297 West St.
Lenox, MA 01240
Live Music Venue
The picnickers start arriving an hour ahead of time, unpacking ginormous spreads with tablecloths, silverware, even candelabras (really!). Who could blame kids for thinking Mary Poppins had arrived with her carpet bag? Such elaborate concert-night dining is a tradition here, and it's a hoot to be part of. Even better is the music: lovely, live music from the likes of the Boston Pops that the whole brood can truly enjoy while kicking a ball or throwing a Frisbee. Accompanying kids' activities add to the fun on most weekends.
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: Kids 4 and under must sit on the back half of the lawn.
School-Age Kids: You could buy a shed ticket for kids in this age group, but the lawn is really the best spot to sit with the family. It's a perfect, casual way to introduce the kids to the classics. They don't have to be still and silent, but disruptive behavior is frowned upon.
Pre-Teens & Teens: It might come as a surprise (even to them), but many teens find they enjoy the peace of nature paired with classical music.
- Bring bug spray. Outdoor venue + woods + dusk = bugs.
- Kids under 12 are free. Up to four kids are admitted free per paying adult ticket, but children's tickets must be picked up at the box office the day of the concert (good for lawn seats only).
- Have a ball. Balls and such are welcome, but play with them behind the visitor's center so as not to disrupt the audience.
- Eats to go. The Tanglewood Café and Tanglewood Grill are on-site, but a better bet is to bring your own dinner. Picnicking is a whole industry here, and most restaurants and even grocery stores (as well as the Tanglewood Café) will be happy to put something together. Just order in advance.
- Pocket planner. From late June through August there are concerts nearly every night. Pick up a handy guide at the Main Gate box office.
- Get a discount. The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) offers half-price lawn seat discounts to students over 12 attending BSO Friday night concerts.
- Family concerts. Look for one annual performance geared specially to families. In 2008 the featured performance was "Tubby the Tuba."
Just the Facts
Hours: Check the website.
Recommended Time: 2 - 4 hours