Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Tasty Trip to Bennington

Do you have a hankering for some homemade chocolate chip raspberry pancakes? How ‘bout an omelet with apple and Vermont cheddar? Perhaps an open-faced Reuben with sautéed onions and melted Swiss? The next time you’re staying at the 1896 House, take a scenic drive up to the Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, Vermont to satisfy your appetite!

       The Blue Benn provides that authentic diner experience you’ve been craving. It still operates out of the original diner car that was assembled on-site in the late 1940s. Mini jukeboxes at all the booths add whimsy to your experience. You can sink your teeth into a gooey homemade cinnamon roll while the Andrews Sisters serenade you with “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” You can sample a homemade blueberry corn muffin while Billy Joel sings “Only the Good Die Young.” Or maybe you’re looking for something a bit more mellow. Dig into some comforting turkey pot pie while the Beach Boys calm you with “Good Vibrations.” The musical options are almost as limitless as the food selection.

           The front wall of the diner is plastered with colorful pieces of paper advertising additional scrumptious items not listed in the printed menu. I highly recommend the California Benedict, which consists of poached eggs on an English muffin topped with tomato, avocado, sprouts, and a guacamole hollandaise! This fresh twist on a heavy classic is one of the Blue Benn’s many innovative takes on comfort food. The Cuban Pulled Pork Sandwich is not to be missed, either. The Blue Benn cooks liven up a generous portion of sweet pulled pork with melted cheese, roasted red peppers, and hot sauce. Don’t forget to save room for a slice of homemade pie! The assortment includes Blueberry, Raspberry, Coconut Custard, and Vermont Maple Pecan.

          The Blue Benn Diner is open seven days a week, serving breakfast all day. Wednesday through Friday the diner is even open until 8 p.m., providing locals and hungry travelers alike with a satisfying dinner. Check the hours of operation for each day on the Blue Benn’s Facebook page, and don’t forget to bring cash! That’s right, the diner only accepts cash. No credit cards here. And don’t forget the quarters to keep the tunes rolling as you chow down.
          To get to the Blue Benn from the 1896 House, follow signs for US-7 North toward Vermont at the Williamstown traffic circle. The pleasant twenty-five-minute drive will take you through Vermont farmland and historic downtown Bennington. Keep an eye out for the Apple Barn along the way. This large red barn is full of even more delectable goodies! Among the fresh treats to choose from are homemade apple cider donuts, sea salt caramel fudge, and maple soft serve ice cream! The shop also offers a selection of Vermont maple syrup, Vermont cheddar cheese, and Vermont hard cider. In addition to the selection of goodies, the Apple Barn offers apple-picking in the fall and berry-picking in the summer months. The Apple Barn is open daily from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. during the summer and fall.

     After a day packed with so many Vermont treats, head back to the 1896 House to relax by the brook. Perhaps you should bring back an apple cider donut for a late night snack? Don’t worry, we won’t tell! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Landscape Worthy of a Painting

Are you traveling to Williamstown this summer to visit the newly renovated Clark Museum? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to hike the beautiful trails on the Clark property. Located behind the Clark, Stone Hill is a favorite spot for local dog walkers and hikers alike. The trails lead through a wooded hillside, as well as a lush meadow. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of the cows that frequent the meadow. They love to lounge, feast, and romp in the tall grass. Don’t forget to close all gates behind you so that the gentle spotted critters don’t get loose!

Dotted with birch trees, the Stone Hill meadow is surrounded by forest. It has a magical quality, as if a centaur or some sort of mythical creature will come strutting out from among the trees. From the summit of Stone Hill, you will be able to look down on the Clark Center with its new three-tiered reflection pool. In the distance you will see landmarks from downtown Williamstown peeking through the trees: the white steeple of the First Congregational Church, Thompson Memorial Chapel, and West College, the oldest building on the Williams College campus. West College was built in 1790 and at one time served at the dining hall, library, dormitory, and chapel for all of the students! You will also be able to see the Green Mountains of Vermont stretched out before you.

To access the trails, begin at the Nan path that leads to the Lunder Center at Stone Hill. As you walk along the path, follow the signs for the woodland trails, followed by the pasture trails. All trails are depicted on the maps of the Clark campus that you can pick up at the Clark Center. Don’t forget your bug spray and your walking shoes! You may even want to venture back to see Stone Hill in Autumn. You will be able to admire the flaming red and orange foliage of the forest and surrounding mountains.

The Clark is open daily through October 13th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Fridays in July and August, the galleries remain open until 7 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and is always free for members, children under 18, and students with a valid I.D. To see which collections and exhibitions the Clark currently has on display, visit Regardless of gallery hours, you can access the Stone Hill trails behind the Clark year-round from dawn until dusk.

It’s the ideal spot to get away from the bustle of city life and enjoy the natural beauty of Williamstown. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It’s Getting Warmer

As the weather warms up, (rarely, but often enough) things start happening around here! On my trips to the gym or the grocery store I’ve noticed dogs outside on their runners and even clothes hanging out on clothes lines! As cold as it’s been, Spring is DEFINITELY on her way! I’ve been able to do my own Spring cleaning while enjoying a few open windows myself and it’s safe to say, I am very excited for the warm weather to arrive! And so is the rest of Berkshire County as they are coming alive this week with lots for all of our visitors to do! Everybody else will be here for the Baystate Games but perhaps winter sports aren’t YOUR thing? Have no fear, there are plenty of other things going on that have nothing to do with the Winter games J Enjoy free music concerts, local harvest dinners or even a little wine and painting!

Starts March 19

Daily until June 30, 2014
Nightly Entertainment
The Lion’s Den Pub, located downstairs at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA, offers entertainment seven nights a week, and never a cover charge! Sun – Thur 8pm – 11pm; Fri & Sat 9-12am.

March 19

Come to the Williams College campus in Williamstown, MA at 12:15pm and enjoy varieties of live music! Bring a friend, bring your lunch, and enjoy their popular midday and midweek concert series. A musical sampler, every week offers up a mixture of traditional fare, with exciting accents of the unexpected. Williams student musicians value the informal atmosphere of MIDWEEKMUSIC and they use it to workshop their pieces, try out something new, show off something that doesn't fit in other concert formats, or just to have some fun. Instructors are encouraged to have their students present themes together, and the impromptu mini-lecture can also be part of the enjoyment.
Relaxed and informal, MIDWEEKMUSIC is a chance for everyone to share the music while seated on the Chapin Hall stage. Enjoy the sound of their Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano in a setting that is at once both regal and intimate.

Maple Fest
When daytime temperatures rise above the freezing mark, while nights stay cool, the Darrow School community swings into action to begin the process of producing its signature maple syrup. Maple Fest will kick off with a pancake breakfast served with Darrow’s all-natural, handcrafted syrup. Following a bonfire and singing, teachers, staff, and students will participate in a variety of outdoor games for younger and older children, including an obstacle course, three-legged and wheelbarrow races, and a Double Dutch jump-rope contest. Refreshments and Sugar House Tours. Come to Darrow School in New Lebanon, NY from 9am – 3pm for festive treats and fun for the whole family!

March 20

Cookies and Canvas
Come to Bisque, Beads & Beyond in Pittsfield, MA for a fun evening for kiddos! A great canvas for boys and girls! Pick your favorite colors to complete your kicks canvas and hang your painting in your room! Create a 12 x 12 canvas. $25.00. 4pm – 5pm. Call to register.

March 21

Adult Cork & Canvas
Come to Bisque, Beads & Beyond in Pittsfield, MA for a fun ADULT evening! Celebrate Spring and create a great canvas for a Mother’s Day Gift with the newest Art & Social Craze – Cork & Canvas. Create a 16 x 20 canvas. BYOB and they will supply the munchies! $35.00. 6pm – 9pm. Call to register.

March Mud Dance Party
No. Six Depot Roastery & Café of West Stockbridge, MA is hosting a dance party! Dance party with DJ BFG (Jacob’s Pillow DJ) for all ages in the gallery. Dinner in the cafe 5-9pm. Wine and beer available. 8pm – 10pm. $5.00 cover. Don’t miss out on this good time!

Starts March 21

Daily until March 24, 2014

Bay State Winter Games
This is an annual Olympic-style winter sports festival going on March 21st thru the 23rd. Games will be held in Pittsfield, Williamstown, and North Adams, MA. There will be figure skating, Alpine Skiing, and Ice Hockey. This is an awesome event for the whole family to enjoy! Be sure to check for more information so you don’t miss a beat!

March 22

MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA presents, BETTY! BETTY comes to MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 to perform the irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, and always super-fun music it is known for. The band’s appearance on MASS MoCA’s stage coincides with the presentation of new music commissioned for work in the galleries; Darren Waterston’s installation Filthy Lucre features a voice and cello soundscape composed by the band. In honor of the band’s contribution to Filthy Lucre, museum galleries will be open on the night of BETTY’s performance until 7:30pm for BETTY ticket-holders. Waterston will speak briefly about his work and collaboration with the band at 7pm in the third-floor galleries. The concert is at 8pm. A full bar, dinner and snacks from Lickety Split, are available before and during the show. Tickets: $20 reserved seating; $12 advance; $16 day of; $10 for students.

March 23

Reading and Talk by Karen Shepard
The Celestials is a historical novel about a group of 75 Chinese factory workers who arrived in North Adams, Massachusetts in 1870 to break a strike at the Sampson Shoe Factory. Except for the foreman, they don’t speak English. They didn’t know they were strikebreakers. They stayed for ten years. Come to The Mount in Lenox, MA for a lively reading and discussion with Karen Shepard about the fact, fiction and writing process behind her historical novel, The Celestials. This free event is presented with The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and will take place in the Drawing Room. Seating is first come, first served. 2pm – 4pm.

March 24

Berkshire Grown Maple Dinner at Cranwell Resort
Join Berkshire Grown at Cranwell Resort in Lenox, MA as they celebrate the first harvest of the season with a maple-inspired dinner.  6pm Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres; 7pm Dinner and Live Auction in the Mansion Ballroom. Reservations are required. 413. 528.0041

So come one, come all! We’ve got rooms and you’re not going to want to miss out on Berkshire County springing into Spring! Call me at the front desk and we’ll start planning your trip to the Berkshires and your stay here, at The 1896 House! Rooms are booking fast as the Baystate Games get closer so don’t dilly-dally! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Where are you Spring!?

Happy March everybody! Ahhh, March, the month in which kicks off Spring. This is when we have warmer weather, green grass, spring flowers, showers and happy critters frolicking about. We begin to open our windows for fresh air and shed the winter layers and put away the wool socks. However, you will find none of that here this week! It’s STILL cold and I’m STILL wearing wool socks and I haven’t seen one happy critter since that groundhog granted us a longer winter.  Still, I am hopeful and patiently await the sunshine and warm weather. Despite my patience and positive spring attitude, I have gathered indoor events for you to do while you are in the Berkshires this week. Considering it is currently 0 degrees outside right now, I think it’s too cold to be outside still, and why freeze to death for a good time when you can have a ball staying warm inside? But as always, for those of you who enjoy frost bite and snow facials, we still have our discounted Jiminy Peak lift tickets here at the front desk. By all means, come and get ‘em and go freeze. J As for our sane guests ;), it’s a very theatrical and musical week in the Berkshires and here is what’s going on:

March 5
03/05/2014 - 12:15pm
Come enjoy an afternoon concert at Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus in Williamstown, MA. At 12:15pm bring a friend, bring your lunch, and enjoy their popular midday and midweek concert series. A musical sampler, every week offers up a mixture of traditional fare, with exciting accents of the unexpected. Williams student musicians value the informal atmosphere of MIDWEEKMUSIC and they use it to workshop their pieces, try out something new, show off something that doesn't fit in other concert formats, or just to have some fun. Instructors are encouraged to have their students present themes together, and the impromptu mini-lecture can also be part of the enjoyment.
Relaxed and informal, MIDWEEKMUSIC is a chance for everyone to share the music while seated on the Chapin Hall stage. Enjoy the sound of our Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano in a setting that is at once both regal and intimate.

March 7
Williams Chamber Players
The Williams College Department of Music presents the Williams Chamber Players in concert on Friday, March 7, at 8 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus in Williamstown, MA. This free event is open to the public. The Williams Chamber Players is a group made up of musicians seasoned by careers rich in musical diversity. In this concert the group presents contrasting styles with composers from the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Distinguished performance faculty share the joy of making music together to the delight of student and community audiences.

March 7
Weekly on Sun, Fri, Sat until March 30, 2014
Private Lives
Chock-full of witty dialogue and laughs, Noël Coward’s Private Lives is considered one of the greatest comedies ever written. A divorced couple, Elyot and Amanda are honeymooning with their new spouses in the South of France. By chance they meet across adjoining hotel balconies, and without concern for scandal, their new partners, or any memory of what drove them apart in the first place, Elyot and Amanda rekindle their former tempestuous relationship. For show times and tickets, be sure to contact the Elayne P. Bernstein theatre of Lenox, MA at 413-637-3353.

March 7
Loni Love

Loni Love is one of the most hilarious and lovable comics performing stand-up on the comedy club and college circuits today. Both Comedy Central and Variety have named her among their “Top 10 Comics to Watch.” Her many television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, The Best Damn Sports Show Period, VH1′s I Love the ′70s/′80s/′90s, and Comics Unleashed and many others. March 7th she will be at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA at 8pm.

March 8
Elaina Pullano
Come to the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College Campus in Williamstown, MA and enjoy music performed by Williams student, Elaina Pullano. Elaina is a junior studying biology and music at Williams College, and is an active member of the Williams Chamber and Concert choir ensembles as well as a variety of other organizations on campus. This performance features songs by Gustav Mahler, Gabriel Fauré, and Benjamin Britten. Collaborating on piano is Robin Kibler. 4pm.

March 8
Cowboy Junkies

For more than 20 years, the Cowboy Junkies have remained true to their unique artistic vision and to the introspective, quiet intensity that is their musical signature, creating a critically acclaimed body of original work that has endeared them to an audience unwavering in its loyalty. This Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band has released 16 studio albums, several live albums, numerous singles and built up a dedicated following in the alternative rock community. Enjoy this performance at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA at 8pm.

March 8
The Wonderful World of Maples & Woodland Treasures

Come to Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA and join horticulturalist Kevin Wilcox for an in-depth look at Maples: the genus Acer, focusing on small ornamental maples, including the Japanese Maple, as well as many lesser known species that make outstanding additions to the New England garden. 10am to 12pm.
Shortly after, learn about the beautiful woodland plants grown by John Lonsdale from Edgewood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania. He will showcase plants that are Zone 5 hardy, including large and small species of bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, herbaceous perennials and small trees and shrubs suitable for a variety of site conditions. The presentation will focus on methods for successful. 1pm to 3pm.

March 9
Learn how to make your own kombucha!

Come to Wild Oats Market in Williamstown, MA and learn how to make your own kombucha! In this class you will not only learn how to make your own kombucha, you will also learn about the many health benefits of this ancient beverage, which in its more than 2,000 year-old history, has earned a reputation for helping to prevent and fight cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases. Your teacher is Wild Oats’ sometimes-staffer and long-time kombucha maker, Evan Webb. 2pm to 4pm.

As always, we look forward to seeing all of our guests here at The 1896 House this week and hope you enjoy your stay in the very cold, yet very beautiful Berkshires!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Last Minute Going-Ons!

We haven’t heard much from The Clark this season since they have begun their renovations, but this week they have a couple events happening that we want you to know about!

Saturday, March 1st
The Clark will be broadcasting Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor at 12 pm.  In the words of The New York Times, Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production includes, “dreamlike, wrenchingly human and viscerally theatrical” stage. Ildar Abdrazakov will be singing the title role and Gianandrea Noseda will conduct. Be sure to NOT miss out on this classic, and purchase your tickets while they are available. Tickets are $25 and the approximate running time of the show is 270 minutes. Because of limited parking, The Clark encourages guests to arrive 20 minutes or so before show time.

Thursday, March 13th

The Clark will be hosting, “Looking at Lunch Time” at 12:30 pm. Join Michael Cassin, director of the Center for Education in the visual Arts, in the intimate galleries of Stone Hill Center for a look at pieces from their permanent collection. Currently on display are three installations: Sacred and Profane: Four Hundred Years of Religious and Mythological Paintings; Face Time: Portraits and Figures in Paintings and Sculpture; and Land, Sea, and Sky: The Natural World in Art 1600-1900. Come take a gander and chat about your favorite pieces!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

For Your February Breaks

It’s still pretty cold here in Williamstown, and snowing as I type, but according to recent weather forecasts, we should be enjoying some balmy weather when we reach the 40s for the rest of the week! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am pretty excited to see the thermometers read anything over 20 degrees! Heck, this winter I’m excited to see any number without a negative symbol in front of it J The pleasant weather will also be a great addition to those of you enjoying your February school breaks, and if you’re coming to The 1896 House this week, there will be LOTS for you to do while you’re here, so much in fact, that I haven’t even listed here ALL of the things going in the area but rather, listed the most appealing events ;) We’ve got comedians, story-telling and maple syrup season. We’ve got things for old people to do, things for young people to do and we’ve got things for all of those in between to do and then plenty more! All over the Berkshires!
Going on this week in the Berkshires:
February 19

Fact or Fiction? Every picture Tells a Story
Come to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA and explore how the art of Norman Rockwell, Ruth Sanderson, and Wendell Minor tell stories in pictures, and create artworks in mixed media that express your own ideas in these special drop-in workshops for all ages.

February 20

Carnival of the Animals
Berkshire Music School students and faculty members will perform Saint-Saen’s popular tribute to the world of animals! Come to The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA to enjoy this whimsical and humorous musical suite of fourteen movements. It is sure to delight the whole family! After the  performance, use your program as a guide and see if you can find all fourteen animals in the Museum!

February 21
Weekly on Sun, Fri, Sat until April 16, 2014

Celebrate Maple Syrup Season at Ioka Valley Farm
Come to Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock, MA where Calf-A  is now serving their homemade pancakes, waffles, & French toast with their Pure Maple Syrup! Don’t miss their Weekend Maple Sugaring Activities in the Sugar House!

February 21

10 ComediansThe Laugh Lounge, the Berkshires’ leading comedy presenter, returns to the 10×10 Festival with another terrific weekend of laughter! Each night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pitssfield, MA will feature a completely new lineup of comedians with four of the best local/regional comics followed by a national touring comic! Friday, 2/21 at 8pm: Recently heard on Marc Maron’s prestigious WTFpod, is brilliantly funny headliner Mike Vecchione. Saturday, 2/22 at 8pm: Adrienne Iapalucci, who was just featured in November on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” with a critically acclaimed performance.

February 22

Ethan From Marathon Reading
Readers of all ages are invited to The Mount in Lenox, MA to experience this New England classic in a new way at the second annual marathon reading of “Ethan Frome.” Join them in Edith Wharton’s cozy Drawing Room where readers will make Wharton’s story come to life in the very house where she wrote it. Visitors are encouraged to drop by for a chapter or two, or stay for the full reading. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged.
Matt Cusson in Concert
Berkshire native Matt Cusson brings his unique talent to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus in North Adams, MA with a free concert on Saturday February 22nd hosted by MCLA student club The Society of Music. Ticket reservations are encouraged and limited tickets will be made available at the door on the day of the show. For information or for tickets, please email
February 23

The Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe Presents 10 Musicals: Unscripted
The Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe (RBIT) explores the boundaries of theater improvisation through audience participation and the use of theater games reminiscent of the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?  For this special 10X10 performance, RBIT will collaborate with musician Carlton Maaia to perform 10 unscripted short musicals providing the greatest spontaneous musical theatre ever seen! At The Garage, of Berkshire Theatre Group at 2pm in Pittsfield, MA
So hurry, hurry and book your rooms with me at The 1896 House while there are still rooms left to book! Pick a luxury suite or a cozy motel room and enjoy a delightful breakfast no matter which room you pick. For the skiers, I still have discounted Jiminy Peak tickets left! Ask me about them at check in!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Forecast for Williamstown: COLD

Photo courtesy of jzlomek

So that groundhog saw his shadow and to no surprise, Williamstown is about to see more snow. A LOT more snow! To all of our guests who are traveling from near and far, be sure to drive safely and plan accordingly. We are expecting to accumulate anywhere from 6 to 14 inches today! That’s a lot of snow folks, so don’t forget about some of our special ski packages, sleigh ride packages and of course, our discounted Jiminy Peak lift tickets while you are planning your stay with us! Also, we will probably not get any warmer, (Warm? What’s that?), than 30 degrees throughout the week. Despite the cold, we still have things to do and people to see and adventures to keep you busy during your stay at The 1896 House! But I can’t exactly promise that you’ll be able to get out of your rooms to do such things with all of this snow J For those of you who are traveling by sleighs, here are some of the events you can attend ;)

February 7

Model Citizens
The Norman Rockwell Museum of Stockbridge, MA is hosting their “Model Citizens event Tuesday afternoon. Find out what it was like to pose for America’s favorite illustrator from Norman Rockwell’s own models, who share their personal experiences. Free with museum admission. 2:30pm.
Williams College Music
The Williams College Music Department of Williamstown, MA is exceptional among its peer institutions and offers students a wide variety of opportunities to study music both inside and outside the classroom through performance, composition, ethnomusicology, music theory and history. The department presents approximately 125 concerts a year ranging from student recitals and ensembles to visiting artists of national and international stature.
On Tuesday evening, Williams presents the Williams Chamber players at 8:00pm.

February 8

Spank Harder, The Sequel
Berkshire Theatre Group of Pittsfield, MA presents, the original SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody was last year’s #1 show across the country, delivering naughty and hilarious fun to women in over 150 cities. Now, the ALL NEW, SPANK! Harder picks up where the original left off, parodying not only Fifty Shades but taking aim at a variety of issues facing women in today’s pop culture. Gather your girlfriends and buy your tickets now for the funniest show this year! At The Colonial Theatre at 8pm.

Snow Golfing at Cranwell Resort
Berkshire County Hiking Group is hosting a Winter Snow Golfing Event at Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in Lenox, MA . This event is the first time they have ever had a snow golfing in the Berkshires. There will be 9-holes. Players can bring a club or get one at the Pro Shop. They can bring 2 tennis balls or use the ones supplied. Food served by local restaurants will keep players warm around the course and at the Mansion at 3:30pm they will announce winners while serving Hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Captain & Crew. Click here for more information and tickets. This is a fundraiser for the Lenox Library. 11:30 – 5pm.
February 9

Valentine’s Day Baking Class
Wild Oats Market in Williamstown, MA, which is well-known for its natural remedies, offers a natural anecdote to mid-winter cabin fever – chocolate treats for you and your Valentine. Not just any chocolate either! These treats will be prepared under the direction of their baker, Kristin Kennedy, who is a master at making intricate, delicious baked goods. 2:30-4 pm. Register by calling 413.458.8060.

Eagles at Quabbin Reservoir

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary of Lenox, MA is hosting their Eagles at Quabbin Reservoir event! Each year up to 30 bald eagles find enough food to winter at Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts. For this trip, they will first stop at the Quabbin Visitor Center to learn a bit about the reservoir’s history and receive an update on the most recent eagle locations. Afterward, they will drive to various lookout points to search for eagles. In addition, they  may take short walks in search of signs of wildlife such as ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, porcupines, and coyotes. If the reservoir is not frozen, they may be able to see waterfowl as well. For those leaving from Berkshire County, space for the first five registrants will be available in the sanctuary van. Register online or call 413-637-0320 to register by phone. 8:30am – 4pm.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This Week in the Berkshires!

Photo courtesy of mparkes

It’s been a while friends! I got a little caught up in the Spring weather we were having here in Williamstown, which unfortunately has left and Winter has returned! This is great news for all of you skiers out there! We’re currently awaiting another winter storm and should be receiving around 3 inches or so of new snow. We still have our discounted lift tickets here at the front desk, so if you’re visiting to ski, don’t forget to ask me about our lift tickets at check-in! If you’re not visiting for skiing, there is still plenty for you to do while you visit. It’s actually a very busy, yet very entertaining week in the Berkshires. Dance parties, show cases, kitchen science experiments and more! There’s an event for all of our guests, young and old, rich and poor, and active and lazy! J Whoever you may be, make the most out of your visit here!

January 23rd

Four Freedoms Forum-Agent for Change or Flash in the Pan?
Join the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA for their latest “Four Freedoms Forum,” which examines the idea of finding common ground in today’s political climate. The forum will address A Nation Divided: Getting Past the Impasse in our society. Speakers to be announced. Community conversation at the Four Freedoms Forums is free and open to the public. 5:30pm.

January 24th

Berkshire Theatre Group of Pittsfield, MA presents Darlingside! Darlingside is a Massachusetts-based indie folk quartet. With four distinct voices clustered around a single microphone, their tightly-arranged tunes draw from the unexpected, featuring strains of bluegrass, classical and barbershop. Accompanied by an arsenal of classical strings, guitars, mandolin and percussion, these four close friends swap instruments from song to song, keeping audiences across the country on the edge of their seats. At the Garage, 8pm.

January 25th

Berkshire Collects Opening Reception
Come to The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA for Berkshire Collects! Berkshire Collects showcases Berkshire County residents’ passionate pursuit of every imaginable kind of object from motorcycles to beetle specimens, antique toasters, guitars, Victorian purses, wind-up toys, Pez dispensers, cartoons, and a host of other artifacts and memorabilia. Come celebrate the opening and see collections of the exhibit at the opening reception. 5pm – 7pm.

Kitchen Kaboom
Perform exciting- and fun- science experiments at The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA! All experiments are kid-safe and can be recreated using items found in almost any kitchen. Each session will feature different experiments. Adult must accompany child. Call for reservations. 11am – 12pm.

Retro Dance Party
Bousquet Ski Resort and Summer Family Fun Center in Pittsfield, MA will be hosting a retro dance party! Drink Specials, Great Food, Dance Floor, Rockin’ Music, Costume Contest, Fun Times! DJ BFG. Must be 21+. $10 cover. 8pm.

January 26th

Leo Lionni’s Swimmy, Frederick & Inch by Inch
Come to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA for a fun event for the kiddos! The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia Presents: Leo Lionni’s Swimmy, Frederick, & Inch by Inch. Founded in 1972, The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is a touring children’s theatre whose productions incorporate whimsical puppets. The show features an assortment of innovative puppetry styles and imaginative lighting techniques, as well as an original musical score. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Adults $20; Children $10. 2pm.

North County EATS! Restaurant Week
North Adams Chamber of Commerce of North Adams, MA presents, North County EATS! Restaurant Week!  Area restaurants will be offering a variety of prix fixe menus to please any palate and wallet. Participating restaurants have selected special menu choices ranging from price points of $5-$30 for breakfast, brunch, lunch and/or dinner. Click here for restaurants and menus.

Start planning for all of the events you wish to attend and be sure to book your rooms with me at The 1896 House! We’ll provide a cozy bed and the fun things to do, all you have to do is show up! And for those of you arriving today, be sure to plan accordingly to the weather, give yourself the extra time to travel and make SAFE decisions. We always prefer to see our guests in ONE piece please and thank you J As always, we’re looking forward to seeing you all this week! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Welcome to the Berkshires! Emphasis on BRRRR!

Photo courtesy of JBTHEMILKER

We’ve been experiencing some CRAZY weather this week. The Berkshires might be one of the only places on the planet where you could get frostbite and sunburn in the same week! We’ve had some record lows this week coming in at -10 some nights only to be followed by a 40-degree day with rain that ultimately ended with a 5-degree evening with snow flurries! If you’re coming to visit any time this week, pack accordingly! This means bring clothes for all of the seasons because you just never know what you’re going to wake up to here! J

Rain, snow, ice or sun there are still many things to do in the Berkshires while you are visiting. Williams College music is up and running again this month, The Norman Rockwell Museum offers various events throughout the month as well as various hikes, workshops and family activities all over the area!

Williams College Music
January 8th
Pre-Concert Talk with Brain Simalchik ’10 and Stephen Simalchik ’13 at 4:00pm
January 9th
Festival of New Music: I/O Ensemble at 7:00pm
Festival of New Music: After Hours at 9:30pm
January 10th
Festival of New Music: Counter induction at 8:00pm
January 11th
Festival of New Music: Out of the Box at 12:00pm
Festival of New Music: Iota Ensemble at 8:00pm

January 10

Norman Rockwell: Humorous Tales and Little Known Facts
Come to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA and celebrate Norman Rockwell’s unique brand of humor during this engaging, enlightening series exploring the artist’s adventures in illustration, with Curator of Education Tom Daly. Free with Museum admission, members free. 2:30pm.
January 11

Family Day: Dance!
Venture to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA and discover the world of dance during this afternoon inspired by “Dancing Princesses: The Art of Ruth Sanderson.” Learn basic ballroom steps from Berkshire Ballroom, enjoy an illustrated look at dance courtesy of professional dancer/archivist Eugenia Kim, along with readings and art making opportunities. Free with Museum admission, members free. 1pm – 4pm.
Ring in the New Year Free Day
It’s your day at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA! Enjoy free admission and brick-wall-to-brick-wall programming throughout the museum. Art-making, dance performances, roaming musicians, and gallery tours are available throughout the day. Elevator music (played live) and Lickety Split’s signature carrot cake are not to be missed!
Winter Trails Day at Notchview
Winter feels good, so come out and enjoy! Notchview in Windsor, MA is offering free lessons for people of all abilities- a great opportunity to learn or improve in a relaxed atmosphere. We’ll offer classical lessons, a wax clinic, and a winter snowshoe hike. Warm up with soup and sandwiches at our new café, and head back out for more fun. Trustee members & non-members: Half price trail fees, FREE hike & lessons. Snowshoes and Nordic Ski rentals with trail passes will be available free for two-hour periods for people to try; quantities of skis and snowshoes are limited. 10am – 3pm.
January 12

Hoosac Range/Savoy State Forest Winter Ecology Snowshoe and Hike
Join Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center in Windsor, MA and explore Savoy State Forest and the Hoosac Range, one of the highest elevation in MA, in winter on snowshoes (or hike if no snow) with naturalist Aimee Gelinas M.Ed. Learn about winter ecology, evergreen trees and animal tracks. Participants should wear warm, layered clothing, sturdy, waterproof boots, nylon pants and bring snowshoes if needed. Discounted snowshoe rentals available from hike leader. In the event of “no snow” this will be a hike. Directions sent upon registration. Please bring water and lunch. Email Hike is FREE thanks to support from the cultural council of Northern Berkshires. 10am – 1pm.

Be sure to pack very warm clothes if you’re visiting us this week and especially if you plan to be outdoors during your visit because it’s SUPER cold outside! As always, enjoy yourselves while you’re here and look forward to your toasty room to come back to at The 1896 House and a warming meal at the ‘6 House Pub!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all had wonderful holidays full of love, health and happiness! I’ll be looking forward to fitting into all the pairs of pants I put away while feasting throughout the holidays, preferably sometime in 2014. J This is a good time to plan your getaways and vacations with us! Business is busy since we’ve had a couple of GREAT ski days here in the Berkshires. We always have discounted Jiminy tickets available here at the office.  Be sure to ask about them at check-in because they sold out VERY quickly last weekend. According to the forecast, it should be snowing everyday this week which should make for a quality ski and snowboard week. You can also check Jiminy’s snow report at to be sure! And last but not least, events going on this week in the Berkshires and surrounding areas are as follows:

Starts January 1
Daily until January 2, 2014
29th Annual Festival of Trees: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Travel through time at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA during Festival of Trees 2013: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and celebrate the Museum’s 110th anniversary! Dazzling decorated trees will take visitors to the nostalgia of years past, the excitement of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, and the endless possibilities for the future. Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm.

January 3
Model Citizens
Find out what it was like to pose for America’s favorite illustrator from Ed Locke, the model for Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Runaway.“ Free with museum admission at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. 2:30pm.

Starts January 4
Weekly on Saturday until March 15, 2014
Hot Chocolate Saturdays
Each Saturday at the Bartholomew’s Cobble they invite you to join the crowd by grabbing some snowshoes, getting some fresh air and exercise and then chatting with them over a cup of hot chocolate in their Visitor Center. Free with admission. 9am – 4:30pm.

Stay warm folks! Make the best of the New Year and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you all when you visit The 1896 House in 2014!