Winter Activities in the Berkshires
Obviously the Berkshires is a hub for skiers and snowboarders, but for some outdoor loving families those winter activities don’t necessarily sync with their budgets, thus deterring a winter visit to the region. But what if I told you about a few local secrets to get your kids outdoors and on skis, skates and snowshoe for some winter family fun that won’t break the bank?
Downhill skiers might want to take advantage of locally offered discount nights and deals at ski areas. For instance, Bousquet in Pittsfield offers $10 Thursdays if you are able to head to the area before the weekend begins. I’ll admit it’s crowded, but the kids have a blast and its well worth the fee. If you have a 4th or 5th grader in the family, they can ski free at Catamount, as long as they are accompanied by an adult purchasing a lift ticket, the same deal applies at Ski Butternut but only for 5th graders. At Jiminy Peak they always have great e-coupon offers, be sure to check their site frequently to learn more.
What about Nordic skiing? A variety of parks and Trustees of the Reservations properties in the region offer cross country skiing and rentals with packages as low as $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12. Need rentals? Skis are only $20 (adults) and $15 (child); or better yet, go snowshoeing and rentals are only $9 or $5 respectively. Most of these locations also allow snowshoeing.
One of my kids’ favorite activities when they were younger was to ice skate on one of the local lakes or ponds. That’s free if you have your own skates. If not take advantage of the Public Skates on Saturdays and Sundays at the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield on Saturday and Sundays from 2 to 3:45 p.m. through mid March, ranging from $3-$5; with $3 rentals upon availabilities and you can even catch one of the occasional free nights if you’re lucky. Bonus!
There’s also Public Skate times at the Peter W. Foote Rink in North Adams with Public Skating, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays at various times, with dates and times always being updated so be sure to check at http://www.northadams-ma.gov/index.php?nav_id=76.
So be it skiing, skating or snowshoeing that brings you to the Berkshires, none of these activities have to clean out your pockets, you just need to know how to start thinking like a local.
This blog is written by Kelly Bevan McIlquham, Founder/Editor of Berkshire Family Focus which is an online resource for families living and visiting the Berkshires.