Afternoon Tea to Cooking Classes. Ponding to Nature Walks. Cellar Holes to Headstones. Knitting Marathon to Bugaboo Review… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!
Learning Highlights at the Hilltown Spring Festival
The 7th annual Hilltown Spring Festival happens this Saturday, June 1st from 10am-5pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds. In addition to great fun and terrific music on multiple stages, there are always learning opportunities at the Festival! New this year is Joshua Wachtel’s Musical Instrument Petting Zoo. Families can come touch and play a variety of instruments, including a mountain dulcimer, Moroccan bongos, a Turkish banjo called a cumbus, autoharp, flutes and many others, including Sir Planks-a-lot (a man-sized xylophone made of 2x4s!). Other learning highlights include four different music workshops, including a couple of interactive intergenerational workshops! Aimee Gelinas will lead a West African and Caribbean percussion & song workshop, and Tony Vacca leads a world music percussion workshop. All of this and so much more, like the Kids-Made Craft Bazaar where youth get to participate directly in the Festival, giving them some real-world experience showing and selling their work. Find out more about the 7th annual Hilltown Spring Festival.
Culinary Arts ♦ History ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Etiquette ♦ National Trails Day ♦ Community Service ♦ Science ♦ Bugs & Birds ♦ Parent Workshops ♦ Parents’ Night Out
Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield offers a Kids Cooking class on Saturday morning, June 1st, for children to experience the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into various dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen will follow the class. Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts!
Interested in learning what foods comprised the diet of a New England colonists and how they prepared their food without the modern day luxury of gas stoves, running water and microwave ovens? Bring the families and come to Historic Deerfield, an authentic 18th-century English settlement, for open hearth cooking demonstrations on Saturday. This month’s theme is “Spring Brings Fresh Food.” Families can watch open hearth cooking demonstrations using traditional seasonal foods that the fed the colonists, such as milk, eggs, berries, and asparagus. These reenactments of colonial cooking teaches about settler history as well as culinary arts.
The history of Pelham can be told through its many graveyards and burial grounds! On Saturday morning, June 1st, older students are welcome to join the Pelham Historical Society for a cemetery tour of the town’s 18th and 19th Century burial grounds, including Pelham’s oldest cemetery, set aside in 1739. The tour will last roughly three hours and will give participants a guided opportunity to learn about the history of Pelham ancestors through primary sources.
Older students and adults are invited to join the Wistariahurst Museum and local historian Craig Della Penna for a bicycle tour of Holyoke’s mills and canals on Saturday late morning. Teens and their parents can spend quality time together while learning local history and developing a greater sense of place by becoming better acquainted with the history and current landscape of this first planned industrial community in the U.S.
The history of transportation gives a unique insight into the history of our country. Come to Old Sturbridge Village this weekend for their antique car show as part of their Historic Transportation Weekend! Over 50 pre-1946 automobiles will be on display and there will be a procession of these cars at 3:30pm. Learning about history through the lens of transportation is interesting and can supplement history curriculum.
The Great Falls Discovery Center is hosting a free guided canal-side nature walk on Sunday morning, June 2nd. Participants can gain a deeper understanding of local history and ecology by taking a guided walk down the canal-side trail/bike path to inspect the skeletons of the cutlery and paper industries of Turners Falls while learning about the history of the industries, what the canal was used for, and the history of the first dam built on the Connecticut River.
Families can observe birds, plants, insects, and wildlife as we transition from spring into summer during a guided Spring Nature Walk with local naturalist Doug Guyett on Saturday morning, June 1st at West Springfield’s Mittineague Park. Another Saturday morning hike will be at Warner Farm in Cummington, hosted by the Hilltown Land Trust. Both walks are appropriate for all ages and are free.
If you’re interested in ponding, join naturalist Kevin Kopchynski for a morning of pond exploration and education at Peaked Mountain on Saturday in Monson! All ages are welcome to come learn about aquatic insects, beavers, frogs, and more.
Saturday is Family Fish Day at Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls. Here kids of all ages can learn about the Connecticut River watershed and the fish that live there. Activities include learning the basics of fly fishing, doing fish-related craft projects, learning about aquatic insects, participating in raffles, playing fishing games, and seeing a live sturgeon exhibit. Then later in the week on Tuesday morning, June 4th, the center hosts Kidleidoscope, and event which focuses on teaching young children about the natural world using the theme “we share our home.” Activities include stories, interactive games, and crafts. Both events are free.
Kids eating like barn animals at the dinner table? Bring them to the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke for a Sunday afternoon of tea with their favorite doll on June 2nd! Guests are encouraged to wear hats and white gloves and to come prepared to learn etiquette and manners, make dress up place cards like those from the 1920s, and learn to write thank you notes. This is a chance to learn about the history of the Skinner House and how the families there lived in the past – including manners and etiquette! Best for ages 5-15.
Saturday, June 1st, is National Trails Day! Join the Kestrel Land Trust and the Leverett Trails Committee for a morning walk, exploring the newly-completed East Leverett Trail System while observing forest, wetland, pond, and meadow habitats. This is fun for all ages and participants can learn about these local nature spots while enjoying what could be a new favorite trail! Free event in Leverett.
Do you want to learn about what makes a river healthy? On Saturday morning in Chester, join the Wild and Scenic Westfield River for “Walkin’ in the Watershed” — a training workshop for those interested in what it takes to adopt a segment of the Westfield River and how to keep it healthy.
National Trails Day Hike happens at Mount Greylock State Reservation in Laneborough on Saturday morning too. Join a DCR Park Interpreter for an easy- paced, two-hour, three-mile hike between Jones Nose and Rounds Rock. May include tree and plant identification, birding and local history, depending on the interests of the hikers.
Continue to Celebrate National Trails Day on Sunday morning, June 2nd, and go for a ghost town hike through Tamarack Hollow and Windsor State Forest. Learn about local history by exploring 19th Century cellar holes, stone walls, an old dairy farm, and what’s left of the Babbitt Axe factory. Best for adults and children 8 and over. Windsor, MA.
The Storrs Library in Longmeadow is holding a knitting marathon to benefit Rays of Hope Pink Scarf Project, which supports breast cancer survivors in the community. Participants will be knitting scarves all day on Wednesday, June 5th, to be distributed to cancer survivors who take part in the Springfield Rays of Hope Walk and Run. This is an opportunity for young knitters to improve their skills while participating in intergenerational service-based learning.
CET’s Junior Solar Sprint takes place at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield on Saturday, June 1st. The JSS is part of a national program in which middle school students design, build and race model cars powered by the sun. They are encouraged to integrate math, science and technology principles with their creativity in a fun hands-on educational program that stimulates enthusiasm for science at a crucial stage in their education.Teams are recognized for excellence in craftsmanship, technical merit, innovation and performance, as well as best use of recycled materials.
Want to learn about summer sky gazing? Keep Homestead Museum in Monson hosts astronomer Jack Megas on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. Families can learn about the summer sky and how to best observe it.
Join Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre for the Bugaboo Review at Shutesbury Town Hall on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd. This puppet show is all about bugs and the many special jobs that each one has to help keep our gardens growing and keep the soil healthy. Best for kids age 2-8, this show teaches the importance of insects, organic gardening, and why we should keep bugs alive.
Goshen Women’s Club presents Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey at the Goshen Town Hall on Tuesday evening, June 4th. Meet live raptors and to learn about their adaptations and roles in the local ecosystem. Free.
Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield offers free literacy programs for parents and children. These sessions help parents help their children develop early literacy practices: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. Fun with Science & Math happens on Tuesday afternoon, June 4th, and a Parent Workshop with a separate programming for kids happens on Tuesday, June 25th.
Avoid Summer Brain Drain with Meagan Lendendecker from the Montessori School of the Berkshires at the CHP campus in Great Barrington on Tuesday evening. With the summer months approaching, we could all use a little inspiration for how to keep our kids entertained and engaged. Explore ways to cultivate your child’s social-emotional skills, intellectual clarity, and intrinsic motivation, all through the process of play! Free.
Free early literacy workshop designed for guardians and volunteers in literacy programs will be held at Berkshire County Head Start in Pittsfield on Wednesday evening, June 5th and Thursday morning, June 6th. Join authors, Susan Marx and Barbara Kasok of “The Practical Guide for Reading Aloud to Children During Their First Five Years” to learn how to raise reading-ready children who love books & learning by demonstrating how to use parenting & reading strategies to read aloud effectively to young children.
On Saturday evening in Pittsfield, the Berkshire Theatre Group is holding a benefit jazz concert at the Colonial Theatre for Community Resources for People with Autism, featuring Sherri James Buxton, the Bob Shepherd Trio, Charles Neville, and Paul Green. This event is a wonderful opportunity to see live jazz music and to support a local organization dedicated to providing resources for individuals with autism.
Join the Springfield Museums on Thursday evening, June 6th, for their final Culture & Cocktails event of the season. Attendees can walk around, view Patrick Dougherty’s “Stickwork” exhibit, watch a planetarium show, go to the Museum Gift Shop, and even see the Science Museum’s new butterfly exhibit.
Find out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.