The Oldest Working Farm in the Berkshires Is Reopening Its Baby Animal Area This Week
Hancock Shaker Village, located on 750 acres across Hancock, Richmond, and Pittsfield, Massachusetts first opened its doors in 1783. Now a National Historic Landmark, the property highlights twenty historic Shaker buildings along with some truly stunning heirloom gardens.
Hancock Shaker Village recently announced a controlled and limited opening on Thursday, June 4 as part of the state’s phase 1 reopening initiative.
This means the Village will open its doors, however, guests will only be allowed to roam in its outdoor spaces, which include its beloved baby animals area.
“The health and safety of our community remains our top priority,” the farm’s director, Jennifer Trainer Thompson, said in a statement. “With guidance from Governor Baker, we are looking forward to once again welcoming visitors and continuing our mission of connecting people to the Village and the stories of the Shakers.”
According to Thompson, the living history museum has been hard at work for weeks readying the space for guests, as well as preparing new health measures to keep visitors and staff members safe. The new measures include online and timed ticketing, guest capacity limits, one-way paths to control guest flow, clearly designated distance markers ranging from 6 to 10 feet, enhanced cleaning protocols, more hand sanitizer stations, and COVID-19 training for all staff.
Visitors are required to pre-purchase timed admissions, available online at hancockshakervillage.org, and members must also reserve a time slot prior to their visit. Guests and staff are required to wear face coverings throughout their visit. The outdoor areas will be available to the public Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Admission is free for members and children ages 12 and under, $20 for adults, and $8 for youth ages 13–18.
If you can’t make it to the museum in person it’s still offering plenty of virtual programming, including virtual dance performances by Reggie Wilson and Fist and Heel Performance Group in the Round Stone Barn as well as virtual talks with authors and Shaker collectors. And, of course, it’s offering Facebook livestreams from the farm and Zoom sessions with baby animals.
“We know people have been eager to visit the farm when it is safe to do so,” Thompson said. “Self-guided discovery has always been important to the museum experience here, and with baby animals, the trails, the architecture, and the gorgeous gardens, we’ll offer what has always been a hallmark of the Village: an inspiring, holistic experience.”