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 email@example.com.
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