County offers plenty of options for celebrating New Year's Eve as family

Friday December 28, 2012

In 2001, the Berkshire Museum began a New Year's Eve tradition in the daytime.

It was known as the "Ugly Bug Ball," where kids could dress in costumes and count down to 12 noon instead of midnight to ring in the new year at a decent hour with their families.

"It was something that the audience was asking for," said Craig Langlois, Berkshire Museum's education and public program manager. "New Year's Eve always seemed to have a very adult presence. We wanted to do something in Berkshire County to let kids take on and celebrate."

In more recent years, the event has incorporated other themes from pirates to comedy to outer space. This year, after hamming it up for a sold-out crowd in 2010, Boston-based magician David Hall will return to the museum on Monday with his magical bunny, Hocus.

In keeping with tradition, the Berkshire Museum will also offer audiences a countdown to noon and a reception in the ballroom-like Crane Room --apropos to the current Festival of Trees: Myths and Magic exhibit.

If magic isn't your thing, here's a list of family-friendly happenings and places to visit at a decent hour on New Year's Eve day:

In Pittsfield

The Gladys Allen Brigham Center will be open for regular youth programs and care. Call (413) 442-5174 for details.

The Pittsfield Family YMCA will be open until 6 p.m. Child care closes at 3 p.m.

The Berkshire Museum will host a magic show with David Hall and his bunny Hocus, from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by a reception with the performer in the Crane Room. General admission to museum, which includes the show and Festival of Trees, is $15 for adults, $8 for children. Museum opens at 10 a.m.

The Bousquet Ski Area will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Lift ticket prices and packages vary.

The Beacon Cinema will show some movies suitable for families with children including "Monsters Inc." (rated G) and other PG-level films. Visit or call (413) 358-4780 for showtimes and tickets.

In North Adams

The Mass MoCA and Kidspace galleries will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kidspace will offer a vacation art workshop (ages 4 and up) from 9-11 a.m., $10. A snack will be provided. Registration is required by calling (413) 664-4481, ext. 8131, or emailing A general Mass MoCA tour will start at 2 p.m. Museum general admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for youths ages 6 to 16, free for children ages 5 and under.

The Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink will offer public ice skating from noon to 1:50 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for children, $1 for seniors. Skate rentals are $4 per pair.

The North Adams Movieplex 8 also will screen "Monsters Inc." and other PG-level films in 3D. Visit www. or call (413) 663-6300 for showtimes and ticket info.

In Great Barrington

Ski Butternut will be open 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. for skiing, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for tubing. Prices and packages vary.

The Triplex will screen "Life of Pi," rated PG, and other PG-13 films. Visit the or call (413) 528-8885 for showtimes and tickets.

Berkshire South Regional Community Center will be open until 12:30 p.m.

In Hancock

Jiminy Peak opens at 8:30 a.m. Its annual New Year's Eve Celebration will begin shortly after the ski lifts close at 10 p.m., and includes the Torchlight parade that will wind down the mountain, a fireworks display, then watching the ball drop on screen at the resort's Christiansen's Tavern. Lift tickets and other package pricing varies.

In Lanesborough

Regal Cinemas Berkshire Mall 10 will screen "Monsters Inc." and other PG-level films in 3D. Check or call (413) 499-3600 for showtimes and ticket info.

In Lenox

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will open for tours at 10 a.m. A performance of "Paris 1890 -- Unlaced!" begins at 4 p.m. (The performance contains some adult themes and may not be suitable for children.) General admission is $15 for adults, $7 for youths ages 5 to 17, free for children ages 4 and under. The show is $25 and includes museum admission.

In Otis

Otis Ridge ski area will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prices and packages vary.

In Egremont

Catamount ski area will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lift ticket prices and packages vary.

In Stockbridge

The Norman Rockwell Museum, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $16 for adults, $14.50 for seniors, $10 for college students with ID, $5 for youths ages 6 to 18, free for children age 5 and under. Exhibitions include: "Heroes and Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross," "All in the Rockwell Family: The Art of Mary-Amy Cross," "Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays," "Norman Rockwell's 323 Saturday Evening Post Covers," "The Art of Norman Rockwell: Highlights from the Permanent Collection."

In Windsor

The Notchview cross country ski area will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12.

In Williamstown

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Exhibitions include "Clark Remix," "Kidspace @ the Clark: Lions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My!," "Giselle's Remix: A uCurate Exhibition from the perspective of an 11-year-old," "Backstories" and registration for "Race to the Remix."

Images Cinema will be screening "Lincoln" (PG-13) at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors.

The Williamstown Youth Center will hold December Vacation Camp from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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