In 2011, Waking Windows was a small festival operating out of Monkey House musical club on the main street of Winooski, Vermont. Roll the clock forward, and it has snowballed into a three-day multi-venue event in May with a whole host of different music, comedy and art events, with food and beverage offerings thrown into the mix.
A variety of different venues, such as the Winooski Methodist Church, Monkey House, Stoplight Gallery, and Last Stop Sports Bar, have become the backbone of this event over the years, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Hundreds of people make their way to Chittenden County to enjoy a weekend of the best entertainment the area has to offer. In the past, attendees have been treated to comedy, karaoke, podcast performances, a downtown artisan market, and even a kids’ zone for the younger members of the family who enter for free if they’re under 12.
Tickets for Waking Windows are in hot demand, so if the spring calendar is looking bare, there’s no better event to pencil on it. RV-goers who purchase tickets for Waking Windows can then begin planning other things to do in Vermont, of which there are plenty.
They can visit The Salmon Hole on the Winooski River, go walking at the Gilbrook Nature Area, or hiking at the Camel’s Hump State Park in neighboring Duxbury. There is no shortage of options to keep the whole family entertained, so what’s the holdup? Dust off the campervan and take an RV road trip to Winooski, Vermont.
A range of ticketing options awaits your inspection for Waking Windows. Weekend and single-day passes make up the bulk of the offerings, with prices ranging from $50. Under-21 passes and sleeper passes are also available, with the costs released near to the time of the event. Children under 12 have typically been free. Once a ticket is purchased, the buyer receives a wristband that allows them entry into each festival event.
From the dramatic Lake Champlain that borders Vermont and New York, to the backdrop of state forests and wildlife reserves, there is plenty to experience for an RV-goer making their way to Winooski for Waking Windows.
I-89 offers a rewarding driving experience from the direction of New Hampshire and Montreal, Canada, while US-7 is the more scenic route from the direction of Green Mountain National Forest in Rutland. No matter the start point, the journey will be equally as rewarding as the destination.
For travelers who are not familiar with Vermont and surrounding areas, a traffic aid can prove convenient. New England 511 helps alert drivers to any congestion or delays they might face in the region.
Due to the urban setting of Waking Windows, parking spaces are at a premium. Waking Windows officials recommend carpooling as a way in which to get to and from the festival action. Travelers with smaller vehicles may like to make use of the parking garage in the VSAC building, which has been free in the past from starting on Friday evening and over the weekend.
Otherwise, travelers can park at an RV campground near the city and arrange alternative transport, or make use of on-street paid parking spaces if sizing limitations don’t apply for their motorhome.
Winooski is a small city that doesn’t see a huge demand for public transportation. Taxi services are in operation throughout Winooski, but those who don’t mind a little exercise may even like to try out the city’s unique Greenride Bike Share service. Alternatively, the more convenient and reliable option for the average traveler navigating the city can be their own motorhome.
Waking Windows is a multi-venue festival in the heart of the city, with onsite camping not an option for any traveler. Fortunately, inside and outside the city limits, visitors can easily find somewhere to stay with an RV. Make sure to book months in advance to avoid missing out on the best place for RV camping.
Within a 20-mile radius, travelers will be treated to a handful of camping options to suit their needs during a weekend of Waking Windows excitement.
At less than five miles from the center of Winooski, North Beach Campground may be one of the closest Vermont RV campgrounds. In the neighboring community of Burlington, it is operated via the local Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department.
Even within 10 miles of the city center, Shelburne Camping Area welcomes the weary traveler along Shelburne Bay.
Travelers heading to New York on their way home can also enjoy luxury and comfort at Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. Holiday within a 2-hour drive of Winooski.
Even though Waking Windows attendees will have many different venues on their list of places to visit for entertainment, the best way to get around the festival site is on foot. Comfortable footwear will prove to be a walker’s best friend. Pick a route through town that allows you to take a stroll along the Winooski River and enjoy the boardwalk.
Keep in mind that, while a bicycle might get you there faster, if you are comfortable with a few hills, there may or may not be anywhere to secure it once you reach your venue of choice. Winooski and Burlington offer a serene biking trail between them, which is perfect for curious travelers that want to visit Church Street in Downtown Burlington while in the area.
Waking Windows incorporates both inside and outside festival events. Travelers may like to flick on the weather channel to help them choose the best garments to pack, especially with the knowledge that chilly spring conditions can require extra layers. For any festival guest that will also be exploring attractions like Niquette Bay State Park in Colchester, it’s also worth packing a few outdoors-appropriate garments.
Backpacks are permitted for Waking Windows, especially for the outdoor festival events, but it’s worth traveling light. A wallet with payment cards and cash, a sealed water bottle, a valid government ID, and a festival wristband can often be all a festival-goer needs to have a good time.
Each venue also has its own set of security screening procedures, which can mean delays for anyone carrying a lot of gear. Where possible, leave camping and cooking supplies and other non-essential items in your locked motorhome.
Waking Windows runs for three days, with many of the entertainment in outdoor facilities. While spring weather doesn’t bring with it scorching temperatures, there is often enough sunshine to require the use of sunscreen. There are also plenty of opportunities to dance the days away, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.
Avid outdoors people with a passion for adventure may also like to pack bug spray and a first-aid kit and head to attractions like Mount Mansfield State Forest for its extensive trails network.
Camping and cooking equipment are essential to have onboard a motorhome for primitive RV experiences and local Winooski RV campgrounds. Whether you’re using a propane grill, charcoal barbeque, or a more traditional firepit, you’ll be pleased to know that a grocery run is a quick and easy process. The nearest grocery store is a mere six-mile journey from the Monkey House music venue.
It’s easy to work up a thirst and hunger while dancing to many of the entertainers. When the time comes to satisfy those hunger pangs, you’re spoiled for choice. A short walk from the Monkey House will see visitors in proximity to cafes, restaurants, and takeout joints. Chinese, American, and Mexican are a few of the many offerings in the wider city, too.
In previous years, Waking Windows was strictly a musical event. Today, it also incorporates food and beverages. Vendors operate around the festival events for convenience. However, some food vendors also host events, which means attendees receive entertainment and a meal in one place. Bring both cash and payment cards to ensure you’ve got the correct payment type.
Security screening processes can differ from one festival venue to the next. Backpacks are allowed but will be searched before entry into a site. While alcohol may be served to patrons over the legal drinking age with ID, anyone that security suspects are intoxicated may be refused entry and service. Travelers with questions and concerns can receive help from the nearby UVM Police Department within two miles of Monkey House.
Weather conditions can vary significantly in Winooski and the greater Vermont area in spring. Temperatures tend to fluctuate between 46 and 68-degrees Fahrenheit, with rainfall throughout May. Before exploring the greater Vermont area, such as hiking at CC Putnam State Forest in Worcester, travelers may like to check the weather service to find out what conditions to expect.
Each venue of the Waking Windows festival has someone in charge of taking care of patrons. If anyone finds themselves unwell or injured, they can approach a member of staff for assistance. Travelers with first-aid kits can also stock up on supplies at the pharmacy within two miles of Monkey House, or seek treatment at the medical center within the same distance. Always dial 911 in an emergency.