Summer in the Berkshires: Tanglewood Amphitheater

An afternoon or evening spent enjoying live music in the beautiful outdoor amphitheater at Tanglewood is a great addition to any family vacation in western Massachusetts. Tanglewood is located in the picturesque town of Lenox in the heart of the Berkshires. On a recent visit, we packed our cooler with sandwiches, cheese and crackers, fruit salad, and strawberry shortcake and picnicked the night away while listening to “A Prairie Home Companion”.

Tanglewood-boston-pops

Tanglewood hosts all kinds of events, and is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is also one of the few truly kid-friendly music venues I’ve been to. The lawn is huge, with plenty of room for energetic kids. The atmosphere is relaxed, and no one seems to mind if their picnic gets interrupted by the occasional soccer ball or wondering toddler. Show times are conducive to young kids too–“A Prairie Home Companion” started at 5:45 and ended with a sing-along at around 7:30/8:00.

Tip: To get the most out of your visit, show up early. We arrived at 4:00 for a 5:45 show, and had plenty of time to eat and explore before the show started. In anticipation of bedtime, we brought pajamas, and ended a blissful evening with a quiet ride home, complete with two sleeping kids in the back seat.

Date last visited: July 2, 2011

Distance from the interstate: Tanglewood is about 10 miles off of I-90/Massachusetts Turnpike.

Hours of operation: Tanglewood is a seasonal venue and operates from June through September. Check out show times and dates on the Tanglewood website.

Admission or ticket prices: If traveling with kids, I strongly recommend getting lawn seats (as opposed to the covered seats in the Koussevitzky Music Shed), which are $21. Kids under 2 are free. An unexpected plus: onsite parking is convenient and free!

Food services: Boxed dinners and picnics can be purchased online ahead of time, and there are two eateries on site (the Tanglewood Café and Grill) but the best (and probably least expensive) way to eat at Tanglewood is to bring your own picnic. People come armed with coolers, lawn chairs, blankets, and even candles for a more romantic dinner.

Contact: (617) 266-1200 or (888) 266-1200

Directions: Tanglewood is located at 297 West Street, Lenox, MA. Full directions can be found on their website.

About the author

Kate Lepore AUTHOR: Kate Lepore is Pit Stops for Kids' east coast editor and a mother of two preschool-aged children. Kate makes her home in Western Massachusetts when not traveling. Find Kate at Google.

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