Worth the Trip: Young Shaker Tours at Hancock Shaker Village

We had the privilege of checking out Hancock Shaker Village recently. Stepping into this simple lifestyle, we realized quite quickly how Hancock Shaker Village gives visitors a look into the life of a Shaker community. A group of people who valued simplicity and We loved the atmosphere, breathtaking views and beautifully crafted buildings and furniture. Our daughter loved the animals, the children’s games and the crafts. There was so much to do here we will need more than just one excursion out to the property to see it all.

This summer, Hancock Shaker Village is featuring a Young Shaker Tour! Tour runs from 11 am to 12:30 pm every day from July 5 through August 26 (not available July 21).  Children can don a Shaker hat or bonnet and experience the historic village the way a Shaker child might have in the mid-1800s.  Guided by a museum educator, children engage in work, play and other activities just like Shaker children did more than a century ago.  Pick herbs from the village gardens, bake a treat in the Shaker Kitchen, ring the Dwelling House bell, use a quill pen and meet our barnyard animals. Sounds like so much fun!

Other Things to Experience at Hancock Shaker Village!

  1. Visit the animals around Massachusetts’s only circular barn. The barn has become an icon for the museum, and the inside is something worth marveling. Outside the barn, sheep, chickens and some baby goats roamed free giving our daughter an opportunity to walk around the pastoral landscape and say hi to each of the animals.
  2. Discovery Barn has so much to offer kids including a dress up station so that kids can dress like the shakers and wooden toys to emulate the things that Shaker children would play with.
  3. Craft Time was set up in the Discovery Barn too so that kids could make Cow faces out of paper plates packets to put seeds in for gardening and growing.
  4. The Gardens were beautiful, well manicured and surrounded by boardwalks for easy stroller pushing. We enjoyed the smells and sharing with the little one aromas from sage, lavender and other strong smelling herbs.
  5. The Brick Homestead showcased where the Shakers slept and ate. There were kids rooms set up so that we could see how the babies slept, the kids slept and the bareness of their rooms. It is quite the contrast to our bedrooms at home!
  6. The Blacksmith and Woodworker were all set up with tools to show how their craft works. Before our eyes, the blacksmith melded and shaped iron. Our daughter couldn’t take her eyes off of it all!
  7. Trails – The campus boasts two trails with easy paths perfect for families. One heads down to a reservoir and the other heads over to a North Campus with other buildings.
  8. Food While you are there, you might as well eat some delicious food from the café or have a treat at the Scoop Shop – homemade local ice cream yum.
  9. The Introduction Movie I saved this for last because it is probably more suitable for older children. It gives a great background to the culture and community that once lived on this property. The images and storytelling are well done, but probably not a riveting documentary for little ones.
Upcoming Events at Hancock Shaker Village

Spirit Houses & Woodland Wonders Saturday, July 15
Country Fair Saturday & Sunday, Sept 23 & 24

Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic St.
Pittsfield MA, 01201
(413) 443-0188

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