Student Tours at Hancock Shaker Village

Student Tours at Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is a fantastic resource for learning about local history and Shaker culture, and the village even offers educational group tours!  Designed specifically to fit within the state’s learning standards, the tours teach kids all about life during the 19th century.  Though the tours are designed for classes, homeschool groups, scout troops, and other groups of kids can do the tours, too!  During November, 90 minute guided tours of the village are available by appointment.  This is a great way to supplement learning about local pioneers!  To learn more, visit

Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary Country Fair

Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary Country Fair

Celebrating the bounty of the harvest, the Country Fair will be held on September 25th and September 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in Pittsfield, MA. At the Kids Tent, Hancock Shaker Village interpreters will lead a host of fun activities, including crafts, old-fashioned games, and face painting. There will also be wagon rides through the scenic Village grounds and, of course, a hay pile to jump and play on.

Hancock Shaker Village’s 50th anniversary Country Fair promises fun for the whole family with Shaker-inspired games in the Kids Tent, a farmers’ market with samples of heirloom vegetables to taste, a juried fine craft show, wagon rides, antique engines and tractors, sustainable gardening tips, a pie contest, square dancing demonstration, quilt show, and more.

Celebrating the bounty of the harvest, the Country Fair will be held on September 25th and September 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in Pittsfield, MA. “For those who have told us they miss the Hancock Shaker Village Craft Fair, we’re delighted that we have more fine craft artists than ever lined up for this year’s Country Fair,” said Ellen Spear, president and CEO of Hancock Shaker Village “This event is always a festive highlight of the year and a great way for families to learn about our mission and its connection to sustainable, principled living.” Children 12 and under and Hancock Shaker Village members are admitted free of charge. Admission for adults is $17.00 and youth visitors aged 13 to 17 are $8. For more information, call 800.817.1137 or visit

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Hancock Shaker Village Celebrates 50 Years as a Living History Museum

Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary Charter Day

Hancock Shaker Village Charter Day is a family-friendly event featuring children’s music, plays, storytelling, lawn games, wagon rides, free ice cream, and more!

It’s the Hancock Shaker Village’s 50th anniversary and they are celebrating with Charter Day, a family-friendly celebration of Hancock Shaker Village’s official “birthday” as living history museum on August 21st, 10:00am to 5:00pm in Pittsfield, MA. This fun-filled day will include:

  • Lawn games
  • Wagon rides
  • Shaker story time
  • Kids concert with Mister G
  • Clara and Claire, a short play for young audiences
  • Free ice cream
  • Demonstrations
  • Exhibits
  • Community slideshow

Mister G. will perform children’s music concerts at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm. His career spans twenty years as a performing musician and recording artist. He began blending his love of music and education in the late 1990s, and specializes in promoting literacy through song creation. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and his songs have been featured in television programs around the world.

Clara and Claire, a short play for young audiences written and directed by Berkshire resident Juliane Hiam and conceived by Sharon Smullen, will be performed at 12:00pm and 3:30pm. The play tells the story of two girls from different periods of history who have a magical, accidental meeting at Hancock Shaker Village. One is Clara Sperle, who was the last child to be raised by the Hancock Shakers. Clara went to live with the Shakers at age eight and remained there until she was a young woman. The other is a fictionalized modern day child who is visiting Hancock Shaker Village on a class field trip. Their encounter will bring the audience on a journey that reveals the wonders of simplicity. The production will feature two local 12-year-old actresses, Rebecca van der Meulen and Harper Glantz.

Charter Day will also include children’s lawn games, wagon rides, free ice cream by Crescent Creamery, Shaker Story Time, plus the full schedule of Village daily tours and demonstrations. Admission will be half-price and free for members and children 12 and under.  For more information, call 800.817.1137 or go to

Spring Festival at HSV: Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm

Hancock Shaker Village
8th Annual Spring Celebration
April 3rd through April 25th, 2010 in Pittsfield, MA

Hancock Shaker Village (HSV) kicks off its 50th anniversary as a living history museum with Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm, running April 3rd through April 25th, 2010. This annual spring celebration is one of the most exciting times of the year at the Village, when scores of baby lambs, piglets, calves, goats, ducklings, and chicks arrive at the historic Round Stone Barn. Constructed in 1826, the Round Stone Barn is the only circular barn ever built by the Shakers and originally stabled 52 milk cows.

The animals represent livestock once kept by the Shakers, beginning in the 1700s and continuing into the 1960s. In addition to the heritage breed animals raised by HSV year round, this event includes “guest” livestock raised by local farms and 4-H clubs. Visitors get to meet and greet the baby animals and participate in farm chores, such as helping to feed the animals and to save seeds. They may also participate in fun Shaker-themed craft activities, such as basket weaving, making and decorating seed packets, and weaving on a small loom.

The weekend of April 17th – 18th is Sheep Shearing Weekend. In addition to the regular farm activities, Sheep Shearing Weekend will feature shearing of the Village’s Merino sheep and special hands-on textile demonstrations and activities that will be conducted by volunteers from three local spinning and weaving guilds. On Saturday, April 17th, there will also be live, family-friendly music and children’s crafts. ($)

Another event happening during the HSV Spring Festival happens on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22nd at 2:00pm. There will be family-friendly event to tour the Hancock Shaker Village’s historic-to-modern green and environmentally-friendly features. Included will be information on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, architectural design and construction, smart growth town planning, and more. There will be a demonstration of the 1858 water power turbine in Laundry and Machine Shop and up-close investigation of the historic passive solar features of Shaker buildings, compared with Hancock Shaker Village’s new solar photovoltaic array. Free with general admission.

Daily during the Spring Festival, Behind-the-Scenes Farm Tours will be available at 2 pm. Families can get up close and personal with the animals on these private guided tours, which include special access to the newborns, helping at feeding time, gift bags with a variety of toys and games from the Village Store, and a group photo to commemorate the visit. Reservations may be made for this tour by calling 413.443.0188 x213. ($$)

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