27 Community Highlights: Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Pollinators to Raptors.

Frog at the Westfield RiverIce Cream Socials to Intergenerational Hikes.  Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Herpetology to Lepidoptera. Susan B. Anthony to Virginia Lee Burton. … 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!

Featured learning highlight this week explores river critters at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield! Discover the creatures that live in and around the river with naturalist Aimee Gelinas and the Trustees of Reservations on Saturday, July 27th. See if you can spot a red newt or how to tell the difference between a frog and a toad. This free intergenerational event is appropriate for ages 5 and older. The hike is easy and time will be spent in the river with nets exploring, so come prepared to get wet!


Community Service Animal & Insect StudiesNature Studies Museum AdventuresHistoryMusic StudiesOrnithology


COMMUNITY SERVICE

Gather the whole family for one of Berkshire Environmental Action Team’s Housatonic River Cleanups on Saturday, July 27th in Pittsfield! Spend quality time together while participating in community service, learning about a local watershed, and volunteering to do good for both the river and its surrounding human and nonhuman communities.

Celebrate the Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s newest trail at Yokun Ridge Reserve – Brothers Trail. Come by the Reserve in Lenox on Saturday for a day of trail work while learning how forest trails are built and maintained. A sandwich lunch will be provided. There is no prior experience needed and all abilities are welcome.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County is hosting their 2nd annual Biking for Buddies fundraising ride on Sunday, July 28th in Gill. Kids and non-cyclists are invited to a ride around the Northfield Mount Hermon School campus. Experienced cyclists are invited to do 10, 15, or 50 mile routes (register by Friday, July 26). This event supports Big Brothers Big Sisters and helps encourage intergenerational bonding, fundraising, and outdoor activities.

Art Picnic is a two-week community arts project intended to beautify Springfield, and it begins on Monday, July 29th at the Springfield Museums and runs until August 9. Artists and art students have design and will decorate picnic tables to be placed around Springfield. Visitors to the Museums can see the project in action and learn about this interesting and fun community service project, as well as learn about how artists work and the process of art-making. The tables will be unveiled at a community picnic at the Museums on August 10, so mark your calendars!

This week start thinking about cycling towards a hunger-free community this September! Will Bike 4 Food is a bike ride fundraiser in Hatfield for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, offering varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual, family or form a team. Early bird registration is happening now!

ANIMAL & INSECT STUDIES

Contribute to Project Native’s Butterfly House by attending a Summer Butterfly Safari on Saturday morning, July 27th in Housatonic! Walk the grounds looking for butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs to relocate to the Butterfly House. Learn more about Lepidoptera by gaining skill in finding and even identifying butterflies and by learning to identify host plants.

Join the Trustees of Reservations for an exciting herpetology walk with 13-year-old Eugene Dolan on Saturday morning! The walk is part of their Young Naturalist Walking Series, and Eugene will introduce you to reptiles and amphibians around Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield.  Bring your younger kids and let a slightly older role model help them discover a love for herpetology!

Magic Wings in South Deerfield is an excellent retreat on a rainy day, or the perfect supplement to nature studies involving pollinators & butterflies. Younger kids will enjoy their craft events that happen every Sunday afternoon. Pair it with a trip to see the Springfield Museums’ Amazing Butterflies exhibit and a review of our post Monarch Butterflies: The Life & Science for a well-rounded educational experience for all ages.

Join naturalist Lisa Provencher at the Bascom Lodge in Lanesborough on Sunday for an afternoon of bugs, bones, and birds. Families and kids of all ages can go for a walk around Mt. Greylock exploring its flora and fauna while enjoying the mountain’s incredible views.

NATURE STUDIES

Explore the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield and discover the creatures that live in and around the river with naturalist Aimee Gelinas and the Trustees of Reservations on Saturday, July 27th. This free intergenerational event is appropriate for ages 5 and older. The hike is easy and time will be spent in the river, so come prepared to get wet!

On Saturday afternoon, family can investigate the trails surrounding Sheep Hill with the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation. Fitch Trail is just above Sheep Hill and has hemlock groves, ferns, and a stand of old growth maples! Explore the beauty of Fitch Trail on this free moderate hike, which is appropriate for all ages.

The Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls is holding a free Habitat Highlights Museum Tour on Sunday afternoon, July 28th, to teach families about the many different habitats along the Connecticut River. In order to do so, museum staff will lead a guided tour of the Center’s many dioramas of bogs, estuaries, floodplains, and more. If you can’t make it on Sunday, every Friday the Center has extend summer hours until 8pm.  Come after work! The Center is a great place to learn about the history and ecology of the Connecticut River watershed.

MUSEUM ADVENTURES

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Stone Hill Center on Saturday afternoon, July 27th with a free event. Families are invited to explore the Center, tour the Kidspace exhibition Lions, and Tigers, and Museums, Oh My!, and to build their own fairy houses in the woods. There will also be a cookout and free cake and ice cream! Explore the museum and grounds and celebrate one of the Berkshires’ architectural gems.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded to distinguished picture books for children, and this year the Medal celebrates 75 years! In honor of this, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst offers a tour on Saturday afternoon of their exhibit, The Caldecott Medal: 75 Years of Distinguished Illustration. Guest curator and author of Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art, Barbara Elleman. Elleman will be joined by filmmaker and Gloucester resident Christine Lundberg, who will talk about her film, Virginia Lee Burton: A Sense of Place. Best for older students interested in the art and history of picture books.

Enjoy a special evening for families on Saturday at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. Held in conjunction with their exhibit, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic, “An Enchanted Evening for Families” features dancing, an ice cream social, and live music performed by The Limb Shakers. Bring a picnic dinner or buy dinner at the museum cafe and make a night of it. This is a fun way for families to spend time together while engaging in art and celebrating a classic Disney favorite.  If you can’t make the Saturday event, come back on Wednesday morning to explore the Museum and create art with your child (age 4 and up) at their weekly parent-child program. Wander the galleries, teach your child about art, and then make some of your own by collaborating with your child on an art piece!

Stop by the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum on any Monday afternoon this summer and learn about historical trolleys, play with trains, examine trolley-related photos and artifacts, and even ride in the Museum’s antique trolly!

MASS MoCA in North Adams is holding Boredom Buster art classes for kids ages 5-12 in conjunction with Kidspace’s Words and Images project, Wednesday-Friday mornings this summer. Each week will focus on a different word to get kids’ minds off the thought of boredom! Example words include gooey, magical, windy, and others.

As part of their Summer Spectacular, the Springfield Museums will have a children’s performance every Wednesday-Friday afternoon this summer. Performances include puppets, marionettes, juggling, magic, stories, music, animal shows, and more!  While there be sure to check out the Amazing Butterflies exhibit! If you go on a Thursday, the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts has extended hours with the Blake House Cafe open for dinner!

Visit Historic Deerfield any weekday afternoon this summer and stop by their daily folk art studio! Explore folk art throughout the village and then make your own art in the studio. Folk art is interesting because it is created by incredibly creative and imaginative, yet untrained, people. Because it is made by ordinary people, it is an excellent way to look into the past and gain a deeper understanding of everyday activities in historic New England!

HISTORY

On Saturday afternoon, July 27th, learn about what life was like for a young Susan B. Anthony at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in North Adams. Performed by local children and adults, this free production will take you through a typical day of Susan B. Anthony as a six year old in the Berkshires and teach local history and what North Adams was like in the 1820s.

In honor of the 2,500 residents that were displaced and the four towns that were flooded in order to create the Quabbin Reservoir 75 years ago, the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem is hosting an ice cream social and offering free admission to their museum on Sunday afternoon, July 28th. Visitors can bring picnic food and blankets and lounge around the museum grounds while enjoying ice cream and recognizing an interesting bit of Western MA history. Interested in learning more about creation of the Quabbin Reservoir, check out this Literary Guide for Jane Yolen’s “Letting Swift River Go”.

On Wednesday evening, July 31st, in West Springfield, learn how the Civil War impacted the northeast and northern attitudes at Storrowtown Village. Meet townspeople and hear their opinions on the war, slavery, the current economy, and other topics. You will also learn about the role women played in the war. This exciting storytelling event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Due to mature subject matter, this event is appropriate for older students and adults.

Kids and their families are invited to tour Naumkeag in Stockbridge on Thursday afternoon, August 1st, to explore the Gilded Age Mansion’s many rooms through the eyes of those who lived there. This is a fun way for kids to learn about this historical site and local history in the Berkshires!

MUSIC STUDIES

On Sunday evening, July 28th, at the Bascom Lodge in Lanesborough, Tomás Murmis will take visitors through the many different musical landscapes of South America, specifically Argentinian folk music. This free musical event is appropriate for all ages and is a great way to learn about music from other cultures.

Learn about world drumming, songs, and stories at the Hatfield Public Library on Tuesday morning, July 30th, with renowned drummer Otha Day. Day will facilitate a drum and rhythm circle at the Library at this free event.

ORNITHOLOGY

Wingmasters, a local raptor rescue and rehabilitation group, will hold an educational raptor event at the Leverett Library on Tuesday evening, July 30th. Families will learn about owls, eagles, and other birds of prey, and Wingmasters will bring several birds with them to the event. This is a free educational opportunity for the whole family that gives you the chance to see some of these exciting birds up close!

The Worthington Library is holding an educational birds of prey free event with Tom Ricardi on Thursday morning, August 1st. Ricardi will teach about different kinds of raptors, their adaptations, and the environments they thrive in. Different rehabilitated birds will be onsite as part of the event. Bring the family to see some of these magnificent birds up close!

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 150 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.

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