Culture in the Berkshires

The Sol LeWitt Retrospective at Mass MoCA. Photo cred: Mass MoCa

The Sol LeWitt Retrospective at Mass MoCA. Photo cred: Mass MoCa

The Berkshires are an increasingly popular weekend destination for North-easterners.  They're an appealing alternative to the regional beaches, especially for the schlep-adverse who may not be in love with traffic, sand, sun, and wagons of stuff.  We're excited to share this breakdown of three fun Berkshire destinations that provide a healthy dose of culture and family entertainment: 

1. Mass MoCA

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art has one of the best spaces and exhibition programs in the country.  It's located in a compound of converted factory buildings in North Adams, Massachusetts, and is more like a cultural theme park than a museum; there are indoor and outdoor exhibitions, music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater, and a host of activities that don't fall into any of the categories above.  Our favorite: the Sol Lewitt retrospective.  It includes 105 large-scale wall drawings and paintings, completed to LeWitt's specifications before he died.  The colorful spaces and meticulously done line drawings on nearly an acre of specially built walls will be on view through 2033, but get there now -- there's nothing like it. 

2. Tanglewood

Tanglewood is a music academy in Lenox, Massachusetts with huge-scale open air concert halls and acres of grassy, picturesque Berkshire land. It's been the home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from June through August since 1937 and has a diverse line up of performers, one of the most popular being James Taylor.  Visitors can sit in the concert hall or outside on the lawn. We obviously recommend the lawn option, where you can lay on a blanket, sip some packed frozé, and enjoy the music while the kids catch fireflies.  

3.  Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village is a farm with various amusing and totally unexpected perks.  For one, the architecture is gorgeous -- from the picturesque entrance to the circular stone barn, this is not anything you've seen before.  Second, each small building has its own intrigue.  There is one little house, about 300 square feet, that is filled with art by internationally known artists, including Maya Lin (who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC), Jenny Holzer  (best known for her LED signs). Finally, the Shaker Village event calendar makes Brooklyn look boring; there's a Goat Yoga class (they're not "kidding"), a Haunted Hancock night, and a Timber-making workshop.  

The Berkshires are one of our favorite places to visit, and we kept this post concise, but send any questions about specific places to visit, restaurants, hikes, etc. our way and we'll help you out!