GREAT BARRINGTON – Staycation and storms are definitely the stuff of boredom when you have children who are already sick of being at home. Just about an hour away to the west, however, Great Barrington offers some fun, educational, and dry, ways to spend some time inside but away from home.
Tom’s Toys offers a wide variety of games, puzzles, dolls, cars, science kits and more. Tom’s has toys from yesteryear that you probably played with in the 70s and 80s, as well as the latest in modern toy offerings. There are several rooms to explore and new games to discover. Tom’s is at 297 Main St. and has in-person shopping Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as well as online.
One Mercantile has beautiful home décor that will inspire those looking to spruce up a room with a new pillow, decorative dishes, planters and more. The shop at 8 Castle St. is open for in-person shopping Wednesday – Monday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., as well as curbside pickup.
For those looking for original art, Bernay Fine Art is open and hosting its annual Summertime Show through Aug. 24. Hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 12-4 p.m. There are no artist receptions and private appointments can be made. The gallery is located at 325 Stockbridge Road.
The Guthrie Center at the Old Trinity Church, 2 VanDeusenville Road, is currently closed due to COVID-19, however if you take a trip on a not-so-stormy day it is a beautiful site to see. Made famous by Arlo Guthrie’s song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” and the site of the movie based on the song, the church remains a place for interfaith worship.
Great Barrington offers several outdoor spaces for those visiting on a dry day, including Lake Masnfiedld, which has a small beach, lake swimming, grilling and picnic areas and plenty of nature to explore. The lake is open to visitors during COVID-19 with limited gatherings. Yoga is also offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 7:45 a.m. through Aug. 28 with pre-registration through the town website.
No day trip is complete without a stop for food. If ice cream is on your agenda, check out SoCo Creamery. The shop itself is charming with rustic and vintage touches and is currently open at 5 Railroad St. for take-out, curbside and delivery. SoCo offers the typical flavors one would expect, but ice cream connoisseurs will want to try some of the unique offerings, such as blueberry honey lavender, mission fig and ginger. SoCo Creamery also has sorbet made with simple, fresh ingredients that practically quench your thirst on a hot day.
For those seeking a great lunch and perhaps an adult beverage, Barrington Brewery and Restaurant at 420 Stockbridge Road offers its own craft beers on draught and in growlers to go along with a varied menu. The Brewery is open for indoor and outdoor seating and will take reservations for parties up to six. Masks are required until seated.
Lunch recommendations include the Brewer’s Pocket, which includes smoked turkey, bacon, spinach, red onion, melted Swiss cheese and blue cheese dressing. The Tuscan Eggplant Sandwich is also a great choice and includes breaded eggplant, provolone, roasted red peppers and marinara on a brioche bun. It has the same flavors you’d want in an eggplant parm sandwich, but is lighter and fresher.
Beer offerings include Berkshire Blond, Barrington Brown and Raspberry Ale. Local hard ciders and malt beverages and wines round-out the craft bar menu.
There are numerous options when daytripping to the Berkshires and many shops and eateries to find along your journey.