Thursday June 7, 2012

The Mount

This summer, the Mount will celebrate the 150th birthday year of acclaimed author Edith Wharton, who built the estate at the height of her renown and wrote many novels here. On Sunday, the Mount will welcome guests of all ages to explore the spacious grounds and stately home in a free Family Day. Activities and tours run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at this Lenox landmark, which attracts thousands of visitors each year from around world.

The focus of the day is reading, writing and creativity -- all passions Wharton shared. Bud ding young writers will receive a notebook to capture their impressions of the day and property and act as an inspiration for their future stories. Kids can experiment with creating poetry of their own and design a bookmark for their favorite book.

A special family-friendly scavenger hunt will send sleuths in search of some of the many references to lions, cherubs and dogs that Wharton incorporated into her designs for the expansive estate. Family Day visitors can also take part in raffles to win a membership to the Mount, event tickets and more fun prizes.

A highlight of the afternoon will be a performance by the folk group Oakes and Smith in the dell by the former stables, on the outdoor stage that will house performances of "Pino cchio" by the Berkshire Theatre Group later in the summer season. The Berkshire-based duo draws on a long lineage of musicians and singers and brings their sweet sound to venues around the county.

Visit the Terrace Cafe to purchase food and beverages, or bring a picnic to enjoy in one of the many garden "rooms" that Wharton designed on grounds filled with shady woodland walks and a staircase made of grass. The property will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Family Day admission is free. Information: www.edithwharton
.org, (413) 551-5110.

Images Cinema

This weekend, when Williams College alums return to their alma mater for the annual reunion, they will do more than bring memories of their college days. Many will also bring the fruits of a different kind of labor -- their children.

It's not a coincidence that Williams Col lege is a leader in the field of students finding lifelong partners among their fellow classmates.

To celebrate the occasion, Images Cinema in Williams town will present three films on Saturday aimed at children and family audiences.

The program will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a screening of the thought-provoking feature "Re turn," directed by Williams alumna Liza Johnson. Suitable for adults and teens, the film follows a returning war veteran on her journey to rediscover her place within her family and her changing home town.

At 6 p.m., Dr Seuss's beloved storybook tale, "The Lorax," comes to life in the animated film, with the voice talents of Danny Devito, Ed Helms and the ageless Betty White.

A family favorite, "The Lor ax" spins an engaging web both of friendship and of a passion for protecting the planet.

The program concludes at 7:30 p.m. with a rare big-screen opportunity to see the classic comedy, "The Princess Bride," director Rob Reiner's hilarious, irreverent and swashbuckling fairy tale saga, highlighting the comedic talents of many of the film world's most recognizable stars, from Billy Crystal and the inimitable Wallace Shawn to the towering Andre the Giant.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for matinees and for students, and $5 for children 12 and under. Infor mation: www.imagescinema
.org, (413) 458-5612.

Wahconah Park

The weather tells us summer is here, and that means it's time to play ball. Tonight, there's an opportunity to welcome the new team in town, the Pittsfield Suns of the New England collegiate Futures League, when they throw out the first pitch at opening day at historic Wah conah Park in downtown Pittsfield.

The first of the season's six spectacular fireworks shows will follow the game between the Pittsfield Suns and the Silver Knights from Nashua, N.H.

Pre-game festivities include live music by local band Whis key City at 5:15 p.m.

Game time is 7 p.m., and tickets are $7 for reserved box seats, and $5 for Grandstand and general admission seating at the vintage wooden ballpark. Park ing is free. The regular season will continue through Aug. 6 with plenty of fun promotions planned -- from bobble head giveaways to bike and doggy nights to add to the onfield action. Information: www.pittsfieldsuns.com, (413) 445-SUNS (7867).