Edith Wharton's estate, The Mount in Lenox has some of the most breathtaking gardens in Berkshire County. It's been an idyllic location for many an afternoon picnic. Typically, the grand old place naps through the winter months until the first spring buds push through. This year, the folks at the Mount alongside Chris Bocchiaro of Clerestory Light, scenic designer Megan Kinneen and composer Greg Hanson put their heads together (not literally, because — Covid) and the magic of NightWood was born.
With my in-laws in tow, my family and I masked up on a dark December evening. The night was clear and not too cold and the bright lights glowing along the wide dirt path drew us right in. Social-distancing was easily followed and we seemed to embark into a magical world all our own. The mysterious music floated ethereally amongst the tall shadows of the trees. (Full disclosure: The first scene was a little "scary" for our 4-year old. We kept going and the rest caused no issues.) The unique sculptures threw shadows in every direction. Our kids were fascinated by the rainbow of colors that seemed to dance all around us and the hulking mansion was the perfect backdrop to watch our shadows loom large over our heads.
Is there a better way to finish a winter walk than gathering around a heated table with hot cocoa and cider donuts? If there is, I don't know it. We went around the table and shared what our favorite part of the night was (both the kid's answer was cocoa, go figure)! Stuffed full of magic and sugar, the kids fell asleep on the drive home but talked about their night under the lights all the next day. NightWood will certainly be a family holiday tradition for years to come.
NightWood runs Thursdays – Sundays, through January 3rd, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Timed tickets & masks are required.
NightWood is $20 for adults, $10 for youth 6-18; and free for children 5 and under. Don't wait because only a limited amount of tickets remain!
The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett St. in Lenox.