Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 25th – September 7th, 2012
As the summer comes to a close, so do many ongoing summer concert and theater events that enriched Berkshire County this summer. As we transition from summer towards the school year, many playgroups and libraries quiet down for a couple of weeks, but they will be sure to pick back up in September.
In the meantime, during these last couple of weeks of summer, there are still a lot of fun opportunities happening for families to enjoy: Main Street Stage will put on a theater performance at Bascom Lodge; David Grover will perform a family concert at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; Tanglewood will offer a family-friendly concert; and Berkshire Theatre Group will be putting on a production of Oliver! at The Colonial Theatre… just to name a few!
Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through the first week of September:
To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!
Bascom Lodge — Main Street Stage is doing a whirlwind backyard tour this summer with their production, “The King Stag,” a play chronicling a queen-finding quest. The story is told through puppets, masks, music, magic, stilts, and more. On Sunday, Aug. 26th at 4pm there will be a performance at Bascom Lodge at Mt. Greylock. — 413-743-1591. Atop Mt. Greylock. (FREE)
Mt. Greylock — Ongoing at Mt. Greylock: Every Saturday visitors are invited to explore the waterfalls of Mt. Greylock from 1-4pm, leaving the visitors center at 1pm. And every Sunday families can go on a medicinal plant walk at 10am or 2pm. Leaving from the visitors center, the walk will be easy and focused on teaching visitors to identify plants with medicinal properties. Then every Wednesday, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail. Call to find out meeting place. And on Fridays, take little adventurers on a tyke hike! The hike is short, and ends with storytime. Meet at the Visitors Center at 10am. — 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. (FREE)
Haskins Center — Ongoing at the center: On Monday, Gym Group at the Haskins Center has moved outside for the summer! Enjoy group playground time at 5:30pm on the center’s playscape. And on Thursdays, the center hosts morning playgroups outside on the playground at 11:30am.— 413-664-4821. 210 State Street.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts — Childcare of the Berkshires presents children’s performer David Grover in concert at the MCLA Church Street Center on Wednesday, Aug. 29th from 5:30-6:30pm. — 413-664-4821. Church Street. (FREE)
Mass MoCA — Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation’s summer Free Fun Fridays series, Mass MoCA will offer free admission on Friday, Aug. 31st! — 413-662-2111. Mass MoCA Way. (FREE)
Natural Bridge State Park — Ongoing at Natural Bridge State Park: the park hosts nature walks every Sunday. Visitors can learn about important local and natural history at the marble quarry that once operated nearby. Walks are 45mins long leaving at 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm. The park also hosts a Tyke Hike every Tuesday at either 1pm or 3pm. This short, kid-friendly expedition is lead by a park interpreter, who will share information on the natural wonders at the park. And every Thursday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm, kids can exercise their creativity by doing outdoor nature crafts. — 413-663-6392. McCauley Road.(FREE, <$ Parking)
Western Gateway Heritage State Park — On Saturday, Aug. 25th at 2pm visit the park for a program on the Earth – as seen from space! — 115 State Street, Building 4.
Field Farm — Pollinators play an incredibly important role in the environment! Learn about bees, hornets, and wasps on Saturday, Aug. 25th from 10am-12noon at Field Farm with the Trustees of Reservations – scary though their sting may be, the science behind pollinating creatures is fascinating. Then from 12noon or 1pm, tour The Folly, a post-modernist home on the grounds of Field Farm. The Trustees of Reservations will be offering tours of the home, and visitors can learn about its unique architectural style and compare it with the farm’s guest house, designed in the American modern style. Great for older kids interested in architecture, design, and engineering. — 413-458-3135. 554 Sloan Road. (<$)
The Clark — Take advantage of this last week of summer to stop in and see the exhibit, Unearthed at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. This exhibit displays artifacts from the Shanxi and Gansu provinces in China and is a great way to supplement a child’s studies of ancient China. Monday-Thursday, Aug. 27th-30th, from 2-4pm, kids can make their very own Mingqi out of clay, molds and other tools. A Mingqi is one of the artifacts on display and is a traditional Chinese “spirit utensil” that are formed in the shape of animals and mystical beasts with exaggerated expressions. – Before heading over to the museum, check out their gallery guide designed just for families that’s full of fun activities to help kids discover the interesting facts about this exhibit: Gallery Guide for Families (PDF). — 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. (FREE w/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Lilac Park — Enjoy the last live concert of the summer at Lilac Park with Bernice Lewis. on Wednesday, Aug. 29th at 7pm. In case of rain, the show will take place at the town hall. — Main Street. (FREE)
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary — After dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 5th at 6pm, dress for the outdoors and bring the family and come visit the beaver ponds of the sanctuaries. Look for clues and search for beavers and other signs of wildlife. Participants can learn about the natural history of beavers. Lead by sanctuary volunteer, Florian Ptak. — 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. (FREE)
The Mount — Take a spooky mystery tour of The Mount on Monday, Aug. 27th 7:30pm… beware – you never know what you might encounter! Visitors will not only be thoroughly creeped out, but will learn some of the building’s interesting history. And on Friday, Aug. 31st at 8pm, enjoy the final free evening Music After Hours concert.— 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. (FREE, >$)
Tanglewood — On Saturday, Aug. 25th at 2:30pm, Tanglewood presents a family-friendly concert! Classical Tangent, made up of members of the BSO and Berklee School of Music, will perform folk music from around the world. An instrument playground will be held beginning at 12:30pm. Attending a family-friendly concert is a great way to introduce kids to classical music and the many different instruments found in a symphony – in a relaxed atmosphere! Then on Sunday, Aug. 26th at 1pm families can learn about orchestra instruments, music styles, and musical concepts at Tanglewood’s Watch and Play program! The event is specially designed to make kids’ visit to Tanglewood educational, and to provide them with background information that will help them make sense of what they hear. Takes place in the Chamber Music Hall. Tickets to afternoon performance required.— 413-637-5274. 297 West Street. (>$-$$)
Berkshire Museum — Ongoing at the museum, every Saturday at 12:30pm it’s chow time at the aquarium! Visit to see tank animals have their lunch, and learn about who eats what and why. And every Friday at 11am, friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities. — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. (FREE w/Museum Admission)
Colonial Theatre — Berkshire Theatre Group presents their 7th annual children’s production, Oliver!. The musical will feature over 200 local youth and adults performing in this adapted Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. Youth participation in BTG annual productions gain improved self-esteem, listening and creative problem solving skills, public speaking skills as well as learning to work as a team… all while working together in an intergenerational community production. This year’s production is about a boy named Oliver who runs away from a dreadful orphanage and his adventures that follow. This beloved musical shares Oliver’s struggles with greed and other evils that keep him from finding his real home. In the end courage and love win. Oliver! runs Sept. 7-9 with performances at 7:30pm on Fri., 2pm & 7:30pm on Sat., and 2pm on Sun. — 413-298-5576. 111 South Street. ($$)
First Friday — There will be an Art Walk on Friday, Sept. 7th from 5-8pm, which means a chance to explore galleries, shops, and restaurants, all featuring beautiful artwork by a variety of artists, all featuring different media and styles. — Downtown.
Hancock Shaker Village — On Saturday, Aug. 25th at 2pm, visit Hancock Shaker Village for a special program on honey bees! The event is part of the village’s Return and Learn series, and will teach visitors about the role that pollinators play in the ecosystem, and all about beekeeping (and its history at the village). Great information for older students to pair with studies of local agriculture and entomology! — 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic. (FREE w/Museum Admission)
Onota Lake — The last Live on the Lake community concert performance takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 29th from 6-8pm on the shore of Onota Lake with a performance by Arthur Holmes Blues Band. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy great family-friendly live music. — Pecks Road. (FREE)
Treehouse— Ongoing at Treehouse there are a couple of playgroups on Tuesdays: Kids ages 2-4 and their siblings can come together in their playspace in the mornings from 10-10:45am; and there will be drop-in crawl time for infants in the afternoon from 3-4pm. And on Wednesdays, there is a New Moms Group takes place from 11am-12noon, intended for moms with babies under 9 months – drop in and get support from others parents experiencing similar adjustments and developments.— 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. (FREE)
Mission House — On Saturday, Aug. 25th from 1-2pm, visit the Mission House for a program on folklore and stories of Native Americans! — 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road. (>$)
Naumkeag— Saturday, Aug. 25th from 11am-12noon, visit Naumkeag for an interactive tour, designed just for kids! Become a member of the Choate family, who once lived in the historic home, while learning about the building’s history and the stories it holds! - Then on Sunday, Aug. 26th from 11am-12noon tour this historic home, and be treated like one of the family! The hands-on tour immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of life at Naumkeag in decades past. — 413-298-3239 x3352. 5 Prospect Hill Road. ($)
Norman Rockwell Museum — Visit the museum on Thursday, Aug. 30th at 5:30pm to watch a classic comedy, inspired by Howard Pyle (whose work is currently on view at the museum). Monty Python and the Holy Grail, will be screened – the movie is rated PG, but does contain violence. — 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. ($)
Stockbridge Library — Tour Stockbridge and learn about the town’s history from residents, past and present, found on porches of historic homes in a local tour called Shady Porches. On Saturday, Aug. 25th the tour begins at 1pm and is hosted by the Stockbridge Library, features actors playing Stockbridge residents – doctors, lawyers, bakers, etc., – and offers a fun and exciting take on local history. — 413-298-5501. Stockbridge, MA. ($)
Spectrum Playhouse — Terry a la Berry will be at the Playhouse on Saturday, Sept. 1st at 11am! Terry’s silly concerts are a family favorite. — 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street.(<$)
Ashley House — Many artisanal skills, now rare, were once necessary for survival – Ashley House hosts a day where families can learn about the many different skills necessary for running a household on Saturday, Aug. 25th from 11am-3pm. Visitors can try spinning wool, caring for animals, cooking, and more! There will also be demonstrations of all sorts for families to view.- 413-298-3239. Cooper Hill Road. (>$)
Bartholomew’s Cobble — On the waters of the Housatonic River, take a morning canoe trip at Bartholomew’s Cobble on Sunday, Aug. 26th from 8:30-11:30am. Families with kids ages 10yo+ can look for wildlife while paddling down this winding river, passing by floodplain forest, looking for bald eagles, and learning about the history of the river from your guide. All gear is provided. Call to register. — 105 Weatogue Road. Ashley Falls. 413-229-8600. ($$)