Suggested Events for July 7th-13th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Great Blue Heron at Ashfield Lake. Read more about the Great Blue Heron at MassAudubon and how you can protect their habitats. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Saturday, July 7th from 4:30-10pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July with the city of Greenfield! There will be music, activities, and vendors, and fireworks at 9:30. Takes place at Beacon Field and Greenfield Middle School. Beacon Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 8th at 1pm – PUPPETS: Cactus Head Puppets present “Little Red Riding Hood” at the Eric Carle Museum! The story is told with both hand and shadow puppets. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (<$)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 14th & 15th in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th

Saturday, July 14th from 10am-5pm – ART FESTIVAL: The Hilltown Arts Alive Festival takes place today!  There will be tons of different shows, sales, activities, and concerts for families to see and hear throughout Worthington.  Highlights include live music with local artists (including jazz with Charles Neville), an art show featuring locally made pieces at town hall, children’s activities at RH Conwell School, open houses at local businesses, and more!  Celebrate arts in the community and see what local artists and artisans have been creating.  Worthington, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, July 14th from 11am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mass MoCA hosts the annual Bang on a Can Festival’s Kids Can Too!  The faculty and fellows behind the festival present a concert where kids can learn all about new instruments and musical sounds – plus it’s totally fun!  Advance tickets suggested.  413-662-2111.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

Sunday, July 15th from 8pm – THEATER: Amherst College hosts the annual KO Festival of Performance!  The event features the Mettawee River Theater Company, performing “Communications from a Cockroach” on the lawn at the college’s observatory.  The show features live music, movement, and puppets, and tells the story of a cockroach whose soul is that of a reincarnated poet- he writes by jumping onto typewriter keys!  In case of rain, the show will take place at the Holden Theater.  Snell Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

FAMILY THEATER: PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add a theatre, the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: The Ugly Duckling, July 4-7; The Princess Knight, July 18-21; and Zorro!, August 1-4. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. More information at -413-585-3220 Or online www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html

19th-CENTURY CHILDREN’S CIRCUS: It’s Circus Time at the Emily Dickinson Museum! On Saturday, July 14, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst presents “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Children’s Circus,” from noon to 4 pm. Especially appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, this annual event is free and open to the public. Activities include folksongs and stories with Tim Van Egmond; a performance by Henry the Juggler; a reading of Emily and Carlo by author Marty Rhodes Figley; and the annual Circus Parade. Other activities include “tightrope” walking, ring-toss, and kid friendly crafts. For details and a complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/circus. With questions, contact Valerie Gramling, program coordinator, at 413-542-2034.

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood writes, “Are you concerned about food marketed to children? Do you want to keep up with all of the latest news and opportunities to take action against junk food marketers? The Food Marketing Workgroup, of which CCFC is a proud member, has launched a new site to help you do just that. With fact sheets, model policies, and action opportunities for reducing junk-food marketing in community settings like schools, supermarkets, and restaurants, it’s a hub for individuals and organizations that value children’s health over food industry profits. Visit www.foodmarketing.org today.”

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Does your kid love spending time outside, exploring and learning all about their surroundings?  They can join the Junior Rangers at Mt. Greylock State Reservation in Lanesborough, MA to learn about and adventure throughout the park!  The Junior Rangers program gets kids outside, and helps them learn about geography, ecology, conservation, etc. while also helping them learn their way around the mountain and helping them gain trail navigation skills.  Along with kid-friendly hikes, the program will include fun learning activities, too!  Kids interested in being a Junior Ranger must register for the program by July 11th, and the program will take place on Tuesdays from 10am-12noon from July 12th – August 23rd.  To register, call the park at 413-499-5262.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
July 7th-13th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets | Summer Playgroups
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Farmers’ Markets

“Hilltown Families has allowed me to discover so many activities that I otherwise never would have known existed! Thank you!” – Lee Cozzens (Ware, MA)

6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. – Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. - GRAMMY winners Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are also known as the first ladies of the UKULELE. On this week’s show, they share their love of uke with you, showcasing vintage ukulele songs with contemporary sounds, and hopefully inspiring you to even consider picking up and playing a ukulele. Aloha and enjoy! –  Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9:30-10:30am – YOGA: Do some morning stretching overlooking the Connecticut River at the Land of Providence! The Trustees of Reservations host Yoga on the Farm, a program designed for beginners but open to all levels. Great opportunity to introduce and practice yoga with your  tween/teen. BYO yoga mat.  Call to register.  413-519-4966.  Route 5.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

9:30-11am – PALEONTOLOGY: Kids can learn all about dinosaurs, fossils, and tracking at the dinosaur footprints in Barton Cove!  Educator Rachel Roberts offers a program on kid-friendly paleontology to kids ages 5+ – kids will take a short hike, and do hands-on science and art activities.  Registration required.  800-859-2960.  Gill, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Historic Deerfield’s open hearth cooking program is celebrating its 25th anniversary!  Throughout the month of June, cooks will be preparing traditional food and drink enjoyed during celebrations in early New England.  Visitors can learn about the history of food and cooking, and think about how food preparation has changed over time.  413-775-7127.  80 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

10am-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Help Spectrum Playhouse kick off their summer season with an exciting celebration!  The playhouse has been closed for renovations for the past year, so along with fun events and activities, the celebration is a time to check out what’s new.  There will be a production of “Alice’s Adventures” from 11am-12noon, art on display from local artists of all ages, tours of the building, and live performances from Peter Putnam (1-2:30pm) and Linda Worster (2-3:30pm).  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: PaintBox Theater presents a stage adaptation of, “The Ugly Duckling” at Smith College’s Mendenhall Center.  413-587-3933.  Green Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

10:30-11:30am – CRAFTS: It’s a crafty Saturday morning at the Mason Library – make your own pinecone owls and nests for them to live in!  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-4pm – HISTORY: Learn about the use of flax in textiles!  Flax is generally used in seed form, but the plant can also be used to make fabric!  Historic Deerfield is offering informational demonstrations on flax today.  Excellent learning opportunity for kids interested in fashion history!  413-775-7127.  80 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (<$)

11am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Go on a Gallery Quest at Mass MoCA!  Kids can go on a guided exploration of the museum, and learn about the art while doing a scavenger hunt.  There will also be hands-on art making activities.  413-662-2111.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

12noon-2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Turners Falls and learn about the area known as The Patch – it’s a piece of land located between the Connecticut River and the village’s power canal.  Hosted by the Great Falls Discovery Center, the adventure will teach participants about the interesting natural history of the land and its significance within the watershed.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: To accompany the exhibit, “Norman Rockwell: Sports!” the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting a special family sports day!  There will be representatives at the museum from various sports museums, fly fishing demonstrations, a lesson on putting from an LPGA representative, as well as a chance to view the exhibition and learn about Rockwell’s sports-related work.  Dress in your favorite sports outfit!  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  ($)

1-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore the waterfalls of Mt. Greylock!  Each weekly hike will take visitors on a hike to explore a waterfall – great on a hot summer day!  Meet at the visitors center.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦

4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Explore local history on a cemetery tour!  Visitors can learn about local residents whose ideas changed the community and the world – all by reading gravestones!  Meet at Town Hall.  413-298-5501.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$)

4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS: Learn yo-yo tricks at A2Z this afternoon!  Lead by world class pros, Yo-Yo School teaches kids basic yo-yo tricks.  Learning to yo-yo is a great supplement to studies of motion and physics!  413-586-1611.  57 King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

4:30-10pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July with the city of Greenfield!  There will be music, activities, and vendors, and fireworks at 9:30.  Takes place at Beacon Field and Greenfield Middle School.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

DUSK – FIREWORKS: Over the Otis Reservoir at the Tolland State Forest Beach! Rain date 7/14.  Tolland Road.  Otis, MA. (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6-9pm – The Blackburn Inn hosts an evening of Celtic music with Kira Jewett and TJ Ezold, local musicians.  Check out the Inn’s local artist showcase, and enjoy some delicious food while you’re there!  Reservations suggested.  413-238-0144.  144 Huntington Road.  Worthington, MA.  (FREE)

8pm – Sweet Honey in the Rock performs tonight at Mass MoCA!  The group pairs traditional African music with blues, hip-hop, jazz, and more.  413-662-2111.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($$$)

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Sunday, July 8th, 2012

“Hilltown Families is amazing! I’m able to learn events to take my children to in the Valley all in one place. Thank you Hilltown Families for the work you do for community!” – Stephanie Gale (Easthampton, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help out at the Just Roots Food for All Garden! Vegetables grown will be donated to local hunger relief organizations. Glenbrook Drive. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

10am and 2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Go on a medicinal plant walk at Mt. Greylock!  The walk will be easy, and will focus on teaching visitors to identify plants with medicinal properties.  Meet at the visitors center.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦

1pm – PUPPETS: Cactus Head Puppets present “Little Red Riding Hood” at the Eric Carle Museum!  The story is told with both hand and shadow puppets.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA (<$)

1-3pm - CHESS: An informal Chess Club happens at the Lilly Library. Participants are encouraged to supplement existing chess boards by bringing their own too. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE) ♦

2-4pm - LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Buckland Historical Society for an open house!  The building, a former school house, is home to three floors full of local artifacts and town records.  Families can learn about local history and culture – try putting local events into a broader historical context based on what your kids know about history!  413-625-9763.  20 Upper Street.  Buckland, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – BASEBALL: See the Pittsfield Suns take on the Brockton Rox this afternoon at Wahconah Park!  413-445-7867.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

4pm – CONCERT: The Porch Trio performs at North Hall!  The group plays everything from jazz standards to big band swing, with some ballads and Latin rhythms thrown into the mix.  413-667-5543.  40 Searle Road.  Huntington, MA.  (<$)

6pm – LAWN CONCERT: Stanley Park’s summer concert series features family-friendly performers!  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

8:30pm – FILM: Images Cinema screens outdoor movies under the stars on Sunday evenings!  This week’s film is the classic, “To Catch a Thief,” featuring Grace Kelly and Carey Grant.  Takes place in the center of Williamstown.  In case of rain, the screening will take place at the theater.  Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (<$)

9:45-10:30pm – FIREWORKS: To end Enfield’s Fourth of July celebration!  Takes place on the Town Green.  840 Enfield Street.  Enfield, CT.  (FREE)

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Monday, July 9th, 2012

10am – MOVIE: 10am Screenings of PG and G rated movies are free at the Rave Cinema West Springfield 15!  413-733-5134.  864 Riverdale Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am, 1pm, 6:30pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Majestic Theater presents, “The Princess and the Pea!”  The show’s cast features local youth actors!  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

11am-12noon – LEGOS: LEGO Club at the Sunderland Library!  Kids can experiment and learn, through trial and error, about basic principles of design, architecture, engineering, and physics.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum screens, “Happy Feet,” this afternoon – get out of the heat and enjoy a great movie!  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

5:30pm – COMMUNITY POTLUCK: Bring a delicious dish to share at the Deerfield Community Potluck!  The event will take place on the lawn between the Tilton Library and the South Deerfield Congregational Church, and there will be live music at the library beginning at 7pm.  Dessert and serving utensils provided.  75 North Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Yo-yo champion John Higby performs an exciting show of yo-yo tricks at the Westhampton Library!  (Pair with studies of basic physics!)  413-5275386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm - HISTORY/HAUNTED TOUR: Take a spooky mystery tour of The Mount, a historic estate in the Berkshires.  The 90-minute tour is pretty creepy – not recommended for kids under 12!  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR MONDAYS

  • 10am- STORYTIME: The Shutesbury Library’s story hour is this morning!  Enjoy an hour of stories, songs, games and crafts.  413-259-1213.  10 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 10am-4pm – HIKE: Go for a hike at Mt. Greylock!  The trek is somewhat strenuous – wear sturdy footwear!  Bring your own lunch, too.  Meet at the Visitors Center to carpool to location.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2pm – STORYTIME: At the Eric Carle Museum!  Kids can enjoy a story, then learn about how illustration helps to tell stories, too!  Storytimes take place daily at the museum – check for time changes.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA.  (<$)
  • 3pm – STORYTIME: Mountain View Farm hosts storytime!  Farm-themed stories galore.  413-329-0211.  393 East Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Gym Group at the Haskins Center has moved outside for the summer!  Enjoy group playground time on the center’s playscape.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – KNITTING: The Westhampton Library hosts a knitting group for knitters of all abilities!  This intergenerational skillshare is great for knitters who enjoy the company of other needle-clacking scarf-makers, or for those in need of some help with dropped stitches.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

10am & 1pm- FAMILY THEATER: The Majestic Theater presents, “The Princess and the Pea!”  The show’s cast features local youth actors!  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

11am-12noon – CHESS: Visit the Hatfield Library to join an ongoing game of Wizard’s Chess (just like in Harry Potter!).  This week, teams will be made and a board created.  Next week, play will begin!  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – CRAFTS: Make a sparkly moon ornament this afternoon at the Berkshire Athenaeum!  Quick and easy to take home!  Registration required.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – KIDS’ CONCERT: Cup & Top Cafe will host singer/songwriter Marsha Goodman for a kids music show. Her original melodies that mix generous doses of science and positive social messages into songs that are just plain fun for all ages! 413-585-0445. 1 North Main Street, Suite 2. Florence, MA (>$)

6pm – COMMUNITY PICNIC: The West County Resilience Committee is hosting their annual picnic tonight!  It’s a potluck – bring something delicious (with local ingredients!) to share, and celebrate the community’s resilience!  Takes place at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center.  7 Main Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – MOVIE: The Sunderland Library screens, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”  Rated PG!  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

6pm - KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts, “Watershed Waltz,” a program on watersheds, water conservation, and the importance of water systems.  Features fun puppets!  Registration required, ages 5+.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – BASEBALL: See the Pittsfield Suns take on the Raging Tide at Wahconah Park!  413-445-7867.  105 Wahconah Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Northampton Parents Center at the Jackson Street School playground.  413-582-2636.  Jackson Street.  Northampton, MA. ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: For kids ages 3-6 at the Greenfield Library!  There will be a new craft every week along with the exciting stories.  413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.  ♦
  • 10-10:40am – PLAYGROUP: At Treehouse!  Lead by a parent volunteer – new activities each week!  For kids ages 2-4, siblings welcome.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Palmer-Monson Family Network!  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Sing-a-long time for pre-schoolers at the Hubbard Library! 413-583-3408.  24 Center Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidescope, an environment-themed program for kids!  Interactive learning opportunities and crafts always included.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in crawl time for infants at Treehouse!  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA. ♦
  • 3-6pm – TEEN: The Hubbard Library hosts Teen Anime Club!  Anime enthusiasts can watch movies or episodes of anime shows, and share information (and enthusiasm!) for anime.  413-548-3408 ex 3.  24 Center Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 4pm – BIKING ADVENTURE: Join the Trustees of Reservations for a community bike ride, and explore Holyoke!  Meet at the Holyoke YMCA.  Bikes available to borrow if necessary, all abilities welcome.  413-532-1631 x19.  160 Beech Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)  ♦

  • 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Clark hosts live outdoor concerts throughout July!  Each week brings a new musical style to enjoy.  Dinner available for purchase.  In case of rain, concerts will take place in the museum’s auditorium.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)  ♦

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

10am – CRAFTS: Make a beautiful painting using bubble wrap at the Westhampton Library!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am – SCIENCE: Kids ages 7-10 can learn about and experiment with chemistry this morning at the Westfield Athenaeum!  Registration required.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

10-11am – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Buttery Brook Park and the South Hadley Family Center host Tom Knight, beloved musician and puppeteer!  Knights shows are fun and entertaining, and require lots of audience participation.  123 Willamansett Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am & 1pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Majestic Theater presents, “The Princess and the Pea!”  The show’s cast features local youth actors!  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

11am-12noon – HISTORY/MANNERS: Young ladies and gentlemen are invited to the Wistariahurst Museum for a program on etiquette!  Unlike the etiquette courses youngsters may have taken throughout history, this one is just for fun!  Kids can learn the game of graces, basic table manners, and have a fun and delicious tea on the museum’s lawn.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

1pm - KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Pop! Pop! Pop!  The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts, “Bubbleology,” a presentation by Keith Michael Johnson.  Trained by the Ringling Clown College, Johnson is a master of juggling and other circus arts – kids will be thrilled by the performance, and will also get to learn about the science behind bubbles and bubble-producing liquids.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – SCRABBLE: At the Westhampton Library on every second and fourth Wednesday!  Kids can practice spelling, vocabulary, and basic math skills by playing.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

5pm – LITERATURE: The Mount hosts a reading of author Edith Wharton’s work!  Presented by professional actors.  Best for older students interested in classic literature!  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (<$)

6:15pm - OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series!  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦

6pm – CULINARY ARTS: Kids can learn how to make their own homemade ice cream using just a few simple ingredients!  The MN Spear Library is hosting a night of icy, plastic bag shaking, delicious fun!  Space is limited – registration required.  Making ice cream is a great introduction into basic chemistry for kids.  413-259-1213.  259 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – CONCERT: Watermelon Wednesdays at the West Whately Chapel features great bands, musicians, and singer-songwriters! Check the schedule for a list of performers.  Advance tickets suggested.  Conway and Williamsburg Roads.  Whately, MA.  ($$) ♦

SUMMER ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS

  •  9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At Pettengill Park!  Sponsored by the Cummington Family Center.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – HIKE: Hike at Mt. Greylock!  Every Wednesday, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail.  Call to find out meeting place.  413-499-4262.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Wendell Free Library hosts the Community Network for Children’s playgroup for kids ages 0-5.  There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  •  10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At the Gateway Family Center.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Leverett Public Library for the Community Network for Children’s story hour!  Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy stories, hands-on science activities, and art projects!  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – SUPPORT GROUP: New Moms Group takes place at Treehouse!  Intended for moms with babies under 9 months – drop in and get support from others experiencing similar things.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2pm – SCRABBLE: At the Westhampton Library on every second and fourth Wednesday!  Kids can practice spelling, vocabulary, and basic math skills by playing.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Mountain View Farm for a farm activity for pre-school kids!  413-329-0211.  393 East Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4-7pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help out at the Just Roots Food for All Garden!  Vegetables grown will be donated to local hunger relief organizations.  Glenbrook Drive.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 6:15pm - OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series!  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum hosts outdoor music in their sunken garden!  Open to picnickers at 5pm.  413-584-4699.  130 River Drive.  Hadley, MA.  ($)

  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Every other Wednesday at Conant Park!  Rain or shine.  Southampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – CONCERT: Watermelon Wednesdays at the West Whately Chapel feature tons of great bands, musicians, and singer-songwriters! Check the schedule for a list of performers.  Advance tickets suggested.  Conway and Williamsburg Roads.  Whately, MA.  ($$) ♦

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Thursday, July 12th, 2012

10am – MOVIE: 10am Screenings of PG and G rated movies are free at the Rave Cinema West Springfield 15!  413-733-5134.  864 Riverdale Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – MOVIE: The Westhampton Library screens, “Tomboy,” a movie about a young girl who moves to Paris and is mistaken for a boy – then finds herself living up to her friends’ expectations!  Coffee for parents.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am-1pm – GARDENING: Visit Storrowton Village for a guided tour of Aunt Helen’s Heb Garden!  Visitors will learn about the proper cultivation of an herb garden, how to identify and use the plants in the village’s garden, and the history of the garden and its evolution throughout the past 75 years.  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – CRAFT: The Mason Library is hosting a panda-tastic morning of crafts!  Kids can learn about explorer Ruth Harkness, who brought pandas to the US, then make their own panda craft.  Register online or call to reserve a space.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

11am – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: Author Jarrett Kroscozka, two time Children’s Choice Book of the Year recipient, will visit the Lenox Library.  Kroscozka has received numerous awards for his picture books and super hero graphic novel series, The Lunch Lady. His books will be available for purchase and signing. Library doors will open at 11:00am. Lenox, MA (FREE)

3-5pm – LAWN GAMES: Naumkeag hosts an afternoon of “Croquet on the Lawn.” Families can come for a elaxed game of croquet, the leisurely sport of Edwardian high-society. Experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate. Refreshments served. Happens every other Thursday, all summer long. 413-298-3239  x3352. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA (>$)

7/12 4-5:30pm - NATURE SCIENCE/CRAFTS: Dickinson Memorial Library invites kids ages 5yo and older to come to the library for Gyotaku Fish Printing. Using scientifically accurate replicas of local freshwater fish, participants can imprint onto their own t-shirt, tote, etc., discovering the natural beauty of fish living in the Connecticut River.  413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

5:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: At the gazebo in Huntington!  Lots of great local acts!  This series is held on Thursday evenings at 6:30 with weekly bake sales.  For their kick off week (July 12) they offer a picnic that starts at 5:30.Routes 20 and 112.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦

7pm – BASEBALL: See the Pittsfield Suns play the Sharks tonight at Wahconah Park!  413-445-7867.  105 Wahconah Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Visit Angel Park for live music! Grab dinner at the Burgy Farmers’ Market across the street, or one of the many restaurants in Williamsburg, and head to the park with your friends and families and enjoy a blissful summer evening! Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

7-9pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Mysterious Stone Builders of New England with Jim Vieira happens at Mohawk Regional High School. Jim is a local stonemason and researcher of lost civilizations of ancient America.  Using local records and findings, Jim will discuss cairn fields, turtle effigies and serpent walls in the region, giving older students a lens into local history through these unique findings. Buckland, MA (FREE)

7:30pm – HISTORY: The Colrain Historical Society will discuss the War of 1812 with Professor of History, Leonard Richards.  In the Abbey behind the Pitt House older students interested in history can learn why the War of 1812 provoked the raising of the new flag over the schoolhouse on Catamount in Colrain along with other interesting historical facts. Refreshments served. For directions call 413-624-3453. Colrain, MA (FREE)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Northampton Parents’ Center at the Little Playground at Look Park.  413-582-2636.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the New Salem Library! 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Hatfield Library!  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Outside at the Haskins Center’s playground!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-5pm – HISTORY/GAMES: Enjoy an afternoon of croquet on the lawn at Naumkeag!  Every other Thursday this summer, the historic Gilded-Age estate hosts an afternoon of play for families.  Kids can learn about cultural history by visiting.  413-298-3239.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: At the gazebo in Huntington!  Bake sale available for purchase of desserts.  Lots of great local acts!  Routes 20 and 112.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6pm – SCRABBLE: First and third Thursdays at the Westhampton Library!  Kids can practice spelling and vocabulary skills, as well as basic math while keeping score!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: At the gazebo in Huntington!  Bake sale available for purchase of desserts.  Lots of great local acts!  Routes 20 and 112.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦

  • 6-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Live music tonight at the Greenfield Energy Park!  New acts each week.  Bring your own seating, and maybe a picnic dinner!  Miles Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series!  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦

  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Music on the porch at the Florence Civic Center!  90 Park Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE) ♦

  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Russell VFW hosts fun, family-friendly outdoor concerts throughout July!  413-732-4137.  Route 20.  Russell, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Friday, July 13th, 2012

FREE FUN FRIDAY: Families can enjoy free admission at the Children’s Museum at Holyoke today as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s summer fun series.

9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Tumblin’ Tots playgroup is at the Beacon Field playground today!  There will be stories, activities, and more.  BYO snack.  Sponsored by the Children’s Trust Fund.  413-475-1543.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10-11am - KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Dave Polansky performs at the Beveridge Pavillion at Stanley Park this morning!  The show is titled, “Laughter in the Park: A Family Sing-a-long,” a will include original music inspired by many traditional styles.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3:30-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Can’t get to the beach? Eagle Street Beach Party and Fiesta comes for a beach party just might be the next best thing! 250,000 pounds of sand are brought in for a family-friendly beach party in the Berkshires! Eagle Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

4pm – THEATER: The Williamstown Theater Festival hosts free family workshops on Friday afternoons!  Today’s workshop will be lead by John Dixon, member of the group Story Pirates.  Designed for kids ages 8-14, the workshop will be all about comedy and comedic performance.  Reservations suggested – call to register.  413-597-3400.  1000 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

4-8pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Free Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art!  Families can explore the museum, take part in hands-on art activities, and learn about the pieces on display at a guided gallery talk.  413-585-2777.  Elm Street and Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Mount hosts an evening of live outdoor music!  Enjoy a blend of traditional and modern music, and explore the gardens.  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – FISHING: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for an early evening of fishing.  Meet at the library and then continue onto the Pauchaug Boat Ramp. Be sure to RSVP so they know how many fishing poles to bring! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

6:30-7:30pm – ORIGAMI: Learn about the Japanese traditional art of origami tonight at the Cornerstone Cafe!  Co-sponsored by the Chester Theater Company, the workshop coincides with the company’s production of, “Animals Out of Paper,” an origami-inspired love story.  The workshop is designed for all ages, and will teach attendees the basics of the art of origami, as well as some of the theory.  413-650-5460.  1 Middlefield Road.  Chester, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – HISTORY/HAUNTED TOUR: Take a spooky mystery tour of The Mount, a historic estate in the Berkshires.  The 90-minute tour is pretty creepy – not recommended for kids under 12!  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS

  • 9-11am – MUSIC EDUCATION: Attend an educational program and a Boston Symphony Orchestra rehearsal at Tanglewood!  There will be a presentation for families, a tour, and, of course, music!  Shed seating is available for groups with kids ages 8+, while younger kiddos are asked to watch with their grown-ups from the lawn.  Happens all summer (No rehearsal on August 17th!).  413-637-5274.  297 West Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – HIKE: Take little adventurers on a tyke hike at Mt. Greylock!  The hike is short, and ends with storytime.  Meet at the Visitors Center.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am - KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Stanley Park hosts children’s performances at the Beverage Pavillion Annex!  Each week brings a new performer.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  •  10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At the Gateway Family Center.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At Northfield Mountain!  Hosted by the Community Network for Children, each playgroup will have a different theme and will include hands-on educational activities for kids.  978-544-5157.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Palmer-Monson Family Network at Eager Park (by Converse Middle School).  Bring a picnic lunch!  413-283-6246.  Walnut Street.  Palmer, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-4pm – HIKE: Learn about safe hiking at Mt. Greylock!  Hiking 101 will teach visitors about trail safety, map reading, proper equipment, bear etiquette, etc.  Great for families interested in doing serious hiking, as well as slightly older kids interested in hiking on their own.  Meet at the visitors center.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series!  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦

  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Easthampton’s Arts in the Park summer concert series features great live music at Millside Park!  Check the schedule for a list of performers.  2 Ferry Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 

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1 Comment

  1. July 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Not a mention of the best summer event in Northern Berkshire? This Friday is the annual Eagle Street Beach Party! The city pours tons of sand on the entire street from sidewalk to sidewalk, give out free sand toys and let the kids play from 3:30 to 6:30!


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