39 South St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Science & Nature Museum
Berkshire Museum Description
Kids love the "magic" entryway (doors open outward by themselves) and just about everything else at this landmark science-meets-history-meets-art kids' museum. Surprises are everywhere: a kinetic light machine you operate by dancing, dinosaur bones you can "dig" for; a busy working bee hive you can get up-close to (one toddler found it both cool and creepy). Kids stand bug-eyed over the 2,000-year-old mummy and at the aquarium where (on Fridays) you can watch the residents get fed. What's more, the galleries are awash with original paintings and sculpture.
Babies: The museum is most educational for older kids, but it's free for the under 2 set, who will at least enjoy looking at the starfish and urchins in the aquarium.
Toddlers & Pre-K: With few exceptions, Jiminy is for the five-and-up set. You won't pay for the little ones, but they won't have much fun, either.
Pre-Teens & Teens: Be sure to visit the fine arts gallery. The displays are bright and thorough without being overwhelming, a perfect introduction to some stellar original art.
- Family shows. The museum's proximity to the area's great theaters is a bonus—Barrington Stage actors often present performances at the museum, such as a recent staging of "Hercules." Call for a schedule before planning your visit.
- Shop 'til you drop. Be sure to stop by the museum's emporium, which is well stocked with unique wares (including the best-selling light-up umbrella).
Just the Facts
Hours: Memorial Day through early June: Weekends 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mid-June through early September: Daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Labor Day through mid-October: Weekends 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Recommended Time: 2 - 4 hours