Many visitors love to come to Westerly for the outdoor fun – the sun and surf, eating at outdoor restaurants, boating, enjoying outdoor concerts, or riding the Watch Hill carousel.
But, what about the off-season visitors who come during the cold, snowy/rainy time of year? Fear not gentle vacationer, for you are in the Westerly-Pawcatuck area and there’s plenty to do on a snowy or rainy day. While shopping and restaurants may be the first things that come to mind when planning rainy/snow-day activities, this article will focus on things to do in addition to shopping and eating out.
The suggested activities in this article are recommendations by locals who were asked to submit their suggestions for this article. The final list includes enjoyable and suitable activities for the young and young-at-heart. It is by no means exhaustive. Attractions are within a few driving minutes of each other so visitors can do more than one activity in a day.
Alley Katz Bowling Center is centrally located in the 116 Granite Street Plaza in Westerly, which is almost right next to the Babcock-Smith House Museum. Let the sound of bowling pins crashing and the cheers of people yelling “Strike!” mask the sound of the rain pouring down outside. Alley Katz has been a community favorite since 1985. It is an up to date bowling venue, nicely designed, and clean. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro, Alley Katz is a good time on a dreary day. Snacks are available as well as Cleats, their sports club and full restaurant. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM and Friday and Saturday 9:00 AM – 12:00 AM. Enjoy some wholesome and economical fun with family and friends.
The Babcock-Smith House Museum is located near downtown Westerly at 124 Granite St, next to the Westerly Credit Union. Its website says it best: “The Georgian Mansion (circa 1734) is the former home of the Babcocks and Smiths. The mansion is elegantly furnished with pieces reflecting the Colonial Babcock years, the Victorian Smith years, and colonial restoration of 1928.” Museum hours are Thursday – Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 PM. Admission is a very reasonable $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for kids 12 and under.
Get Fired Up is a paint your own pottery place and is perfect for all ages. Why not release your inner artist and spend a couple of your rainy-day hours immersed in making a summer memory? Get Fired Up is just a few steps from the Pawcatuck River Bridge (downtown Westerly) at 7 West Broad Street, Pawcatuck. There are many choices of pottery items to paint – glass fusion and glass painting are also available. No experience is necessary. Their staff are more than happy to help with instructions. There are no studio fees so piece prices are all inclusive.
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It takes about a week for pieces to be fired and ready for pick up and the staff are happy to ship them to your home address (shipping fees apply) if you have to leave the area before your piece is finished. Hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Wednesday and Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Closed Mondays.
The Mrs. Potato Head Statue is a great novelty and a little bit of Rhode Island history that will bring a giggle to just about anyone who sees it. Officially entitled, “Sunbaked 1966,” this six foot tall colorful spud statue is on display at the Westerly State Airport, 56 Airport Road (not too far from the Westerly Crossing plaza near the intersection of routes 1 and 78).
Mrs. Potato Head is one of 37 Hasbro sponsored Potato heads that were decorated by various artists in 2000 and placed around the state as official R.I. Travel Ambassadors. It can be a fun photo for your family’s “Summer of 2017” vacation scrapbook and something fun to post on Facebook. Enter the main terminal, beyond the police station, and staff will direct you to Westerly’s biggest potato. Phone: (401) 596-2357.
Regal Stonington 10 Cinema – Watching a movie is another good rainy-day activity. Where else can you leave the drippy weather and get lost in a great movie all while munching on hot buttery popcorn and enjoying a soda? The cinema is off Rt. 2 at 85 Voluntown Rd., Pawcatuck in the Stop and Shop Plaza, just 2.5 miles from downtown Westerly.
Westerly Armory and the People’s Museum – Built in 1901, the Armory, a unique brick castle-like National Guard building, houses the People’s Museum and is within steps of the Westerly Train Station. It offers military and local community artifacts with sections on accomplished local women, sports memorabilia, Navy, Coast Guard, Korea, and Vietnam exhibits, and model WWII planes. Admission is Free. Hours: Mondays and Thursdays only from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, or by appointment. Location: 41 Railroad Avenue, Westerly.
Westerly Public Library is the big gold building in downtown Westerly, just to the right of the post office at 44 Broad Street and across from Pizza Place. It is a wonderful place to visit on a wet and dreary day. Stop in and read for a while. They have a great selection of magazines and a special section just for new books.
They also have computers available, a children’s area, and the staff are friendly and helpful. The library offers a variety of events and programs which are listed on their website. Hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Fridays 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Saturdays 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Phone: 401-596-2877.
Rain or shine, the Westerly – Pawcatuck area, is a great place to visit!