RECESS | Things to do this week: Paddling, plays and Parcheesi


Editor's note: This article was updated on July 18, 2017, to reflect that Hancock Shaker Village and Tanglewood will host free days on Friday. 

Meet ...

Berkshire Lyric invites children ages 6 to 13 to sing with The Blafield Children's Chorus at their free 2017 Summer Choral Music Camp. The camp will take place from 9 a.m. to noon daily, July 31 to Aug. 4, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield, 175 Wendell Ave. Participants will sing, learn about music, and have fun while preparing for fall programs.

The program will be led by Jack Brown, artistic director of Berkshire Lyric and faculty member at Bard College at Simon's Rock and The Hotchkiss School, and also by Associate Director Charlotte Hays. Register at 9 a.m., at the church hall, on July 31, or visit or call 413-298-5365, for more information.

Think ...

Today and Thursday, at 11 a.m., Naumkeag, 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, will offer its special "Hands-On Tours for Younger Visitors." During this hands-on house tour for younger visitors (and the young-at-heart), experience how both guest and servants lived in the Gilded Age, whether playing Parcheesi or stirring the laundry with a big wooden fork. Get special access to family spaces, explore what made Naumkeag a place of fun for the families, and try your hand at some 19th century games and chores. The cost is $5 general admission. Info: 413-298-8138 or

See ...

Hancock Shaker Village and Tanglewood will open their doors at no charge on Friday, as part of their partnership with the Highland Foundation's Free Fun Fridays program. Free hours at Hancock Shaker Village will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at Tanglewood from 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended for the Family Fun Fest at Tanglewood. Visit or for details on the respective institution's programs and activities for the day.

Play ...

Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, opens its run at 8 p.m. on Thursday, in The Common on First Street in Pittsfield. This year's free outdoor community production is the Shakespearean comedy, "Twelfth Night," featuring a cast and crew of local talent. The play tells the tale "of twins separated by a shipwreck, a countess surprised by her capacity for love, a servant reaching for greatness and mischievous pranks carried to the extreme."

Performances will continue to run at 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays, through Aug. 6. The Whitney Center for the Arts will provide prelude music Fridays through Sundays, starting at 7:15 p.m. Families and picnics are welcome.

Grow ...

Explore the Housatonic River with the Housatonic Valley Association's free paddle trips. A beginner's paddle for those unfamiliar with canoeing will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. today in Stockbridge. Learn how to safely enter and exit a canoe, paddle the basic strokes effectively, and turn your boat around.

An afternoon paddle trip and river exploration through Lee on the Housatonic will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16. Learn about the river ecology, check out the plants and animals along the way and learn about current issues.

Registration is required for both trips as space is limited, and can be done by calling 413-298-7024 or emailing Alison at Once registered, participants will receive trip information that will provide detailed information about what to bring, directions and meeting location. Parents with children 10 years and older are welcome. More info:


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