Berkshire Family Fun: February 2018
Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of February. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:
Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Sandisfield, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. 413-743-7121. 67 East Road. Adams, MA.
Abbot School — 56 North Country Road.
Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 W Housatonic St. 413-443-0188
Friday, February 23, 9am-4pm
There are few sounds more haunting in the woods at night than the tell-tale cry of an owl: “who cooks for you?” These mysterious creatures have inspired and fascinated human beings for thousands of years. This Owl Appreciation Day is a day long celebration of owls! Come learn about how owls can rotate their heads, how their ears work, and lots more. Participants will also be able to make their own owl hand puppet. This event is suitable for children of all ages. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 1-2pm
The geology of our region has a rich and intriguing history. As recently as fifteen thousand years ago, after the end of the last ice age, the entirety of the Connecticut River was a massive lake, known as Lake Hitchcock, which existed for around three thousand years. Before that the Laurentide ice sheet dominated the entire northern United States, including New England. As this massive glacier receded it carved enormous valleys and deposited gargantuan boulders. To this day, we can still see evidence of the glacier’s retreat all around us. Join photographer and boulder enthusiast Christy Butler for a discussion of the natural history of our region, followed by a short hike. For more information call 413-499-4262. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA (FREE)
Friday, February 2, 4-6pm
NATURE APPRECIATION/SUNSET HIKE
Come experience the natural beauty of the Mohawk Trail! This historical area was once used by the indigenous people of the Hudson River Valley as a path to the Connecticut River region and to the coast beyond. Sunset Rock is a beautiful natural cliff along the Hoosac Range. These stunning cliffs were formed by the geological process known as ‘glacial plucking.’ This process refers to the creation of cliffs and valleys by the gradual erosion and movement of glaciers over thousands of years. This moderate hike will follow a 1.5 mile loop up to Sunset Rock. Hot apple cider will be provided but feel free to bring snacks and dress warm! Hoosac Range Trail. North Adams, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 17, 10am-4pm
This saturday and sunday, North Adams becomes transformed into a magical winter wonderland with events and activities for the whole family, celebrating community and winter fun! There will be ice sculptures all over town, a free movie screening, horse drawn wagon rides, and you won’t want to miss the chowder cookoff! The day ends with free ice skating at the Memorial Ice Skating Rink. For more details and a full list of events, please visit North Adams Winterfest. North Adams, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 26, 7pm
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther made history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church Door in Wittenberg. This single act changed the course of European history and indeed, the history of the world. Five hundred years after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Joseph Molleur, PhD, is offering a four-session mini-course, where he will explore three of the most important figures of the Protestant Reformation, the movements associated with them, and their possible continuing significance for us today and tomorrow. This session will focus on Martin Luther himself. For more information and reserve your spot contact 413-664-9656 or email email@example.com. All Saints Berkshires. 59 Summer Street, North Adams, MA (FREE)
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..
Sunday, February 4, 1-4pm
Drawing has always occupied an important role in the history of art. Independent, to a certain extent from the limitations of painting, drawing as a medium has always been about pushing the boundaries. From Francisco Goya’s macabre sketches detailing the grotesqueness of war to Honore Daumier’s hilarious and topical caricatures, drawing is able to capture something ineffable and profound about the human condition. Odilon Redon once said: “My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.” Come celebrate the Clark Art Institutes new exhibit of drawings with a series of short lectures on Goya, Daumier, Redon, Cezanne, and other artists who added to the development of drawing as a medium. First Sundays Free. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Friday, February 9, 1-4pm
The human library project is a truly unique approach to fostering greater connection and understanding between people. The concept is simple: just like a library, you can go into the card catalog and browse for books on subjects that you are interested in learning more about. The twist is that in this case, the books are actual people! At the human library, you can check out a ‘book’ for 30 minute, one-on-one conversation. You can ask the book questions about their experience and they can ask you questions too. The human library project was founded in Denmark in 2001 and has since spread all around the world as a model for appreciating diversity and overcoming prejudice. Paresky Student Center. Williams College. Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 19, 7-9pm
FILM STUDIES/WORLD WAR I
Come attend this free screening of the 2004 film A Very Long Engagement by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the visionary filmmaker behind the beloved Amelie. This touching and bizarrely beautiful film tells the story of a woman searching for her fiancee who mysteriously disappeared on the frontlines of World War I. Beyond all hope, she seeks her love among the ruins. The film dramatically showcases the absurdity of war and the strangeness of a world turned upside down in its wake, told with Jeunet’s unique aesthetic sensibility that will be immediately recognizable to his fans. Part of Williams College French Film Festival, focusing on stories about the experience of World War I. Hopkins Hall. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 20, 11-11:45am
Yoga is a wonderful way to recharge your batteries, build flexibility and strength, and decrease stress. This free yoga class at the Clark Art Institute is designed for adults and children ages 3 and above. Bring your yoga mat and refocus during this February vacation week. Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Sunday, February 25, 3pm
ART STUDIES/FILM SCREENING
David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Hockney was a key figure in the pop art movement of the 1960 and has continued to develop new techniques and styles as the years have gone on. Currently in his 80s, Hockney has been producing hundreds of portraits using the ipad app “Brushes.” For Hockney’s contributions to British art, he was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. This award is restricted to 24 members for their exemplary work in art and science. If you are a fan of Hockney’s work or passionate about contemporary art, you won’t want to miss this screening of the film “David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts.” This film focuses on Hockney’s work on two major installations in 2012 and 2016 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, as well as intimate interviews with the author himself. Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($)
Tuesday, February 27, 5:30-6:30pm
ART STUDIES/GRAPHIC DESIGN
Are you interested in graphic design or art history? You won’t want to miss this lecture on the history of graphic design! Professor Renzo Baldasso will discuss the origins of graphic design in such early modern texts as the Gutenberg Bible and the works of Nicolas Jenson, creator of one of the early Roman fonts. Professor Baldasso will analyze pages of revisions that illustrate the creative process that went into early graphic design. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Milne Public Library 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street.
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road.
Clark Art Institute 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
Images Cinema. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street.
Sweet Brook Farm — 413-884-4246. 580 Oblong Road.
Williams College Museum of Art — 413-597-2376. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive.
Williamstown Youth Center — 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue.
Notchview Reservation 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA.
Dalton Free Public Library 0 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street.
Thursday, February 8, 3:30-4:30pm
Do you have an aspiring scientist in your family? STEM fields can be a fascinating way to learn about the world that we live in. Now your favorite science and STEM programs from Berkshire Museum come right to your own neighborhood with South County STEM! These programs are designed for children ages 2 to 8. Space is limited so please call 413-464-5095 to RSVP. Lee Library. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, February 7, 10am
SHAKESPEARE/SELF DIRECTED LEARNING
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been one the bard’s most enigmatic and divisive plays. In 1662, Parliament member Samuel Pepys wrote that it was “the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.” Though he added that it had “some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure.” In recent years, the play has enjoyed a much better reception and coincidentally, has been heavily analyzed in terms of its powerful feminist sentiment. Come check out this special performance of the play by member of the illustrious Shakespeare and Company! To order tickets and for more information, please contact Jonathan Croy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tina Packer Playhouse. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA ($)
Thursday, February 22, 3:30pm
PERFORMANCE ART/FAIRY TALES IN TRANSLATION
One of the Brothers Grimm’s most well-known stories, “The Frog Prince,” in fact drew its inspiration from the ancient Roman satirist Petronius, whose novel The Satyricon mocks the notoriously decadent emperor Nero by comparing him to a frog. It is also important to note that while most contemporary iterations of this classic tale end by the princess kissing the frog to turn him back into a man, in the Grimms’ original she actually is so disgusted by him that she throws him against a wall, which apparently does the trick. Come see this immortal story come to life with the world-class puppeteering of Carl Sprague. Shows on Thursday the 22nd and Friday the 23rd, at 3:30. Ventfort Hall. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA ($)
Lenox Library — 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street.
Lenox Historical Society — Main Street.
The Mount – 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary – 472 West Mountain Road.
Shakespeare and Company – 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street.
Ventfort Hall – 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.
Saturday, January 27, 11am-12pm
FAMILY CONCERT/FOLK MUSIC
David Grover is a beloved local musician, who has played with legendary folk musicians Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger! Now come listen to Grover playing his popular children’s music at this free concert at the Berkshire Theatre Group. This is a great opportunity to build a love for music in young children. Exposing children to music has been found to benefit cognitive and social skills. It even can boost literacy, by helping children become more aware of words and sounds. To order tickets call 413-997-4444. Berkshire Theatre Group. 111 South St, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, January 27, 6-8pm
Playing with nerf is a great way to get kids off the couch and running around! This is especially important in the cold winter months, when it’s hard to get outside. Nerf games can be a fun way for children to get exercise and learn to work with others. This special Kids Night Out! event features 5,000 square feet of play space, including obstacles. Please bring your own nerf equipment. This event is appropriate for children ages 5-12. The Infield Home of the Berkshire Baseball Academy. 10 Lyman St, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Sunday, January 28, 6am-2pm
For indigenous communities in the northern parts of the world, ice fishing has always been an important way to find food in the winter. Indigenous peoples of North America set up tents on the ice and chipped away until there was a hole large enough to spear fish through. These are the origins of modern ice fishing. Here in Western Massachusetts, ice fishing is an important part of our regional winter tradition. Communities of ice shantys pop up in favorite fishing spots and there is a special kind of camaraderie that forms out on the ice. Ice fishing derbies have existed in our region for generations. Come try your hand at the Onota Lake Ice Fishing Derby. Cash prizes and trophies, muffins and coffee! Lake Onota 388 Lakeway Dr, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Friday, February 2, 5-8pm
One of greatest treasures of our region is the abundance of amazing local art! Come take a lovely evening stroll around downtown Pittsfield and enjoy exhibits and art shows by over two dozen regional artists. This popular event is a great way for the community to come together and celebrate art and creativity. Additionally, most of these artists will be present at their shows so visitors can ask questions and learn more about the creative process. This event would be an opportunity for aspiring artists to learn about local art and the venues that exist in our area for displaying it. Downtown Pittsfield, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 17, 10am-1pm
As agriculture becomes increasingly homogenized and technological, many local heritage and heirloom species are at a high risk of going extinct. Seed saving has been a vital part of local farming communities since time immemorial. Preserving seeds of local breeds and species maintains biodiversity, builds resilience, and gives farmers access to seeds that are best suited to the unique bioregions they live in. Come join the Berkshire Athenaeum and other local groups to celebrate the grand opening of the Berkshire Seed Library. Learn about how to start your own garden and take home some great local seeds! Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 24, 11am
Did you know that the origins of the popular folk tale “Cinderella” date back to the ancient Greek geographer Strabo in 7 BCE? Strabo records the popular story of a young girl named Rhodopis (“Rosy-Cheeks”), whose sandal is stolen by an eagle while she is bathing. The eagle carries the sandal to the king who, compelled by the beautiful shape of the shoe, sends his men throughout the kingdom to find the wearer of the shoe. When she is found, Rhodopis is brought to the king, who promptly marries her. Come see this timeless tale of virtue rewarded with this performance of “Cinderella” by the Berkshire Children’s Theater. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Wednesday, February 28, 7-9pm
While legendary singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman was living in Boston as a student, she went to every open mic night she could. Since then she has won four Grammy awards and holds a multi-platinum album and has become one of America’s most beloved performers. Open mic nights are an ideal way for young artists and musicians to get some experience performing and who knows, maybe you’ll get discovered! Come on down to this open mic night and share your gifts with the world. Whitney Center for the Arts. 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA ($)
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.
Hilltop Orchard — Route 295.
Thursday, February 8, 5:30-6:30pm
As New Englanders, the town meeting is a valuable part of our regional history. This direct democracy form of local government has been a staple of New England life since the Puritan era and in 1854 Henry David Thoreau described the town meeting as “the true Congress, and the most respectable one that is ever assembled in the United States.” Come celebrate the tradition of the town meeting, immortalized in Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings with this special event at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Local commentators will discuss important social issues with the community, followed by refreshments. Norman Rockwell Museum. 9 Glendale Rd/Rte 183, Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
Berkshire Botanical Garden 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road.
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.
Ashintully Gardens. 413-298-3239. Sodem Road.
West Stockbridge Public Library – 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road.
Thursday, February 1, 7-9pm
Harold Ramis and Bill Murray’s beloved 1993 film may seem to be a simple comic tale about a narcissistic weatherman who realizes the nature of kindness, after becoming stuck in a time warp in a little Pennsylvania town. Over the years, however, the film has been seen as a philosophical allegory by many spiritual teachers and philosophers. Clearly, there is a strong buddhist element in the film’s insistence that the way to become free from suffering lies in kindness and selflessness. But there is also a deep resonance with Nietzsche’s concept of the eternal return: the film asks, how would choose to live if you knew that the same day would repeat endlessly for all time? Come experience this lovable, hilarious, and deeply thoughtful film at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center! 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA ($)
Saturday, February 17, 6-8pm
Animals in the family Mustelidae include fishers, stoats, weasels, otters, and many others! These beautiful and fascinating creatures have enchanted human beings around the world for thousands of years. It is thought that the word “stoat” derives from the Dutch word meaning “naughty” due to their reputation for thievery and because their saliva allegedly contained poison (it does not). In northern Europe it is said to be bad luck to encounter a stoat at the beginning of a journey, though this effect can be mitigated by courteously greeting the stoat as a neighbor. Another folk tradition holds that ermines are so fastidious that if they are being hunted they would rather turn and present themselves to the hunters to avoiding spoiling their beautiful white coats with blood. Come learn all about these charming animals, many of whom scamper and scurry right in our own backyard, at this talk by famed naturalist Sue Morse. Monument Mountain High School. 600 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
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 — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street.
Mason Library — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street.
South Berkshire Kids – 413-464-5095. 444 Old Stockbridge Road.
Bidwell House Museum — 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.
Otis Library and Museum – 413-269-0109. 48 North Main Road.