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Ten Days of Play Encourages Learning Through Play at Berkshire Museum
11:17AM / Tuesday, February 11, 2020
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Activities will kick off during the after-school hours of 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. Free Community Play Night will be held Friday, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ten Days of Play will return to Berkshire Museum with nearly 40 hours of indoor playtime plus special performances and activities Friday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 23.

First launched in 2012, this annual festival features hands-on activities throughout the museum for children of all ages that are designed to encourage learning through play. This year's event features new programs including The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons Animation Station and Bubble Trouble with Jeff Boyer, and free regular admission for children under 18. Ten Days of Play is part of Pittsfield's 10x10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival.

Activities will kick off during the after-school hours of 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. Free Community Play Night will be held Friday, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

"Child-directed play is key to fostering and supporting every young child's creativity, problem solving ability, and self-worth," said Craig Langlois, Berkshire Museum's chief experience officer and founder of Ten Days of Play. "Museums like ours are the perfect environment for families and caregivers to practice child-directed play. We invite them to jump between active play during scheduled activities and passive play as they explore the galleries and engage with our collection and exhibitions. It is the balance between these two experiences that make Ten Days of Play so special."

The following Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular museum admission:

Daily Play

Friday, Feb. 14, 3:30 to 5 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 16, noon to 3 p.m.; Monday to Saturday, Feb. 17 to 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 23, noon to 3 p.m.

Kids of all ages are invited to build, collaborate, experiment, and learn with the big blue blocks of the Imagination Playground, colorful Bilderhoos boards, magnetic Tegu blocks, and tables piled high with LEGO bricks at the center of the museum. In the popular Tinker Lab, older children can take apart old electronics to create something new. At the Animation Station, kids and adults will explore the world of animation and learn how to create their own animations using various methods as part of The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons.

Daily Aquarium Program

Saturday, Feb. 15, to Sunday, Feb. 23, Monday to Saturday, 12:45 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

Help prepare delicious, nutritious meals for the creatures in the Aquarium or meet the residents of the Aquarium’s Discovery Tank in guided, drop-in experiences each day.

Berkshire Music School’s Instrument Petting Zoo

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 1 p.m.

See, touch, play, and hear a variety of musical instruments with the Berkshire Music School.

As part of Berkshire Museum’s ongoing commitment to reducing financial barriers to access, Free Community Play Night invites families and members of the community to enjoy all of the Daily Play activities and exhibition galleries free of change on Friday, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This annual event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union.

This year's special ticketed performances bring musical theater, live animals and even bubble magic to Berkshire Museum. Tickets to the following programs are $15 adult, $6 child, $5 museum member adult, $3 museum member child, and free for children under 3:

Records and Burpee Zoo Show

Monday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Meet live animals from the Records and Burpee Zoo and learn about their adaptations, how they survive in the wild, and the consequences of keeping wild animals as pets.

Berkshire Children's Theater's "Disney’s Winnie the Pooh"

Thursday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 21, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The talented young performers of Berkshire Children's Theater return to the museum to perform their original musical version of the classic story "Winnie the Pooh" under the direction of Kara Demler.

Bubble Trouble with Jeff Boyer

Saturday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

A bubble volcano. Bubble roller coaster. A kid in a bubble? Jeff Boyer takes bubbles to the max in this one-man bubble extravaganza. It’s the most creative bubble show around. Jeff juggles bubbles, sculpts and builds with bubbles, makes fog-filled bubbles and more. Mixing comedy, music and interactive bubble-magic, he engages and delights audiences of all ages.

Performance tickets include museum admission. Advance ticket purchases for special ticketed performances may be made online or by calling 413-443-7171, ext. 360.

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