Berkshire Family Fun: October 2018
Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of October. 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!
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, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Berkshire Arts And Technology Charter School. 1 Commercial Street.
Adams Visitor’s Center. 3 Hoosac Street.
Adams Library. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street.
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. 413-743-7121. 67 East Road.
Abbot School. 56 North Country Road.
Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 W Housatonic St. 413-443-0188
Windsor Lake. Kemp Avenue and Bradley Street.
The Maker’s Mill. 100 Eagle Street.
DownStreet Art. Main Street and downtown.
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.
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.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)
Friday, October 5, 10:30am
STORYTELLING/ARTS AND CRAFTS
The brilliant Ursula Le Guin once remarked: “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” There are few human activities that are as fundamental as storytelling. Stories connect us to each other, to ourselves, and to the world. Storytime in Katie’s Korner is a weekly storytime event, blending stories with arts and crafts and music, for children ages 2 to 5. Lenox Library. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA (FREE)
Lenox Community Center. 413-637-5530. 65 Walker 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.
Saturday, September 29, 10am-5pm
As part of their ethos of simple living, the Shakers developed a unique aesthetic style, which came to heavily influence modern American art and architecture. Promoting hard work as a form of spiritual experience, Mother Ann, the founder of the Shaker communities, wrote: “Labor to make the way of God your own; let it be your inheritance, your treasure, your occupation, your daily calling.” Thus, treating craftsmanship as a form of prayer, the Shakers created artefacts of austere beauty. Shaker crafts were unadorned and without embellishment or decoration and reflected the principle that “form follows function,” which was later championed by many modernist artists. In addition to furniture, quilts are among the most exemplary Shaker artefacts. Come see a collection of 75 historical quilts at the Harvest of Quilts and check out quilting demonstrations and other quilting activities! Part of the 21st annual Country Fair. Hancock Shaker Museum. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, September 29, 10am-12pm
ARCHITECTURE/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Playing with blocks is a great way for children to develop spatial reasoning, hand eye coordination, and social skills. It may also instil a lifelong interest in architecture and engineering! Kids of all ages are welcome to come build and play with large, blue blocks at this Pop Up Play Day. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Sunday, September 30, 10am-5pm
Come celebrate local farmers, artisans, and craftspeople at the 21st annual Country Fair at the Hancock Shaker Village. Events like this help keep traditional skills alive and remind us of our connection to the earth. This is also a great opportunity to appreciate the incredible natural abundance, farmers, and artisans of the Berkshire region. Attend workshops and demonstrations, try your hand at the egg toss, and don’t miss the chicken race! Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Friday, October 5, 7-9pm
FILM SCREENING/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Dendrochronologists, scientists who determine the ages of trees, have identified some of the oldest trees in the world. California is home to several sequoias that are reliably dated to around 5000 years ago. In the village of Llangernyw, in North Wales, there is a yew tree around the same age. Local tradition holds that the tree is haunted by spirit known as the Angelystor, or ‘recording angel.’ Every Halloween, the spirit is known to call out in a booming voice the names of those villagers who will die that year. One Halloween Siôn Ap Rhobert, a local skeptic, came to disprove the legend of the spirit, only to hear his own name called out in the night. He died within a month. Old growth forests and trees can still be found all around the world, although their numbers are dwindling. Even right here in the Berkshires there are several isolated old growth groves. The new film “Lost Forests of New England” takes viewers deep into some of the oldest forests in our region. This screening will be followed by a question and answer period with local forestry experts. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Saturday, October 13, 6-7pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/SCAVENGER HUNT
Ever wonder what happens in the museum after lights out? If you have ever dreamed of having your own “night in the museum,” this is the event for you! Berkshire Museum is inviting guests to go on a special Flashlight Scavenger Hunt through the museum after hours. With your trusty flashlight, you will explore museum favorites such as Josh Simpson’s amazing glass planets and Pahat the mummy. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Thursday, October 18, 5-7pm
The Halloween custom of trick-or-treat has ancient roots but was not a common practice in the United States until after the 1940s. As a matter of fact, before the 1930s, the custom of children going door-to-door to ask for treats was actually associated with Thanksgiving, rather than Halloween. It seems clear, however, that the origins of trick-or-treating derive from the medieval European custom of mummery, in which people would dress up in costume and go door-to-door singing songs and performing plays in exchange for food or drink. Halloween, of course, began as the Celtic holidays of Samhain and Calan Gaeaf. During this time, ancient Celtic peoples believed that the boundary between the human world and the other world was at its thinnest. According to custom, by disguising oneself as a spirit one might be protected from them. Additionally, one might accept offerings on behalf of the spirits to gain their favor and blessings. This Thursday evening, come trick-or-treating in downtown Pittsfield! For a full list of participating businesses, please visit Downtown Pittsfield Trick or Treat. Downtown Pittsfield. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, October 20, 6-7:30pm
Spiritualism, the belief that the spirits of the dead continue to exist and can communicate with the living, was a unique religious movement, which reached its peak in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, when it claimed more than eight million followers in the United States and parts of Europe. In the United States, spiritualism was closely associated with the causes of women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. This was especially true among the Quaker communities. To this day, there are many denominational spiritualist churches in the United States and elsewhere. Come learn all about the link between spiritualism and the Quakers at this spooky evening of ghost stories! Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)
Monday, October 22, 9:30am-5pm
STEAM/SELF DIRECTED LEARNING
This monday, Berkshire Museum is kicking off Berkshire STEM week with a day of engaging, hands on science activities for homeschooling families. Check out real bones and pels from native mammals, check out the touching tide pool, build imaginative structures with Legos, and write a creative story based on a work of art. These exciting and fun activities will allow children to explore ideas in science, math, engineering, art, and math. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Monday, October 22, 10am-1pm
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT/STORYTIME
It is hard to overstate the importance of reading out loud to a child. In addition to the obvious benefits in terms of literacy and love of reading, this practice can radically improve the behavior of child in terms of aggression and hyperactivity. New research shows that reading out loud to your child has profound social and emotional benefits. These effects are long lasting and the more parents read to their children, the stronger the benefits become. Twice a week at the Berkshire Athenaeum, families can enjoy storytime for infants up the age of two. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, October 24, 5:30-7:30pm
Throughout history, thinkers have used math and science to understand the phenomena they perceive in the world around them. The ancient Greek philosopher Archimedes is a great example of this. When his king was given a golden crown, which he suspected had been mixed with silver, Archimedes was tasked with devising a method to prove that a forgery had occurred. After many failed attempts, Archimedes finally solved the problem while taking a bath. Observing how the water was displaced when he got in the bath, Archimedes realized that being less dense, a crown mixed with silver would displace less water. According to legend, Archimedes was so thrilled that he leaped up naked from the bath and ran down the street shouting “eureka,” “I have found it!” In honor of STEM week in the Berkshires, the Hancock Shaker Village is inviting children grades K-5 and their families to enjoy an evening of fun and challenging STEM activities. Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Friday, October 26, 7-7:30pm
Everyone loves a parade! Come on out this friday for the annual Pittsfield Halloween Parade. Celebrate the spookiest time of the year and the Pittsfield community, with local schools and community groups participating. These are the types of events that bring us together and create shared traditions, which contribute to our sense of place. For more information, please visit Pittsfield Halloween Parade. Tyler Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Beacon Cinema. 413-358-4780. 57 North Street.
Wahconah Park. 105 Wahconah Street.
Berkshire Community College. 1350 West Street.
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.
Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health. 57 Interlaken Road.
Naumkeag. 5 Prospect Hill.
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.
Triplex Cinema. 70 Railroad Street.
Lake Mansfield. 413-528-2810, ext. 30. Lake Mansfield Road.
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.