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

North Berkshire

North Adams | Williamstown

Central Berkshire | South Berkshire


Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum — 413-743-7121.  67 East Road

Saturday, February 2nd from 12:30-3:30pm – WRITING/HISTORY: Youth interested in writing can take part in a young writers’ workshop today at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum!  Local author Jana Laiz will present her book, A Free Woman on God’s Earth, which tells the story of Mumbet Freeman – a Massachusetts slave who won her freedom in a landmark court case.  (FREE)


Childcare of the Berkshires — 413-664-4821. 210 State Street.

Child Care of the Berkshires writes, “Berkshire Youth Mentoring is gearing up for its 1st Bowl-a-Thon on Saturday, February 9th, 1-7pm., at Mt. Greylock Bowl in North Adams, MA. Save the date and prepare to have fun as we bring back Bowling for Kid’s Sake to the Berkshires. Money raised through this event stays right here in our community. Berkshire Youth Mentoring Program of Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc., builds dynamic mentoring relationships to expand youths’ interests, joys, strengths and possibilities for the future. We are seeking dedicated community members who can volunteer 1-2 hours a week. Contact Alex at 413-663-6593 or for more info.”

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts  — 413-664-4821. Church Street.

Saturday, February 2nd from 9:30am-3pm – SPORTS: Girls in grades 3-8, as well as older women, can learn about and try new sports at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ National Girls and Women in Sports Day event!  There will be separate workshops for kids and adults, all of which will teach girls and women about participating in sports and the many different athletic opportunities available to them.  The event celebrates the female presence in athletics, and young participants will learn about the hard work that it takes to be a higher level athlete.  Registration required.  Takes place in the college’s campus center gym.  413-662-5000.  (FREE)

Mass MoCA  — 413-662-2111. Mass MoCA Way.

Mark Your Calendars: Feb 18-22, 9am-3pm Art Camp at Kidspace. ($$)

Western Gateway Heritage State Park  — 115 State Street, Building 4.

Saturday, January 26th at 3pm – ASTRONOMY: Visit Western Gateway Heritage State Park for a fun educational program titled, “Comet!”  The program is part of the park’s exhibit on space, called, “Journey to the Stars.”  413-663-6312.  (FREE, fee for parking)


The Clark  413-458-2303. 225 South Street.

Saturday, January 26th at 2pm – FILM: The Clark Museum’s Widescreen Wonders series continues today with a screening of Ben-Hur, a 1959 epic about the Roman Empire in Palestine.  The film, directed by William Wyler, included a cast of thousands of actors and swept in eleven Oscars.  Older students interested in film will love seeing this classic! (FREE)

Friday, February 1st at 10:15am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Clark is offering a special gallery tour for new parents – the tour is designed for parents to learn about the museum’s collections in a child-friendly (and interruption-friendly) environment.  (FREE with museum admission)

Sunday, February 3rd at 3pm – ART HISTORY: Celebrate the launch of The Clark Museum’s European Paintings Catalogue with a reading of some of the most interesting histories included in the catalogue.  Older students interested in art history can learn about works from different periods and cultures, and will learn about the catalog, which serves as a great resource for learning about everything from individual paintings to styles of painting to entire centuries worth of art.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

Friday, February 8th at 8pm – JAZZ: New Orleans’ own legends the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are playing The Clark tonight!  Playing both Dixieland and traditional jazz, the group represents the historic Preservation Hall’s decades-long musical tradition.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$$)

Williams College  413-597-2188. 829 Main Street.

Tuesday, February 5th at 7pm – COSMOLOGY: Where did the universe come from?  Learn about its origins tonight with cosmologist Lawrence Krauss at Williams College.  Best for older students, the talk will cover recent developments in the field of particle physics, as well as ideas behind why there is something in the universe instead of nothing!  Takes place at Bronfman Auditorium.  413-597-4277.  (FREE)

Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Route 7.

Sunday, February 3rd from 1-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Field Farm for Winter Wildlife Day.  Dress warmly to trek around the farm, searching for signs of wildlife and learning about how the many creatures who call the farmlands home survive during the winter months.  Bring snowshoes or skis if you wish.  Warm up after your adventure by toasting marshmallows over a campfire!  413-532-1631. (FREE)

Williamstown Youth Center413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue.

Sunday, February 3rd from 12noon-4pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: Williamstown’s annual Snowfest celebration takes place this afternoon at the town field house and ice arena.  The event includes tons of fun family activities, and benefits the Williamstown Youth Center, a valuable community resource!  There will be a caricature artist creating crazy portraits of families,lots of arts and crafts projects for kids, a bounce house and inflatable obstacle course (challenging but fun!), and skating on fresh ice at the arena.  49 Latham Street. ($$)

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Central Berkshire

Lee | Lenox | Pittsfield | Stockbridge

North Berkshire | South Berkshire


Lee Library  — 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street.

Tuesday, January 29th from 10:30-11am – READING: Families with early readers can take part in a special literacy workshop at the Lee Library today!  The workshop is part of a six-week series, and is open to families with kids ages 5 and younger.  The program will focus on teaching skills that will eventually help children learn to read in school – parents can work on these basic skills at home with their kids in order to help them be ready to read!  Participants will receive six picture books and letter magnets to take home.  Registration required.  (FREE)

Spectrum Playhouse 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street.

Saturday, February 2nd from 11am-12noon – PUPPETS: Visit the Berkshire Visual and Performing Arts Center to learn all there is to know about shadow puppets with Dr. Marmalade!  Presented by Nutshell Playhouse, the event is part of BVPAC’s Family First Saturday Series. Lee, MA.  (FREE)


The Mount  — 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street.

Saturday, January 26th from 11am-4pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the 151st birthday of prolific writer Edith Wharton today at The Mount, Wharton’s beautiful and historic home!  The mansion will be open for visitors of all ages to explore – guides will be available for tours throughout the day.  Birthday cake will be served at 2pm, and kids can do a scavenger hunt and make their own journals to write down their thoughts and ideas – just like Edith!  Tie the celebration into family studies of classic literature and/or historic homes in Western MA!  (FREE)

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary  — 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road.

Saturday, January 26th from 6-8:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowshoe under the full moon at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  Arrive at 6pm to register for a guided group, and bring a headlamp if you have one!  Snowshoes available in limited quantities – call ahead to reserve pairs.  ($$)

Shakespeare & Company  — 70 Kemble Street.

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.

Berkshire Athenaeum  — 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue.

Saturday, January 26th from 10:30am-12noon – LIBRARY ADVENTURE: Celebrate winter – indoors!  The Berkshire Athenaeum is having a special snowy day-themed event just for kids, featuring stories, a short video, and crafts for toddlers and pre-schoolers.  (FREE)

Saturday, January 26th at 2pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Learn about the secret lives of amphibians today at the Berkshire Athenaeum!  Berkshire Community College professor Tom Tyning will present information about frogs and salamanders, as well as his new book – A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles. (FREE)

Berkshire Museum  — 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7.

Saturday, January 26th at 11am – CHEMISTRY Learn how to be a mad scientist – safely! – using ingredients found in your kitchen!  Kitchen Ka-Boom at the Berkshire Museum is a special program filled with wacky kid-safe experiments that can be easily replicated at home and will help kids learn about basic scientific principles. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, February 2nd from 10-11am  – HISTORY: The Berkshire Museum presents, “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” the first in a two-part lecture series featuring author Barbara Krauthamer.  The presentation will use historic images (including the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Sojourner Truth, abolitionist conventions, and more) to examine what the freedom granted by the Emancipation Proclamation really looked like in the years just after its implementation.  Older students can pair the event with studies of American history and civil rights – gaining a critical understanding of the implications of the historic proclamation can help students better understand the roots of race-related conflicts and inequalities.  The second lecture will take place at the same time on Saturday, February 9th. (FREE with museum admission)

Colonial Theatre  — 413-298-5576. 111 South Street.

Saturday, January 26th at 7pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Blues Show is coming to the Colonial Theater!  Featuring the James Montgomery Blues Band, Popa Chubby, and special guests the Arthur Holmes Blues Band, the show is full of high-energy, modern blues music!  413-997-4444.  ($$)

Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club — 16 Melville Street. 

Monday, February 4th at 5:30pm – TEEN: Teens deal with a lot of new responsibility and difficult social issues as they grow, and it can often be difficult to communicate with adults about these challenges.  Parents and guardians of teens, as well as teens themselves, are invited to attend Teens Talk About Tough Topics tonight in the Lighthouse at the Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club.  The workshop is a teen-lead forum where attendees can hear about communication ussues from a youth perspective and learn tips and tools for strengthening relationships and building communication skills.  Pizza will be served! (FREE) 


Norman Rockwell Museum — 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183.

Friday, February 8th at 2:30pm: HISTORY –  Learn about the powerful images that Norman Rockwell created during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Norman Rockwell Museum’s Curator of Education Tom Daly will share the stories behind the creation of such paintings as “The Problem We All Live With,” “Murder in Mississippi,” and “New Kids in the Neighborhood,” and Rockwell’s dedication to civil rights throughout his career.  (FREE with museum admission)

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South Berkshire

Great Barrington | Housatonic | New Marlborough

North Berkshire | Central Berkshire


Community Health Programs —  413-464-5095.  444 Stockbridge Road.

Tuesday, February 5th at 6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a parent workshop titled, “Don’t Pop Your Cork!”  The workshop, featuring Jeanine Fitzgerald, will discuss strategies for self-care for parents – parenting can be exhausting and trying at times, and often parents forget (or don’t have time) to take care of themselves.  Parents will learn strategies for creating whole family wellness – including themselves.  Takes place at Community Health Programs.  Pre-registration required for childcare.  (FREE)

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School— 413-528-4015.  West Plain Road.

Wednesday, January 30th at 7pm – SCIENCE: Students at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School will present their own unique, independent science research tonight at the school’s annual science fair!  Students choose their own topics to research, then are mentored by an expert in the field that they have chosen in order to help them learn how to do accurate research, provide them with necessary background information, etc.  The process helps students learn how to be a scientist, and  the role that scientific research plays in our lives.  Families can learn about many different scientific phenomena by viewing the exhibits, and can learn about ways to conduct their own scientific research at home.  (FREE)

Mason Library — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street.

Saturday, February 2nd from 10:30-11:45am – VALENTINES: Make your own Valentines at the Mason Library!  There will be lots of materials for making beautiful cards, and other crafts, too. (FREE)

Matrushka Toys and Gifts — 309 Main Street.

Saturday, January 26th at 10:30 and 11:30am – MARIONETTES: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School presents a marionette show at Matrushka Toys and Gifts.  The marionettes star in, “Starry Night,” a show for young children about a mother comforting her child who can’t get to sleep. 309 Main Street.  (FREE)


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

Saturday, January 26th from 11am-12noon – CRAFTS: Kids can play with clay at the Ramsdell Library this morning!  There will be plenty of the squishy, moldable medium to go around.  Registration required.  (FREE)


New Marlborough Library — 413-664-0104. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road.

Saturday, February 2nd at 3pm – PUPPET SHOW: The New Marlborough Library celebrates “Take Your Child to the Library!” Come by to see Dr. Marmalade and her “Emerge-And-See” Wagon show. 413-229-6668.  (>$)


Bartholomew’s Cobble  — 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road.

Saturday, January 26th from 9am-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Bartholomew’s Cobble with the Trustees of Reservations’ yearly Hot Chocolate Saturdays series!  Visitors can hike, snowshoe, and/or ski at the Cobble (weather depending, of course), and end their excursion with a cup of cocoa in the visitor center.  Families can practice looking for signs of birds and mammals, and can explore the changes that have taken place to the landscape since winter set in.  413-229-8600.  (FREE with admission)

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