10 Gardens Kids Will Love at the Berkshire Botanical Garden

On a recent trip to the Berkshires, we made an impromptu stop on our way to the Berkshire Botanical Garden– and we’re so glad we did! It is now one of our favorite spots in the Berkshires and very family friendly. The 20+ acre garden is spread out over both sides of Route 102 and includes over 30 gardens, greenhouses, walks, and buildings for classes, workshops, and family events.

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10 Ways to Have Fun at Jiminy Peak Resort in the Berkshires

We just returned from a beautiful (almost) fall weekend in the Berkshires. We’ll have several upcoming posts about things to do, places to explore, and where to eat in the Berkshires (we’ve already posted about Hancock Shaker Village and Naumkeag). We were fortunate to be invited to stay the Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort and spend time checking their resort amenities and activities. Opened in 1948, Jiminy Peak is the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England and offers year round family fun. We were impressed by the initiatives the resort takes to preserve the environment and maintain their energy independence. The resort uses only renewable sources for all their electrical power- the only resort in North America to do so!

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Our Summer 2020 Recap

Summer 2020 wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, and it definitely wasn’t what we had been planning for a LONG time. June marked a milestone birthday for me and we had planned on celebrating with a big trip to places that have been on our bucket list for many year. Luckily, we rescheduled this trip for next summer- so cross your fingers and stay tuned!

Each summer, we make individual “Bucket Lists” of things we want to do. Some common goals that the four of us shared are part of the highlights below. We’re grateful we were able to accomplish so much and fully recognize how fortunate we are. Here are the highlights:

Once the pandemic hit, we knew we’d have to shift our perspective and our travel plans. Our major goals for any trip include: staying safe and healthy; doing our best to keep others safe and healthy; respecting local and state guidelines and regulations; learning new things; having fun.

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Naumkeag in the Berkshires

The summer home of attorney Joseph Choate, his wife Caroline, and their five children in the late 1800s, Naumkeag is the perfect representation of a country estate of the Gilded Age. The estate is named after the Algonquin word (meaning “good fishing spot”) used for Salem, Massachusetts where the Choat family originally lived.

The original gardens included two terraces, a topiary garden, and an arborvitae alley. A farm, greenhouse, orchards, and vegetable gardens provided much of the food for the family. The family also enjoyed hiking, swimming, and horseback riding on many of the 48 acres of the estate, which is located in Stockbridge in western Massachusetts. The Choate’s daughter, Mabel, inherited the property and spent significant time creating many additional gardens. She deeded it to the Trustees of the Conservation upon her death in 1958 and the 44 room estate was turned into a museum opened to the public in 1960.

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10 Things Kids Will Want to Do at Hancock Shaker Village

Traveling during a still present pandemic: If you’ve been following our adventures this summer, you know that our family has taken precautions to stay safe. We’ve limited our exploration to nearby states with lower COVID cases and to mainly outdoor spaces that take proper precautions to keep staff and visitors safe. Hancock Shaker Village was an easy choice- tons of open space to socially distance, only one family in a building structure at a time (with all doors and windows open to allow for better ventilation), and absolutely nothing to touch. While Hancock Shaker Village is a great place to visit anytime, it’s a very safe bet for family fun during these uncertain times.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020, the Hancock Shaker Village is the oldest working farm in the Berkshires part of western Massachusetts. The Village was originally home to the Shaker community from the late 1700s until 1959, when it was turned into a museum that includes over 22,000 original artifacts and a research library. The 750 acre complex has a 20 acre working farm, 20 buildings with live interpreters, a massive garden with a very popular Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and tons of hiking trails, meadows, and woodlands that abut the Pittsfield State Forest.

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10 Ways to Spend Time As a Family at Ocean Edge Resort on Cape Cod

I grew up less than an hour from Cape Cod, which is located south of Boston- it’s the “flexed arm” in the Massachusetts state outline. We often took day trips to various villages and beaches on the Cape but rarely stayed on site overnight. I didn’t know what I was missing out on until our recent visit to the Ocean Edge Resort.

Located in Brewster, Massachusetts, in the middle of the Cape, Ocean Edge Resort is a world class resort spread over 400+ acres with its own private beach, 18 hole golf course, 9 tennis courts, 5 pools, and endless amounts of family fun. During the popular summer season, the resort offers daily programming in sports, fitness, dining, and kid friendly activities. There’s a seasonal shuttle throughout the complex so guests can simply “pahk the cah” (you are in Massachusetts, of course) and immediately get into vacation mode.

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