Tub Parade to Hidden Walls. Forests to Wildflowers. Culinary Arts to Science Clubs. These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! And be sure to check our list of supporting book titles to supplement the learning on the different topics highlighted each week. Purchase them for your family library, or check them out from the public library!
New England’s largest (and longest running) agricultural fair has begun! The Big E is in full swing in West Springfield, and is filled with fun and educational opportunities for families with kids of all ages. Along with the usual rides and midway games are educational gems like Storrowton Village, where families can learn about 19th century life in New England. Another unique feature is The Avenue of States, giving a glimpse into a featured New England State by highlighting its history, geography, industries, food and agriculture. Featured states for next week are Rhode Island on Tuesday, Sept 18th, Connecticut on Wednesday, Sept 19th and New Hampshire on Friday, Sept 21st.
If you’re interested in experiencing a true old-fashioned country fair, then check out Old Sturbridge Village! There will be demonstrations and family activities taking place all weekend, including farm equipment demos and displays of village-grown heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Kids can learn about the history of farming and local agriculture!
Three other history highlights include: The Tub Parade in Lenox on Saturday, Sept 15th, an annual reenactment of a tradition that dates back to the late 1800′s; a walking tour of the Dickinson Historic District in Amherst on Sunday, Sept 16th to learn about the rich and interesting history that the area holds; and in Plainfield, also on Sunday, Sept 16th, the season finale of, “Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills,” a local history series featuring outdoor excursions, surveys of historic lots and presentations. Sunday’s event will host a talk and artifact show-and-tell, centered around the history of surveying and its place and significance in local history. All three events are free.
On Saturday morning, Sept 15th, kids can learn all about electricity – by experimenting with switches, bulbs, and wires and creating circuits – with educator Rachel Roberts at Northfield Mountain! This class will teach kids about how power is generated, transferred, and stored.
The annual Montague Soap Box Derby takes place on Sunday, Sept 16th. Local kids will compete, racing homemade soap box cars. The race is exciting, and kids can learn about basic principles of physics by attending (not to mention that they’ll likely want to enter next year’s race!).
In Pittsfield on Wednesday afternoon, Sept 19th kids can build a masterpiece during a newly formed LEGO Club at the Berkshire Athenaeum! Kids can experiment with basic principles of physics, design, and architecture while playing with the basic plastic bricks.
The Monson Library has started a science club! Kids ages 7-10 can visit the library on Thursday afternoon, Sept 20th for Fizz, Boom, Splat – they’ll get to do hands-on activities and learn about basic science concepts.
All four events are free!
Pollinators play a crucial role in every ecosystem – learn about bees, flies, and wasps, and how they benefit our lives, at Naumkeag in Stockbridge on Saturday morning, Sept 15th. – In Deerfield, Warm Colors Apiary holds their free annual Honey Festival all day on Saturday, Sept 15th, featuring farm tours, honey (and honey products) tastings, talks, and demos. Families can see bees up close and learn about bees’ contributions to agriculture, as well as the fascinating way in which honey is produced.
Help out with an ongoing citizen scientist project at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst on Wednesday afternoon, Sept 19th. Help tag monarch butterflies to track their migration south for the winter! Helping with the project will help scientists to keep track of butterfly populations and migration patterns. A free program.
BOTANY/ TREE TO WILDFLOWERS
Discover local trees! On Saturday morning, Sept 15th, explore the MassAudubon Lynes Sanctuary in Westhampton to learn about forest forage crops (roots, berries, etc.) while also learning about forest growth stages! Best for teens and adults with some background knowledge in the subject. – In the afternoon on Saturday, Sept 15th, the Forbes Library in Northampton hosts herbalist and author Ellen Evert Hopman who will present a free informational slideshow on using local trees for food and/or medicine, including birch, cedar, hawthorn and walnut.
On Sunday afternoon, Sept 16th, learn about asters and goldenrod, the two major plant groups making up much of the summer’s end wildflower bloom, at Stanley Park in Westfield! Though over a dozen species can be found locally, this free plant walk will highlight only a few specific plants and will teach visitors how to identify them, as well as a few other common wildflowers.
On Saturday afternoon, Sept 15th, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst is celebrating 50 years! The free event features learning opportunities for families, including their first ever Naturalist Roadshow and a traveling Watershed on Wheels exhibit.
All weekend, take a ride on the Quinnetukut II in Northfield, an open-air riverboat, along the Connecticut River! The boat makes a 12-mile loop through French King Gorge to Barton’s Cove, home to nesting bald eagles and a dinosaur track quarry.
On Tuesday morning, Sept 18th in North Adams, the Haskins Center hosts a free Kids’ Cooking Club, a healthy food and nutrition learning experience for kids and their parents. Tuesday’s class will be about making healthy breakfast smoothies, and kids will learn what foods are good for their bodies in the morning, as well as how to mix them to make a delicious creation!
In the afternoon on Tuesday, Sept 18th, the East Longmeadow Library Children’s Department is hosting a free Sweet Dreams Dessert Challenge. Bring a dessert creation to the library to participate. Youth participants may work as an individual chef or as a team with friends or an adult.
Find out about these events and over 170 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events.
- What Is Pollination? [Ages 7+]
- Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive [Ages 11+]
- The Backyard Beekeeper – Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden
- Charged Up: The Story of Electricity (Science Works) [Ages 5+]
- Batteries, Bulbs, and Wires (Young Discoverers: Science Facts and Experiments) [Ages 7+]
- Pinewood Derby Speed Secrets: Design and Build the Ultimate Car
- Franklin’s Soapbox Derby (Kids Can Read)[Ages 6+]
- Scientific Explorer’s Mind Blowing Science Kit for Young Scientists [KIT]
- The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You! (Everything Kids Series) [Ages 8+]