The Berkshires are truly a four season destination, with each season offering its own unique perspective on this scenic land. The Berkshires are breathtaking, even in the middle of winter, and if you have a group looking for some cold weather fun, you will certainly find plenty of options to make your time memorable. Of course, there are mountains abound for those looking for some skiing or snowmobiling fun. There are also local museums to visit and wonderful cultural venues to catch a show or play at. But, the Berkshires also offer many other fun options, ensuring something just right for everyone.
If your group is looking to experience the great outdoors, and would prefer a more guided adventure, you can visit Tamarack Hollow Nature and Culture Center, in Windsor, where you can join one of the many winter hikes, led by an area naturalist. You can pack up a picnic lunch, and head up the mountain, where your group will be able to experience the striking forests of our area, as they are being educated about their natural surroundings while they hike. If you prefer to see the winter scenery by skis or snowshoes, you can travel over to Hilltop Orchards and Furnace Brook Winery, where they have trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The views are gorgeous and even if there are members of your group who do not enjoy being out in the cold and snow, they are sure to enjoy the view from the inside of the Barrel Room, which is a part of the winery and features a crackling fireplace and a free wine tasting from their award winning wines. You can purchase snacks and wine to enjoy on your visit, and they often hold ski clinics, if you would like to brush up on your cross-country skills.
For those wishing to keep a bit warmer, you can make reservations at Chez Nous, in Lee. A fun and entertaining time can be found at this quaint, French bistro, where you can experience one of their Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink! On Thursday nights in the winter, the restaurant becomes the setting for a chef led cooking and food demonstration. The chef creates the dishes table side, as the participants sip wine and taste the foods that make up the meal. They feature different themes each week, and discuss the ingredients and techniques of the dishes as they are being expertly prepared by the owner/chef. Specially selected wines and desserts accompany the meal, completing this delicious event.
Another way for groups to enjoy winter in the Berkshires is to spend a day at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, in Lenox. It is the leading yoga institute in the country and is set on a mountain side, overlooking the picturesque Stockbridge Bowl. Here, you can purchase a day pass for their R & R retreat. This allows you the use of their facilities, such as saunas, whirlpools and their lakefront beach (which, at this time of year, still offers magnificent views). Included in the day pass are three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) at the wonderfully tasty buffets, admittance to the workshops being held and the daily yoga classes. Your group may also wish to join in on one of their wildly popular dance classes or participate in the evening events, and can be on topics from a cooking class to meditation study. These are also included in the price of the day pass. For members of your group who would like to do something a bit different than the rest of the group, there is a healing arts center at Kripalu, where you can delight in one of their relaxing massages, have an herbal facial or enjoy one of the many other modalities offered. There is also a gift shop to browse, a meditation room and a cafe, along with several trails for hiking, making this destination full of exciting possibilities.
Other options that would make for fun memories for groups might include a day trip to the Crane Museum, in Dalton, where you can observe how all of the paper currency in the United States is made. Or perhaps, a visit to Bisque, Beads and Beyond, in Pittsfield. Here your group can spend an afternoon beading jewelry or painting pottery, creating a lasting memory of your group’s time together. The winter is a wonderful time to have fun in the Berkshires, and whether you choose to spend your time in or out of the cold, the opportunities are limitless! Open year round in the Berkshires: Berkshire Museum, The Clark, Crane Museum of Papermaking, MASS MoCA, Norman Rockwell Museum, The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, Williams College Museum of Art.