The schedule for the 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival has been announced and includes more than 50 dance companies from all across the U.S. and the world, including Cuba, Germany, France, Canada, the Netherlands, and more!
Federal House Inn has a number of lodging specials with just this fact in mind: package deals designed to pamper you and that special someone during your romantic Berkshires getaway, while also saving you money – what a deal!
Winter in the Berkshires is one of our favorite seasons – the beauty of the snow on the mountains, the warmth and joy of the holidays – but perhaps most of all, it’s the winter sports and all the great, Berkshires skiing resorts!
Planning a Berkshires Skiing getaway is easy to do if you know what you’re looking for. Do you prefer cross-country, downhill, or are you a snowboarder? Perhaps you’re looking for something quieter and less crowded than a resort? Do you prefer snowshoeing to skiing? What about rentals and lessons? [Read more…]
The 2015 Tanglewood season includes an exciting list of guest artists, such as Yo Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Bryn Terfel, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, the Mark Morris Dance Company, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Diana Krall, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and Huey Lewis and the News! [Read more…]
Last post we told you about the Norman Rockwell Museum – this time around we’ll take a look at how Norman Rockwell’s famous painting, “Stockbridge Main Street At Christmas,” comes to life every December in the Berkshires!
As previously noted, Norman Rockwell not only spent his last years and left his collection in trust in Stockbridge, MA, he also used a lot of the town’s quintessential, New England ambiance in many of his works – most notably and obviously in the famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.” [Read more…]
It doesn’t get more Americana than a Norman Rockwell painting – whether you saw it in a book, on a poster, or on an old magazine cover, you know his work immediately. Norman Rockwell’s art is the warm, welcoming kind that invites you in – well now you can take him up on it by visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.
Norman Rockwell created well over 4,000 works during his lifetime, including illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post, Look magazine, Boys’ Life, and many others. A realist artist with an eye for the warmth and humor in humanity, Norman Rockwell’s paintings, drawings, and sketches are the epitome of the American experience.
Part of the charm of the Norman Rockwell museum is its location: Norman Rockwell spent the last 25 years of his life in Stockbridge.
During a visit here, the Norman Rockwell fan may recognize parts of town – and so they should, as Stockbridge inspired Rockwell and was often used as a character in his work. Stockbridge is so a part of the vision Norman Rockwell presented to the world that the town holds an annual, Christmas-time event that recreates one of his most famous paintings: “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.”
Rockwell was instrumental in establishing the trust that was to become the Norman Rockwell Museum, even arranging to have his studio and its contents curated as part of the collection. Consequently, the Norman Rockwell Museum now houses the largest collection of original Norman Rockwell art in the world.
The permanent collection at the Norman Rockwell Museum includes 998 original paintings, drawings, and sketches. The Norman Rockwell Archives, a collection of more than 100,000 items, includes photographs, letters, fan mail, and other items from Rockwell’s studio, such as his reference library and even some of the furnishings!
Norman Rockwell died in 1978 but his spirit and wonderful body of work lives on at The Norman Rockwell Museum.
The Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183 – Stockbridge, MA
For more information, hours, and current exhibits, please visit: www.nrm.org
Norman Rockwell Museum Lodging
Stockbridge and the Norman Rockwell Museum are less than 10 minutes away from our Berkshires Bed & Breakfast here in South, Lee, MA. Our location puts us in the epicenter of Berkshires culture, making us both a natural and wise choice for your Berkshires vacation. If you love the warmth of the yesteryear that Norman Rockwell so skillfully imbued his works with, you’ll love a stay at the Federal House Inn. Our Berkshires inn seamlessly merges the elegance of the past with the convenience of the modern, for your comfort right now.
October brings more than just bright fall colors to the Berkshires, it also brings lots of fun, Halloween-themed events! Below is a guide to some of the 2014 Berkshires Halloween events, all of which are just a short distance from our South Lee, MA bed and breakfast!
Ventfort Hall and the Gilded Age Museum
104 Walker St., Lenox, MA.
Ventfort Films: A Berkshire Connection The Cobweb – Thursday, October 30, 7pm
At an exclusive psychiatric clinic, the doctors and staff are about as crazy as the patients in an insulated atmosphere: starring Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer, Gloria Grahame, Lillian Gish, John Kerr, Susan Strasberg, Fay Wray and Oscar Levant
Tea and Talk – Saturday, November 1, 3:30 – 5:30 pm.
Rob Velella will portray Hawthorne: Shrouded in Blackness introducing us during the Halloween season to the reclusive 19th-century author’s intensely dark works, which our entertainer and scholar reminds us are possibly more macabre than those by Edgar Allen Poe.
For more information about this Ventfort Hall event, please visit: gildedage.org
The Mount – Edith Wharton’s Home
2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, Massachusetts
Ghost Tours of The Mount – Friday evenings in October and Saturday, October 25, 5:45pm or 7pm
Prepare for a night of creaky floors, slamming doors, and ghostly fun as you tour the most haunted parts of the estate. A spooky Berkshires Halloween event not recommended for children under 12.
All Souls: A special Halloween reading with Ariel Bock – Friday, October 31, 7:30pm
An All Hallows’ Eve for a reading of “All Souls,” Wharton’s last ghost story, written the year she died. Seasonal refreshments will be available.
Halloween Ghost Tour – Friday, October 31, 10:30pm
The Mount presents their special, annual midnight tour on the spookiest night of the year! This Halloween evening tour will lead you through the most haunted parts of the estate and is not recommended for children under 12.
Victorian Boudoir: A Berkshires Halloween Masquerade -Saturday, November 1, 8pm
An evening full of sinister good fun at The Mount’s first ever masquerade ball, with frights, food, dancing, and a costume contest.
For more information about this event at The Mount, please visit: www.edithwharton.org
37 Corey Rd, Hancock, MA
13 Nights – October Fridays and Saturdays – plus Sunday, October 12th
Make your Berkshires Halloween a special one with a tour of the school house of the Jericho Valley, where you never know what will be lurking around the corner. Then, if you dare, ride through the darkness to the summit of Jiminy Peak where chaos lies in wait for you. The terror and thrills will last around 40 minutes – but will you?
For more information about this Jiminy Peak event, please visit: www.13nightsatjiminy.com
Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA
Luminaries: Exploring Stockbridge Cemetery – October 23rd, 5pm
This Norman Rockwell Museum walking tour is the perfect compliment to your Berkshires Halloween adventures. Informative and only mildly spooky, this tour begins on the lawn adjacent to the bell tower parking area at the Old Town Hall
For more information about this event at The Norman Rockwell Museum, please visit: www.nrm.org
Berkshires Halloween Lodging
As you can see, there are a great many seasonal events in our area to help spice up your Berkshires getaway. It’s a situation that remains true no matter what time of year and part of what makes the Berkshires – and a stay at Federal House Inn – so popular!
Berktoberfest was started in 2007 as a fundraiser and has since generated over $10,000 for local charities, not to mention attracting thousands of craft beer enthusiasts to downtown Pittsfield at the height of the Berkshires’ fall foliage season.
And no wonder – with 16 breweries scheduled to attend the festival with offerings running the gamut from stouts and porters to IPA’s, lagers, pilseners, saisons, ciders, and more – not to mention the food that will be on hand from local restaurants, and even alcohol infused cigars! [Read more…]
No one likes to see summer go but, you know, without summer passing we don’t get autumn and, without autumn there would be no … Berkshires Fall Foliage!
As you probably know, fall here means Berkshires Fall Foliage and that spells nothing more than a world of stunning natural beauty: browns, greens, reds, oranges, yellows, oh my.
Look, we’re biased, we think it’s always beautiful here in the Berkshires but no one can deny that the Berkshires Fall Foliage is absolutely one of the most gorgeous sights out there – and, located in South Lee, MA, we’re in the thick of it. [Read more…]
We’re dedicated to providing you with the optimal getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy yourself in the Berkshires – and our Berkshires Lodging Specials do just that. [Read more…]
The 20th annual Lee Founders Day Weekend, scheduled for September 19th through the 21st, is a three day celebration that includes a parade (natch), great food and drink, live music, sidewalk sales, arts and crafts, after-hours events, contests, and much more. A birthday party for the town, Lee Founders Day Weekend is a party for residents and visitors alike, past and present, for it is a celebration not only of a place but also of all who have, or would be, a part of it. [Read more…]
The 2014 Tanglewood Season is in full swing but that doesn’t mean there aren’t shows and events left to see – August is full of great reasons to visit the Berkshires and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home.
Starting at the end of June and running through August, Tanglewood heats up the Berkshires with their stunning selection of top-tier performances. We’ve already seen some incredible concerts and events pass through but more are on the way with an August schedule that looks like a who’s who of classical music and outstanding entertainment. [Read more…]
There are lots of opinions as to why the Berkshires stage is the center of so many world-class theater companies, troupes, mainstay productions, and festivals but there is little argument that once The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Tanglewood, and Jacob’s Pillow were established, they served as magnets for much of what followed.
This is a great list provided by the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. Twenty more reasons why the Berkshires is the place to be this summer!
It’s spring in the Berkshires! The crocuses are up and the tulips are not far behind. We look forward to welcoming you at our luxurious Bed & Breakfast this spring and summer. Call us at 800-243-1824 to book your getaway.
In this video Brian and Kolleen Weinrich, Innkeepers of Federal House Inn, give an overview of Jiminy Peak and other Berkshire ski areas.
Brian also says:
In this video Kolleen Weinrich, Innkeeper of Federal House Inn, gives an overview of Canterbury Farm.
Many of our winter guests enjoy cross country skiing, snow shoeing and winter hiking. The Arcadian Shop at Kennedy Park rents snow shoes and has daily reasonable rates. [It is definitely our favorite sports store in the area!]. Also, Hilltop Orchards in Richmond has beautifully groomed cross country ski trails. Our guests particularly enjoy wine tasting in front of the large stone fireplace after an afternoon’s workout on the trails!
In this video Kolleen Weinrich, Inkeeper at Federal House Inn, gives an overview of the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
And Brian Weinrich says:
The Berkshire Botanical Gardens is open from May though October but the beautiful grounds can be explored year round. Classes, workshops, lectures and events are also offered twelve months of the year. One of Kolleen’s favorite pastimes on a beautiful summer’s day is sitting on one of their many unique benches under one of the gorgeous old trees writing in her journal or reading a good book. Many annual events include the spring Plant Sale, the Flower Show, the Fete des Fleurs Garden Party and the fall Harvest Festival and December Holiday Fair.
In this video Brian Weinrich describes gives an overview of Shakespeare & Company.
Brian also says:
In addition to Shakespeare & Company, there is Barrington Stage Company and the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, three other high quality live stage venues. So if you’re interested in live performance in a variety of different venues and different styles, from the traditional classical to much more contemporary comedy and drama, the offerings really are quite extensive in a very small area here in the Berkshires.
In this video, Brian and Kolleen Weinrich share their experience of Tanglewood.
They also say:
Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony, is ideally located just seven miles from the Federal House where visitors can hear classical, popular and jazz concerts all summer long. Tanglewood is such a unique spot to spread out a blanket on the vast lawn, feast on a delicious picnic and listen to live music as the sun sets and the stars come out. Fortunately, the beautiful Tanglewood grounds, overlooking the Stockbridge Bowl, are open year round. So an off season autumn stroll or a trek on cross country skies make an enjoyable afternoon outing at Tanglewood!
In this video Brian Weinrich, Federal House Innkeeper, gives an overview of Mass MoCA: Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art.
Brian also says:
An added plus to this unique museum, MassMoCA, are their presentations year round from music of their alternative cabaret series to scored silent films, to dance parties and July’s contemporary music festival. Their gift shop is filled with an assortment of unique items [great scarves according to Kolleen!] and their small café is the perfect place for a bite of lunch [their homemade soups are delicious].
We often suggest to guests that on their way to the MassMOCA they plan a stop in Williamstown, a quintessential small New England college town with lovely shops and a variety of restaurants. The college itself has a charming small art museum, but of course the world famous Clark Museum is located just minutes from downtown. Privately endowed, The Clark presents world class quality exhibits year round. Many of our guests who are connected with the art world in Boston, NYC and abroad are always very complimentary after their visit to The Clark.
And Kolleen Weinrich says:
One of the things that I always recommend for our guests is to visit the highest point in the state Mount Greylock, as they go right past the entrance on their way up to Williamstown and North Adams. It’s a wonderful day trip to go to Graylock, and then go up to the Clark in Williamstown and have some lunch. And then if they have time, continue on to MASS MoCA in North Adams.
In this video Brian Weinrich, Inkeeper at Federal House Inn, gives an overview of the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Brian also says:
Recently the Berkshire Theatre Festival merged and partnered with the Colonial, a renovated classic 1920s theater which now gives the Berkshire Theatre Festival a third stage. This venture now expands the variety of live theater and performance here in the Berkshires year round.
Founded in 1928, the Berkshire Theatre Festival is one of the oldest professional regional theaters in the United States. Presenting world premiers, contemporary works and classics that speak to a variety of audiences, we have never been disappointed after a Berkshire Theatre Festival performance. We always remind ourselves upon leaving the theater how fortunate we are to be located literally “just down the street” [a 5 minute drive] from this exceptional cultural venue.
In this video Kolleen Weinrich describes freebies at Jacob’s Pillow.
Kolleen also says:
Jacobs Pillow is a marvelous international dance festival with more than 300 free and ticketed performances, talks, exhibits and tours each summer. Open from June through August, the Pillow has been called “the dance center of the nation” by The New York Times.
We are thrilled to be situated only 10 miles from this National Historic Landmark. A large number of our guests head to the Pillow each summer and are never disappointed by the talent, the atmosphere and just the feeling of being immersed in the culture of dance in such a unique setting.
In this video Kolleen Weinrich describes her experience of the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Kolleen and partner Inkeeper Brian Weinrich also say:
Since moving to the Berkshires three years ago, we have fallen in love with the work of Norman Rockwell and his museum. In a small and intimate setting, visitors to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, can experience Rockwell’s original work and discover changing exhibitions of other masters of illustration. After a 35 year career in education, Kolleen especially enjoys the variety of children’s book illustrators who are featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum on a regular basis. [Most recently William Steig, Jerry Pinckney and Margaret and H.A. Rey].
An added treat during a visit is being able to tour Rockwell’s original Stockbridge studio [open May thru October] located on the grounds overlooking the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Because we are members of the museum, we return year round to enjoy the changing exhibits of Rockwell’s work, to attend an opening reception or as a guest for one of the unique programs [lectures, presentations, etc] offered frequently. If one chooses to visit for an hour or a day, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge is not to be missed on a visit to the Berkshires.
In this video Kolleen Weinrich, Innkeeper of Federal House Inn, gives an overview of Monument Mountain.
Brian Weinrich adds:
Right across the highway from Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, MA, there’s a very nice wetlands park. The nature and the wildlife and the very habitat of a wetlands area is so different from climbing a mountain. But for a hiker, it’s such a unique and satisfying experience.
The variety of hiking in the area is pretty amazing. Another experience that hikers come for is what’s known as a cobble. A cobble, again, is a geological formation, which is pretty unique to the area. There’s actually two.
Tyringham Cobble is about ten minutes from the inn. And when you do the cobble and you’re climbing this, the rock formation, the views are pretty astounding especially in the fall when the colors are out. And you’re actually around the Appalachian Trail for a period of time when you’re climbing or walking the cobble.
The other one is Bartholomew’s Cobble, which is a little farther away, and it’s quite close to Bash Bish Falls. Again, that’s a historic reservation. There is a pretty interesting exhibit there from when the area was actually owned by a slaveholder. And some interesting pieces of history about people and the slaves that lived there back in the 1800s obviously.