Berkshire Museum’s Festival of Trees may be an annual event, but it’s never exactly the same. This year’s theme is “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Trees are decorated by local businesses and organizations and come together at the Berkshire Museum to create a magical forest of beautiful trees to celebrate the season. This year’s fest runs from November 23 to January 2, with a glittering, festive holiday party on November 22 – a beautiful kickoff to the holiday season in the Berkshires.
The Museum celebrates its 110th anniversary this year: 110 years of collective experiences, interactive exhibits, creativity, art, history and natural science. It is not specifically an art museum, or a natural history museum, but rather an intentional mix of the two – from its inception. Zenus Crane, the third-generation of the Crane & Company paper company, cultivated the museum’s first collections, beginning in 1903. Collected pieces are diverse, and range from Egyptian mummies, to modern American artists. Recent acquisitions include many pieces by artists with special connections to the Berkshires.
The Museum is also home to the Little Cinema, a cozy, independent film theater that showcases the latest in independent cinema from all over the world.
It is these collections, and this mission that the Festival of Trees supports. Tickets to the party and the festival, are available online at the event website. It’s not too early to be thinking about the nearing holiday seasons – the events you don’t want to miss – and the rooms you may want to book in advance, to assure you of their availability.
Nobody does Fall like New England does Fall. Fall is a time of year to celebrate so many things: The harvest. The end of summer. The coming of winter. It’s also time to pull out favorite scarves and sweaters, and woolly socks.
Visiting the Berkshires at this time of year – you get to experience the things that Fall brings. Carve locally grown pumpkins. Get lost in a corn maze. Pick an apple and eat it straight from the tree. Browse arts and crafts at fall festivals. Picnic in the crisp Fall air.
Many area farms welcome you to share in the Fall experience:
Ioka Valley Farm offers corn mazes, hayrides, pumpkin racing and more, until October 27. For the uninitiated, corn mazes are exactly what they sound like – corn fields are honed into mazes higher than the human head, and your task is to find your way back out again. And pumpkin racing – where you decorate a pumpkin, put it in a race car, and race it around the pumpkin racing track, of course.
Pick your own temptation, straight from the tree – at Richmond’s Bartlett Orchards. Apple-picking is in the air, and there’s no fresher apple than the one you picked yourself. New England boasts a wide variety of apple types, and Barlett Orchards features a robust collection: McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Macoun, Empire, Liberty, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Ida Red, Jonagold. The most current information available about activities, events and available fruit varieties at the orchard can be found at their Facebook page. Also: CIDER DONUTS. Do not miss the cider donuts.
Cricket Creek Farm actually offers something a little different from the typical Fall farm offerings – but fruit and cheese make a delicious pairing. This grass-based dairy farm features rich meats and cheeses in their farm store, both products produced on-site and some from other local farms, too. They stock their shop with the traveling shopper in mind – they sell insulated totes to keep your treats fresh on the road.
When you bring your delicious discoveries back to Hampton Terrace, make yourself at home in the common areas of the inn as you savor the flavors of the Berkshires – our home is your home.
Moo! Photo from the Cricket Creek Farm website...
October 29, 2013, Pecha Kucha returns to the Berkshires. Pecha Kucha – it’s an odd name for a phenomenon that has spanned the globe to over 700 cities.
Originally conceived by a partnership of architects in Tokyo “because architects talk too much”, Pecha Kucha is essentially a presentation format. Presenters at a Pecha Kucha night get to share 20 images, for 20 seconds each, in order to transmit an idea or project to an audience. Though sprouted in the world of architecture, Pecha Kucha’s ability to generate crackling community connections made the format appealing beyond the world of the built environment. Anyone willing to adhere to the form can participate.
The Berkshire Museum hosts this upcoming Berkshires installment. This is the eighth installment of Pecha Kucha Pittsfield – “The Halloween Edition”. Because of the proximity of Halloween, anyone in a costume gets free admission (regular admission is $5). Wandering Star Craft Brewery is the official purveyor of refreshments for this event.
For best results, bring a friend, and book your rooms now if you haven’t already. Whether you attend as a spectator or a participant, the evening should bring surprises, humor, and good cheer.
Photo via PechaKucha.org
New England, and the greater Northeast are home to come of the most famous tales of hauntings. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, for one – and what about the story of Lizzie Borden (and the spirits said to haunt her house to this day). Then there’s Salem, MA – home to the tragic witch hunts centuries ago. Well the Berkshires are ripe with their own tales of hauntings. Many of the allegedly haunted sites offers tours from time to time.
One property said to be haunted is our near neighbor – and currently hosting “Ghost Tours” is The Mount, former home of gilded-age writer, Edith Wharton. Accounts of paranormal activity include lights turning themselves on and off, laughter and footsteps heard and more. Friday nights are the night to tour and learn more. Tours are offered at 5:45pm and 7:00pm each Friday from now until October 25th. Reservations are required, and can be made through The Mount’s website. Adult tickets are $22 and tickets for ages 12 to 18 are $18 – but the tour is not recommended for children below those ages.
If this is your kind of fun, you may also want to check out this list from iBerkshires.com, of five allegedly haunted places in the Berkshires.
13 Nights At Jiminy is a different type of ghost tour – a spooky, slightly manufactured fright experience at the Jiminy Peak ski area. This event includes not only a spooky tour, but night-time ziplining, a giant swing that launches you into the night sky, and an open tavern for the beverage-inclined. Quite a combination.
The 13 Nights tour has its roots in the history of Hancock, MA, the modern day home of the Jiminy ski area. It begins with the belief of 18th century settlers, that a mysterious disease was seeping to the surface of the Jericho Valley floor they were attempting to farm. This belief drove them to raze and rebuild homes, abandon livestock to die, and out of this strange situation, spooky lore arose. You can read more about this history at the 13 Nights At Jiminy website.
13 Nights runs from September 28, mostly on Fridays and Saturdays. October 13 is the one Sunday on the calendar, and the week of Halloween (of course) they run the tours on October 29, 30, and 31. Hours are 6:30pm to 10:30pm. Reservations are highly recommended. Tickets are available online or by calling the resort.
After your spooky adventures, we provide your oasis of calm. Contact us now to make your Fall reservations!
*Photo courtesy of The Mount's website.