Enjoy summer in the Berkshires, al fresco
Did anyone else wake up and look at a calendar Tuesday and say, "Holy heck, when did July happen?!"
We're in the throes of summer, and as we New Englanders know, there's no telling how long the warm weather and pleasant evenings will last.
In addition to naturally occurring summer night pastimes like star-gazing, late-night grilling and bonfires, here are some additional ideas and recommendations for enjoying the Berkshires after dark, al fresco.
Early evening/sunset activities
This past Friday night, I bought a bottle of red wine and a round of smoked gouda and took them with me on a road trip to Jacob's Pillow in Becket. I caught the last half of the free dance performance by Buglisi Dance Theatre by the ever-stunning backdrop of the Inside/Out stage. My friends and I then met up for a picnic at one of the several tables on the grounds before heading into the Ted Shawn Theatre to catch one of the swan song performances of the Trey McIntyre Project. A truly magical evening, all around.
It's outdoor concert season. And though a show like last month's most premium gig with Beck and The Goastt at Mass MoCA won't happen for a while, the summer concert season has begun.
If you missed last night's performance by The Matchstick Architects, you can still catch more Concerts at Windsor Lake in North Adams. They happen each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., through Sept. 3. Check Facebook for details and the full lineup.
Also happening on Wednesdays at 6:30, are the free concerts at Lilac Park in Lenox, which run through Aug. 27. (http://bit.ly/1qwzvRV)
Pittsfield's "Live on the Lake" series at Burbank Park on Onota Lake starts next week. Shows happen each Wednesday at 6 p.m., and run through Aug. 27. (http://bit.ly/VE0Bd4)
On Thursday nights at 6, through Aug. 28, you can check out the "Party in the Park" series at Noel Field in North Adams. The series starts next week with Loose Change. (http://bit.ly/TByucD)
The Summer Bandstand Concert Series in Great Barrington continues at 5:30 p.m., Fridays at the gazebo behind Town Hall. This week features The John Myers Trio. (http://bit.ly/1o91mCN)
The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown continues its free concert series on the South Lawn on Tuesday with Occidental Gypsy performing from 6 to 8 p.m. (clarkart.edu)
Chesterwood in Stockbridge will host its Chesterfest New Americana series on Fridays from July 11 through Aug. 29. Solo artists perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by bands at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and there will be a bar and snacks available. (chesterwood.org)
The Mount in Lenox will host summer concerts and talks out on its terrace throughout the summer. Up next is "Jon Suters Hosts: Special Guests Natalia Bernal/Jason Ennis" this Friday at 5, and Berkshire Jazz Collective with Andy Wrba on Saturday at 5. (edithwharton.org)
Tonight at 5, consider Naumkeag at Night in Stockbridge, featuring a wine and beer cash bar on the Top Lawn, with musical guest, Paul Green. This and other sites of The Trustees of Reservations have various evening entertainment to offer. (thetrustees.org)
And of course, there is always Tanglewood.
For the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Bonny Rigg Campground in Becket will host day and evening activities, featuring live music by the band WYKYD (facebook.com/bonnyrigg.campground).
The annual Hinsdale Block Dance is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m., July 19.
Who doesn't love a baseball game under the stadium lights. The Berkshires has two options: The Pittsfield Suns at Wahconah Park, and the North Adams Steeplecats at Joe Wolfe Field.
On July 11 and Aug. 15, Berkshire Botanical Garden hosts "Cocktails in Great Gardens," from 5 to 7 p.m. (berkshirebotanical.org)
Also, if you missed my previous article on local street and music festivals, get a refresher here: http://bit.ly/1lTyosA
Mass MoCA in North Adams has a few happenings in the works. Postponed from earlier this week, it will at 8:30 p.m., Sunday show the film "Apollo 13" at the Harriman-West Airport in North Adams. Gates, the grills and a cash bar open at 7 p.m.
On the Mass MoCA campus, The Chalet, an al fresco beer garden, will be open in Courtyard A, from "5 p.m. to 11-ish," Thursdays through Saturdays, with the exception of this holiday weekend and on Aug. 15. Many area bars and restaurants, from Friends Grille in Pittsfield to Cafe Lucia in Lenox, and beyond offer outdoor dining options, so be sure to check them out.
Weather-dependent, the Courtyard Cafe will host Zimbabwean contemporary folk star Netsayi on July 19, and will screen the 1924 film, "He Who Gets Slapped" with a live score by the Alloy Orchestra, at 8:30 p.m., Aug. 9.
New this year is Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, with free performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," at 8 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, July 17 through 27. (pittsfieldshakespeare.org)
And as always, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox has a plethora of performances to purvey.
Did I miss your outdoor evening event or nightlife venue? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 496-6239.