Berkshire Family Fun: Summer 2019

Berkshire County Summer Highlights

“The Berkshires” refers to the highland region of Western Massachusetts west of the Connecticut River and lower Westfield River. The region is bordered by the Taconic Mountains, the valleys of the Hoosic River and Housatonic River and by the Hudson Highlands. Culturally, the region is a popular area for exploring art, learning about history and discovering the local, natural landscape. Particularly during the summer, the various Berkshire towns feature festivals, art shows, and events to enjoy. Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County this summer with our list below. We’ll be adding to this list as the summer progresses, so be sure to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter to keep up with what’s happening around the region.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

Jul 24 – Aug 10

Barrington Stage Company: Ragtag Theater’s Hansel and Gretel. Book by Sam Lafrage; Music and Lyrics by Lewis Flinn and Sam Lafrage. For ages 3 to 103, Ragtag Theatre Company (creators of the smash hits Cinderella and Rapunzel) is creating a hilarious, interactive, fractured musical version of the well-known fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, featuring Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre Company in Pittsfield, MA. This slap-happy, reimagined romp through this beloved fairy tale is guaranteed to be a great time for all! Dates: July 24–August 10. Contact: 413-236-8888. barringtonstageco.org



Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Tyringham, Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Northern Berkshire, 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

SELF-GUIDED TOUR/SCENIC BYWAYS: The Summer is a time that encourages time spent outdoors, so why not plan an excursion along one of the many Western Massachusetts scenic byways! Along the way, you can stop at different farm stands, take photographs of beautiful country views, take a hike, and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of our many vistas. (See September/October Season issue of Learning Ahead for a list of area vistas.) Scenic byways to explore can be found at www.bywayswestmass.com. While traveling these back roads, look for rivers and their tributaries and see if you can identify their impact on local history as you travel through different mill towns, taking the time to learn about the different manufacturing industries that resulted in the 19th-century industrial age. Note the architecture of the mill buildings, the infrastructure remnants of rail transportation, and the repurposing and transformation of spaces once used for industry. You’re sure to also encounter covered bridges, museums, historic districts, landmarks, and wooded landscapes while traveling, so plan accordingly and arrive feeling curious! Western MA.

ADAMS

Tuesday, June 25, 5pm – LITERACY/PERFORMANCE: Join the Adams Free Library and Danna Banana to celebrate “A Universe of Stories,” the Summer Reading Program which marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Danna Banana brings his usual wit and wackiness to all things Space-related in this year’s summer theme “A Universe of Stories.” Energetic and interactive, Danna Banana’s shows have been called “a piñata of listening pleasure” and “one big playdate to which everyone is invited.” Adams Free Library. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street, Adams MA.

Tuesday, July 16, 1pm – MAGIC: Join the Adams Free Library’s Summer Reading Program and Magic by Scott Jameson in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing with this year’s theme of “A Universe of Stories.” Join magician and juggler Scott Jameson for an extraordinary performance that will have you laughing out loud and perched on the very edge of your seat. Umbrellas will be plucked from thin air, a drawing will come to life, basketballs will be spun and juggled, and a member of the audience will unlock telekinetic abilities. Adams Free Library. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street, Adams MA.

Friday-Sunday, August 2-4 – RURAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life that have been cherished and passed on for generations. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture, local history, and a connection to place. The agricultural fair’s long-standing presence in New England history reminds people of the importance in gathering to celebrate and share, even during difficult times, in order to foster a sense of community and collaborative spirit. The Adams Agricultural Fair kicks off aggie fair season in northern Berkshire County! Check their schedule of family entertainment and learning opportunities! Adams Agricultural Fair. 371 Old Columbia St. Adams, MA.

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

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/MEMORIAL: Stafford Hill Memorial, located on Stafford Hill Road in Cheshire, MA, is a stone memorial that commemorates the grave site of Joab Stafford.  Originally from Rhode Island, Stafford settled in what is now Cheshire in 1767 and formed a militia company for the patriot army that fought in the battle of Bennington in August of 1777.  The memorial tower, constructed of fieldstone, was built and funded in 1928 by the local Sons of the American Revolution.  The beautiful drive to this historic site features views of pastoral countryside and mountainous views typical of the region.  At the site, visitors can see Stafford’s tomb stone which honors Stafford’s involvement in the Revolutionary War. Stafford Hill Memorial. 413-684-1730. Stafford Hill Rd, Cheshire, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 11am-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY/CHEESE: Do you know the story of Cheshire Mammoth Cheese, a gift from the town of Cheshire, MA, to President Thomas Jefferson in January 1802? Read more about it HERE, and then head over to the annual Cheshire Cheese Fest where the story comes to life. A “cheesy, fun-filled day” is perfect for kids, and pairings of local artisanal cheeses with wine, beer, and cider is a delicious treat for adults. A great placemaking event that celebrates local history, supports community connections, and explores the art of cheese and cheesemaking. Cheshire Elementary School, 191 Church Street, Cheshire, MA

FLORIDA

Abbot School. 56 North Country Road.

HANCOCK

 

LANESBOROUGH

Junior Ranger Program at Mount Greylock: Mount Greylock State Reservation will host a Junior Ranger program for children ages 8-12. The program is FREE and is held at Mount Greylock State Reservation, Pittsfield State Forest, Natural Bridge State Park and Western Gateway Heritage State Park on specific Thursdays in July and August from 10am-12noon. Space is limited to fifteen participants. All participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Junior Ranger program captures the imagination of young people through fun activities that grow future stewards of the environment. Work toward earning your Junior Ranger Patch and Certificate by attending programs and completing the activities in the Junior Ranger Activity Guide. Each week, participants will explore different topics that promote outdoor recreation and appreciation of the natural world. Led by Park Interpreters, Junior Ranger activities may also include easy hikes that explore the water, geology, climate, plants and animals at the respective parks. Children must wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Sturdy walking shoes, water, a snack, sun screen and insect repellent are recommended. Parents, guardians and siblings are encouraged to participate. Program sessions take place during a seven-week period where participants will meet at alternate parks that offer a unique theme and activity. Participants are required to attend a minimum of two programs (first and last) and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Guide to qualify for the Junior Ranger patch and certificate. 413-499-4262.

Saturday, July 6, 8-11am – ORNITHOLOGY: Birding the Berks Series – Thrushes & Warblers on Greylock Summit for life-long learners. The summit of Massachusetts’ highest peak is the ideal place to find birds nesting at high elevation spruce-fir forests and other natural communities. Seek out Greylock’s specialty species, including blackpoll warbler and Swainson’s thrush, while enjoying the morning’s symphony of the other wood warblers that breed on the slopes. This trip involves a two-to-three-mile hike on a moderately steep trail. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Friday, August 16, 8-9:30pm – STORYTELLING/CAMPFIRE: Join Park Interpreters Mike and Justin for a riveting evening of spooky ghost stories as you celebrate the mysteries of Mount Greylock with the Full “Sturgeon” Moon. Hear compelling tales, spine-tingling legends and colorful local folklore of forgotten characters and strange creatures that once inhabited these savage hills. Participants are encouraged to share their own stories and be prepared to suspend all disbelief. S’mores and marshmallows provided. An adult must accompany children under the age of 18. All ages welcome. Meet at the Visitor Center. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, August 21, 10am – MINDFULNESS/MOVEMENT: Mountain Mindfulness presents Chi and Aiki on the Mountain. Join Sensei Kim Rivers and Sifu Sher Mindermann for an experience of body-mind-nature harmony. They will lead folks in Aikido centering exercises and Tai Chi/Qigong movements. Both movements are designed to cultivate a strong body-mind connection and link to the greater whole of nature. Classes are designed to be accessible for all ages, levels, and abilities. Beginners welcome. Please wear comfortable clothes. This class is free and open to the public. An adult must accompany children. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 11am-1pm – GUIDED WALK/LOCAL HISTORY: Join Park Interpreter Mike as you explore the forgotten site of the former 1930s-Era Civilian Conservation Corps work Camp (CCC) on Sperry Road in the “Heart of Greylock.” Buried deep inside the park’s primitive camping area, folks will discover the remnants of Company 107, Camp SP-7 of the First Corps. For seven years (1933-1941) this was home to thousands of “boys,” young men ages 17-25, who lived in barracks, earned a dollar a day working on projects throughout the mountain, and enjoyed a variety of recreational activities in their off-hours. This easy walk will retrace the story of the camp recruits and features archaeological artifacts. Walking distance is approx. 1 mile. All ages are welcome. An adult must accompany children under age 18. Meet at the CCC Dynamite Trail parking area on Rockwell Road, 5.5-miles north of the Visitor Center in Lanesborough. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, August 28, 10am – MINDFULNESS/OUTDOOR YOGA: Join in for a relaxing meditative outdoor experience at scenic Mount Greylock. Soothe your mind, body, and spirit with easy yoga exercises that infuse elements of forest bathing practices and stimulating physical activity. Classes are designed to be accessible for all ages, levels, and abilities. Beginners welcome! If you have a mat, please bring it, if not there might be extras to use. Wear comfortable clothes. Rain cancels. This class is free and open to the public. Meet at the Visitor Center. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

 

Bascom Lodge 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road.
Lanesborough Library — 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street.
Mt. Greylock: The tallest peak in Massachusetts and a part of the Appalachian Trail, Mount Greylock’s summit stands at 3,491 feet. The mountain is Massachusetts’ first wilderness state park, acquired in 1898. There are different ways to reach the summit with a landscape that continuously changes as you ascend. At the top, hikers are greeted by a beautiful boreal forest featuring spruce and balsam fir as well as old growth. The misty clouds that hang around the mountain’s peak, imparting an ethereal or mystical feel, inspired Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, to set her next wizardry story in North America atop Mount 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

Northern Berkshire county has a rich history with the construction of many mills in the 19th century that doubled some of the towns’ populations. The North Adams and Adams Historical Societies can provide history buffs with more information regarding the county’s stories, mills, and early settlements. The North Adams Historical Society includes the Museum of History and Science.

Interested in railroad history and the local landscape? The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum offers the Hoosac Valley train service from North Adams to Adams. These rides offer beautiful views of Mount Greylock and the Hoosac Valley and provide onboard interpretation of railroad history in the region. Visitors can also visit the museum, based in Lenox. For more information on this season’s train service schedule visit www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com.

Mass MoCA: The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is located in a converted factory building in North Adams. It is one of the largest facilities for contemporary visual and performing art

SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Then check out a home baseball game with the SteepleCats (visit their website for summer schedule)! Joe Wolfe Field. 310 State Street. North Adams, MA.

GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: The Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams is the only natural white marble arch in North America! The rock which forms the bridge is estimated 550 million year old bedrock marble. The arch itself was created by thousands of years of glacial melt water. Come experience the awe-inspiring majesty of this incredible local treasure with a short walking discussion of the geological forces that created this unique site. For more information visit Natural Bridge State Park. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA (FREE)

The Family Center of Northern Berkshire County Summer 2019 Book Mobile Schedule:

  • Hancock Elementary School – July 26 and August 23 10:00-10:30 am
  • Mohawk Forest – July 15 and Aug. 22 11:00-11:30 am
  • Clarksburg Elementary School – July 23 & Aug. 20 10:00-10:30 am
  • Greylock Apartments, N. Adams – July 23 & Aug. 20 10:45-11:15 am
  • Monroe Town Hall Parking Lot – July 9 and August 6 11:00 – 11:30 am
  • Gabriel Abbott School in Florida – July 9 & August 6 12:00- 12:30 pm
  • Cheshire Public Library – July 16 and August 13 11:00-11:30 am
  • Hoosac Valley Elementary, Adams – July 18 & Aug. 12 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Emma Miller School in Savoy – July 18 and Aug. 12th 1:00-1:30 pm
  • Brayton Hill Apts. – July 22 and Aug. 19 3:00-3:30 pm

Dusk – OUTDOOR FILM/PLACEMAKING: Movies Under the Stars at Colegrove Park, a free monthly movie. North Church Street, North Adams MA:

  • Friday, June 21: E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Free, approx. 8:30 PM (dusk)
  • Friday, July 26: Trolls, Free, approx. 8:30 PM (dusk)
  • Friday, August 23: The Goonies, Free, approx. 8:00 PM (dusk)
  • Friday, September 27: The Wizard of Oz, Free, approx. 7:30PM (dusk)

Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm – LIVE MUSIC/PLACEMAKING: Concerts at Windsor Lake, a free concert series taking place at one of the most beautiful spots in the city, and feature great local talent. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing are all allowed at the lake. Very family friendly. Intersection of Bradley Street & Kemp Ave. North Adams, MA.

Wednesdays, June 5, 12, 19, 26, 10-11am – WILDLIFE: Different themes each week: 6/5: Botany Walk; 6/12: Bird Walk; 6/19: Wildlife Walk; AND 6/26: Mushroom Walk. Join the park interpreter for a gentle, 3/5 mile walk on the Nature Trail. Observe natural features and get light exercise. Discuss the weekly theme and identify flora and fauna. There may also be a spontaneous discussion on the natural and cultural history of the park. The trail is mostly flat with some uneven surfaces (roots and rocks). All ages and abilities are welcome. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring a water bottle. Meet at the Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Steeple Cats Baseball Season: Home Games. Joe Wolfe Field. 413-398-4060. 310 State Street, North Adams MA.

  • Wednesday, June 5: SteepleCats v Sanford @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Friday, June 7: SteepleCats v Winnipesaukee @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, June 9: SteepleCats v Upper Valley @ Joe Wolfe Field, 6$3-7, :00 PM
  • Tuesday, June 11: SteepleCats v Valley @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Saturday, June 15: SteepleCats v Vermont @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Monday, June 17: SteepleCats v Vineyard @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, June 19: SteepleCats v Vermont @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, June 23: SteepleCats v Upper Valley @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7,6:00 PM
  • Wednesday, June 26: SteepleCats v Sanford @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Saturday, June 29: SteepleCats v Keene @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday, July 2: SteepleCats v Valley @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, July 4: SteepleCats v Vermont @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Friday, July 5: SteepleCats v Ocean State @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 7: SteepleCats v Winnipesaukee @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Friday, July 12: SteepleCats v Valley @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Saturday, July 13: SteepleCats v Mystic @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 14: SteepleCats v Danbury @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, July 20: SteepleCats v Winnipesaukee @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, July 24: SteepleCats v Keene @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Friday, July 26: SteepleCats v Upper Valley @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Saturday, July 27: SteepleCats v New Bedford @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 28: SteepleCats v Keene @ Joe Wolfe Field, $3-7, 6:00 PM

Fridays, June 21, 28, 11am-12pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Kidleidoscope: 6/21: Birds; 6/28: Frogs. Geared for children 3-5, but all ages welcome. Guided nature-themed lesson or story, followed by a game or craft. Bring your lunch to enjoy in the picnic area before or after the program. Meet at the Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Thursday, June 27, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/ART FESTIVAL: MCLA’s DownStreet Art. Downtown art festival, including monthly gallery openings, street performances, and public artworks. Various locations throughout downtown North Adams MA. 413-662-5253

Saturdays, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 10am and 12pm – NATURAL HISTORY: Natural Bridge History Tour. Easy walking tour for all ages. Discover the mystery of Natural Bridge State Park. Guided discovery with short stories that makes this park so unique! 30-45 minute duration. Meet at the Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Sundays, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 10am and 2pm – NATURAL HISTORY: Natural Bridge History Tour. Easy walking tour for all ages. Discover the mystery of Natural Bridge State Park. Guided discovery with short stories that makes this park so unique! 30-45 minute duration. Meet at the Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Sundays, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 12 noon – HUMAN HISTORY: Building the Bridge. What were the natural forces that formed the unique landforms in the park? Uncover the human forces that altered them. 30-45 minute duration. Meet at the Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Wednesdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 10-11am – NATURE BASED LEARNING/GUIDED WALKS: Nice n’ Easy Walk. Different topics each week! Join the park interpreter for a gentle, 3/5 mile walk on the Nature Trail or at different locations in the park. Observe natural features and get light exercise. Discuss the weekly topic and identify flora and fauna. There may also be a spontaneous discussion on the natural and cultural history of the park. Trail is mostly flat with some uneven surfaces (roots and rocks). All ages and abilities are welcome. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring a water bottle. Meet at the Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Thursday, July 4, 2-4pm – GEOLOGY/NATURAL HISTORY:  Discovery Table: Creatures of the Ancient Sea.Discover the sea creatures of the Cambrian Explosion, whose skeletons began to create the white marble in this park 550 million years ago! Stop by the park interpreter’s discovery table to learn about these ancient animals that look drastically different than today. Fun for all ages! Located in the main Natural Bridge area. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Thursday, July 4, Dusk/9:30ish – FIREWORKS/BASEBALL: North Adams Fourth of July Fireworks after SteepleCats Game. Celebrate the nation’s independence at this local fireworks display, which takes place after the North Adams SteepleCats baseball game. Joe Wolfe Field, 310 State Street, North Adams MA.

Fridays, July 5, 12, 19, 26, 11am-12noon – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Kidleidoscope. Geared for children 2-5, but all ages welcome. Guided lesson or story, followed by a game or craft featuring a different nature topic each week. Bring your lunch to enjoy in the picnic area before or after the program. Meet at Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Saturdays, July 6, 13, 20, 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Natural Bridge History Tour. Easy walking tour for all ages. Discover the mystery of Natural Bridge State Park. Guided discovery with short stories that makes this park so unique! 30-45 minute duration. Meet at Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Saturdays, July 6, 13, 20, 2-4pm – SENSORY LEARNING/NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Discovery Table. Themes alternate. Located in the main Natural Bridge area. Visit the park interpreter’s discovery table with a different topic each time. Located outside of the Natural Bridge area. Get a glimpse into the lives of native plants and animals, geology, and natural and cultural history. Discovery table is FREE to enjoy, parking fee applies. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Sundays, July 7, 14, 21, 28, 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Natural Bridge History Tour. Easy walking tour for all ages. Discover the mystery of Natural Bridge State Park. Guided discovery with short stories that makes this park so unique! 30-45 minute duration. Meet at Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Sundays, July 7, 14, 21, 28 , 12noon – GEOLOGY: Building the Bridge. What were the natural forces that formed the unique landforms in the park? Uncover the human forces that altered them. 30-45 minute duration. Meet at Visitor Center. DCR Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA

Saturday, July 13, 3:30-10pm – BEACH PARTY/PLACEMAKING: North Adams 21st Annual Eagle St. Beach Party. Literally tons of sand are trucked in to create a beach over 3 hours away from the nearest ocean! 3:30-6pm For the first portion of the event, children and families play in the sand. For the second portion, 7-10pm, there will be an adult Fiesta, complete with cash bar on the beach, and live music. Get a sitter for the evening and enjoy a parents’ night out! Free. (Rain Date: July 20). Eagle Street between Center Street and Main Street, North Adams, MA

Saturday, July 20, 10am – LITERARY HISTORY/HIKE: In July of 1844, the year before Henry David Thoreau lived at and wrote about his experience at Walden Pond, his famous account of rugged individualism and living simply; he sauntered from Concord to Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. Follow in the footsteps of this American naturalist and writer during a guided hike to the summit of Mount Greylock. Local scholar and environmentalist Lauren Stevens guides this program, retracing Thoreau’s ascent of the mountain. The hike is enlivened with visits to actual locations including insights and interpretation to his experience from excerpts in the account of this event, as recorded by Thoreau in his book “A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.” Hikers have options for 5 miles one-way or complete 9.5-mile routes. Upper sections of the Bellows Pipe Trail are strenuous. Participants should be prepared for the trail and weather conditions. Sturdy hiking footwear is recommended. Bring your lunch, snack, and adequate water. Drinking water and restrooms are available only at the summit. Trail maps and resource materials are provided. Participants should meet at the Mount Greylock State Reservation, Notch Road gate parking lot, 300 feet up from the intersections of Reservoir and Notch Roads, off Route 2 in North Adams. 413-499-4262. Recommended for ages teen to adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Thursday, July 25, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/ART FESTIVAL: MCLA’s DownStreet Art. Downtown art festival, including monthly gallery openings, street performances, and public artworks. Various locations throughout downtown North Adams MA. 413-662-5253

Wednesday, August 14, 5:30-9pm – PLACEMAKING/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: North Adams 23rd Annual Downtown Celebration. An outdoor festival/community expo featuring vendors, food, music, performances, and more. Rain date: August 15. Free. 413-664-6180. Downtown North Adams, MA.

Sunday, August 25, 9am-3pm – PLACEMAKING/TRANSPORTATION: Motorama! Car Show, featuring food, fun, classic cars, and live music. Main, Holden and Eagle streets will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic as downtown North Adams fills with cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors, food, swap meet and more! Anything with a motor is welcome. (Rain date: Saturday, August 31) Downtown North Adams, MA .

Thursday, August 29, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/ART FESTIVAL:  MCLA’s DownStreet Art. Downtown art festival, including monthly gallery openings, street performances, and public artworks. Various locations throughout downtown North Adams MA. 413-662-5253

Sunday, October 6, 1pm: – PLACEMAKING/PARADE:Come celebrate community and the coming fall with the
North Adams Annual Children’s Parade. This event is part of North Adams’ weeklong Fall Foliage Festival, featuring a wide variety of events and activities. All children from the Northern Berkshires are invited to dress up and join a themed parade! And don’t forget to check out all exciting Fall Foliage Festival events. Main Street, 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.
SteepleCats. Joe Wolfe Field. 310 State Street. North Adams, MA.

SAVOY

Savoy Mountain State Forest: Over 50 miles of tranquil wooded trails to hike with spectacular natural features and scenic views.

WILLIAMSTOWN

Thursday, June 20, 5 pm – ART STUDIES: The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) will host an opening celebration to launch WCMA Summer Space on Spring Street officially. The event is free and open to the public. Summer Space is a place for visitors to gather, shop, and see works from WCMA’s WALLS collection, a special collection of original artworks that go on loan to Williams students every semester. Summer Space is free of charge and opens daily from 11 am to 6 pm through September 2 while the museum’s permanent home in Lawrence Hall is closed for renovations. The opening celebration will include complimentary food and drinks, live music, and the opportunity to make and take home a free button featuring one of the WALLS works on display. The main WCMA galleries in Lawrence Hall will reopen Friday, September 6, with an exciting lineup featuring Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., a critically acclaimed exhibition co-curated by Williams College professor C. Ondine Chavoya. Williams College Museum of Art. 413-597-2376. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

Summer Events at The Clark:

Sunday, July 7, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Summer Family Day at the Clark! Celebrate four extraordinary exhibitions with a day of fun for all ages. Acrobatic performances with Nimble Arts, a cappella concerts by Eight Tracks, figure sculpting, tote bag printing, face painting, bubbles, artist demonstrations, and more! Gallery admission and most activities are free; snacks and refreshments available for purchase. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 7pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College’s Department of Astronomy will host a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon landing with a talk and film screening in Wege Auditorium. This event is free and open the public. Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy Jay Pasachoff will open the celebration with a discussion on his experience at Cape Canaveral for the launch of Apollo 17, the last crewed mission to the moon, and share his photos from the historic event. He will also discuss the current state of lunar science and show a recent animated mapping of the moon from the NASA spacecraft Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Following Pasachoff’s talk, a screening of the recent documentary Apollo 11 will be shown at 8 p.m. in collaboration with Williams College senior Connor Marti ’20. In addition, if weather permits, Kevin Flaherty, lecturer in astronomy, will offer visitors a view of the moon through telescopes from the roof of the college’s Thompson Physics and Astronomy Laboratory.

Thursday, July 25 – August 15, 8pm – ASTRONOMY/OBSERVATORY: Williams College hosts the return of planetarium shows at the Old Hopkins Observatory beginning Thursday, July 25. Hosted by the college’s Hopkins Observatory, in collaboration with the Department of Astronomy, the free shows at the Milham Planetarium, located inside the Old Hopkins Observatory historic building at Williams College, will be open to the public on the following Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 p.m.: July 25 and 30; and August 1, 6, 8, 13, and 15. Audiences will be treated to shows from the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/C opto-mechanical planetarium projector, installed in 2005. Shows will last approximately 50 minutes. The Zeiss Skymaster is capable of demonstrating phenomena including: retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, the mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, the Southern Hemisphere’s sky, comets, artificial satellites, and much more. The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-38 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Reservations are required. Contact Michele Rech at (413) 597-2188 or mcr4@williams.edu to make a reservation. Others will be admitted as space permits. Large groups should call for special appointments. The Hopkins Observatory is on a small hill on the south side of Main Street east of Spring Street in Williamstown and just east of Lawrence Hall Drive, on which planetarium patrons share parking with the Williams College Museum of Art. A campus map showing the Hopkins Observatory’s location can be found at www.williams.edu/map or at 829 Main Street, Williamstown, Mass., in http://google.com/maps.

Sunday, August 11, 11am-3pm – PLACEMAKING/COUNTRY FAIR: Hay Day Fair at the Williamstown Historical Museum. Bring the family to an old-fashioned small-town country fair with traditional and colonial games for all ages, craft demonstrations, a bake sale, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Williamstown Historical Museum. 413-458-2160. 32 New Ashford Road, Williamstown, MA.

SELF-GUIDED HISTORIC WALKING TOURS: The Williamstown Historical Museum offers resources to support self-guided historic tours of Williamstown and South Williamstown. A town rich in historic sites, WHM offers a detailed reference map to use to tour the area by foot and vehicle, acquainting participants with the story of local cemeteries, historic homes, sites of historical significance, and much more. Download your map for free at www.williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org. Williamstown, MA.

Clark Art Institute: The Clark features a collection of European and American art from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. The museum has a particularly rich collection of French Impressionist paintings as well as the works of American artists Winslow Homer, George Inness and John Singer Sargent.

Field Farm: A 316-acre reservation with four miles of trails that wander through fields, gardens, modern sculptures and incredible mountain vie

Williams College Museum of Art: A part of Williams College, WCMA’s mission is to offer “dynamic art experiences to incite new thinking about art, museums and the world.” The museum holds over 15,000 works of art, including paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper.

Williamstown Theatre Festival: Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has engaged audiences each season with innovative productions and a variety of public programming.

Milne Public Library. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA.
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA.
Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA.
Images Cinema. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA.
Sweet Brook Farm. 413-884-4246. 580 Oblong Road.
Williams College Museum of Art. 413-597-2376. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.
Williamstown Historical Museum. 413-458-2160. 32 New Ashford Road, Williamstown, MA.
Williamstown Youth Center. 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue. Williamstown, MA.

WINDSOR

Notchview Reservation: Renowned for its Nordic skiing during the winter, Notchview also hosts an incredible trail system for summer outdoor explorations, trail running, and stargazing. Some of the best stargazing in the state!. 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA.

 

Storytime with Goats! Cuddle with two French Alpine goats, Daisy & Aster, at Notchview in Windsor. Kids and their caregivers will sit on bales of hay with Notchview’s goat friends for a morning storytime followed by goat brushing, feeding, and snacks in the lodge. Storytime with Goats takes place every Tuesday in June from 10-11am and is recommended for ages 3-5. Please email acaluori@thetrustees.org to register. Cost: Member Adult: $Free; Member Child: $3; Nonmember Adult: $Free; Nonmember Child: $6. Notchview is a property of The Trustees of Reservations and located at 83 Old Route 9, Windsor, MA.

 

Teen Hiking Club with The Trustees of Reservations at Notchview! On Friday, June 28 from 10am-1pm, teens ages 13-16 are invited to join in a FREE monthly summer hiking club meeting at the Budd Visitor Center before traveling out to hike Notchview’s beautiful trails. After the hike, participants will head back to the lodge for a snack and work on a Notchview service project. For more information, email Andrea at acaluori@thetrustees.org. To register, click here. Notchview is a property of The Trustees of Reservations and located at 83 Old Route 9, Windsor, MA.

Suggest Event


Central Berkshire

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

North Berkshire | South Berkshire

SELF-GUIDED TOUR/SCENIC BYWAYS: The Summer is a time that encourages time spent outdoors, so why not plan an excursion along one of the many Western Massachusetts scenic byways! Along the way, you can stop at different farm stands, take photographs of beautiful country views, take a hike, and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of our many vistas. (See September/October Season issue of Learning Ahead for a list of area vistas.) Scenic byways to explore can be found at www.bywayswestmass.com. While traveling these back roads, look for rivers and their tributaries and see if you can identify their impact on local history as you travel through different mill towns, taking the time to learn about the different manufacturing industries that resulted in the 19th-century industrial age. Note the architecture of the mill buildings, the infrastructure remnants of rail transportation, and the repurposing and transformation of spaces once used for industry. You’re sure to also encounter covered bridges, museums, historic districts, landmarks, and wooded landscapes while traveling, so plan accordingly and arrive feeling curious! Western MA.

BECKET

Every Wednesday-Saturday, June 27-Augut 24, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Check their website for performance schedule. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm,  a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Monday, July 15, 7:30-10pm – CANOEING: Moonlight Canoe Trip for ages 10+. Twilight is an amazing time to listen and look for wildlife. Beavers, owls, loons, and other wildlife are all possible to spot at Buckley Dunton Lake in October Mountain State Forest. Stealthily explore the coves and inlets of this beautiful lake, then hitch your boats together to enjoy refreshments while listening for nocturnal wildlife sounds. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Buckley Dunton Lake, Becket, MA.

Sunday, July 21, 8:30-11:30am – CANOEING: Canoeing October Mountain State Forest for ages 10+. Herons, loons, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings on this large, secluded lake in October Mountain State Forest. Explore the coves and intlets before paddling ashore to enjoy a snack, visit forest plant communities, and search for signs of animals such as porcupines and moose. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Buckley Dunton Lake, Becket, MA.

DALTON

Wednesday, June 5 – Sunday, June 9, CARNIVAL: Dalton Carnival.  Fireworks on Friday and Saturday night at dusk. Dalton American Legion. 258 North St, Dalton, MA.

  • Wednesday 6/5 6-10pm
  • Thursday 6/6 6-10pm
  • Friday 6/7 6-11pm
  • Saturday 6/8 12-11pm
  • Sunday 6/9 12-5pm

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

The Montessori School of the Berkshires. Lenox Dale, MAMontessori School of the Berkshires inspires children to develop independent thinking, self-assurance, inner discipline, and a love of learning in an authentic Montessori environment. Serving children aged 15 months through grade 8 on 40 wooded acres, MSB supports each child’s innate curiosity and helps them to develop focus and motivation, and to embrace collaboration and cooperation. Engaging materials, designed for Dr. Montessori’s methods of hands-on learning through all senses, are continually adapted to meet each child’s needs, interests, and development so they are best prepared for the next level of education. Open 7:30 am to 3:00 pm; extended coverage until 5:30. More at: info@berkshiremontessori.org, 413-637-3662, www.BerkshireMontessori.org.”

NATURE STUDIES/HEALTH AND WELLNESS: 19th century Danish existentialist Soren Kierkegaard once wrote “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” Indeed, there are few things as salubrious as a good walk, particularly in a natural setting. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the woods around Pleasant Valley in Lenox and treat yourself to a morning of gentle peace and balance. Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA

MUSIC STUDIES: The home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood offers a variety of musical performances each summer season that feature both the orchestra and other guest artists. There are different musical genres offered: classical as well as rock and jazz for concert-goers to experience. At Tanglewood, audience members have the option to purchase lawn tickets and bring their own picnic to share on a blanket while listening to the music under the stars. Attending a concert at Tanglewood is also an opportunity to explore the Southern Berkshires and the town of Lenox, MA. A vibrant community during the summer time, visitors can walk through the historic downtown, explore different dining options, or hike the public trails at Kennedy Park in Lenox, MA. Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St. Lenox, MA.

Most Saturdays at 9:30am & Sundays at 12noon – MUSIC STUDIES/SYMPHONY: Kids’ Corner at Tanglewood is designed to provide a child-friendly experience for families attending BSO Rehearsals or concerts on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons at Tanglewood. Located in a grassy area near the Tanglewood Visitors Center, it offers children’s activities that connect to music in a casual, drop-in atmosphere. Children accompanied by adults may take part in musical and crafts activities supervised by BSO staff. Tickets to the Sunday concert or Saturday-morning rehearsal are required. Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St. Lenox, MA.

Select Sundays, 1pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Watch and Play is a free program for children attending the Sunday afternoon BSO concerts designed to engage children ages 3-10 in Tanglewood’s musical experience. Taking place on select Sundays, musicians present an interactive concert designed to teach children about musical concepts, instruments and concert themes. Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St. Lenox, MA.

Fridays at 2:30pm & Sundays at 11am: MUSIC STUDIES: Tanglewood pre-concert talks happen at the library with Dr. Jeremy Yudkin, Professor of Music at Boston University. Free and open to all. Great way to support music studies. No experience necessary. Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA.

Wednesdays, June 12-October 16, 6:30-8pm – NATURAL HISTORY/BEAVERS: Did you know that during the 17th century the Roman Catholic Church ruled that for the purposes of dietary laws, beavers should technically be considered as a species of fish? This ruling meant that the ordinary prohibition on meat consumption on Fridays did not extend to beaver meat. Beavers, the second largest rodent in the world, are probably best known for nature’s engineers with their amazing ability to alter their environment by constructing dams and lodges. These structures serve a number of important functions for beavers, including protection from predators and storing food for the winter. Spend an evening searching for beavers and learning all about these industrious critters at Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley. Participants will learn about thier natural history and contribution to changing our local landscape ater being reintroduced to the area in the mid-1900’s. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, June 8, 8am-2pm – FOOD/RHUBARB FESTIVAL: This time of year farm stands all over the area are selling rhubarb. A local delicacy, rhubarb has been enjoyed all over the world for thousands of years in both sweet and savory dishes. In China, rhubarb has also been prized for its medicinal properties. For most people, the most common application of rhubarb is paired with strawberries in crumbles or pies. Many 19th century cookbooks even refer to rhubarb as the ‘pie plant.’ Come learn all about things you can do with rhubarb and taste some delicious sweet and savory rhubarb dishes at the Annual Lenox Rhubarb Festival. Plants and cookbooks will also be available for sale. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA (<$)

Wednesdays, June 12-September 4, 7:30-9:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/LITERARY STUDIES:Edith Wharton once described the human psyche as “a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” It’s easy to imagine that this description was inspired by Wharton’s country estate in Lenox. The Mount was home to Wharton and her husband for nine years, as her husband Edward sought to recover from an acute depressive episode. Over the years the Mount has developed a reputation for paranormal activity, a subject which occupied Wharton since her childhood. She wrote that as a little girl she was “haunted by formless horrors” and went on to write her own highly acclaimed ghost stories. According to some locals, Wharton’s restless spirit continues to wander the halls and corridors of the Mount. If you dare, come participate in a Haunted Tour of the Mount, and perhaps you’ll have a chance to see the lady of the house herself! This event is appropriate for ages 12 and above. The Mount. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA ($$)

Tuesday, June 18, 4pm – WORLD HISTORY/EGYPT: Egyptomania at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. Recognized as a foremost Egyptologist, Dr. Bob Brier (“Mr. Mummy”) will examine the fascination with the ancient world along the Nile and the events that fanned the flames of “Egyptomania” including Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign that led to a new decorative arts trend, the Suez Canal Big Dig, the carting of gigantic obelisks to Paris, London and New York and the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The speaker will also present images of the collectibles inspired by this rage. Best for lifelong and self-directed learners. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 4pm – NAUTICAL HISTORY: Tragic Story of the Majestic Normandie Ocean Liner at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. A child with happy memories of crossing the Atlantic on ocean liners with his parents, author René Silvin will focus on the subject of his latest book the Normandie: The Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner. The French Line’s glorious and glamorous flagship first set sail from Le Havre on May 29, 1935, and died an inglorious death on February 10, 1942, at a New York dock on the Hudson River, two months after Pearl Harbor and with war raging throughout Europe. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, June 29, 5pm – MURDER MYSTERY/DINNER THEATER: Murder Maiden in China. Gertrude Ingrid Josephine Mattel, a.k.a GI Jo is running the Maiden China Toy Co. since the passing of her beloved father. She’s a hated dictator with enemies. Her husband, Lou Zerr, is hen-pecked. Her assistant, C. Alice Knightly, is an office slave. Goldie Digger, Lou’s “secretary” can’t stand Jo. Charlie Brown III of “This Side UP” delivery service is the brunt of name calling. Someone gets so sick of her that she ends up in permanent retirement. Murder Maiden in China offers audiences the opportunity to experience theater in a new and exciting way. While enjoying a delicious dinner, patrons will have fun figuring out who done Jo in! Reservations required by June 26. The dinner theater will be held in Ventfort Hall at the Gilded Age Museum, 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, July 2, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, July 3, 9am-4pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING/WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Berkshire County residents are invited to visit Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for free! Explore seven miles of beautiful trails and learn about their nature education programs for all ages. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Thursday, July 4, 6:30pm-9pm – WATERSHED/CANOEING: Housatonic Evening Paddle for ages 10+. Evening is the perfect time to look for wildlife. Leisurely explore the rich wetland of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in the hours before dusk, find a cove to come together in, and enjoy refreshments while listening and watching for wildlife. Kingfishers, herons, muskrats, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA..

Friday, July 5, 9:30am-12:30pm: GUIDED HIKE: Lenox Mountain: Taconic Range & Richmond Pond Views. Ascend Lenox Mountain with an experienced guide and enjoy several vistas including the sweeping summit view. Hike via Trail of the Ledges and/or Overbrook Trail on a three-mile round-trip trek through northern hardwood and hemlock forest for an elevation gain of 840 feet. Along the way, look for signs of wildlife and learn about plant communities and human history at Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 5, 4:30-6pm – ZOOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Beavers, Birds, & Other Wildlife. Life-long learners explore the gentle trails at Pleasant Valley with an experienced guide. Search for evidence of (and hopefully see!) wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more as you hike around the rich pond and stream ecosystems that form the heart of the sanctuary. Along the way, learn about plant communities and the dynamic history of Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 8:30-11:30am – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing the Housatonic River for families with children ages 10+. This leisurely paddle will take folks through the ecologically rich Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lenox. Watch for swallows, herons, kingfishers, muskrats, and signs of beavers along the scenic and meandering Housatonic River and learn about why the waterway is the natural heart of the Berkshires. Please support their efforts of reducing plastic waste by bringing a reusable water bottle. Registration is required.Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 4-5:30pm – ECOLOGY/ZOOLOGY: Animals A to Z for families. Dig-in with bugs, tadpoles, frogs, and salamanders! Together, search the muck, weeds, forests, and fields for the many wild things that live at Pleasant Valley. You will be looking for all the critters, from ants to zooplankton. Families are invited to bring a picnic and stay longer and enjoy the evening if they wish. Bring boots or water shoes. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Sunday, July 7, 8:30am-12noon – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing Upper & Lower Goose Ponds for ages 10+. Explore the coves and marshes of one of the Berkshires’ most beautiful lakes. Paddle across Lower Goose Pond to pristine Upper Goose Pond in search of eagles, herons, and kingfishers. Please support their efforts of reducing plastic waste by bringing your own water reusable water bottle. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Tuesday, July 9, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, July 10, 6:30-8pm – ZOOLOGY/BEAVERS: Evening at the Beaver Ponds for families. Visit their beaver ponds with a naturalist, and search for beavers and other animals attracted to these rich wetlands. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change the valley’s landscape 85 years after their reintroduction to the area. Be prepared to walk to the lower beaver pond. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Thursday, July 11, 6:30pm-9pm – WATERSHED/CANOEING: Housatonic Evening Paddle for ages 10+. Evening is the perfect time to look for wildlife. Leisurely explore the rich wetland of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in the hours before dusk, find a cove to come together in, and enjoy refreshments while listening and watching for wildlife. Kingfishers, herons, muskrats, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 12, 10am-12noon – GARDENING/NATIVE SPECIES: Growing Beautiful Native Gardens for life-long learners. Explore the native plants and pollinator garden at Pleasant Valley, where a mix of flowers, ferns, and shrubs provide essential food and shelter for native insects and birds. Master gardeners will share their experience with native plants that grow well in home gardens and landscaping. Learn which plants are well-suited to your site and discover sources for acquiring native plants. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 12, 4:30pm-6pm – ZOOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Beavers, Birds, & Other Wildlife. Life-long learners explore the gentle trails at Pleasant Valley with an experienced guide. Search for evidence of (and hopefully see!) wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more as you hike around the rich pond and stream ecosystems that form the heart of the sanctuary. Along the way, learn about plant communities and the dynamic history of Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 4-5:30pm – ECOLOGY/ZOOLOGY: Animals A to Z for families. Dig-in with bugs, tadpoles, frogs, and salamanders! Together, search the muck, weeds, forests, and fields for the many wild things that live at Pleasant Valley. You will be looking for all the critters, from ants to zooplankton. Families are invited to bring a picnic and stay longer and enjoy the evening if they wish. Bring boots or water shoes. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Sunday, July 14, 8:30-11:30am – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing the Housatonic River for ages 10+. This leisurely paddle will take folks through the ecologically rich Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lenox. Watch for swallows, herons, kingfishers, muskrats, and signs of beavers along the scenic and meandering Housatonic River and learn about why the waterway is the natural heart of the Berkshires.
Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. New Lenox Road, Lenox, MA

Tuesday, July 16, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Thursday, July 18, 6:30pm-9pm – WATERSHED/CANOEING: Housatonic Evening Paddle for ages 10+. Evening is the perfect time to look for wildlife. Leisurely explore the rich wetland of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in the hours before dusk, find a cove to come together in, and enjoy refreshments while listening and watching for wildlife. Kingfishers, herons, muskrats, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 19, 4:30pm-6pm – ZOOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Beavers, Birds, & Other Wildlife. Life-long learners explore the gentle trails at Pleasant Valley with an experienced guide. Search for evidence of (and hopefully see!) wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more as you hike around the rich pond and stream ecosystems that form the heart of the sanctuary. Along the way, learn about plant communities and the dynamic history of Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 19, 6:30-8pm – ZOOLOGY/BEAVERS: Evening at the Beaver Ponds for families. Visit their beaver ponds with a naturalist, and search for beavers and other animals attracted to these rich wetlands. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change the valley’s landscape 85 years after their reintroduction to the area. Be prepared to walk to the lower beaver pond. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 8:30-11:30am – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing the Housatonic River for families with children ages 10+. This leisurely paddle will take folks through the ecologically rich Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lenox. Watch for swallows, herons, kingfishers, muskrats, and signs of beavers along the scenic and meandering Housatonic River and learn about why the waterway is the natural heart of the Berkshires. Please support their efforts of reducing plastic waste by bringing a reusable water bottle. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 4-5:30pm – ECOLOGY/ZOOLOGY: Animals A to Z for families. Dig-in with bugs, tadpoles, frogs, and salamanders! Together, search the muck, weeds, forests, and fields for the many wild things that live at Pleasant Valley. You will be looking for all the critters, from ants to zooplankton. Families are invited to bring a picnic and stay longer and enjoy the evening if they wish. Bring boots or water shoes. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Tuesday, July 23, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, July 24, 6:30-8pm – ZOOLOGY/BEAVERS: Evening at the Beaver Ponds for families. Visit their beaver ponds with a naturalist, and search for beavers and other animals attracted to these rich wetlands. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change the valley’s landscape 85 years after their reintroduction to the area. Be prepared to walk to the lower beaver pond. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 26, 4:30pm-6pm – ZOOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Beavers, Birds, & Other Wildlife. Life-long learners explore the gentle trails at Pleasant Valley with an experienced guide. Search for evidence of (and hopefully see!) wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more as you hike around the rich pond and stream ecosystems that form the heart of the sanctuary. Along the way, learn about plant communities and the dynamic history of Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 26, 6:30-8pm – ZOOLOGY/BEAVERS: Evening at the Beaver Ponds for families. Visit their beaver ponds with a naturalist, and search for beavers and other animals attracted to these rich wetlands. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change the valley’s landscape 85 years after their reintroduction to the area. Be prepared to walk to the lower beaver pond. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 10am-12noon – BOTANY/FERNS: Learn the Ferns with Joseph Strauch for life-long learners. Are ferns a mystery to you? Join botanist and fern expert Joe Strauch on a journey into the fascinating world of ferns and learn clues that reveal their identity. Learn how to identify a fresh assortment of local ferns, then head outside to test your new skills. Easy-to-use Fern Finder guides will help you identify the 50 species in Berkshire County. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 4-5:30pm – ECOLOGY/ZOOLOGY: Animals A to Z for families. Dig-in with bugs, tadpoles, frogs, and salamanders! Together, search the muck, weeds, forests, and fields for the many wild things that live at Pleasant Valley. You will be looking for all the critters, from ants to zooplankton. Families are invited to bring a picnic and stay longer and enjoy the evening if they wish. Bring boots or water shoes. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Sunday, July 28, 8:30-11:30am – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing the Housatonic River for families with children ages 10+. This leisurely paddle will take folks through the ecologically rich Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lenox. Watch for swallows, herons, kingfishers, muskrats, and signs of beavers along the scenic and meandering Housatonic River and learn about why the waterway is the natural heart of the Berkshires. Please support their efforts of reducing plastic waste by bringing a reusable water bottle. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Tuesday, July 30, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, September 21 & Sunday, September 22, 10am-5pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: Now that the weather is beginning to turn, that can only mean one thing: the apple harvest is right around the corner! For almost forty years, the Berkshire community has been welcoming the fall with a special festival, celebrating the apple harvest. The Lenox Apple Squeeze features musical performances, vendors, and fun for the whole family. Don’t miss this beloved local tradition. 4 Housatonic Street, Lenox, MA (FREE)

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.
Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St.
Ventfort Hall – 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.

PERU

PITTSFIELD

 

Jul 24 – Aug 10

Barrington Stage Company: Ragtag Theater’s Hansel and Gretel. Book by Sam Lafrage; Music and Lyrics by Lewis Flinn and Sam Lafrage. For ages 3 to 103, Ragtag Theatre Company (creators of the smash hits Cinderella and Rapunzel) is creating a hilarious, interactive, fractured musical version of the well-known fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, featuring Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre Company in Pittsfield, MA. This slap-happy, reimagined romp through this beloved fairy tale is guaranteed to be a great time for all! Dates: July 24–August 10. Contact: 413-236-8888. barringtonstageco.org

WRITING CONTEST: Young writers ages 5-18 can participate in the Berkshire Athenaeum’s Annual Short Story Writing Contest for Children and Young Adults this spring and summer. The contest is divided up into five age groups and winning authors will be awarded cash prizes. More information can be found on the Berkshire Athenaeum website. The writing contest is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to try their hand at short story writing and to develop their writing style and appeal, write original stories, and improve spelling and grammar. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

SHAKER HISTORY: Located in Pittsfield, in the central part of Berkshire county, the Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum with 20 Shaker buildings that depict the life of this intriguing religious community of people that lived and cared for each other during the 19th century. The Hancock community was the third largest of the 19 communities established in New England. In the early 1900’s, the community declined and eventually disappeared. The 750 acres of land and buildings that once were home to the Hancock Shaker community were preserved by local citizens who valued their historical and cultural significance. As a result, people can visit the Hancock Shaker Village and learn from costumed interpreters about this group’s self-reliant way of life during the 1800’s. The museum’s exhibits, collections, workshops, hiking trails, farm animals, and gardens provide different learning opportunities to explore the Shakers’ lifestyle and the place they called home.

Arrowhead – Berkshire Historical Society: The home of writer Herman Melville, Arrowhead was preserved by the Berkshire Historical Society. Arrowhead now operates a CSA farm and offers guided tours of Melville’s home. There are also self-guided tours for visitors to explore the surrounding trails and nearby places that interested Herman Melville.

Berkshire Museum: The Berkshire Museum’s varied collection offers visitors the chance to explore interests in science, natural history, and art! The museum owns approximately 40,000 objects in its collection, with a significant portion of the collection purchased by 3rd generation Crane & Co. paper mill owner, Zenas Crane, in the early 1900’s. The collection includes objects from all over the world with a focus on Asian Art, Native American Art, Ancient Civilizations, Sculpture, American Art, Hudson River School paintings, Minerals, and Natural History.

Every Monday, 5-6:30pm – ART STUDIES: The Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting Peer Art Group for Teens & Young Adults, a safe space for young people to come together to create art and talk with their peers. This group meets in the Young Adult Dept. of the library. Snacks and art supplies provided. Register required. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

First Fridays, 5-8pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: As Henry David Thoreau points out, the root of the word “saunter” comes from “the idle people who roved about the country… under the pretense of going à la Sainte Terre, or the Holy Land.” Thus the act of casually strolling an inherently sacred act. For those who saunter, the entire world becomes their Holy Land. To walk aimlessly is to find a pilgrimage in every step, a temple in every tree, shrub, or blade of grass. What better way to find your temple than to combine walking with art? Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk features a dozen different art shows throughout the Upstreet Cultural District. Happens every month all year (except January). Come check out amazing local art and meet some of the artists! Guided tour begins at 5pm at the Intermodal Center (BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.). Downtown Pittsfield. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Monday Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 12noon-5pm – ART EXHIBIT/LEONARDO DA VINCI: Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion on view at the Berkshire Museum through Sept 8, 2019. This exhibit features 40 full-size working models of Leonardo da Vinci’s innovative designs, from flying machines to an early robot. Each mechanism is accompanied by Leonardo’s drawings and a descriptive narrative of his life. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Sundays, 1-2pm – MARINE BIOLOGY: Discovery Tank Program. Meet the creatures who live in tide pools in this hands-on gallery program. Experience a tide pool tank and learn about the wonders of hermit crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, and other crustaceans, right in your hands. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturdays, 12:30-1:30pm – MARINE BIOLOGY: Ever wonder what fish, turtles, and lizards eat when they live in aquariums? How do human beings determine what to feed these creatures, who have evolved over millions of years to hunt for food in the wild? And who actually prepares the food for these animals? All these questions and more will be addressed during Chow Time at the Berkshire Museum, where participants can assist museum staff in preparing meals for some of the inhabitants of the aquarium. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, June 1, 10:30am – ORNITHOLOGY/NATURE-BASED LEARNING: A fuzzy little chickadee… a worm-yanking robin… a scarlet cardinal… Each of these cute, familiar birds can be found in most people’s backyards. They’re also very helpful when it comes to spying on hawks. Chickadees, Robins, and Cardinals all use Bird Language to tattle on hiding hawks and other backyard predators. Many people don’t realize that they, too, can learn to understand Bird Language, and thus discover the location of that hiding hawk! Take wing into the wonderful world of Bird Language with Devin Franklin, author of Put On Your Owl Eyes, in a free interactive workshop, Hawk Stalk: How to Find the Hawk Hiding in Your Backyard, presented by Flying Deer Nature Center. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, June 2, 7pm – DANCE HISTORY: Come and experience the history of dance and music from the 19th century as presented by The Victorian Quadrille Orchestra and the Small Planet Dancers. Performances of historic 19th-century dance forms will include the Quadrille, Polka, Reels, Waltz to the music of The Victorian Quadrille Orchestra, a six-piece music group performing the actual dance music of the time. 413-686-5027. Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 780 Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA.

Wednesday, June 19 – Saturday, July 13 – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage and occur daily. Check their website for exact times. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

July 22-26, 9am-12noon – STEM/KITCHEN EXPERIMENTS/DAY CAMP: You’d never believe how easy it is to create fascinating and exciting science experiments with common kitchen supplies and ingredients. The famous baking soda volcano experiment is just the tip of the iceberg! If you love science and are interested in learning about how regular household items can be used to demonstrate scientific principles, this is the event for you! To learn more, please visit Kitchen Ka-Boom. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, July 27, 9am – COMMUNITY SERVICE/RIVER CLEAN-UP: Community Members Join Together to Clean Up the River. Community members will join together to clean trash out of the West Branch of the Housatonic River. On Saturday, July 27th, volunteers will set out from Wahconah Park, 105 Wahconah St. Pittsfield, at 9 am to collect trash from alongside and in the river. The event will culminate at the NAACP Berkshire’s annual Gather In festival at Durant Park, 30 John St. Pittsfield, for a volunteers’ lunch and BlueQ goodie bags. The river cleanup is organized by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA). At past cleanups, BEAT and HVA have pulled shopping carts, bicycles, tires, beds, toilets, and even an ATM from the river. Each year the river has a little bit less trash – the cleanups are making a difference. Everyone is invited to join! Kids accompanied by a parent or guardian are most welcome. If you have waders, hip boots, or boots, please bring them, but there will also be a few pairs to borrow. Bring a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and bug repellant. BEAT will provide work gloves and bags, and a few pairs of grabbers. Some groups will paddle in canoes, and some will walk along the banks and/or wade into the river. This event is the second of three cleanups this summer: June 22, July 27, and August 17. For more information, visit thebeatnews.org, call (413) 230-7321, or email elizabeth@thebeatnews.org.

Thursday, August 15 – Sunday, August 18, 8pm
Thursday, August 22 – Sunday, August 25, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

June, 10:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES/AGRICULTURE: It’s difficult to overstate the significance of the pig in human history. In China for example, the pictograph representing “home” is comprised of the graph representing pig, under a roof. Hence, in China, you literally can’t have a home without a pig. Numerous mythologies and folklore from around the world feature pig gods and the ancient central Asian Kyrgyz people believed themselves to be descended from a wild boar. Part of the reason for the enormous cultural significance of the pig is due to its amazing adaptability. The wild boar, the ancestor for today’s domesticated pig, is thought to have originated during the pleistocene in Southeast Asia. It quickly spread throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. Since then the domestic pig has become one of the most numerous livestock animals. What’s more, escaped domestic pigs often return to a feral state and thrive, regardless of the habitat. Come get to know this amazing animal, up close and personal, at the Hancock Shaker Village “Farm Friends” program. Children ages 2-5 and their caregivers will have the opportunity to meet a pig, listen to stories, and do craft projects. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, June 14, 8am-10pm
Saturday, June 15, 10am-Midnight
Sunday, June 16, 10am-5pm – MUSIC STUDIES/TRADITIONAL MUSIC: According to legend, the fiddle has been a part of the American musical tradition since 1620, when English fiddle player John Utie settled in Virginia. Since then, the fiddle has played an important role in many of the most distinctively American musical genres. But what is the difference between a violin and a fiddle, anyway? As it turns out, the distinction may be somewhat arbitrary. Many musicians use the terms interchangeably but there are some common differences in the construction of the two instruments. The fiddle, for instance, is more often played with steel strings. The height of the strings may be lower on a fiddle and the bridge may be flatter. Learn all about fiddling and the rich tradition of American Old Time music at the annual Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention, hosted by the Hancock Shaker Village! This all day event will feature workshops, fiddling competitions, and square dancing. Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, June 22, 6pm  – SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Catch a game plus fireworks tonight with the Pittsfield Suns! Wahconah Park. 413-445-7867. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Sundays, 11am-12noon – ANIMAL STUDIES/COWS: Spend an hour cozying up to cuddly calves. Cows have a lower heart rate and higher body temperature than humans, which can make cozying up to a cow quite relaxing. You’ll discover the sensitive, intuitive nature of cows while petting, brushing, snuggling, and walking with them. (Close encounters with a cow are also thought to make us more mindful of body language, build confidence, and inspire playfulness.) It might be good for you, but — cowabunga! — it’s also just plain fun. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 2pm – DANCE STUDIES/RELIGION STUDIES: Award-winning choreographer Reggie Wilson presents a roving performance with his Brooklyn-based Fist and Heel Performance Group at Hancock Shaker Village. “…they stood shaking while others began to shout,” the result of Wilson’s studies of Black Shakers and what their worship may have looked like, “explores the intersection of worship and dance with poetic imagination” (The New York Times). The site-based event at Hancock Shaker Village, held in the Round Stone Barn and the 1910 Barn, promises to weave the Village’s historic buildings and landscape into a thought-provoking narrative. Long fascinated by the Shakers, Wilson was curious in particular about Mother Rebecca Cox Jackson, a black woman born in 1795 who founded a Shaker community in Philadelphia. Considered in their time to be innovative and progressive thinkers—they believed in racial and gender equality centuries before the world caught up, and in a manifesto in 1885 chided the government for not allowing women to vote—the Shakers believed that all were equal and allowed anyone to join their communities. Once a commitment to communal life was made, members were then obliged to turn over their property and material wealth to the community. The Shakers welcomed African American members into their communities as early as the late 1700s, assisted fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad, and often purchased the freedom of slaves in southern communities. The Shakers wrote more than 25,000 songs (more than all the ballads and spirituals known to have originated in America) and danced to most of them. Shaker villages from Maine to Kentucky resounded with passionate, beautiful dancing on a daily basis. Indeed, they are called Shakers because of their ecstatic form of worship. “…they stood shaking, while others began to shout” reflects the importance of dance as an intense physical expression of Shaker spirituality. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturdays, July 13, August 10, September 14, 7:30-9pm – RELIGIOUS STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES: Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as his “spiritual dictionary,” the Bhagavad Gita is a 700 verse Hindu scripture, which presents an ethical and metaphysical dialogue between Arjuna, prince of the Pandavas, and Krishna, the god of compassion, who serves as Arjuna’s charioteer in a terrible war that divided families and communities. As Arjuna sets foot upon the battlefield, he realizes that all the enemies who stand before him are his own kinsmen, friends and relatives. Arjuna refuses to fight any longer and turns to Krishna for guidance. The conversation that follows comprises one of the richest and most profound spiritual and philosophical documents in history. The Bhagavad Gita became on of the key scriptures of the 15th century Bhakti movement in India, which can be in part understood as a move towards a more personal relationship with the divine, rather than an experience that is inherently mediated through ritual. In this way, the Bhakti movement can be likened to the Protestant revolution in Europe. Part of the Bhakti tradition that remains to this day is the custom of kirtan. This call-and-response form of devotional music recites myths and legends, prayers, and names of the gods. Set to music, often played on a harmonium and tabla drums, kirtan creates a musical, spiritual experience that is unlike any other. Come learn all about this amazing tradition at Summer Kirtan at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness. 413-418-4001. 55 North St. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 9am-5pm – YOUTH/AGRICULTURE: Berkshire 4-H: The four H’s in 4-H stand for head (managing & thinking), heart (relating & caring), hands (giving & working), and health (being & living). 4-H members strive to develop these values and skills, with the mission of making a positive impact in their local communities and the world at large. The annual Berkshire 4-H Youth Fair will feature traditional agricultural fair fun for the whole family, including livestock, hall exhibits, games, entertainment, and food. The hall exhibits include many projects created by local youth, from fine art, to baking, to sewing, to science! Be sure to take time to appreciate these impressive creations during your visit. Berkshire County 4-H Fairgrounds. 413-448-8285. Utility Drive, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 9am – ECOLOGY/COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP: Community Members Will Join Together to Haul Thousands of Pounds of Trash From the West Branch of the Housatonic River. The morning ends with a celebratory lunch for volunteers. A river clean-up is a great way to spend a Saturday morning, staying cool in the shade of the river and helping keep one of our most critical natural resources healthy and clean. At past clean-ups, shopping carts, bicycles, tires, beds, toilets, and even an ATM have been pulled up from the river. Each year the river has a little bit less trash – the clean-ups are making a difference.  Everyone is invited! Kids accompanied by a guardian are most welcome. If you have waders, hip boots, or boots, please bring them, but there will also be a few pairs to borrow. Bring a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and bug repellant. Work gloves and bags will be provided, and a few pairs of grabbers. Some groups will paddle in canoes, and some will walk along the banks and/or wade into the river. For more information, visit thebeatnews.org, call 413-230-7321, or email elizabeth@thebeatnews.org. Set out from behind 703 West Housatonic St. in Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 12noon – Sunday, September 15, 12noon – BIOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENCE: Calling all amateur biologists: It’s time for the annual Berkshire Bioblitz! During this 24 hour period, teams of participants accompanied by an expert scientist will explore Springside Park, the largest municipal park in Pittsfield, MA, and see how many species they can find from a list. This is a great way to learn about local biology and get hands-on experience assisting with real scientific research. You’ll be amazed how much wildlife there is right under your nose. All ages welcome. Springside Park Conservancy. 413-499-7505. 58 Oak Hill Road. Pittsfield, MA.

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

The Guthrie Center: Arlo Guthrie’s song “Massachusetts” was chosen as the official song of the state but his classic “Alice’s Restaurant” would have also been a perfect choice. This eighteen minute masterpiece recounts the epic sage of Guthrie’s arrest in Stockbridge after being caught dumping “half a ton of garbage” on private property. The garbage in question had originated from the home of Guthrie’s friends Ray and Alice Brock. The latter owned a restaurant, which eventually closed, but as the song says, Alice lived in an old church building nextdoor. The church, originally built in 1829, is now the home of the Guthrie Center and Guthrie Foundation and often hosts live music and events. The Guthrie Center. 413-528-1955.  2 Van Deusenville Road. Great Barrington, MA.

Naumkeag – The Trustees – Stockbridge: The country estate of New York City lawyer Joseph Choate, this magnificent property served as a summer home for 3 generations of Choates. This historic home includes a spectacular garden created by Choate’s daughter, Mabel and noted landscape designer Fletcher Steele. The gardens include the famous Blue Steps, a series of tiered blue fountains flanked by a grove of white birch. This marvelous estate is open to the public to enjoy during the spring, summer and fall seasons and offers house tours, outdoor public programs, and self-guided garden tours.

The Norman Rockwell Museum: Featuring the largest and most significant collection of Norman Rockwell’s work, this museum holds some of Rockwell’s most well-known and civically engaged illustrations and artwork. In the spirit of Rockwell’s interest in reflecting on society and popular culture, the museum “advances social good through the civic values of learning, respect, and inclusion and is committed to upholding the rights and dignity of all people through the universal messages of humanity and kindness portrayed by Norman Rockwell.” Visitors to the museum are able to see Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio, as well as some of his most famous works, such as his Four Freedoms.

July 13-August 18 – SCULPTURE CLASSES: Sculptors from the New England Sculptors Association will offer sculpture classes on the fundamentals of modeling a clay figure after a work by Daniel Chester French, portraiture, and relief work. Classes will be 6-8 people per class for personal instruction. Complimentary admission to Chesterwood is included for the weekend. Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Tuesdays, 6pm – ENTOMOLOGY/ BEEKEEPING: Join local beekeepers for a season-appropriate discussion and demonstration using the Berkshire Botanical Garden apiary. Focus on sustainable beekeeping techniques: raising and sourcing bees locally, managing pests and diseases ecologically, and creating beneficial habitats for honeybees and native pollinators alike. New to beekeeping? Learn how to get started with your first hives. Are you a seasoned beekeeper? Your experience and knowledge will be invaluable to others in the group! 413-357-4657. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, June 9, 10am-5pm – COMMUNITY DAY: Community Day Open House & Studio at Chesterwood, a 50th-anniversary celebration as a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dances by Isadora courtesy of Berkshire Pulse. Art activities throughout the day. Free. Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, August 16, 11am-12noon – NATIVE SPECIES/MAMMALS: Mammals in the Backyard at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the furry creatures that inhabit the landscape with us. Usually traveling under cover of darkness, many of these fantastic mammals seldom show themselves to humans during the day. Instructor Rick Roth will encourage families to get to know these mammals, learn about their natural history, and help develop appreciation and respect for these wild animals that often live in our own backyards. The talk will feature live specimens including a fisher cat, gray fox, skunk, flying squirrels, and more Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, August 23, 11am-12noon – NATIVE SPECIES/AMPHIBIANS: Amphibians of Berkshire County: Frogs and Salamanders at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals living in our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying common amphibians of Berkshire county, their biology, interesting facts about their behaviors, and the methods they use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals. Some live frogs and turtles will be on hand to greet visitors. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health. 57 Interlaken Road.
Naumkeag. 5 Prospect Hill.
Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.
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.

Suggest Event


South Berkshire

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

North Berkshire | Central Berkshire

SELF-GUIDED TOUR/SCENIC BYWAYS: The Summer is a time that encourages time spent outdoors, so why not plan an excursion along one of the many Western Massachusetts scenic byways! Along the way, you can stop at different farm stands, take photographs of beautiful country views, take a hike, and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of our many vistas. (See September/October Season issue of Learning Ahead for a list of area vistas.) Scenic byways to explore can be found at www.bywayswestmass.com. While traveling these back roads, look for rivers and their tributaries and see if you can identify their impact on local history as you travel through different mill towns, taking the time to learn about the different manufacturing industries that resulted in the 19th-century industrial age. Note the architecture of the mill buildings, the infrastructure remnants of rail transportation, and the repurposing and transformation of spaces once used for industry. You’re sure to also encounter covered bridges, museums, historic districts, landmarks, and wooded landscapes while traveling, so plan accordingly and arrive feeling curious! Western MA.

ALFORD

GREAT BARRINGTON

Monument Mountain – The Trustees, Great Barrington: Inspired by William Cullen Bryant’s poem Monument Mountain, authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville set out with a group of friends to hike Monument Mountain. As a thunderstorm rolled in, the group sought shelter in a cave. While trapped, Hawthorne and Melville were deep in discussion as they waited for the storm to pass. As they emerged from the cave, Melville saw Mount Greylock from the distance – its shape reminding him so much of a whale breaching the ocean that he was inspired to write a sea story about a whale. It is said that this hiking excursion and Mount Greylock’s summit is what planted the initial creative seed for Moby Dick. Today, visitors can still read Bryant’s poem Monument Mountain, just as Hawthorne and Melville did, and hike up the mountain, a 1,642 foot high summit that provides views of Mount Greylock and the Catskills.

Friday, June 7, 7pm – MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE: Berkshire Ukulele Band Concert at Berkshire South. Led by multi-instrumentalist teacher and performer Rob Sanzone. Family friendly. Berkshire South Regional Community Center. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA.

Sunday, June 9, 7pm – MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ & JEWISH: Renowned jazz singer Wanda Houston and clarinetist Paul Green will present a program that fuses jazz and Jewish music and reflects the longstanding fellowship between the African American and Jewish communities. The concert is a benefit for Clinton Church Restoration, which is restoring and repurposing the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in downtown Great Barrington as an African American heritage site, visitor center, and community space. A reception will follow the program. Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. 270 State Road, Great Barrington, MA.

Friday, July 12, 10am & 1pm – CIRCUS PERFORMANCE: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA presents a FREE show with the Acrobats of Cirque-tacular on Friday, July 12th at 10am. The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular features one dazzling circus feat after another in a high-energy family-friendly flurry of fun! Indulge your curiosity and celebrate your senses as our troupe of acrobats, aerialists, and circus specialty artists bend, twist, flip, and fly into your hearts and minds! Sponsored by Highland Street Foundation, this event is part of the Mahaiwe’s ongoing Free Fun Friday tradition. All ages welcome, general admission — first-come, first-serve. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. 413-528-0100. mahaiwe.org.

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: A non-profit organization, the Mahaiwe is a historic theater built in the early 1900’s that showed “talkies” in the early 30’s! Today, the theater focuses on bringing music, theatrical performances and educational programming to the local community and Berkshire County visitors. 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

Ramsdell Library – 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street.

MONTEREY

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

NEW MARLBOROUGH

Saturday, August 17, 10am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY/TOWN CELEBRATION: Every summer for nearly 50 years, the town of New Marlborough celebrates American diplomat, philanthropist, and social activist Elihu Burritt, who resided in the town in 1830, with the annual Elihu Burritt Day Celebration on the Village Green! This peace activist is remembered through festivities that inspire community interactions and is a destination for visitors from farm and wide. Activities have included second-hand sales, live music, parade, community meal, family activities, block dance party, and much more! — “Amongst the instrumentalities of love and peace, surely there can be no sweeter, softer, more effective voice than that of gentle, peace-breathing music.”– Elihu Burritt. Village Green. New Marlborough, MA.

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

OTIS

Tuesday, July 2, 8-10pm – ASTRONOMY: Moon Night Watch: Stars, Planets, Nighttime & Wildlife for all ages. Enjoy a summer evening on the top of Old Baldy. After a very short walk to the summit, participants will take in the ethereal twilight before beholding a sparkling, moonless night sky in one of the darkest corners of the Berkshires. Orient yourselves to the stars and planets, listen for wildlife sounds, and enjoy refreshments. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms
Old Baldy Wildlife Sanctuary, Otis , MA.

Saturday, August 3, 9am-3pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: 12th Annual Otis Arts Festival. A wide variety of crafts and artisans will exhibit their wares. There will be a pottery demonstration by fine artist Pied Piper Hamelin. Also, the CHP Health Van will be on site for health screening, blood pressure, WIC is available, and face painting. Food truck on the grounds. Free admission. Farmington River Elementary School. 413 269-4674. 555 No. Main Road (Rte. 8). Otis, MA.

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

SANDISFIELD

SHEFFIELD

Wednesday, July 10, 9:30-11:30am: ECOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Lime Kiln Farm: Housatonic Valley & Taconic Range Views for life-long learners. Stroll the gentle loop trails with an experienced guide and enjoy two vistas including views of Jug End Mountain, Mount Everett, and the lower Housatonic Valley. The views are terrific with minimal elevation gain and effort. Along the way, look for signs of wildlife and learn about plant communities and human history at Lime Kiln Farm. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Sheffield, MA

Bushnell-Sage Library – 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street.
Bartholomew’s Cobble. Featuring views of farmland, the Housatonic River, caves, and the Cobble, a geological feature that was once coral reef 500 million years ago, Bartholomew’s Cobble offers the Ledges Trail, taking you through the forest to discover the property’s interesting flora and fauna. Known in late spring for its wildflowers, Bartholomew’s Cobble hosts a wildflower festival every year for folks to learn about spring ephemerals. After hiking the Ledges Trail, hikers can enjoy walking up Hurlburt’s Hill to see bobolinks and views of the Housatonic River Valley. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road.
Sheffield Historical Society. 413-229-2694. 91 Main St.

 

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