Berkshire Family Fun: September 2015

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
September 2015

“Hilltown Families is a great resource in planning family activities! Without fail, I can always find a listing for a great family event!” – Carol Crosier (Pittsfield, MA)

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. 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.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:


Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Monterey, Northern Berkshire, Pittsfield and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


North Berkshire

Adams | Cheshire | Florida | Hancock | Lanesborough | Monterey | North Adams | Williamstown | Windsor

Central Berkshire | South Berkshire

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Support Hilltown Families!

ADAMS

CHESHIRE

FLORIDA

HANCOCK

LANESBOROUGH

Sunday, September 13. 1pm-2:30pm — HIKING
Undertaking a physical challenge, such as a new hike, with others helps strengthen bonds and provides unique opportunities for interesting conversations. Local historian Mike Whalen will lead a fun, family-oriented hike up Constitution Hill as a part of Lanesborough’s 250th anniversary celebration. On this lovely outing, co-sponsored by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, there will be two hike options: one 45-minute hike and another that is 90 minutes to accommodate all ages and abilities. Stay after the hike to replenish your energy reserves with an ice cream sundae at Belanger Park! Parking is limited; please carpool if you can. Hikers will meet at the kiosk at the end of Bridge Street. 413-499-0596. Bridge Street, Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

MONTEREY

NORTH ADAMS

Friday, September 18. 5pm; Sunday, September 20. 10am — MUSIC FESTIVAL
The FreshGrass music festival, September 18-20, celebrates grassroots music in its many forms, and aims to create a new hub for the burgeoning bluegrass community. In addition to four stages of fabulous bluegrass and roots music, there will be workshops led by talented musicians, and skilled luthiers offering instrument construction demos and discussions (plus plenty of instruments to view up close, hold, or play). The children’s component of the festival, FreshKids, offers spaces for family music-making, art projects, snacks, and shade tents. Kids can also enjoy special performances intended for younger audiences and make their own instruments! MASS MoCA‘s Kidspace will also have its ArtBar outside for inspiring creativity. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. ($$$; FREE for children 6 and under)

Saturday, September 19. 9am-12pm — CRAFTING & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Don’t just recycle, upcycle! Upcycling is the process of transforming materials that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away into new materials or products, keeping those item out of the waste stream. In this class, offered by the Makers Mill, you will learn to transform plastic feed bags (from dog or cat food, horse feed, bird seed, cat litter, etc.) into an attractive tote bag. Previous sewing experience is helpful, but not necessary. Sewing machines will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Bags will be available or feel free to bring your own. 413-749-2073. Registration recommended. Makers Mill, 73 Main St., North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 1pm-3pm — SCIENCE STUDIES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Vermi-composting, or composting kitchen scraps using worms, is a great way to reduce your household waste while simultaneously learning more about how worms aid in the decomposition of organic material. You can do this all in a small corner of your kitchen with no smell. The Makers Mill will offer a workshop that gives an overview of vermi-composting, including a hands-on demonstration of how to build your own worm compost bin. 413-749-2073. RSVP requested. Makers Mill, 73 Main St., North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 10am — MUSIC STUDIES/BLUEGRASS
The FreshGrass music festival, September 18-20, celebrates grassroots music in its many forms, and aims to create a new hub for the burgeoning bluegrass community. In addition to four stages of fabulous bluegrass and roots music, there will be workshops led by talented musicians, and skilled luthiers offering instrument construction demos and discussions (plus plenty of instruments to view up close, hold, or play). The children’s component of the festival, FreshKids, offers spaces for family music-making, art projects, snacks, and shade tents. Kids can also enjoy special performances intended for younger audiences and make their own instruments! MASS MoCA‘s Kidspace will also have its ArtBar outside for inspiring creativity. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. ($$$; FREE for children 6 and under)

Thursday, September 24. 1pm-4pm — MAKERS SPACE
Would you like your homeschooler to participate in more “maker” activities? Incorporating arts and crafts enriches the learning experience and helps students make sense of new ideas. Stop by Makers’ Mill‘s Open House to learn how to make a screen print and contribute to a community weaving project. You can also explore all of the equipment and materials they have, and consider ways to incorporate maker projects with your curriculum themes. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 24. 7pm-9pm — PERFORMANCE ART
DownStreet Art brings art and cultural activities to North Adams to encourage community members to gather and engage with each other and the arts. This month, Bridgman/Packer Dance’s TRUCK will be performed. This innovative piece incorporates video overlays and is set within a portable space–an 17-foot moving truck! This duo creates art that is not complete until it is experienced by an audience; come be a part of the creative process with them! Advance ticket reservations strongly recommended. 413-663-5253. Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 26, 11am – PARENT-CHILD PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Dad and Me Gym Time program on September 26 in the Haskins Center gym. Dads (or other male caregivers) and kids can come for some fun gym games and activities, as well as a pizza lunch. Call to sign up. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 28, 1:30pm-2:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Family Resource Center is hosting a workshop for parents titled, “Dollar Cents: Stretching Your Dollar” at the Haskins Center. Learn about budgeting, saving, and more at this free, informative workshop. Please call ahead if you need childcare or transportation. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 29, 5pm-6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Family Place is offering an introductory discipline workshop on September 29 – “Effective Discipline 101: Introduction to 1-2-3 Magic for Parents.” Parents of children ages 2-12 can come learn about this discipline strategy at the workshop, where dinner is provided. Childcare and transportation available. Registration required. 413-663-7588. 61 Main Street. North Adams, MA.

Wednesday, September 30, 3:30pm-4:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents can attend a Brain Building workshop at the Haskins Center on September 30. Learn interesting facts about brain development and brain-building activities to do at home with kids. Childcare and transportation available. Call to register. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

WILLIAMSTOWN

Friday, September 4. 3:30pm — ART HISTORY
Familiarly known as Whistler’s Mother, Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 is currently on view at the Clark Art Institute, on a rare loan from the Museé d’Orsay! Attend a lecture by curator Kevin Murphy to learn about the artist’s fine brushwork and distinctive use of line, then view a selection of Whistler’s paintings on site to bring a greater depth to your understanding and appreciation of his artistic techniques. Intended for older students and adults. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE with museum admission; FREE for children under 18)

Thursday, September 10. 12:30pm — ART HISTORY
While we all know we should eat a healthy breakfast, sometimes we just have time to grab a piece of toast and run out the door! If you were a part of high society in the 1700s, your breakfast experience would have been an incredibly different undertaking! This week’s “Looking at Lunchtime” gallery talk at the Clark Art Institute focuses on breakfast rituals, with a special focus on breakfast sets (which include expected items like tea cups and cutlery, as well as extraordinary items like chocolate beakers!). 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. ($; FREE for members, children 18 and under, and students).

Saturday, September 12. 12pm & 1pm — SCULPTURE & ARCHITECTURE
The Trustees of Reservations‘ Folly Guest House and surrounding land is an excellent showcase of mid-20th century sculpture. The Folly Guest House itself is a post-modernist structure that provides interesting contrast to the other guest house on the property, the American Modern Guest House. Tour the Folly and enjoy the beautiful grounds as you contemplate American architectural and sculptural inspiration and design! 413-458-3135. Field Farm, 554 Sloan Road, Williamstown, MA. (< $; FREE for members)

Saturday, September 12. 2pm; Sunday, September 13. 12:30pm; Monday, September 14. 7pm — MOVIE
Fans of Studio Ghibli have come to expect beautiful animation and magical storytelling from its feature films (Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro), and its latest film, When Marnie Was There (PG, 2015), showing at Images Cinema is no exception. Anna is a foster child who feels removed from those around her and shies away from the world, until she meets a new friend, Marnie, one summer. Their friendship exemplifies what it means to celebrate differences and forge bonds no matter what factors and circumstances might otherwise be divisive. This is a great film to use as a conversation starter about how to treat people, how to appreciate the diversity of humankind, and the importance of sharing yourself and your time with those around you, as you never know who may need it most. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (< $)

Saturday, September 26, 9am-2pm – CLOTHING SALE: The Annual ABC (A Better Community) Clothing Sale takes place September 26 at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown. Come support five local charities while shopping for new-to-you clothing. Great way to find new threads while engaging in sustainable practices through community engagement. 906 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, September 26, 3pm – ART STUDIES: The Williams College Museum of Art presents the Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art with artist Jon Rubin. Rubin is “an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions into public life that re-imagine individual, group, and institutional behavior.” Older students who are interested in contemporary art or those who are aspiring artists would enjoy this talk, which takes place in Lawrence Auditorium on the Williams College campus. 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, September 27, 1pm-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: September 27th is the Hopkins Forest Fall Festival at Williams College. Celebrate fall with woodworking demonstrations, apple butter and cider production, the canopy walkway, shake splitting, a crosscut saw competition, live music, kids activities, and more. The Festival is a fun and educational way to welcome fall to the Berkshires. 413-597-2346. Northwest Hill Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 28, 2pm-4pm – CAREGIVING/ART STUDIES: People with dementia or Alzheimer’s and their caregivers are welcome to attend a special gallery talk at the Clark Art Museum. “Meet Me at the Clark” takes place when the museum is closed to the public in order to create a private, calm atmosphere, and consists of a viewing and discussion about the art. This gallery talk is great for both the person with dementia and the caregiver – both can enjoy seeing and experiencing art and spending time together in a meaningful way. Call to register in pairs. 413-458-0410. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 29, 12noon – ART STUDIES/HISTORY: Go on a guided tour of the Williams College Museum of Art‘s exhibition, “Imagining the Trojan War,” with Ben Rubin, Assistant Professor of Classics. Learn about the works and the time period during which they were created on this tour. 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

Tuesday, September 29, 7pm – ART STUDIES: Students and lifelong learners interested in contemporary art can attend a talk by Forrest Nash at the Williams College Museum of Art. Nash, the founder of Contemporary Art Daily, will present, “Envisioning Curatorial Practice.” His talk will focus on his website, which features art exhibitions from around the world, and how he chooses artists and curates the site. 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

WINDSOR

Labor Day Family Campout! Have you ever wished that you could take your family camping? Come and spend an adventure-filled weekend camping with the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) at Notchview in Windsor, Sept 5 & 6! Ideal for both experienced campers & first-timers. Families have a choice of activities to choose from, including hikes to a search for owls, star gazing with a local expert, and stories & songs by the campfire. TTOR will provide a campout dinner, s’mores around the fire on Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday morning. Bring your adventuresome spirit & camping essentials (list provided). Member: $30/adult, $20/child. Nonmember: $40/adult, $30/child. Pre-registration required by 9/1: 413-532-1631×10 or email westregion@ttor.org

Saturday, September 19. 6pm-10pm —ASTRONOMY
Trustees of Reservations presents Family Astronomy Night & Potluck at Notchview. Notchview is one of the best “dark sky” locations for a star-filled view! Telescopes and kid-friendly activities provided by members of Arunah Hill Natural Science Center. Potluck at 6PM, followed by games, bonfire, and craft activities. Dress for the weather and bring lawn chairs. Snacks, treats and drinks provided. Children and Trustees members: free. RSVP requested. 413-532-1631 x10. Rain cancels. Notchview, Rte 9, Windsor, MA. ($)

Suggest Event


Central Berkshire

Becket | Dalton | Hinsdale | Lee | Lenox | Peru | Pittsfield | Richmond | Stockbridge | Tyringham | Washington | West Stockbridge

North Berkshire | South Berkshire

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Support Hilltown Families!

BECKET

DALTON

Thursday, September 10. 6pm —PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Celebrate the Berkshire-based businesses and organizations that have helped make the region the lovely and successful area it is today at the Celebrate the Berkshires dinner and awards ceremony. 413-499-1600. Organized by 1Berkshire, a countywide organization devoted to supporting the region’s economic development. The Stationery Factory, 63 Flansburg Avenue, Dalton, MA. ($$$)

  • Dalton Free Public Library 0 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street.
  • 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)

HINSDALE

LEE

Monday, September 21. 9am-3pm — ART/AUTISM
The Good Purpose Gallery‘s mission is to help integrate young adults on the autism spectrum (and those with other learning differences) into the community and to enrich their lives through creativity and the arts. The Gallery is currently exhibiting Across the Spectrum, a collection of artwork created by College Internship Program’s (CIP) students, as well as by CIP founder, Michael McManmon. The wide array of art styles, media, and subject matter are sure to draw you in! This exhibit runs through October 6, 2015. 413-394-5045. 40 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 25. 7:30pm —COMEDY
Looking for some laughter along with your entertainment? The Spectrum Playhouse in Lee hosts sketch comedy show, “Saturday Night Liv,” hosted by performer Liv Cummins. The show is a mix of sketch comedy, music, and novelty acts which bring to mind the old Carol Burnett Show, with a bit of Ed Sullivan in the mix. It’s a ‘something for everyone’ approach that has enabled the show to please audiences who don’t normally go out to the theater or clubs. 413-394-5023. Spectrum Playhouse, 20 Franklin St., Lee, MA. ($$)

LENOX

Tuesday, September 1. 4pm-6pm — ARCHITECTURE & WOMEN’S STUDIES
Renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright employed female architects well before women were widely accepted in the field. Many of these women later went on to launch impressive careers of their own. At Ventfort Hall‘s “A Girl Is a Fellow Here” Tea & Talk, architect and philanthropist Beverly Willis will introduce two films about the female architects who worked with Wright, addressing the social, cultural, and professional forces that influenced their lives. The films and discussion will be followed by a Victorian tea on the grounds. Reservations recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, September 9. 6pm-7:30pm — NATIVE FAUNA
From afar, a beaver dam looks like a big pile of sticks, but a closer examination reveals careful construction and cool inner architecture! Through the creation of dams, beavers have had profound effects on plant, animal, and microbial communities across the country. Learn more about our country’s largest rodent at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, a Mass Audubon property. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and a hat, and bring binoculars if you have them. Suitable for children 3-12 years old. 413-637-0320. 472 W Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (< $)

Saturday, September 19th. 8pm – 11:30pm — COMMUNITY DANCE
Experience the joy of contra dance, a social folk dance that resembles square dancing, hosted by Lenox Contra Dance. Bring a partner or find one at the dance! This week’s music is by Coincidence. A great opportunity to get to know children, adults, and elders in your community. Beginners are encouraged to attend! 413-528-4007. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (< $)

Sunday, September 20. 4pm — HISTORY & LITERATURE
Have you ever carefully paged through an antique book and imagined all those who have read its pages? What the author’s life was like? Do you have an old book that you are wondering about? The Lenox Librarywill host an antiquarian book “road show” to kick off its ninth season of Distinguished Lectures. Attendees are encouraged to bring a book that they would like to show Kenneth Gloss, book specialist for “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS and owner of Brattle Books in Boston. Mr. Gloss will speak on “What Makes Old Books Valuable?” and will informally appraise items from the audience. 413-637-2630. The Lenox Library, 18 Main St., Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 26, 10am-5pm; Sunday, September 27, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 36th Annual Lenox Apple Squeeze Harvest Festival takes place September 26 and 27! Celebrate fall in the Berkshires with food, rides, live music, shopping, and more at this lively street fair. 413-637-3646. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 26, 3:30pm-5:30pm – HISTORY/MUSIC: Discover the music of World War I at Ventfort Hall with Berkshire guitarist and singer Doug Schmolze. He will provide insights into the era and life during wartime with patriotic songs and other music from the time period, including ragtime, waltzes, and romantic songs. All ages are welcome to come learn about this significant time period and the music that defined it. Tickets available in advance. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 26, 7:30pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a reading of Hamish Linklater’s The Vandal on September 26. The play is a bittersweet comedy and theater students and fans will enjoy the reading. Tickets available in advance. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

PERU

PITTSFIELD

Saturday, September 5. 2pm-3:30pm — SCULPTURE
Offer your child the opportunity to talk to an artist about his or her work and process, and you invite them into an intriguing world to which they may not otherwise have access. Artist Jon Brooks will be at Hancock Shaker Village to talk to visitors about his work, Mover and Shaker, a large-scale contemporary sculpture, which is currently on display in the historic village through November 1. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)

Sunday, September 6. 7:30pm; Monday, September 7. 1:30pm — FILM STUDIES/TECHNOLOGY/ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Can people form personal connections with machines? Steve Jobs thought so, and built an empire on devices that welcomed people to engage with them in deeper ways. Alex Gibney’s biopic, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, screening at the Berkshire Museum, invites audiences in to learn more about this influential figure. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (< $)

Wednesday, September 9. 10:30am-11am – STEM
The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 10am-12pm & 1:30pm-3:30pm– CRAFTING
The burning of beeswax candles results in the production of negative ions, which helps purify your air (positively charged bits of dust, pollen, etc. are attracted to the negative ions, “captured” and fall out of air circulation where they may be trapped by your carpet, swept up, or vacuumed away). In addition to this fabulous quality, they burn slowly and produce little smoke and odor. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village for a beeswax candlemaking workshop in which you will learn wax techniques and create a candle to take home. The bees who are the source of the beeswax will be visited on site, too! This workshop is ideal for children age 12 and adults, although children ages 8-12 may attend if they do so with an adult. Registration required. 413-443-0188 x 0. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 19. 9am-4:30pm; Sunday, September 20. 9am-4:30pm —OUTDOOR ADVENTURES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Participating in an interpretive walk allows you to feel more connected to the cultural, industrial and environmental history of the land and become involved in your surroundings. Housatonic Heritage Walks feature short walks, longer trail hikes, birding walks, tours of historical buildings and industrial sites, and a river canoe/kayak. Choose from a variety of walks in the upper Housatonic River Valley, all starting at different times throughout the day, and led by expert historians, naturalists and environmentalists. Registration required. 413-394-9773. Berkshire County, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 10-11:15am — FOOD & BEVERAGE/COFFEE
The Berkshire Museum is hosting a lesson in the art and chemistry of brewing the perfect cup of coffee! As part of their Learner’s Lab, participants can explore the art and science of brewing a perfect cup with Julia Doyle, co-founder of Pittsfield’s own micro-roastery, Assembly Coffee Roasters. This hands-on workshop will feature demonstrations of the French Press, Chemex, pour-over, and AeroPress. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, September 19. 10:30am-12pm — STEM
Full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) Ahead! As part of the Full STEAM Ahead programs at the Berkshire Athanaeum, kids of all ages are invited to come meet Clifford the Big Red Dog. There will also be snacks, crafts and all sorts of activities to encourage every child’s curiosity, including different activity stations throughout the library that will promote STEAM activities. No registration required. Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult, age 18 or older, at all times. 413-499-9480 x 5. Wendell Ave., Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 5:30pm — HEALTHCARE/WORKSHOP
Do you help care for a family member, friend, or other community member with special healthcare needs? Full-time and part-time caregivers of children or adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities, or senior relatives, are invited to participate in the Powerful Tools for Caregivers workshop, offered by United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County. Each session will focus on evidence-based tools and strategies to better equip caregivers for the unique challenges they face. The series runs every Wednesday, September 23-November 4, 2015. 413-664-9345. 208 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 25. 5:30pm-7:30pm — MUSEUM & CULTURE/PHOTOGRAPHY
The American West has long held a fascination for artists and media-makers. Now, you have the opportunity to experience the magnificent, intriguing, and ever-changing American West in compelling photographs and fascinating objects when American West, a dual exhibition, opens at the Berkshire Museum with a preview party. The travelling exhibition National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West features stunning photography from the last 125 years. Go West, organized by the Museum’s staff, includes objects, artwork, and interactive stations pertaining to the grand adventure of the American West. The pair of exhibitions will be on view Saturday, September 26, 2015 through Sunday, January 3, 2016. 413-443-7171. 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, September 26, 7pm-9pm; Sunday, September 27, 7pm-9pm; Monday, September 28, 7pm-9pm – FILM STUDIES: The Manhattan Short Film Festival will screen some of the world’s best short films at the Berkshire Museum the weekend of September 25-28. The festival receives over 600 entries from more than 45 countries, which are then screened around the world so audiences can view and vote, with the winner announced on October 5. This is a unique opportunity for students interested in film to see these short films and to participate in the voting process. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 26. 10am-5pm; Sunday, September 27. 10am-5pm — COUNTRY FAIR
The Shakers are known for their long-established gender equality, as well as for their simplicity of lifestyle, architecture, and utilitarian objects. Learn more about life in a Shaker village at Hancock Shaker Village‘s Country Fair, September 26-27, where visitors will enjoy demonstrations of traditional Shaker crafting techniques, view a juried quilt show, see antique tractors and farm equipment, and participate in children’s games. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)

Sunday, September 27, 11am-6pm – FAMILY FUN: Miles for Moments is an annual celebration and fundraiser for Moments House, a local cancer support community. The day consists of a 5k walk, live music, food and drink vendors, face painting, balloon animals, decorating the new Moments House Kart, and more. This is a fun-filled day for the whole family, and a chance to support a wonderful community resource! Takes place at Berkshire Common. Pittsfield, MA. ($-$$)

Tuesday, September 29, 5pm-8pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/FUNDRAISER: The Berkshire Humane Society‘s 10th Annual Pasta Dinner Benefit takes place September 29 at Zucco’s Family Restaurant. There will be delicious food, a 50/50 raffle, and a chance to get to know other community members, all while raising money for the Humane Society. 413-447-7878 x131. 451 Dalton Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

  • Saturdays, 12:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: It’s chow time at the Berkshire Museum! Come watch museum staff some of the aquarium’s most exciting residents. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • Fridays, 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • Wednesdays, 10:30am-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

RICHMOND

STOCKBRIDGE

Thursday, September 3. 5pm-8pm — OUTDOOR CONCERT
Beautiful scenery, a sunset view, and a fabulous jazz and blues concert await you at Naumkeag at Night. Bring your blanket and a picnic dinner to this Trustees of Reservations property and soak in the summery sights and sounds! 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE for members, $ for nonmembers)

Saturday, September 5. 4pm-5pm — LOCAL HISTORY
Stockbridge, a hotbed of true and fantastic historical tales? Of course! Tour the town cemetery with a guide from the Stockbridge Library‘s Museum and Archives to hear stories about unusual businesses, political events, and other interesting bits of history on the Amazing but True: Strange and Surprising Stockbridge Stories walking tour. 413-298-5501. Cemetery gate, Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION: < $)

Tuesday, September 8. 11:30am-1pm — SCULPTURE
Are you looking for ways to help your kids connect with art, or to learn more about the artistic process? Chesterwood‘s family-friendly art programs provide strategies (in the form of fun activities like scavenger hunts) to help children connect with art. As part of their Tour and Talk program, visitors can tour the current outdoor sculpture exhibit with two of the featured sculptors, Niho Kozuru and Leslie Wilcox, and converse with the artists about their process, materials, inspirations, and more! 413-298-3579 x 2034. 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Thursday, September 10. 5pm-8pm — OUTDOOR CONCERT
Beautiful scenery, a sunset view, and a fabulous jazz, ragtime and swing concert await you at Naumkeag at Night. Bring your blanket and a picnic dinner to this Trustees of Reservations property and soak in the summery sights and sounds! 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE for members, $ for nonmembers)

Saturday, September 12. 10am — U.S. GOVERNMENT & SOCIOLOGY
There are several ways to become a U.S. citizen. These include: being born in the U.S., being born to parents who are U.S. citizens, and becoming naturalized. People who wish to become naturalized citizens must meet certain criteria and take tests on American history, civics, and English as a part of their naturalization process. Once all of the steps towards naturalization are complete, these new citizens participate in a formal ceremony at which they take their citizenship oath. This week, the Norman Rockwell Museum will host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony, and all are welcome to observe and celebrate this important event. What a perfect time to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of a particular country, and what role our citizenship plays in our identity. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, September 12. 11:30am-1pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/STEM
Chesterwood is hosting a free family-friendly art workshop, “Pinwheels and Floating Flowers”! This program includes hands-on art and craft sessions with talented artists and a scavenger hunt to explore the property. Use this event as a way to launch into deeper learning about kinetics and wind power, and their connections to basic physics as well as green energy technologies. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 15. 3pm-4:30pm — BOTANY/GARDENING
From 1928 to 1956, Fletcher Steele created stunning gardens and landscapes, now available for all to enjoy at Naumkeag, a Trustees of Reservations property. For a period of time, the gardens languished, but the Garden Restoration Project has brought them back to their original design and vibrancy. Get behind the scenes with an expert horticulturist to learn about what went into this landscape restoration project! The Chinese Garden is currently under restoration, too, and visitors will be able to take a special sneak peek at that undertaking. Reservations required. 413-298-3239 x 3016. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($; FREE for members)

Thursday, September 17. 2:30pm-3:30pm — HISTORY
The Norman Rockwell Museum‘s 36 acre property is dotted with several buildings of historical significance, including Linwood House, an 1859 Berkshire Cottage, and Rockwell’s own Stockbridge Studio. Tour the museum’s acreage on foot and enjoy the lovely outdoor experience while learning about the fascinating history behind these notable structures. Intended for older teens and adults. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Thursday, September 17. 5pm-7pm — BOTANY/GARDENING/CULTURE
The Chinese Garden at Naumkeag, a Trustees of Reservations property, is currently under restoration. Take a look at what goes into a restoration of this sort at the Asian Fusion Hard Hat Party, where you can appreciate a traditional Chinese garden, and enjoy Asian-inspired foods and music. Because this is an active restoration site, participants will all get to personalize their own hard hat, too. 413-298-3239 x 3016. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Thursday, September 24. 2:30pm — ART & HISTORY
The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell, an iconic was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. The museum is offering a Historic Property Walk – where you will explore the Norman Rockwell Museum’s bucolic 36 acre site and learn about the historic buildings on its property, including Linwood House, an 1859 Berkshire Cottage, and Norman Rockwell’s own Stockbridge Studio. 413-298-4100. 9 Rte. 183, Stockbridge, MA (FREE with Museum admission)

Thursday, September 24. 5:30pm — CULTURAL STUDIES
Cultural attitudes toward and associated support and services for aging populations in are complicated and fraught – both in the U.S and in other nations. In conjunction with its latest exhibition, Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, The Norman Rockwell Museum presents “Aging in America: Attitudes and Access,” the latest in its Four Freedoms Forum series. The public forum will explore the dynamic increase of life expectancy in the U.S. and other developed nations, and the challenges and increased needs it places on access to differentiated care. 413-298-4100. 9 Rte. 183, Stockbridge, MA (FREE with Museum admission)

Sunday, September 27. 9:00am-4:30pm —OUTDOOR ADVENTURES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Participating in an interpretive walk allows you to feel more connected to the cultural, industrial and environmental history of the land and become involved in your surroundings. Housatonic Heritage Walks feature short walks, longer trail hikes, birding walks, tours of historical buildings and industrial sites, and a river canoe/kayak. Choose from a variety of walks in the upper Housatonic River Valley, all starting at different times throughout the day, and led by expert historians, naturalists and environmentalists. Registration required. 413-394-9773. Berkshire County, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 27. 2:00pm LOCAL HISTORY
Travel back in time with Barbara Allen, Curator of the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives, as she leads a walk down Stockbridge’s historic Main Street. Live through 275 years of Stockbridge history, starting with the first residents, Chief Konkapot and the Mohican tribe and moving through time to Cyrus Field and his trans-Atlantic cable, and Arlo Guthrie and Alice’s Restaurant. Registration required. 413-298-5501. Meet in front of the Stockbridge Library on the corner of Main and Elm Streets, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

TYRINGHAM

  • Ashintully Gardens. 413-298-3239. Sodem Road.

WASHINGTON

WEST STOCKBRIDGE

Saturday September 19. 10am-1:30pm — HIKING
Vistas, vistas! What a way to experience the beauty of the Berkshires. Guides from Berkshire Natural Resources Council will bring you on this North Yokun Ridge hike, part of the Housatonic Heritage Hike series You will begin at the beautiful Olivia’s Overlook and end with a view of Lenox from high above. Wear sturdy footwear & bring drink/lunch. 3.5 hours – 4 miles. Register at 413-499-0596. Olivia’s Overlook, Michael H. Walsh Trail, West Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

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South Berkshire

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ALFORD

Saturday, September 26, 11:00am – 1:30pm — HIKING
The Alford Springs Reserve is a mountainous ridgeline property, and by this time in the fall, you may be able to do a bit of early leaf-peeping. As part of the Housatonic Heritage Hike series, you will hike these new trails with guides from Berkshire Natural Resources Council and eat lunch in an old apple orchard. Wear boots/sturdy footwear and bring drink & lunch. 2.5 hours – 2 miles. Register at 413-499-0596 and for directions to meeting spot. Alford, MA (FREE)

GREAT BARRINGTON

Sunday, September 6. 2pm – LOCAL HISTORY
The W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site is offering guided walking tours every Saturday and Sunday through October 4 at the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite and in downtown Great Barrington. Learn about Du Bois’ life and time in Great Barrington on this engaging tour. 413-717-6259. 612 South Egremont Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 9. 6:30pm-8:30pm — FILM STUDIES/LGBTQ STUDIES/AGRICULTURE
When you think of a farmer, who do you picture? A man or a woman? What details underlie this farmer’s life story and experience? Is s/he straight or gay? The Queer Farmer Film Project asks us to confront the question: How do gender and sexuality intersect with our nation’s food system? The Project’s new documentary film, Out Here, (NR, 2015, and directed by Jonah Mossberg, a Smith grad) looks at the experiences of queer farmers across the U.S. in an effort to delve deeper into this relatively unexamined topic. The Mason Library is screening the film. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 10. 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS
Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will be no instruction provided, so this event is best for kids who already have an understanding of the game. This is a great place to come play with peers, make new friends, and improve your chess skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. — Research shows that, when played from a young age, chess can be beneficial to a child’s learning and development. The game requires the use of high-order thinking skills, such as weighing actions and consequences, and helps players practice decision making. The Susan Polgar Foundation offers a page of information on this topic. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 6am-10am HIKING
Is your family usually ready to go at 6AM on a weekend? Many families may not be in the habit of doing outings at the crack of dawn, but some opportunities are worth making an exception for! Climb Monument Mountain with a Trustees of Reservations leader, and arrive at the top in time to watch the sunrise. Hot coffee and breakfast treats will be provided to supplement the most wonderful treat of all–watching the sun come up over the mountains on a still morning. This is the stuff of which family memories are made! Pre-registration required. 413-532-1631 x 10. Monument Mountain, Route 7, Great Barrington, MA. (< $; FREE for members)

Monday, September 21. 6pm-8pm — COMMUNITY MEAL
Local agriculture is a vital part of local community, economy, and landscape. Berkshire Grown will celebrate the bounty of the Berkshires with their 17th annual Harvest Supper. This event will benefit Berkshire Grown programs and will feature food from Berkshire Grown member chefs and a silent auction. Reservations required. 413-528-0041.The Upper Lodge at Ski Butternut, Rte. 23, Great Barrington, MA. ($$$)

Wednesday, September 23. 6:30-8pm — CREATIVE WRITING
Writing can be a powerful tool of self-discovery and for finding one’s voice. Author, blogger, mother and artist Suzi Banks Baum will offer Powder Keg Sessions, writing workshops for mature, older students and adults, at the Ramsdell Public Library. 413-528-2403. Ramsdell Public Library, 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 26. 9:00am-4:30pm —OUTDOOR ADVENTURES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Participating in an interpretive walk allows you to feel more connected to the cultural, industrial and environmental history of the land and become involved in your surroundings. Housatonic Heritage Walks feature short walks, longer trail hikes, birding walks, tours of historical buildings and industrial sites, and a river canoe/kayak. Choose from a variety of walks in the upper Housatonic River Valley, all starting at different times throughout the day, and led by expert historians, naturalists and environmentalists. Registration required. 413-394-9773. Berkshire County, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 26. 1:00pm- 3:00pm NATURAL HISTORY & OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
Hiking can be about more than just experiencing the beauty of your environment. It can also be an opportunity to examine geological and cultural history. Trustees of Reservations invites you to explore Monument Mountain and David Dudley Field’s Carriage Road, looking at the geological, American Indian, industrial and cultural history of Monument Mountain with a particular focus on the instigator of the 1850 picnic with Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Meet at Monument Mountain Reservation Parking Lot. The hike is about 2 miles over varied terrain -please wear sensible shoes, bring water and snacks. Parking: Trustees members Free, Nonmembers $5/car. Registration requested. 413-532-1631 x10. 545 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington, MA. (FREE; < $ for parking)

HOUSATONIC

Thursday, September 10. 4:30pm-6:30pm — OUTDOOR CONCERT & MUSIC HISTORY
The bagpipes have an unmistakable sound, and music created on and for bagpipes carries with it many stories from long ago. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a bagpipe performance at Project Native‘s Bagpipes at Sundown event. In addition to listening to beautiful music, audience members will be treated to a detailed history of the instrument and the historical context and significance of a variety of bagpipe tunes. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA. (< $)

Wednesday, September 16. 7pm-8:30pm — HISTORY/MUSIC/GENDER STUDIES
The Girls in the Band documents the stories of female musicians who were a part of the jazz and big band movements of the 1930s onward. These women endured countless challenges and setbacks, yet many persevered to share and develop their musical talents for decades to come, paving the way for today’s female jazz musicians. Gain an appreciation for their talents and struggles at a screening of this film at the Ramsdell Library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

MONTEREY

NEW MARLBOROUGH

OTIS

Tuesday, September 1. 12pm-6pm — PHOTOGRAPHY & LOCAL LANDSCAPES
Viewing photographs can inspire one to ask questions (Where was this taken? What is the subject? How does this make me feel? What is the photographer hoping to convey?), make discoveries, and create art of one’s own. When the subject of the art is the land that you call home, the effects can be even more profound. View the Berkshire region through the eyes and artistic sensibility of Geoffrey Coelho, whose photographs of landscapes, architecture, street scenes, and still lifes will be exhibited at the Otis Library and Museum for the month of September. 413-269-0109. 48 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 26. 7:30pm — CONCERT
The Otis Cultural Council presents an evening of honky tonk, boogie, blues, and bop music performed by Miss Paula & the Twangbusters. Those wishing to enjoy the inn’s food beforehand may arrive at 6pm for a buffet dinner (cash/check only). 413-269-0100. Knox Trail Inn, 1898 Otis Road, East Otis, MA. (FREE)

SANDISFIELD

SHEFFIELD

Monday, September 7. 8:30am-11:30am — CANOEING & NATURAL HISTORY
The Housatonic River and its banks are home to many plant and animal species, but many of these areas are in need of protection and restoration. Learn about the river’s past, present, and future as you explore the meandering Housatonic via canoe with a knowledgeable guide. Bald eagles may soar overhead, and a variety of landscapes will be visible, too. Paddles, PFDs, and boats will be provided. Meets at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of Reservations property. Registration required. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 12. 12pm-5pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
The Sheffield Fair is a lovely, manageably-sized fair that is perfect for those who would like the agricultural fair experience without the hustle and bustle. There will be contests (apple pie, livestock showmanship, horticulture), a softball game (the Mt. Everett Eagles vs. the Sheffield Fire Department), live music, tasty food, hayrides, children’s games and entertainment, crafts, and more! The organizers of this fair have also created this site to include a setting and convenience features that offer comfortable access for people with physical disabilities. Sheffield Town Park, Frederic Lane, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 18. 6:30pm — LITERATURE & HISTORY
Sheffield has the honor of being the home of many fiction writers and poets, as well as the setting for various literary works. Find out who these authors are, and which writings feature Sheffield, at the Authors and a Sense of Place lecture at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of Reservations property. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (< $)

Sunday, September 20. 9am-12pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURE & CANOEING
What better way to view the Berkshires foliage than on a guided canoe trip! Paddle the winding Housatonic to view the beauty of this meandering river as it passes through agricultural fields and floodplain forests. Watch for migrating hawks circling overhead. With your guide, learn about the river’s history and what is happening to restore some of its most precious habitats and species from its upper reaches in Pittsfield through Massachusetts and into Connecticut. Sponsored by Trustees of Reservations. Paddles, life preservers, and boats are provided. Registration required. 413-229-8600. Bartholomew’s Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm – 3pm — NATURAL HISTORY & ART
Have you ever looked closely at a fern and appreciated how delicate and intricate it is? Bartholomew’s Cobble is known for its extraordinary diversity of fern species. Trustees of Reservations offers a fern identification and botanical drawing workshop. Hike with renowned ecologist and botanical artist Elizabeth Farnsworth to learn identification strategies for ferns, then learn how to apply these identification skills to make beautiful, detailed botanical drawings of ferns. Parking: Trustees members Free, Nonmembers $5/car. Register at 413.532.1631 x10. Bartholomew’s Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 27. 1:00pm – 4:00pm — ART & NATURE STUDIES
Painting in the outdoors requires keen observation skills and a deep appreciation for the natural world. Local artist Pat Hogan will accompany you at the top of Hurlburt’s hill, where you will enjoy the panoramic views of the Housatonic River Valley, create watercolor paitings, and learn about leaves changing color in the fall. Sponsored by Trustees of Reservations. Participants should bring their own art supplies. Rain or shine. Ages 14 and up. Registration required. 413.532.1631. Bartholomew’s Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($$; <$ for parking)

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