Things to Do, Places to See

THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO SEE

Below are links to local attractions, parks, museums, etc.  If you would like to submit a link, fill out the following form:











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Amelia Park Children’s Museum
Amelia Park Children’s Museum in Westfield, MA, is a learning place where hands-on exhibits invite children to experiment, create and play through activities. Adults and children can share in the excitement of learning and discovering the region and the world in which we live.Amherst Astronomy Association
A non-profit public-service association for astronomy, science and education, appropriate for all ages, located in Amherst, MA. Free public observations and events offered, including astronomy day, comets, crescent moon, eclipse, equinox, full moon rising, planets, solar, solstice and more.

Becket, MA, Art Center – Young People’s Program
A multi-arts program in Becket, MA, for young people ages 5-14, that offers students an opportunity to work with highly experienced staff in a low key nurturing environment. Scholarships are available for full-time Hilltown residents.

Berkshire Botanical Garden
The Berkshire Botanical Garden is a not-for-profit, membership-supported, educational institution located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a lively center for horticulture, educational programs, and community events. The Garden’s major programs include the expansion of its youth education programs which nurture children’s interest in nature and teach grassroots environmentalism to school children in Berkshire County and the contiguous tri-state area For more information concerning the Garden’s programs, special events and other activities, please call 413-298-3926.

Berkshire Museum
The Berkshire Museum was founded in 1903 and is located in Pittsfield, MA. At the Berkshire Museum, you will find: Thirteen galleries, aquarium featuring a touch tank, 291 seat air conditioned theater, classrooms, refrigerator Art Gallery exhibits children’s artwork, wacky Vend-O-Mat that offers both fun and snacks, the Museum Store features unique, affordable items for the whole family, including a large selection of educational games and toys for kids. The mission of the Berkshire Museum is to enrich, inspire and educate through interactions with the arts, history and the natural world.

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
10 Willow Creek Road Lenox, MA. (413) 637-2210

Berkshire Theatre Festival (BTF PLAYS!)
Located in Stockbridge, MA, and the home of BTF PLAYS! which presents family programming. Vist their website for local performing dates.

Bidwell House Museum
The museum, set in the Berkshire hills (Monterey, MA), is an elegant Georgian saltbox originally built circa 1750 as a parsonage. Authentically restored, filled with antiques and surrounded by beautiful grounds and hiking trails.

Books – Suggested titles for discovering Massachusetts

Bright Nights at Forest Park
An illuminating 2.5 mile drive through Springfield’s Forest Park, featuring 500,000 lights in dozens of amazing displays.

Bryant Homestead
Families and friends have been enjoying picnics on this country estate above the Westfield River Valley since William Cullen Bryant and his kin were in residence more than a century ago in Cummington, MA. Keep the tradition alive at the picnic tables alongside the house or spread a blanket.

Buckland Historical Society
Upper Street in Buckland, MA. (978) 745-0184

Chamber Music in Deerfield/Northampton

Chapel Brook
Delight in this intimate series of chutes, punctuated by crystal clear pools that are ideal for wading enthusiasts. You can even drop into the pools via natural “water slides,” in Ashfield, MA. A tip from locals: even on the hottest days, the brook’s waters remain ice cold!

Chesterfield Gorge
Carved from an ancient rock face on the East Branch of the Westfield River (a federally designated Wild and Scenic waterway) this natural wonder is one of the most dramatic waterfalls in the region in West Chesterfield, MA.  Best of all, the 70-foot falls plunge is just a short walk from the parking lot.

Chesterwood
The country home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, MA, the property and buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s daughter, Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973).

Children’s Museum
Located in Holyoke, MA, the museum features a permanent health and wellness exhibit called “The Body Playground” that includes “The Wellness Climber”, a two-story climbing structure representing the digestive and respiratory systems; “Body of Water”, a water play area symbolic of the human circulatory system; “Aortic Orchestra”, a place where a child’s own heartbeat is digitally recorded so that he or she can play real instruments to the amplified beat; and “The Hearin’ Now”, a completely darkened sensory maze which children crawl through using their senses of hearing and touch. Also featured are hands-on discovery exhibits about art, science, and the world; paper-making workshops run by children (a tribute to Holyoke’s important paper industry and history); giant puzzles; microscopes; a theater complete with a costume trunk, and the CMTV-40 studio for kids. Other exhibits include “Cityscape”, featuring an urban park and book-mobile; and “The Scientific Co.” with giant bubblemakers, a kaleidoscope table, and a sand pendulum.

Choral Arts (Western Massachusetts Choral Arts Calendar)

Coco Key Water Resort
Take a break from Western Mass winter and head to an indoor water park.  Nearby locations include Boston & Fitchburg, MA and Waterbury, CT.

The Colonial Theatre
A restored Colonial Theatre will become a vital cultural force in Pittsfield and Berkshire County. The Colonial will provide a venue for local and regional performers, ensembles and theater groups, as well as national touring artists. Programming at the Colonial will include nights of comedy, jazz, blues, folk and rock concerts, evenings of dance, Broadway shows, screening of foreign and classic films, lectures by authors and world-renown speakers, family entertainment, and country, classical, gospel, and classical performances.

Cultural Pittsfield
The City of Pittsfield, located in the center of culturally-rich Berkshire County, features the Tony Award-winning Barrington Stage Company and its groundbreaking Musical Theatre Lab; the leading living history center for Shaker culture, Hancock Shaker Village, the world-class historically renovated Colonial Theatre, the rich collections in art, natural history and science of the Berkshire Museum, and much more!

Cup & Top
A cafe located in Florence, MA, that loves families! They have frequently host free Saturday morning family concerts, and the food’s kid friendly and healthy too, including gluten-free muffins & scones.

DAR State Forest
A popular swimming beach, shady picnic area and a group picnic pavilion, located in the eastern foothills of the Berkshires in Goshen, MA, discover 15 miles of mixed-use trails through northern hardwood-conifer forest. Climb the Goshen fire tower for spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley and into five states. The campground offers 51 wooded campsites featuring modern comfort stations with showers and a private beach.

Discovery Museum
The Discovery Museums, located in Acton, Massachusetts, just west of Boston, are two separate but complementary museums filled with exciting, interactive exhibits for children of all ages using focused spaces and hands-on activities inviting exploration and discovery. At lunch or snack time you can visit one of the many area restaurants or, weather permitting, you can take advantage of our outdoor picnic tables.

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden
Located in Springfield, MA. The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is now open at the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Theodor Seuss Geisel’s home town. Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, Geisel’s step-daughter, sculpted the large bronze sculptures of Dr. Seuss and his most beloved characters. Clustered together at the corner of the Quadrangle green near the Springfield Library are several large groupings: Theodor Geisel at his drawing board with the Cat in the Hat at his side; a 14-foot Horton the Elephant stepping out of an open book, accompanied by Thing One, Thing Two, Sam-I-Am, Sally, her brother, and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose; and a storytelling chair, backed by a 10-foot-tall book with the text of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! with Gertrude McFuzz perched on top and the Grinch and his dog, Max, peeking around the side.

Eastfield Mall – Children’s Summer Theatre
Located in Springfield, MA, Eastfield Mall hosts a free “Children’s Summer Theatre” program. Perfect for those rainy or HOT Saturday’s in the summer.

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Located in Amherst, MA, and founded in part by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art, conceived and built with the aim of celebrating the art that we are first exposed to as children. The Museum features three Galleries dedicated to rotating exhibitions of picture book art, a hands-on Art Studio, an Auditorium for performances and lectures, a comfortable Library for reading and storytelling, a Café serving simple and delicious fare, and a Museum Shop stocked with creative gifts and old and new picture book favorites.

Field Farm
In Williamstown, MA, explore four miles of trails past fields, wander through manicured gardens graced by modern sculptures, and discover New England’s youngest historic house museum.

Flywheel
Flywheel is a non-profit, volunteer-run community arts space open to all in Easthampton, MA. Their activities range from family concerts to experimental works. Worth a perusal to see when any events suited for the young viewing audience is coming up.

Field Trips
An on-line resource that list local (and national) destinations to go on a field trip with your familiy.

Glendale Falls
Dramatic and remote, this long series of cascades feeds into the Middle Branch of the Westfield River, flowing deep within a Highlands valley in Middlefield, MA. Native brook trout rest in hidden pools below the falls, which is boisterous with spring snowmelt, but quiet by mid-summer.

Hancock Shaker Village
Hancock Shaker Village, Inc., is a private, not-for-profit educational organization that preserves and presents to the public the Shakers’ legacy at their community in Hancock, Massachusetts (near Pittsfield).

Hitchcock Center for the Environment
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s (Amherst, MA) mission is to foster a greater awareness and understanding of our natural world and to develop environmentally literate citizens. We offer natural history programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. We are committed to excellence in science education and work extensively in school systems throughout western Massachusetts training educators to be more effective science teachers.

Historic Deerfield
At Historic Deerfield children and their families can enjoy a trip through time at the Wells-Thorne house, a visit to the one-room schoolhouse, or using the looms at Hall Tavern. A special activity pack is also available to enhance the outdoor experience of the Blake Meadow Walk. Starting May 10, each weekend from noon to 4:00 pm families can visit the History Workshop where they will enjoy dressing up like an 18th century family, participating in games, using reproduction artifacts, and making a project to take home. Check our program calendar for other opportunities including open hearth cooking demonstrations, performances, and our monthly Hands-on History events.

Ice Skating in Western MAJacob’s Pillow
Located in Beckett, MA. Specializes in dance performances. Visit this link for family events.

Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse
Knack is a creative reuse center located in Easthampton, MA. Families can attend weekly drop-in craft workshops, purchase green arts & craft supplies, and learn about the art of reuse in an inspiring and welcoming environment.

Look Park
150 acres of park located in Florence, MA. Includes water park, play structures, open fields, bike path, paddle boats, and more.

Lupa Zoo
Located in Ludlow, MA, Lupa Zoo is a conservation and education institution demonstrating. Pony rides, bears, giraffes and zebras are just a few of the attractions at Lupa Zoo.

Manhan Rail Trail
Nestled in the heart of the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, <b>Easthampton</b>’s Manhan Rail Trail offers unique recreational opportunities to people of all ages and interests. Bike, jog, roller blade, cross country ski or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll on what was once a viable rail corridor. The 4.2 mile (off-road) paved trail was completed in 2003 after 10 years of planning and fundraising. It is proposed that eventually, the trail will connect all the way from New Haven, Connecticut to Northampton, Massachusetts and beyond.

Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens
An 18,400-square foot facility in Deerfield, MA, that includes a 8,000-sq. ft. glass conservatory filled with butterflies, moths and tropical vegetation. The sun shines through the glass walls and heats up the conservatory to an 80-degree tropical-like environment all year round. The heart-shaped pond with Japanese koi graces the center of the conservatory. The sound of the waterfall, peaceful music and hundreds of butterflies fluttering freely through the air creates a tranquil and serene atmosphere.

Memorial Hall Museum
8 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA. (413) 774-3768

Middlefield Museum
The Middlefield Historical Society has announced hours for the Middlefield Museum for the 2006 season. The Museum will be open on Saturday, Sept 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The museum is also open anytime by appointment by calling 413-623-8904. Items in the museum reflect life in a hilltown agricultural community.

The Mount Estate & Gardens
Lenox, MA.  Free admission for kids 18yo and under.

Mount Greylock State Reservation
In Lanesborough, MA, at 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. Rising above the surrounding Berkshire landscape, dramatic views of 60-90 miles distant may be seen. It became Massachusetts’ first wilderness state park, acquired by the Commonwealth in 1898, to preserve its natural environment for public enjoyment. Wild and rugged yet intimate and accessible, Mount Greylock rewards the visitor exploring this special place of scenic and natural beauty.

Mullins Center (UMass)
Featuring sporting and skating events, concerts, family shows, and trade shows. at UMass in Amherst, MA (413) 545-3001.

Museums10.org
Museums 10 puts ten Western Massachusetts museums all together in one spectacular location for you: great art from every period, fascinating historical sites, world class collections of rocks and dinosaur bones illustrating the geologic history of the Connecticut River Valley, and books.

Natural Bridge State Park
In North Adams, discover a geologic wonder at this 48 acre park. Examine the only naturally formed white marble arch and man-made white marble dam in North America, and tour an abandoned marble quarry. The “natural bridge” for which the park is named, according to geologists, is 550 million year old bedrock marble, carved into an arch by the force of glacial melt water over 13,000 years ago; one of the best places in New England to demonstrate the effects of glaciation. The bridge spans rushing Hudson Brook as it twists and tumbles through a steep 60-foot deep gorge.

Naumkeag
In Stockbridge, MA, experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate, renowned for its elegant gardens and rare Berkshire “Cottage.”

New England Air Museum
The New England Air Museum in Windsor, CT, is dedicated to the teaching and preservation of aviation history and technology

Nimble Arts Trapese & Circus School
Located in Brattleboro, VT. They offer instruction to the beginner through advanced acrobat & aerialist from ages 1 1/2 to 106, offering intensive private training, workshops & ongoing lessons in Brattleboro, Vermont, as well as teach at host organizations around the world & intensive private instruction & act creation for the aspiring professional or enthusiast. Instruction is offered in many disciplines including solo, duo, swinging & flying trapeze, web, fabric, cerceau (hoop) & rope as well as partner acrobatics, contortion, handstands, Chinese pole & clowning/character development.

Norman Rockwell Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA) houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of original Rockwell art.

Parade of the Big Balloons
Towards the end of November, Springfield welcomes Santa Claus in style, as dozens of marching and musical contingents accompany the Cat in the Hat and other balloon giants along Main Street.

Peach Festival
In Wilbraham, MA every August. In their 20th year.

Pittsfield, MA, Office of Cultural Development
The City of Pittsfield, located in the center of culturally-rich Berkshire County, features the Tony Award-winning Barrington Stage Company and its groundbreaking Musical Theatre Lab; the leading living history center for Shaker culture, Hancock Shaker Village, the world-class historically renovated Colonial Theatre, the rich collections in art, natural history and science of the Berkshire Museum, and much more!

Red Gate Farm
Located in Buckland, MA. 413.625.9503

Sandisfield Arts Center
The Sandisfield Arts Center provides cultural and educational programs for families and children.

Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum
The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, in Shelburne Falls, MA, is dedicated to preserving and operating Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway Combine No. 10. They have a collection of railroad and trolley artifacts and pictures, as well as a 0-4-0T Baldwin steam locomotive, an ex-CV Caboose and several other pieces of rolling stock.

Six Flags New England
Amusement park in Springfield, MA.

Smith College Botanical Gardens (Kids Corner)
Smith’s Botanic Garden in Northampton, MA, includes thousands of plants, of course, and not just those grown under glass in the Lyman Conservatory or outdoors in various not-so-secret gardens. Smith also hosts several yearly botanical events, including the flower bulb exhibit and the Chrysanthemum exhibit.

Snow Farm

Snow Farm offers studio craft workshops for adults and teens.  Try glassblowing, ceramics, weaving, landscape painting,  and much more.  Their facility in Williamsburg is a blend of historic and modern buildings with professionally equipped studios and simple dorms. Local residents are welcome to come for days only.  Their inter-generational weekends are a great gathering place for family members of different ages and with different interests.  They also welcome high school students to an intensive studio experience for 2 – 4 weeks in the summer.

Southwick’s Zoo
A privately owned zoon located in Mendon, MA. Home to over 500 wild animals featuring more than 100 varied species, many of which are endangered.

Springfield Museums
A welcoming committee of Dr. Seuss characters greets you at New England’s own “mini Smithsonian” – four outstanding museums filled with art, science and history, plus the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. Kids will especially love the Springfield Science Museum where they’ll encounter a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex, a volcano they can crawl through, live animals, and hands-on exhibits and activities. Then they can visit the Hasbro Games Art Discovery Center at the museum next door and try on costumes and make art projects. Young children will also enjoy SeussScape, a small playroom outfitted with Dr. Seuss books and toys. Four museums. One admission fee. Free parking. Endless fun 1.800.625.7738.

Steady Lane Farm
Located in Ashfield, MA. “We hope to grow organic and biodynamic hay, flowers, herbs, beef, lamb and wool. We intend to also grow healthy soil and to be neighborly. We try to farm with respect for animals, soil, water, other farmers, neighbors, and customers.”

Tanglewood
In Lenox, MA, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy the sounds of the Boston Pops, James Taylor, David Brubeck, New York Philharmonic, music of Weber, Berlioz and Tchaikovsky, Juilliard String Quartet just to name a few. Tanglewood’s property consisting of 210 acres. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and wine to accompany the music .

The Fine Arts Center (UMass)
Performances of classical, jazz, country and pop. Performers from all over the world are drawn to the center at UMass in Amherst, MA. Art exhibits and artists receptions.

The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center
Located in Springfield, MA. The Forest Park Zoo, located in Forest Park, a 735 acre woodland park in Springfield, features exotic and indigenous animals representing a large variety of species found throughout the world and in North America. Experience the world of exotic animals and local wildlife as never before. Take a train trip around the park, explore freshwater pond life, learn about endangered animals and captive breeding programs. Get to know the creatures that frequent your backyard, and visit a Heritage Breeds Barn. Shop in our unique gift shop for unusual, educational, or whimsical gift items. Enjoy the gardens, seasonal exhibits, programs, and events.

Tregellys Fiber Farm
Located in Hawley, MA, Tregellys Fiber Farm is the home to numerous exotic animals, including: Angora goats, Llamas, Alpacas, Yaks, Icelandic, Navajo Churro, Soay, Jacob, Shetland, and Karakul Sheep, White Galloway Cattle, Dzo and Dzomo’s, Black Angus and Jersey Cattle, 7 Dogs, 5 Cats, Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Turkeys, Pheasants, White Peacocks and a Poitou and a mini Donkey. Tregellys is now becoming a stopping place for Tibetan Monks who tour North America. A Tibetan Stupa was built in 2004. Buddhist, or not, all are welcome to visit and walk around the Stupa for good luck. The aim at Tregellys is to share knowledge and love of primitive and heritage breeds. You might only have seen some of these animals in zoos, but in fact they continue to have agricultural use around the world.

Visit Western Mass
The official web site for finding FUN in Western Mass.

Westfield’s Children’s Museum
A learning place where hands-on exhibits invite children to experiment, create and play through activities in Westfield, MA. Adults and children can share in the excitement of learning and discovering the city and the world in which we live.

Wistariahurst Museum
Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA, seeks to preserve the home, landscape and material culture of the Skinner family and promote an appreciation of history and culture through educational programs, exhibits and special events.

The Yellow House
The Yellow House n downtown Palmer, MA, is a not-for-profit community center for learning, offering a wide range of lifelong learning classes and special events – up to 400 classes each year in a beautifully refurbished yellow Victorian house. All ages are welcome, depending on the class.

9 Comments

  1. July 31, 2013 at 7:04 am

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  2. grace said,

    February 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    great web site!
    Grace

  3. July 7, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Day Trip from Western MA:
    Montshire Museum of Science (Norwich, VT) http://www.montshire.org

    The average visit to the Montshire Museum is three hours, though many visitors “make a day of it” by bringing a picnic lunch or dinner. Particularly in warmer months, when water exhibits in Science Park are flowing (May 1-October 11, 2010), people of all ages will find plenty to see and do at the Museum. Over 100 acres of walking trails beckon with intriguing exhibits and vistas of the Connecticut River Valley.

    The Montshire is conveniently located just off I-91 (watch for the “Museum of Science” signs), at exit 13 in Norwich, VT, five miles north of White River Junction. The Museum is directly across the Connecticut River from Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College.

    Visitors will find more than 100 hands-on exhibits on natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Outside the Museum are several walking trails, exhibits and observation areas to enjoy. During warmer months, picnic tables are available for eating outside.

  4. May 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Massachusetts Forest and Parks Trails
    http://www.mass.gov/dcr/recreate/trails.htm

  5. Local mom said,

    October 14, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    I was surprised not to see Davis’ Farmland in Sterling, MA, north of Worcester on this list already.
    A great family day out with your under 12′s! Zero depth water/spray park, endangered breed farm animals, discovery play. Lots of attention to detail – quiet room with comfy chairs and water bubbler for nursing moms, family changing rooms, complimentary sun screen in case you forget yours!
    (And no, I have no association with them other than having been there several times and had lots of fun!)

  6. May 13, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Things to do in the Berkshires

    Williamstown Theatre Festival http://www.wtfestival.org/
    Berkshire Theatre Festival http://www.berkshiretheatre.org/
    The Berkshire Fringe http://berkshirefringe.org/
    Tanglewood http://www.bso.org/bso/index.jsp?id=bcat5240070
    Jacob’s Pillow Dance http://www.jacobspillow.org/
    Berkshire Choral Festival http://www.choralfest.org/
    3rd Thursdays in Pittsfield http://www.pittsfield.com/departments.asp?ID=239

  7. March 13, 2010 at 9:35 am

    The Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, MA
    http://www.clarkart.edu

    MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA
    http://www.massmoca.org

  8. January 28, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Maple Corner Farm Cross Country Ski Center in Granville, MA
    http://www.stumpsprouts.com/xcskimass/maple.php

  9. Gail said,

    January 9, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Great Website! Found just what I was looking for…..a plan for a special day with my granddaughter tomorrow. The Eric Carle Museum will be perfect and I found links to so many more fun spots!
    Anyone with kids in Westerm Mass should bookmark this site!


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