Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
November 17th-30th, 2012
This weekend families can head to a couple of the museums for special performances, exhibits and tours, including Curiosity Family Day at The Clark along with the opening of Giselle’s Remix, a gallery show curated by 11-year-old Giselle Ciulla. Remix is virtual gallery on The Clark’s web site featuring over 400 paintings, sculptures, and other items from the museum’s galleries. Within Remix is a tool called uCurate where kids can browse through pieces and design their own gallery shows! Giselle’s curated show was selected and the opening is this Saturday, Nov. 17th.
Once this weekend passes all eyes are on the holidays! Hometown Holidays in North Adams begins on Wednesday, Nov. 21st with a Christmas Tree Lighting. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum kicks off its 5th annual A Home for the Holidays program starting Friday, Nov. 23rd in Lenox. Pittsfield’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony happens on Friday, Nov. 30th with caroling and Santa. And the town of Stockbridge celebrates the 23rd annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas beginning Friday, Nov. 30th.
All of these holiday highlights, and many more community building, educational opportunities and volunteer connections for families in Berkshire County can be discover below in this edition of Berkshire Family Fun through Nov. 30th, 2012:
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.
Abbot School — Ongoing: Tuesday afternoon playgroups at in the gym, sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the gym.— 56 North Country Road. (FREE) ♦
Lanesborough Library — Ongoing: Tuesday morning story time at 10:15am. Stories, crafts, and music for all ages. — 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street. (FREE) ♦
Mt. Greylock — On Saturday, Nov 17th, educators can take part in a workshop for Project WILD, a teacher resource that offers curriculum materials and training for educators that focuses on conservation and environmental science. Free to Northern Berkshire Residents – course fee includes an excellent curriculum guide! Takes place at the visitor center starting at 9am. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register. ($$) — 30 Rockwell Road.
Town Hall — Ongoing: On Fridays from 11am-12noon a playgroup will be in the town hall community room, sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the community room. — 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. (FREE) ♦
Childcare of the Berkshires — 413-664-4821. 210 State Street.
- Childcare of the Berkshires is offering a workshop titled, “Helping Your Kids be All That They Can Be,” on Tuesday, Nov. 20th from 5:30-7pm at the library at Brayton School. The workshop, hosted by Charlie Appelstein, will teach parents strategies for challenging kids and working to bring out their strengths. Registration required – transportation and childcare available if necessary. 20 Barbour Street. (FREE)
- Parent Cafe takes place on Thursday, Nov. 29th from 5:30-7:30pm! The monthly event includes a free catered dinner, and loosely structured time to talk with other parents about parenting strategies, challenges faced while parenting, etc. RSVP requested – takes place at the Family Resource Center. (FREE)
DOWNTOWN — Hometown Holidays begins on Wednesday, Nov. 21st from 5-8pm with a Christmas Tree Lighting at 5pm. The first 500 children will get a goodie-bag from Santa. Music by the Drury Band will begin under the Mohawk Marquee at 4:30pm. Downtown businesses are encouraged to remain open and feature holiday specials and activities. This event is just the first of many for the North Adams Hometown Holidays series, a month of spirited fun, family activities and shopping bargains leading up to Christmas. This year, Hometown Holidays events will take place on the nights of Thursday, Nov. 29, Dec. 6th, 13th, and 20th, from 5-8pm and will feature a variety of specials and activities for people to enjoy downtown. Each Thursday will have something different. Attractions will include holiday crafts, face painting, live music, horse drawn carriage rides, DownStreet Art on Ice, and much more! (FREE) — 413-664-6180
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts — MCLA Presents! Broadway’s Next H!t Musical on Friday, Nov. 30th at 8pm at the MCLA Church Street Center. Broadway’s Next H!t Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. With suggestions of made up, hit songs from the audience, master improvisers create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown musical- complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plat twists galore! It’s all improvised and it’s all funny! Don’t miss the next great American musical- written in your town! Call for tickets: 413-662-5204 — 413-664-4821. Church Street.
Mass MoCA — The Museum is open during Thanksgiving Weekend, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 23rd-25th from 10am-5pm. — 413-662-2111. Mass MoCA Way.
Masonic Temple — Peruse handmade crafts and gifts, locally produced foods, a silent auction, tag sale table, and more at the New Hope United Methodist Church’s Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 9am-2pm. The event also includes a homemade lunch for hungry festival-goers. — 172 Church Street.
The Clark — The Clark is hosting Curiosity Family Day on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 12noon-5pm, an event offering special performances, tours, activities, and more just for families! The museum is opening its first ever kidspace exhibit, Lions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My!, and is opening Giselle’s Remix, a gallery show curated by 11-year-old Giselle Ciulla today, as well. Visitors can make animal-themed art projects, listen to stories about large felines, meet a raptor, and more. (FREE) — 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
Images Cinema — 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street.
- On Saturday, Nov. 17th at 10:30am and 1pm, Images Cinema features Kids Flix Mix – a showcase of the best short films and animation for children from all around the world! Includes films from Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, and the United States. Kids can see unique styles of animation, and will enjoy the creative characters and storylines of each short film. ($)
- Images Cinema screens holiday classic, “Home Alone!” on Saturday, Nov. 24th at 2pm. The movie features young Macauley Culkin and is directed by Chris Columbus (who directed a Harry Potter movie!) – find out what happens when an 8-year-old boy gets left at home while the rest of the family vacations for the holidays! ($)
Williams College – Williams College hosts Gamelan Galak Tika, a group performing Balinese gamelan – an innovative cross-cultural form of music on Sunday, Nov. 18th at 3pm. The style features gongs, mellophones, and hand drums to create a percussion-heavy hammer-like sound. Takes place in Chapin Hall. (FREE)— 413-597-3131. 62 Chapin Hall Drive.
Williamstown Youth Center — Ongoing: Monday playgroups from 10-11:30am at the center, sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires. — 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue. (FREE) ♦
Crane Museum of Papermaking — Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. The museum is open weekdays from 1-5pm. — 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. (FREE)
Lee Library — The library screens recent blockbuster, Brave, on Saturday, Nov. 24th at 11am – the movie is about a fiery, feisty girl out to prove herself, and offers a refreshing change to the Disney female protagonist line-up. — 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. (FREE)
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary — Kids can learn firsthand about bird banding on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 10am-2pm at the Sanctuary. Visitors can watch as birds are caught in mist nets, then banded in order to be tracked and used for data collection. Participants will also be able to help record data, and learn what the information collected from banded birds is used for! (<$) — 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road.
Ventfort Hall — Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will kick off its 5th annual A Home for the Holidays program, an exciting full month of festivities for adults and children alike. Starting Friday, Nov. 23rd from 10am-5pm, the day after Thanksgiving, the 1893 mansion will have been lavishly decorated for a Gilded Age Christmas by a host of volunteers, among them the Ventfort Hall Flower Ladies. In addition, throughout the month of December, there will be theater performances, concerts, dances, tours, viewings of Les Petites Dames de Mode, and Victorian Holiday Teas.— 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.
Berkshire Athenaeum — The library’s new LEGO club meets on Wednesday, Nov. 21st from 3:30-4:30pm! This month’s meeting’s theme is favorite foods – kids can use blocks to make food-inspired creations, work together to develop ideas, and use the blocks to discover and experiment with basic principles of architecture and design. (FREE) — 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue.
Berkshire Museum — Visit the Museum for Kitchen Kaboom on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 11am-12noon! – a hands-on science activity for kids where they will learn to use kitchen materials to do safe but exciting (and simple!) science experiments. Space is limited! — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7.
Burbank Park — Spend Sunday, Nov. 18th outside and volunteering with your family to help clean up Burbank Park! The park is located on 200 acres, including part of the shoreline of Onota Lake – location of the Berkshire BioBlitz, the park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species (including red oaks!). Help to preserve this important community resource! Meet at 9am the playground located by the north parking lot. Volunteering as a family helps children learn values like respect and civic mindfulness. (FREE) — Valentine Road.
Elizabeth House — Women of all ages are invited to attend the Berkshire Red Tent on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 2-9pm, a space offering women time to celebrate womanhood! Bring something to share (a potluck item, drums, snacks, tea, etc.), and spend the evening sharing and bonding with other women. Set-up begins at 2 – opening and sharing circle will begin at 3pm. (FREE) — 48 Elizabeth Street, Suite 1.
Garage — Gaia Roots is offering a drumming workshop and performance at the Garage on Wednesday, Nov. 28th at 8pm! Participants can learn drum and percussion rhythms on traditional instruments, then see the group play the same instruments in concert, sharing music rooted in West African, Caribbean, and numerous other world cultures. Tickets available for workshop only, concert only, or both. — 413-997-4444. South Street. ($$)
Hancock Shaker Village — The Village will host their popular family supper with locally-source ingredients, Shaker music, costumed interpreters, and guided tours on Saturday evening, Nov. 24th at 4pm. Meals will take place in the Village’s 1830 Brick Dwelling. Reservation required. ($$$) — 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic.
Lichtenstein Center for the Arts — Ongoing: Mondays at at 3:30pm a hip hop class for youth ages 8yo+ introduces hip hop styles and steps. Then at 6pm Aimee Gelinas leads a youth Afro-Cuban drum beats class. To register for drum class, contact Aimee at email@example.com — 413-499-9348. 28 Renne Avenue. ($)
Park Square — The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony happens at Park Square on Friday, Nov. 30th at 6pm. The Taconic High School Chorus will be singing a variety of carols, Santa Clause will make his appearance, and hot cocoa served. Come with your kids and bring non-perishable food items that will be donated to the Christian Center’s food pantry. (FREE)
Spice Dragon — A&M presents the annual, “Homemade for the Holidays,” craft fair Saturday, Nov. 24th from 11am-4pm at Spice Dragon. The event showcases a wide variety of work from the best of the Berkshires’ artists and artisans. Get a head start on your holiday shopping, and buy locally handmade gifts! — 297 North Street. (<$)
Treehouse— Ongoing at Treehouse there are a couple of playgroups on Tuesdays: Kids ages 2-4 and their siblings can come together in their playspace in the mornings from 10-10:45am; and there will be drop-in crawl time for infants in the afternoon from 3-4pm. And on Wednesdays, there is a New Moms Group takes place from 11am-12noon, intended for moms with babies under 9 months – drop in and get support from others parents experiencing similar adjustments and developments.— 413-344-4435. 305 North Street.
Norman Rockwell Museum— 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183.
- The NRM hosts Mini-Comic Con on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 17th from 1-5pm The event features artist talks, demonstrations, workshops, comic book appraisals, signings, and tours of a comic book art exhibit at the museum. Comic book enthusiasts young and old will be in heaven! Dress like your favorite superhero and get $2 off of admission.
- The NRM hosts another afternoon full of superhero-themed fun, to accompany an exhibit of comic book art on Saturday, Nov. 24th from 1-4pm. Kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero (from a comic book or their imagination!), and can explore the museum, do art activities, listen to storytellers, and more.
- Just in time for the holidays, the NRM is offering a special screening of, “Heirloom Meals: Savor the Holidays,” a PBS production that focuses on the connections between food, family, and heritage on Friday, Nov. 30th from 5:30-6:30pm. The production includes traditional recipes and stories of families’ handed-down ties to foods. Great for older students with an interest in anthropology! ($$)
Stockbridge Library — The town of Stockbridge, made famous by Norman Rockwell’s painting of the village during the holidays, becomes a magical New England setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights, as the town celebrates the 23rd annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, Friday, Nov. 30th – Sunday, Dec. 2nd. On Friday, gather ’round the Stockbridge Library hearth to hear classic stories of the season from 5:30-6:30pm.— 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street.
Berkshire Co-op — The co-op is holding a kids’ cooking class on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 10-11am. Participants will learn how to use sweet potatoes – and not pasta! – to make canneloni shells to stuff. Kids will get to practice basic kitchen skills, and will learn to use an ingredient that is offered in abundance this time of year. Registration required. (FREE) — 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street.
Berkshire Bach Society — The Society presents a, “Handel’s Messiah Sing-In,” at the First Congregational Church on Saturday, Nov. 24th at 4pm. Community members can buy or borrow a score (or bring their own) at the show in order to participate in the performance! — 413-528-9277. 251 Main Street. (DONATION)
Berkshire South Regional Community Center — 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. (FREE)
- The Berkshire South Community Center’s Marketplace Menagerie and Craft Fair takes place on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 10am-4pm, and features a variety if gift items from Berkshire artists and artisans, baked goods, crafts, and more! Get ready for the holidays by getting a jump start on shopping, and keeping your purchases local!
- On Tuesday, Nov. 20th at 4, 5, or 6pm, BSCC hosts their annual Community Thanks Dinner! The meal is a pre-Thanksgiving feast and is a celebration of great food and community togetherness. Reserve a space at least 24 hours in advance! (FREE)
- Ongoing: On Mondays from 5:30-7pm, enjoy an evening of friendly Scrabble! Open to anyone ages 8+, the game night offers families an opportunity to practice fair play and basic sportsmanship while allowing kids to expand their spelling, vocabulary, and basic practical math skills. On Tuesdays from 6:30-8pm the center hosts a free ukulele group! Beginners and kids without any knowledge of music reading can join in – the class will teach basic chord progressions and styles of playing from around the world. Registration requested but drop-in is OK. On Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm, teens are invited to sing their heart out with Berkshire Sings!, a community singing group. Singers of all abilities welcome (adults, too) to sing pop, jazz, folk, showtunes, and more. - All programs sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center — The Mahaiwe is offering a special screenings of The Wizard of Oz on Saturday, Nov. 24th at 4pm & 7pm! It’s a classic film, and this is a rare opportunity to see it on the big screen. ($) — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street.
Mason Library — Ongoing: Wednesdays from 10:15-11am it’s story time for preK kids. Includes stories, songs, and crafts. In the afternoon on Wednesdays from 3-5pm, the library screens classic films. The “Mason Matinee” is best for tweens/teens and adults – call to find out what’s playing. — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street.
Muddy Brook Elementary School — Stop by the Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Markets on both Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 17th & 18th from 10am-2pm. The markets will be selling locally grown, produced and prepared food from farmers and food producers in the region, including produce, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies and other baked goods, plus pickles and jams. —318 Monument Valley Rd
Bidwell House Museum — BHM is hosting a Colonial Thanksgiving Party on Saturday, Nov. 24th from 4-7pm! It’s a benefit for the museum and will have live music, refreshments, and silent auction. For reservations and more information, please contact the museum. ($$) — 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.