Berkshire Family Fun: December 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 2017

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


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 Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, 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

Berkshire Arts And Technology Charter School. 1 Commercial Street.
Adams Visitor’s Center
. 3 Hoosac Street.
Adams Library
. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street.
Adams Lions Club
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum.
413-743-7121. 67 East Road.

CHESHIRE

FLORIDA

Abbot School. 56 North Country Road.

HANCOCK

Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 W Housatonic St. 413-443-0188

LANESBOROUGH

Bascom Lodge 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road.
Lanesborough Library — 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street.
Mt. Greylock — 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road.

MONTEREY

Bidwell House Museum – 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.
Ashintully — 413-298-3239. Sodom Road

NORTH ADAMS

Saturday, December 9, 3-4pm
STORYTIME/HISTORY
Revisit the nostalgia and warm of the classic American Christmas with dramatic readings from Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Story” and Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Both these works portray a childhood perspective of Christmas and evoke the rich tapestry of mid-century American life. Both Capote and Smith are quintessential American authors; Capote was one of the greatest 20th century American literary celebrities and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was massively popular, especially with American soldiers overseas during World War II. This event celebrates the impact of these writers on American literature and the memories of Christmases long-past. For more information visit the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Windsor Lake. Kemp Avenue and Bradley Street.
The Maker’s Mill. 100 Eagle Street.
DownStreet Art
. Main Street and downtown.
North Adams Farmers’ Market
413-664-6180. St. Anthony Drive & Route 8.
Western Gateway Heritage State Park 413-663-6312. 115 State Street.
North Adams Public Library 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street.
MASS MoCA 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way.
Haskins Community Center 413-664-4821. 210 State Street.
Natural Bridge State Park — 413-663-6392. McCauley Road.
Houghton Mansion 413-358-5239. 172 Church Street.

WILLIAMSTOWN

Friday, December 1, 10:15am
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
It can be challenging to be home with a new baby, especially in the winter. The Clark Art Institute is inviting parents to get out of the house and go do something fun with their infants at a special guided gallery tour! This event will be held in the permanent collection, where parents and their infants can explore the Clark’s amazing collection of European and American paintings and sculpture. Visit the Clark Art Institute for more details. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 2, 10am
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY WALK
The northern Berkshires kick off the holiday season with Williamstown’s Holiday Walk. Marking the 34nd year that this event has taken place, this year’s Holiday Walk will feature old-fashioned caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving, and a visit from the jolliest of holiday icons, Santa Claus. A special Reindog Parade will take place at 3pm, featuring furry four-legged friends wearing festive antlers and other holiday canine garb. New this year will be a Run with the Reindeer Fun Run at 9:30 m, holiday crafts for everyone, Souperbowl Chili and Soup Cook-Off featuring local restaurants, gingerbread cookie decorating, and an ice carving demonstration. For details on specific events and more information please visit Williamstown Chamber of Commerce. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 3, 3pm
MUSEUM/ART STUDIES
Considered one of the pillars of French Impressionism, American-born Mary Cassatt is perhaps best remembered for her powerful yet subtle portrayals of mothers with their children. Cassatt’s long collaborative relationship with Edgar Degas contributed to some of her innovative techniques, including her ground-breaking printmaking. The latter will be the subject of this lecture by Professor Emerita Nancy Mowll Mathews. Professor Mathews talk, entitled “Mary Cassatt’s Prints: Experiments in Understanding,” will focus on the ways that Cassatt’s printmaking work defined much of the Impressionist aesthetic. The lecture coincides with the Clark’s exhibit The Impressionist Line: From Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec. For more information visit the Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, December 9, 10am-12pm
ART STUDIES/CHILDREN
Early child development researchers have consistently emphasized the numerous benefits of creating art for young children. In addition to working fine motor skills and building creativity, art can improve neural functioning in young children and help create the groundwork for future learning in other subjects. As a collaborative, group activity, art can also greatly benefit children’s social and communication skills. This session of Clark Art Institute’s popular “Start with Art” program will focus on using movement as a theme around which to create art. It will also include a gallery talk designed for young children. For more information visit the Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 9, 4pm
HISTORY/CHRISTMAS
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a long-standing Christmas tradition with an amazing history. Begun in 1918 at the King’s College Chapel, Cambridge by a former army chaplain as a way to make Christmas worship more dynamic and exciting, this service combines readings from Genesis, the Gospels and choir singing and caroling. Ten years later the service was broadcast by the British Broadcast Corporation, which has aired the service every year since then, including, dramatically in the 1930s during the bombardment of Britain. During this period the beautiful stained-glass windows of the Chapel was removed and there was no heating in the building but the service and its broadcast continued. Now you can be a part of this tradition at Williams College, which has performed this service since the 1960. For more details see Williams College. Thompson Memorial Chapel. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 16, 1pm
BALLET/CHRISTMAS
When Tchaikovsky’s now-legendary ballet “The Nutcracker” debutted in Saint Petersburg in 1892, it was surprisingly unpopular. But since the 1960s it has become massively popular. In fact, up to 40% of the ticket revenue generated by contemporary ballet companies comes from performances of “The Nutcracker!” With Tchaikovsky’s captivating music and the magical dream-like libretto written by Prussian Romantic author E.T.A Hoffman, it’s easy to see why this ballet has become so famous. This holiday season attend a special screening of “The Nutcracker” performed by the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, shown in sparkling High Definition. And after the screening, stick around for an elegant tea party. For more information and to reserve tickets please visit the Clark Art Institute. The Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA ($)

Thursday, December 28, 1pm
THEATER/LITERARY STUDIES
As charming and playful as it it, the origin of J.M. Barrie’s classic 1904 play “Peter Pan” is heartbreakingly tragic. When Barrie’s older brother David died in an ice-skating accident the day before his 14th birthday, he became, in the thoughts and memories of Barrie and his mother, ‘the boy who would never grow up.’ In time, this served as the inspiration for the character of Peter Pan. Ever since the play debuted in London in 1904, it has been very popular and led to countless adaptations. This holiday season comes to a special screening of “Peter Pan” performed at the National Theatre of London and shown in High Definition. For more information and to order tickets please visit The Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA ($)

Friday, December 29, 10:30am
CULINARY STUDIES/WORKSHOP
Do you know a child who loves to cook or is interested in learning to cook? Cooking is an experiential way for children to learn and practice many skills, including basic math, building confidence, developing a refined palate, getting in touch with their senses, and eye-hand coordination! This fun workshop will teach kids how to make a variety of breakfast foods, including pancakes and french toast. For more information and to register please visit Clark Art Institute. Space is limited. This event is appropriate for children ages 5-10. Williamstown, MA ($$)

Milne Public Library 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street.
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road.
Clark Art Institute 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
Images Cinema. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street.
Sweet Brook Farm — 413-884-4246. 580 Oblong Road.
Williams College Museum of Art — 413-597-2376. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive.
Williamstown Youth Center — 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue.

WINDSOR

Notchview Reservation 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA.

 

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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
Jacob’s Pillow Dance. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

DALTON

Dalton Free Public Library 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street.
Crane Museum of Papermaking. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street.

HINSDALE

LEE

Spectrum Playhouse – 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street.
South Berkshire Kids – 413-464-5095. 100 Main Street.
Lee Library – 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street.

LENOX

Friday, December 1, 6pm
TREE LIGHTING/SANTA
Town tree lighting with Santa. Cookies & hot chocolate at the Community Center after tree lighting (with Santa – he’s coming too). Downtown shopping until 8pm. And for parents’ night out, a Santa Pub Crawl begins at 8pm. Lenox, MA (FREE/$)

Saturday, December 2, 2pm
CAROLING
Berkshire Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines will be caroling at the following 4 locations in Lenox; Visitors Center, Church on the Hill, Nejaimes Wine Cellar, and Church Street Cafe porch. Lenox, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, December 27, 3pm
LIVING HISTORY/TEATIME
The phrase “the gilded age” is borrowed from Mark Twain’s novel by the same name. For Twain, the phrase perfectly described a period in American history during which enormous social crises were disguised under a thin veneer of gold. Travel back to this elegant but troubled time with a living history performance by acclaimed actress Anne Undeland. Undeland will be portraying Mrs. George Morgan, sister-in-law to the infamous ‘robber baron’ J.P. Morgan. Mrs. Morgan will treat guests to a lavish and historically accurate tea party and tell stories about her time at the Ventfort Hall estate. For more information, please visit Ventfort Hall. Lenox, MA ($$)

Thursday, December 28, 3:30pm
THEATER/PUPPETRY
Acclaimed puppeteer Carl Sprague has been working with puppets since he inherited his great-grandfather’s handmade collection of wooden marionettes. Sprague’s work has appeared in films such as “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Age of Innocence.” Now Sprague brings his magic to the Ventfort Hall Mansion with a performance of the beloved folktale “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” After the show, audience members will have a chance to talk with Sprague about his incredible relationship with puppeteering. For more information, please visit Ventfort Hall. Lenox, MA ($)

Sunday, December 31, 6-7:30pm
NATURALIST STUDIES/OWLS
There is nothing more bewitching than the haunting call of the owl on a frosty moonlit night. It is a sound that resonates in our dreams and beckons us toward the other world. Because of their uncanny nature, owls have often been considered supernatural monsters or symbols of the underworld. Come explore forests, fields, and wetlands and learn all about the nocturnal predators that live and hunt in those environments. After the walk, warm up with tea and hot cocoa! For more information and to register, please visit Mass Audubon. Spaces are limited! Lenox, MA ($)

Lenox Community Center. 413-637-5530. 65 Walker Street.
Lenox Library — 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street.
Lenox Historical Society — Main Street.
The Mount – 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
– 472 West Mountain Road.
Shakespeare and Company – 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street.
Ventfort Hall – 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.

PERU

PITTSFIELD

Saturday, December 9, 11am
FAMILY PERFORMANCE
David Grover is a Berkshires favorite who led Arlo Guthrie’s band for many years. David has performed and written with many talented musicians, including Pete Seeger and Doc Watson. His ability to connect with people of all ages creates a powerful sense of unity, and is a rousing crowd-pleaser. David will be performing accompanied by his daughter Jessica on bass. 413-997-4444. The Garage at the Colonial Theatre. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 9, 7pm
THEATER/CHRISTMAS
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. 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 10, 2pm
THEATER/CHRISTMAS
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. 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. ($$)

Wednesday, December 13, 7pm
THEATER/CHRISTMAS
(Special Community and Sensory-Friendly Performance) 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. 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. ($$)

Thursday, December 14 & 15, 7pm
THEATER/CHRISTMAS
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. 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. ($$)

Saturday, December 16, 2pm
THEATER/CHRISTMAS
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. 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. ($$)

Tuesday, December 26, 9am-12pm
SELF DIRECTED LEARNING/ELECTRONICS
Are you interested in learning to work with LED lights and basic electronics? If so, this is the holiday event for you. LED stands for “light-emitting diode” and refers to a type of light source that is commonly used in traffic signals, advertising, and aviation lighting. At this exciting workshop, you will learn how to construct some basic LED holiday decorations. No electronics experience required. This event is appropriate for children grades 3-6. For more information and to reserve tickets, please visit Berkshire Museum. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Tuesday, December 26, 1pm
THEATER/MARIONETTES
When Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “The Firebird” debuted in 1910, it changed the world of classical music and ballet forever. For Stravinsky, a protege of renowned Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov, this was his breakthrough piece and catapulted him to stardom. Stravinsky’s novel combination of various Russian folktales and bold scenery created a new aesthetic for 20th-century ballet. Come see this classic story of a young prince and princess who try to save their kingdom with help from the magical firebird. This production is unlike any other with the use of marionettes, lavish costumes, and large puppets. For more information visit Berkshire Athenaeum. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, December 28, 3pm
ARCHITECTURE/LEGOS
The developmental benefits of playing with LEGOs has been well documented. In addition to improving teamwork, patience, and fine motor skills, LEGOs can also be a huge boost to creativity. Opening a box of LEGOs is like opening a door to a universe where anything can be created! This special session of LEGO club will also feature a film screening. For details please visit Berkshire Athenaeum. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Beacon Cinema. 413-358-4780. 57 North Street.
Wahconah Park. 105 Wahconah Street.
Berkshire Community College. 1350 West Street.
The Berkshire Athenaeum 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue.
Berkshire Humane Society 413-447-7878. 214 Barker Road.
Berkshire Lyric Theatre – 413-499-0258
Berkshire Museum – 413-443-7171 x10. 39 South Street.
Berkshire Music School — 413-442-1411. 30 Wendell Ave.
Colonial Theatre — 413-298-5576. 111 South Street.
Downtown Pittsfield Farmers’ Market. First Street.
First Friday Artswalk — Downtown.
Hancock Shaker Village – 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street.
Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Road.

RICHMOND

Hilltop Orchard — Route 295.

STOCKBRIDGE

Saturday, December 2, 11am
PLACEMAKING/CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
Norman Rockwell’s iconic New England Christmases of yesteryear come to life! All weekend long, the town of Stockbridge comes alive with holiday magic and the warm, comforting nostalgia of Norman Rockwell’s idyllic Americana. This festival celebrates the old fashioned joys and simple pleasures evoked by Rockwell’s painting of the town from 1967. Local residents are proud that little has changed in Stockbridge since then. Enjoy a tour of Stockbridge’s historical houses and buildings, bring the kids to storytime, and listen to some classic Christmas carols! Learn more at Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 9, 10am-2pm
NATURE STUDIES/DENDROLOGY
Which species of trees and shrubs play an important role in winter gardening. Identifying trees and shrubs in the wintertime carries with it some additional challenges, as plants adapt to the change in temperature and weather conditions. In this class, students will learn about bud and twig anatomy, bark structure, and plant architecture. For more information and to register please visit Berkshire Botanical Garden. Stockbridge, MA ($$)

Saturday, December 30, 1-4pm
LITERARY STUDIES/FAIRIES
Since 2003, when the Spiderwick Chronicles first burst onto the scene, it has delighted readers of all ages. Lovers of Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter will feel right at home in this world of fairies and magical creatures. This New York Times bestselling series has since expanded to more than half a dozen books and a movie adaptation. Now fans of this magical world will have the opportunity to meet and talk to authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Illustrator DiTerlizzi will also be doing a drawing demonstration! For more information please visit Norman Rockwell Museum. Stockbridge, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health. 57 Interlaken Road.
Naumkeag. 5 Prospect Hill.
Berkshire Botanical Garden 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road.
Chesterwood — 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road
Norman Rockwell Museum – 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183.
The Stockbridge Library, Museum, and Archives – 413-298-5501. 18 Main Street.

TYRINGHAM

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

WASHINGTON

WEST STOCKBRIDGE

West Stockbridge Public Library – 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road.

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South Berkshire

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

North Berkshire | Central Berkshire

Donate Now

Support Hilltown Families!

ALFORD

GREAT BARRINGTON

Triplex Cinema. 70 Railroad Street.
Lake Mansfield. 413-528-2810, ext. 30. Lake Mansfield Road.
Berkshire South Regional Community Center — 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road.
Great Barrington Historical Society — South Main Street.
The Guthrie Center — 413-644-9288. 2 Van Deusenville Road.
Great Barrington Riverwalk — Church and River Streets.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street.
Mason Library — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street.
South Berkshire Kids – 413-464-5095. 444 Old Stockbridge Road.

HOUSATONIC

Project Native – 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road.
Ramsdell Library – 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street.

MONTEREY

Bidwell House Museum — 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.

NEW MARLBOROUGH

Cookson State Forest — Hotchkiss Road.
New Marlborough Library — 413-664-0104. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road.

OTIS

Otis Cultural Council
Otis Library and Museum – 413-269-0109. 48 North Main Road.

SANDISFIELD

Saturday, December 9, 2pm
HOLIDAY FESTIVAL
The Sandisfield Arts Center traces its history back to the early 19th century when it was a baptist meeting house. It was later home to the only rural orthodox synagogue in Massachusetts for 75 years! It has since been reborn again as a community art center, which provides a space for members of the community to come together in good times and bad to create art, host performances, bake, and gather. This festival celebrates all the various winter holidays from around the world with arts and crafts, food, and singing. For more details please visit Sandisfield Arts Center. Sandisfield, MA (FREE)

SHEFFIELD

Wednesday, December 27, 7-9pm
ORNITHOLOGY/OWLS
“Who Who Who Cooks For You,” said the Barred Owl. Join the The Trustees at Bartholomew’s Cobble on this night time hike to learn all about the owls in our woods. Meet at the visitor’s center at 7pm and then head off into the fields and forests of the cobble to try and call the owls. This program is appropriate of anyone able to be quite for short periods of time as we try to call the owls to us. Flashlights strongly encouraged. 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA (>$)

Bushnell-Sage Library – 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street.
Bartholomew’s Cobble – 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road.
Sheffield Historical Society. 413-229-2694. 91 Main St.

 

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