Astride their trusty snowmobiles, the knowledgeable guides at Jay Snowmobile Adventures help visiting adventurers conquer the winter landscape during tours of picturesque Vermont snowscapes. One- and two-person tour packages begin at the outfitter’s home base, located 3 miles from the entrance of Jay Peak Resort. From there, groups wind through the wilderness of Jay, Vermont and parts of Westfield for up to two hours, exploring the snowy nooks and frost-covered crannies of Jay State Forest and the nearby countryside. They rarely make the trip alone, though; moose and white-tailed deer often dot the secluded paths, ready to pose for snapshots in their most photogenic outfits.
The story of the United States Navy begins on Lake Champlain. The year was 1776, and the fledgling American Revolution seemed doomed to failure almost before it began after a naval retreat to the town known today as Whitehall, New York. Then the Continental Congress issued a command on June 17 of 1776 "to build, with all expedition, as many galleys and armed vessels as ... shall be sufficient to make us indisputably masters of the lakes Champlain and George." By August, eight new gunboats were afloat on the lake—just in time to face the British in the Battle of Valcour.
That story and hundreds more come to life in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's collection of more than 15,000 artifacts, images, and documents. Visitors can marvel at the massive 10' x 8' rudder of the steamboat Champlain II, and explore her shipwreck in real time using a remote-operated vehicle. In the Hazelett Watercraft Center, the 111-year-old ice yacht Storm King towers over 90 dugouts, bark canoes, kayaks, rowing skiffs, and sailboats. But the core of the museum is the Key to Liberty exhibit, where visitors can read eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Valcour and marvel at a 9-foot scale model of a gunboat. On fair days, the full-size gunboat replica Philadelphia II sets sail, giving passengers a glimpse of a distant era without the bother of going though a time machine broker first.
Among Galaxie Bowling’s 24 gleaming lanes—including 12 5-pin lanes, 8 10-pin lanes, and 4 duckpin lanes—the wooden crash of felled pins and jubilant whoops from victorious players fills the air. The brightly lit space beckons players of all ages to partake in pin pummelling throughout the day, and mirror-ball-illuminated Rock ‘n’ Bowl sessions on select evenings enable orb lobbers to show off their disco-inspired backswings. Affable libation specialists bustle about the bar ensuring that no glass reaches a state of emptiness while staffers manning the on-site snack bar proffer munchables that recharge the batteries of players and nacho-powered cyborgs alike. To further bolster their entertaining ambience, Galaxie maintains a fleet of 15 video-poker terminals for arms exhausted from extensive turkey tossing.
Nestled against Champlain Lookout, the highest point along the Ottawa River, Storyland's 90 verdant acres augment scenic vistas with a water park, mini golf, petting zoo, and other family-friendly attractions. Guests can sojourn to the top of Champlain Lookout, a prime spot to high-five passing hot air balloon captains and gaze 40 kilometres in all directions. Fairytale Trail invites patrons to meander down forested trails where storybook characters enact fairytale tableaus. Pay tribute to farmyard animals at Storyland's petting zoo, or get legs in shape for bubble-wrap stomping in paddleboats that cruise Windmill Pond. Merrymakers can cool down overheated fun receptors at the Splish-Splash Spray Park boasting inflatable waterslides and fountains of water, and refuel at the Storyland Café.
• For $6, you get 30 minutes of electric kiddy-kar rental (for customers 54" and shorter), plus unlimited access to the park (up to a $13 value). • For $10, you get 20 minutes of gas-powered ATV rental (for customers 54" and taller), plus unlimited access to the park (a $20 value). Mini-A's expansive park delights children ages 1–12 with kid-friendly structures and vehicles that safely allay adrenalin. Youngsters shorter than 54 inches can take the wheel of an electric kiddy kar while zooming for 30 minutes along the asphalt track, securely picking up speed and practicing for their first solo fast-food run. Taller kids can instead cruise for up to 20 minutes in a gas-powered all-terrain vehicle, and both age groups get unlimited access to the park's elaborate play land. Activities such as mini golf, climbing structures, inflatable bounces, and trampolines buoy youthful energy as the slick splash pad cools kids like a blown-kiss from a polar bear.
Inside the massive Complexe Amigo, a winding racetrack hosts drivers of all ages who steer double-seated go-karts, mini karts, and super karts capable of reaching speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour. The smell of burnt rubber rises from the track and past other entertaining diversions including power paddler boats and a stock of radio-controlled cars. Elsewhere in the facility, guests can putt their way through a mini-golf course, scale the 30-foot climbing wall's 12 paths, or enjoy airborne ascents on the Jump High bungee trampoline. Visitors craving team competition, meanwhile, can join games on the three beach volleyball courts or suit up to duck and cover on nearby paintball fields.