!) at 7:00 p.m. Visit the page to register, and browse past event videos with Rick Steves, Faye Fletcher (Bob Ross-style painting), and more.
Top Seven Vermont Sledding Spots, by the Seven Days. Five spots are in our area, Burlington, Underhill, Shelburne, St. George and Milton
All Trails.com: A comprehensive list of places to walk or hike in Vermont. Filter by town, trail difficulty, length or accessibility.
Vermont State Parks: Click on “Things To Do” for places to hike, winter activities, fishing, and other events and programs. Also includes safety precautions during hunting season.
Burlington Parks & Rec: Scroll down to view a list of Burlington parks and trails, including winter accessibility and activity options.
Geocaching: Download the app and hunt for hidden treasure all over Chittenden County and beyond.
South Hero Land Trust has shared three easy winter hikes with activities (see attached PDF), including accessibility information. More creative outdoor activities are posted here, including a Book Walk, Leaf Art, and Scavenger Hunts.
It’s Too Cold Outside, Stay In
Ever wonder if you can sing like Freddie Mercury? Try the FreddieMeter, a Google Experiment tool to find out (it’s hilarious). Check out other Google Experiments like AI Duet for music skills and Quick, Draw to add to the world’s largest doodle data set. Google Experiments is a lab for users to test technologies and develop new projects and platforms, and for the public to access and try out for free.
Also explore thousands of interactive exhibits, games and experiments in Google Arts and Culture. Try the Art Coloring Book and color in famous artworks with your favorite colors. Or create your own puzzle from major works of art using the solo or multiplayer Puzzle Party game experiment.
*Captioning available by request
**To find activity links from previous emails see here on the CCS Virtual Activities page (via the COVID page)
ollow the Vermont Land Trust for free virtual activities. Upcoming events include “Getting New Farmers on the Land”, “Over and Under the Snow: Virtual Story Ski and Tour of Northeast Kingdom Winter Recreation Spots”, and “Barks, Buds & Branches: Learn to identify trees in winter”. Events are free but voluntary donations are accepted and registration is required. Past events and farm and land tours are on the VLT YouTube channel.
Get Outside (or stay in!)
Get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count global event starting February 12. Free, fun and easy, count birds for 15 minutes from the park, the trail, your backyard or from the comfort of your living room window. Register at birdcount.org to get started. Watch this video to learn more, and help birds and the environment around the world.
Social Media Users:
Debbie Allen hosts dance classes on Instagram Live! The classes are free and available to everyone.
Follow these Audubon accounts for virtual tours, interactive takeovers, and live Q&A:
@Audubon Nature Institute
@Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
@Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
@Audubon Louisiana Nature Center