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Are We There Yet?: Fun on the Weekends

By Rebecca DravisiBerkshires Staff

Ah, is that a collective sigh of relief I hear that the kids are back in school?

My daughter started third grade, where they were told they will have nightly homework for the first time. Wow. Which means weekends are going to be the time to play now that weeknights will be spent doing somework (after Girl Scouts meetings and religious education and karate class and viola lessons, that is).

In the spirit of embracing weekends, this Saturday, Sept. 6, offers a chance to check out two gems in the Berkshires for free.

First, Berkshire County residents and people who work in Berkshire County are invited to visit Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox free of charge. The sanctuary grounds are open dawn to dusk, and the office and gift shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sanctuary offers a well-maintained and clearly marked seven-mile trail system that takes visitors around beaver ponds, through hardwood forest, and to the summit of Lenox Mountain. Pleasant Valley also offers an All Persons Trail that makes the sanctuary universally accessible. Special introductory half-price memberships will be available, and the gift shop (where members receive a 10 percent discount) will be open as well. Registration is not required, and even though the weather is not looking great, it's something to consider.

Alternatively, if your family is more into art and history, consider Family Day at Chesterwood, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chesterwood is the former summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost public sculptor Daniel Chester French, who sculpted the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Visitors are requested to enter the Barn Gallery for free admission stickers and site and exhibition guides. Chesterwood is located at 4 Williamsville Road. Along with free admission to the historic studio, residence and grounds, which feature woodland walks and formal perennial gardens, special activities for children and families throughout the day will include a clay modeling hands-on art activity and a self-guided scavenger hunt. Visitors are encouraged to bring picnics to enjoy on the grounds. Again, watch the weather.

If you'd rather stay inside on Saturday, it's the first Saturday of the month, so there's always the kids do-it-yourself workshop at Home Depot from 9 a.m. to noon and Bowey the Clown at the First Saturdays at the Spectrum in Lee at 11 a.m.

If the storm does blow through on Saturday, look for the sun to shine for a fun (and educational and delicious!) family festival on Sunday, Sept. 7. From noon to 5:30 p.m., the Festival of Sharing Roots is held at St. Joseph Church on North Street in Pittsfield. Booths representing seven international cuisines highlight the cultures that comprise the community. Entertainment on the stage will feature music and dance by local players. Kiddy Land, face painting and games will be fun for the family. Crafts and tagged items will be on sale starting at 9 a.m.

Stay cool, stay dry and stay busy!


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


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