5 Great Outdoor Shopping Areas
It’s the never-ending weekend debate.
How should I spend my weekend time – enjoying the sun and the outdoors or getting errands crossed off my list before another busy work week begins? Luckily, you don’t always have to choose. Western Mass has some great outdoor shopping spaces that will allow you to multitask, enjoying the fresh air and scenery, while at the same time getting great deals on sales, sweets and more. These are 5 great choices for outdoor shopping.
1. Lee Premium Outlets -
Lee Premium Outlets has everything you need for an enjoyable day of shopping, including more than 60 name brand and designer stores. The outlets offer can’t-miss deals on staples like Ann Taylor and Talbots.
However, they also have some unique shops where you can catch yourself getting lost for hours. One shop where we can’t seem to stop ourselves from browsing for hours is Ten Thousand Villages, a shop with a variety of sustainable and intriguing options sourced from artisans around the world.
The couple of treats you should enjoy while you’re shopping? We love the great views of the Berkshires as you’re driving to and from the outlets. And, if we’re feeling a little decadent, we just can’t say no to a stop at Lindt Chocolate for a post-shopping pick-me-up.
2. MGM Shopping Plaza -
The MGM Shopping Plaza is small but mighty. Part of the MGM Springfield Resort and Casino, it includes a handful of unique shopping options for clothing, treats and speciality items. We consider it one of our 5 Great outdoor shopping choices because it appeals to three of our senses: sight, smell and taste:
- Sight: Indian Motorcycle, a clothing and accessories boutique promises that when you sport their apparel, “all eyes are on you.”
- Smell: Enjoy the intoxicating scents of outdoors – indoors! Kringle Emporium features a supply of their signature candles in every scent imaginable.
- Taste: We saved the best for last. Make sure you head all the way to the back of Kringle Emporium, where they stay busy producing snacks and, most importantly, adult milkshakes. The spiked shakes come in a variety of flavors from Almond Joy to dreamsicle, all of which promise to make your shopping excursion sweet and painless.
And, just in case you want to scratch that gambling itch without actually hitting the casino, the shopping plaza also has a self-serve lottery ticket machine.
3. The Longmeadow Shops -
Among our 5 Great shopping area choices, The Longmeadow Shops has our heart for its quaint, walkable convenience.
If you’re trying to knock out an entire to do list in one day, these shops are the perfect location for handling all your errands. On-site options include a financial center, salon, pharmacy and, urgent care. However, they’re also well-known for shopping staples like J. Crew and Fleet Feet.
A handful of good restaurants are also easily accessible, including Max Burger and Delaney’s. And, a Starbucks onsite means you can grab your caffeine of choice and drink it while you stroll between shops.
The Longmeadow Shops also hosts different onsite events like farmer’s markets and children’s story times, which makes it a great shopping destination for the entire family.
4. The Shops at Market Place –
We were lured right in by this shopping locale’s tagline: “walk. pause. browse. shop. Experience.”
That’s what good weekend shopping excursions are all about – taking it easy and possibly treating yourself but feeling productive at the same time. And, once we took in some of the outdoor shopping options, we were hooked.
The Shops at Market Place boasts a curated collection of enjoyable shopping and leisure experiences, including yoga and wine. This outdoor shopping area is the place to go if you’re looking for higher-end boutique style shopping and if you want to support the entrepreneurial efforts of a collective of talented local women.
5. The Village Commons –
If you swoon over independent bookstores, The Village Commons shopping center has a classic.
The Odyssey Bookshop has been in business for over 50 years and is the largest indie shop in the area. Odyssey frequently hosts book clubs and children’s events, and its staff is made up of ardent book lovers who will give you their recommendations or leave you free to browse to your heart’s content.
And, the rest of the shopping center is a delight as well. The beautiful courtyards with unique architectural flourishes are a definite reason to head this way for shopping, then to enjoy a snack or a meal. Our top picks are sandwiches at Tailgate Picnic (the Zippidy DO DA is as enjoyable to eat as it is fun to order).
Plus, if you’re ready to spend a little more time indoors at an outdoor mall, the Village Commons has a movie theatre – the perfect way to end a long day’s shopping excursion.
Make the most of your weekend shopping excursion by taking in one (or a few!) of these unique-to-Western-Mass shopping options. You’ll be able to check leisure and productivity off your list simultaneously, and how often is it easy to make that happen?
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