Have you gone to a game yet?
It wasn't until I started working on this month's feature that I realized just how many places I've visited in the region and how many I haven't made the time to see.
For example, though it's just down the hill from my house, I'm ashamed to admit I've yet to visit the new Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
And if it hadn't been for my son who attended a camp at the Springfield Quadrangle last summer it would have been years since I set foot in any of those museums (now free to Springfield residents - no more excuses!).
I haven't been to Sturbridge Village since I was in my late teens.
I've never been to the new Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst.
There's so much to do right in our own Valley, yet it's so easy to overlook the riches right at our front door.
Speaking of things to do in our backyard, I hope the baseball fans in PRIME's reading audience have discovered one of Western Mass's hidden gems the Holyoke Giants games at MacKenzie Field in Holyoke.
I had the opportunity to attend a game accompanied by my son and husband the night before this issue went to press.
And even though play was interrupted by a lightening storm, we had a blast.
This is baseball up close and personal, with kids peering over the dugout roof to watch the plays at first base, foul balls flying into the stands, and batters warming up just feet from the front-row bleacher seats. My son got to chat with a couple of the players in the bullpen while he and his Dad were waiting for me to catch up with them. He told them he plays third base. They gave him a high-five.
A member of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the Giants players are all college students from across the U. S. (some with the potential to get a shot at the majors) here to play ball just for the summer. But they play it with their hearts and souls.
We saw some terrific pitching, two super double plays, a couple of home runs .just a great game.
Oh, and by the way, the Giants trounced the Silkworms that night, 6-0.
This is great family entertainment and an affordable outing for Grandma and Grandpa to share with the grandkids. Tickets to the Giants games are priced Adults - $ 5, Students (w/ID) - $3., Seniors (65+)- $3, Children 12 and under - $3, Family Four Pack - $10. You can buy them right at the gate.
For more information on the Giants, including a game schedule and directions, visit www.holyokegiants.com
Whatever you do this July, I hope you enjoy it. And if you need some ideas of things to visit right here in our own backyard, visit www.valleyvisitor.com Debbie Gardner
, PRIME Editor