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:
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 — 413-664-4821. 56 North Country Road.
Wednesday, January 9th from 6:30-7:30pm – Learn more about the Brain Gym program with Childcare of the Berkshires! The program focuses on utilizing movement to promote brain stimulation, and parents will learn about the basic principles that the program focuses on. Takes place at Abbott Memorial School. Registration required. (FREE)
Jiminy Peak — 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road.
Monday, December 31st at 10pm – Jiminy Peak is celebrating the new year with a beautiful torchlight parade down the mountain as soon as the ski lifts close. The parade will be followed by fireworks over the mountain. 37 Corey Road. ($)
Mass MoCA — 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way.
The museum will be open during school vacation week from 11am- 5pm, opened on New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Check out a museum pass from your local library.
Saturday, December 29th – Tuesday, January 1st from 11am-5pm – MASS MoCA is open and offering lots to see and do for families during school vacation! The KidSpace will be open, and there will be museum tours (for older students) at 11am and 3pm, as well as a special tour of the Sol Lewitt exhibit at 1pm. Families can explore the museum galleries and learn about the many different pieces exhibited! ($)
Western Gateway Heritage State Park — 413-663-6312. 115 State Street, Building 4.
Saturday, January 5th at 3pm – Learn all about the 150-year-old history of the Emancipation Proclamation at Western Gateway Heritage State Park today! (<$)
The Clark — 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
The Clark is open during school vacation week from 10am-5pm, closed New Year’s Eve & Day. Check out a museum pass from your local library.
Lions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My!, on view at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Stone Hill Center, utilizes video, hands-on activities, taxidermy, and innovative displays to create an exciting learning environment for all ages. The exhibition includes a magnificent specimen of an adult African lion as well as a lioness’s pelt, claws, and a skull that will be available to encourage hands-on exploration. Visitors try on a gauntlet as they try to balance a wooden block that approximates the size and weight of a falcon for a first-hand experience of the difficulty and delicate balance needed in falconry. Visit clarkart.edu to learn about the exhibition and other family events and programs.
Williams College — 413-597-4277. 863 Main Street.
Wednesday, January 9th at 7pm – Sing along to traditional worksongs with Max Godfrey and Friends at Williams College! The collection of songs included were originally created by prisoners, but have been rediscovered by agricultural workers and are sung to make hard labor more bearable. Most follow a simple call-and-repeat format, and are, as a result, quite easy to participate in and learn quickly. Godfrey works to search through recordings in order to share them with people in order to keep up the musical tradition. The event will include dinner, and lots of music! Students of any age will love singing along, and the event can be tied in with studies of the history of rural America and American agriculture. Takes place in Goodrich Hall. (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)
Spectrum Playhouse — 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street.
Saturday, January 5th at 11am – Linda Peck hosts the variety show, “Just Like Mary,” at the Spectrum Playhouse.
Ventfort Hall — 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.
Saturday, December 29th at 3pm and Sunday, December 30th at 2pm & 3pm – Puppeteer Carl Sprague will present a marionette production of the classic Brothers Grimm tale, “Hansel and Gretel” at Ventfort Hall. After the show, kids can meet the antique puppets used in the show at a Victorian Tea, and there will also be an opportunity to learn about the puppeteer’s methods. ($)
Berkshire Museum — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7.
Saturday, December 29th at 11am and 2pm – Berkshire Children’s Theater presents, “Pinkalicious!” at the Berkshire Museum! The show is a musical stage adaptation of the book of the same name, and is about a little girl learning how to exercise her self control! Pinkalicious loves anything pink, but her special favorite are pink cupcakes – and, despite her parents cautioning, she eats so many that she turns pink! ($$)
Monday, December 31st from 11am-12noon – The Berkshire Museum hosts magician David Hall for a special New Year’s magic show! Hall performs amazing magical illusions, and is helped by magical bunny, Hocus. (Meet Hocus after the show!) ($$)
Colonial Theatre — 413-997-4444. 111 South Street.
Saturday, December 29th & Sunday, December 30th at 2pm & 7:30pm – Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and presented for the second time at The Colonial Theatre. ($$)
First United Methodist Church — 413-499-0258. 27 East Street.
Saturday, December 29th at 3pm – Join Berkshire Lyric in singing Handel’s Messiah – a popular and beautiful piece, perfect for celebrating the holiday season. Takes place at the First United Methodist Church. Don’t sing? Just listen! (DONATION)
Pittsfield State Forest — 413-499-4263. 1041 Cascade Street.
Tuesday, January 1st at 1pm – Commune with nature as you enter the new year – explore the Pittsfield State Forest on a First Day Hike with the Mass DCR. The 45-minute trek will follow the Tranquility and Hawthorn trails – dress warmly, and bring your dog if you’d like! Meet at the State Forest Ski Lodge. (FREE)
Hilltop Orchards — 800-833-6274. 508 Canaan Rd.
Saturday, December 29th from 6:30-8pm: Bring your sweetheart or good friend to Hilltop Orchards, home of Furnace Brook Winery, for a parents’ night out full moon snowshoe trek and bonfire. There will also be wine tasting and live entertainment following a 1.5 hour guide trek through the woods. Snowshoe rentals available too. RSVP.
Norman Rockwell Museum — 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183.
Saturday, December 29th & January 5th from 1-5pm – Make your own comic book art at drop-in workshops at the Norman Rockwell Museum! The museum is currently hosting an exhibit of comic book art by Alex Ross, and the activities included in the workshops will give kids a chance to create their own comic book-style artwork. Superheroes will be roaming the museum, too – be sure to visit the galleries to find them! (FREE with museum admission)
Wednesday, January 2nd from 10:30-11:30am – The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts Kids Create!, a special hands-on look at art for preschoolers and their accompanying adults.
Red Lion Inn — 413-298-3691. 30 Main Street.
Sunday, January 6th at 6:30pm – Celebrate Three Kings Day at the 40th annual caroling event at the Red Lion Inn! The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception will lead visitors in Christmas carols on the steps of the inn, and the event will also include treats for all. (FREE)
Bartholomew’s Cobble — 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road.
Saturday, December 29th & January 5th from 9am-4:30pm – Explore Bartholomew’s Cobble with the Trustees of Reservations – the yearly Hot Chocolate Saturdays series begins this week! Visitors can hike, snowshoe, and/or cross-country ski at the Cobble (weather depending, of course), and end their excursion with a cup of cocoa in the visitor center. Families can practice looking for signs of birds and mammals, and can explore the changes that have taken place to the landscape since winter set in. (FREE with admission)