Home About Archives RSS Feed

Are We There Yet?: Summer Is Here

By Rebecca Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

 

Summer is officially here on Saturday, even if it feels like we didn't have much of a spring. Up here in my corner of the Berkshires, school is still in session for another week, which means I'm not in the "oh my God it's summer what do I do with the kids" mode for another week. Is a shorter summer a good thing or a bad thing? Only time will tell.

But there are some fun ways to embrace the beginning of summer this weekend, most of them in Great Barrington on Saturday morning, June 21 ... so if you're ambitious, try to hit them all!

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Great Barrington Fair Grounds, Berkshire Co-op Market is throwing a family fun bash at the Great Barrington Farmers Market to celebrate the beginning of summer. The farmers market will run as usual with 25-plus vendors and a selection of vegetables, cheese, meats and more. The Co-op will be adding family fun activities to the event to bolster the fun.  There will be a mini Bio Blitz, hosted by Greenagers, a nonprofit working to help young people engage with their environment. The Blitz is a fun list of nature related games and scavenger hunts for kids.  There will also be a non-toxic tie dye table for all ages (some whites will be provided, but bringing your own is recommended), a local farmers market raffle, a silent auction of products from around town and a used clothing pop up shop.  All proceeds will benefit Greenagers, The Farmers Market and The Fair Grounds. For more information, visit www.berkshire.coop or call 413-528-9697.

From 10:30 a.m. to noon, Project Native will host a Bug and Butterfly Safari, weather permitting. With nets, bug boxes, magnifying glasses and field guides at the ready, participants will leave a on safari to find eggs, caterpillars and butterflies to relocate into the Butterfly House. Participants will learn to identify host plants, tricks for finding eggs/caterpillars and ecologically harvest food for caterpillars in the Butterfly House.  All ages are welcome to participate and it is free.

At 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., The Zoo in Forest Park returns to the Mason Library for another what promises to be a spectacular show. Families will learn about the zoo animals and get to pet them. There are limited spots available; there will be two shows and families must register for either 11:45 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. at gblibraries.org. All ages are welcome.

Of course, Saturday is the first day of summer, so it's a perfect day for ice cream. (Although really, what day is a BAD day for ice cream?) From 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Wild Oats Market in Williamstown will hold an Ice Cream Social to benefit the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s Mass in Motion program, which is currently overseeing the North Adams Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. The Fitness Challenge, which began May 5 and continues to July 11,  is a 10-week program that challenges residents of the North Adams and surrounding communities to improve their overall health by setting and meeting doable fitness goals. There will be a face painter for kids of all ages, and a spin art machine for children to make unique and colorful artwork. The price per sundae is $5 for adults; and $3 for children 12 and under. While it may seem counterintuitive to serve ice cream for a fitness program, one of my favorite things about this program (we have an iBerkshires team in the challenge, though I have to admit the record-keeping is not going very well) is that it rewards for good behavior but does not punish for bad behavior. Love that positive reinforcement! And anyway, Amanda Chilson, coordinator for the Mass in Motion, will be there to share her tips on how to get fit and stay fit, while still enjoying an ice cream sundae or two along the way. Because life would be awfully dull without ice cream.

One quick event on Sunday, June 22, to mention: From 3 to 6 p.m., Egremont Village Inn (formerly Weathervane Inn) will host "The Family Show (Story #1)" featuring Lizzie West’s “Legend of the Golden Thread,” with special guests Sauerkraut Seth, Killington Bird Man, percussionist Baba Buffalo and more. The afternoon includes a 45-minute interactive performance with live music, outdoor fun and mask-making. The event is free. For more information, call 413-528-9580 or go to www.egremontvillageinn.com.

 

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.

Write a comment - 0 Comments            

Are We There Yet?: Digging Disney

By Rebecca Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

Disney's "The Little Mermaid" came out when I was around 16 years ago. I very clearly recall rolling my eyes in typical teenage fashion when my mother asked if I wanted to watch it. Watch a Disney movie? That was so for babies.

But I watched it anyway ... and fell in love with everything Disney. Within a few years I had amassed a collection of Disney VHS videos, videos that I still have, videos that are the reason I might be one of the two people left in Massachusetts with a couple VCRs still in my house, videos that I could not wait to show my own daughter. "The Jungle Book." "The Fox and the Hound." "Aladdin."

Magical.

I have continued that collection since my daughter was born, only now my personal copies are on DVDs (though I feel like I might be one of the 10 people left in Massachusetts with a regular DVD player, as Blue Ray is all the rage, at least until something even better comes out and they try to make us think we need to buy copies of everything we already own in whatever format that ends up being). The latest in my collection is "Frozen," which I wasn't prepared to love as much as I did. It's not only the amazing music, it's the story and its message. I love that in the end, it's the love between sisters that saves the day, not a prince. Awesome!

This Saturday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m., Images Cinema, our cool local movie house in Williamstown, will show "Frozen." Images doesn't typically show Disney movies, but there is a special reason for this one: It's Williams College reunion weekend, and the movie's Oscar-winning hit song “Let it Go” was co-written by Williams alum Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Regular ticket prices apply, but lest you think it's silly to pay to see a movie you own (and I know most of the people reading this column probably DO own it), I guarantee watching it in Images with an intimate crowd sure to include children singing along will be an amazing experience. How do I know? My fellow Girl Scout leaders and I showed it to a group of 25 second-graders and listening to all of them belt out "Let it Go" together was extraordinarily cool to hear. Images is located, by the way, at 50 Spring St. in downtown Williamstown, which should be hopping this weekend with alumni.

And speaking of Disney princesses, there is, of course, Cinderella. Remember how she has nothing to wear to the ball until the fairy godmother swoops in to save the day? Mill City Productions in North Adams is debuting a show this weekend in which Cinderella has nothing to wear to the ... disco??? Yes, "Cinderalla Goes Disco" will play Fridays, June 13 and 20 at 7 p.m., Saturdays, June 14 and 21 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sundays, June 15 and 22, at 2 p.m. at the Mill City Theatre in Building 4N (next to the Visitor's Center) of the Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams.

Mill City promises this to be an interactive play that will allow children from the audience to shine on stage with the actors and is fun for the whole family. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students/seniors and will be available at the door. For more information, visit www.millcityproductions.org.

Not sure if your child would like "Cinderella Goes Disco"? Look this weekend as my 8-year-old and I kick off a yet-to-be-named series of summer family theater reviews in which she and I will see family plays all around the Berkshires and then discuss the pros and cons for the kiddos. "Cinderella" is our first stop, and we are excited to work on this project together this summer. Beats sitting around the couch moaning "I'm borrrred" all summer!

 

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.

Write a comment - 0 Comments            

Are We There Yet?: Summer on Stage

By Rebecca Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

I promised you a column of summer family fun. First I'm going to start with theater, not only because there is so much family theater in a Berkshire summer but also because I live with a little actress who likes nothing more than being on stage.

One of our favorites is Shakespeare & Company's Rose Footprint productions, outdoor theater under the big round tent, where the audience sits in lawn chairs and the actors run around and through the audience and interact with them. This year, the production is "The Servant of Two Masters," billed on S&Co's website as "a comical blend of the Italian classic Commedia dell’arte and contemporary performance styles that tells the story of the outrageous and wily servant, Truffaldino, who secretly signs on with two masters simultaneously."

The actors are young, colorful and funny, and kids of all ages will love this show, which runs three times a week from June 25 through Aug. 23.

From July 23 through Aug. 10, Barrington Stage Company will present "Hairspray Jr." at the theater in the Berkshire Museum. Based on the film and Tony Award-winning stage musical of the same name, "Hairspray Jr." follows spunky plus-sized teen Tracy Turnblad as she pursues her dream of dancing on national television and navigates the racial tensions and stereotypes of the 1960s. Please note that children under 5 are not allowed into the theater.

Just over the border in Chatham, N.Y., the Mac-Haydn Theatre — the very cool theater in the round — will host another season of children's theater on Friday and Saturday mornings starting June 27. This year's productions are "Wilbur the Not-So-Big, Not-So-Bad Wolf," "Aladdin," "The Pied Piper" and "Rumplestiltskin." Every show we've seen in this theater has been amazing, and I highly recommend the short drive across state lines.

Back in Massachusetts, Berkshire Theatre Group presents "Seussical the Musical" at The Colonial in Pittsfield from Aug. 7-17. On its website, BTG says actors will be "flown" through the theater for the second year. I missed "Peter Pan" last summer but apparently that was such a big hit they're flying again this year. Pretty cool.

The last production I will mention is the free outdoor theater that Williamstown Theatre Festival presents every year. While I miss the colorful on-stage show the young actors used to present, I will admit that last year's production of "Dracula" was awesome. In fact, I liked it so much I read the book over the winter. (Well, by "read" I actually mean "listen to on CD" but whatever.) Anyway, this year WTF is presenting "Robin Hood" from July 16-25. The WTF website says "the Williamstown woods are magically transformed into Sherwood Forest as sought-after director Stella Powell-Jones enlivens this legendary swashbuckling adventure on the outdoor free theater stage." Magic, yes, but also buggy so don't forget the spray!

If I've missed any family theater fun, I'll catch up on it next week. For this weekend, enjoy what looks like gorgeous weather with two fishing derbies. On Saturday, June 7, the 22nd annual Harry A. Bateman Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Derby takes place at the Frank Controy Pavilion at Onota Lake in Pittsfield from 6 a.m. to noon to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Fee is $10 adults, $5 for children ages 14 and younger. On Sunday, June 8, the 20th annual Fishing Derby at Lake Mansfield in Great Barrington will be held for youth up to age 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No fishing experience necessary. Prizes and souvenirs for all participants will be provided through generous community donations. Funds raised will support the Action Adventures Out-Of-School Financial Assistance Program.

Summer is coming!

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.

Write a comment - 0 Comments            
Page 1 of 1 1  

Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
North Adams Hosts 9th Annual Motorama
Clarksburg Officials Approve Road Projects From $1M Borrowing
North Adams Airport to Approve RFP Next Month
Cheshire Faces Tough Decision With Trailer Park Roads
Gladys Knight, Roomful of Teeth, Gershwin Highlight Busy Week
'EforAll' Touches Down in Berkshire County
Pittsfield's Ward 6 Candidates Vow to Serve Constituents
Pittsfield Community Development Approves Two Marijuana Cultivator Site Plans
Breault Blast Highlights Met Life Win in Torchia League
North Adams Happenings: Aug. 21-27


Categories:
Animals (8)
Arts (25)
Community (59)
Daily Beat (4)
Fun stuff (106)
Fundraiser (2)
Green (10)
Health (2)
North Adams (11)
People (14)
Pittsfield (7)
politics (1)
Richmond (2)
Sports (2)
State (4)
Technology (3)
Williamstown (12)
Archives:
Tags:
Concerts Pittsfield Fall Foliage Morning Report Family Auditions Library Country Fair Madigan Volunteer Fundraiser Reading Program Mass Moca Halloween Solid Sound Festival Downing Attractions Holiday Bcc Wilco Latin iBerkshires Food Drive Richmond Scholarship News Adams Wjjw Baseball Election iBerkshires Music Williams Family Event
Popular Entries:
ABC News Features Cheshire's Madigan
Almost Time for Wilco
Wilco Delivers Solid Set, Hints at Return to MoCA
ABC Broadcasts Travel Video on Berkshire Winter
Adams Lights Christmas Tree
Williamstown Steeple on eBay
Williams Tops With Forbes, Unigo
1,000 Great Places From St. Stan's to ... the Elf Parlor?
EPA Postpones Housatonic River Update
Ask Not What Your State Can Do for You
Recent Entries:
Are We There Yet?: Take A Moment to Breathe This Weekend
Are We There Yet?: Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Are We There Yet?: Warm Up On a Cold Weekend
Are We There Yet?: Halloween Times Two
Are We There Yet?: Halloween Is Just Beginning
Are We There Yet?: Enjoy a Quiet Fall Weekend
Are We There Yet?: Help Find a Cure for Type One Diabetes
Are We There Yet?: It's All About the Foliage
Are We There Yet?: Fall Into A Beautiful Autumn Weekend
Are We There Yet?: Curiosity, By George!