20 under $20 in Burlington, VT

by Gray Cargill on March 17, 2009

Church Street Marketplace

Church Street Marketplace

With everyone watching their pennies pretty closely these days, it’s nice to know there are still some things in life that are inexpensive or even free.  (‘Cause it’s no fun sitting home alone on your couch!)  Whether you are already lucky enough to live here in the Queen City, or are just visiting, here is my list of 20 fun things you can do in Burlington, Vermont for under $20.  Now you can put all the money you’ve saved back in your mattress.

  1. For breakfast, head to Magnolia at One Lawson Lane (tucked between St. Paul and College Streets), downstairs.  Get the Vermont omelette (with maple sausage, cheddar cheese, and apples) for $8 or the Classic (two eggs, toast, homefries and choice of meat–or veggie sausage) for just $6.
  2. Rent a bicycle at Local Motion for $18 for an hour.  Ride the Waterfront bike path in both directions, enjoying the scenic view of Lake Champlain.
  3. Hang out on the Church Street Marketplace. Get an ice cream cone at the Ben & Jerrys scoop shop or a cup of coffee at Uncommon Grounds. Window shop. Enjoy the street entertainers  (under $10).
  4. Watch a glass blowing demonstration at Church and Maple Glass Studio (free).
  5. Head down Shelburne Road to take a Vermont Teddy Bear Factory tour ($2).
  6. Visit Shelburne Farms ($6).
  7. Rent a kayak or a rowboat at Waterfront Boat Rentals and head out on Lake Champlain for an hour.
  8. See a matinee for $6 at Merrill’s Roxy.
  9. Go see a Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game ($7).
  10. Go to a free concert in Battery Park (select Thursday nights during the summer).
  11. Take a Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory Tour (M-F), free.
  12. Buy a sandwich at Red Onion Deli (140 1/2 Church St.) or a healthy sampling of food from City Market’s cafe and take it to City Hall Park or Waterfront Park for a picnic lunch.
  13. Check out the current and permanent exhibits at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum ($5)
  14. Take a Magic Hat Brewery Tour (free).
  15. Visit the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center ($9.50).
  16. Enjoy some of Burlington’s art talent on the First Friday Art Walk (free).
  17. Have dinner at the Vermont Pub & Brewery. For under $20, you can have your choice of a wide variety of menu items and still have money left over for a brew or two. Be sure to get a side of sweet potato fries.  They’re the best I’ve ever had.
  18. Exercise your brain muscles at Café Scientifique at the ECHO Center (free lecture, cash bar).
  19. Get spooked on a Queen City Ghost Walk ($13).
  20. Laugh ’til it hurts at a live taping of Late Night Saturday with Tim Kavanagh at Champlain College (free, every other Thursday night).

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