Highlights for Father’s Day Weekend

Hiking, canoeing and camping adventures await families this weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Happy Father’s Day! This weekend there are lots of adventurous opportunities to explore Western MA with the sons, fathers, step-fathers, and grandfathers in your life, like one of the many hikes scheduled for families this weekend.

On Saturday, June 16th in North Adams, the Berkshires Natural Resource Council will be hosting a hike of the Hoosac Range, while the Deerfield River Watershed Association will host two hikes in Rowe, exploring the blooming Mountain Laurels and the Fife Brook Dam. Also on Saturday, in Lanesborough, families can explore the waterfalls of Mt. Greylock, or trek through the forest at Mittineague Park in West Springfield.  On Sunday, June 17th Stanley Park in Westfield will also host a guided walk through the park.

Looking for something a little more adventurous?  How about camping overnight on Saturday, June 16th with the kids at Barton Cove near the water in Northfield where families can learn camping skills and explore the woods and water?  If you prefer to be on the water, try canoeing the Mill River with Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton on Sunday, June 17th, or take a summer solstice kayaking adventure with Northfield Mountain, also at Barton Cove in Northfield.

On Sunday, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride at Look Park in Florence, or Forest Park Zoo in Springfield.  Or take an even bigger free train ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.  Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village which offer free admission, or a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round.

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events to find out about all of these events and many others, like family performances in Berkshire County this weekend, including The Jimmies at MASS MoCA, Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats at the Colonial Theater, and “Grease!” at Lee High School.  And be sure to check out what’s happening during the week too as great events happen all week long… like on Monday, June 18th when it’s Community Day at Naumkeag in Stockbridge, and Grasshoppas in the Park Before Dark perform at Pettingill Field in Cummington in the evening!

Father’s Day Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village Offers Special Father’s Day Weekend Demos, Art & Music

Bring your favorite dad to Old Sturbridge Village for Father’s Day Weekend and enjoy singing, dancing, artwork demonstrations and musical performances as part of Music & Art Weekend. On Saturday, June 19th an evening at the kiln is the highlight, and on Sunday, June 20th Dads get 50% off admission.

Pops and their families can learn to play the jaw harp and tin whistle, have their silhouette made, learn 1830s-style contra-dancing, and enjoy musical performances, including: Tasteful Tunes and Devil’s Ditties, fife and drum music, a recorder concert, and a performance on the antique pipe organ in the Center Meetinghouse.

“Of all the activities we demonstrate at the Old Sturbridge Village, firing the potter’s kiln is surely the most dramatic,” notes Jeff Friedman, of Princeton, MA, head of pottery interpretation at OSV. “It’s a rare opportunity to see an oven of such size roaring and glowing”

Built with 15,000 bricks, the Old Sturbridge Village kiln is an “updraft bottle kiln,” of the style used in the early 1800s. When fully loaded for firing, the kiln holds 800 freshly glazed pots stacked 10 feet high. It takes three cords of wood stoked over 24 hours to bring the kiln to maximum firing temperature of 1,900 degrees. At that temperature, the kiln bricks glow and the flames roar, rising 24 feet high to come out of the top of the stack. The pottery is fired all night, and it takes another 40 hours for the kiln to cool before the dramatic “drawing the kiln” – unloading the finished wares.  Firing of the kiln happens only on Saturday, June 19th ($$).

Highlights on Father’s Day weekend include:

  • Music on the Antique Pipe Organ
  • Try Your Hand at Fishing, or Marbling Paper
  • Demonstrate and Teach 19th-Century Dance & Country Music
  • Play Marbles by the District School
  • French and English (Tug O’ War) on the Common
  • Join a 19th-century Baseball Game
  • Antique Musical Instrument Demonstration
  • Learn to Play the Tin Whistle and Jaw Harp
  • Tasteful Tunes and Devil’s Ditties: Songs & Stories of Long Ago
  • Hoop Races by the Graveyard

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country. For all times and details of activities throughout the weekend: www.osv.org, (800) 733-1830.

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