It's not every week I can say the center of the family universe this weekend is the Berkshire Mall.
That's right — this weekend, there are two events at the mall that I want to mention, one that I have been involved in planning through my "day job" and another that my own daughter absolutely adores every year.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, come to the Berkshire Mall for a Funtastic Family Funday hosted by my employer, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. This event is for the whole family to come experience what Girl Scouts is all about in 2013. (Yes, even brothers are welcome!) We will have stations with activities appropriate for each level of Girl Scouts, as well as fun camp game, a simple science table and more. We are hoping to bring families to the mall to show them all the fun they can have if they get involved in Girl Scouts, from joining one of the many troops available in the Berkshires to participating in some neat programs to attending one of our fabulous summer camps. The event runs from 1 to 3:30; look for us in center court, outside of JCPenney. For details visit yourtimewellspent.org.
Then on Sunday, the mall will host its annual "Malloween" event, where children in costume can come trick-or-treat at the stores in a safe, warm and dry environment. The kids love the candy, of course, but my favorite is the stores who very savvily hand out coupons to parents, as well. A discount is always a great incentive to come shop there again, and we should all be mindful about supporting the businesses who do nice things like participate in trick-or-treating for our kids. This event runs from noon to 2 p.m. and is always busy, though I have always found the crowd fairly well-behaved. Don't miss the radio station fun in the food court area, too!
After Malloween, there is still time to head north 20 miles or so to the Clark Art Institute, where the museum will host a "Building's in the Air Family Day" starting at noon and running through 4 p.m. In honor of all the building and construction that has been going on at the Clark for the last few years, the event will feature the chance for kids to build a large-scale building of their own using, according to the museum's website, "more cardboard than you’ve ever seen, masking tape galore, and plenty of adults on hand to help with cutting." These Clark family days are always not only fun, but also educational. Visit clarkart.edu for more information.
And, of course, Halloween itself is Thursday, Oct. 31. Click here for the iBerkshires list of trick-or-treating times by town. And click here for some great tips straight from the government for making sure this Halloween is a safe one.
I'll end on this note: My mother never allowed my sister and I to go trick-or-treating. This used to be a memory I wanted to repress, but now that I am a parent, I can understand her desire to keep us safe inside the house. We always made the most fun out of the holiday by participating in school and Scouting Halloween events, handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters at our own front door (never candy, always McDonald's french fry gift certificates) and then hitting the Halloween clearance sales on Nov. 1 for a little candy selection of our choice. This was in the 1980s at the height of the "needles in the candy" scares, but there may be even scarier things out there in the 2010s. All I'm saying is it never killed a kid to NOT go trick-or-treating. Use good judgment and stay safe this week!
Berkshire County native Rebecca Dravis of Williamstown is a former journalist who now works for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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