Suggested Events for August 31st-September 6th, 2013

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

Enjoy a community meal this weekend in the Hilltowns! The 43rd Annual Plainfield Firefighter’s Barbecue is on Sunday, Sept 1st behind the Shaw Memorial Library. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up in September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

BULLETIN BOARD

Begins Sep 4

The Center School‘s new pilot preschool has two openings available (start date, Sept 4) in Greenfield. One opening is full week, full time. The other slot is full day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classroom will have six children, aged two to five years. The lead teacher is Amy Jackson. Amy started at the Center School as an intern from Antioch University’s Masters in Education Program. In her time at the school she has served in classrooms, taught in the school’s Afterschool programs, run camps, and run a small daycare program for staff children. Amy is an extraordinarily warm-hearted, energetic, and nurturing teacher. For program information, please email info@centerschool.net or call 413-773-1700 ex1.

Sep 7


JOURNEY, a wordless picture book by local author/illustrator Aaron Becker, celebrates its debut with a behind the scenes look at the book making process this September at the Hope and Feathers gallery in Amherst. Come help kick things off with the artist on Saturday, September 7th from 4-7pm with a wine and cheese affair. The show includes sketches, watercolor tests, book dummies, and final artwork from the New York Times Best Selling picture book. Prints, cards, and signed copies of the book are also for sale. Come see what all the buzz is about! Hope & Feathers is located at 319 Main Street in Amherst. 413-835-0197. A special reading and slide show will precede the event at the Amherst Jones Library at 2pm.

Begins Sep 9

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in our Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to our Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Sep 10

Amherst Montessori School has September openings for children ages 15 months – 3 years in the Toddler or La Casita Spanish Toddler programs. Featuring music, movement, and outdoor play daily in a nurturing, child-centered environment. Full- and part-time schedules available. Scholarships available. Open House on September 10th from 10-11:30am at 27 Pomeroy Lane in Amherst! For more information please call Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at 413-253-3101 or email lmiller@amherstmontessori.org.

Begins Sep 13

Prenatal Yoga Class in Northampton starts Sept 13th. Courtney Hill Wulsin will be teaching a Prenatal Yoga class on Fridays from 11:30-12:30 at the Hampshire Regional YMCA. Free for members and only $10 drop-in for non-members. No yoga experience necessary and all stages of pregnancy welcome. In addition to being a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Courtney is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist specializing in Women’s Health and the birthing year. She is also a trained Birth and Postpartum Doula. This class is ongoing and anyone is welcome to drop in without registration at any time. Mats and props are provided. If you have any questions you can call 413-303-1246 or visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com.

Sep 21

POSTPONED – BENEFIT CONCERT: The Connecticut River Watershed Council presents “Source to Sea with Robin & Linda Williams,” a benefit concert to support the 17th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup. Featuring Robin and Linda Williams and their Fine Group of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion playing “a robust blend of bluegrass, folk and acoustic country” music. Pat and Tex LaMountain of Greenfield will open. Saturday, September 21, 7:30pm at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls, MA. Tickets $15 all seats, for sale at World Eye Books, Mocha Maya’s and Boswell’s Books, online at www.ctriver.org/news-events/concert or by phone at 1-800-838-3006. – POSTPONED

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: On Sunday, Sept 29 from 1-4pm, the Hilltown Village will offer a free volunteer training at the Village Congregational Church, 32 Main St. in Cummington. Hilltown Village prepares volunteers to provide weekly home visits during the first 3 months after a baby is born. A family is matched with a volunteer who visits the family home on a weekly basis. Home visits may include preparing meals, washing dishes, providing companionship, playing with older children, and helping in other ways that a good neighbor or extended family might. Train to be a volunteer. For more info contact Anna Westley, Family & Volunteer Coordinator, at 413-625-6948 or Anna@MotherwellDoulaCare.com. www.itavillage.info. Funded by the United Way of Hampshire County.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 31st – September 6th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

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.

7-11am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer with West Springfield’s Friends of Park and Rec painting the backstop at Memorial School Field. Bring a 2 inch paint brush, bug spray, sunscreen, cold drink, and a ladder.  About 60% of this project involves climbing a ladder, but they will have work for those who prefer to stay on the ground. Great volunteer opportunity for teens. Extra equipment available if needed. 413- 736-3878. 201 Norman Street. West Springfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

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. This week on the Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS) Joanie Leeds guest DJs our Back to School Episode.  Joanie has hand picked all of the school themed songs including a few from her new CD, “Bandwagon.” - Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 6 years of archived shows.

ALL DAY – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Three County Fair is back this year, with tons of fun attractions!  There will be rides, games, a demolition derby, a petting zoo, live music, kids activities, jousting, magic, and more.  413-584-2237.  Fair Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

8am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Come out to Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center for a volunteer work day.  Tamarack Hollow is a newly-formed non-profit and needs help clearing land and trails so they can build their center in the near future.  413-522-1505.  1515 Savoy Hollow Road.  Windsor, MA.  (FREE)

8am-9pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Blandford Fair continues today and features exhibits, an art show and sale, an exhibit by the Blandford Historical Society, a petting zoo, Massachusetts State Police K9 demo, animal displays, live music, “Rosie’s Racing Pigs,” and more!  413-848-0995.  10 North Street.  Blandford, MA.  $

10am – CULINARY ARTS: Kids can learn to cook at the Berkshire Co-Op Market!  Learn to make squash roll-ups with fresh herbs and ricotta cheese.  This recipe is delicious and helps kids learn about local foods and when certain foods are in season.  Please sign up in advance by phone or at the front desk.  413-528-9697 x10.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

10am-2pm – ART: Stop by the Clark Art Institute for an all-ages watercolor workshop.  Open to people with all skill levels, this workshop helps you learn the art of watercolor painting while translating the natural beauty of the Clark onto paper.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

1pm & 2pm – HISTORY: Visit the Ashley House, an 18th-century farmstead that was home to Elizabeth Freeman and the Ashley Family.  On this guided tour, you will learn about Freeman’s fight for freedom as a slave in Massachusetts and about the Ashley Family’s holdings in the area and the village of Ashley Falls.   413-298-3239 x3013.  117 Cooper Hill Road.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

1pm-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: What was it like crossing the Connecticut River before the construction of our modern bridges?  Learn about the history of local bridges and the difficulties associated with building them while riding around Turners Falls and Montague City on a leisurely bike tour with the Great Falls Discovery Center.  This is a fun and engaging way to learn local history by exploring our towns and villages.  Bring a bike and helmet.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

12:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: It’s chow time at the Berkshire Museum!  Come watch museum staff some of the aquarium’s most exciting residents.  Free with museum admission.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $

7pm – CONCERT: Join Elmer’s Store for a reggae concert featuring Soul Prophet and the Faithless Few (Bryan E. House, Duane Scott, at Noel/Soul Prophet).  They will play reggae, Americana, acoustic pop, folk, and blues.  Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy reggae music performed by some local favorites.  Come to Elmer’s at 5 for dinner.  Concert is free and begins at 7.  413-628-4003.  396 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)  

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum is screening This is Martin Bonner (2013; not rated).  This Sundance Award-winning film is about an unlikely friendship between two men, one who works as a volunteer to help ex-prisoners transition back into the world, and the other who was just released after 12 years in jail.  Make date night a little more interesting by seeing this award-winning film!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $  

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Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Download a Kindness Calendar for the month of September.

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. commercial-free family radio. 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 6 years of archived shows.

8am-9pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Blandford Fair continues today and features exhibits, an art show and sale, an exhibit by the Blandford Historical Society, a petting zoo, animal displays, live music, “Rosie’s Racing Pigs,” and more!  413-848-0995.  10 North Street.  Blandford, MA.  $

8:30am-9:30am – NATURE STUDIES/LOCAL HISTORY: The Great Falls Discovery Center is hosting a canal-side nature walk.  Participants can gain a deeper understanding of local history and ecology by exploring the Turners Falls Canal and learning about plants, animals, and cultural or industrial history.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

ALL DAY – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Three County Fair is back this year, with tons of fun attractions!  There will be rides, games, a demolition derby, a petting zoo, live music, kids activities, jousting, magic, and more.  413-584-2237.  Fair Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Mike’s Maze is open through October 31st. A great family activity for fall fun!  The Maze is known for its interesting and elaborate designs – this year’s maze is the face of Salvador Dalí.  The Maze is eight acres and will provide tons of entertainment as you try to find your way out.  23 South Main Street.  Sunderland, MA.  $

11am, 12noon, & 1pm – HISTORY: Explore the colonial-era Mission House and learn about the Stockbridge Mohicans and missionary John Sergeant.  View the Munsee-Mohican exhibit and go on a guided tour.  This is a great way to learn some local history while exploring an interesting historic landmark.  Every Saturday and Sunday until September 2.  413-298-3239 x3013.  19 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

11am-12noon – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: Join Marafanyi Drum, Dance, and Song at the Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock for a family drum workshop!  This interactive workshop is for kids and adults of all ages and will teach about West African drumming, music, and dance.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  $10 per family.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Adams, MA.  >$

1pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The 43rd Annual Plainfield Firefighter’s Barbecue is today!  For 43 consecutive years, the Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department has held a chicken barbecue to support the fire and EMS departments.  Coinciding with the barbecue will be the Shaw Memorial Library book sale, ArtsFeast (local arts and crafts), the 36th Annual Plainfield Road Race, a silent auction, a tag sale, and a bake sale.  This event is very popular, so please purchase tickets in advance.  Event takes place behind the Shaw Memorial Library.  Tickets available at Public Safety Complex on North Central Street or from any firefighter or EMT.  Main Street.  Plainfield, MA.  $

1pm & 2pm – HISTORY: Visit the Ashley House, an 18th-century farmstead that was home to Elizabeth Freeman and the Ashley Family.  On this guided tour, you will learn about Freeman’s fight for freedom as a slave in Massachusetts and about the Ashley Family’s holdings in the area and the village of Ashley Falls.   413-298-3239 x3013.  117 Cooper Hill Road.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

1pm-3:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Keep Homestead Museum and immerse yourself in local history from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The Museum was home to the Keep Family for over 150 years and features furniture, glass, silver, collections of rocks, minerals, and shells, quilts and needlework done by the women in the family, as well as the family’s extensive button collection.  Much of the homestead is in its original state, making it a truly great way to learn about life in the past in Western Massachusetts.  413-267-4137.  35 Ely Road.  Monson, MA.

2pm – OPERA: Enjoy a screening of the opera La Traviata at the Berkshire Museum.  It is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852) by Alexandre Dumas.  This particular performance was directed by Liliana Cavani and conducted by Lorin Maazel.  La Traviata is appropriate for adults or older students with audience skills who are interested in opera or European history.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

6pm-7pm - MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: International performers and teaching artists Lara Gonzalez and Yael Shacham make up Marafanyi Drum, Dance, and Song, a group dedicated to performing traditional West African rhythms and dance through original songs and spoken word performances.  This free performance atop Mt. Greylock at the Bascom Lodge will entertain people of all ages and allow them to experience music from other cultures.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum is screening This is Martin Bonner (2013; not rated).  This Sundance Award-winning film is about an unlikely friendship between two men, one who works as a volunteer to help ex-prisoners transition back into the world, and the other who was just released after 12 years in jail.  Make date night a little more interesting by seeing this award-winning film!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $

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Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

ALL DAY – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Three County Fair is back this year, with tons of fun attractions!  There will be rides, games, a demolition derby, a petting zoo, live music, kids activities, jousting, magic, and more.  413-584-2237.  Fair Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

9am-6pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Blandford Fair continues today and features exhibits, an art show and sale, an exhibit by the Blandford Historical Society, a petting zoo, animal displays, live music, “Rosie’s Racing Pigs,” and more!  413-848-0995.  10 North Street.  Blandford, MA.  $

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Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Children ages 3-6 and their parents are invited to the Great Falls Discovery Center’s Kidleidoscope event!  Kidleidoscope focuses on teaching young children about the natural world using the theme “we share our home.”  Activities include stories, interactive games, and crafts.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

7-8:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Explore the Beaver Ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  Sanctuary volunteer Butch Ptak will lead the expedition, and visitors will learn not only about the habits of beavers, but about the various types of wildlife who congregate at beaver ponds and the long-lasting effect that beaver ponds have upon habitats.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  ($)

7pm – OPERA: Enjoy a screening of the opera La Traviata at the Berkshire Museum.  It is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852) by Alexandre Dumas.  This particular performance was directed by Liliana Cavani and conducted by Lorin Maazel.  La Traviata is appropriate for adults or older students with audience skills who are interested in opera or European history.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $

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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

2pm – SCRABBLE: Word-lovers of all ages are invited to the East Springfield Branch Library for a game of Scrabble!  Bring a bagged lunch and make new friends of all ages while improving your Scrabble skills.  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA. (FREE)

6pm- LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the history of the charcoal industry atop Mt. Greylock at this special presentation by Shirley Sutton.  The presentation will go into the history of charcoal, the process of wood distillation, and the effects of charcoal on ecology and industry in the area.  Visitors will also learn about the uses of charcoal today and how the industry has changed over time.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Swift River Valley Historical Society presents “The Valley Before the Quabbin,” a lecture by J.R. Greene, who has written 12 books on the Quabbin and the towns that were destroyed in order to create it.  The lecture will focus on the history of the towns and the region before the creation of the Reservoir.  Greene is an expert on the subject and the lecture will educate you on this interesting and important piece of the state’s history.  Donations accepted.  978-544-6882.  40 Elm Street.  New Salem, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – HISTORY/SCIENCE FICTION: Learn about the fascinating world of steampunk at “Victorian Technology and the Steampunk Vision” with authors Jennifer Eifrig and Bruce Hesselbach at the Coolidge Museum in the Forbes Library.  Eifrig will discuss real Victorian technology, while Hesselbach will discuss how steampunk authors have adapted this technology using their imaginations.  They will also discuss the future of steampunk and what other fields can be explored through the genre.  413-587-1017.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 10am – HIKING: Mount Greylock State Reservation’s Nice and Easy Hikes are geared toward seniors but are open to all ages.  Explore the Reservation while learning about things like plants, animals, and natural history.  Call for meeting place info.  Runs until October 16.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come to the Mason Square Branch Library for storytime, songs, and crafts.  For ages 3-8.  413-263-6853.  765 State Street.  Springfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers and their caregivers can come to storytime at the Dickinson Memorial Library every Wednesday for stories, music, movement, and crafts. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 1pm-4pm – HIKING: Explore Mt. Greylock’s exciting and hidden features and learn all about the mountain in the process.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for older students and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, September 5th, 2013

11am-1pm - JEWISH STUDIES: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy is holding a special Rosh Hashanah kids program on 9/5 and 9/6, including a shofar blowing at 11:30am.  All are welcome.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  

3pm-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Franklin County Fair begins today!  This is the Fair’s 165th year, and it features live music, rides, games, racing pigs, frisbee dogs, horses, truck pulls, a demolition derby, a firefighter’s parade and muster, agricultural exhibits and competitions, a midway, and so much more!  There will be activities and entertainment for the whole family.  413-774-4282.  89 Wisdom Way.  Greenfield, MA.  $

5pm - PARADE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Franklin County Fair’s annual kick-off parade takes place today and goes through downtown Greenfield all the way to the fairgrounds.  The parade is an exciting chance to see all those involved in the fair together as they march through town.  413-774-4282.  Downtown/89 Wisdom Way.  Greenfield, MA.

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9:45am-10:45am – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum offers weekly arts and crafts activities for kids. The theme changes each week, but the activity is always fun, educational, and often connected to other things at the museum. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA.
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 2pm – HISTORY/GARDENING: Enjoy a tour of the Mission House’s Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and learn about their historical significance.  The tour is followed by croquet on Oak Lawn at 3pm.  Every Thursday until September 26.  413-298-3239 x3013.  19 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$
  • 2pm-2:45pm – HISTORY: Kids and their families are invited to tour Naumkeag and 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!  Runs every Thursday until October 10.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Explore Naumkeag at night every Thursday until the end of September!  These events feature live music, tours, speakers, a cash bar, and more.  413-298-8138.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $

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Friday, September 6th, 2013

11am-1pm – JEWISH STUDIES: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy is holding a special Rosh Hashanah kids program on 9/5 and 9/6, including a shofar blowing at 11:30am.  All are welcome.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  

12noon-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Franklin County Fair continues today!  This is the Fair’s 165th year, and it features live music, rides, games, racing pigs, frisbee dogs, horses, truck pulls, a demolition derby, a firefighter’s parade and muster, agricultural exhibits and competitions, a midway, and so much more!  There will be activities and entertainment for the whole family.  413-774-4282.  89 Wisdom Way.  Greenfield, MA.  $

2pm-3pm – HISTORY/FURNITURE: Discover early American furniture at Historic Deerfield at one of their Focus Fridays events.  This week, a knowledgeable guide will discuss a piece of furniture in the museum’s collection, explaining its history, meaning, the process of crafting the piece, and more.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $

2:30pm-3:30pm – ART HISTORY: Norman Rockwell was one of the most well-known and prolific artists of the 20th Century.  He based many of his paintings on current events and relied heavily on the use of models for his works.  You can see some of these models as they discuss their experiences and Rockwell’s art at the Norman Rockwell Museum.  Free with museum admission.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$

3:30pm-4:30pm – CHESS: Kids ages 7 and up can come to the West Springfield Public Library to improve their chess skills by playing against other kids.  This is a great way to make new friends while working your way up to becoming a chess master!  413-736-4561 x3.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.

4pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Smith College Museum of Art’s Second Friday event for the month of September is happening tonight, instead of 9/13.  Second Friday features art-making for kids ages 4 and up, light refreshments, and a gallery talk with Steve Waksman, professor of Music and American Studies at Smith.  This month’s Second Friday art-making relates to the current exhibition, “Summer of Love: Psychedelic Posters from SCMA.”  413-585-2760.  Elm Street at Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5pm-11pm – GREEK FESTIVAL: The Glendi Greek Festival starts today in Springfield!  The celebration features Greek food, dance, music, pastries, theater, and a tour of the St. George Cathedral.  This family-friendly festival celebrates everything about Greek life and culture and it is not to be missed!  Glendi continues on 9/7 and 9/8.  413-737-1496.  22 St. George Road.  Springfield, MA. (>$)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory.  This week, Ed Faits of the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center in Cummington will present “Comets of the Century That Weren’t and Comets That Snuck Up on Us.”  The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome.  If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

10pm – FILM: Late Nights at Amherst Cinema continues tonight with a screening of Space Jam (1996; rated PG).  The film is a comedy from the producers of Ghostbusters.  It stars Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the whole Looney Tunes crew, and follows Michael Jordan as he is recruited to play basketball alongside the Looney Tunes against a group of aliens.  This movie is entertaining for both kids and adults, so kids who are able to stay up late may enjoy attending the movie too!  Tickets and more information can be found here.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  $

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 10am-11:30am – HIKING: Kids 8 and under and their parents or guardians are invited to Mt. Greylock for a “tyke hike.”  Kids can learn about and experience nature and then hear a story.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years.  It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer!  Free with museum admission.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $
  • 1pm-4pm – HIKING: Learn the basics of hiking, reading maps, trail safety, bear etiquette, and more at Mt. Greylock’s “hiking 101” program.  The program is open to all ages and teaches important information for those interested in hiking but who may want to know more before setting out on an adventure.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.

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