PITTSFIELD >> Jordan Mark Stone wistfully watched as his son, Jordan, 5, played with other kids at the Berkshire Museum on Friday.
"I don't know what I'm going to do when he starts school," said Stone. "He's the only person I spend time with."
Stone and other parents were attending the museum's fourth annual Kindergarten Night. Craig Langlos, the director of education at the museum, said the event began after the museum published "In Kindergarten," a book distributed to children across the county when they register to enter kindergarten.
"The night is to celebrate the milestone of kindergarten," Langlos said.
Children and parents fanned out across all three floors of the museum. In the basement aquarium, education programmer Johanna Batman held a python for children to touch.
Kayla Lorette asked her daughter, Jaylin Rosier, to pet the snake. After a few minutes, she did. Rosier told The Eagle she will attend Morningside School in the fall.
"I'm a little nervous," admitted Lorette. "She's never been away."
On the ground floor, Stone and his son tried on a book-bag and played with blocks. The father and son moved to the area in March from Arizona. Stone grew up in Pittsfield, but left 11 years ago.
He returned to raise his son in the Berkshires. Stone liked Arizona but grew weary of what he described as the constant asphalt and strip mall aesthetic of the Southwest. The younger Stone has taken to the Berkshires in the past six months, his father said.
"We go swimming, camping, all kinds of stuff," Stone said.
Upstairs in the dinosaur room, Heather Rustay watched as her son, Rodric, dug for eggs in a box of gravel. Rodric will not be going to kindergarten this year because he missed the cut-off age, but his mother brought him to the event because so many of his friends are heading off this year. Anyway, she added, they like going to the museum.
Around the corner in the Ellen Crane Memorial Gallery, early education specialist Jessica Williamson played music and encouraged kids to dance with her. She said Kindergarten Night is special for parents and children as they approach the milestone of going off to school.
Back down on the main floor, Leah Reed agreed. She watched her son Spencer-Mathias play with four-wheeler cars in the common area. Spencer-Mathias couldn't believe he'd get to take home books from the school library now that he's moving from day care to kindergarten. He loves books, Reed said.
Reed drove her son past Capeless Elementary School to get him accustomed to the school. But as with all the parents at Kindergarten Night, Reed knows she has to get accustomed to the change as well.
"I'm excited for him," she said. "But it's going to be different."