By Kelly Bevan McIlquham
As temps continue to be chilly in the northeast and the snow has not yet melted visitors to and residents of the Berkshires look indoors for their family fun. Be it local museums, family movies and craft events at area libraries, theater events and the like, anything to keep those little toes and fingers toasty warm is a parent’s recipe for avoiding meltdowns. And if any of these activities include some movement to release some of that housebound energy, well that’s a bonus.
As the Berkshire Family Fun insider for the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and Berkshire Family Focus, I’ve tracked down a few local businesses that just might succeed in doing all of the above.
The Bouncy House at the Berkshire Mall
This indoor venue offers several hundred square feet of energy zapping activities for all ages, and who couldn’t use that this winter? Kids will bounce to their hearts content in a “gym” full of inflatables, mini golf, gem mining and more. The Bouncy House is open seven days a week during Berkshire Mall hours. Call 413-443-5500 for more info.
Get out of the cold and into the sugar shack! Maple Corner Farm’s sugar house is open throughout the sugaring season. Come and watch the fascinating process of turning fresh maple sap into pure maple syrup and finish of your visit with a trip to a stack of warm pancakes drizzled with fresh maple syrup. I know we said not outdoors, but if you arrive and there is still snow on the ground you could add a little cross country skiing into the mix to work off those pancakes!
Do you have a movie buff in your family? Then this is the place for you. Come and view the technologies from the movies like the Matrix, X-men, Predator and Chicken after you take the tour then it is your turn to use your own imagination and make your own animated movie.
Nothing says winter quite like butterflies, at least Magic Wings anyway. Not more than an hour or so from most Berkshire locations this Deerfield treasure is a must-stop spot on your warm winter fun to-do list.
This warm indoor playground boasts a botanical garden and over 3000 butterflies to delight kids of all ages. Something magical happens when you see the expression of wonder and delight on your child’s face when a blue Swallowtail lands on his/her shoulder. Not to the mention the high-fives you’ll receive from your, shall we say “moody,” teen for visiting a location warm enough for them to sport the latest spring fashion trends you’ve been vetoing since November, and the stellar Instagram pics they’ll be able to post.
So get on out there and enjoy the Berkshires!
Kelly was born and raised in the Berkshires and is now living and raising her three children, Max, McKenna and Shea, with her husband Mark in Hinsdale. She is the founder of Berkshire Family Focus, the one-stop online source for family activities, events, information and more in Berkshire County.