Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: August 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of August. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: July 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: July 2013

July in the BerkshiresFind out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of July. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: June 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of June.  We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun: May 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: May 2013

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of May.  We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for late April through early May, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
April 20th – May 3rd, 2013

April in the Berkshires (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)Spring is being celebrated in Berkshire County and we have over 30 highlights to share: community service, parent workshops, theater, animal & nature studies, local history, sustainability, community activism… Berkshire County has all of this going on into the beginning of May, plus much more!

On Saturday, April 27th from 10am-2pm, Berkshire County Rx Round Up takes place. Protect your family and the environment by safely disposing of your unused, unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. Bottles and pills left around the house are easily picked up by curious hands, or erroneously flushed into our water systems. Help your children understand the attention and care required for handling and properly disposing of all medication. Disposal sites will be set-up throughout Berkshire County including: Adams Police Station, Pittsfield Health Center, and West Stockbridge Police Station. Contact your area representations at: North County, ldaunis@nbccoalition.org; Central County, k.cole@berkshireunitedway.org; and South County, sbcc@chpberkshires.org. Berkshires, MA. (FREE)

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through May 3rd, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid April, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
April 6th-19th, 2013

It’s spring time and the baby animals are arriving at the Hancock Shaker Village, the Berkshire Museum is getting ready for school vacation week and storywalks are happening all around central Berkshire County!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through April 19th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 23 – April 5, 2013

While there still might be fresh snow on the ground, it is officially spring… and there’s proof!  High school spring musicals are happening at both Taconic High School in Pittsfield and Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield; Spring egg hunts are scheduled in several towns throughout the county; there’s even the annual Spring Tonic happening at the Lenox Library!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through April 5, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid March, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 9th-22nd, 2013

The community is starting to look towards spring!  Spring musicals like Oklahoma at Mount Greylock High School, maple events like MapleFest, and even Easter activities like learning how to naturally-dye eggs at the Berkshire Co-op and an egg hunt in Otis, are all starting show stirrings of spring… even the time change this weekend will bring more light to the end of your day!

Give the kids a sweet taste of spring and take them to one of the sugar shacks for breakfast.  Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock is a Berkshire County favorite!  Here is what our readers had to say about this local treasure:

Rebecca Heath of Pittsfield writes: “We love maple sugaring season… as a family, including our 93 year old grandmother, we head to Ioka Valley Farm for their delicious farm fresh breakfast. Our favorite of course is the fresh boiled maple syrup but they also have the best maple butter…MMMM….”

Heather Fletcher of Pittsfield writes: “Our family likes to have breakfast at Ioka Valley Farm. We feed the animals, mimic the sounds, sample syrup, & learn how it’s made.”

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through March 22nd, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late February – Early March, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Feb 23rd – March 8th, 2013

We’re rounding the corner into March, the month of the vernal equinox!  But we’re not there just yet, so while it lasts, get out and enjoy the snow! There are a number of events happening to get your family outdoors for winter fun. Thunderfest, Winter Fest, Notchview and Sheep Hill’s Winter Open House will have snow adventures in North Berkshire County. and in South Berkshire County, Berkshire Natural Resources Council offers winter hikes at  the Housatonic Flate Reserve and Alford Springs.  But if snow adventures aren’t your warm cup of tea, there are plenty of indoor adventures in Central Berkshire County, including Bowey the Clown at the Spectrum Playhouse, a mini-golf classic inside the Berkshire Athenaeum, creative free play and kitchen science at the Berkshire Museum, theater production of Happy Days at Miss Hall’s School, and museum fun at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through March 8th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Mid-Late February, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
February 9th-22nd, 2013

Valentine’s Day is next week and school vacation week is the week after… and we’ve got you covered in Berkshire County!  In our list of events below you will find all sorts of fun activities to do with the kids and even some date night options for the parents!  If you’re looking for winter vacation camp options for the week of Feb 18-22, 2013 in the Berkshires, check these out:

Winter Vacation Camp Options in Berkshire County – Feb 18-22:

By special arrangement with Hilltown Families, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is pleased to offer our readers a rare opportunity to take in a classic Shakespearean performance paired with a guided tour backstage. On Friday, Feb. 15th at 10am, schools and homeschooling families are invited to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tina Packer Playhouse, followed by a backstage guided tour where participants can learn how the process of theatre is crafted in the costume shop, prop studio, and production workshop. Tickets for this package are only $8/person and a Study Guide for educators is available to download before attending. To reserve discounted tickets, contact Alexandra Lincoln, and let her know you are a Hilltown Families reader: 413-637-1199 x131. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. www.Shakespeare.org.

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater on Tuesday, February 19th at 2pm, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through February 22nd, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late January – Early February, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
January 26th – February 8th, 2013

Ready to shake off those winter blues? There are several events coming up in Berkshire County that will get you moving and having fun! Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Winter Wildlife Day happens at the WRLF, and Williamstown’s 10th annual Snowfest will take place too!

There will also be ways to supplement learning for older students! In honor of Black History Month, the Berkshire Museum will present “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” and the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Curator of Education, Tom Daly, will review Rockwell’s dedication to civil rights throughout his career. There will be a presentation about frogs and salamanders by Berkshire Community College professor Tom Tyning at the Berkshire Atheneaum for those interested in nature studies, and cosmologist Lawrence Krauss will give a presentation at Williams College, talking about “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through February 8th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Mid-Late January, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
January 12th-25th, 2013

We’re nearly a month into winter with a healthy layer of snow on the ground, a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the Berkshires!  There are several opportunities to dust off and put your snowshoes to good use over the next couple of weeks!  So strap on your snowshoes and select your choice destination for winter fun, including snowshoe race at Constitution Hill in Lanesborough, the Haskins Center’s Cabin Fever Festival in North Adams, Mountain Meadow Preserve in Williamstown, Notchview in Windsor, the Becket Quarry in Becket, Winter Trail Days at Hilltop Orchard in Richmond, and Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through January 25th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events Suggest Event

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Berkshire Family Fun for the New Year, 2013!

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 29th, 2012 – January 11th, 2013

The year ends with a flurry of marionette shows, musicals, magic shows, and community theater productions in the Berkshires, and a new year begins with a First Day Hike at the Pittsfield State Forest.  Culture and amazing natural resources to fill your days while we usher out one year and in another!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through January 11th, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late December, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 15th – 28th, 2012

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

There are just a couple more weekends left before Christmas, followed by school winter vacation. Berkshire County continues to celebrate the change of season and several of the museums and community centers will have activities for kids during the week of winter vacation. – Then it’s the New Year!

Cookies with origins from around the world are a staple of the holidays! Gingerbread Men to Hermits to Sugar Cookies are baked up in home kitchens and given as gifts. This weekend kids can learn how to make Rugalach at the Berkshire Co-op in Great Barrington, and next weekend families are welcomed to participate in a homemade cookie swap a Moments House in Pittsfield or pick up cookies at the Hinsdale Cookie Walk. Take the time to learn about the history behind cookies from other cultures, or make that recipe your grandmother handed down and share the backstory with your family and friends.

Find out about over 50 community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through December 28th, 2012:

North Berkshire County
Central Berkshire County
South Berkshire County

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early December, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 1st-14th, 2012

Experience Main Street in Stockbridge just like Norman Rockwell did during the Stockbridge Holiday Stroll on Sun., Dec. 2nd from 12noon-2pm. Downtown Stockbridge will be filled with antique cars, carolers will perform all over town, and there will be fun family activities for all! The re-creation is a unique opportunity to experience Norman Rockwell’s work in real life!

The holidays are here and they’re celebrating in the Berkshires!  Holiday strolls are taking place in Williamstown, Great Barrington and Stockbridge during these first two weeks of December. Santa’s making his rounds visiting Crane & Company’s Model Farm, Dalton CRA, Lilac Park, Lenox Fire Department, and the Berkshire Museum.  Gingerbread houses are being built at Hops & Vines and the Lenox Library, and latkes are being fried up at Wild Oats… and people and chorus groups are singing and performing all over the region!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Dec 14th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Mid-Late November, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
November 17th-30th, 2012

This weekend families can head to a couple of the museums for special performances, exhibits and tours, including Curiosity Family Day at The Clark along with the opening of Giselle’s Remix, a gallery show curated by 11-year-old Giselle Ciulla. Remix is virtual gallery on The Clark’s web site featuring over 400 paintings, sculptures, and other items from the museum’s galleries. Within Remix is a tool called uCurate where kids can browse through pieces and design their own gallery shows! Giselle’s curated show was selected and the opening is this Saturday, Nov. 17th.

Once this weekend passes all eyes are on the holidays! Hometown Holidays in North Adams begins on Wednesday, Nov. 21st with a Christmas Tree Lighting. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum kicks off its 5th annual A Home for the Holidays program starting Friday, Nov. 23rd in Lenox. Pittsfield’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony happens on Friday, Nov. 30th with caroling and Santa. And the town of Stockbridge celebrates the 23rd annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas beginning Friday, Nov. 30th.

All of these holiday highlights, and many more community building, educational opportunities and volunteer connections for families in Berkshire County can be discover below in this edition of Berkshire Family Fun through Nov. 30th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early to Mid November

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
November 3rd – 16th, 2012

Halloween always seems to mark the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving just around the corner. In between Halloween and Thanksgiving is Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Families can join students from Berkshire Community College (BBC) for a Diwali celebration in Lee in mid-November as they share several traditions from this holiday.

Early this month, Native American culture is also being celebrated by BCC and at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, and in Great Barrington the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will offer an autism-friendly screening of London’s National Theater’s production of, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.”

Other highlights in Berkshire County early this month include Dr. Augie’s Entomology Workshop, family volunteering at Springside Park, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s Holiday Handcraft Fair, Monument Mountain Music in Common Youth Program at the Guthrie Center, and international game day at the Ramsdell and Mason libraries.

Find out about these events and other community building events, community based educational opportunities, and community service based learning connections happening throughout Berkshire County through November 16th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late Oct to Early Nov

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Oct 20th-Nov 2nd, 2012

The leaves have peeked and now enters Halloween in the Berkshires. Trick-or-treating and rag shag parades happen all through out the region, but Berkshire County will play host to several annual Halloween traditions, including MCLA’s 18th annual Boo Bash in North Adams, Pittsfield Halloween Parade, the Pumpkin Walk-About in Stockbridge, and Washington’s Pumpkin Walk. Other fun events not to miss in Berkshire County through the end of October include a Muppet extravaganza at MASS MoCA, Chilling Tales and Ghost Tour at The Mount, the last days of Lord of the Flies at the Barrington Stage Company, Mermaid Theatre’s production of A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar at the Colonial Theatre and family supper at Hancock Shaker Village.

“I’m relatively new to the Berkshires so I’m mostly familiar with the southern Berkshires. I love finding out about all these lovely little towns north of me, and knowing about all the various events going on ALL THE TIME, from concerts to theater, to apple picking. I moved here to live in the country and Hilltown Families keeps me informed of all the wonderful things country life has to offer.” – Valerie Sheehan (Lenox, MA)

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Nov. 1st, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

Halloween in Western MATo find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday. There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region. Be sure to check our columnLearn Local. Play Local. everyFriday too for event highlights to are not only fun but educational too!

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid October 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Oct 6th-19th, 2012

Dr Marmalade at CAM

Marmalade Productions will be at the Spectrum Playhouse in Lee with her “Emerge-And-See” Wagon on Saturday, Oct 6th at 11am.  Read our review of Dr. Marmalade’s performance from several years ago in Shelburne Falls.

The foliage is peaking in Berkshire County!  This is your moment to get out in your community, or for visitors to travel to the region, for taking in the beautiful autumn colors.  Plus, there are so many great excuses to get out in Berkshire County over the next two weekends! In this edition of BFF we’ve included over 60 listings in 17 towns throughout Berkshire County!

A few things we want to highlight for Columbus Day Weekend, Oct 6th & 7th, include the Berkshire Botanical Garden‘s  78th annual fall festival, Jiminy Peak‘s Fall Festival, the Berkshire Museum presents Father Goose’s Tales, a Pumpkin Fest at Bidwell House Museum, Hinsdale Dayz, and a Medieval Faire at Ventfort Hall!

Another highlight is the Berkshire Coaching Weekend at Shakespeare & Co. on Saturday, Norman Rockwell Museum on Sunday, and The Mount on Columbus Day.  Also on Columbus Day, Oct 8th, David Grover will lead a sing-along at the Berkshire Museum and there will be pumpkin carving at Chesterwood (David Grover will also be at Family Fun Day at Laston Park on Sat., Oct 6th).

For the weekend of Oct 13th & 14th, there are several great hikes & outdoor adventures planned in Windsor, Lee, LenoxGreat Barrington, Monterey and Windsor! Also happening the weekend of the 13th & 14th is the Berkshire Orchid and Tropical Show at BCC. And make sure to note the Bizarre Bazaar that happens on Sat., Oct 13th at the Brigham Center.

A few fun things happening at the libraries include a free youth theater workshop at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Saturday, Oct 6th, a Mexican Bingo Night & Dessert Potluck at the Masson Library on Friday, Oct 12th and an evening of Star Wars at the  Lenox Library on Friday, Oct 19th.

And if  you’re looking for a parents’ night out, three things to know about include the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema screening of “Sleepwalk With Me” on Saturday, Oct 6th, the Zombie Pub Crawl in Pittsfield on Friday, Oct 12th, and a benefit for the Rock On! Scholarship Fund, part of Rock On! youth mentoring programs, at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre on Friday, Oct 19th.

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Oct 19th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun Late September – Early October, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Sept 22nd – Oct 5th, 2012

This past spring, MA Cultural Council named downtown Pittsfield one of the first state-designated Cultural Districts. This designated district is now called the Upstreet Cultural District, in honor of the longtime nickname for downtown used by generations of Pittsfield natives.

History comes alive in Berkshire County the weekend of Sept 22nd & 23rd with over 15 hiking, walking and behind-the-scene tours of local landmarks and outdoor spaces.  Peruse the list for a plethora of ways to explore Berkshire County while taking in its rich history!

Other notable events happening over the next two weeks include the Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Festival in North Adams, Hopkins Forest Fall Festival in Williamstown, production of “Lord of the Flies” in Pittsfield, and the Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair.

Many of the libraries host story & craft hours every week (see full list in our list of Weekly Suggested Events) and several of them are hosting special upcoming events. Lenox Library will host the Nutshell Playhouse for a Saturday afternoon performance. Local author, Ty Allen Jackson, will be at the Berkshire Athenaeum for a special weekend author event. The Ramsdell Library will screen an evening family film for teens. Lee Founders Weekend and Lenox Apple Squeeze happen all weekend too!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Oct 5th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid September 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Sept. 8th – 21st, 2012

We’ve rounded the corner from summer freedom to the routine of autumn, with kids back in school, homeschoolers organizing their fall schedules, and prek & story hours starting back up.  We’ve listed many ongoing activities below and will continue to add to the list as the season progresses.

Activities to look forward to over the next couple of weeks include Images Cinema’s International Family Film series, Lee Founders’ Weekend, the Tub Parade in Lenox, Youth Summit in Pittsfield, Oliver! and Story Pirates at the Colonial Theatre, International Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Hilltown Hoot in Washington, Housatonic River Walk in Great Barrington, among many others.

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Sept. 21st:

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday, and be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter!

Ticket Giveaway: Story Pirates at The Colonial Theatre Ticket Giveaway: FOUND at The Colonial Theatre

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Berkshire Family Fun for Late August-Early September

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 25th – September 7th, 2012

Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation’s summer Free Fun Fridays series, Mass MoCA in North Adams will offer free admission on Friday, Aug. 31st!(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

As the summer comes to a close, so do many ongoing summer concert and theater events that enriched Berkshire County this summer.  As we transition from summer towards the school year, many playgroups and libraries quiet down for a couple of weeks, but they will be sure to pick back up in September.

In the meantime, during these last couple of weeks of summer, there are still a lot of fun opportunities happening for families to enjoy: Main Street Stage will put on a theater performance at Bascom Lodge; David Grover will perform a family concert at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; Tanglewood will offer a family-friendly concert; and Berkshire Theatre Group will be putting on a production of Oliver! at The Colonial Theatre… just to name a few!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through the first week of September:

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

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid August, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 11th-24th, 2012

We’re entering the season of community festivals, craft and agricultural fairs!  A few to highlight in Berkshire County over the next two weeks including Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow Wow at Wirtes Farm in Lanesborough, Hinsdale Dayz at the town fire station, Berkhsire 4-H Fair in Pittsfield, Grecian Festival at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsfield, Stockbridge Summer Arts and Crafts Show, Zucchini Festival in the town center of West Stockbridge, Berkshire Crafts Fair at Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington, and  Family Day on the village green in New Marlborough.

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through August 24th:

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

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Arthurian Legends and Gold Dubloons at Norman Rockwell Museum

World of Adventure with Howard Pyle
Family Festival Day at Norman Rockwell Museum
Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Howard Pyle (1853-1911) was one of America’s most popular illustrators and storytellers during a period of explosive growth in the publishing industry. A celebrity in his lifetime, Pyle’s widely circulated images of pirates, knights, and historical figures were featured in dozens of publications and were admired by such artists and authors as  Mark Twain and Norman Rockwell.

Explore history, as depicted in artist Howard Pyle’s illustrations, at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA!  The museum’s newest exhibit features nearly 80 of Pyle’s works, created between 1876 and 1910, the subjects of which include Arthurian England, heroes of the American Revolution, and the fate of Scottish so-called pirate Captain Kidd.

On Saturday, August 4th the museum will present World of Adventure: Arthurian Legends and Gold Dubloons, a family festival day, from 12noon-4pm. Along with opportunities to explore the museum’s galleries and view Pyle’s work, there will be scavenger hunts, performances, art making, and more! The 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry will be sharing a replica of a Civil War encampment, where families can meet soldiers and learn about wartime camp life.  The band Ampersand will perform music from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and kids can meet all sorts of soldiers, pirates, and knights!

For older kids (and parents), the museum will be screening, “Howard Pyle and the Illustrated Story,” a documentary film that follows Pyle’s work through generations of media.  Check out the trailer which gives a glimpse of Howard Pyle’s talents as illustrator, author, and mentor:

World of Adventure: Arthurian Legends and Gold Dubloons, presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition, “Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered,” takes place from 12noon-4pm on Saturday, August 4th – visit to learn about the art of illustration, American history, and legends of knights, dragons, and pirates!  Find out more about the Norman Rockwell Museum at www.nrm.org.

[Image credit: We Started to Run back to the Raft for Our Lives, 1902 Howard Pyle (1853-1911) Oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches Delaware Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 1912]

Berkshire Family Fun for Late July – Early August, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
July 28th – August 10th, 2012

Summer theater and music continues in the Berkshires!  In addition to cultural performances, there are also great learning opportunities in  Berkshire County over the next two weeks!

With a region rich in local history, the history of families who lived in the Berkshires dating back to the 1600’s can be explored at the Mission House in Stockbridge, or explore during a guided tour of the Stockbridge Cemetery. Families can also learn about female soldiers in the Civil War at Western Gateway Heritage State Park  in North Adams, and “Amazing Americans” at the Milne Library in Williamstown. At the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, families can discover the importance blacksmithing was to Shaker history through demos and hands-on activities, and at the Ashley House in Sheffield the history and importance of pottery can be examined.

Other upcoming family fun learning opportunities in Berkshire County include exploring local boreal forests in Windsor with Mass Audubon, mapping the night sky at Naumkeag in Stockbridge, and learning about stars and planets at the Mason Library in Great Barrington.  There are even a couple of opportunities to learn about other cultures, including Australian Aboriginal culture at the Lenox Library and several other cultures at Pittsfield’s annual Ethnic Fair.

The Berkshires are not only a terrific place for high quality entertainment, but also a fun place to learn!  Find out all the fun thing’s happening for families and make plans to explore the Berkshires!

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Berkshire Family Fun for Mid-Late July, 2012

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
July 14th-27th, 2012

Berkshire County is full of high caliber cultural venues hosting quality entertainment for families just outside of the big cities, but smaller community venues and local parks have a lot to offer in the summer months too! There are playgroups, nature hikes, crafting and story times happening at the libraries, parks and family centers. Live music and baseball can be enjoyed in the parks, marionette shows at cafes and churches, and family films are screened under the stars. It’s these types of free community building opportunities that bring families together thereby strengthening the fabric of the region— while the area’s larger venues bring us amazing opportunities for culture and entertainment!

Over the next couple of weeks, cultural venues in north Berkshire Co. like Mass MoCA will host their annual Bang on a Can Festival’s Kids Can Too, while Williamstown Theater Festival invites kids backstage to discover theater production.  In central Berkshire Co., Jacob’s Pillow hosts free original contemporary dance performances, Tanglewood offers a free weekly music educational program for families, Berkshire Museum organizes a family day to celebrate their new exhibit on American Indian art, and Hancock Shaker Village opens their doors up for a one day free visit.  And in south Berkshire, The Mahaiwe Center puts on a community sing-along indoors, while families can enjoy croquet on the lawn at Naumkeag outdoors.

The list goes on!  Find out what’s happening and make plans to explore the Berkshires!

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Berkshire Family Fun: Late June, 2012

Summer Fun Heats Up in the Berkshires

The libraries across Western MA will host a plethora of free family activities this summer! Scott Jameson will be at the Mason Library in Great Barrington on June 30th with a magic show, followed by a juggling workshop for kids 8yo and older. Find out about this activity an many others happening across Berkshire County.

The kids are out of school, the days are getting warmer, and the kid-friendly activities are in abundance in the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley. And that can only mean one thing: while families embrace the summer season and search for the next adventure around the region, Hilltown Families’ founder and editor-in-chief Sienna Wildfield is working overtime. There is a reason Hilltown Families was voted the Pioneer Valley Advocate’s best blog two years in a row, and Sienna’s it. So as you set out to relax and enjoy all the fantastic events and happenings laid out for you here at Berkshire Family Fun, and on Hilltown Families every day, take a little time to send Sienna a quick note and thank her. Thank you, Sienna!

SUMMERTIME FAVORITES

I know the Berkshires is known for its spectacular fall foliage, and stellar winter skiing opportunities, but my favorite time in the Berkshires is summer. The theaters open, the festival season comes alive, the historic homes and sites awake after a long restful winter, and I have a list of things to do with my kids a mile long.

Though I know I won’t hit them all, I know there are a few activities we aren’t going to miss including — the free Chinese Festival Family Day at the Clark Art Institute scheduled for Sunday, June 24; Tanglewood’s Family Fest set for Friday, June 29; an outdoor concert or two at one of the free series around the county that kick off this month; and Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre production of “Beauty and the Beast” opening July 25 and running through Aug.12 (which will be showing on the Berkshire Museum Stage this year), just to name a few.

THE CLARK IN WILLIAMSTOWN

Every time the Clark schedules a free Family Day I make an internal promise to attend with the kids and my husband, and I have yet to keep that promise to myself. But once again that promise has been made for the upcoming Chinese Street Festival celebration at the museum set for Sunday, June 24, beginning at 11 a.m., and I intend to keep it this time. In celebration of the museum’s “Unearthed” exhibit, the Clark’s campus will be transformed into a traditional Chinese street festival complete with booths featuring fun activities for the whole family. From having one’s future told by an oracle and learning to write one’s name in Chinese characters to a dragon parade and a visit from a real water buffalo, there is plenty to delight the family.  Again, the event is FREE! The Clark is located at 225 South St., Williamstown. For more information visit theclark.edu or call 413-458-2303.

TANGLEWOOD IN LENOX

I love Tanglewood and so does my family, which is why we try (operative word here is TRY) to get there once a summer. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. But in celebration of Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary season Friday, June 29, will kick off the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays Program, and I hope to be there with my three kids and adorable hubby (yes, I said adorable). From 4 to 7 p.m. families are invited to enjoy the beauty of the Tanglewood campus, and partake in an educational scavenger hunt among other family-related activities, all while enjoying a live musical performance. Bonus: A gift will be awarded to families who complete the scavenger hunt. The event is FREE, but advance registration is recommended. For more information call 413-637-5393 or visit tanglewood.org/familyfunfest.

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Berkshire Family Fun: Early June, 2012

I’m Back in the Berkshire Groove

The Jimmies are coming to MASS MoCA on Saturday, June 16th for a super fun family concert, and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets along with 4 free gallery admissions to give away to one of our eNewsletter subscribers. Make sure you’re subscribed and this Thursday check you inbox to discover the details on how you can enter to win… it’s super easy and super fast to enter!

Greetings from the backwoods of Hinsdale, MA! I’ve been hiding out here for the last month and half in an attempt to escape the world and all those within it. Our little slice of heaven here has been my refuge while I regroup from the hustle and bustle of the school year and copious amounts of sporting events, as well as recover from a recent “minor” surgery that seemed to throw my body for a loop. But now that summer is nearly here and activity in the Berkshires is heating up as quickly as the weather should be, and I can’t wait to get out there to explore it all with my kids, husband, friends and (if I can manage to sneak away) myself!

A LITTLE HOUSEKEEPING

Hilltown Families’ editor Sienna Wildfield and myself have been experimenting around with this column for a while in an attempt to figure out the best way to keep you all interested, informed, and coming back for more. We tried bringing you a monthly feature of events, but it just seemed like the posts got WAY too long, and writing so early in the month resulted in missing a number of worthwhile events as many press releases came in after the first of the month.

Also, I love to have fun with this column and bring you more than just my maternal insights involving family fun in the Berkshires. I also like to ramble about mommy things that include such subjects as how to deal with the death and loss of two bunnies in two weeks (one died suddenly and one escaped into the wild). Or I might want to share with you my Top 10 strategies for dealing with the incessant and ridiculous arguments between two young brothers that tend to drive me insane. Or maybe I just want to share with you a funny family anecdote from the past weeks or a not-so-funny 10-year-old joke I was told the other day.

So here I go again, mixing things up a bit. I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you love and don’t love about Berkshire Family Fun. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or send an email to hilltownfamiliesberkshireco@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

MOVING ON

May marked the return of 3rd Thursdays to Pittsfield (the next one is set for June 21, from 5-8 p.m.) and with it a new monthly event titled First Fridays ArtsWalk.  The ArtsWalks highlight the openings of various month-long exhibits in over 25 arts venues throughout downtown Pittsfield. The year-round “walks” will occur the first Friday of every month from 5-8 p.m. with most of the activities occurring indoors. This month kicked off Hilltown Families’ own Traveling Photography Exhibit at TREEHOUSE Gallery located at 305 North Street. Photographs of life and landscapes in Western Massachusetts by Hilltown Families’ founder, Sienna Wildfield, will be on view at the gallery through June 30. This marks the exhibit’s debut in the Berkshires and if you have ever browsed through the gallery here on this site you’ll know Sienna’s pretty fantastic at what she does. All art is for sale with proceeds benefiting Hilltown Families. For more information about the First Fridays ArtsWalk visit firstfridaysartswalk.com. For information regarding upcoming 3rd Thursday events go online to discoverpittsfield.com/3rdThursdays.

IT’S THEATER TIME IN THE BERKSHIRES

The beginning of summer also brings with it the start of the summer theater season in the Berkshires, which began for me with a trip to Barrington Stage Company’s Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield to see “Lungs” Saturday night. “Lungs” by Duncan MacMillan and directed by Aaron Posner tells the story of a young couple contemplating having a child during a time of global anxiety and political unrest. If they overthink it, they’ll never do it. But if they rush, it could be a disaster. What will be the first to destruct — the planet or the relationship? The show runs through June 10. Tickets and show times can be found online at barringtonstageco.orgRead the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun for May 2012

Family Fun in the Berkshires: May 2012

May in the Berkshires (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)We are entering into my favorite time of year in the Berkshires. A time when the frozen Berkshire hills that lay semi-dormant this winter turn into a bustling center of activity. People emerge once again from their homes, tourism picks up, theater schedules kick into full gear, outdoor activities are plentiful, Trustees of Reservation properties reopen, and annual festivals return. So once again, grab your calendars, blackberries, iPhones and the like, and get ready to plan you itinerary in the Berkshires for the month of May.

BERKSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS FOR MAY

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Berkshire Family Fun for April 2012

Family Fun in the Berkshires: April 2012

April in the Berkshires (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)Spring temperatures have sprung a little early this year and the unseasonably warm weather in the past weeks has gotten people outdoors and milling about the Berkshires in anticipation of the summer season much earlier than in recent years. But now with the cooler temperatures returning, people may be thinking about retreating back inside until the summer weather is here to stay! Well think again, because there is still plenty happening inside and out around the region to keep families busy, and with a school vacation just around the corner that is music to any parent’s ears. So grab your calendars, iPhones, iPads, Google calendars, and the like and get ready to mark these dates down.

BERKSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS FOR APRIL

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