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“Great experience for the whole family”

Hancock Shaker Village
Ranked #1 of 26 things to do in Pittsfield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum whose mission is to bring the Shaker story to life and preserve it for future generations. Called the "City of Peace" by the Shakers who lived here for 179 years until 1960, this community was the third of 19 major Shaker Villages located in New York, New England, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. There are 18 original historic buildings on this site. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to making the Village a center for reflection on living the principled life. The values that the Shakers embraced -- equality, pacifism, community, sustainability, responsible land stewardship, innovation, simplicity and quality in work -- resonate with us today. In addition to viewing the architecture, we have so many things to see including the farm and gardens, the animals, costumed interpreters, demonstrations of handicrafts like weaving, spinning, and blacksmithing, hiking and walking trails, the Discovery Room where kids can do hands-on activities, photo and art exhibitions, a cafe and picnic area. We have modern amenities and the village is handicapped accessible.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

The village is much larger than we expected. You really can spend most of the day walking around the village and exploring the different buildings. The buildings are in great shape and give a really authentic feel with the furniture, props, decorations, materials, colors, smells, etc. The barn has real animals (pigs, sheep, cows, etc) to see and pet, which was a nice surprise and a treat for kids. There is a building dedicated to kids, where they can try on Shaker clothing, milk a pretend cow, color, etc. There are signs to read in every room that clearly explain the history. You can also opt for the audio option for a small fee and listen to a self-guided narrated tour. The only suggestion I would offer to improve the experience would be to include more staff dressed in Shaker clothing and "working" in the village as actors to give a more authentic feel.

The restaurant on property is table service and offers great food at reasonable prices. The visitors' center, bathrooms, and gift shop are all modern and comfortable. I would highly recommend this experience for all families.

Thank BrianCNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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433 - 437 of 555 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2013

Wonderfully renovated shaker village. Grounds are beautiful. Lots of herb gardens. Staff is knowledgable. Recommend catching the talks and bringing a picnic to sit outside and enjoy the scenery.

1  Thank votenochains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Can't imagine living in a busy, bustling place with a bunch of stern-faced, bible thumpers who have taken in orphans and refugees from dirt poor countries during the depression era. Plus no sex.Lots of hymn & prayers. Work work work every waking moment. Not for me;visiting this village did not appeal to my sense of relaxation during a vacation. It is very austere and the people who take you on tours and give demos are very serious. My hubby liked it, because of the buildings, furniture and thoughtfullnes of construction.

Thank Christine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

The grounds are lovely and the history fascinating. Plan to spend 2 - 3 hours at least. The docents are excellent and their directed talks were the highlight of the visit. I particularly recommend the program describing and demonstrating Shaker music and dance. Don't hesitate to join in!

Thank S_Kelley19703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

With the Berkshire Mountains in the background, the Hancock Shaker Village is a very peaceful and scenic place to visit. The history and lifestyle of the Shaker's is interesting and so is the innovative engineering of their buildings. Children will love seeing and petting the farm animals. The Discovery Center is a great place for kids to dress like the Shakers, practice milking a simulated cow, and make friendship bracelets. A visit to the Wood Working Shop will give children an opportunity to shave wood under the guidance of one of the workers. The black smith shop and demonstrations were also intriguing. The Village Harvest Cafe is worth a visit. They serve delicious salads and sandwiches with fresh ingredients. Definitely leave room for the Three Berry Pie.

Thank Gary28173
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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