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Low-Cost School Vacation Events in the Berkshires

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Having fun on April vacation doesn't have to break the bank. From baby animals to recreational activities and crafts, there is an array of free or low-cost family events happening across the county this week.

Pittsfield has a lot going on this week as Downtown Pittsfield Inc. is hosting its second annual Downtown Celebrates Spring Week sponsored in part by The Feigenbaum Foundation and the YMCA is offering free swimming.

Downtown Celebrates Spring Week
Saturday, April 13, to Sunday, April 21

The featured event is "Where's Winston?" a spring scavenger hunt for images of the Pittsfield Police Department's comfort dog Officer Winston at a dozen downtown locations. A spring image of Winston will be hidden in 12 locations in downtown Pittsfield. Every Winston will have a unique word with him. Find the hidden Winstons, write the words on the inside of the Where's Winston? game card, and bring the card to the Berkshire Athenaeum to claim prizes.

The first five children to find all 12 words and bring their completed game card to the Children's Library at the athenaeum will win a Winston plushie. All children who find all 12 words will win a Winston spring pin. Children who find any six words will win a Winston sticker. To redeem the game card for prizes, bring the completed card to the Children's Library, April 13-20. The library is closed on Sunday.

Other Downtown Celebrates Spring events include:

Celebrate Spring Beach Party at Onota Lake
Wednesday, April 17, from 3 to 6 p.m.

The event will include a scavenger hunt, an unveiling of the new Toy Library, free snacks, relay races and lawn games.

Downtown Celebrates Spring Tea Party at Dottie's Coffee Lounge
Thursday, April 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.
There will be free lemonade and cookies for the kids and coffee and tea for the grown-ups available for purchase. The free spring-themed tea party is best suited for ages 3 to 10 but younger and older children are welcome.

Free Kids' Paint & Sip at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Saturday, April 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the auditorium

All materials, instruction, snacks, and juice will be provided. Children are welcome to drop in anytime during the event accompanied by an adult. The free spring-themed paint and sip is best suited for ages 5 to 12 but younger and older children are welcome.

The auditorium is on the second floor of the parish house and the entrance is on Allen Street.

A full list of Downtown Celebrates Spring Week events can be found here.

Free Swimming at the Berkshire Family YMCA
Monday through Friday between noon and 3 p.m.

The pool is open to families looking to dive into some fun and quality time together. This event is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities.

In North Adams, enjoy free bowling, a movie, and art workshops.

Free Family Bowling at Valley Park Lanes
Thursday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

Bowling and shoe rentals will be free as well as some refreshments and snacks. The event will fill quickly and registration is required, contact the Family Resource Centers by calling 413-663-7588 or emailing

Free Family Movie at the North Adams Public Library
Friday, April 19, 2 p.m. in the third-floor community room.

Families can enjoy a screening of the movie "Wish" with free popcorn and drinks. Youth under the age of 10 must have an adult present at all times.

Spring Break at Roots Teen Center 

The teen center on Ashland Street hosts zines artist Miguel Rodriguez on Wednesday from 3:30 to 6 for the After School Art Club and a gaming tournament on Thursday from 2:30 to 7 during drop-in hours. 
All programs are free and open to teens age 13 to 19. 

Kids Mass MoCA Workshops
Monday through Friday at 11 a.m.

The museum educators are hosting a series of free workshops for all ages in Kidspace. Each will focus on a different art medium and process. More information can be found here.

Workshops include:

  • Monday, April 15: Poetic Creations with Colin Harrington exploring the traditional Japanese art practice of Haiga.
  • Tuesday, April 16: Creative Movement with Claire Hutchinson learning how dance can be used to play, convey ideas, and bring joy into your daily life.
  • Wednesday, April 17: Playful Puppets with Beth Davis where participants meet some friendly puppets and make one of their own.
  • Thursday, April 18: Theater Games with Nina Keneally exploring the benefits of performance and movement in everyday life.
  • Friday, April 19: Drawing LeWitt with Rebecca Cuscaden Marvin inspired by Sol LeWitt's wall drawings. The workshop will introduce participants to the creative process behind these works.

Hancock Shaker Village's popular baby animals event returns to welcome spring.

Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village
Through Sunday, May 5

Meet the newest farm babies — lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kids (goats, that is) — and enjoy events and activities throughout the village, from daily talks about the farm and the Shakers to craft demonstrations to walks along the Farm & Forest Trail.

Best times to arrive are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. A behind the scenes tour is offered each day at 10 a.m.

General admission is $20 for adults, $8 for youths ages 13-17 and children 12 and under are free. More information can be found here.

In West Stockbridge, the town's historical society will present "Not Your Ordinary Teams: The Unknown Story of Baseball in the Berkshires," an exhibit on the history of Black baseball and women's baseball in Berkshire County.

Weekend of Baseball
Thursday, April 18, to Sunday, April 21

The free exhibition will be shown at the Old Town Hall. There will be a preview on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., an opening reception on Friday beginning at 5, and ongoing presentations on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. that are appropriate for all ages.


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