**Due to COVID-19, attractions, experiences, shops and restaurants have updated their protocols, policies regarding entrance times, reservations, and screening requirements. Please always check with the businesses and services in advance to ensure a positive experience with any activity you and your family undertakes.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. Start your day off with a stop at the Homestead Artisan Bakery + Café in Downtown Barrie. This charming local bakery specializes in sourdough bread and baked goods, crafted by hand in small batches using locally milled flours. Grab one of their pre-packaged Yogurt Sundaes or Brunch by the Bay Boxes from their retail fridge, so you can safely get in and out of the shop quickly.
As you head out onto Dunlop Street, a real street-level adventure can be found. Explore the boutiques and specialty shops that offer everything from clothing and accessories to home décor and gourmet products such as infused olive oil and specialty chocolates. Just two minutes west, The Barrie Olive Oil Company features more than 50 infused oils and flavoured balsamic vinegars that will make your next salad more than exceptional. The knowledgeable staff will help you find your new favourites and guide you with suggested pairings before bottling your choices fresh in the shop.
If you have a little extra time, bring your skates and glide along the Circle at the Centre outdoor ice rink in front of City Hall (weather permitting).
Head around to the south side of the bay to order some take-out lunch from The Farmhouse Restaurant, one of Barrie’s most beautiful historic buildings. Located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, this stunning building once housed the railroad trustees and YMCA’s businessmen as far back as 1907. Opening its doors as a family restaurant in 2013, The Farmhouse focuses on farm-fresh comfort foods. Be sure to check out their Facebook Page or website to find out what unique take-out dishes they’ve added to their menu that day.
As the sun goes down, make time to walk through Heritage Park on Barrie’s waterfront, and take in the Magic of Winter Animated Lights Display. Nothing brings alive the winter season like holiday lights, and the animated display against the backdrop of beautiful Kempenfelt Bay never disappoints.
Barrie’s impressive beer scene and is a must on the list when exploring the city. Stop off at Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Co. to sample the absurdly smooth flavour profiles of their ever-growing collection of all-natural beers. From the Billy Bishop Brown Ale to Pancho Barnes Triple Chocolate Stout, their tap list will have you leaving domestic beer behind forever.
Just six minutes away, you will find Redline Brewhouse. Their brewing approach is rooted in the Belgian and American schools of thought, with strong ties to tradition and respect for the classic techniques of beer making. Try a glass of the Moonlight on Chrome or the Straight Pipe Raspberry Stout, or ask them for the exceptional menu items they curate each week. Don’t forget to grab a few other flavours to try out from their retail shop before heading home.