In your backyard: what’s happening around town

As school gives way to summer and a sometime bored fleet of family members, let’s not forget our own backyard. Maybe you don’t have time for a weeklong get away, but if you think about it, some folks come here for their weeklong getaway.

Chesterfield brims with history and the Chesterfield Historical Society presents interesting programs to help occupy the kids while the adults learn a little more than they thought they knew.

The first of these kid friendly events takes place on June 9 and then again on July 9 from 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m. The event is called Childhood in Chesterfield, 100 Years Ago. The exhibit of toys, photographs and artifacts from the early 1900s will show how children’s lives in Chesterfield County have changed during the past century. Hands-on activities such as writing on a slate, making a whirligig, working on a rag rug and playing with dolls made of paper, corn husks and pine needles, will recreate a child’s world of learning, work and play. For more info, visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com

Enjoy a Midsummer Night’s Dream Festival as the kick-off to the summer reading program at Chesterfield Library. Wear your costumes and bring a lawn chair to this free festival. Juggling, music, fire-hoops, art project, and more. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Festival will be held on Saturday, June 16, at  8 p.m. at the Central Library. For more info, visit library.chesterfield.gov or call 751-CCPL.

Like to get muddy or like to see other people get muddy? Then the Dauber Dash, held each year at Henricus Park is the event you don’t want to miss. Called the Henricus Dauber Dash, the event is held around this time every year, Saturday, June 23 and it lasts all day.

According to Richmond Sports Backers, “Just like the Daubers that built the mud houses in the Citie of Henricus, you will have a chance to relive your childhood with plenty of messy mud on hand at the Henricus Dauber Dash. The five-mile course starts in the Citie and goes around the trail loop at Dutch Gap, but this isn’t your typical trail run. Think much, much messier. And just when you think you can’t get any dirtier, you’ll come face-to-face with the final mud pit at the finish overlooking the scenic James River. This is not a race for walkers.

For registration information, visit: www.sportsbackers.org” Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park  Rd., Chester.

For those who enjoy a more laid-back outing there’s the Falling Creek Ironworks Tour on the same day, Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Discover the site of the first iron furnace in the New World and explore the latest archaeological discoveries along the banks of Falling Creek. Take a tour of the site and learn about the impact of the industrial achievements. Discover the impact of pre-Colonial and Colonial period industry. Meet at Bensley Park, 2900 Drewry’s Bluff Rd. For details call Bryan Truzzie, 751-4946. The cost of the event is $8 and pre-registration is required. To register call 748-1623 and request Course 25009.

Camping anyone? Camp Pocahontas for ages six-10 will take place at Henricus from June 25-29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Through activities and arts and crafts, campers will explore the life of Pocahontas and the culture of the Powhatan people. Hands-on activities include cooking, farming, hunting skills, house and canoe building, weaving fishing nets and making pottery, arrows and tools. New this year is a pontoon boat tour of historic sites on the James River. The cost is $175 or $150 for Henricus Foundation Patrons. Registration is required by June 18 by phone 318-8797 or email sweeneyv@chesterfield.gov. Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Rd., Chester.

If you can’t make it to the mountains for a quick hike then head to the Dutch Gap Conservation Area (DGCA) in Chester for a unique hike around a James River Tidal Lagoon. There are constant views of marshes teaming with all sorts of birds. This hike is an ornithologists dream. See eagles, herons, cormorants, Canada geese, ducks, red tailed hawk, etc. It has been reported by one family seeing eight deer with a good size buck leading them.

This is a great hike for families with young kids due to its relative lack of elevation change and would be easy to push a stroller on. There were also many people walking their dogs. This hike is also wheelchair accessible with just a little help in one or two short areas.

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