A telltale sign that spring has arrived in the Berkshires is the annual arrival of Animal Babies at Hancock Shaker Village. As the newborn piglets, goats, calves, lambs, and chicks begin arriving on the farm, families begin driving, herding, and flocking (all puns intended) to the Village to get a glimpse of these cute cuddly critters.
Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm opens April 12 and runs daily through May 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Family members will not only be able to get up close and personal with these young animals, but they also will have the opportunity to visit the Discovery Room for fun Shaker-themed crafts and activities; tour the historic Shaker buildings on the property; explore the hiking trails and gardens; and much, much more.
Want to hold and bottle-feed one of the farm’s newest animal babies? The hour-long behind-the-scenes tours may be right up your family’s alley at $28 per person, and $25 for HSV members; includes general admission for the day. Those who partake in this tour will be treated to a hayride, special access to the animals and a souvenir from the Village store.
To add to your Shaker experience this year, HSV has a special tribute to Baby Animals on the Farm in the Poultry House Gallery, where local artist Susan Merrill’s “Barnyard Portraits” exhibit will be on view. Kids and parents alike will marvel at Merrill’s colorful acrylic paintings featuring turkeys, Jenny the donkey, goslings, pigs, ducks, and more. Your little farmers will love the collection of multi-colored tractors — red, blue and yes, even a “Big Green Tractor.”
Order a take-out picnic or enjoy some Shaker-inspired fare at the Village Harvest Café on site, and you’ve got the making for a perfect spring day with the family. Even better, top off visit with a sweet frozen treat courtesy of the Berkshire’s own So-Co Creamery at the So-Co Creamery Scoop Shop on the property. It’s Mmm Mmmm Good!
Admission to Baby Animals is free for children ages 12 and under; adults are $18; and children ages 13 to 17 is $8. The Village offers a variety of school and daycare field trips for $5 per child. For more information visit babyanimals.hancockshakervillage.org.