8 Budget-friendly Things to do in Pittsfield That You Shouldn't Miss

November 25, 2021 Kiesha Cripe

Pittsfield is the largest city and the county seat of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the principal city of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Berkshire County. The population was 44,737 at the 2010 census. Although the population has declined in recent decades, Pittsfield remains the fourth largest municipality in western Massachusetts, behind only Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee.
Restaurants in Pittsfield

1. Barrington Stage Company

30 Union St, Pittsfield, MA 01201-4528 +1 413-236-8888 [email protected] http://www.barringtonstageco.org/
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 268 reviews

Barrington Stage Company

Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is a professional award-winning Equity theatre presenting top-notch musicals, masterful classics, thought-provoking new work, cabarets and youth theater on four stages from May through October as well as a New Play Festival in February. Co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, BSC is perhaps best known for premiering William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s Tony Award-winning musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and was voted Best Theatre by "The Berkshire Eagle" readers in 2011 and 2012. BSC welcomes groups and offers senior and youth discounts.

Reviewed By RalphH42 - Williamstown, United States

I just saw Barrington Stage's presentation of the Creative Place international's production of Jefferey Sweet's excellent and timely play, Kunstler. Ingratiatingly acted by Jeff McCarthy who is ably supported by Erin Roche, the play has been lovingly directed by Meagan Fay who allows McCarthy to delve into the soul of the great man. The set, lighting and sound designers (James Fenton, Betsy Adams, and Will Severin) do splendid work in keeping us riveted to the play, which moves swiftly through its 90-some minutes. A smart and important production.

2. Hancock Shaker Village

1843 W Housatonic St Routes 20 & 41, Pittsfield, MA 01201-7513 +1 413-443-0188 [email protected] http://www.hancockshakervillage.org
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 740 reviews

Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum committed to bringing the Shaker story to life and preserving it for future generations. Called the "City of Peace" by the Shakers who lived here for 179 years until 1960, this community was the third of 19 major Shaker Villages located in New York, New England, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. There are 20 historic buildings on this site. The values that the Shakers embraced -- equality, pacifism, community, sustainability, responsible land stewardship, innovation, simplicity and quality in work -- still resonate here. The working farm is the oldest in the Berkshires. Visit the gardens and animals, meet the interpreters, see demonstrations, hike the trails, immerse yourself in unique art exhibitions, and explore. A farm-to-table cafe is on site.

Reviewed By BeachcomberT - Daytona Beach, United States

This collection of 17 buildings, including a unique round barn and spread over hundreds of acres, provides a glimpse of what life was like on a Shaker farm about 70 years ago. Now just a tourist attraction, the property once housed up to 300 Shakers at its peak. A few costumed characters cordially interact with visitors and are child-friendly. I especially enjoyed the demonstration of Shaker singing and sacred dancing, which allowed audience participation. The buildings give an appreciation of the craftsmanship and ingenuity of this religious sect, which is all but extinct. (A few still live communally in Maine,) For enthusiastic students of Shaker culture, this is a must-stop, along with the nearby Mount Lebanon colony across the NY line, about 5 miles away, and the Shaker South Family settlement near the Albany NY airport, about 30 miles to the northwest.. Beware, the village is about the size of two football fields and many of the buildings have staircases, so handicapped people may be able to see only some of the features. Children will especially enjoy the cattle, sheep, chickens and other farm animals, available for petting.

3. Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Holmes Rd., Pittsfield, MA +1 413-637-0320 [email protected] http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/Sanctuaries/Canoe_Meadows/index.php
Excellent
57%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 51 reviews

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Reviewed By lpshea - Binghamton, United States

Wonderful place for an easy hike. They have a variety of habitats that attract many different species of birds. Quite flat trails, all well marked. Best spot for birding is what they call the crossover trail that goes over marshy terrain with an abundance of brush. Spotted 8 different birds just on that 100 meter trail alone. Highlight of my hike was a fantastic pic of a Goldfinch. I will be returning.

4. Herman Melville's Arrowhead

780 Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA 01201-7152 +1 413-442-1793 [email protected] http://www.berkshirehistory.org
Excellent
45%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 170 reviews

Herman Melville's Arrowhead

Open on Saturdays only from October 19 through December 14, 10am - 2pm. Visit the home where Herman Melville and his family lived from 1850-1863. Melville wrote "Moby-Dick" here as well as many other notable novels and short stories. Main season is from May-October with daily tours, programs, hiking trails and museum shop.

Reviewed By michaelz107 - Falmouth, United States

Visited in August 2018 and loved it. (I indicated August 2019 because the system requires a date and the selection is limited!). This is a house in which Melville lived in the mid-1800s. You can go into his office and even see the view of a nearby mountain that is said to have inspired Moby Dick, Mount Greylock.

5. Museum Facsimiles Outlet Store

31 South St, Pittsfield, MA 01201-6108 +1 413-499-1818 [email protected] http://www.museumoutlets.com
Excellent
76%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 25 reviews

Museum Facsimiles Outlet Store

When you want something beyond ordinary . . . An eclectic mix of some things you need, some things you don't need but just want and many things to make your home and life more pleasant. Doing dual duty as an outlet store for Museum Facsimiles, Pittsfield USA manufacturer supplying boutique stores, and an outlet for the cool things we find.

6. Pittsfield State Forest

1041 Cascade St, Pittsfield, MA 01201-1243 +1 413-442-8992 http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-west/pittsfield-state-forest-generic.html
Excellent
50%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 36 reviews

Pittsfield State Forest

Reviewed By Phil_Houser

There are so many trails, so many beautiful views, lovely ponds, and nice trails for 4 wheeling--there are camping sites

7. Lake Onota

Lakeway Drive, Pittsfield, MA 01201 +1 413-499-9344 http://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/community_development/open_space_program/onota_lake.php
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 56 reviews

Lake Onota

Reviewed By FredG565 - Pittsfield, United States

I have a pontoon on this lake as well, best lake in the Berkshires. Great views not to crowded with boats. Bald eagle nest always there - saw the two kids fly last week. Mountain View’s (Greylock included) and a great sand bar to hang out on. Public beach and restrooms available also playground for the kids. This lake is great for paddle boarding and kayaking too. Worth the visit !!!

8. Berkshire Museum

39 South St, Pittsfield, MA 01201-6169 +1 413-443-7171 [email protected] http://www.berkshiremuseum.org/
Excellent
46%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.0 based on 294 reviews

Berkshire Museum

Established by Zenas Crane in 1903, Berkshire Museum integrates art, history, and natural science in a wide range of programs and exhibitions that inspire educational connections between the disciplines. In association with the Smithsonian since 2013, Berkshire Museum is part of a select group of museums, cultural, educational, and arts organizations that share the Smithsonian's resources with the nation. Located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at 39 South St., the Berkshire Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $13 adult, $6 child; Museum members and children age 3 and under enjoy free admission.

Reviewed By kzsull01 - Windsor, United States

My husband and I visited the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on Sunday, May 12th, 2019. We have visited the museum multiple times and have always enjoyed it for its great mixture of various different types of science, history and art artifacts. Both the special and permanent exhibits, which change on an on-going basis, have been very interesting, informative, and educational, providing a nice opportunity to learn about multiple subject areas, definitely worth the visit. This time we really enjoyed the very impressive ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion’ special exhibit, which has been extended from May 19th to September 8th. We highly recommend this exhibit, even after encountering an unexpected May snow storm traveling to the museum to see it. It was quite inspirational!! All the write-ups throughout the Berkshire Museum, describing the items on display, were very informative and nicely done. The museum had something for everyone, children as well as adults alike. It took us a little over an hour and a half to see the museum based on the amount of time available to us this time, but we could have easily spent over 2 hours there to fully absorb and appreciate everything the museum had to offer. We parked on the street in front of the museum, which was quite convenient and free. Special Exhibit: ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion’: This exhibit was a great tribute to the 500th year anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci: It allowed you to explore and try-out approximately 40 full-size, true-to-design working models of his Renaissance inventions, and the 500-year-old drawings used to construct them. The exhibit nicely depicted da Vinci as an accomplished writer, scientist, inventor, engineer, architect, botanist, theorist and teacher using both art and science in a complementary way in his many works. A nice timeline was used to highlight his life and accomplishments from 1452 – 1519. His machines on exhibit were based on incredibly amazing notebooks where he recorded, ideas, observations, experiments, illustrations, sketches and drawings based on such themes as paintings, architecture, mechanics and anatomy. Several different subject areas tied to da Vinci’s inventions were illustrated in the exhibit, including, motion as the cause of every life, with the practical use of motion tied to the earth, air, fire and water in the machines that he built. Among his uses of motion were: ‘Motion of Water’ using a water saw and showing water as the driving force of all nature; ‘Motion of Fire’ and heat using a mobile machine gun and armored tank; ‘Motion of Air’ using an anemometer to measure the force of air and ‘Flying Across the Stage’ with machines for performance; and ‘Motion of Earth’ with a spirit of growth, balance and beauty from a linear perspective. Several exhibits showed various other aspects of Da Vinci’s accomplishments. The ‘To Evaporate Like Smoke’ exhibit illustrated his technique called sfumato, which he used to paint the Mona Lisa for a natural appearance. His methodical process and the experimental techniques that he used to paint the ‘Last Supper’ shown in the exhibit ‘Not a True Fresco’ were quite interesting. ‘Birds on the Wing’ showed the machines he created based on observation of nature, including the flapping wings of birds. The ‘Skin and Bone’ exhibit showed his strong interest in human anatomy and associated accomplishments. The ‘Measures of a Man’ exhibit provided interesting details about his famous ‘Vitruvian Man’ drawing. The ‘Blink of an Eye’ exhibit explained the dimension of depth in his paintings which was caused by an eye disorder, strabismus, where he was not able to maintain eye alignment. This disorder helped in depicting 3-dimensional objects and scenes on a 2-dimensioanl surface in his artwork. His ‘Mirror Writing’ was also depicted in his mirror images created with backward letters by writing right to left as a result of being left handed. This exhibit was quite impressive, definitely well done, and a very comprehensive view of da Vinci’s accomplishments. Special Exhibit: ‘Berkshire Now by John MacDonald’ – This was a small exhibit but included some beautiful landscape paintings painted using a very unique technique. Permanent Exhibits: As always, we started in the lower level to see the aquarium and reptiles on display. This time the aquarium was a bit different from previous visits. We really enjoyed the seven different types of poisonous dart frogs in various colors as well as the leopard spotted geckos. We also liked the various types of fish, turtles. snakes (including a boa constrictor and a python), a tarantula and some very interesting sea horses as well as other types of geckos and frogs among other species. Both children and even adults could enjoy the aquarium, which is always a very nice place to explore. The ‘Window on the World: A Look into the Permanent Collection’ exhibit included art from various places around the world at different points in time, as well as more local area objects. This included Arctic Mirages (1900 – present); New York City (1850 – 1950); Italy (509 – 27 BCE); the Barbizon School in Rural Paris; Pittsfield (1800 – 1965), including old Elm Ware; Porcelain from the Tang and Ming Chinese Dynasties (618 – 906) and (1368 – 1644), unique Roman Glass, Edison’s Gem home phonograph and many interesting items from museum founder Zenas Crane’s original collection, including the Berkshire Museum’s Traveling School. This was a nice trip back through time in various parts of the world.. The ‘Innovation’ exhibit was quite educational, informative and inspirational with impressive innovations from the local Berkshire area. Subject areas included: Crane Security Paper for currency; the Shaker’s radical simplicity and the use of explosives to complete the Hoosac Tunnel, among several other innovations. The exhibit answered the question: What is Innovation? It also described the innovation process, addressing such aspects as motivation, inspiration, rewards, learning from mistakes, overcoming obstacles, unexpected outcomes, success and much more. The 'Curiosity Incubator' included the Egyptian mummy Pahat and asked such questions as: Could you have Egyptian Blood? or Does your DNA trace to Pahat’s DNA? This was quite interesting and educational, including the displays related to preserving the past. The ‘Berkshire Backyard’ exhibit provided good background on area mammals, birds, fish, insects and flowers. In addition, the exhibit on the Rocks and Minerals from the surrounding Berkshires, was quite nice and included interesting displays related to fluorescence and testing minerals for radioactivity. This museum had a lot to offer, was worth the trip, and we will definitely go back again.

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