The Library currently offers 7 passes: Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, American Precision Museum in Windsor, Echo Science Center and Aquarium in Burlington, Vermont Historic Sites, and Vermont Historical Society Museum in Montpelier and Library in Barre, Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, and the Vermont State Parks and Historic Sites around the state.
Passes available to Library patrons provide free or reduced entry to
these locations, all of which are open during the summer. Some offer
reduced hours during the colder months, while others are closed for
the winter. For the most accurate information about hours of
operation, special events, and current exhibits, patrons may wish to
check online, or in the handbook in the Library. Passes may be
borrowed for 3 days, and may not be renewed; for further information
visit the Library or call the adult circulation desk at 457-2295.
American Precision Museum:
Located in Windsor, this museum holds the largest collection of historically significant machine tools in the nation. Children and adults will be equally fascinated by the craftsmanship and miniature machines. There will be an antique car rally on June 23, and other special events throughout the summer. This museum is a rare and marvelous place. The pass provides free entry for 2 adults and school age children or grandchildren. Open Memorial Day through October, 10-5. Gift shop items discounted 10%. For 2012 their special exhibits are "Full Duty" and "Arming the Union." Full Duty is a collection of artifacts demonstrating the contributions of Vermonters to the Civil War effort; Arming the Union is about the munitions manufacturer Robbins and Lawrence, whose factory building for muskets for the Civil War currently houses the American Precision Museum.
Billings Farm and Museum:
Located in Woodstock, this working farm and 1890 farmhouse demonstrate agricultural methods and farm life of the past and present. The pass provides free admission for 2 adults and their children aged 17 or younger. A variety of events are offered all year round.
Echo Lake Science Center and Aquarium:
Located on the waterfront in Burlington, this facility offers a variety of permanent exhibits relating to water ecology and the Lake Champlain region. The current traveling exhibit is called "Our body: the universe within" which is a "fascinating, artful and educational exhibit of actual human bodies and organs that reveals the mysteries of human anatomy." The pass reduces the admission price; there is an additional entry fee for the "Our body" exhibit. Open year round, the science center offers a variety of activities, summer science camps, and exhibits. The aquarium contains 70 live animal species, offers interactive exhibits, and shows aquatic creatures in daily demonstrations. For an additional fee, there is a floating laboratory boat offering 2 ½ hour expeditions in which guests assist in research data gathering on Lake Champlain.
Located south of Burlington, on Lake Champlain, this magnificent working farm is also an environmental education center. Established in 1886 as a model agricultural estate, on 1,400 acres, it integrates education, agriculture, forestry, and historic preservation with tourism. There are extensive walking trails throughout the property which are open year round; they offer beautiful views across the lake to the high-peaks region of the Adirondacks, and east into the Green Mountains. The pass provides free entry to the grounds, and into the various farm buildings. There may be additional fees for special events. There is a "factory" which produces cheddar cheese, and a farm stand which sells the farm produce, cheese, and bread. During the summer there are special family activities, such as concerts, draft horse field days, cookouts, and even mushroom foraging expeditions. This is not like any farm you have ever seen; it is a showpiece, and well worth the drive for a day of agricultural exploration.
Vermont State Parks:
There are 52 state parks, offering a variety of activities, from swimming, boating, and hiking to photography and even gold panning. The pass offers day-entry into any park for up to 8 people.
Vermont Historical Society Library (in Barre) and Museum (in Montpelier):
"The Vermont Historical Society is the only organization in Vermont that collects artifacts, books and documents that reflect the entire history of the state." The museum is open Tues-Sat, 10-4, year round. The library is open Tues-Fri 9-4. Weds they are open until 8 pm, and Saturday hours are somewhat unpredictable, so it is best to check their website for Saturday openings. The pass provides free entry to both facilities. The Museum includes a full sized Abenaki wigwam, a recreation of the Catamount tavern where the Green Mountain boys gathered, a railroad station with working telegraph, and a WW2 living room furnished with period music and magazines. There is also a gift shop. The library has an exhibit titled Freedom and Unity, which tells the history of Vermont from 1600 to today, and explains the state motto.
Vermont Historic Sites:
There are a variety of sites throughout the state, including scuba dive sites in Lake Champlain, and historic buildings such as the Bennington Battle monument, Justin Morrill homestead, Calvin Coolidge farm, and Old Constitution House in Windsor. There are extensive special events at these various locations throughout the summer, so it is best to consult their website for weekly offerings. This pass provides free entry for families or groups of up to 8 people.