Berkshire During the Holidays

November 21st, 2012 by Katie Pate

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and that means Christmas is just around the corner! Here in the Berkshires, we are starting to feel the holiday spirit. In this post, we have some events that will help you get in the winter wonderland mood as well.

Hoffman Pottery: For Sale and Design-Your-Own

This artist’s shop is offering big deals for the Holidays! Get 10% off the entire Helix Collection, 15% off garden sculptures and 25-75% off already discontinued lines for the rest of 2012. Buying from a local artist and business owner is a great way to be a responsible consumer. If you’ve got your young ones in tow, bring in the whole family for a Plate-Painting Party! There’s no gift grandparents like more than a hand-made item from their grandchild to cherish. Hoffman Pottery is open daily.

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Berkshire Concerts in November & Early December

November 10th, 2012 by Katie Pate

As the weather gets cold and the night sets in early, a great way to spend the evening out is at a concert. Forget about the cold and the wet outside while enjoying the pulse of the beat and the warmth you feel while dancing or hearing your favorite song.

Upcoming Concerts in the Berkshires Area

Gaia Roots: The Colonial Theatre (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ) Gaia Roots World Music and Dance Ensemble is an all-female performance troupe that blends drumming, dance and vocal harmonies into a unique enactment of traditional music and original creations. They draw inspiration from the roots music of West Africa, the Caribbean and many other traditions from around the world. November 24th. Performance & Workshop: $15 at 7pm; Workshop only: $10 at 7pm; Performance only: $10 at 8pm.

Mary Verdi and Tony Lee Thomas host Christmas at The Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA): This lively show begins the holiday season with all your favorite Christmas songs! Mary Verdi is a local singer and songwriter who takes the stage with her seven piece band, bell choir, dancers, children singers and of course Santa Claus! Don’t miss this family-friendly Christmas show! December 1 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

The Temptations: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA):The Temptations are known as one of the most acclaimed and successful acts to record for Motown records. December 2 at 7pm. Tickets $80-$50.

Arlo Guthrie: The Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA): With Woody’s 100th birthday approaching, Arlo’s new solo tour is a celebration of Woody Guthrie’s immeasurable contributions to the landscape of American folk music. Best known for his song “This Land is Our Land,” Woody was a giant in the folk movement, inspiring a generation of new folk musicians, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bob Dylan and of course his son, Arlo. December 6 at 8pm.

If any of these artists or shows peak your interest, consider making a real event out of it with a stay at our fine Lenox, MA bed and breakfast. We have several specials you might want to take advantage of – including a romance package, mid-week specials (some of the concerts are mid-week) and more.

Local Halloween Events in the Berkshires

October 7th, 2012 by Katie Pate

Berkshire Events for Halloween

Halloween is a holiday more about folly and fun than religion and rhetoric. It is a favorite day for children all over America and adults know that Halloween is an excuse to get into costume and act silly.

Wondering what to do in the Berkshires for Halloween? October brings the lovely fall colors to our landscape and spooky Halloween events. From Paranormal investigations to traditional Halloween parades, there’s a lot of fun to be had not far from our Lee, MA bed and breakfast.

2012 Halloween Season Events at Ventfort Hall

Located at 104 Walker St. in Lenox, MA.

Ventfort Hall mansion and Gilded Age museum has a number of fun and spooky events for Halloween.

Dancin’ at the Mansion Halloween Party Saturday October 13 at 7:30 pm.
Dances to the standards sung by Vivian Caputo and played by the Greg Caputo Quartet. Costumes very welcomed and prizes will be given. There will also be complimentary snacks and a cash bar.

Ghost Hunting at the Mansion Saturday October 20 at 8:00 pm.
Chicopee Paranormal Investigators will check out the ghostly activity at the mansion. In the process, they’ll train spectators on how to do their own investigation, including how to use tools of the trade.

Tea and Talk with Chicopee Paranormal Investigators Tuesday October 30 at 4:00 pm.
The Chicopee Paranormal Investigators return to share their findings at the mansion. Consider the evidence over a lovely Victorian Tea.

Tickets are required for all events. For more information and to buy tickets online, visit http://gildedage.org/

Friday Night Ghost Tours at The Mount in Lenox, MA

Every Friday at 5:45pm and 7:00 pm during October, visit to The Mount at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, MA for Ghost Tours! A 90-minute guided adventure though the haunted places of Edith Wharton’s home is sure to put you in the Hallow’s Eve mood. Wear good walking shoes, bring your flashlight and prepare to be spooked! Not recommended for children ages 12 and younger. Visit The Mount website for more information and to buy tickets.

Berkshires Halloween 2012

A vintage postcard posted by the New York Library. Enjoy the Halloween holiday in the Berkshires!

2012 Halloween Events in Pittsfield, MA

Pittsfield is a 25 minute drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast.

All Things Halloween Thursday October 18 in Pittsfield
Throughout downtown Pittsfield, come for the very cute Children’s Costume Contest & Parade. There will also be live music and performances. Downtown shops and restaurants will be open later for the festivities. The Halloween spirit continues with Pittfield’s annual Halloween Parade on Friday, October 26 at 7 pm.

2012 Halloween Events in Stockbridge, MA

Stockbridge is a 10 minute drive from our Berkshires lodging.

Halloween Week Walk & Talk October 25 in Stockbridge, MA at 5:00 pm
Tom Daly will lead a walking tour of Stockbridge Cemetery after a cider and doughnut reception at the Old Town Hall.

 

Foliage in Massachusetts

September 28th, 2012 by Katie Pate

The fall foliage in Massachusetts peaks in October and draws many visitors. Fall foliage trips are a popular activity around this time of year and we hope that for your 2012 fall foliage tour you will pick our Berkshires bed and breakfast as your premier lodging choice.

Autumn Foliage Maps

Berkshires fall foliage

Enjoy the stunning colors of fall in the Berkshires.

The state’s official Tourism site has a useful map describing foliage peak conditions in different areas of Massachusetts. The map indicates the Berkshires will be at peak color during the third week of October, and the eastern portion of the state by Nov. 6.

Berkshire Foliage Colors via Hike and Bike

Immerse yourself in the warm hues of fall! A favorite way to do this is via hiking, biking or running. There are a variety of organized excursions and independent treks to visit the fall foliage. Here are a few:

Housatonic Heritage Ride -Sun Oct 2, 9 AM – Sheffield Town Hall. Explore the 29 quaint towns of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.

Running Routes: Stunning routes through the small towns of Lenox, Great Barrington, Williamstown and Stockbridge will give you a chance to take your time observing the changing leaves. For something more rural, try going up onto Mount Greylock and over the Mohawk Trail, the same foot path Native Americans used centuries ago.

Berkshire Foliage Driving Tours

The Mohawk Trail Association offers five suggested driving tours in western Massachusetts that are perfect for observing foliage in Berkshires, Massachusetts.

 

berkshires foliage driving tours

Driving routes for observing fall foliage in the Berkshires.

Tour 1: Mount Greylock (26 miles)
On a clear day, Mount Greylock can provide wide views of scenic Massachusetts. Greylock is Massachusetts’ highest peak, at 3491 feet. Allow half a day for this tour. This route starts one mile north of Lanesborough on Route 7.

Tour 2: Mohawk Trail,  Savoy State Forest (55 miles)
Williamstown, the home of Williams College, is the starting place for this foliage tour. This route covers most of the outstanding features in northern section of Berkshire County.

Tour 3: Mount Greylock / North Berkshire (33 miles)
This tour of scenic northern Berkshire County is on the western edge of the Mohawk Trail and starts in North Adams at City Hall at Route 8 and Marshall Street.

Tour 4: North Berkshire / Mohawk Trail (53 miles)
This scenic tour brings you north on Route 7 to The Mohawk Trail. Starting in Pittsfield, take Route 7 to Lanesborogh. Continue north on Route 7 to South Williamstown to the historic five corners. Here several walking tours to historic houses are available.

Tour 5: Mohawk Trail / Pioneer Valley (55 miles)
This tour begins in Greenfield at the eastern part of the Mohawk Trail. Watch an early sunrise from the Poet’s Seat Tower by driving east on Main Street to High Street, then follow the signs to the Tower. Return to Main Street, Route 2A, go west and turn left on Route 5 which takes you through the meadowlands of the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers, site of the Deerfield Massacre in 1704.

October 6-7, 2012 Harvest Festival at Berkshire Botanical Garden

September 16th, 2012 by jenn

Farmers Market at Berkshires Harvest Festival 2012

The 78th Annual Harvest Festival in Stockbridge, MA will have a farmer’s market, children’s activities, live music, vendors selling fine crafts and much more!

Saturday & Sunday ~ 10 am to 5 pm

The annual Harvest Festival in Stockbridge, MA is a long-standing Berkshires tradition. Locals and visitors gather every year in the beautiful setting of the Berkshire Botanical Garden to celebrate community and the harvest season.

This family friendly Berkshires event has plenty of opportunities to shop and to learn. Vendors will be selling handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, textile arts and more. There will also be a silent auction and plant sales. The farmer’s market will feature fresh locally grown produce. A food court and bakery will give visitors a wonderful chance to taste the work of local food artisans’ baked delights, burgers, sausages, chocolates and other fine foods. Learning opportunities include workshops and demonstrations–watch a blacksmith at work and see thread spun before your very eyes.

The Harvest Festival in the Berkshires is a favorite for children of all ages. Hay rides, face painting, balloon animals, a hay maze, crafting and kid-friendly farm animals are just a few of the fun activities kids love at the festival. This year, there are a few new additions too: horseback riding, an obstacle course by the Southern Berkshire Community Center and a monster photo booth will be sure to entertain everyone in the family!

Live music will set the mood with a swing jazz quartet and a banjo and fiddle duo. Buskers will also be out and about to keep the music going throughout the garden. It’s an altogether lovely celebration during a gorgeous time of year in the botanical garden.

Come to the festival at 5 West Stockbridge Road in Stockbridge on the Berkshire Botanical Garden grounds. Parking is free. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. It’s all for a good cause; proceeds support Berkshire Botanical Garden education programs. For more information, please visit BerkshireBotanical.org/Harvest_Festival.

Plan Ahead to Enjoy the Fall Colors in the Berkshires

September 2nd, 2012 by jenn

Lee MA Berkshires Fall Colors

Fall foliage in the Berkshires…plan ahead for your fall viewing vacation at our elegant Lee, MA bed and breakfast.

Summer is coming to its end… which means the spectacular show of the Berkshires fall foliage is about to begin! Plan your relaxing stay at our Berkshires bed and breakfast during the height of autumn color in October.

There are so many ways to take in that beautiful explosion of red, yellow and orange! The cool crisp air of fall is the perfect time to be active. Take an easy nearby hike on the Appalachian Trail. A leisurely bike ride in town or country will reward you with scenic views of our lakes and hills. If you love to kayak, there’s nothing better than getting on a peaceful lake ringed by trees bursting with color. Go for pure nature by visiting our local parks or visit quaint Berkshires towns to see the harmony of New England historic buildings set against the backdrop of hills drenched in color.

The arts and culture of the Berkshires will also enliven you during your fall foliage vacation in the Berkshires. Live theater, musical concerts and visual arts of the highest quality are part of the Berkshires landscape year-round. See our Things to Do page for more ideas on museums, performances and outdoor activities you can enjoy during your stay.

September 21-23, 2012 Lee Founders Day
A fall visit to our Berkshires B&B is also well-timed to join in Lee’s annual heritage celebration. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy local culinary delights at the Taste of Lee, plus a colorful parade, live music and other fun events and activities. For more information on the Lee, MA Founders Day, please visit TownofLee.com/Founders_Weekend.asp.

You can also relax at our stately Berkshires accommodations with its grounds and gardens putting on their own autumn show. You can take in the view from your luxurious room or sit in a comfortable chair on the spacious screened-in porch. If you love the fresh air and the sight of the fall leaves outside, you can have your full gourmet breakfast on the porch too.

Fall will soon be here…Be sure to book your room today and experience fall in the Berkshires and the warm hospitality of our Lee, MA B&B near Stockbridge.

Fall 2012 Berkshires Jazz in Lee and Pittsfield, MA

August 16th, 2012 by jenn

If you love jazz, the Berkshires delivers! Jazz has long been an important part of Berkshires culture. In the 50s and 60s, the Music Inn, the Music Barn and the Lenox School of Jazz were important venues for both jazz concerts and education. This great American musical tradition continues with Berkshires jazz festivals and individual performances throughout the year. There are two festivals to look forward to as fall approaches. Both are conveniently close to our Berkshires B&B. You can book your luxurious Berkshires accommodations at Applegate Inn in time for these jazz festivals and the display of spectacular fall color!

Karrin Allyson

Vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson, Saxophonist Charles Neville and the Sonny & Perley jazz duo are the three headlining acts of the 2012 Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend. Flickr photo by Tom Beetz.

Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend 2012

The first of the two festivals, the 2012 Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend is September 14-16. In addition to performances by various local and regional musicians, there will be three headline acts that weekend:

Friday, September 14, 2012 ~ 8-10 pm: Sonny & Perley, the husband and wife jazz duo, will play their distinctive blend of jazz, Brazilian and International Cabaret styles. @ The Spectrum Theatre ~ 20 Franklin Street in Lee, MA

Two concerts are on Saturday, September 15, 2012 @ the First Congregational Church ~ 25 Park Place in Lee, MA
2-4pm: Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers is a master of the saxophone, with over 50 years playing R&B, funk, jazz and pop music.
8-11 pm: Karrin Allyson, Grammy nominated vocalist and pianist, will perform with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, thrilling you with the heart and virtuosity of their music.

For more information and online ticket sales, visit BerkshireGatewayJazz.com.

2012 Pittsfield City Jazz Festival

The second festival is the 8th Annual Pittsfield City Jazz Festival, October 5-13. For over a week, various venues around downtown Pittsfield will feature jazz music of incredible variety and depth.

October 5-7, 2012 Jazz About Town: Local jazz musicians will be playing in various restaurants, bars and cafes throughout Pittsfield.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012: Adam O’Farrill and his quartet will play their Berkshires debut at the Berkshire Athenaeum ~ 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA. Note: The time is yet to be announced.

Friday, October 12, 2012: The Jazz Arts Trio headed by concert pianist Frederick Moyer.
8 pm at the Sydelle & Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center ~ 36 Linden Street in Pittsfield, MA (413) 236-8888

Saturday, October 13, 2012: The New England Jazz Ensemble, a 16-piece big band, will perform with jazz/blues vocalist Giacomo Gates and flutist Ali Ryerson. The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will also play. 8 pm at the Colonial Theatre ~ 111 South Street in Pittsfield, MA (413) 997-4444

For more information about the 2012 Pittsfield Jazz Festival, please visit BerkshiresJazz.org. For ticket sales, please call each venue for details.

Don’t miss these exciting opportunities to experience jazz in the Berkshires!

August 24–26, 2012 Berkshires Arts Festival at Ski Butternut

August 2nd, 2012 by jenn

Painter with Color Palette

Demonstrations, live music and fun activities are part of the weekend’s events. The next Berkshires Arts Festival will be August 24-26, 2012 at Ski Butternut. The September 28-31, 2012 Berkshires Arts Festival will be held at Shakespeare & Company.

During your stay at our luxury Berkshires B&B, you’ll have many opportunities to experience why the Berkshires are considered “America’s Premier Cultural Resort.” One of these must-see events is the Berkshires Arts Festival. Now in its 11th year, the Berkshires Arts Festival has become a Berkshire tradition. This large juried art show features an amazing variety of artists and craftsman of high quality and originality. There over 100 artists, mostly from the U.S. and Canada.

Every kind of medium is represented. There are handmade fine art quilts, scarves, art garments, painting, basketmaking, art furniture, fiber art and ceramics. Sculptures come in all materials (steel, wood, clay, found objects). There’s photography, glass art and jewelry. The styles run the gamut: abstract, representational, whimsical, expressionistic, or just plain fun. This casual venue gives art lovers and artists a great opportunity to meet one another and talk about the work in a more informal setting than a gallery show.

There are fun activities and helpful services too. Kids and adults alike enjoy the face painting, live music, and live demonstrations. Watch an artist throw a pot on the potter’s wheel, see the technical intricacies of firing ceramics, and see a masterful painter mix and apply colors and discuss methods. With all the things to look at, your neck and shoulders might get a little tense. Fortunately, chair massages are offered to help you relax. The show happens rain or shine, cool weather or hot. On hot days, you can beat the heat by escaping to the air conditioned Upper Lodge where more artists have their work on display.

Berkshires Arts Festival Hours & Location

The festival is held a few times a year in select locations. The upcoming Berkshires Arts Festival will be held at the broad lawns and accommodating facilities of the Butternut Ski Area at 380 State Road, Route 23 in Great Barrington, MA. Hours are Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased right at the gate. For more information, call (845) 355-2400 or visit August.BerkshiresArtsFestival.com.

Applegate Inn News: Ready For Berkshires Summer Guests

July 16th, 2012 by jenn

Back View of Applegate Inn with pool

Newly carpeted and freshly repainted, Applegate Inn is ready for our Berkshires summer guests

Our luxury Berkshires bed and breakfast always strives to provide our guests with the warmest hospitality and pampering. Summer is a busy time for us. There are so many events and outdoor activities for vacationers in and around the beautiful Lee, MA area. It’s very important to us that the estate is well-prepared for the summer season. With that in mind, the inn has had all the carpets replaced. We’ve also done a great deal of repainting throughout the common areas as well as the individual guest rooms and suites. It gives the whole place a wonderful refreshed feeling, just in time for our summer guests!

During the warm summer months, the screened porch is a favorite place for guests to enjoy a Berkshires B&B gourmet breakfast. It’s been so popular, that we’ve added more tables so everyone can enjoy the fine food, admire the beautiful grounds and make pleasant conversation with friends both old and new.

With all the Berkshires summer cultural events in full swing, our rooms have been booking up very quickly. We highly encourage making your reservation as soon as possible to ensure you have your favorite room here at Applegate Inn. Conveniently close to Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Center, the Berkshire Theater and other major Berkshires area attractions, Applegate Inn is your place to stay during your Berkshires summer vacation. At any time of the year, we look forward to giving you a memorable and delightful experience of true Massachusetts hospitality!

The Berkshires in Summer: Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow and Live Theater

July 1st, 2012 by jenn

In addition to balmy days and lush gardens, summer in the Berkshires brings the return of some of our favorite cultural events of the year. Berkshire-area festivals offer the unique opportunity not only to enjoy fantastic performances, but also to learn from these nationally and internationally famous actors, dancers and musicians. Aspiring artists of all disciplines can visit the Berkshires to hone their own crafts and be inspired by the very best.

Music Conductor Hands and BatonTanglewood 2012

This summer is a very special one for Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). 2012 marks the 75th anniversary of Tanglewood and the world-renown concert series is pulling out all the stops.The season officially opens on July 6, 2012 and will continue all summer with a wonderful variety of musical performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, famous guest conductors and musicians. The highlight event will be on July 14th: The Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Gala. It’ll be a night to remember with dazzling performances by BSO, Boston Pops, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, John Williams, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor and other celebrated musicians at Tanglewood. For tickets, scheduling and additional information, visit BSO.org.

DancerJacob’s Pillow 2012

One of our favorite Berkshire summer events is already underway. This summer is the 80th Anniversary of the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. In July, you won’t want to miss Vertigo Dance Company from Israel (July 4-8) and the return of Tero Saarinen’s very popular, Shaker-inspired Borrowed Light.  The Hong Kong ballet will debut at Jacob’s Pillow July 18-22, 2012. These are just a few of the great dance performances offered in July. For a full schedule, tickets and more information, visit jacobspillow.org.

Professional Theater and Performances

Live performances and summer theater in the Berkshires are also heating up. The five theaters of the Berkshire Theater Group have a great summer season of premier live entertainment, from Hip Hop to cabaret. You can learn more and get your tickets at berkshiretheatregroup.org. Other great resources for professional summer theater and performances include:

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA

Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA

Chester Theatre Company

Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Theater Barn in New Lebanon, NY

Enjoy all these great performances and exceptional learning opportunities while staying at our Berkshire Bed and Breakfast Inn.

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