Berkshire Family Fun: August 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 2014

“We love that Hilltown Families keeps us updated on events in the larger area, in both the Berkshires and the Valley. …We use the calendar section, the camp guide, the school guides, and much more.” – Caitlin Loverin (Pittsfield, MA)

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of August. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: July 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
July 2014

“I moved to Western MA a year ago and this website is my resource for most of our family outings. I look at it weekly to plan an adventure and have used it as my ‘summer fun’ planning guide this year. I appreciate the work you are doing to collect this information and it has made a huge difference in my understanding of the variety and cultural diversity there is to offer in this area!” – Erica Cruz (Adams, MA)

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of July. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: June 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
June 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of June. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: May 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
May 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of May. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: April 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
April 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of April. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: March 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of March. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
February 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of February. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
January 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of January. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of December. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: November 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
November 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of November. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: October 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families
October 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of September. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: September 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of September. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

Saturday &  Sunday, September 21st & 22nd,  the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area presents Heritage Walks, which celebrate the communities, natural areas, history, and different cultures of the many places recognized as part of this National Heritage Area.  Heritage Walks take place on Saturday 9/21 and Sunday 9/22 at many different sites throughout the region.  For example, you can tour the Historic Colonial Theatre, watch hawks at Bartholomew’s Cobble, explore local cemeteries, tour historic homes, see the W.E.B. DuBois National Historic Site, and explore the Housatonic River.  Because the Heritage Area designation is about the intersections between nature, culture, and history, each walk offers something different and it is likely you will find one that fits your interests!  A full list of Heritage Walks can be found here.  860-435-9505.  Berkshire County.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: August 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of August. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: July 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: July 2013

July in the BerkshiresFind out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of July. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: June 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of June.  We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 23 – April 5, 2013

While there still might be fresh snow on the ground, it is officially spring… and there’s proof!  High school spring musicals are happening at both Taconic High School in Pittsfield and Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield; Spring egg hunts are scheduled in several towns throughout the county; there’s even the annual Spring Tonic happening at the Lenox Library!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through April 5, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid March, 2013

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:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late February – Early March, 2013

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:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Mid-Late February, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
February 9th-22nd, 2013

Valentine’s Day is next week and school vacation week is the week after… and we’ve got you covered in Berkshire County!  In our list of events below you will find all sorts of fun activities to do with the kids and even some date night options for the parents!  If you’re looking for winter vacation camp options for the week of Feb 18-22, 2013 in the Berkshires, check these out:

Winter Vacation Camp Options in Berkshire County – Feb 18-22:

By special arrangement with Hilltown Families, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is pleased to offer our readers a rare opportunity to take in a classic Shakespearean performance paired with a guided tour backstage. On Friday, Feb. 15th at 10am, schools and homeschooling families are invited to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tina Packer Playhouse, followed by a backstage guided tour where participants can learn how the process of theatre is crafted in the costume shop, prop studio, and production workshop. Tickets for this package are only $8/person and a Study Guide for educators is available to download before attending. To reserve discounted tickets, contact Alexandra Lincoln, and let her know you are a Hilltown Families reader: 413-637-1199 x131. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. www.Shakespeare.org.

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater on Tuesday, February 19th at 2pm, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through February 22nd, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late January – Early February, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
January 26th – February 8th, 2013

Ready to shake off those winter blues? There are several events coming up in Berkshire County that will get you moving and having fun! Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Winter Wildlife Day happens at the WRLF, and Williamstown’s 10th annual Snowfest will take place too!

There will also be ways to supplement learning for older students! In honor of Black History Month, the Berkshire Museum will present “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” and the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Curator of Education, Tom Daly, will review Rockwell’s dedication to civil rights throughout his career. There will be a presentation about frogs and salamanders by Berkshire Community College professor Tom Tyning at the Berkshire Atheneaum for those interested in nature studies, and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss will give a presentation at Williams College, talking about “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through February 8th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Mid-Late January, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
January 12th-25th, 2013

We’re nearly a month into winter with a healthy layer of snow on the ground, a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the Berkshires!  There are several opportunities to dust off and put your snowshoes to good use over the next couple of weeks!  So strap on your snowshoes and select your choice destination for winter fun, including snowshoe race at Constitution Hill in Lanesborough, the Haskins Center’s Cabin Fever Festival in North Adams, Mountain Meadow Preserve in Williamstown, Notchview in Windsor, the Becket Quarry in Becket, Winter Trail Days at Hilltop Orchard in Richmond, and Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through January 25th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events Suggest Event

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Berkshire Family Fun for the New Year!

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 29th, 2012 – January 11th, 2013

The year ends with a flurry of marionette shows, musicals, magic shows, and community theater productions in the Berkshires, and a new year begins with a First Day Hike at the Pittsfield State Forest.  Culture and amazing natural resources to fill your days while we usher out one year and in another!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through January 11th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late December, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 15th – 28th, 2012

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

There are just a couple more weekends left before Christmas, followed by school winter vacation. Berkshire County continues to celebrate the change of season and several of the museums and community centers will have activities for kids during the week of winter vacation. – Then it’s the New Year!

Cookies with origins from around the world are a staple of the holidays! Gingerbread Men to Hermits to Sugar Cookies are baked up in home kitchens and given as gifts. This weekend kids can learn how to make Rugalach at the Berkshire Co-op in Great Barrington, and next weekend families are welcomed to participate in a homemade cookie swap a Moments House in Pittsfield or pick up cookies at the Hinsdale Cookie Walk. Take the time to learn about the history behind cookies from other cultures, or make that recipe your grandmother handed down and share the backstory with your family and friends.

Find out about over 50 community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through December 28th, 2012:

North Berkshire County
Central Berkshire County
South Berkshire County

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early December, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 1st-14th, 2012

Experience Main Street in Stockbridge just like Norman Rockwell did during the Stockbridge Holiday Stroll on Sun., Dec. 2nd from 12noon-2pm. Downtown Stockbridge will be filled with antique cars, carolers will perform all over town, and there will be fun family activities for all! The re-creation is a unique opportunity to experience Norman Rockwell’s work in real life!

The holidays are here and they’re celebrating in the Berkshires!  Holiday strolls are taking place in Williamstown, Great Barrington and Stockbridge during these first two weeks of December. Santa’s making his rounds visiting Crane & Company’s Model Farm, Dalton CRA, Lilac Park, Lenox Fire Department, and the Berkshire Museum.  Gingerbread houses are being built at Hops & Vines and the Lenox Library, and latkes are being fried up at Wild Oats… and people and chorus groups are singing and performing all over the region!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Dec 14th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Four Holiday Strolls in the Berkshires

Holiday Strolls in the Berkshires

Four Holiday Strolls and town celebrations are planned for the Berkshires, including the towns of North Adams, Williamstown and Stockbridge.  A fourth Holiday Stroll will happen in Great Barrington on Saturday, December 8th from 4-7:30pm. Take the family and stroll downtown, alive with holiday spirit!  Find out more about the Great Barrington Holiday Stroll on the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce website.

As the temperature slowly drops and the skies become increasingly more grey, towns across Western Massachusetts are beginning to look more and more festive by the minute!  Leafless trees now don coats of twinkling lights, streetlights are wrapped cozily in strands of deep green garland, and bright red bows decorate wreaths – welcoming both visitors and the holiday season.  Begin your family’s holiday season this weekend by visiting one of the holiday strolls being offered!

Downtown North Adams’ Hometown Holidays series continues on Thursday, November 29th from 5-8pm.  Local businesses will have extended hours and special deals for holiday shopping, and there will be fun family activities taking place throughout town.  Kids can get holiday masterpieces painted on their chilly pink cheeks, exercise their creativity making holiday crafts (which might also make great gifts!), and sing along to live holiday music.  More information available on the City of North Adams website.

Carolers, theatrical performers, horses, and even Santa Claus himself will be in Williamstown on Saturday, December 1st, for the town’s annual Holiday Walk!  The event takes place from 4-7pm, and features everything from holiday crafts and a bake-off to sleigh rides and a parade.  There will be live music throughout town for the duration of the event, including performances by jazz groups, a bell choir, and community chorus groups.  “A Christmas Carol,” will be performed at 5:45pm at The Log, the Reindog Parade will march down Spring Street at 4:15pm, and the Williamstown Cub Scouts will be collecting toys at 69 Spring Street all night!  The event ends with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree, done by Santa himself.  A full list of events is available on the Williamstown Chamber’s website.

The town of Stockbridge will be celebrating the holidays all weekend – all over town!  On Saturday, December 1st, families can explore local historic properties on the Holiday House Tour.  The tour, which is self-guided and takes place from 11am-4pm, includes historic gems such as Naumkeag, The Mount, and Elms Cottage, and is a great way for older students to learn about local history.  That evening, downtown Stockbridge will be lit by candlelight during the annual Caroling Luminaria Walk, beginning at the Red Lion Inn (BYO candle or flashlight!).  The walk ends at the First Congregational Church, where Berkshire Lyric and the Blafield Children’s Chorus will perform holiday music.  Sunday, December 2nd, brings a second set of exciting holiday events in Stockbridge – including Main Street at Christmas, a re-creation of Norman Rockwell’s famous painting of the same name.  The town’s main street will be filled with antique cars and holiday decorations – transforming Stockbridge into a vintage wonderland!  There will be caroling, crafts, and sleigh rides, too.  For more information on locations and ticketing, visit the Stockbridge Chamber’s website.

A Day at the Norman Rockwell Museum

An American Weekend: The Norman Rockwell Museum

Outside the Norman Rockwell Museum

We celebrated Labor Day weekend here in New England with family.  We had a full house and more than our fair share of Bub’s BBQ to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday and his retirement, a bit belatedly but with full fan fare. We planned a family trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.   Sadly my little ones were a bit under the weather, but my oldest and I went along with the rest of the extended family to enjoy the museum.

I was a bit concerned that my 11 year old boy child would be bored at this museum. He had begun giving me that sullen look, hoping he could fake illness. It was too late for that though. He’d already eaten heartily and bounced around the house. It was a sunny day and with the promise of a Berkshire chocolate shop hidden in my back pocket, we forged ahead. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; all the same,  I was happy to see the museum admits guests under 18 for free, so I didn’t have to venture much, just the journey. I will say that again, in case you missed it: children under 18 free, all of them! Thank you, Norman Rockwell Museum. Taking kids to a museum is hard. Parents want to do it. We want to do it well, which means doing it often and in short spurts that kids can tolerate. Allowing kids into an art museum for free not only welcomes kids but encourages families to try it out, see if it can work.

Kids are welcome to climb on the totem outside the musuem. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

The museum itself is lovely. It rotates art from its collection of Rockwell’s works. We were able to see some of his later, more political work, which was new to me, as well as the traditional pieces that I think of when I think of Norman Rockwell, such as the Four Freedoms. I was pleased to see Isaac and his fellow 11 year old cousin getting the jokes and jabs as we perused all the Saturday Evening Post covers, more than a lifetime’s work.

The Museum goes out of its way to make itself a family friendly place. In addition to admitting all kids up to age 18 in for free, they provide an art space where kids can make their own Saturday Evening Post covers to hang on the wall.  Isaac and my niece were more interested in the scavenger hunt through the upstairs galleries. All the grown-ups had fun with that one, spying fishing poles, paintbrushes and other items all through the paintings in the upstairs galleries. Even better we enjoyed explaining to the kids all the old fashioned looking stuff they saw in the pictures: big box shaped cameras, wired telephones, antennae radios, and old-fashioned train cars that included dining rooms. We were able to visit the preserved studio space of Rockwell himself, which had been moved from Stockbridge to the Museum grounds.  Isaac, cousin and uncle all enjoyed roaming the grounds and clambering over the sculptures.

The museum was crowded. I felt happy to have ventured forth on such an American holiday to celebrate some very American art.  Chocolate Springs awaited!  Since my husband is an illustrator, and because I truly think my younger children will enjoy the art, we are planning a full family trip back that way soon. I’m sure it is just lovely at Christmas time. Read the rest of this entry »

Historic Adventures on Grandparent’s Day in Berkshires & Hilltowns

Grandparent’s Day Celebrated in the Hilltowns and Berkshires

Join The Trustees of Reservations at four historic houses for Grandparents Day, Sunday September 12. Special activities for grandparents and grandchildren will be offered at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, the Naumkeag House & Gardens in Stockbridge, the Mission House in Stockbridge, and the Ashley House in Sheffield. On this day, Berkshires residents of all ages will receive free admission.

Ashley House is Sheffield, MA

On Sunday Sept 12, begin your day with a visit to the Ashley House, opening at 10am. Visit the oldest house in the Berkshires at 117 Cooper Hill Road in the Ashley Falls section of Sheffield and enjoy two great stories of freedom. Special activities available for young and old alike on this day will include Colonial games and activities, and readings from the newest children’s book about Elizabeth Freeman (Mumbet) and her journey from slavery to freedom at the Ashley House over 200 years ago. While you are there, stop by the Bartholomew’s Cobble nature center next door to explore the natural world. According To Trustees educator Tammis Coffin, “The amazing story at The Ashley House is the stand that Mumbet took for her freedom, 80 years before the start of the Civil War. Slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts well before the rest of the country.”

Mission House in Stockbridge, MA

Starting at 11am, the Mission House will be open, along with the Indian Museum. Here, right at 19 Main Street in Stockbridge, is the place to explore Mohican culture with child-friendly displays, articles of buckskin clothing that can be tried on, and activities for children, ages 5 and up, including “make your own pocket sundial.”  There is also the Mohican Quest walking adventure – ideal for families with children ages 9 and up. According to Coffin,“The Mission House Indian Museum is small, but our visitors are discovering that it is a great place for kids!”

Naumkeag House and Gardens in Stockbridge, MA

Naumkeag House and Gardens will be open from 10-5pm. Just half a mile uphill from the Red Lion Inn at 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, lies a magical 50-acre landscape that is a place of magic and beauty for children, with enclosed garden walls, water features, a round moon gate, a Chinese Garden, whimsical fountains, pools, runnels, and the famous Blue Steps. Among the activities offered for children with their grandparents or parents on this day include “Kipper” (a backpack of clues, games, and art projects that take families all around the gardens. Children of all ages enjoy following Kipper’s trail through the gardens, peeking into places best seen from a lower perch, spying places and items that hold special appeal for our young visitors,” states Henry.

William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA

Round out your day of history with a trip to the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, open from 1-5pm. It’s a one hour drive from Stockbridge, in the heart of the hilltowns. Take Route 9 east from the Berkshires almost to the Old Creamery in Cummington, and follow signs to 207 Bryant Road, Cummington. Visit the rambling farmscape that was home to America’s first romantic poet. Young and old alike will enjoy learning about the poet’s unusual life.  All ages will be delighted by a walk along the Rivulet Trail, where stand large trees, the stream that Bryant loved and wrote about, and poems posted along the way. And there will be a chance to try out (for free on this day) activities with the children’s “I Spy” activity backpacks.

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World Rhythms Community Day on Sunday at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum to Host
2nd Annual World Rhythms Community Day

Bring the family to celebrate World Rhythms Community Day in Stockbridge, MA at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Sunday, May 2nd.

Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate the reopening of Norman Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio with the second annual World Rhythms Community Day, to be held Sunday, May 2nd, 2010, from 12 to 4 p.m.

Inspired by Rockwell’s “Golden Rule,” a 1961 “Saturday Evening Post” cover emphasizing the importance of cultural and interpersonal understanding, the event will provide an afternoon of family fun with an international flavor. Activities planned for the afternoon event include:

  • multicultural music from A Beautiful Future
  • traditional kamishibai Japanese storytelling with Diane Clouet
  • cultural displays from BRIDGE of Great Barrington, and The Literacy Network
  • art-making opportunities; a display of classic 1960s automobiles by the Piston Poppers
  • a “Runaway”-inspired diner replica created by Lt. ThomasMcNulty
  • and more!

Norman Rockwell’s original Stockbridge studio will also be open to visitors, offering a unique look at the artist’s workspace during the year 1960, a pivotal moment in Rockwell’s life and career. The 2nd Annual World Rhythms Community Day is free for children 18 and under, and for adults with regular Museum admission.

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