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Gather Round: A Guide to Community Centers in Burlington

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FILE: JAMES BUCK
  • File: James Buck

Fletcher Free Library

235 College St., Burlington, fletcherfree.org

Burlington's Fletcher Free Library has been lending out books since 1873 — but its current collection goes far beyond the written word. Today, it also circulates ebooks, museum passes, gardening tools, cake pans, a portable air compressor and a ukulele. (Yes, you read that right.) The library's meeting rooms can be reserved for public events, such as playgroups, language classes, craft nights and movie screenings. Do yourself a favor and get a library card. It's free if you live or work in Burlington.

Greater Burlington YMCA

266 College St., Burlington, gbymca.org

The Queen City's downtown gym and fitness center is in the process of constructing a new, roomier building at 298 College Street — ETA early 2020. Though the old space is a bit cramped, it's still the go-to place for swimming laps, workout classes and summer camps. Parents can take advantage of two hours of free childcare.

North End Studios

294 N. Winooski Ave., Suite 11A, Burlington, northendstudios.org

For 27 years, this vibrant cultural hub has offered everything from martial arts classes to writing workshops, ethnic dinners to local theater. It's a hot spot for Burlington's dance community — take a class in swing, salsa, twerking or even pole dancing. North End Studios is slowly moving to Winooski's O'Brien Community Center, but it will offer programming at both sites until 2022.

Old North End Community Center

20 Allen St., Burlington, enjoyburlington.com

A gathering spot for New American groups in Burlington's most diverse neighborhood, the former St. Joseph School is home to the Vermont Hindu Temple, the Janet S. Munt Family Room, a teen center and a kids' theater company. And let's not forget the Wards 2 and 3 Neighborhood Planning Assembly, held on the second Thursday of every month.

Peace & Justice Center

60 Lake St., Suite 1C, Burlington, pjcvt.org

The Peace & Justice Center has been a nerve center for activism and social justice work in Burlington for nearly four decades. These days, the nonprofit hosts meetings for communities of all kinds, including racial and social justice organizations, environmental advocates, and LGBTQ+ groups. Check out the fair trade goods in its Peace & Justice Store on the waterfront.

Pride Center of Vermont

255 S. Champlain St., Burlington, pridecentervt.org

Founded in 1999, the Pride Center offers comprehensive support, health services and activities for Burlington's LGBTQ+ community. At its inconspicuous BTV offices, you'll find discussion groups, classes, social meet-ups and a lending library. Out and about? The organization also hosts nightlife happenings around the city and maintains an online calendar of regional events.

Robert Miller Community and Recreation Center

130 Gosse Ct., Burlington, enjoyburlington.com

In the heart of the residential New North End, the Miller Center is surrounded by athletic fields for pickup soccer, Little League games and walks with your dog. Groups can reserve activity rooms. For the athletically inclined, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront hosts camps and classes here, including for line-dancing.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Gather Round | A guide to community centers in Burlington"

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