The Hancock Shaker Village is a 750-acre living history museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Members of the Shaker religious movement, which believes in pacifism and communal living, inhabited the village from 1790 until 1960, when the site was converted into a public museum. Today, visitors can learn all about the fascinating Shaker culture while touring historic buildings, interacting with costumed interpreters, participating in hands-on activities, and viewing exhibits, gardens, and a working farm.
Things to Do
- Start your visit by viewing the Heaven on Earth: A Shaker Introduction exhibit at the Visitor Center, which will teach you the basics on the Shaker movement.
- Take your child to the Discovery Barn, where they can participate in all kinds of Shaker-themed activities, from dressing in traditional clothing to doing arts and crafts.
- Explore the village! There are plenty of exhibits to be found throughout the 20 buildings, as well as vegetable gardens and a livestock barn.
- Enjoy the fresh air of the countryside by going on a family hike along the mile-long Farm & Forest trail.
Hancock Shaker Village Insider Tips
- Don't miss out on daily demonstrations and talks in the village, including a demonstration of Shaker music and dance! You can find the full schedule here.
- Check the museum's website to learn about upcoming programs such as gardening, basket-making, and candle-making workshops for children and adults.
- Stop by the Village Store before you head home to pick up gifts, toys, books, and handmade Shaker crafts.