Berkshire Family Fun: December 2015

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 2015

“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 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 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

Donate Now

Support Hilltown Families!

ADAMS

Saturday, December 5, 11am — FAMILY THEATER
Pirate stories feed children’s imaginations and help them learn good from bad. Watch one onstage when Nutshell Playhouse presents “Pirates!” a swashbuckling adventure featuring bold buccaneers, a mysterious map with a riddle, cursed treasure, a visit to an island that you can’t see, a pirate ghost, and a magical journey to the bottom of the sea. This seafaring tale features mime, music, masks, and puppets created by Clothespin Puppets. 413-637-1245. Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter School. 1 Commercial Street, Adams, MA. (FREE)

CHESHIRE

FLORIDA

HANCOCK

LANESBOROUGH

Sunday, December 13, 10am-12:30pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/US HISTORY
Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for an easy hike at Constitution Hill. The hill got its name because of a bonfire that was lit at its summit to notify nearby residents of Massachusetts’ ratification of the Constitution in 1788. The trail is a loop through an historic farm, with moderate elevation changes, and offers a visit to the Constitution Oak. Wear blaze orange and sturdy footwear; bring water and a snack. 413-499-0596. From Pittsfield, go north on Route 7. In Lanesboro, take a left onto Bridge Street, which is immediately before Town Hall. Park at the end of Bridge Street near the kiosk. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

MONTEREY

NORTH ADAMS

Saturday, December 12, 9:30am-11:30am — GEOCACHING/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/STEM
Have you caught the caching bug? Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game that uses Global Positioning System, or GPS, coordinates to find a container (often containing tiny treasures you can swap) that someone has hidden. You can play the game on your phone with the free Geocaching: Intro” app. It’s a great family activity that involves technology, teamwork, and stick-to-it-tiveness. Explore Downtown North Adams in search of three geocaches, then return to The Family Place for hot chocolate. Please download the app ahead of time, if possible. Dress warmly. Sponosored by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. 413-663-7588. 61 Main Street, Suite 218, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12. 4pm — FAMILY THEATER/CHRISTMAS CLASSICS
Fireside Yuletide: A Family Holiday Reading. This fun, family-friendly holiday showcase will feature some of your favorite seasonal classics! The show will include the singing of holiday songs, in addition to festive holiday refreshments. Readings will include “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and many more! Celebrate this season of joy as you share in the tradition and wonder of Christmas with your family. This show is being presented by Mill City Productions and performances will be held at Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Building 4N, 115 State Street, North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 12, 8pm — PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CULTURAL STUDIES
In Sanskrit, Nari means both “woman” and “sacrifice.” This aptly named live music and video project tells the story of Lakshmi Shankar and her daughter Viji, partners to Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, respectively, who were instrumental in bringing Southeast Asian Music to the West. Violin virtuoso Gingger Shankar, granddaughter to Lakshmi and daughter to Viji, pays tribute to her foremothers in this work-in-progress performed at MASS MoCA and produced collaboratively with David Liang of Shanghai Restoration Project, and artist/visionary filmmaker, Sun Yunfan. 413-662-2111. Hunter Center, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (<$ Members, $$ Non-members)

Sunday, December 13. 4pm — FAMILY THEATER/CHRISTMAS CLASSICS
Fireside Yuletide: A Family Holiday Reading. This fun, family-friendly holiday showcase will feature some of your favorite seasonal classics! The show will include the singing of holiday songs, in addition to festive holiday refreshments. Readings will include “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and many more! Celebrate this season of joy as you share in the tradition and wonder of Christmas with your family. This show is being presented by Mill City Productions and performances will be held at Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Building 4N, 115 State Street, North Adams, MA. ($)

Tuesday, December 15, 10am-11am — SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTING
Join other parents of children with special health care needs, Autism spectrum, developmental delays, mental health issues, communication delays, or other identified special needs at the Johnson School to share ideas, resources, challenges, and joys. Snacks provided. Transportation and child care available upon request. This group is focused on parents with children ages birth to eight years. Pre-registration requested. 413-664-4821. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 19, 1pm-3pm — ART STUDIES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
What’s it like to be an artist? How do artists come up with their ideas? See local artists performing their crafts, ask some questions, and get in on the fun yourself, at “Local Artist Works in Progress,” sponsored by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. 413-663-7588. 49 Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

WILLIAMSTOWN

Tuesday, December 1-Sunday, December 6, 10am-5pm — ART STUDIES/BOOKS
Give the gift of art this holiday season! Shop beautiful, discounted art books for all ages at the Clark Art Institute through December 6. Browse a wide selection of remainders, markdowns, and sale books about artists, art history, architecture, photography, gardening, decorative arts, and other illustrated topics. 413-458-2303. Michael Conforti Pavilion, 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (SALE)

Wednesday, December 2, 6pm-8pm — PARENTING/SUBSTANCE ABUSE/COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Join a community discussion about youth substance abuse, when the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition presents “What’s The Harm?” at the Mt. Greylock Regional High School. What are the risks of alcohol and drug experimentation to teens, and what are the responsibilities of adults in the community? Pizza served at 6pm, followed by a presentation and Q&A. Registration requested but not required. 413-663-7588, ext. 14. Meeting Room, 1781 Cold Spring Road, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 3, 4:30pm — ART/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
What will you learn with your own personal guide at the Williams College Museum of Art? Walk through the galleries with a Williams student and discuss highlights of the collection during “Student Guides in the Galleries.” 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 4, 10:15am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Clark Art Institute is holding a New Parents Gallery Talk. New parents and their infants are welcome to visit the museum for an informal guided talk. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 4, 6:30pm-7:45pm — HOLIDAY CONCERT
Kick off Williamstown’s Holiday Walk Weekend with an evening of festive sounds of the season, as Williams College alumnus Jonathan Dely leads a jazz ensemble performing a wide selection of holiday favorites at the Clark Art Institute. Dely is currently attending the Manhattan School of Music for a master’s degree in jazz trumpet performance. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Williams College in 2015. Reservations required. 413-458-0524. Lower Level, 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. ($ Members, $$ Non-members)

Saturday, December 5, 9:30am-6pm — HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
Williamstown‘s 32nd annual Holiday Walk will include seasonal fun for all ages! The Run with the Reindeer Fun Run begins at 9:30am, and the Reindog Parade gets going at 3pm. Throughout the day, adults and kids can make holiday crafts, taste samples in a chili and soup cook-off, decorate gingerbread cookies, and watch an ice carving demonstration. Spring Street will be a festive place to stroll with music, hot chocolate, and cookies at every turn, and those who are present at the end of the day will be treated to a reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, followed by the lighting of the town’s holiday trees! 515-708-1413. Downtown Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 6. 10am-5pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Thursday, December 10, 4:30pm — ART/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
What will you learn with your own personal guide at the Williams College Museum of Art? Walk through the galleries with a Williams student and discuss highlights of the collection during “Student Guides in the Galleries.” 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-12pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ART STUDIES
Art gives preschoolers the chance to express their feelings and practice their fine motor skills. The Clark Art Institute‘s Start with Art program offers themed talks, gallery guides, and art-making activities for three-to-six-year-old and their parents. This month’s theme is movement. Art project-appropriate clothing recommended. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 20, 10am-2pm — HOLIDAY FARMERS’ MARKET
While summer is a robust growing season, there are an amazing variety of hardy vegetables that continue to grow into the winter months! This is also a time to explore the cheeses, baked goods, meats, and crafts produced by those in your community. The Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market will be open to help you choose locally-sourced goods for your upcoming holiday meals and celebrations. Learn where your food comes from and share your experience at family dinner time. The festive atmosphere will be further enhanced by music and activities for kids. SNAP accepted. 413-528-0041. Williams College Towne Field House, Latham Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

WINDSOR

Saturday, December 12, 12pm-3pm — ARTS & CRAFTS
Balsam trees have a distinctive shape, texture, and aroma that evoke many wintertime and holiday associations. Learn how to create holiday crafts using balsam tree branches at Notchview’s Evergreen Craft Making event. While visiting this Trustees of Reservations property, visitors can enjoy cross country skiing on the trails (bring your own skis, and hope for snow!), or cut a balsam or Fraser fir tree to bring home. Hot chocolate and treats round out this cozy, crafty day of holiday fun. Reservations encouraged. 413-532-1631 x 10. Route 9, Windsor, MA. ($ for members; $$ for nonmembers)

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Central Berkshire

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

North Berkshire | South Berkshire

Donate Now

Support Hilltown Families!

BECKET

DALTON

Saturday, December 5, 7pm — CHRISTMAS/CONCERT
The Hilltown Choral Society presents its Christmas Concert, directed by Jeffrey Hunt, with accompanist Amy Renak and the Hilltown Ensemble, at the Berkshire First Church of the Nazarene. This intergenerational chorus, in its 59th year, includes singers from Northampton west to the New York State line. Fragrance-free. 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

Saturday, December 5, 11am — LITERATURE/THEATER:
Come and step through the door of an old wardrobe where two imaginative children, Lucy and Edmund, will lead you on a magical adventure filled with fantasy and wonder. Based on the classical novel by C.S. Lewis, Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, ignites curiosity while providing insight about the emotional climate of childhood during World War II. Come experience the weaving of traditional English folklore, Greek mythology, and 20th century literature that has made The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a favorite among audiences of all ages! The show is presented by the Hampsted Theatre Company. Spectrum Playhouse, 20 Franklin Street, Lee, MA.(< $ SUGGESTED DONATION)

LENOX

Tuesday, December 1, 10am-4pm — HOLIDAY/US HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE
Ventfort Hall, a Gilded-Age “cottage,” will be decorated for the holidays throughout the month of December. Built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J.P. Morgan, this Jacobean Revival-style mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 4, 6pm — CHRISTMAS/TREE-LIGHTING
Kick off the Lenox Chamber of Commerce‘s “Making Spirits Bright” celebration with the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree and caroling. Santa arrives by fire truck. Followed by refreshments and gift giving at the Lenox Community Center. 413-637-3646. Lilac Park, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 5, 11am-7pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Celebrate the season with the “Lenox Holiday Stroll, sponsored by the Lenox Chamber of Commerce. Do some shopping while entertained by caroling from the Cantilena Chamber Choir and students from Lenox High School, Berkshire Country Day School, Berkshire Christian School, and Berkshire Montessori School. Enjoy performances by Shakespeare & Co. and WAM (Women Action Media). Make memories in the “Fabulously Fun Photo Booth.” 413-637-3646. Downtown Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 6, 3pm — HOLIDAY CONCERT
The Cantilena Chamber Choir presents “Christmas at Trinity,” with music of Bach and Anderegg and your favorite carols. This a cappella choir has received the prestigious Choral Arts New England’s Alfred Nash Patterson award twice. Featuring The Berkshire Children’s Chorus. 518-791-0185. Trinity Church, 88 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 6, 3pm — HOLIDAY TEA
Are you in the mood for a fancy afternoon celebration with friends or family? Perhaps an elegant Victorian Tea is in order! Visit Ventfort Hall for a special holiday tea of sandwiches, cakes, and cookies, all made from the Hall’s own recipes. A concert of contemporary and classical music by pianist Karen Tchougourian will round out the occasion. Reservations required. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — CHRISTMAS CONCERT/TEA
The all-women Berkshire Concert Choir will perform “Voices of Christmas,” followed a Victorian tea, at Ventfort Hall. Known throughout the county for their joy of singing, the group will be led by conductor Paula Nuss and accompanied by Aurora Cooper, as they perform a wide range of traditional Christmas songs. Reservations recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 13, 3pm-4pm — BOOK READING/CULTURAL STUDIES
How is India changing in the 21st century, and how does life there compare with life in America? Listen for answers to these questions as Stone Court Writer-In-Residence Pankaj Challa shares his writings at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s ancestral home. Born and raised in India, Challa will read from The Happiness of Wandering Beings, a collection of short stories about love, livelihood, and identity in the New India, which he wrote as his doctoral dissertation in creative writing at the University of Southern Mississippi. Refreshments and conversation with the author will follow. 413-551-5100. The Drawing Room, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 19. 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 Nor’easter. 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. (< $)

PERU

PITTSFIELD

Saturday, December 12, 9am-1pm — WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET
While summer is a robust growing season, there are an amazing variety of hardy vegetables that continue to grow into the winter months! This is also a time to explore the cheeses, baked goods, meats, and crafts produced by those in your community. The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers’ Market will be open to help you choose locally-sourced goods for your upcoming holiday meals and celebrations. The festive atmosphere will be further enhanced by live music from 11am-1pm. The Boys and Girls Club, 16 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12. 8pm — COMEDY/CLASSICAL THEATER
Tartuffe. A classical play by French playwright Moliere, Tartuffe tells the story of a family that must band together to overcome their fathers’ follies. This neoclassical tale uses live music and laugh-out-loud comedy to explore the true meaning of family. The performance breathes new life into a 17th century tale, making it both accessible and entertaining to contemporary audiences. The production is being presented by Berkshire Community College as part of a hands-on theater training program. Performances will be held in the Boland Theater, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 12-Tuesday, December 22 — PERFORMING ARTS
What does it mean to embrace the spirit of the season? How do our words and choices affect the lives of those around us? Explore these essential questions in the Berkshire Theatre Group‘s annual performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which runs December 12th-December 22nd. Times are 7pm. A 2pm show is added on weekends. The story follows miserly Mr. Scrooge as he encounters four spirits which help him discover the values which underlie Christmas celebrations. 413-997-4444. The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 13. 2pm — COMEDY/CLASSICAL THEATER
Tartuffe. A classical play by French playwright Moliere, Tartuffe tells the story of a family that must band together to overcome their fathers’ follies. This neoclassical tale uses live music and laugh-out-loud comedy to explore the true meaning of family. The performance breathes new life into a 17th century tale, making it both accessible and entertaining to contemporary audiences. The production is being presented by Berkshire Community College as part of a hands-on theater training program. Performances will be held in the Boland Theater, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

RICHMOND

STOCKBRIDGE

Friday, December 4, 5pm — CHRISTMAS STORYTELLING
As part of the annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, everyone is invited to listen to classic holiday stories in a read-aloud presented by the Stockbridge Library. 413-298-5501. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 29 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 5, 10am-4pm; Sunday, December 6, 10am-4pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES/LOCAL HISTORY/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
A visit to Naumkeag provides a stylish image of life and design from a golden time. This National Historic Landmark managed by the Trustees of Reservations, is host to several landscapes designed by Fletcher Steele—the father of modern American landscape design. Designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, & White, this architectural masterpiece is a Gilded Age Berkshire “cottage,” intact with original 19th- and 20th-century artwork, furnishings, decorative arts, and the personal and household items of daily life. Naumkeag served as a summer retreat for three generations of the fascinating Choate family and their staff. Hear their stories and catch a glimpse of American history during this seasonal open house. House tours depart every hour between 10:30AM – 3:30PM and are 45 minutes in length. Visitors can enjoy hot chocolate and browse the Naumkeag holiday shop, too! 413-298-3239 x3016. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 5, 1pm-4pm — ART/LITERACY
Explore illustrator Marc Rosenthal’s new book, Big Bot, Small Bot with the man himself at the Norman Rockwell Museum. This lift-the-flap book about a group of robots, teaches counting, opposites, shapes, and colors. Following the talk, kids can create their own lift-the-flap books. Rosenthal will also have a book-signing. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE Members, $$ Non-members)

Sunday, December 6, 12pm-2pm — SANTA/MYO ORNAMENT
Visit Santa’s Workshop, presented by the Norman Rockwell Museum, and make your own holiday hat and ornament. Free with Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas admission.
413-298-4100. 29 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Sunday, December 6, 3pm — ART STUDIES/US HISTORY/CHRISTMAS
Norman Rockwell painted Home for Christmas in 1967, capturing a quintessential small town at the holidays. Take a virtual stroll down Stockbridge’s Main Street in simpler times and learn details you may not known before in this Highlight Talk at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Reduced admission with Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas button. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE Members, $$ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 2pm-4pm — ART STUDIES
The artwork on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post has an iconic style that evokes yesteryear. Illustrator/Educator Pat O’Donnell feels the techniques used then are still useful, however. Watch him at work and create a drawing of your own at the Norman Rockwell Museum. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE Members, $$ Non-members)

TYRINGHAM

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

WASHINGTON

WEST STOCKBRIDGE

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South Berkshire

Alford | Egremont | Great Barrington | Housatonic | Monterey | New Marlborough | Sheffield

North Berkshire | Central Berkshire

Donate Now

Support Hilltown Families!

ALFORD

EGREMONT

GREAT BARRINGTON

Saturday, December 5, 1:15pm-2:30pm — CHRISTMAS CRAFT/ARCHITECTURE
Gingerbread houses were first made in Germany in the early 19th century, perhaps inspired by the edible house in Grimm’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Kids can build their own structures out of edible items at the Mason Library. Ages 6 and up (with caregiver help as needed). All supplies included. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 2pm-3pm — HOLIDAY STORYTIME/CAROLING
Enjoy King Frost and other winter stories, along with music and poetry, at the Mason Library. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (FREE)

Saturday, December 19, 10am-2pm — HOLIDAY FARMERS’ MARKET
While summer is a robust growing season, there are an amazing variety of hardy vegetables that continue to grow into the winter months! This is also a time to explore the cheeses, baked goods, meats, and crafts produced by those in your community. The Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market will be open to help you choose locally-sourced goods for your upcoming holiday meals and celebrations. Learn where your food comes from and share your experience at family dinner time. The festive atmosphere will be further enhanced by music and activities for kids. SNAP accepted. 413-528-0041. Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 20, 1pm — CHRISTMAS/BALLET
Experience the legendary Bolshoi Ballet performing The Nutcracker in HD at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. This classic story, told through dance with music by Tchaikovsky, is about a girl who receives a wooden nutcracker for Christmas, which comes alive at midnight, along with all the other toys. It has delighted young and old alike for generations. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 20, 7pm — KINDNESS/MOVIE/CHRISTMAS
Enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life (PG, 1946), the classic Frank Capra film about the difference one person can make in the lives of many, on the big screen at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Its messages of standing up for what’s right, even when it’s difficult and unpopular, and taking care of your neighbors, underscore the meaning of the season. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. ($)

HOUSATONIC

MONTEREY

NEW MARLBOROUGH

OTIS

SANDISFIELD

SHEFFIELD

Weekends in December through 20th; Dec 24th, 10am-3pm — ARTS & CRAFTS/HOLIDAY MARKET
Perusing markets filled with wares created by local artisans inspires one’s creative spirit and puts one in touch with the interests and talents of community members. It can also teach about local materials such as clays and animal/plant fibers that artists use in their creations. A trip to the Sheffield Historical Society‘s 16th Annual “Festival for the Holidays” craft and gift market allows visitors to observe a wide variety of crafts and connect with the local art scene. And, for those planning on giving gifts this year, keeping your money local and supporting artists in their work is a great way to go! This festival runs each weekend through December 20th, and on Dec 24th as well. 413-229-2694. Old Stone Store, 137 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-12pm — HIKING & SANTA
Sometimes colder winter temperatures and blustery weather cause us to retreat into our homes. It is worth fighting this urge, and to get out and breathe some fresh, crisp air while exploring the natural world in its wintry state! Why not go for a child-friendly, half-mile walk along the nature trail at Bartholomew’s Cobble? This “Stroll with Santa,” hosted by the Trustees of Reservations, will include stories and snacks after the hike. Pre-registration recommended. 413-298-3239 x 3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 13, 2:30pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/STORYTELLING
Have you ever wanted to be a character in a book? The Bushnell-Sage Library‘s Beyond a Book Signing with Deb Koffman is your chance. While Koffman reads from her new book, The Magic Lamp, you can be one of the characters, or imagine that you are. The book will be for sale, and Koffman will sign copies. Refreshments provided. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

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