20 Reasons Kids Will Love ECHO Leahy Center in Burlington, Vermont

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The ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, a 34,000 square foot science and nature museum located right on the waterfront of Lake Champlain, has over 100 interactive exhibits, experiments and activities and is home to over 70 species of fish, turtles, frogs, and snakes. There are tons of hands-on activities for all ages, a special toddler space, a weather forecast television studio, a resource library room, rotating exhibits and tons of aquarium tanks. On a recent trip to Burlington, Vermont we enjoyed exploring ECHO think it is a must visit spot in Burlington. 

Travel Tips: 

  • ECHO is open every day from 10am-5pm; updates on hours and admission fees here and special events and programs here. The center does participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums reciprocity program, so check and see if your local spot participates. 
  • There is a large parking lot in front of the center- use with the ParkMobile app that is popular around town.
  • Restrooms located on each level; there are nursing pods and space for nursing mothers throughout the center. A gift shop is located near the admission desk. 
  • There are no dining facilities on site but snacks and drinks available for purchase near the gift shop. For some of our dining recommendations nearby, check out this post
  • Check out the museum map here and plan on 90 minutes to fully explore the museum. 

10 Things Little Kids (preschool and under) Will Love:

  1. Levitating balls and sailing ships
  2. Spinning tables
  3. The dozen aquarium tanks for turtles and fish (get up super close to the turtles and fish but be careful not to tap on the tanks and scare them).
  4. Champ Lane filled with water tables and playscapes for the toddler crew
  5. The Lake Space, a resource room with books, maps, microscopes, and puzzles and is a great palace for a quiet reprieve from the stimulation.
  6. The Bubble Tower.
  7. The special exhibit on the first floor (featuring Curious George  when we visited in spring 2023)
  8. Watching a show in the Northfield Savings Bank 3D Theater, with science themed films shown every 30 minutes ** additional fee applies.
  9. The Native American Gallery.
  10. The outdoor exhibits in Energy Commons.

10 Things Older Kids (elementary age) Will Love:

  1. Power of Pulleys chair lifts
  2. Levitating Trays
  3. Engineer It activities
  4. Energy commons and trains gardens (located outside the side of the center entrance)
  5. Forecasting the weather on a pretend news segment
  6. Air Cannons to shoot balloons across the stairwell. 
  7. The Foggy Harbor exhibit
  8. Frog World where they can watch the frogs being fed and cared for throughout the day.
  9. Reading about the history of Lake Champlain throughout the exhibits.
  10. Learning about the legend of Champ, the sea creature, in the first floor exhibit. 

Bonus: Be sure to go onto the deck (access from the third floor) and check out the views of the Burlington Harbor and Lake Champlain.

Looking for more adventures in the Burlington area? Check out our full Burlington City Guide and our posts featuring the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, and the Ben and Jerry’s Factory. And follow along on our adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Disclosure: Our family was given a media pass to ECHO; all opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. This place looks amazing, I’m a grown up and I wouldn’t mind visiting. Thanks for sharing detailed Information on the different activities and exhibits.

  2. This sounds like such a fun place to visit! I have a 10 month old so saving this for when we get a little older!

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