Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 9th-22nd, 2013
The community is starting to look towards spring! Spring musicals like Oklahoma at Mount Greylock High School, maple events like MapleFest, and even Easter activities like learning how to naturally-dye eggs at the Berkshire Co-op and an egg hunt in Otis, are all starting show stirrings of spring… even the time change this weekend will bring more light to the end of your day!
Give the kids a sweet taste of spring and take them to one of the sugar shacks for breakfast. Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock is a Berkshire County favorite! Here is what our readers had to say about this local treasure:
Rebecca Heath of Pittsfield writes: “We love maple sugaring season… as a family, including our 93 year old grandmother, we head to Ioka Valley Farm for their delicious farm fresh breakfast. Our favorite of course is the fresh boiled maple syrup but they also have the best maple butter…MMMM….”
Heather Fletcher of Pittsfield writes: “Our family likes to have breakfast at Ioka Valley Farm. We feed the animals, mimic the sounds, sample syrup, & learn how it’s made.”
Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through March 22nd, 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.
Mass MoCA — 413-662-2111. Mass MoCA Way.
Saturday, March 9th at 11:30am: MASS MoCA hosts Mamie Minch for a special morning show for kids. ($)
Western Gateway Heritage State Park — 115 State Street, Building 4.
Saturday, March 9th at 3pm: Western Gateway Heritage State Park is offering a program all about Daylight Savings Time – learn all about why we turn our clocks forward each spring! 413-663-6312. (FREE< fee for parking)
The Clark — 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
Saturday, March 9th at 10am: The Clark hosts Start With Art, a special class for kids ages 3-6 that will introduce them to some basic ideas in art-making and art viewing. There will be a short gallery talk focused on the use of colors and shapes, followed by some time to make your own masterpiece. ($)
Hopkins Forest — 413-597-4353. Northwest Hill Road and Bulkley Street.
Saturday, March 9th from 11am-2pm: It’s officially maple season, what with the warmer weather and gradual snow melting. Celebrate at MapleFest at the Hopkins State Forest! The annual event is a chance to not only celebrate the delicious locally-harvested sweet treat that is maple syrup, but is also a chance for families to learn about the entire process, from sap and tap to bottles in the grocery store. Visit a working sugarhouse to see the evaporation process, and then see demonstrations of techniques used throughout history to produce syrup. The most adventurous of families can even lend a hand in the harvesting process! And, of course, there will be pancakes – drenched in local syrup! 413-597-4277. (FREE)
Images Cinema — 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street.
Saturday, March 9th at 10:30am: Images Cinema hosts Fresh Fest, a film festival featuring four documentaries about food and farming (some of which feature guest speakers!). This morning’s screening is family-friendly, and can teach those of all ages about hunger. “Growing Hope Against Hunger,” is a Sesame Street special that celebrates community while teaching about the reality of food insecurity. 413-458-5612. ($)
Saturday, March 9th at 1pm: Images Cinema screens, “Edible City,” as part of their Fresh Fest film festival, a weekend full of food- and farm-related films. “Edible City” documents the work of activists, community organizations, and citizens who are all involved in transforming food systems and combining urban environments and agriculture. 413-458-5612. ($)
Saturday, March 9th at 4:30pm: Images Cinema hosts Fresh Fest this weekend, a film festival featuring films about food and farming. This afternoon’s screening is, “More Than Honey,” a film about the major declines in bee populations in recent history. The film examines the role of the honey bee, and looks to locations worldwide to explain its importance and the issues we face relating to bees. In German with English subtitles, Local honey tasting to follow! 413-458-5612. (<$)
Sunday, March 10th at 4pm: Images Cinema hosts Fresh Fest this weekend, a film festival about food and farming. This afternoon’s screening comes from a local filmmaker, and tells the story of a family living on a 300-acre dairy farm (now no longer operating, but still lived on!). Local director Bette Craig documented the Rhodes family of Williamstown’s history and relationship with the farm they owned – learn all about life in Williamstown past, as well as the reality of local farming by seeing the film! 413-458-5612. ($)
Saturday, March 16th at 10:30am and 1pm: Images Cinema’s International Family Film Festival continues today with screenings of Party Mix, a collection of beautiful, artistic, and heartwarming short films from all around the world. Great for kids interested in film, or families looking for a good movie to see! 413-458-5612. ($)
Williams College — 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street.
Friday, March 15th from 7:30-8:30pm: See the night sky like never before at Williams College’s Milham Planetarium! Students will teach visitors about what they see in the sky every night and the changes that take place as the seasons change. (FREE)
Mount Greylock High School – 413-458-9582 1781 Cold Spring. Road.
Lenox Library — 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street.
Saturday, March 16th from 9:30-11am: Build to your heart’s content at the Lenox Library! The annual LEGO Build-a-thon takes place today, and kids will be able to choose from a huge variety of blocks for building. Registration required. (FREE)
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary — 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road.
Saturday, March 9th from 10am-12noon: Families can learn all about bird banding today at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary! There will be banding demonstrations going on throughout the morning, so feel free to drop in whenever is convenient. There will be demonstrations of proper use of mist nets – used to catch birds for banding – as well as the proper handling of small birds. Before visiting, do a family study of the scientific purpose of bird banding – you’ll appreciate the demonstrations even more! (<$)
Ventfort Hall — 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.
Saturday, March 16th at 3pm: Ventfort Hall is hosting a special Shamrock Tea in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! Visit the beautiful Guilded Age mansion for a beautiful and delicious event, featuring fiddler Eileen Markland playing a variety of Celtic-inspired music. Best for kids with audience skills. Advance tickets required. 413-637-3206. ($$)
Berkshire Athenaeum — 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue.
Saturday, March 9th 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)
Tuesday, March 12th at 6pm: The Berkshire Bar Association and the Friends of the Berkshire Library are hosting a film series titled, “Cinema of Law,” which features films about interesting and/or significant cases. Tonight’s screening is, “Caine Mutiny.” Made in 1954, the film tells the story of a ship’s captain whose crew acts out a mutiny out of fear that he has a psychological disorder affecting his ability to captain the ship. Great for older students interested in law and the legal process! (FREE)
Saturday, March 16th from 10:30am-12noon: Wish that summer would come quicker so that outside play could be more frequent and require fewer layers? There’s nothing that can make the seasons change faster, but the Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting a summer-themed celebration anyway! This storytime (featuring fun activities, crafts, and more – not just stories!) is for toddlers and preschoolers. (FREE)
Berkshire Museum — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7.
Saturday, March 9th at 11am: Visit the Berkshire Museum to try out a human-friendly eco-location simulator! Built using similar technology used in back-up cameras in cars, the Bat-Bot uses changes in sound feedback in order to allow users to navigate through a series of small obstacles. Use your sense of hearing to find your way – just like a bat! (FREE with museum admission)
Sunday, March 10th at 1pm: Meet some real-life bats today at the Berkshire Museum! The museum is currently hosting an exhibit all about bats, which features specimens of actual bats, but no live bats. However, today some fruit bats, a big brown bat, and a Malayan flying fox will all pay a visit to the museum! Families can learn all about what bats eat, where they live, and the fragility of their populations before meeting the live bats. Not to be missed – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity! (FREE with museum admission)
Boy’s & Girls Club of Pittsfield – 413-448-8258. 16 Melville St.
Friday, March 8th at 7pm & Saturday, March 9th at 1:30 & 7pm – Pittsfield Figure Skating Club present “All Across America” Fantasy on Ice Show.
Reid Middle School – 413-448-9624. 950 North Street.
Tuesday, March 12th from 5:30-7pm: Pittsfield Public Schools host a workshop on using active parenting with teens! Learn strategies to help navigate the challenges of parenting older children. (FREE)
Berkshire Botanical Garden — 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road.
Saturday, March 9th from 10am-12noon: We all know that vegetables are healthy for us, but do you know the true nutritional value of garden-grown veggies? The Berkshire Botanical Garden is offering a workshop today with Dr. Marie Mammone on the health benefits of cooking with fresh veggies, herbs, and flowers – Parents can learn who to provide better nutrition to their family. Registration required. ($$)
Stockbridge Library — 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street.
Saturday, March 16th at 11am: The library hosts a writing event for tweens as part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. Lisa Greenwald will read an excerpt from her newest novel for tweens, My Summer of Pink and Green. She will discuss her path to publication, the writing process, and why she chose to write for tweens. A Q&A and book signing will follow. If time permits, there will be a brief writing workshop.
Berkshire Co-op — 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street.
Saturday, March 16th at 3pm: Learn to make naturally-dyed eggs with the Berkshire Co-op! Families will learn how to use food, flowers, leaves, and more to create beautifully decorated, all-natural holiday eggs. You’ll get to take the eggs that you dye home, and make sure to wear clothes that can get messy. (FREE)
Berkshire South Regional Community Center — — 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road.
Saturday, March 9th from 10am-2pm – 5th Annual Health & Wellnes Day. Fitness and wellness demos, activities for kids, community collaboration information booths, and more! Swim-a-thon fundraiser happens simultaneously from 8am-12noon. (FREE/FUNDRAISER)
Community Health Programs – 413-464-5095. 444 Stockbridge Road.
Tuesday, March 12th at 6:30pm: “Positive Discipline that Works.” Learn about strategies for positive discipline tonight with Scott Noyes at Community Health Programs! The workshop will teach parents ways to teach kids about good behavior, rather than consistently providing negative feedback to poor behavior. Call to register! Sponsored by South Berkshire Kids. (FREE)
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street.
Sunday, March 17th at 2pm: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center hosts author Brian Selznick for a screening of the movie adaptation of his book, Hugo. The film (meant for families!) features Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese. Following the screening, Selznick discuss the process of transforming the book into film, and will answer audience questions. ($)
Mason Library — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street.
Saturday, March 9th from 10am-12noon: Little Women event at the library. Sometimes we find great richness in exploring our own backyard. Such is the case with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Many have not gone back to this classic story since reading it as a child, not realizing the degree to which the character of Jo reflects feminist writer Alcott’s fervent belief that women of her day had the right to pursue careers. Written in Concord, MA, in 1868–69, the novel is both autobiographical and an idealization of the grounded family life and loving marriage that Alcott never had.
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School – 413-528-4015. 84 Alford Road.
Sunday, March 10th at 2pm: 7th and 8th grade students from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School present, “A Circus Day in the Park,” at Simon’s Rock’s Kilpatrick Center. The original circus performance includes juggling, tumbling, clowning, twirling, and more and is exciting for all ages! Enjoy the show and celebrate the theatrical work of the students. ($)
Ramsdell Library — 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street.
Saturday, March 9th from 11am-12noon: Haven’t you always wanted to learn ukulele? Berkshire South Community Center’s ukulele class meets at the Ramsdell Library this morning – visit to start learning! (FREE)
Steepletop – 413-499-0596.
Saturday, March 9th at 10am: Explore Steepletop with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and learn all about animal tracking! Participants in the adventure will learn how to tell the difference between fisher, porcupines, and bobcats tracks, as well as tips for finding sites of animal tracks or other signs. (FREE)
Town Hall – 413-269-4541.
Saturday, March 16th at 10am: The Town of Otis will host an Easter Egg Hunt and Games event. BYO basked and arrive at the town hall. (FREE)