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!

North Berkshire

Adams | Florida | Lanesborough | North Adams | Williamstown


Adams Youth Center — Get out with your littlest ones and meet other parents with young kids in northern Berkshire County! On Tuesday, July 17th, there will be an outdoors playgroup from 10-11am!  Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires.  — 413-664-4821.  20 East Street.  (FREE)


Main Street Stage – Outdoor performances of The King Stag are happening around north Berkshire County this summer. This family-friendly show includes puppetry, comedy, magic and music and will be at the Abbot School Field on Saturday, July 21st at 11am. The play is 50 minutes long and is a complicated love story of King Deramo’s search for a queen. – 413-652-5282 North County Rd. (FREE)


Mt. Greylock — Hike and explore the natural beauty of the highest natural point in the state with your family. If you want to learn about safe hiking with your family, make tracks to their visitor center on Friday, July 20th from 1-4pm for their free program Hiking 101 to learn about trail safety, map reading, proper equipment, bear etiquette, etc. Great for families interested in doing serious hiking, as well as teens interested in hiking on their own. — The staff also offers ongoing guided hikes each week.  Every Saturday visitors are invited to explore the waterfalls of Mt. Greylock from 1-4pm, leaving the visitors center at 1pm. And every Sunday families can go on a medicinal plant walk at 10am or 2pm. Leaving from the visitors center, the walk will be easy and focused on teaching visitors to identify plants with medicinal properties.  Then every Wednesday, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail. Call to find out meeting place. And on Fridays, take little adventurers on a tyke hike! The hike is short, and ends with storytime. Meet at the Visitors Center at 10am. — 413-499-4262. Rockwell Road. (FREE)


Haskins CenterOn Monday, July 16th, kids can beat the heat by running through the sprinkler at the Haskins Center playground.  After work bring your kiddos in swimsuits for splishy-splashy playtime, including snack and circle time. And on Thursdays, the center hosts morning playgroups outside on the playground.   413-664-4821. 210 State Street. (FREE)

MASS MoCA — Mass MoCA hosts the annual Bang on a Can Festival’s Kids Can Too event on Saturday, July 14th at 11am! The faculty and fellows behind the festival present a concert where kids can learn all about new instruments and musical sounds – plus it’s totally fun! Advance tickets suggested. — 413-662-2111. Mass MoCA Way. (<$)

Natural Bridge State Park —Natural Bridge State Park hosts nature walks every Sunday.  Visitors can learn about important local and natural history at the marble quarry that once operated nearby. Walks are two hours long leaving at 10am and 1pm. The park also hosts a Tyke Hike every Tuesday at either 1pm or 3pm. This short, kid-friendly expedition is lead by a park interpreter, who will share information on the natural wonders at the park. And every Thursday at 2pm, kids can exercise their creativity by doing outdoor nature crafts. — 413-663-6392. 107 McAuley Road. (<$)


The Clark The museum hosts live outdoor lawn concerts every Tuesday throughout July beginning at 6pm! Each week brings a new musical style to enjoy. Dinner available for purchase. In case of rain, concerts will take place in the museum’s auditorium. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. (FREE)

Images Cinema On Sunday, July 15th, Images Cinema screens a family friendly film under the stars at 8pm. This week’s film is ET, the classic 80’s alien movie featuring young Drew Barrymore. In case of rain, the screening will take place at the theater on Spring Street. (<$)  Then on Sunday, July 22nd, the cinema has an outdoor screening of  A League of Their Own on the Morgan Lawn as part of Williamstown’s Summer Sundays. The movie tells the story of the creation of an all-women’s baseball league – kids can learn about women’s rights and feminism, while enjoying a fun family-friendly film. 413-458-9077 (FREE)

Main Street Stage – Outdoor performances of The King Stag are happening around north Berkshire County this summer. This family-friendly show includes puppetry, comedy, magic and music and will be at the Williamstown Youth Center on Friday, July 27th at 10am. The play is 50 minutes long and is a complicated love story of King Deramo’s search for a queen. – 413-652-5282. 270 Cole Ave. (FREE)

Williamstown Theater Festival — Explore the behind-the-scenes aspects of professional theater productions! Williamstown Theater Festival is offering a workshop on Friday, July 20th at 4pm during which kids can explore and learn about the theater’s backstage area and about all of the work that goes on – unseen! – during each show. Reservations required. — 413-597-3400. 84 Spring Street. (FREE)

Central Berkshire

Becket | Dalton | Lenox | Pittsfield| Stockbridge


Jacob’s Pillow — Students from the School at Jacob’s Pillow present free original contemporary dances performances all summer on the Inside/Out stage as part of the school’s summer series. Kids can experience professional contemporary dances, and dance and movement as artistic expression. Best for kids with audience skills.  Performances scheduled for the next couple of weeks are on July 14, 18, 19, and 20 starting at 6:15pm. Visit their web site to see what performances are scheduled. BYO picnic for dinner on the lawn before the show.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road. (FREE)


Dalton CRA — The Dalton CRA hosts a wild, wacky fun Olympics for kids on Tuesday, July 17th from 6-8pm! Celebrate the summer Olympics by participating in relay races, tug of war, and other fun outdoor games. Takes place in Pinegrove Park. — 400 Main Street. (FREE)


Lenox Library — The library will host an outdoor theatrical production of Pinocchio on Thursday, July 19th, presented by Hampstead Stage Company in the reading park next to the library at 11am. The the following week on Thursday, July 26th their will be storytelling outdoors also at the reading park adjacent to the library, sharing tales from around the world.  Following storytelling participants are invited to make dreamcatchers. — 413-637-2630. 18 Main Street. (FREE)

Lilac Park — Enjoy live music every Wednesday on the lawn at the park at 7pm. Each week features great local performers as part of their lawn concert series. BYO family, blanket and picnic dinner for an evening filled with music as the sun sets. In case of rain, the show will take place at the town hall. — Main Street. (FREE)

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary — On Friday, July 20th, families interested in discovering the diversity of insects in the region are invited to the sanctuary for a morning of exploration from 10am-12noon. Rene Laubach, Director of Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries, will lead kids ages 8-16yo through wetlands, forests and fields on a hunt for all manner of insects. (>$) — Then the focus turns to bats on Friday, July 27th, for Twilight World of Bats, beginning at 7pm. Kids ages 5-15yo can learn about the ecology and diversity of bats in the regions. Using a bat detector, participants can “eavesdrop” on these flying mammals as the hunt the evening sky for food.  Program begins inside and moves outdoors, so dress accordingly. (>$) — Parents looking for a night out can enjoy an evening supporting Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at their annual gala bonfire on Saturday, July 21st beginning at 6:30pm.  The Crickets, Critters, and Cocktails fundraising event will include live music, delicious food and drinks, and a silent auction.  Book a babysitter and join MassAudubon’s Lenox property for a lovely parents’ night out. — 413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road. ($$)

Roce Reading Park — On Sunday, July 15th & 22nd families can enjoy a serenaded outdoor breakfast at the Roce Reading Park at 10am!  Students from Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute will perform classical music, and light breakfast will be provided from local restaurants.  What a great way to start off a Sunday!  —  413-637-2630.  18 Main Street.  (FREE)

St. Ann’s Catholic Church —The weekend of July 14th-15th, a community summer festival takes place at the church with fun events for the whole family. Saturday highlights from 8:30am-6:30pm include a dog pageant, hat parade, antique appraisals (get your items looked at, or just watch and listen to learn about historic items), and, in the evening, the Taste of the Berkshires dinner event (tickets are extra). Sunday from 12noon-3pm the celebration begins with a community potluck picnic – meats will be supplied, just bring your favorite side. Following the picnic will be fun, friendly games including a sack race, tug of war, and more.  — 413-637-0157. Main Street. (<$)

Stonover Farm — Celebrate 10 years of Berkshire Grown’s Share the Bounty, a program that raises money to purchase shares at local farms in order to donate the produce to local food pantries. On Saturday, July 21st at 2pm there will be local foods to try, farmers to meet, and much to learn about how climate change is affecting local agriculture. Takes place at Stonover Farm. — 169 Undermountain Road.  ($)

Tanglewood Every Friday this summer from 9-11am kids are invited to attend a music educational program and a Boston Symphony Orchestra rehearsal at Tanglewood! There will be a presentation for families, a tour, and, of course, music. Shed seating is available for groups with kids ages 8+, while younger kiddos are asked to watch with their grown-ups from the lawn. Happens all summer (No rehearsal on August 17th!). — 413-637-5274. 297 West Street. (FREE)


Berkshire AthenaeumStoryteller Tom Lee visits the library on Tuesday, July 17th at 1pm to share stories from all over the world! A professional storyteller, Lee will share myths, fables, and legends collected from both international travels and storytelling research. Great for all ages! Then same time on Wednesday, July 18th, kids can come make an owl puppet at the library. Kids under 10 will need a grown-up to supervise their bird-making. Registration required. Continuing their 1pm entertainment series, the library will have a family concert with David Polansky on Wednesday, July 25th. — 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. (FREE)

Berkshire Museum —The museum’s exhibit on American Indian Art (titled, “Rethink!”) opens on Saturday, July 14th with a Family Day from 10am-4pm. Visit the museum to view the exhibit, and to participate in special family programs, including demonstrations of basketry and wigwam building, performances of traditional and modern Native American music and dance, delicious traditional foods, a storywalk, and more. The event provides families with a unique opportunity to experience Native American culture for themselves – it can supplement older students’ studies of American history or help younger students gain interest and background knowledge of the subject matter. — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. ($)

Berkshire Theater Group — Enjoy a parents’ night out on Friday, July 20th at 8pm as the Berkshire Theater Group’s Unicorn Company presents, “A Class Act!” Nominated for five Tony awards, the show is written by Edward Kleban, lyricist of “A Chorus Line.” — 413-298-5576. 111 South Street. ($$)

Hancock Shaker Village — Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays summer series, Hancock Shaker Village is offering free admission on Friday, July 20th!  Visit the village to learn about Shaker life and culture.  — 413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  (FREE)

Marketplace Cafe — The cafe hosts free marionette shows with Robbins-Zust Marionettes.  Bring the kids and come see Peter and the Wolf on Saturday, July 14th or Firebird on Saturday, July 21st.  Both shows begin at 11am. —  55 North Street. (FREE)

Treehouse — There are several free programs happening at Treehouse this summer.  There will be a couple of playgroups on Tuesdays: Kids ages 2-4 and their siblings can come together in their playspace in the mornings from 10-10:45am; and there will be drop-in crawl time for infants in the afternoon from 3-4pm.  And on Wednesdays, a New Moms Group takes place from 11am-12noon, intended for moms with babies under 9 months – drop in and get support from others parents experiencing similar adjustments and developments. — 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. (FREE)

Wahconah Park — Baseball is in the air and the Pittsfield Suns have several upcoming home games sports fans can attend.  Bring the kids to the ballpark on July 16, 17, 20 or 21 for a 7pm game on their home field. Visit their web site for a full schedule of who they are playing against.  Go Pittsfield Suns! — 413-445-7867. 105 Wahconah Street ($)


Naumkeag — Naumkeag hosts an afternoon of “Croquet on the Lawnevery other Thursday this summer from 3-5pm. Families can come for a relaxed game of croquet, the leisurely sport of Edwardian high-society. Experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate and an afternoon of play for families. Kids can learn about cultural history by visiting. Refreshments served. — 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road. (<$)

St. Paul’s Church — St. Paul’s hosts free marionette shows with Robbins-Zust Marionettes too. Bring the kids and come see a production of Sleeping Beauty on Monday, July 16th, The Three Little Pigs on Tuesday, July 17th, Cinderella on Wednesday, July 18th, or Firebird on Thursday, July 19th. All shows are at 11am and 2pm. — 29 Main Street. (<$)

South Berkshire

Great Barrington | Housatonic


The Mahaiwe Center — The Berkshires are alive… with the Sound of Music!  The Mahaiwe Center for Performing Arts is hosting a movie sing-a-long on Saturday, July 14th at 7pm – sing your heart out with the Von Trapps while watching this timeless classic.  Then on Friday, July 20th at 7pm, the center will screen Moby Dick (1956), a historic film based on Herman Melville’s classic novel by the same name.  — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. ($)

Mason Library — Lions, and tigers, and bears – OH MY! The Forest Park Zoo on the Go will be at the library on Saturday, July 14th from 10:30am-12noon! No lions, tigers, or bears included, but kids can meet many of the smaller members of the zoo’s critter population. Zoo on the Go begins at 11am, and kids can make their own night animal card game to take home beginning at 10:30 (registration required). — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. (FREE)

Triplex CinemaParents’ night out at the cinema for a screening of, “Fixing the Future: Building Local Jobs, Income, and Sustainability” at 7pm sponsored by Share the Bounty. Following the film will be an onscreen discussion panel. — 70 Railroad Street.  ($)


Ramsdell Library — Kids can try out ink blot art at the library on Thursday, July 19th at 1:30pm and make your very own Rorschach creations!  Call to register.  — 413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street. (FREE)

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