Venture Vermont: Manchester VT Community Library


Manchester Community Library – 138 Cemetery Avenue / Route 7A Manchester Center, VT 05255. After taking a right onto Route 7/Main St. heading north toward Dorset from the main Manchester roundabout, the Manchester Community Library is on the corner of Cemetery Ave. on the right with plenty of public parking.

What to Expect

Imagine taking all of the coolest amenities you’ve seen at other libraries (aside from massive granite pillars & lion statues out front) and put them all under one roof – that’s what the Manchester Community Library has accomplished.

The building was finished in Fall 2014, so it is completely ADA-compliant, WiFi-friendly, and has a great open-space flow, making accessibility a non-issue. Make sure to stop in the library’s Commons area upon arriving – note the cathedral ceilings and massive 4-pane windows while you flip through a magazine, take a phone call, or enjoy a cup of coffee at the Café (Mon-Fri). Restrooms and access to the downstairs study rooms via elevator or stairs are also found in the Commons. If you’d like to rent out a study room, visit the Help Desk for access to the Lower Level.Manchester Library - YA Lounge II

The library is home to over 20,000 books, audiobooks, DVDs and more in its Main Corridor, which houses the Help Desk and access to kids-specific reading spaces. The Young Adult Loft contains several computer workstations, stylish furniture, and a laundry list of board games in a unique space specifically designed with teens in mind. For younger kiddos, the Children’s Barn is a fantastic space to foster creative development – volumes of dedicated children’s books, bean bag chairs, and the Kids’ Craft Room, which hosts weekly programming such as PreSchool Story Time. In the Main Corridor, browse tens of thousands of items from Arts & Literature to Nature to Gardening, Health, and Food. Don’t forget to post up near the fireplace at the east end of the Main Corridor in the Mark Skinner Reading Room. Or, try the Adirondack chairs on the outdoor patios & take in some gorgeous VT views. Two entrances to the Hunter Community Room can also be found in the Main Corridor and the Commons. This space is ideal for local gatherings and events, and is one of several rooms available to rent.

This state-of-the-art facility also offers free online classes, technology and computer trainings, local history & genealogy collections, and free summer reading programs for kids. For the kids, make sure to check out the Summer Reading Program, running July 9 thru August 13. Sessions cover music, movement, mad science, and one week with live turtles!

Manchester Library - childrens barn

If you’re not library member, no worries! You can still reference materials in-house, hop onto free WiFi, and relax in a uniquely welcoming & cozy environment. To borrow library materials, however, requires membership. If you’re a Manchester resident, your library card is free! For non-residents (or those simply summering or spending the ski season close by), there are individual & household memberships with annual and 6-month options. Visit one of the friendly librarians to learn more.

What to Pack

 Don’t forget to bring a few extra dollars – the “Liberry” muffins are a must-try & are a super filling treat for just a $2 donation. For something lighter, coffee and granola bars run $1. If you’re using the printer or copier (color prints available as well), there’s a small fee. For an afternoon of reading and relaxing, $5 should do the trick.

Suggested Age Range 

The Manchester Community Library is ideal for all ages! It’s not uncommon for kids as young as two accompanied by their grandparents to enjoy some game-time in the Children’s Barn together – a place that truly offers something for everyone.

What We Learned

 Fun knowing such a “hidden gem” exists right down the road from Stratton Village. Make sure to check out all that the Manchester Community Library has to offer on your day trip to the ‘city’ – it’s worth the drive. Biggest takeaway? Some much needed peace and quiet & some light reading next to the over-sized fireplace in the Reading Room – doesn’t get any better! If you get the chance, don’t miss out on the Summer Wednesday Series. Taking place the first Wednesday of each month from June 3rd – September 2nd, the Series offers unique programs like “Hometown Storytellers” & “Reading and Writing Memoir”, free & open to the public.







About the Author:

Steve Croucher | Steve’s true passion outside of work is training for off-road triathlon … coaching stevebioMasters Swimming, grinding up local MTB singletrack, & trail running nearby Equinox and Bromley peaks. Originally from York, PA, Steve spent three years in Vail, CO before moving back to the East Coast to coordinate activities, programs, & events with Stratton Mountain. Steve also enjoys cooking, catching The Walking Dead, NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” on Saturday mornings, family BBQ’s, and a strong Moscow Mule on Friday nights.

5 Summer Activities Kids Will Love


Summer vacation is fast approaching! Looking for some new & fun activities to keep the kids busy and active this summer? Try something new and join us for summer in the Green Mountains.   Here’s our top 5 summer vacation activities right here at Stratton. 

1. Stratton Kids Adventure Camps  Choose from four different types of camps, each one allowing kids to make new friends and explore the beauty of Southern Vermont in the summer.


2. Take a scenic gondola ride. You’ve seen the breathtaking views in the winter, but have you ever seen the Green Mountains actually green? A gondola ride to the summit will give the whole family a total 360 degree view!


3. Golf as a family. The new 9-hole Pitch and Putt Course at the Stratton Golf School is ideal for beginner and family play. The Stratton Golf School also provides family and kids programs, where you can get personalized coaching from Stratton’s golf pros.


4. Enjoy the Free Summer Concerts Series on the lawn with the whole family. Each Saturday, a new artist will entertain at the commons, where there will be lawn games and a BBQ. Dancing is encouraged.

Fourth of July

5. Hike & Explore! No matter what age or ability level, there’s a hiking trail for everyone in the family. Along the way, make it fun – see how many critters you can spot, collect fun shaped rocks and splash in natural streams.


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11 MUST-DO Activities @ Stratton this February Vacation

By Cassie Russo

February has brought so much snow and fun activities to Stratton – making Southern Vermont the best place for February Vacation. Whether your trip is planned, or you are here right now, here’s what I think are the 11 must-do activities while here at Stratton on your February Vacation.

1. Ski and/or SnowboardHSP2015_8576-2250pxA bit obvious, but with 60″ of fresh snow in February alone, conditions are better than ever!! Mike via Twitter said that these are the “Best conditions I’ve EVER skied.”

Snow conditions

2. Visit the Ice Castle

150117_IceCastleNight_HS_3572If your kids are in love with Disney’s “Frozen”, which they probably are, they will be in awe of the ice Castle at the Sun Bowl. It’s growing and changing every day, so there’s always something new to explore!

Hours and ticket information

3.Go Fat Biking

Fat Bike VillageThe newest and most popular trend has arrived at the Sun Bowl. On February 21, the whole family can try out Fat Bikes and learn more information about the growing sport!

Event information

4.Enjoy Live Music in the Village

No matter what your taste in music is, we’ve got a variety of live bands playing all season long. With 14 during President’ week alone, the whole family can enjoy live music at many venues throughout the village.

Live music line-up

5. A Night Out for the KidsHSP2014_0222-2250px

Kids Night Out returns on February 21, where kids of all ages come together to enjoy s’mores by a campfire, sledding and a movie night! While the kids make new friends, Mom & Dad can have their own night out (see #6.)

Kids Night Out


6. Date Night

While the kids enjoy Kids Night Out, Mom & Dad can enjoy dining without ever having to leave the village. With a multitude of dining options, the Village is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

Dining information

7. Retail Therapy

HSP2014_0161-2250pxWhether you want to splurge on that new jacket you’ve been eying or treat your sweetie to a new pair of earrings, the Village is full of retail shops to satisfy all your needs. Check out the Stratton Clothing Company, where you can take home souvenirs from your Stratton exploration!

Retail shops

8. Go TubingHSP2011_4010Tube with the whole family at the Sun Bowl day or night! The Tube Park features four lanes of lift-serviced snow tubing, warming hut with light refreshments and fire pit.

Tubing information

9. Explore the Nordic CenterHSP2014_5966-2250pxCross Country ski or snowshoe our 12km of nordic trails located at the Sun Bowl! It’s a great activity to get the family together and stay active!

Nordic Center information

10. Pamper yourself at the SpaHSP2013_7268

Facials, massages and manicures are just the beginning of what the day Spa at Stratton has to offer. Treat yourself, you’re on vacation.

Spa information

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11. Visit the Training and Fitness Center

Stay active during your vacation with our Fitness Center’s many classes, including yoga, spin and swimming! The indoor salt water pool, hot tub and massages will help you wind down after a long day of skiing.

Fitness center information

Happy (Early) Father’s Day!

Top 10 Gifts for Dad

Fathers can be tough to buy for, but we’re here to help with the Top 10 Gifts for Dad. Whether you’re spending quality time together or treating him to a stress-free guys’ weekend, give him a gift he’ll brag about.

  1. Treat Dad to a round of golf at a championship course with scenery to match.
  2. Help him get back in the swing of things with a lesson at the Stratton Golf School.
  3. Book a tennis lesson or a weekend workshop with the pros at the Cliff Drysdale Tennis School.
  4. For the foodie fathers, a Farm-to-Table dinner is on the menu. Choose from three nights, each with an exclusive menu.
  5. Does Dad think he’s the next Top Chef? Reserve a spot for him in one of two Green Mountain Culinary Escapes. A weekend of cooking with Stratton’s Chef Ebel with farm-fresh ingredients.
  6. Nothing says family bonding like trying a new sport together. Rent the gear you need from First Run in Stratton Village.
  7. Yoga and music come together at Wanderlust Stratton. Dad can choose from yoga classes to guided hikes, intimate lectures to live music and more.
  8. Does Dad want to do it all? The Cross Fun package is just for him. Includes lodging, rentals, fitness classes, golf, and more.
  9. If he’s already dreaming of winter surprise him with a 2014/2015 season pass.
  10. Dad can’t make it up to the mountain for Father’s Day? Bring the mountain to him with apparel, glasswear and more so he can show his Stratton pride wherever he goes.

Time To Rethink Your Saturday Night Plans

By: Maureen Cronin

A cold clear night – a full moon – and a group of 20-25 men, women and children, wanting to experience winter in Vermont.HSP2012_1182

I started leading snowshoe tours with a group of instructors from the sports center some 10-12 years ago. Back then we hiked the Stratton Golf Course on our way to Pearl Buck’s house where we enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies and some stories about Pearl Buck (the writer of the Good Earth, amongst many others) and the Nearings who started a back-to-earth movement on Stratton Mountain.HSP2012_1213

Because the golf course could have difficult conditions at times we moved to the Sun Bowl’s cross country trails about 5-6 years ago. Building on our successful format of hike-break-chat-hike, we looked to continue our history conversations in some way in our new location. What we discovered was that history was all around us in the Sun Bowl: old cemeteries, cellar holes, stone boundary walls, original 18th century roads and the history of the people that first settled the town of Stratton.

Most of our snowshoe tour participants are not skiers or boarders nor have they snowshoed before so the chance to experience Vermont, get outside and try a winter sport and have the breaks necessary for everyone to catch their breath opened up the opportunity to share this history with our Stratton guests.  It’s been a wonderful way of engaging these new friends and having conversations that go beyond the weather and “where are you from” and leaving these folks with a memorable Stratton experience.HSP2012_1229

Hope all of you will think about joining us on one of these hikes.  It’s great to meet fellow employees as well as guests.

The Running Turkey Prepares for the Gobble Gobble Wobble

By Tyler Lewis

Who’s ready for the Gobble Gobble Wobble? I am! What’s not to love about a 5K with Fun costumes, great people and a great 5K course in the Stratton Village? Nothing. I for one will be wearing a massive turkey costume for the duration of the event and couldn’t be happier about it.

The first thing I do when I decide to run a 5K is to make sure I pre-register online (which you can do here for the GGW). This allows me to relax the morning of the race, leaving more time for stretching and talking with friends.

To train for this event I’m taking a little different approach than most. I’m starting by actually running a few practice 5Ks, which isn’t too difficult, especially since I live in one of the greatest areas in the country. Any place I choose to run ends up having breath taking views and amazing trails. The second part of my training consists of figuring out how to run a 5K in a turkey costume… its big, bulky and restricts leg movement. If you’re lucky you may even see a six foot three turkey running down the roads around Stratton in preparation of the Gobble Gobble Wobble.

The Monday before the event I’ll hopefully be physically ready for the event, and will start hydrating. The three days before the event I will be drinking LOTS of water. When race day comes I want my body to already be hydrated. Chugging water before the race is never a good idea.

The Tuesday before the race I will be having a pasta dinner at my house which gives my body time to process all the carbohydrates before the race Thursday morning. I was thinking pasta, meat balls, garlic bread and a Caesar salad will do the trick…oh yeah and lots of water.

The day before a race I like to take it easy and do as little physical activity as possible. I also believe in lots of stretching throughout the day. That night I make sure I get between 6-8 hours of sleep no more no less.

When I wake up on thanksgiving I will be ready. Ready to tackle the Gobble Gobble Wobble as a turkey. A small breakfast is important, maybe an egg and toast or a breakfast bar. When I get to the race I’ll be all registered so I can just show up, put my race number on and start my stretching routine (which is top secret).

When the race starts I’m going to take off like a turkey during hunting season, only to be passed a mile down the road by the majority of racers. My plan is to have as much fun as possible and try and make everyone else enjoy the race as much as me.

Can’t wait to see everyone on Thanksgiving at the Gobble Gobble Wobble!

Your running turkey,

Tyler Lewis

How Will You Give This Season?

By Anne Reynolds

Season greetings! It’s time to think of others. Right? As much as I gripe about holiday shopping, I really do love buying gifts for people. It’s the one time of year when I get to force my taste on others and there is literally nothing they can do about it. Holiday etiquette requires that you express unbridled joy and gratitude when opening my present. After, all it’s the thought that counts and my thought is that this blue sweater is much more flattering than the old shapeless, stained, ratty sweater that your college girlfriend gave you. I never need to know that you may be secretly thinking about how soon you can re-gift it without getting caught.

Yes, giving is as much for the giver as the receiver. This is especially true when buying gifts for kids. There is nothing better than revisiting your childhood through the aisles of Toys R Us, squealing with delight and shouting out “I used to have this” to anyone around you while holding up a bendable Gumby doll. One year before Chip, my son, was born I was shopping for a toy to donate to Toys for Tots and came across my all-time favorite childhood toy, the Hippty Hop. Remember? The Hippity Hop was or still is the inflatable 18-36” ball shaped like an overweight horse or kangaroo.

I decided to buy it and since I was feeling particularly nostalgic I would get one for myself too.  I went home, immediately broke out my bike air pump and spent the next hour and a half trying to inflate my pink horsey Hippity Hop. Finally I determined that it was inflated enough to produce some serious bounces and I sat down on it and began to hop. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account that Hippity Hops are designed for people under four feet tall and weigh less than 75lbs. On my second bounce my knees hit the floor which caused my upper body to propel forward and subsequently I smashed my head into the corner of my coffee table. I ended up knocking myself out and since I lived alone back then I had no idea how long I had been unconscious. I woke up with a huge gash in my forehead that no amount of makeup could cover. I wound up needing stitches and completely mortified. Needless to say, two kids received a Hippity Hop that year.

Of course, I still buy toys. I buy them for my son, my nephews, my friend’s kids and anonymous kids that don’t get to have brand new stuff very often. I still love it and although most of the time I resist buying the same toy for myself, I always get incredibly nostalgic and happy. I encourage you to donate a new unwrapped toy this year (see details below for Stratton Toy Drive). Giving anonymously is the best kind of giving you can do. Having volunteered and worked with disadvantaged children (yes, I have a soul) I know firsthand the impact of these gifts on the children who receive them.

For many kids this may be the first time they receive something to open for the holidays or maybe it’s the first time they open two or three presents. It’s hard to imagine but it’s true. Presents are a luxury for kids living in poverty especially when getting enough to eat is a daily struggle. If you are not in a position to buy something please consider giving the gift of your time. There are so many opportunities in our communities to volunteer and help those less fortunate. No matter what form your giving takes, just remember that the act of giving is equally if not more of a present to yourself than to the one receiving it.

By the way I have already ordered a gift for the Toy Drive from Amazon. It’s a Sit N Spin; the superfast super fun spinning seat.  I know whoever gets it is going to love it just as much as I am going to love mine. 😉Stratton Toy Drive

Indian Summer

By Courtney DiFiore


As a symphony of color fills the Green Mountains, the temperature begins to drop, foreshadowing the coming winter months. I begin to anticipate cool mornings and frost covered greens on the golf course but this year I’ve been duped! As we enter Columbus Day weekend, temperatures are hovering in the 60s with sunshine in the forecast too. Mother Nature is being oh so kind and adding an extra season this year: Indian summer.  Locals and those visiting can now be even more excited for a weekend full of great food, friends, music, fall favorite activities and the WEATHER!

furry thing copy

As excited as I am to report the beautiful forecast, we can’t forget that winter is on its way. Enjoy the Indian summer now but know that a snowy winter is soon to follow. My sources (a furry friend) tell me this year our slopes will be piled high with tons of snow.

What’s hot this winter – Cub Club?

By Ian Bruso

121121_opening_smile_lauren_meryl_HS (1)

It’s official; summer is finally over!  And while we all enjoy the summer in Vermont, there is no denying that we love winter

Now is the time…start getting the summer wax off of the skis and snowboards, start making the wish list of new apparel for the slopes and get your crew signed up for Stratton Seasonal Programs.  With programs for all the cubs, as well as the rest of the family bears, Seasonal Programs are the best way to fully experience skiing and snowboarding at Stratton. more.  With the hills surrounding Stratton ablaze of fall colors, we know that the first snow is not far off.


From our 4 to 6 year old seasonal ‘CubClub,’ to our “Adult All-Mountain Performance” and “Adult Mountain Riders” programs, we want to work with you in developing a lifelong ski and snowboard experience like no other.  Check out the full catalogue of recreational and competitive Seasonal Programs at  Book online or call 1-800-STRATTON (787-2886) before October 14 to take advantage of the early season pricing!