Nestled within the hills of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts is the quaint little town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and home to a number of galleries and museums. We recently visited the Berkshire Museum with the Bean (5) and the Dude (2). This is one of those destinations that is an easy 45 minute drive from the Capital District but may be overlooked by many heading to other more popular towns in the Berkshires.
However, parents should add this interesting mix of collections at the Berkshire Museum to their list of family weekend getaways as this mid-size museum includes something for everyone. The Berkshire Museum is especially good for those rainy days when you’re not quite sure what to do to keep your young cherubs entertained or the dog days of summer when hiking in the Berkshires can be tough with young kids.
First off, kids love the entrance to the Berkshire Museum with with its life-size wigwam and dinosaur statute that allows for easy climbing and a great photo-op. The wigwam is part of a temporary installation titled Rethink! American Indian Art which provides various pieces of contemporary Native American art alongside historical objects, video and a hands-on craft area for children.
The Dinosaurs and Paleontology exhibit combines a fossil collection and an area for little ones to explore a dig site on their own. Kids can then head down to the lower level of the museum to the aquarium and Touch Tank to see the various sea life that thrives along the New England coastline. Although small, this area provides kids with a chance to see Nemo and to get their hands wet.
The Berkshire Museum houses a large display of native wildlife, insects and birds with several hands-on stations. Kids can have fun counting off how many different animals they can name, or in our case for the really young, we try to see how many animal sounds we can make. Also of interest to young children is the World of Miniatures which is a series of 14 dioramas displaying various animal and plant life in a replica of their natural habitat.
There are a number of permanent exhibits at the Berkshire Museum that are may suitable for older teens and adults including a gallery dedicated to the Hudson River School. The Berkshire Museum provides an interesting afternoon for the whole family and there are a number of little eateries and picnic spots in the area to boot.
Tip – If visiting Pittsfield, Massachusetts this summer take advantage of the special discount provided when visiting the Hancock Shaker Village, Herman Melville’s Arrowhead and the Berkshire Museum, all located in Pittsfield. Buy a full price adult admission ticket at one of the three museums and get $3 off admission for the other two. What a deal!
Go Visit!Berkshire Museum 39 South Street Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 443.7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org
A big thank you to the Berkshire Museum and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau for providing complimentary admission!
Adrienne Veglia Mazeau | Adrienne lives outside of Albany, NY with her archaeologist husband, creative school age daughter and a very active toddler. When not dreaming about where to take her family next she works as a Fiscal Policy Analyst for New York State. Combining an insatiable appetite for breaking out of routine and discovering new destinations with her family while working full time keeps the balancing act interesting. Writing as become her creative outlet. Email: AdrienneVegliaMazeau@AlbanyKid.com, Twitter: @AdrienneVMazeau