Berkshire Family Fun: May 2018
Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
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 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, story hours 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 grants from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Sandisfield, Washington, 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
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, May 6, 1-4pm
Apiology, or the study of honey bees, is an increasingly important field of knowledge. As Albert Einstein allegedly stated, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Despite the fact that there is no actual evidence that Einstein ever said this, the point is an important one. Bees are vital pollinators and they are currently suffering and dying in enormous numbers. Come celebrate bees and learn more about ways to protect them at the Clark Art Institute’s Bee Happy event, part of ArtWeek. Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)
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.
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.
May 1-6, 10am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org. Pittsfield, MA ($)
Saturday, May 12, 10am-4pm
Every spring for the past ten years, local artist Susan Merrill has exhibited her pastoral paintings and drawings at the Hancock Shaker Museum. Merrill, who grew up on a small farm in Maryland, has always loved farm animals and her barnyard paintings reflect the special qualities of these lovable creatures. Merrill passed away in 2017 and Hancock Shaker Museum will be honoring her legacy with a final spring exhibition of her work. Come celebrate the life and legacy of this great local artist. Hancock Shaker Museum. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Tuesday, May 15, 5:15-7pm
In ages past, communities had shared access to seeds for growing their own food. This was a vital part of food security and continues to be for many rural communities around the world. Seed libraries are keeping this custom alive all over the United States. At this event, Alexander Geller from the Berkshire Seed Library will be discussing the importance of sharing seeds, as well as the great work that the Seed Library is doing in promoting gardening and food security. J. Allen’s Clubhouse Grille. 41 North Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, May 16, 7pm
Have you always wanted to learn how to play mahjong? Now is your chance! Mahjong is a Chinese tile game that has some similarities with rummy. The game dates back to the Qing dynasty in the 18th century and has been popular in the United States since the 1920s. Singer Eddie Cantor immortalized America’s love affair with mahjong in his hit song: “Since Ma Is Playing Mah Jong.” More recently researchers have found that mahjong may assist with dementia and memory loss. Come learn how to play this complex, fun, and challenging game at Berkshire Hills Hadassah Mah Jongg lessons! All ages welcome. Berkshire Hills Hadassah. Pittsfield, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Thursday, May 17, 5-8pm
Now that we are finally having some nice weather, its a perfect time to come enjoy some family fun and activities out on the lawn at Berkshire Museum. The museum’s Third Thursday summer celebration is free and includes special extended hours so you can wander through the galleries with the whole family. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Thursday, May 17, 6-8pm
The 10th Annual Geography and Science Expo showcases the work of self-directed learners from all over western Massachusetts. Participants spend weeks (or even months!) independently researching a country, culture, region, or moment in history, and create museum-like displays to share what they have learned and to educate visitors to the event about their chosen topic. Displays can teach visitors about a topic through text, images, and/or models, and can also include experiential components – giving young learners the opportunity to imagine the best way in which to teach others about what they’ve learned. Common experiential learning elements to expo displays include samples of traditional foods and crafts or games derived from a specific culture. And this year, they’ve added Science! For details and to read more about this event, please visit Geography and Science Expo. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Friday, May 18, 1:30-4pm
SERVICE BASED LEARNING/SPRING CLEANUP
Come help downtown Pittsfield get a little spring cleaning! Join up with teams from all over the Pittsfield community and lend a hand with rakes, brooms, and garbage bags. There is a special kind of satisfaction in knowing that you are doing your part to care for and maintain the place you live. For more information and to register, please visit Downtown Pittsfield Spring Cleanup. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, May 19, 11am-12pm
Thanks to the internet and cheap genealogy kits, more and more people are becoming fascinated by amazing stories of secret royal ancestors or dark family mysteries. Especially in the United States, a nation comprised almost exclusively of immigrants, the stories of how we got here tend involve lots of twists and turns. This presentation by genealogist Keren Weiner will focus on ways that you can search through old ship records to find passenger lists. These documents provide a detailed look into the lives of our ancestors, as well as the history of this country. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, May 19, 1-3pm
Rubik’s Cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and architect Erno Rubik. It quickly became massively popular all around the world and is considered to be the best selling toy in the world to this day. The cube has 8 corners and 12 edges and the total number of permutations is 43 quintillion, a number so immensely vast that if there were that many Rubik’s Cubes they would cover the earth’s surface 275 times. Solving this challenging puzzle requires using complex algorithms, which correspond to important mathematical formulas. Come learn how to solve Rubik’s Cube at this free workshop! Cube provided! This event is appropriate for children grades 6-12. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, May 19, 3:30-5:30pm
Have you ever wanted to learn about raised bed gardening? There’s no better way to learn than by doing! Raised-bed gardening has many advantages, namely: extending the planting season, reducing weeds, and they can also be used in places where there is poor quality soil or urban areas where there is no soil at all. The Berkshire Athenaeum is building their first community garden and they need volunteers to come help constructing raised beds, transplant seedlings, and sow seeds. This is a great way to learn how to do raised bed gardening and help build a great community resource. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Monday, May 21, 12-1pm
NATURAL HISTORY/URBAN FORESTRY
The medieval Welsh poem “The Battle of the Trees” tells the story of a wizard who ensorceled the trees of a forest to fight for him. The poem describes a number of the trees and certain identifying attributes or qualities possessed by them. For hundreds of years, this cryptic poem has been subject to much interpretation and analysis. In the early 20th century, Robert Graves suggested that the trees correspond to the letters of an ancient Gaelic alphabet and contained hidden messages and secrets. It’s not surprising that many ancient communities personified trees, they are all so unique and many seem to express their own personalities. Come learn about the kinds of trees you can see in urban environments, their identifying characteristics and natural history at this Free Educational Tree Walk! The Common Park. 100 First Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
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.
Friday, May 25, 7-9pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CLUE
Do you love the board game Clue? Ever dreamed of acting the game out in real life? Well, dream no more! At this live action game of Clue, you will arrive to find the butler murdered and teammates, who have been preassigned characters, will have to figure out who did it, with what weapon, in which room. Live out your childhood Clue fantasies! Champagne and appetizers included. For more information and to register by May 18, please visit Live Action Clue. Naumkeag. Stockbridge, MA ($$$)
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.
Tuesday, May 1, 10:30am
STEM/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Young children are like sponges, they absorb information so quickly! Play can be one of the best ways to encourage young children to learn. Through games and other fun activities, children are able concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Brain Builders is a program designed to cultivate an interest in STEM and reading through games, hands on activities, circle time discussions, and music. This event is appropriate for children ages five and under. Mason Library. 231 Main Street, 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.