• Off Campus: Learning to build an igloo

Vermont has a reputation for having very cold winters. And the rumors are true – it does get quite cold here. But there are also some really great ways you can enjoy the winter months.With just a bit of preparation and some common sense, you can stay happy, healthy, and warm!

What is winter weather in Vermont like?

  • Coldest Month: January (Average high/low temperature: -2/-12 Celsius)
  • Snow: Anytime between November and April is usual
  • Average Snowfall per Year: 190 cm
  • It is long and cold, but it can be really beautiful, too. Take advantage of it!

General Health

Remember to take care of yourself and try to stay healthy during the winter. Here are some tips to stay healthy:

  • Avoid going into the cold with wet hair.
  • Exercise & eat a balanced diet.
  • Don’t use alcohol to warm up or let it trick you into thinking you don't need proper clothing outside.
  • If you are sick, try to stay home. If you stay sick, go to the doctor.
  • Drink lots of water and keep your skin moisturized - the air is quite dry in the winter.

Dress in Appropriate Clothing

The OIE encourages you to go out and have fun outside during the winter. (Check out the ideas below!) However, you need to dress appropriately for the weather to stay healthy and safe. Dressing appropriately in the winter includes:

  • Wearing multiple layers. Wear a base layer, an insulating layer, and an outer shell layer.
  • Wearing waterproof boots or shoes. Wet feet = unhappy student.
  • Wearing a hat and gloves/mittens outside.
  • Taking off some of your layers when you go inside to avoid sweating.

Good winter clothing can be expensive. Look at the OIE's calendar of events to see if you can attend the How to Love Your First Vermont Winter workshop or talk to an advisor to find out where to find cheaper options.

Mental Health

Sometimes students feel sad during the winter because of the cold and dark. If you are feeling sad during the winter:

  • Get sunlight every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.
  • Get outside and enjoy the winter months! See below for ideas.
  • Seek professional help if you are feeling a prolonged period of sadness.

Where (and How) to Play in the Winter

There are LOTS of ways to have fun outside in the winter. Here are some ideas!

Skiing (Downhill/Alpine & Cross-Country)

  • Sugarbush, Smuggler's Notch, Bolton Valley, Mad River Glen, and Stowe are all ski resorts within an hour of Burlington.
  • Join the UVM Ski and Snowboard Club for discount season passes and buses!


  • You can do this at many of the resorts but there are also some great local trails like the ones at the Intervale.
  • You can rent snowshoes from the UVM Outing Club for a low cost!

Ice Skating

  • Cairns Arena in South Burlington has open skate times. If you have your own skates, UVM's ice arena also has open skate times.
  • Do not go skating on a lake. It can be dangerous.


  • Burlington Country Club has a great hill and is close to campus.
  • DO NOT sled if there are ANY trees on the hill!

If you are new to winter sports, check out the Ski and Snowboard Club and the Outing Club. Both have options for beginners and can help you learn to enjoy Vermont's winter.