We usually explore the museum by foot, but the kids were weary from an active day. So we caught the shuttle outside the Admissions building down to the café. As we neared our destination, we heard the wails of an electric guitar and my 6-year-old daughter, Mira, got a second wind. “Oh, yeah!” she exclaimed, doing a little shimmy in her seat.
We grabbed a table and ordered some food — brisket sandwiches with corn and potatoes and Magic Hat beers for the adults, and flatbread pizza and limeade for the kids — and sat down to enjoy the tunes and the gorgeous blue skies.
There were about 50 people gathered when we arrived — some young families like us, as well as older folks without kids. The crowd was low-key, watching the band from picnic tables or the camp chairs they’d brought, but that didn’t stop Mira from busting out some of her signature moves in the gravel patch in front of the band.
Looking around, I noticed a few people around me had packed a picnic dinner. It was something I wished I had the forethought to do, considering the $12 price tag on my mediocre cafeteria-style meal. The creemees and popsicles we treated ourselves to for dessert were a nice way to end the meal, though.
After about an hour of music, stick collecting and fairy-house making, we still had 45 minutes to visit some of our favorite museum sites before the 7 p.m. closing. At my 3-year-old son Theo’s request, we hopped aboard the Ticonderoga, a restored 220-foot steamboat, and climbed up to the very top. And none of us could resist a post-dinner carousel ride. Our family had the vintage horses all to ourselves, so we took a whirl and then asked for one more. It was the stuff that summer nights are made of.
Upcoming SMArt series dates at Shelburne Museum:
Through the Looking Glass, Wednesday, July 10, 4-7 p.m.
An Alice in Wonderland-themed evening
Mini-Golf Mania, Wednesday, August 7, 4-7 p.m.
Golfers of all ages play nine holes inspired by the museum’s grounds and buildings
On Wednesdays in July and August, select buildings at Shelburne Museum are open until 7 p.m.
SMArt series programs are free to members, $11 for Vermont residents, $5 for children ages 5 to 18, and free for children under 5. For more information about the series, visit: shelburnemuseum.org/learn/families-and-kids/hands-on-learning2/smart-series
This post was written by Kids VT contributor Alison Novak, who lives in Shelburne with her husband and two kids.
This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.