Historic Adventures on Grandparent’s Day in Berkshires & Hilltowns
Grandparent’s Day Celebrated in the Hilltowns and Berkshires
Join The Trustees of Reservations at four historic houses for Grandparents Day, Sunday September 12. Special activities for grandparents and grandchildren will be offered at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, the Naumkeag House & Gardens in Stockbridge, the Mission House in Stockbridge, and the Ashley House in Sheffield. On this day, Berkshires residents of all ages will receive free admission.
On Sunday Sept 12, begin your day with a visit to the Ashley House, opening at 10am. Visit the oldest house in the Berkshires at 117 Cooper Hill Road in the Ashley Falls section of Sheffield and enjoy two great stories of freedom. Special activities available for young and old alike on this day will include Colonial games and activities, and readings from the newest children’s book about Elizabeth Freeman (Mumbet) and her journey from slavery to freedom at the Ashley House over 200 years ago. While you are there, stop by the Bartholomew’s Cobble nature center next door to explore the natural world. According To Trustees educator Tammis Coffin, “The amazing story at The Ashley House is the stand that Mumbet took for her freedom, 80 years before the start of the Civil War. Slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts well before the rest of the country.”
Starting at 11am, the Mission House will be open, along with the Indian Museum. Here, right at 19 Main Street in Stockbridge, is the place to explore Mohican culture with child-friendly displays, articles of buckskin clothing that can be tried on, and activities for children, ages 5 and up, including “make your own pocket sundial.” There is also the Mohican Quest walking adventure – ideal for families with children ages 9 and up. According to Coffin,“The Mission House Indian Museum is small, but our visitors are discovering that it is a great place for kids!”
Naumkeag House and Gardens will be open from 10-5pm. Just half a mile uphill from the Red Lion Inn at 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, lies a magical 50-acre landscape that is a place of magic and beauty for children, with enclosed garden walls, water features, a round moon gate, a Chinese Garden, whimsical fountains, pools, runnels, and the famous Blue Steps. Among the activities offered for children with their grandparents or parents on this day include “Kipper” (a backpack of clues, games, and art projects that take families all around the gardens. “Children of all ages enjoy following Kipper’s trail through the gardens, peeking into places best seen from a lower perch, spying places and items that hold special appeal for our young visitors,” states Henry.
Round out your day of history with a trip to the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, open from 1-5pm. It’s a one hour drive from Stockbridge, in the heart of the hilltowns. Take Route 9 east from the Berkshires almost to the Old Creamery in Cummington, and follow signs to 207 Bryant Road, Cummington. Visit the rambling farmscape that was home to America’s first romantic poet. Young and old alike will enjoy learning about the poet’s unusual life. All ages will be delighted by a walk along the Rivulet Trail, where stand large trees, the stream that Bryant loved and wrote about, and poems posted along the way. And there will be a chance to try out (for free on this day) activities with the children’s “I Spy” activity backpacks.
About the Trustees of Reservations in the Berkshires
With more than a dozen destinations in the Berkshires, The Trustees of Reservations share some great stories, rooted this cultural and natural landscape. The Mission House and Indian Museum in Stockbridge and Monument Mountain in Great Barrington provide glimpses back to the earliest contacts between Mohicans and Europeans. The Ashley House in Sheffield houses a turning point in African American history leading to the end of slavery in Massachusetts. The Naumkeag estate and gardens in Stockbridge offer an intimate look at life from Gilded Age elegance to Art Deco experimentation. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead shares a charming blend of poetry and beauty in a pastoral landscape. The Trustees invite you to share these Berkshires stories and more and to help preserve community treasures throughout Massachusetts. To learn more, call 413.298.3239, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.thetrustees.org.
All photos (c) Trustees of Reservations