Great Barrington, Massachusetts
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Berkshire Comfort Inn & Suites Blog

Things to Do in Great Barrington

Visitors to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts will never be at a loss for things to do. Discover a wealth of wonderful attractions that will delight young and old alike. Wintertime means great skiing at such family-friendly destinations as Catamount Ski Area and Ski Butternut. Summer brings out music lovers who flock to Tanglewood for memorable outdoor concerts. Anytime of year is perfect to visit Hancock Shaker Village, a beautifully restored and authentic-looking Shaker village.

Bidwell House Museum

Tour an authentic Colonial home in Western Massachusetts, just minutes from the cultural energy of Great Barrington. Nestled in the scenic Berkshire Hills, the historic Bidwell House Museum is an elegant Georgian saltbox home and a New England landmark that illuminates Colonial and early American life in Western Massachusetts.

Built in 1780, Bidwell House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore the authentically restored house, beautiful landscaped grounds and the collections that inspire us to look back and honor our rich American heritage.

Surrounded by 192 acres of beautiful fields, gardens, hiking trails, and stone walls, the Bidwell House Museum is filled with antiques and artifacts that tell the story of the early settlement of the Berkshires. Tour the museum and see 18th century furnishings and china and an early farm and garden tools exhibit.

Kids will love exploring the woodlands laced with hiking trails and footpaths leading to historic landmarks. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon strolling through the flower gardens brimming with perennial beds or enjoy a quiet lunch on the picnic tables.

Take the family on a historic adventure in the Berkshires, where they can learn about the history and beauty of this inspiring destination. The Bidwell House Museum offers guided house and gardens tours on the hour. The museum is open Thursday through Monday from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. For museum and tour details, visithttp://www.bidwellhousemuseum.org/.

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Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum

Travel aboard vintage trains that wind through the breathtaking scenery of the southern Berkshire Hills.  Go back in time and enjoy a relaxing journey on restored 1920s passenger cars powered by diesel-electric locomotives from the 1940s and 50s at the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in Great Barrington.

Located in the heart of the scenic Berkshire Hills, the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum preserves the history of railroading in Western Massachusetts through educational exhibits, restorations and tours. Start your tour at the restored 1903 Lenox Station, where you can see unique exhibits about railroad history, including the Yokun Block Station. Learn how the railroad shaped the economy of the Berkshires region and the Gilded Age that inspired the area’s magnificent estates.

Families and kids love the 45 or 90 minute train rides through historic South Berkshire County. Stop by the Museum Store in Lenox Station with souvenirs, Polar Express items, and train-related gifts, toys, books, and DVDs.  Enjoy a fun family adventure on the trains that operate every weekend from Memorial Day through the end of October.

10th Annual Sheep to Shawl Festival

May 4 – 5, 2013

Experience the natural beauty and bounty of the Berkshires of Massachusetts at the annual Sheep to Shawl Festival. Celebrating its 10th year of farm life in Great Barrington, this fun family event features sheep shearing, herding, spinning and weaving demos that teach kids about rural life in the beautiful Berkshires.  Meet farm animals and shop for farm-fresh produce and vegetables, as well as one-of-a-kind crafts from local artisans.

Held at the Sheep Hill Headquarters in Great Barrington, the 10th Annual Sheep to Shawl Festival also features workshops on rural lifestyle skills – from raising hens tobeekeeping. You will also understand the importance of eating local, fresh, seasonal foods grown in this bucolic countryside. The events happen on Saturday from 11 am to 3pm and Sunday from 9 am to 4pm. Go explore the natural side of the Berkshire Hills.

For more information on the 10th Annual Sheep to Shawl Festival and how you can support local farms, go tohttp://berkshiregrown.org/.

Great Barrington Family Spring Activities

Named by the Smithsonian Magazine as No.1 Among Small Towns in the US, Great Barrington,Massachusetts, is a charming and beautiful community where families enjoy springtime fun and adventure. With its rich history and natural beauty, Great Barrington offers exciting family activities and fun things to do – from hiking the Appalachian Trail to the Housatonic River Walk to the Berkshire Botanical Gardens.

As the springtime weather gets warmer, Great Barrington offers a breathtaking landscape of mountains, lakes, streams, and forests to explore. For outdoor adventure, discover Taconic State Park and Bash Bish Falls State Park and hike to one of the highest and most dramatic waterfalls in the Berkshires. Experience a high-flying aerial adventure at Catamount Adventure Park, a 10-acre wooded park with a challenging ropes course and zip lines that soar you though the forest, hiking and mountain biking trails and a fishing pond.

Great Barrington also offers dynamic cultural experiences, including Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Norman Rockwell Museum and Blue Rider Stables, where you can enjoy horseback riding in the scenic countryside. Families love Hancock Shaker Village, a living museum with historic Shaker buildings, farm animals, beautiful gardens, and hiking trails. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with the family at Lake Mansfield, a beautiful spot with a swimming area, a sand beach, a playground, and a picnic area.

So if you’re looking for unforgettable family experiences, Great Barrington is full of surprises and memories of a lifetime.

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The Guthrie Center & Foundation

Musician and activist Arlo Guthrie made Alice’s Restaurant a famous Great Barrington landmark. But, the song wasn’t just a fictional story, it was about a real woman who lived at the Trinity Church next door. Today, the restaurant is gone, but the 1829 Trinity Church remains and is now home to the Guthrie Center Foundation. The Guthrie Center acts as a cultural, spiritual and educational center where visitors can enjoy live music, lectures, dances, and other events all year. Enjoy the weekly Hootenanny each Thursday at 7pm, listen to talented musicians during the Troubadour Series concerts or learn more about a variety of topics at one of the many Speaker Series events. Call (413) 528-1955 or visit www.guthriecenter.org for tickets and event information.

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Ventfort Hall

Once the grand home of heiress Sarah Morgan, historic Ventfort Hall brings the glory of the Gilded Age to life through a variety of exhibits and events. Stroll through the rooms of this stunning Jacobean Revival mansion featuring a grand staircase, an imposing Great Hall, and luxuries like electric lights and central heating – lavish amenities for homes in the 1890s. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the Ventfort Hall mansion, explore the expansive grounds, and delight in special exhibits, such as the exquisite Les Petites Dames de Mode (Little Ladies of Fashion) currently on display. Kick up your heels at the popular Dancin’ at the Mansion event held from 7:30-10:30pm on the second Saturday of each month or experience life as an affluent Victorian at the upcoming Valentine’s Day Tea on February 14th. Ventfort Hall is open for guided and self-guided tours on weekdays from 10-5pm. Guided tours are offered on weekends every hour beginning at 10am. Admission to Ventfort Hall is $15 adults, $7 children (children 4 and under enter free). Visit www.gildedage.org for more information and event details.

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Great Barrington Dining

If you’re looking for a hearty meal in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, look no further than the Barrington Brewery & Restaurant. This unique dining spot features a casual atmosphere, hearty pub-style food and a sunny outdoor beer garden. Touted by Zagat, Frommer’s, AAA, and Bon Appetit, the Barrington Brewery serves up a menu of delicious soups and salads, sandwiches, and burgers and also offers a kids menu. Using an innovative, solar-energy hot water system to distil their wares, the brewery’s regular menu of creative, handcrafted beers includes a tasty Berkshire Blond, thirst-quenching Hopland Pale Ale and rich Black Bear Stout. Seasonal brews on tap now include the light and refreshing Old World Mild, a hops-infused ESB and the dark, malty Old Pluto. Make sure to try a Brewer’s Taste of five different beers before you decide on a pint! The Barrington Brewery & Restaurant serves food Monday-Thursday, 11:30am-9:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 11:30am-10pm; Sunday 11:30am-9pm. Visit www.barringtonbrewery.net for more information.

Berkshire Chocolate Festival

Chocolate lovers rejoice! The Chocolate in the Berkshires Festival is the place to satisfy your passions with tempting chocolate indulgences offered throughout Berkshire County, Massachusetts. This unique, countywide celebration of the rich, flavorful treat opens up a world of indulgence for the entire month of February. Get out and try new flavors and concoctions at chocolate tasting events, cooking and baking demonstrations, mixer parties, and restaurants offering special menus with creative and unexpected culinary delicacies featuring classic chocolate as the star ingredient. Experience Chocolate in the Berkshires events like Chocolate Passion Month at the Birchwood Inn, Barkeater Chocolate tasting at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, hot chocolate and brownies at Coffman’s, and a romantic Valentine’s Day brunch at Shakespeare & Company. Learn more about Chocolate Berkshires events at www.chocolateberkshires.com

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Great Barrington Golfing at Egremont Country Club

Enjoy exciting golf action in the scenic Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts when you experience Great Barrington golfing at Egremont Country Club. Boasting a challenging 18-hole golf course surrounded by rolling hills, meandering streams and gorgeous mountain views, this Great Barrington golf course is suited for both amateur players and professionals. Practice your swing and challenge your friends to a fun-filled game of golf on this scenic course, and you’ll enjoy the day – win or lose. With such jaw-dropping natural beauty, this Great Barrington golf course is popular with locals and visitors alike.

At Egremont Country Club, you’ll also find a fully stocked pro shop, driving range and large restaurant with canopied deck and scenic views (open May through October). Tee times are available up to seven days in advance by calling (413) 528-4222, and the restaurant is available for private parties and group functions (call for reservations). Green fees range from $16-45 (not including cart rental), depending on the hour and day of the week. Club rentals are available for $3-20, and driving range fees are $5-7. Whether you are a master golfer or a new player, this beautiful golf course is the perfect place to enjoy a day in nature with your friends, fueled by good-natured competition.

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Berkshire Ballet: The Nutcracker at Colonial Theatre

The magic of the holiday season comes alive this winter at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, when the Albany Berkshire Ballet performs Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker. A whimsical glimpse of an enchanted world filled with toys that come alive, The Nutcracker is a cherished Christmas tradition whose powerful music has captivated performance halls for over a hundred years. Featuring lavish sets, elaborate costumes and graceful choreography, this unique performance of The Nutcracker ballet in Pittsfield will also include area dance students, who will be spotlighted alongside the professional dancers from the Albany Berkshire Ballet. An annual holiday tradition, the Albany Berkshire Ballet troupe has been delighting audiences with The Nutcracker each winter for over 30 years.

An opulent feast of sight and sound, The Nutcracker will be performed at Colonial Theatre four times during the holiday season, with two shows each on Saturday December 8 and Sunday December 9. Ticket prices range from $25-39 for adults, $23-37 for seniors and $19.50-$27 for children under 12; advance ticket purchases can be made online or at the Colonial Theatre box office (closed Sunday). Treat your family or friends to the fantastical world of The Nutcracker and enjoy a holiday tradition whose popularity has spanned generations.