Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Feb 23rd – March 8th, 2013
We’re rounding the corner into March, the month of the vernal equinox! But we’re not there just yet, so while it lasts, get out and enjoy the snow! There are a number of events happening to get your family outdoors for winter fun. Thunderfest, Winter Fest, Notchview and Sheep Hill’s Winter Open House will have snow adventures in North Berkshire County. and in South Berkshire County, Berkshire Natural Resources Council offers winter hikes at the Housatonic Flate Reserve and Alford Springs. But if snow adventures aren’t your warm cup of tea, there are plenty of indoor adventures in Central Berkshire County, including Bowey the Clown at the Spectrum Playhouse, a mini-golf classic inside the Berkshire Athenaeum, creative free play and kitchen science at the Berkshire Museum, theater production of Happy Days at Miss Hall’s School, and museum fun at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through March 8th, 2013:
To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.
Downtown — 4 Hoosac Street.
Saturday, March 2nd from 12noon-5pm: With the Thunderbolt Ski Race this weekend comes ThunderFest, an annual winter celebration featuring food, music, and fun! The event takes place at the visitors center in downtown Adams, and will feature live music all afternoon from the Northshire String Band (classic bluegrass) and the Rev Tor Band (original rock and covers). Eight local vendors will provide delicious warm foods, and families can visit the new ski museum, warm up around a campfire, and participate in other fun activities. (FREE)
Congregation Beth Israel — 53 Lois Street.
Saturday, February 23rd at 6:30pm: Mask-making and Purimspiel. At 6:30, join Congregation Beth Israel to decorate masks (for those who don’t have costumes — or those who do!), and at 7 transition into enjoying a Purim Play, which will feature a creative and fun retelling of the Purim story along with a few verses from the megillah. All ages welcome! Dessert will follow the Purimspiel — feel free to bring cookies if you have some to share. (Free)
Downtown North Adams —413-662-3000. Main Street.
Saturday, February 23rd from 10am-4pm: Celebrate winter at North Adams’ annual Winterfest celebration! There will be activities, events, and performances all day long in downtown North Adams – families can watch ice sculptures be made, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, taste entries in the chowder competition, and finish the day with a skating party at the ice rink! 413-664-6180. (FREE)
The Family Place — 413-664-4821. 61 Main Street.
Wednesday, February 27th at 10am: The Family Place is offering parents a workshop on setting and achieving goals – attend to learn some skills and strategies for working towards accomplishments, both personal and for the whole family. Registration required. (FREE)
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts — text — 413-664-4821. Church Street.
Saturday, March 2nd at 7:30pm – MCLA Presents! GOSP FEST. Combining traditional African-American gospel music with the electric steel guitars and vocal, The Campbell Brothers will perform at the Church Street Center. 514-662-8718 ($)
Western Gateway Heritage State Park — 115 State Street, Building 4.
Saturday, March 2nd at 3pm: Celebrate National Women’s History Month with Western Gateway Heritage State Park! The park is offering a special program on women’s role in the field of science throughout history. 413-663-6312. (FREE)
The Clark — 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
Friday, March 1st at 10:15am: Art museums can be a difficult place to visit with young children – there’s a lot of standing involved, and the quiet atmosphere isn’t always great for little ones. However, The Clark is offering parents with small children a special opportunity to take a kid-friendly gallery tour! Designed for parents with pre-toddlers (kiddos who can be carried in a backpack or pushed in strollers), the informal gallery talk will teach parents about one of the museum’s current exhibitions. (FREE with museum admission)
Williamstown Historical Museum — 413-458-2160. 1095 Main Street.
Saturday, February 23rd at 11am: Learn about the changes that Williamstown’s Main Street has undergone throughout its existence at the Williamstown Historical Museum! Once mostly a residential neighborhood, downtown Williamstown has become the commercial hub of the town. Kids can learn about how their community has evolved, and will be able to put what they know about American history into a specific, locally-centered context. (FREE)
Williams College — 413-597-2188.
Friday, March 1st & Saturday, March 2nd from 12noon-4pm: Have you ever wished that a book would converse with you, instead of just laying there waiting to be read? What if checking out a book meant getting your questions answered rather than searching through pages? Visit Williams College’s Human Library! Instead of checking out books, patrons will check out actual people, who have been pre-designated to talk about specific topics – mainly based on unique life experiences. Visitors to the library can check out their human books for 15-20 minutes each, and will be able to gain firsthand information from each interaction. 880 Main Street. (FREE)
Friday, March 1st & Friday, March 8th from 7:30-8:30pm: See the night sky like never before at Williams College’s Milham Planetarium! Students will teach visitors about what they see in the sky every night and the changes that take place as the seasons change. 413-527-9277. 829 Main Street. (FREE)
Williams College Museum of Art — 413-597-2376. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive.
Saturday, March 2nd at 1pm: It’s Family Curiosity Day at the Williams College Museum of Art! Visit the museum to learn all about art – there will be gallery activities, artistic experiments, and lots of art projects! 413-597-3131.
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation — 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Route 7.
Saturday, March 2nd from 1-3pm: Kick off maple season at Sheep Hill’s Winter Open House! Hosted by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, the event will feature a winter ecology hike, animal tracking, sledding and snowshoeing, seasonal crafts, and maple treats! (<$)
Notchview — 413-532-1631. Old Route 9.
Saturday, February 23rd from 7-9pm: Notchview is open for moonlight skiing! Enjoy the beautiful scenery and what’s left of the blizzard snow in the 3,000 acres of terrain that Notchview offers. There will be cider and popcorn to fill hungry bellies post-ski. 413-684-0148. ($)
Lee Library — 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street.
Saturday, February 23rd at 11am: The Lee Library screens Peter Pan! (FREE)
Spectrum Playhouse — 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street.
Saturday, March 2nd from 11am-12noon: Bowey the Clown visits Spectrum Playhouse! Enjoy Bowey’s silly jokes and tricks.
Montessori School of the Berkshires — 413-637-3662. 21 Patterson Rd. Lenox Dale.
Saturday, March 2nd from 9-11am: South Berkshire Kids, Community Healthy Programs, and the Montessori School of the Berkshires are offering families a special playgroup! Kids will enjoy playing with learning materials, making art, and enjoying music and stories. (FREE)
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary — 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road.
Did you know that Pleasant Valley has snowshoes to rent? (>$)
Barrington Stage Co. Youth Theatre
Saturday, March 2nd & Sunday, March 3rd: Call for youth auditions. Barrington Stage Co. Youth Theatre seeks teen actors ages 13-19 for roles in its summer production of “The Little Mermaid JR” to be presented this summer at Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. Auditions will be held in two-hour slots by appointment only at Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage on Sat., 3/2 (10am- 8pm) & Sun., 3/3 (10am-12pm). Callbacks are March 15-17. Call to schedule an appointment 413-499-5446.
Berkshire Athenaeum — 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue.
Saturday, February 23rd from 10am-4pm: The Berkshire Athenaeum will been transformed into a multi-story mini golf course! Spend the day putting around the bookshelves as part of Berkshire Gas’ Links for Literacy Mini Golf Classic! (>$)
Friday, March 8th from 10am-4pm: The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are hosting a book sale! Search through hundreds of books in every genre to find some great reads to take home while helping raise money for the library. (SALE)
Berkshire Museum — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7.
Saturday, February 23rd at 11am: Berkshire Theater Group presents Pinnochio (FREE with museum admission)
Saturday, February 23rd from 11am-12noon: The museum shares secrets of kitchen science this morning at Kitchen Ka-Boom! The monthly program focuses on a different fun and safe science activity that can be done using basic, everyday materials found in most kitchens. Participants will learn about basic scientific principles of chemistry, biology, or physics. (FREE with museum admission)
Saturday, February 23rd from 11am-3pm: The museum and Pop-up Adventure Play offer families a special opportunity for creative free-play throughout (and just before) school vacation week! 10 Days of Play brings a roomful (literally!) of materials to build anything a child’s heart desires – cardboard boxes abound, along with necessary items like scissors and duct tape. Families can build castles, mazes, space ships, and other fantastic creations together, allowing kids to exercise their creativity, take part in non-commercialized educational play, and work on skills for cooperation and collaboration. Kids can play at the museum multiple times, too- every day brings a new adventure. (FREE with museum admission)
Colonial Theatre — 413-298-5576. 111 South Street.
Saturday, February 23rd at 8pm: Parents’ Night Out! Enjoy an evening of great music from around the globe as the Colonial Theater hosts International Guitar Night! The event – a mobile festival of acoustic guitar – features acoustic guitar players from around the world. 413-997-4444. ($$)
Miss Hall’s School — 413-395-7108. 492 Holmes Road.
Saturday, February 23rd at 3pm & 8pm and Sunday, February 24th at 3pm: Miss Hall’s School Theater Ensemble performs a creative adaptation of Happy Days! Based on the TV series, students will perform in the Wood Theater of the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center on the school campus. ($)
Friday, March 1st from 5-8pm: Century-old Mason symbols and an iconic quilt make March an historic First Fridays Artswalk in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. Galleries, shops and restaurants are open late. Free maps and guides will be available throughout downtown as well as online at firstfridaysartswalk.com.
Norman Rockwell Museum — 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183.
Friday, March 1st from 2:30-3:30pm: Meet some of Norman Rockwell’s models at the Norman Rockwell Museum! Learn about what it was like to pose for one of our country’s most famous illustrators. (FREE with museum admission)
Wednesday, March 6th from 10:30-11:30am: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts Kids Create, a special art-making event for preschool kids and their accompanying adults. Kids can create masterpieces of their own, while helping their young brains to grow! (<$)
Alford Springs — 413-499-0596. Mountain Road.
Saturday, February 23rd at 1pm: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for an afternoon of outdoor winter fun at Alford Springs! Bring a lightweight sled and hike up a trail, enjoy the view, then sled back down. (FREE)
Berkshire South Regional Community Center — 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road.
Tuesday, February 26th from 6:30-8pm: Learn Afro-Cuban dances that have roots in the Congo and Nigeria accompanied by live drumming and traditional rhythms at Berkshire South Regional Community Center with Miguel Periche from Holguin, Cuba. Class is sponsored by Berkshire Pulse Center for the Performing Arts. ($$)
Hevreh of Southern Berkshire — 413-528-6378. 270 State Road.
Saturday, February 23rd at 6pm: Purimspiel Beach Boy Style. Everyone is welcome to celebrate Purim Beach Boy Style! Dig out your Hawaiian shirts and join in for a fun evening. (Free)
Housatonic Flate Reserve
Wednesday, February 27th at 10am: Most explorations in Great Barrington involve the charming downtown section, but Berkshire Natural Resources Council is offering the community a chance to explore the Housatonic Flate Reserve! The 1.5 mile hike will follow flat farm roads through the field and woods of the reserve. Meet at Barrington Brewery. 420 Stockbridge Road. (FREE)
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street.
Saturday, February 23rd at 8pm: Parents’ Night Out! Vocalist Angelique Kidjo – Grammy-award winning West African music superstar – performs at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center tonight! Kidjo’s music is influenced by numerous styles from around the world, the most evident of those being the traditional styles of her native Benin. ($$$)
Friday, March 1st from 5-7:30pm: The 7th grade at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School is hosting a Chinese New Year Festival Fundraiser in their auditorium. There will be games, food and entertainment. (FUNDRAISER)
Wednesday, March 6th at 7pm: Great Barrington Waldorf High School hosts an evening talk, “Keeping Ideals Intact,” with David Sloan. Author of “Stages of Adolescents” and “Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through Literature,” David will speak about fostering the natural idealism of youth as an antidote to cynicism and apathy. 413-528-8833. Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Auditorium. (FREE)