Events and Things to Do in Pittsfield, MA. Spring/Summer 2021
Our cultural institutions, like our restaurants and retailers, have hung on through the pandemic, offering virtual programming and limited in-person opportunities. The spring and summer of 2021 will see an expansion and return of cultural and community programming with strict attention paid to safety measures. The Pittsfield Farmers Market will return to the Pittsfield Common in May and indoor performances at Barrington Stage Company will resume in June. Berkshire Theatre Group will bring back their iconic Big Tent in the parking lot of the Colonial Theatre, where last year, audiences celebrated the musical’s return to the live stage with Godspell. The Berkshire Museum is getting ready to reveal new renovations and exhibitions on their second floor later this summer, and First Fridays Artswalk will make its triumphant return this July with new venues and programming. Creative and strategic thinking has forged new partnerships. Outdoor performances at Hancock Shaker Village are slated to begin in June by the Chester Theatre Company, and CozQuest is connecting our small businesses by creating treasure hunts with big prizes for our community.
The Pittsfield Farmers Market will return to the Pittsfield Common at 100 First Street for an outdoor season beginning Saturday, May 15. There will be an outdoor market every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm through October 9, and Covid precautions will be in place. To learn more about the market and its vendors, visit farmersmarketpittsfield.org.
Barrington Stage Company‘s 2021 season will begin in June and will include three productions staged outdoors under a tent at BSC’s Production Center (Who Could Ask For Anything More? The Songs of George Gershwin; Boca; and Elizabeth Stanley in Concert), and four productions staged indoors at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage (Chester Bailey; Sister Sorry; and Eleanor – a new play by Mark St. Germain starring Harriet Harris).
In preparation for the indoor performances, Barrington Stage Company (BSC) has upgraded their air ventilation system and removed every other row of seats. Two vacant seats will be left between each party. To view BSC’s full safety plan, click here.
To purchase tickets and to learn more about these and other performances, visit barringtonstageco.org.
Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) will present a community production of The Wizard of Oz directed by E. Gray Simons III from July 23 through August 15 outside under the Big Tent in the Colonial Theatre parking lot. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children 16 and under. (Click here to purchase tickets or call the box office at 413-997-4444.) BTG will have additional performances at their Stockbridge campus.
The Berkshire Museum’s first floor and Aquarium are currently open by reservation, Thursday through Monday. Timed tickets are required, and you can reserve your spot online or over the phone at 413-443-7171 ext. 360. Tickets are $13 for adults, $6 for children ages 4-17, and free for Berkshire Museum members, EBT cardholders, and children under 3. For current exhibitions, visit berkshiremuseum.org/visit/exhibitions.
The Museum’s second-floor galleries and Crane Room will reopen in August 2021 with brand new exhibitions, new programming spaces, and improved amenities. Learn more about what to expect when the second floor reopens here: berkshiremuseum.org/about/next-steps.
First Fridays Artswalk is returning in July with new indoor and outdoor locations perfect for a social distanced walk around downtown Pittsfield. Featured art will be on view during the First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, July 2, from 5 to 8 pm, and all month long. For more information, visit firstfridaysartswalk.com.
Berkshire Paint and Sip will host a Virtual Fundraiser for First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, June 4 at 6 pm. Attendees will learn how to paint a landscape image of “Mountain Love Tree” in real time with feedback from the instructor. Visit berkshirepaintandsip.squarespace.com for more details and to register. (Note there is an option to purchase a ticket with or without materials.) Berkshire Paint and Sip is currently in the process of moving to a new studio but is continuing to offer virtual painting parties online that are open to the public, and they also have DIY Paint Kits for you to enjoy from home. For more information and an events calendar, visit berkshirepaintandsip.squarespace.com.
CozQuest Treasure Hunts have become a new fixture of downtown Pittsfield, connecting consumers and small businesses through their love of treasure, competition, and community.
It’s simple: solve a puzzle, follow a map, find and scan the hidden QR code and enjoy your prize. The QR codes unlock treasure at local businesses – gift cards, discounts, freebies – and bring you to the hidden gems in Pittsfield. Find all of the QR codes and you’ll be entered to win one of the big prizes. The next Treasure Hunts will be on May 1. Play and learn more at www.cozquest.com.
Hop in your car and just a few minutes from downtown, two of our other Pittsfield Cultural Institutions are ready to welcome you: Hancock Shaker Village and Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. Hancock Shaker Village is “a living history museum devoted to the legacy of the Shakers, with 20 authentic buildings, a working farm and gardens, and a collection of 20,000+ artifacts”. Now through Sunday, May 9, meet the Village’s newest additions during Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm – meet baby lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kids. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $8 for youth ages 13-17, and free for children 12 and under. Pre-registration is recommended. To register and learn more, visit hancockshakervillage.org/events/baby-animals. (Please note, Mondays are Hancock Shaker Village Member Only Days for Baby Animals.)
Hancock Shaker Village also offers outdoor concerts (“Back Porch Music”) and Saturday morning Barnyard Yoga starting in June. For more information, visit hancockshakervillage.org.
The Chester Theatre Company will also stage three shows under a tent on the grounds of Hancock Shaker Village this summer. Chester@Hancock will present Title and Deed (June 16-27), The Niceties (July 14-25), and Tiny Beautiful Things (August 18-29). Performances are Wednesday through Sunday and you can purchase tickets here: https://ci.ovationtix.com/35011
Herman Melville’s Arrowhead is currently open for private house tours by reservation on Saturdays at 10 am, 11:30 am, and 1 pm until May of 2021. Please call 413-442-1793 to schedule a tour or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Private tours of Arrowhead are $25 per person.
Arrowhead will open for its regular season from May through October. Tours of this historic property will be $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $10 for students, with free admission for children 12 and under and members of the Berkshire County Historical Society. Arrowhead was the home of Herman Melville from 1850-1863 and is where he produced some of his greatest work.
The grounds at Arrowhead and the nature trails behind the barn are open year-round sunrise to sunset for public use. Visit www.mobydick.org for more information.
If you are looking for outdoor recreation, all city parks and playgrounds are open including Burbank Park at Onota Lake. There are also several hiking trails in Pittsfield ranging from easy to difficult. We recently visited two fantastic Berkshire Natural Resources Council properties in Pittsfield and featured them in a blog which you can view by clicking here. For a list of additional trails in Pittsfield, visit www.alltrails.com/us/massachusetts/pittsfield.
After spending the day exploring Pittsfield, you most likely are not going to want to go home and cook, so why not come back downtown and enjoy our local restaurants – many of which are open for both indoor and outdoor dining as well as takeout! For a list of downtown restaurants, visit downtownpittsfield.com/dine.
Or perhaps, you would like to take in a movie at Phoenix Theatres’ Beacon Cinema. The Beacon Cinema was awarded the CinemaSafe logo, so “you can rest assured your cinema is doing — and insisting on — everything possible to ensure your safe & healthy return to the movies!” To see what’s playing, visit phoenixmovies.net/home/theatres/beacon-cinema/005, and don’t forget all movies starting before 5 pm are only $6!
Last but not least, downtown Pittsfield also boasts a unique shopping experience. Shop home-furnishings, clothing, jewelry, floral and home, vintage furniture and accessories, gifts, up-cycled home décor, and much more! Visit downtownpittsfield.com/shop for more information.
We can’t wait to see you downtown! Don’t forget your mask!
By Kimberly Gritman, Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.