Take a Berkshires Skiing Getaway!

Berkshires SkiingWinter 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?

Let us help you pick the area that’s right for you with this quick list of some of our favorite Berkshires ski resorts and and areas:

Ski Butternut
www.skibutternut.com
380 State Road, Route 23, Great Barrington
Butternut Basin has 22 trails, 10 ski lifts, 2 terrain parks, a tubing area, and offers lessons at their ski school. Butternut Basin is also known for its summer concerts and festivals, including the annual Berkshires Arts Festival!

Bousquet Mountain
101 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield
www.bousquets.com
Bousquet Mountain Ski Resort features downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, skiing lessons, and ski rentals. During warmer seasons you can also engage in Segway tours, ziplining, waterslides, go-karts, a disk golf course, and more at their Adventure Park. Did we mention the full service bar on premises?

Jiminy Peak
37 Corey Road, Hancock
www.jiminypeak.com
Jiminy Peak is the largest ski resort in southern New England with 45 trails, lessons, rentals, snowboarding, and night skiing. In the warmer months, they also have a popular ropes course, ziplines, alpine slides, climbing wall, trails for hiking and mountain biking, you name it. All this plus dining on-site.

Catamount
Route 23, South Egremont
www.catamountski.com
Catamount Ski Area offers the winter sports enthusiast 33 trails of downhill and cross-country skiing along with a terrain park that includes some gnarly jumps and jibs. Full rentals of gear and lessons are also available.

Canterbury Farm Cross Country Skiing
1986 Fred Snow Road, Becket
www.canterbury-farms.com
Canterbury Farms provides 13+ miles of alpine skiing on groomed trails. Snowshoeing and ice-skating are also available, plus they offer rentals, lessons, and meals on-site.

Kennedy Park
Route 7 and 20 Pittsfield Road, Lenox
www.berkshiresports.org
Lenox’ Kennedy Park in Lenox is a wonderful place for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing – or mountain biking, hiking, and running, when weather permits. Town-owned and maintained, this hardwood forest is riddled with old carriage roads and upwards of 15 miles of groomed trails. If you go, be sure to take a map.

Berkshires Lodging
Federal House Inn’s location provides easy access to all the ski areas listed above and more. Whether your Berkshires vacation is based on skiing, theater, music, or just general rest and relaxation, a stay at Federal House Inn will make your Berkshires getaway that much better. Happy holidays form all of us at Federal House Inn!

2015 Tanglewood Season Announced!

2015 Tanglewood seasonThe 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…]

The 25th Annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Weekend

25th Anniversary Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas WeekendLast 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…]

Step Into Art at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell MuseumIt 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.

Berkshires Boo
A 2014 Berkshires Halloween Guide

2014 Berkshires Halloween

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

Jiminy Peak

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 2014

2014 BerktoberfestIt’s Berktoberfest time again and Berktoberfest 2014, the 7th annual return of this popular, craft beer festival, is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever – Friday, October 4th!

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…]

Berkshires Fall Foliage 2014!

Berkshires Fall Foliage

A patchwork quilt of natural beauty and community celebration
that’s Berkshires Fall Foliage

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…]

Berkshires Lodging Specials

lThere’s always a reason to take a Berkshires vacation – if not many reasons! – but making it work is another thing all together. That’s why we have our Berkshires Lodging Specials!

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…]

Get Caught Up in Lee Founders Day Weekend

Lee Founders Day Weekend 2014The annual celebration of Lee Founders Day has long been such a smashing success as an event that, though it’s called Founder’s DAY, it actually takes a whole weekend to accomplish!

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…]

2014 Tanglewood Season

2014 Tanglewood SeasonThe 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…]

That’s Entertainment – the Berkshires Stage

The Berkshires StageFor a fan of the theater arts, there’s hardly a better place to be than the Berkshires.

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.

[Read more…]

Countdown to Summer

This is a great list provided by the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. Twenty more reasons why the Berkshires is the place to be this summer!

Twenty Ways to Make the Most of Your Berkshires Experience.

Spring in the Berkshires

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.

Jiminy Peak

In this video Brian and Kolleen Weinrich, Innkeepers of Federal House Inn, give an overview of Jiminy Peak and other Berkshire ski areas.

Join Us at Jiminy Peak!

Brian also says:

We offer a ski package in partnership with Butternut. And Butternut is partnered with Catamount. You can buy a pass and ski in either one of the two places.

Canterbury Farm

In this video Kolleen Weinrich, Innkeeper of Federal House Inn, gives an overview of Canterbury Farm.

Join Us at Canterbury Farm!

Kolleen adds:

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!

Berkshire Botanical Garden

In this video Kolleen Weinrich, Inkeeper at Federal House Inn, gives an overview of the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Join Us at 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.

Shakespeare & Company

In this video Brian Weinrich describes gives an overview of Shakespeare & Company.

Join Us at 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.

Tanglewood

In this video, Brian and Kolleen Weinrich share their experience of Tanglewood.

Join Us at 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!

Mass MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art)

In this video Brian Weinrich, Federal House Innkeeper, gives an overview of Mass MoCA: Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art.

Join Us at Mass MoCA!

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.

Berkshire Theatre Festival

In this video Brian Weinrich, Inkeeper at Federal House Inn, gives an overview of the Berkshire Theatre Festival.

Join Us at 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.

Jacobs Pillow

In this video Kolleen Weinrich describes freebies at Jacob’s Pillow.

Join Us at Jacobs 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.

Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA

In this video Kolleen Weinrich describes her experience of the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Join Us at 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.

Monument Mountain Great Barrington, MA

In this video Kolleen Weinrich, Innkeeper of Federal House Inn, gives an overview of Monument Mountain.

Join Us at 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.

Jacobs Pillow – More Than Dance

Jacobs Pillow Inside Out StageWe are so fortunate to have Jacobs Pillow, a National Medal of Arts recipient honored by President Obama this year, just 10 miles from the Federal House Inn.

One of our  favorite evening pastimes is to watch the Inside/Out performance on the newly renovated out door stage at Jacobs Pillow. Then we enjoy a picnic on the beautiful grounds.  And finally be an audience member in the theater for one of the amazing dance troupes.

We love having Jacobs Pillow as our neighbor.

Join Us!

By the way, one of our guests this past week went to see Tangueros Del Sur and shared with us,

I’ve been enjoying The Pillow for many years but Tangueros was one of the most phenomenal  performances I’ve ever seen.

MOTHER’S DAY AT TYRINGHAM COBBLE IN THE BERKSHIRES

Only a 10 minute drive from the Federal House Inn, Tyringham Cobble has become one of my favorite hiking destinations in the southern Berkshires. Surprisingly, I discovered it this past winter when looking for a new location for snowshoeing. The delights of the Cobble began on the drive to the reservation as I passed through the charming village of Tyringham. The two miles of trails to explore actually includes sections of the Appalachian Trail. The views from the top of the pastoral scenery of the Valley are spectacular. I have returned numerous times since my first visit and last Sunday for Mother’s Day, it was the perfect place to spend a warm sunny afternoon with my family.

 

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