THE BERKSHIRES — If a little snowstorm has your hunkering down inside, then we might begin to question whether you are a true Berkshirite or not. After all, a little snow never hurt anyone. So here are a few suggested activities to get you through the day. And if you, like me, find yourself tucked inside by the fire with the kids despite your full-fledged Berkshirite status, then I’ve provided a few activities for you, too.
1. Visit the Museums
Berkshire area museums have a full week of family fun events scheduled during the December School Vacation and they are not to be deterred by a little snow.
The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield is wrapping up its Festival of Trees exhibit this week and also continuing on with its kid-friendly science Kitchen Kaboom program set for 1 p.m. today, Dec. 27. The museum also is hosting the Berkshire Children’s Theatre Berkshire premiere of ‘Pinkalicious’ today, tomorrow and Saturday so check our Berkshire Family Focus Calendars for showtimes.
Stockbridge’s Norman Rockwell Museum is also opening its doors this week to area families and encouraging them to participate in its drop-in Comic Creations! workshops throughout the week. The series of drop-in art workshops inspired by the work of comic book master, Alex Ross, encourage museum patrons to envision their own story lines and design unique comic book characters/ Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other favorite superheroes also will be on view in the current exhibit “Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross,” which I’ve seen and it is absolutely fantastic and appropriate for kids of all ages. More about the workshops can be found here.
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum’s programming this week is especially appealing to families with children as it brings the magic of Carl Sprague’s marionettes to the venue in the classic tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Read more about the upcoming productions set for today,Dec. 27, 28 and 29 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. in Rebecca Dravis’ post .
North County museums MASS MoCA and The Clark are playing host to families with their ongoing “Curiosity”-inspired Kidspace exhibits. You can also visit MASS MoCA and participate in its Kidspace Vacation Art Worshops at 9 a.m, tomorrow, Dec. 28, and Monday, Dec. 31. Pre-registration is required so go online to massmoca.org to learn more. Then skip, hop, jump, ski or snowshoe on over to The Clark to participate in its interactive, hands-on “Lions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My” Kidspace exhibit with so much fun for the whole family you’ll want to go back again and again. Read more about the exhibit and the fun to be had at The Clark here.
2. Check Out the Libraries
The local libraries are open for most of the Berkshire County holiday break with activities that range from story times for young readers to family music extravaganzas. To learn more about the story times visit our story time page here. Make sure you call a head as some libraries may not be holding these story times this week, but many are.
If you are looking for a little musical family fun this week the Berkshire Athenaeum will be hosting “Beethovens Wig,” a free musical family program A musical family program featuring Richard Perlmutter who will sing while accompanying himself on piano, classical guitar and mandolin. The program is set for tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 28, at 1 p.m. berkshirefamilyfocus.com.
The New Lebanon (N.Y.) Library is also getting in on the family fun with a musical family concert tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 28, featuring David Grover and Linda Worster. And the Mason Library in Great Barrington will host a screening of “Elf” that night at 6:15 p.m. Story times at both museums also are continuing through the week.
But just a warning a few libraries like the Milne Public Library in Williamstown are closed today due to the storm so please call ahead before visiting.
3. Skiing or Sledding
From Jiminy Peak in Hancock to Berkshire East in Charlemont, Bousquet in Pittsfield and Butternut in Great Barrington to Catamount in Hillsdale (N.Y.), this storm brings a welcome sigh of relief to area ski resorts who no longer have to rely on manmade snow to lure in the skiers. From terrain parks and freshly groomed trails snowboarders and skiers alike will be in their glory today. Not into either, Berkshire East, Bousquet and Butternut offer tubing. For more information and pricing click on each resort name above to link to their sites.
Want to sled for free? Visit some of the areas top sledding hills. Little ones will enjoy the small hill at Wahconah Country Club in Dalton while braver soles might tackle the hills at Clapp Park in Pittsfield or the hills at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate or stop by a local coffee shop on the way home to fill your cup up and top it off with a heaping dose of whipped cream and you’ve got the perfect winter day full of family fun. If you have a favorite sledding spot to add to our list, please let us know. You can find our list here. *Disclaimer: Please check with property owners before sledding at all private venues.
4. Catch a Movie
From Images Cinema in Williamstown to the Beacon in Pittsfield and the Triplex in Great Barrington, Berkshire County is a haven for movie buffs with new releases, independent films and film classics alike playing on area screens. Tuck in with a big tub of popcorn and your favorite candy and you’ve got the making of a perfect family day out and any number of theaters. The Berkshire Museum is also a great place to catch a flick and with a price tag of $5 you can’t beat it.
5. Stay Home and Play
After all the running around we parents do, especially leading up to the holidays, a snowy day is a great excuse to stay inside and chill. Send your children out to build snow angels and partake in snowball fights while you relax and take in a chapter or two of that unread book, or plan an easy day of inside family fun.
Some suggested activities:
- Pull out a few of those long forgotten board games for an all-out day of family gaming.
- Pop some popcorn and revel in the last of the holiday movies on TV or pull out one of your favorite flicks for kids to enjoy
- Read some of those winter-themed picture books that haven’t seen life in a while. Poor a few cups of hot chocolate, with extra whip cream and even those pre-teen offspring might be lured to the couch for a story.
- Treat your kids to some warm snowflakes with this edible snowflake recipe courtesy of spoonful.com.
- For moms, like me, who still remember the pleasure you took as a kid in eating fresh snow surprise your kids with a snow-inspired ice cream treat like this Snow Ice Cream II recipe found on allrecipes.com. Or try one of these 6 Snow Recipes found on thestir.cafemom.com.
Whatever you choose to do for the day be safe, stay warm and have some Berkshire Family Fun.
Kelly Bevan McIlquham
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