Vt. traditions highlighted at Retreat Farm's Winter Playground

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BRATTLEBORO — Retreat Farm will be open every day during this week's February school vacation. In addition to baby goat snuggles and homemade marshmallows by the fire, Retreat Farm's Winter Playground lineup features agricultural demonstrations and cultural experiences that highlight the rich and varied history of the property.

You can watch sheep get prepped for spring lambing, learn about spinning yarn with Eric Goodchild, and listen as Abenaki elders impart the tribe's history and traditions with storytelling and a Dreamcatcher Workshop.

The festivities kick off on Saturday with a community campfire featuring bread on a stick and vanilla bean marshmallows. Then head over to the barn to visit the animals, get your face painted, and enjoy the indoor heated playspaces.

As the sun sets, head out on the trails for a guided "Snowshoes & Sweethearts" hike on the Nature Trail followed by a romantic campfire featuring Tavernier Chocolate and Grafton Cheese fondue.

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On Sunday, experience the cultural history and native crafts of the Abenaki tribe with Linda Longtoe and Willow Greene. The Dreamcatcher Workshop will begin at 11 a.m., followed by stories and songs at 1 p.m.

Seek out a new adventure by joining on a storybook walk or interactive winter-themed story hours and hot cocoa at multiple times throughout the week.

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The celebration culminates with Abenaki stories, traditional songs, and winter cultural practices by Chief Longtoe and Rich Holschuh and the annual Ice Fishing Derby on the Retreat Meadows on Saturday, Feb. 22.

As an Abenaki cultural site, Retreat Farm is proud to make the property available for local tribe members to share their cultural heritage and indigenous practices with the community. All fees and donations for these offerings will go directly to the Abenaki tribe.

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This week-long community event is made possible by support from Members First Credit Union, Mr. G's Liquidation Center, Grafton Village Cheese, and Tavenier Chocolates.

The Children's Farm & Forest will be open this Saturday through Sunday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 children and seniors, under 2 free.

Reduced admission of $3 is available for EBT, Medicaid, and Reduced/Free School Lunch letter or cardholders through the Open Barn program.

For the detailed schedule of events and pre-registration, visit retreatfarm.org/winterplayground.


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