Giveaway: Top 11 Family Music CD Releases from 2012

Music Collection Giveaway:
Top 11 Family Music CD Releases from 2012

We’re giving away an amazing CD collection of our top 11 family albums released this past year. Find out how you can enter to win this entire collection below. Deadline to enter is: Jan 19, 2013 by 11:59pm (EST).

Last month the winners of the Fids & Kamily Music Awards were announced, with a stellar list of new CDs released this past year!

Launched in 2006 and inspired by the Village Voice’s long-running “Pazz and Jop” music poll, the Fids & Kamily Music Awards poll is the first compilation of year-end kids and family music “best of” lists from critics, writers, radio programmers, and others involved in the music industry. Fifteen favorites are selected from outstanding releases, along with five honorable mentions, including kids and family albums from mainstream/adult artists, seasoned kindie artists and some fantastic newcomers!

For the sixth year in a row, Hilltown Families has participated as a judge for the Fids & Kamily Music Awards.  Check out the winners at www.fidsandkamily.com and be sure to add some of these winners to your family music collection.

To start off the new year, Hilltown Families is giving away a collection of eleven CDs of family music released this past year.  Several are winners of the Fids & Kamily Music Awards, and several others are releases we voted for and think are a must for your family music collection! Find out how you can enter to win this entire collection below.  Deadline to enter is: Jan 19, 2013 by 11:59pm (EST).

Can You Canoe? — The Okee Dokee Brothers

Vote as the best family album of the year in the 2012 Fids & Kamily Music Awards, this album highlights a month-long journey Joe and Justin of The Okee Dokee Brothers spent traveling down the Mississippi River.  During their trip they composed songs that make up this award-winning album.  Special guests include Garth Hudson (The Band), Elizabeth Mitchell (Your Are My Flower) and Morgan Taylor & Rachel Loshak (Gustafer Yellowgold), and includes a DVD with music videos and footage from their trip.  Joe and Justin guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show in June this past year.  Listen to the podcast and check out a few cuts from their new album along with tunes from other artist they selected, and one of their videos: HFVS Guest DJ, Joe & Justin of The Okee Dokee Brothers Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Science Fair Spare the Rock Records

In 2010, in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Spare the Rock Records put out the award winning compilation album, Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti, raising over $50,000 for Haitian relief! This past year they did it again with the amazing compilation CD, Science Fair, raising money for Girls Inc.’s work for science education for girls.  Placing second in this year’s Fids & Kamily Music Awards, Science Fair features exclusive tracks from Mates of State, Laura Veirs, Elizabeth Mitchell, Frances England and many others!

Blue Clouds  Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower

Released by Smithsonian Folkway Recordings, Blue Clouds placed fifth this year in the Fids & Kamily Music Awards.  Putting a contemporary touch to traditional folk songs, and using simple arrangements to rework classic rock songs by Bowie, Hendrix, Morrison and others into folks songs, Mitchell has complied a new album that is already a classic!

Mr Diddie Wah Diddie  Randy Kaplan

This past summer Randy Kaplan guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, spinning songs by bluegrass, folk, calypso, and broadway masters, alongside cuts from his new country-blues and ragtime CD, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie.  Placing seventh in the Fids & Kamily Music Awards, Randy Kaplan’s newest CD, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, pays tribute to America’s blues masters on an album with rollicking lyrics the kids will love!  Listen to the podcast and get a glimpse into Randy’s new album and check out his video, “Ice Cream Man Rag.”: HFVS Guest DJ, Randy Kaplan Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Invisible Friends  Dog on Fleas

Ranging in style from Afro-pop to 60′s soul, Tin Pan Alley to bossa nova, Invisible Friends is an album the entire family can enjoy on road trips or Sunday morning PJ dance parties in the kitchen.  Lead singer Dean Jones guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show this summer, pulling together a show that featured a few cuts from Invisible Friends interlaced with music from other kindie and mainstream artists.  Give a listen to the podcast to sample a few songs on this award winning album (ranking eighth on the Fids & Kamily Music Awards!): HFVS Guest DJ, Dean Jones Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Family Values  Charity & the Jamband

We can’t speak highly enough of Charity & the Jamband!  As Hilltown Families number one pick for the year, Family Values is a album that celebrates family and community.  Understanding that all things peaceful must first start in our own hearts and homes before moving out into our community, Charity Kahn has crafted songs that are intelligent and from the heart.  She tells stories set to music that is funky, with grooves and lyrics that talk up to kids and their grown ups!  Charity has guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show many times. This past Thanksgiving, through music and story, Charity explored some of the many things we have to be grateful for in our lives, including songs from this new album.  Give a listen to the podcast anytime: HFVS Thanksgiving Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

Can’t Wait  Grenadilla

“Layered voices textured with Kwela flavored rhythms, up-beat melodies, a touch of Cape Town Jive and a hint of the blues,” is how Grenadilla describes their newest release, Can’t Wait.  This past spring Debbie Lan from Grenadilla guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, putting together a show with music from South Africa, including songs off of this new CD.  Get a glimpse by listening to the podcast: HFVS Music from South Africa with Guest DJ, Debbie Lan (Radio Show/Podcast)

Chocolalala  Mister G

Hilltown Families Contributing Writer, Mister G, put out another excellent CD this year, Chocolalala. This new collection of original bilingual songs spans musical genres… from bossa nova to ska, funk to folk, rap to pop.  Songs that are educational teach young listeners basic concepts while engaging adults with captivating Latin rhythms.  In his monthly vlog on Hilltown Families, “Under the Hat: Independent Music Education,” Mister G goes a step further with his music, taking viewers into the backstory of songs released on this award-winning CD, and insight to the process of music making.  Check out his column to see his vlog: Under the Hat: Independent Music Education.

The Hero in You  Ellis Paul

Known for his deeply felt and socially conscious songwriting, often about heroes, Ellis Paul was inspired by his two daughters to write about people who contributed something to their world.  The result… The Hero in YouHeroes featured on this educational CD include both well known and little know heroes. “These people did amazing things, but they can also inspire young people today to go out and do something out of the ordinary to become the heroes of their own lives,” explains Ellis Paul about this new release.  Last winter Ellis guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, including songs from this new album. Check out the podcast to get a sample of songs: HFVS Guest DJ, Ellis Paul Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Love is a Superpower  Ben Rudnick & Friends

We’ve loved Ben Rudnick & Friends since the beginning!  Hailed as a founding member of the modern family music scene, Ben Rudnick & Friends continues to be a beloved band all family members will enjoy with their tenth release of Love is a Superpower.  The band is good, really good… carving out their own unique music style that blends neo-western swing, bluegrass, folk music and flavors of rock. High quality musicianship seeps out slowly and steadily with each song, mixed with catching lyrics to which Ben Rudnick’s vocals bring wit and charm.  In the late summer, Ben guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, bringing us a show all about love, including cuts off of this new album.  Here’s the podcast and video to get a sample of this new CD: HFVS Love Episode with Guest DJ, Ben Rudnick (Radio Show/Podcast)

Middle of Nowhere  Elska

Receiving an honorable mention in the Fids and Kamily Music Awards, Elska is a newcomer to the kindie music scene.  Elska is a fictional character living on a newly formed Arctic island where explorations are set against playful modern music and the delicate voice of Shelly Wollert.  Songs like “Arctic Fox,” “Midnight Sun in the Arctic,” and “Winter Bear” tell stories of Elska on this new island and what she discovers.

HOW TO WIN

Hilltown Families has been serving Western MA since 2005 as a grassroots communication network! Being able to share community building events, community based educational opportunities, and community service experiences over the years, along with terrific music that brings families and the community together is song, has been a great honor! Share with us your wishes for the next year(s) and be entered to win this fantastic family music collection of 11 CD’s released this past year. To enter for a chance to win simply:

  • POST YOUR WISHES FOR A NEW YEAR AS OUTLINED ABOVE IN THE FIELDS BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • PLEASE CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter for a chance to win is: Jan 19, 2013 by 11:59pm.

GIVEAWAY: Gift Basket from the Old Creamery Co-Op

Old Creamery Co-Op Gift Basket Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win a gift basket from the Old Creamery Co-Op in Cummington, MA (valued at $150).  A great gift for yourself, or someone you love. Deadline to enter to win, Dec. 24th by 12noon.

This fall the Hilltowns became home to another community co-operative grocery store in Western MA: The Old Creamery Co-Op in Cummington, MA!

To celebrate this new beginning, Hilltown Families and the Old Creamery Co-op have partnered up to offer one of our readers a gift basket (valued at $150), abundant with a collection that is representative of what you will find when you visit this Hilltown gem! Details on how you can enter for a chance to win are below!

VISION OF THE OLD CREAMERY

The Old Creamery is a small country store cultivating a big vision: “…to make the world a more just, loving, and environmentally sustainable place, starting in our own neighborhood, through the vehicle of a vibrant, community-oriented retail store.”  Alice Cozzolino and Amy Pulley purchased the Old Creamery in 2000 and have since helped transform it into a vibrant community hub in the heart of the Hilltowns, transitioning to a community owned co-op last month!

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Alice and Karen Doherty, the co-op’s new general manager, have put together a list of great gifts you can find at the Old Creamery Co-op, gifts that reflect the co-op’s values & vision, some of which will be found in our Gift Basket Giveaway:

List of 20 Gifts You Can Find at the Old Creamery Co-op

  1. Two mugs from our crafts gallery and a bag of locally roasted Indigo coffee.
  2. Vermont-made wooden toys from sustainably harvested timber.
  3. Tessier’s maple syrup, in a variety of sizes. The quintessential New England gift!
  4. The book World Enough and Time by local author Christian McEwen.
  5. Les Costes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the richest-flavored, most delicate, buttery olive oil I have ever tasted. For an extraordinary gift, pair it with Eiswein Vinegar with Quince from Germany, unique among the vinegars I’ve tasted.
  6. Nitty Gritty Grain Co. of Vermont bags of regionally grown cornmeal, grains, and flour.
  7. Lotus Foods heirloom rices, supporting farmers from many countries in their efforts to grow delicious and nutritious heirloom varieties using environmentally sustainable growing methods.
  8. Sap House Meadery’s assorted flavors of meads in exquisitely beautiful bottles. I enjoy the aroma as much as the flavor.
  9. Bug Hill Farm Black Currant Cordial to drizzle on ice cream, to mix into seltzer, or flavoring in a cooking sauce.
  10. Faber Castell environmentally sustainable beeswax crayons and colored pencils.
  11. One of many really cool, well-engineered kitchen tools.
  12. Assorted chocolates from all over the world; many are organic and fair trade. Put a selection together in a small basket.
  13. A colorful African Market Basket from Ghana.
  14. Beautiful bamboo kitchen towels and sustainably produced bamboo wooden kitchen spoons and spatulas.
  15. A book about canning, canning jars, labels, and a canning funnel.
  16. Wise Ways locally made herbal medicines, and skin-care and personal-care products with a book on medicinal herbs.
  17. Locally made Ooma Tesoro’s marinara sauce, and other Mediterranean condiments.
  18. Maggie’s socks, from a regionally owned company.
  19. A member-owner share in The Old Creamery Co-op.
  20. And the very last of the old-style Old Creamery T-shirts, sweatshirts, or baby jumpers.

Alice also suggests that folks think about giving nontraditionally this holiday season too! “Give the precious gift of your time,” she suggests. “Offer to accompany your friend/family member on walks in the woods, cook a meal for someone you love, or offer to teach something you know, like knitting, cooking, bicycle maintenance, or furniture repair. Take the time to write a card (make your own or buy one of our many cards by local artists). Invite your gift-recipient to accompany you to one of our many local arts venues (theater, music, dance) or to your favorite restaurant.”

The Old Creamery Co-Op is located on Route 9 in Cummington (445 Berkshire Trail Road). As you approach the Old Creamery’s white turn-of-the-twentieth-century building the first thing you notice is the sizable statue of a cow on the front roof overlooking Route 9. The cow connects us with our roots. In 1886 this building housed the Cummington Cooperative Creamery, the co-op of local dairy farmers. These co-op members brought fresh cream from their farms to be churned into butter here. At its most active, 145 dairies produced 20,000 pounds of butter per month.  Find out more at www.oldcreamery.coop.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a BUCKET LIST of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family this winter, post-holidays (January-March). Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family winter activity in Western MA, and be entered to win a gift basket from the Old Creamery Co-Op (valued at $150), filled with gift quality items and artisanal & local foods you can find at the co-op, including several from the list above. To enter to win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE IN THE FIELDS BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 at 12noon (EST).

Ticket Giveaway: Family 4-Pack to “A Christmas Carol” at The Colonial Theatre

Berkshire Theatre Group’s
7th Annual Community Production of
A Christmas Carol
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA

From December 15-30, 2012, Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and presented for the second time at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA. – Enter for your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to their final performance on Sunday, Dec. 30th at 2pm!

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to see BTG’s 7th annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA!

This community production runs Dec. 15th-30th, and we are giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to see their final performance on Sunday, Dec. 30th at 2pm. Win tickets and surprise your family on Christmas Day with the gift of community theater!  Deadline to enter to win: Monday, Dec. 24th, 2012 by 12noon (EST). More details below.

ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE

Revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is reformed and shown the error of his ways by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience Charles Dickens’ classic story filled with terrific turns and infused with holiday music.

“In 2006, we introduced Berkshire audiences to our production of A Christmas Carol at our Unicorn Theatre,” says BTG Artistic Director, Kate Maguire. “The production instantly became an annual favorite. Last year—we moved to The Colonial Theatre where A Christmas Carol has found a wonderful new home. The Colonial is a perfect setting for this timeless tale about goodness and greed.”

A Christmas Carol runs December 15–30, 2012 at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield with 7:30pm performances Thurs.-Sat., and 2pm performances on Sat. & Sun. (excluding opening night). Before each performance families are invited to arrive early and be treated to a performance by BTG’s Children’s Chorus of holiday music and sing-a-longs in The Garage.

The Colonial Theatre is located at 111 South Street in Pittsfield, MA.  For schedule and ticket information visit www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org or call 413-997-4444.

ABOUT THE COLONIAL THEATRE & BERKSHIRE THEATRE GROUP

The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires.  Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Berkshire County, including The Colonial Theatre. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. For more information on BTF call 413-298-5536 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Berkshire Theatre Group’s 7th annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, at The Colonial Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 30th at 2pm in Pittsfield, MA (valued at $100) is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY   below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 at 12noon (EST).

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Win Tickets to see Jake Shimabukuro at the Calvin Theater

Jake Shimabukuro at the Calvin Theater
Northampton, MA
Saturday, Dec. 1st at 8pm

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For November we are pleased to offer a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to see Jake Shimabukuro. at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Saturday, December 1st, 2012.

Win tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, 11/27/12  by 11:59pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT JAKE SHIMABUKURO

Jake Shimabukuro (photo credit: Merri Cyr)

In his young career, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro has already redefined a heretofore under-the-radar instrument, been declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone, won accolades from the disparate likes of Eddie Vedder, Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wowed audiences on TV (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan), earned comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and even played in front of the Queen of England.

With his new record Grand Ukulele, Shimabukuro’s star may burn even brighter. An ambitious follow-up to 2011’s Peace, Love, Ukulele (which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Charts), the Hawaiian musician’s new record finds him collaborating with legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and his own highly successful solo project.  Parsons ended up helping Shimabukuro expand his sound, bringing in a 29-piece orchestra and a big-name rhythm section, including drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto), session superstar bassist Randy Tico and Kip Winger (Winger, Alice Cooper), who helped with the orchestration.

Discover more about Jake Shimabukuro at www.jakeshimabukuro.com.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to see Jake Shimabukuro at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Saturday, December 1st, 2012, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! To win simply:

  1. SHARE YOU FAVORITE COMMUNITY HOLIDAY EVENT IN WESTERN MA below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 11/27/12  by 11:59pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

Creative Free Play: Enter to Win a Handmade Dollhouse & Accessories

Enter to Win a Handmade Dollhouse & Accessories
from the Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair
November 3rd, 2012

Enter to win this handmade dollhouse for hours of creative free play! Comes with handmade accessories, decorated for the holidays. Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 11/1 by midnight!

Hilltown Families is a proud co-sponsor of the 3rd Annual Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair happening on Saturday, November 3rd from 10am-3pm at the Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington, MA.  The holiday fair features local, handmade, creative free play gifts and benefits the Cummington Family Center.

At the Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair, this featured dollhouse will be raffled off, along with an array of  accessories handmade by local crafters… and Hilltown Families is submitting 50 entries to the raffle!  You can be one of these entries and possibly win this dollhouse and handmade accessories!  If you don’t have young kids, it would make a terrific gift, or a great donation to your local library children’s department or preschool! – Details on how to enter to win are below.  Deadline to enter is: Thursday, November 1st by 11:59pm (EST).  Limited to the first 50 entries… but we must receive at least 50 entries for the lot to be submitted (so tell your friends!).

ABOUT THE DOLLHOUSE

This dollhouse is hand-painted and decorated for the holidays with a felt holiday tree with tree skirt and presents, and a large decorated wreath on front the front door.  Local crafters are donating handmade accessories to fill the house.  Accessories are still coming in with many surprises, including a family of four wooden peg people (mama, papa, brother and baby sister), a family pet, kitchen table with chairs, family portrait, silhouette portraits, and curtains, buntings & rugs (including a runner for the stairs).  Standing 2 feet high and nearly 2 feet wide, this dollhouse would be an impressive delight to any child(ren) for hours of creative free play!

ABOUT THE HANDMADE FOR KIDS HOLIDAY FAIR

3rd Annual Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair happens on Saturday, November 3rd from 10am-3pm at the Berkshire Trails Elementary School in Cummington, MA.

In it’s third year, the Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair is the Cummington Family Center’s annual fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for community members to find commercial-free handmade items, many supporting creative free play.  The fair features local vendors selling clothing, toys, costumes, decor and much more for children of all ages. This is a family-friendly event with eco-crafts for kids, craft workshops for children and adults, a bake sale, play area and this super cool dollhouse raffle.  For a complete list of local vendors, check out the Vendor List.

There will be two crafting workshops during the fair for children (ages 7 and up accompanied by a parent/guardian) and adults. These workshops can be taken together to make a sweet pumpkin/mouse duo for a nature table or Thanksgiving centerpiece, or taken separately to learn the wonders of working with felt:

  • 11am-12noon: In My Garden Grows a Pumpkin — Families can come wet felt a small pumpkin and maybe a little mouse will come to live in it!  Celia Riahi from The Cottage Garden will lead this workshop using local, plant dyed wool.  Ball felting will be offered for children under age 7yo.
  • 1-2pm: Hand Sewn Little Felt Mouse — Nicole Romer from Heavenly Hues will lead a workshop on hand-sewing with felt, using plant-dyed yarn and wool felt. At the end of this workshop participants will have a sweet little mouse for creative play.

There is a small cost for these workshops to offset the cost of materials ($3-$5) and space is limited, so please preregister.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

The first 50 people who enter for a chance to win by 11:59pm(EST) on Nov. 1st will be included in the raffle of this dollhouse and handmade accessories! If we do not reach 50 entries, no one will be entered to win… so after you enter for a chance to win, be sure to invite your friends to participate too! The raffle will take place at the holiday fair on Saturday, November 3rd and will be conducted by the Cummington Family Center (CFC).  You do not need to be present to win, however the winner is responsible for making pick up arrangements with the CFC.  If your name is selected and you are not at the holiday fair, the CFC will contact you via email. To participate simply:

  • SHARE YOUR FULL NAME (first/last)
  • TELL US WHERE YOU LIVE (town/state)
  • GIVE AN ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  • INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO PARTICIPATE!  We must receive at least 50 entries for all entries to be submitted (so tell your friends!)… but it is limited to the first 50!

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter: 11/1 by 11:59pm (EST).  Entries that do not include their first and last name or their town will be removed to make room for valid entries.  Any duplicate entries will be removed too.  One entry per household.

Additional raffle tickets can be purchased at Stitch Lounge in Greenfield, MA.  These 50 entries will be combined with all participants who purchase raffle tickets too. – GOOD LUCK!

Ticket Giveaway: Mister G Halloween Fiesta at the Academy of Music Theatre

Win a family 4-pack of tickets…

Mister G Halloween Fiesta
Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton
Sunday, October 28th @ 11am

Halloween Fiesta with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton on Sun., Oct 28 at 11am, co-sponsored by Hilltown Families… and we’re giving away family 4-pack of free tickets to two very lucky families!

Mister G Halloween Fiesta will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter: 10/24 by 11:59pm (EST).

ABOUT MISTER G

After 20 years as a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter playing for grown-ups, Ben Gundersheimer (aka Mister G) began performing for children in 2009. A graduate of Amherst College and the M.Ed program at Smith College, Ben was dubbed “Mister G” by his former elementary school students.

The first CD release concert for his newest album, Chocolalala, was held at the National Zoo in Washington, DC to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month. A winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Chocolalala is currently on the Grammy ballot for the Best Children’s Album of 2012. Inspired by Mister G’s concert tours throughout Latin America, the album spans a wide range of musical styles from bossa nova to ska, funk to folk, rap to pop. Chocolalala features captivating Latin rhythms and melodies, world-class musicians and the voices of Pioneer Valley bilingual families. In addition to writing and singing the songs, Mister G played acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, tres and percussion.

HOW TO WIN

We’re giving away two family 4-packs of tickets! Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to the Mister G Halloween Fiesta at the Academy of Music Theater in Northmpton, MA on Sunday, Oct 28th at 11am is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter: 10/24 by 11:59pm (EST).

Ticket Prices: Adults/$10; Children/$8. Tickets can be purchased at the Academy of Music Box Office, Tuesday- Friday 3-6PM or by calling: 413-584-9032 ext.105. Tickets can also be purchased online at academyofmusictheatre.com.

Elska Comes to Western MA! Win Tickets!

Win a package of tickets and museum passes for a family of four…

Elska Performs in Amherst
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Sunday, October 21st @ 1pm

Hilltown Families was delighted by Elska’s performance at Kindiefest in Brooklyn, NY this year. We’re excited to announce her debut performance in Western MA on Sunday, Oct 21st in Amherst! Elska’s live performance is both sophisticated and whimsical, a winning combination for families!  Deadline to enter to win a family package of tickets and museum passes is 10/17 by 11:59pm.

Called “the next big thing in toddler entertainment” by Red Tricycle New York, Elska brings her live show to a very special performance at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Sunday, October 21st at 1pm… and Hilltown Families has two family 4-pack of tickets and two family passes to the museum to giveaway!

Elska’s performance at the museum is part of her tour to support her critically-acclaimed new album Middle of Nowhere which has just received Parents’ Choice Foundation and NAPPA Awards! Details on how to enter to win are below.  Deadline to enter: 10/17 by 11:59pm (EST).

ABOUT ELSKA

Who is Elska and why is she blowing the minds of concert-goers and promoters alike? Elska is the imaginary character performed by Brooklyn-based singer/actress Shelley Wollert. The character of Elska is a modern pioneer who discovers a newly formed volcanic island off the coast of Iceland where she lives a life of beauty and wonder amongst a cast of unusual friends, including a pensive Winter Bear, a very friendly Goobler, a mysterious Arctic Fox and a vast colony of Lost Socks.

In the live show, Elska has traveled from her amazing island all the way to the museum to tell her story. A blend of theatre, storytelling and musical performance, Elska whisks away children and families on a musical tour of her Arctic home and introduces them to the island’s wonderful inhabitants.

To create Elska and her fictional world, Wollert worked closely with New York City-based record producer Allen Farmelo (The Cinematic Orchestra, Mikael Jorgensson/Wilco). Combining the whimsy of Winnie the Pooh and the otherworldliness of Dr. Seuss, Farmelo and Wollert very intentionally set out to create a new classic in children’s music and entertainment. – www.islandofelska.com

HOW TO WIN

We’re giving away two packages (valued at $50 each) of tickets and museum passes! Your chance win a family 4-pack of tickets and family pass to the museum to see Elska at the Eric Carle Museum on Sunday, October 21st at 1pm in Amherst, MA is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY   below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST).

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission to the museum is $9/Adults, $6/Youth, $22.50/Family. Tickets to Elska are $7 and may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126. Find out more about the museum at www.carlemuseum.org.

Ticket Giveaway: Family 4-Pack to “A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar” at The Colonial Theatre

A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar:
Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA
Sunday, October 28th @ 2pm

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to  A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Sunday, Oct. 28th at 2pm. Deadline to enter: 10/23/12.

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to see the much-anticipated new production from Mermaid TheatreA Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar!

This new production brings together three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and a young girl on an unusual quest from the poignant story, Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry entertain and educate.

This production in Berkshire County is on Sunday, October 28th at 2pm at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA. Win a 4-pack of tickets and take your family for a delightful Sunday afternoon performance! Deadline to enter to win: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT THE COLONIAL THEATRE & BERKSHIRE THEATRE GROUP

The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires.  Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Berkshire County, including The Colonial Theatre. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. For more information on BTF call 413-298-5536 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Mermaid Theatre’s production of A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA Sunday, October 28th @ 2pm (valued at $60) is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY   below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST).

Read the rest of this entry »

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Leo Kottke at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton

Leo Kottke
Iron Horse Music Hall ♦ Northampton, MA
Thursday, Oct 18th, 2012 @ 7pm

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Leo Kottke at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on Thursday, Oct 18th, 2012 at 7pm. Deadline to enter: 10/15. Details below.

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For October we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Leo Kottke at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Thurs, Oct 18th at 7pm. Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 10/15 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

ABOUT LEO KOTTKE

For decades, Leo Kottke inspired generations of fingerpicking acoustic guitarists. Kottke can play achingly beautiful melodies and then turn around and dazzle you with with his speed and brilliance. What people generally miss is an appreciation of just how many musical genres Kottke has borrowed from and fused into his own unmistakable style. You can hear country, rock, blues, jazz, classical, Hawaiian slack-key … and, I swear, even a bit of flamenco in there somewhere. – www.leokottke.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Leo Kottke at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Thursday, Oct 18th at 7pm (valued at $70) is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US WHAT YOUR LIKE BEST ABOUT OUR PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT PROMOTIONS  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, 10/15/12 @ 7pm (EST)

If you don’t win you should still go. Leo with be at the Iron Horse on Friday night too. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Ramblin’ Jack Elliot at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls

Signature Sounds writes: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the October 7th show with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at Memorial Hall has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.” (10/2/12)

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Jeffrey Foucault
Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA
Sunday, October 7th @ 7pm

Win a pair of tickets to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault, and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST).

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer two pairs of tickets for two lucky couples to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault.

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT

One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.  Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.

He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.

Ramblin’ Jack’s life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune.  Ramblin’ Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people. At seventy-seven, Ramblin’ Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal.  You’ll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.  For more information visit: www.ramblinjack.com.

ABOUT JEFFREY FOUCAULT

Jeffrey Foucault (submitted photo)Longtime disciple of the rich and strange music that sings behind the American veil, local musician Jeffrey Foucault has spent the last decade mining the darker seams of country and blues, producing a string of spare and elemental albums of rare power while garnering accolades across the United States and overseas for a tersely elegant brand of songwriting set apart by its haunting imagery and weather-beaten cool.

With his album, Horse Latitudes, Jeffrey Foucault gives us ten new original songs that showcase an artist in the fullness of his powers, offering a compelling vision of modern American music.  A cross-country collision of rock, country, and folk, Horse Latitudes alights with equal grace on full-band ragers and whispered solo pieces, delivering a methodically paced collection of songs that inhabit the borderlands of heartbreak and memory. Foucault’s deep, enticing vocals are richly complemented by an intoxicating mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation: acoustic guitar, pedal steel, Hammond organ, piano, and accordion, electric bass, drums, cello. www.jeffreyfoucault.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a one of two pairs of tickets to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. TELL US ABOUT AN UPCOMING EVENT IN WESTERN MA YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO ATTENDING WITH YOUR FAMILY  (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are also available at World Eye in Greenfield, Turn It Up in Northampton and Signaturesounds.com. 413-665-4036

Signature Sounds writes: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the October 7th show with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at Memorial Hall has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.” (10/2/12)

DVD Giveaway: The Complete Series of The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series

The Magic School Bus celebrates the excellent idea of field trips as a vehicle for supplementing the education of children outside of the classroom, but Ms. Frizzle takes it even further combining magic with science for animated adventures sure to enrich the learning of science with elementary children. This complete series of all 52 episodes is a resource all teachers and parents will benefit from having it in their DVD collections. Selecting episodes to supplement curriculum in the classroom or interests at home will add enthusiasm and adventures to various fields of science.

Not many children’s brands can stand the test of time, entertaining and educating multiple generations. The Magic School Bus, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, is one such brand. This month the Emmy Award winning TV series has been re-launcehd to DVD, The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series, bringing together all 52 episodes of the program on 8 DVDs… and Hilltown Families has a set to giveaway to one very lucky family! Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, October 2nd by 7pm (EST). Find out how to win below.

ABOUT THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS

The Magic School Bus (Scholastic) has been capturing children’s imaginations since the first book came out in 1986. Since then, the acclaimed series has sold over 60 million books and spawned a successful animated TV series, which premiered in 1994, with support from The National Science Foundation. Now the longest-running science series to air on television, the star-studded program features the voices of Lily Tomlin, Wynonna Judd, Dolly Parton, Tony Randall and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Along with the adventurous and energetic Ms. Frizzle and her pet lizard, Liz, the entire class – along with the audience –invites students to explore volcanoes, the inside of the human body and much, much more! www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series DVD collection ($79.95 value) is as easy as 1-2-3(4)!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  • POST A QUESTION BELOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR OUR WEEKLY QUESTION & ANSWER COLUMN TO BE ANSWERED BY OUR COMMUNITY OF READERS (one entry per household);
  • FULL NAME (first/last);
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) (must include your town to be eligible);
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address);
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, October 2nd by 7pm (EST).

Ticket Giveaway: Parents’ Night Out to See FOUND at The Colonial Theatre

FOUND
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA
Friday, September 21st @ 8pm

We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to see FOUND, a new musical comedy by Hunter Bell, arriving at the Berkshire Theatre Groups’s Colonial Theatre on Sept 21 & 22 in Pittsfield. Enter to win one of two pairs of tickets to the Friday night performance.  Deadline to enter to win: 9/18.

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway to see the new musical comedy, FOUND, on opening night to be performed at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre on Friday, Sept. 21 at 8pm and Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2pm & 8pm- a night out in the heart of the Berkshires!

Win tickets to the Friday night production and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, 9/18/12 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT FOUND

Based on Davy Rothbart’s popular Found books, magazines, tours and appearances on This American Life comes a new musical comedy about the things we’ve lost and the ways they bring us together. Hunter Bell joins composer/lyricist Eli Bolin, director Lee Overtree, and indie-comedy favorite the Story Pirates troupe in a semi-autobiographical account of Davy’s life and loves as he performs around the country, set against a backdrop of the hilarious and heart-breaking real notes and letters from the pages of Found magazine, as they come to life on stage.

Davy has built a touring show sharing notes, letters, any scraps of paper with words, lost by others. With him on his journey, are his best friends Mikey D. (his lovable, bearish tour manager) and Denise (his dry, caught in the friend zone, merch-seller extraordinaire). When Davy meets and falls for Kate, a schoolteacher, the fate of the tour and the trio’s lives change dramatically, forcing Davy to choose between a life on the road or a life with Kate. Painted over the backdrop of hilarious and heartbreaking actual found ephemera, Found explores not just the things, but the people we find in life and proves we all have stories worth telling. Sometimes those stories are big. Sometimes they’re on a post-it note.

From the award-winning team of  Victoria Lang (SILENCE! The Musical, Johnny Guitar, Matt & Ben), Jamie Salka (Dazzle, The Goat), Eva Price (Peter & the Starcatcher, The Addams Family, Voca People), David Gallo (The Drowsy Chaperone, Blue Man Group) and Hunter Bell ( [title of show], SILENCE! The Musical ) comes the next exciting new multi-media theatrical experience.

Adult Audiences Only.

ABOUT THE COLONIAL THEATRE & BERKSHIRE THEATRE GROUP

The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires.  Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Berkshire County, including The Colonial Theatre. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. For more information on BTF call 413-298-5536 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a BUCKET LIST of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family in the fall (Sept-Dec). Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family autumn activity in Western MA, and be entered to win a pair of tickets to see FOUND at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Friday, Sept. 21st at 8pm. To win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE IN THE FIELDS BELOW (one entry Ticket Giveaway: Parents’ Night Out to See FOUND at The Colonial Theatreper household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 9/18/12 @ 7pm (EST)

Read the rest of this entry »

Ticket Giveaway: Parents’ Night Out at Mountain Park with Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker
Mountain Park in Holyoke, MA
Friday, Sept 14th, 2012 @ 7pm

Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or gang of friends for a night out to see Darius Rucker plus Joel Crouse at Mountain Park in Holyoke on Friday, Sept. 14th. Deadline to enter to win is 09/11/112 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

This month at Mountain Park, Darius Rucker brings country favorites and Hootie classics to the Pioneer Valley on Friday, September 14th at 7pmand we’re giving away a 4-pack of lawn tickets for a group of friends to enjoy an evening out!  Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or gang of friends for a fun evening away from the kids. Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, 09/11/12 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

ABOUT DARIUS RUCKER

As leader of Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker was one of the most popular frontmen in mainstream pop/rock during the mid-’90s. The band’s debut album, Cracked Rear View, was virtually inescapable in 1995, eventually selling more than 16 million copies and becoming one of the most successful albums of all time. Hootie & the Blowfish couldn’t recreate that magic on future albums, though, and the band took a break from the studio after releasing 1998′s Musical Chairs. Rucker used his free time to launch a solo career, which allowed the singer to explore his R&B and country influences.

Darius Rucker is now riding high with the release of his sophomore country album, Charleston, SC 1966. USA Today raved, “Rucker has made a fine-sounding country album, full of singable choruses, bittersweet fiddle and steel, and guitars with bottomless twang,” and Rolling Stone said, “On his Nashville debut, Rucker’s rich baritone, sentimental ballads and bright hooks made him the most successful African-American country singer since Charley Pride.” Rucker amps up that formula on album number two. The debut in referral is his chart-topping 2008 release, Learn To Live  an album that produced three consecutive No. 1 singles and Top 5 smash, “History In The Making,” Ruckers success in the country music format was recently recognized at the 43rd Annual CMA Awards when he received the Top New Artist title and again with ACM, Teen Choice, and AMA Award nominations. Charleston, SC 1966–a title which pays tribute to one of Rucker’s biggest influences, Radney Foster–includes the multiple-week #1 hit single, “Come Back Song,” and his current Top 10 single, “This.”

For the latest news and tour info, visit www.dariusrucker.com.

ABOUT MOUNTAIN PARK

Following its opening in 1894 as a picturesque retreat on the side of Mount Tom, Mountain Park expanded and evolved into one of the most beloved amusement parks in New England. At the beginning of the 20th century, Holyoke was the most prosperous community in the state and the first planned industrial city in the United States. The city’s progress drew crowds of visitors to Mountain Park, and the park gradually developed into a bustling destination. Although the park closed its gates in 1987, the echoes of laughter from generations of visitors still reverberate throughout the Pioneer Valley. Today, Mountain Park evolves into the next millennium as a new host for music, entertainment and outdoor family fun.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a bucket list of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family in the fall (Sept-Dec). Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family autumn activity, and be entered to win a 4-pack of lawn tickets to see Darius Rucker plus Joel Crouse at Mountain Park in Holyoke on Friday, Sept. 14th, 2012 at 7pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! To win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 9/11/12 @ 7pm (EST)

If you don’t win, tickets can be purchased at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, by phone at 413-586-8686 and online at IHEG.com.

Ticket Giveaway: Family 4-Pack to Story Pirates at The Colonial Theatre

Story Pirates
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA
Saturday, September 15th @ 2pm

Described as “Monty Python meets Schoolhouse Rock,” Story Pirates is different every time, and includes a story that’s improvised onstage based on suggestions from the kids in the audience. Enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see them at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Saturday, Sept. 15th at 2pm. Details on how to enter to win are below.

Story Pirates, a nationally respected education and media organization and creators of the pre-Broadway workshop, FOUND, perform a hilarious and kid friendly show presented by the Berkshire Theatre Group at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on September 15th, 2012 at 2pm… and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway!  Win a pack of tickets and take your family for a delightful Saturday afternoon performance! Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 2012 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT STORY PIRATES

While many children’s theater troupes tell stories to kids, the Story Pirates believe that every child has a story to tell!  The process begins by collecting stories from local kids — whether it’s a world where cats can fly or a rock opera about fuzzy alien tickle monsters, the Pirates will turn any short story into a hilarious sketch comedy musical!  Described as “Monty Python meets Schoolhouse Rock,” this show is different every time, and includes a story that’s improvised onstage based on suggestions from the kids in the audience. Story Pirates is pitched perfectly to grown-ups and kids alike!

Story Pirates was founded in 2003 by a group of people seeking to bring quality education programs to under-resourced New York City public schools. The Pirates approach was to show kids everywhere that their ideas, their words, and their stories are important. They made kids’ own stories the basis for a big, loud, outrageous, musical sketch comedy show; because they believe kids’ imaginations are worth cultivating and ought to be celebrated.  Story Pirates now operates branches in both New York and Los Angeles, and serves to over two hundred and fifty schools and community-based organizations annually around the country.  Find out more about Story Pirates at www.storypirates.org.

ABOUT THE COLONIAL THEATRE & BERKSHIRE THEATRE GROUP

The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires.  Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Berkshire County, including The Colonial Theatre. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. For more information on BTF call 413-298-5536 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a BUCKET LIST of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family in the fall (Sept-Dec). Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family autumn activity, and be entered to win a 4-pack of tickets to see Story Pirates at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, Sept. 15th at 2pm. To win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 9/11/12 @ 7pm (EST)

Read the rest of this entry »

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT TICKET GIVEAWAY: O.A.R. at the Calvin Theater

O.A.R. at the Calvin Theater
Northampton, MA
Friday, Sept. 7th at 8pm

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

This month we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pairs of tickets to see O.A.R. at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Friday, September 7th, 2012. Opening act, Barefoot Truth.

Win tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, 9/4/12 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT O.A.R.

O.A.R.s Wind-up Records debut album, King, marks a new beginning for the band, while also paying homage to their past. It is the seventh studio effort in a career that began with their high school recording, The Wanderer. Bringing back the title character from their first album, O.A.R. takes the listener on a journey to discover that what the Wanderer, and the band members themselves, had been searching for all along, was there from the beginning. As the closing song on the new disc states, a return Back to One. – www.ofarevolution.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pairs of tickets to see O.A.R. at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Friday, September 7th, 2012, with opening act, Barefoot Truth, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! To win simply:

  1. INSPIRE OUR READERS BY SHARING HOW YOU LIKE TO SPEND AN EVENING OUT AWAY FROM THE KIDS when there’s nothing happening at the Calvin (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 9/4/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

GIVEAWAY: Summer Maladies and First Aid Correspondence Course

Enter to Win Blazing Star Herbal School’s
Summer Maladies and First Aid Correspondence Course

Have a burning question about parenting, looking for a recommendation about life in Western MA, or need some advice on what to do about something? Share below to be consideration for our weekly Question & Answer column and be entered to win a Summer Maladies and First Aid Correspondence Course from Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA. Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 by 7pm (EST).

Have you ever wanted to learn about herbalism but can’t find the time for classes?  Hilltown Families sponsor, Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA, offers several correspondence programs for folks who are either to far away or prefer to learn after the kids have gone to bed.  This summer Hilltown Families is partnering with Blazing Star by offering our readers the opportunity to enter to win one of their correspondence courses from their Do-it-Yourself Herbalism Series (valued at $150)! Details on how you can enter to win are below and deadline to participate is Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT BLAZING STAR HERBAL SCHOOL

Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS), based out of Ashfield, MA, offers unique and exciting programs in herbal studies to give both the student and professional an opportunity to delve deeper into the art and science of herbalism. BSHS courses have been highly acclaimed for inspiring students to find their unique healing path through personal relationship with the plant world. BSHS is dedicated to teaching traditional herbal medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future for all members of the green world and shows respect for the integrity of nature.

BSHS offers a unique perspective on herbalism, weaving social and political aspects of health and healing through the study of medicinal herbs and food practices, inspiring students to find their own healing path by creating a personal relationship with the plant world. The school also serves as a local and national resource for education and networking.  Learn more about Blazing Star Herbal School at blazingstarherbalschool.typepad.com or email Tony(a) Lemos at blazingstarclinic@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE COURSE

Summer Maladies and First Aid Correspondence Course

Written with the family or homesteader in mind who’s looking to integrate nourishing herbs and herbal medicines into their lifestyle, improve their health, and increase their self reliance, while connecting with the land in which they live and all it has to offer. In this hands-on medicine making course the focus will be on creating an at home first aid kit for summer maladies. Topics include: cuts and scrapes; burns (sun and fire); bug bites, (ticks, mosquitoes and bees); muscle aches (Sprains/strains); bleeding and bruises; poison ivy and poison oak rash; dehydration (sun poisoning); seasonal skin care; seasonal allergies (chronic and acute treatment plans); among other topics. Four weeks of reading, assignments, and medicine making participants can accomplish at their own pace. (Value: $150)

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win Blazing Star Herbal School’s Correspondence Course, Summer Maladies and First Aid, is as easy as 1-2-3(4)!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  • POST A QUESTION YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR OUR WEEKLY QUESTION & ANSWER COLUMN TO BE ANSWERED BY OUR COMMUNITY OF READERS below (one entry per household);
  • FULL NAME (first/last);
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) (must include your town to be eligible);
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address);
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 by 7pm (EST).

GIVEAWAY: CSM Share from Goldthread Herb Farm

Enter to Win a CSM Share from
Goldthread Herb Farm in Conway

Share a folk remedy you like to make in the summer months using fresh herbs & plants and be entered to win a large CSM Share from Goldthread Herb Farm in Conway, MA. Deadline to enter: Monday, July 2nd, 2012.

This summer Goldthread Herb Farm in Conway, MA is embarking on their fifth season of providing Community Supported Medicine (CSM) Shares to the community… and Hilltown Families has a large share (enough for a family of 3-4, valued at $250) to giveaway to one lucky family! Details on how you can enter to win are below and deadline to participate is Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT GOLDTHREAD FARM’S CSM SHARES

Goldthread Farm’s fresh-from-the-field CSM shares contain herbs and remedies for a host of commonly encountered conditions such as colds, flus, sore throats, coughs, digestive issues, sleep improvement, skin conditions, children’s health, and more. Their CSM shares offer handcrafted medicines, tea blends, honeys, elixirs and flavorful culinary spices.  Their two seasonal pickups include a unique opportunity to meet their plants, sip freshly brewed herbal tea and participate in an in-depth herb walk and educational session at their farm in Conway, MA.  Alternatively, shares can be picked up at their storefront in Florence, MA. In addition to their large shares, they also offer and small share (perfect for 1-2 people).

ABOUT GOLDTHREAD FARM

Goldthread Herb Farm is a medicinal herb farm located in the Hilltowns in Conway, MA. The farm is situated on a south facing hilltop, surrounded by hundreds of acres of mixed conifers and hardwoods, teeming with wildlife, and blessed with abundant streams and brooks. Their goal is to provide a source for organically grown and sustainably wild harvested medicinal plants and plant preparations that are of the highest quality and crafted with the greatest care and attention to detail. In Florence, MA they have a full-service apothecary and clinic stocked with organic medicinal herbs and local products fresh from their farm. Visit GoldthreadApothecary.com for more info on their CSM and classes, or call 413-587-0620.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a Large CSM Share from Goldthread Herb Farm in Conway, MA for the 2012 season is as easy as 1-2-3(4)!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  • SHARE A FOLK REMEDY YOU LIKE TO MAKE IN THE SUMMER MONTHS USING FRESH HERBS & PLANTS below (one entry per household);
  • FULL NAME (first/last);
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) (must include your town to be eligible);
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address);
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by 7pm (EST).

Win Weekend Passes to the 26th Annual Green River Festival!

Win a Pair of Weekend Passes to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
July 14th & 15th, 2012
Greenfield, MA

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th. Details on how to enter to win are outlined below.

Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a pair of weekend passes to the 26th Annual Green River Festival (their 2nd Annual 25th Anniversary!), the weekend of July 14th & 15th, 2012!

With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great festival, all weekend long! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the festival is presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Greenfield Community College.  This 2-day festival combines music on multiple stages, delicious local food, crafts from a range of artisans, a dance tent, family music on the River Meltdown tent, balloon illuminations and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for Western Massachusetts’ biggest outdoor event of the summer!

The Green River Festival began in 1986 as a balloon festival and has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more music and dance entertainment have been added. Today it has become a fantastic summer musical event in Western Massachusetts with three stages of music. This year the festival will feature Arlo Guthrie and the Guthrie Family, Los Lobos, Ozomatl, Richard Thompson, Rubblebucket, Rebirth Brass Band, David Wax Museum, Chris Smither, Winterpills, CJ Chenier, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Elizabeth Cook, Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three, The Sweetback Sister, Lake Street Dive, Peter Mulvey & The Crumbling Beauties, Martin Simpson, Session Americana, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, and many many other great acts!

Family favorites on the Meltdown Stage this year include:  Uncle Rock, Flannery Brothers, Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Moock & friends, Mister G, Dog on Fleas, and several others. See the complete schedule here.

Find out more about this award-winning Western Mass music festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a bucket list of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family in the summer time. Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family activity, and be entered to win a pair of weekend tickets to the Green River Festival for July 14th & 15th, 2012.  To be eligible to win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 07/06/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Ticket Giveaway: First Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival

Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to see…

First Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival
Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen
Sunday, June 10th from 2-7pm

First Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival at  Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen on Sunday, June 10th from 2-7pm. Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, 06/08/12 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

The First Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival will take place at the Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, MA on Sunday, June 10, 2012 from 2-7pm… and Hilltown Families has a 4-pack of ticket to giveaway to one lucky family!

Win the tickets and take your family and friends to a fun new music festival in the Hilltowns! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, 06/08/12 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

ABOUT FIRST ANNUAL HILLTOWN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

The festival is a fundraiser to benefit the Hilltown Community Development Corporation (CDC). It will feature live bluegrass and old-time music by New England bands.  Headlining the festival is Western Mass-based ‘Appalachian Still‘, a bluegrass and old-time band formed in 2005. While rooted in bluegrass and old-time traditions, Appalachian Still draws significant influence from classic rock, blues, folk, and country. They have two albums to their credit, “Lost and Found” released in 2007 and “Feelin’ Alive” in 2010. Joining Appalachian Still is ‘Acoustic Brew‘, playing what they affectionately refer to as “Brewgrass – a bluegrass-infused blend of original compositions, traditional songs, and old school country and blues, generously seasoned with covers of classic tunes from bands like the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Band, Fred Eaglesmith and more.” Also joining the line-up are bands Sweetheart Mountain and Rocky Hill.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a 4-pack of tickets to the First Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival at the Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, MA on Sunday, June 10th from 2-7pm is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!

To enter to win simply:

  1. CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  2. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES HAS CONNECTED YOU TO THE HILLTOWNS OVER THE YEARS below (one entry per household); and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE), Must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL IN THE EMAIL FIELD BELOW (we never share your email address with a third party).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 06/08/12 @ 7pm (EST)

Tickets for the show are $15 per person with kids 12 and under free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.appalachianstill.com. The Three Sisters Sanctuary is an outdoor event space located at 188 Cape Street, Route 112, in Goshen.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see…

Michael Franti and Spearhead
Calvin Theatre in Northampton
Thursday, May 31st at 8pm

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

This month we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Thursday, May 31st, 2012. Opening act, Zach Heckendorf.

Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Monday, 05/28/12 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD

For over two decades, the Bay Area born Michael Franti has been bringing our world exceptionally powerful, deeply felt music. Franti first formed the punk band The Beatnigs while studying at the University of San Francisco, and later the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. In the mid-Nineties, Franti created Spearhead. Frantis music has always reflected his status as a musical citizen of the world. The Sound Of Sunshine — the inspired and inspiring new album by Michael Franti  Spearhead — is a kind of musical sun shower, a bright, beautiful and often buoyant song cycle created to bring all kinds of listeners a sense of hope during rough and rainy times for so many in our world. Arguably the most cohesive, romantic and life-affirming album that Franti and Spearhead have ever made, The Sound Of Sunshine reflects the fact that, as Franti puts it, with time, you get a better sense who you are and how to put together all your musical passions into your own sound. – michaelfranti.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pairs of tickets to see the Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Thursday, May 31st, 2012, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!

To enter to win simply:

  1. CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  2. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES HAS CONNECTED  YOU WITH YOUR COMMUNITY OVER THE YEARS  below (one entry per household); and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE), Must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL IN THE EMAIL FIELD BELOW (we never share your email address with a third party).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, 05/28/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets can be purchased at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, by phone at 413-586-8686 and online at IHEG.com.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Fab Faux at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see…

The Fab Faux: A Mixed Bag of Beatles Favorites
Calvin Theatre in Northampton
Saturday, April 28th at 8pm

This is the band to see if you want to know what it might be like if the Beatles toured today. Not like any other The Fab Faux are committed to the accurate reproduction of The Beatles’ repertoire. If you want to hear songs recreated that were written, arranged, and performed with a genius rarely heard in today’s music scene; if you’re too young to know what all the fuss is about; or you just want to see one of the best live rock bands around today—here’s your chance.

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

This spring  we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see The Fab Faux: A Mixed Bag of Beatles Favorites at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on Saturday, April 28th at 8pm! Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is 04/25/12 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

ABOUT THE FAB FAUX

Formed in 1998, The Fab Faux treat the seminal music of the Beatles with unwavering respect through painstaking recreations of the songs (with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles). Far beyond a cover band, they play the music of The Beatles so impeccably that one must experience it to believe it. Calling them, the greatest Beatles cover band  without the wigs, Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke wrote, the Faux invigorate the artistry of even the Beatles most intricate studio masterpieces with top chops and Beatlemaniac glee. Approaching the songs with the intent of playing them live as accurately in musical reading and in spirit as possible, The Fauxs breathtaking performances tend to dispel all concertgoers previous notions of a Beatles tribute act.

Calling them, “the greatest Beatles cover band – without the wigs,” Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke wrote, “the Faux invigorate the artistry of even the Beatles’ most intricate studio masterpieces with top chops and Beatlemaniac glee.” Approaching the songs with the intent of playing them live as accurately in musical reading and in spirit as possible, The Faux’s breathtaking performances tend to dispel all concertgoers’ previous notions of a Beatles tribute act. “The Fab Faux have the hardest job in the history of R & R and they pull it off damn well. All rock bands want to be like the Beatles; these guys have the nerve to BE the Beatles. Amazingly, they’re so good at it you learn new things about the originals” – Dave Marsh, legendary Rock Critic and Sirius Radio Host. – www.thefabfaux.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pairs of tickets to see the The Fab Faux: A Mixed Bag of Beatles Favorites at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on Saturday, April 28th at 8pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!

To enter to win simply:

  1. CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  2. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES AS CONNECTED  YOU WITH YOUR COMMUNITY OVER THE YEARS  below (one entry per household); and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE), Must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL IN THE EMAIL FIELD BELOW (we never share your email address with a third party).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 04/25/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets can be purchased at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, by phone at 413-586-8686 and online at IHEG.com.

GIVEAWAY: CSA Farm Share from Crimson & Clover Farm

Enter to Win a Farm Share from
Crimson & Clover Farm this Summer!

Enter to win a Small Farm Share from Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA for the 2012 season by sharing a family recipe you're looking forward to preparing this spring with fresh local produce, embellished with the story behind this favorite dish! Deadline: April 16th.

Locally grown food is a great community connector! This past winter families could enjoy Winter Farmers’ Market all throughout Western MA while connecting with friends and neighbors during these often festive weekly markets.  And during the growing and harvest season Farmers’ Markets happen nearly every day of the week and have quickly become places the community not only shops for fresh produce and local products, but a place they can enjoy a summer morning or evening together listening to music, enjoying coffee or dinner, and chatting with local farmers.

But Farmers’ Markets aren’t the only way the community can connect with their neighbors while supporting local farmers… Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is another fabulous way families can support and participate in our local food culture.  By purchasing a CSA share, shareholders pledge their support of a local farm and receive weekly shares of fruits, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, dairy and meat products.  For a list of CSA’s in the Pioneer Valley, check out CISA’s list of local farms.

SEASONS AT OUR TABLE

Hilltown Families is currently working on a project titled, Seasons at Our Table, inviting our readers to share recipes and stories inspired by our local food culture. Hilltown Families sponsor, Crimson & Clover Farm, a community based farm on the Northampton Community Farm land, is partnering with us in this project by offering an incentive to our readers to share their favorite stories and best family recipes. Share a family recipe you’re looking forward to preparing this spring with fresh local produce, embellished with the story behind this favorite dish, and be entered to win a Small CSA Share from Crimson & Clover Farm, a $375 value!  Deadline to enter to win: April 16th by 7pm (EST). Details on how to enter to win are below.

CRIMSON & CLOVER FARM

Crimson & Clover Farm

Crimson & Clover Farm is a community based farm located on the beautiful Northampton Community Farm in Florence, Massachusetts.  They grow vegetables, fruits and flowers for a Community Supported Agriculture Program and for farmers’ markets.  Welcoming and encouraging community involvement with the farm, they offer weekly volunteer workdays, farm celebrations and educational opportunities.

They are offering our readers a Small Farm Share ($375 value) which will feed up to two people.  Their vegetable options change through the season, starting with more leafy greens in the early season and more roots and summer type vegetables as the season moves along. The Small Farm Share is a great option for smaller families, couples, individuals, or folks trying out a CSA share for the first time. In addition to a Small Farm Share the winning shareholders will have access to their Pick-Your-Own garden where families can pick many other crops like strawberries, cherry tomatoes, flowers and much more. Find out more about their farm shares at www.crimsonandcloverfarm.com.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a Small Farm Share from Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA for the 2012 season will be super fun for all foodies and families who love to cook & eat together!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  • SHARE A FAMILY RECIPE YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO PREPARING THIS SPRING WITH FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE, EMBELLISHED WITH THE STORY BEHIND THIS FAVORITE DISH below (one entry per household);
  • FULL NAME (first/last);
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) (must include your town to be eligible);
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address);
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, April 16th, 2012 by 7pm (EST).

GIVEAWAY: In the Breakfast Nook with the Kids

Share a Recipe and Win a Breakfast Giveaway Package
Including Groceries, Coffee & Maple Syrup

Are there recipes that have been passed down in your family that have a story that you share with your kids at the breakfast table, like Maple Pumpkin Muffins or your grandmother's Buckwheat Pancakes? Whatever your morning breakfast or brunch fare might be, we invite you to share it with us here on Hilltown Families. Share a recipe and be entered to win a fabulous package (valued at $185) to get your family in the kitchen cooking breakfast or brunch together! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, March 28th by 7pm (EST).

How does food bring your family together?  Maybe you enjoy cooking with your kids, sharing family meals together, shopping for locally grown and/or produced foods, exchanging stories at the kitchen table… however it is that food interweaves into your family one thing is certain, food has a way of bringing families together both in the kitchen and around the table.

This maple harvest season Hilltown Families is inviting our readers to share their favorite breakfast recipes with us for a collection of recipes and stories we are putting together for a new project we’re working on called Seasons at Our Table.  Share your favorite recipe and be entered to win a fabulous package to get your family in the kitchen cooking breakfast or brunch together (details below)!

Are there recipes that have been passed down in your family that have a story that you share with your kids at the breakfast table? Maybe your mother had a Ukrainian Crepe recipe passed down from her grandmother, or your in-laws have taught you how to make Beignets you love to drench in local Maple Syrup.  Or maybe there are new recipes you share with your kids that someday might be passed along to your grandkids? Maybe together you like to steam up a classic Boston Brown Bread for breakfast with a unique twist, Blueberry Buckle at the height of blueberry season with fresh whipped cream, or an Italian Frittata with eggs from your backyard flock for brunch… Whatever your morning breakfast or brunch fare might be, we invite you to share it with us here on Hilltown Families!

ENTER TO WIN: Share a recipe and be entered to win a fabulous package (valued at $185) to get your family in the kitchen cooking breakfast or brunch together! Hilltown Families has partnered with three local businesses to help make the morning breakfast hour easy and enjoyable with your family. Our giveaway package includes a gift certificate to shop at  River Valley Market Co-Op in Northampton, an amazing gift box from Dean’s Beans coffee, and maple syrup from Dufresne’s Sugar House. Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, March 28th by 7pm (EST).

Here’s the full story of what you can enter to win:

River Valley Market Cooperative (Northampton, MA)

River Valley Market is a cooperative grocery store in Northampton devoted to supporting local farmers and food producers! Open to the public daily from 8am-9pm with a great selection of fresh, local and organically grown foods from fresh produce and dairy to fresh meat and cheeses. Some of the special things you will discover in the aisles of this grocery store are friendly helpful staff, a fabulous selection of house made sausages, a deli with a salad and soup/hot foods bar that also serves up hot and cold sandwiches made to order, a natural supplements department, hundreds of foods in bulk, and fair trade chocolates and coffees. River Valley Market is located just off I-91 exit 21. www.rivervalleymarket.coop

GIVEAWAY: River Valley Market is offering Hilltown Families readers a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to shop local for your family meal! (Value: $50)

Dean’s Beans (Orange, MA)

Social activism, ecological responsibility, and great coffee meet at Dean’s Beans, a family-owned certified organic, fair trade coffee roaster. Offering fair priced, great tasting products that support peaceful social change, Dean’s Beans is characterized by an unyielding commitment to ethical business practices, people-centered development, and sound ecological practices. The quality of their products is a reflection of the quality of life of our farm partners. The health and strength of their communities are integral to our success. We design and fund grassroots development projects in the villages where we buy our beans. To read about these projects please visit our website at www.deansbeans.com.

GIVEAWAY:  Dean’s Beans is offering an amazing gift box which includes a 12oz. bag of Moka Sumatra, a 12oz. bag of Peruvian French Roast Decaf, a Putumayo CD with music from the coffeelands, Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee written by Dean Cycon, Dean’s Bean Travel Mug, a Large Dean’s Beans T-Shirt, a 12 oz. bag of Organic Hot Cocoa Mix, a 12 oz. bag of Organic Baking Cocoa, a 24 oz. bag of Organic Sugar, and a pound of Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans. (Value: $85)

Dufresne’s Sugar House (Williamsburg, MA)

Located in the beautiful hilltowns of Western Mass, Dufresne’s Sugar House has been making award-winning maple syrup for four generations. That’s over 100 years of sugaring experience!  The Dufresne family works for the maple sugaring season all year round, practicing sustainable forest management, and harvesting  their syrup with a smoke-free, wood-burning evaporator.  They offer three grades of 100% pure and natural maple syrup, along with maple candy, maple cream, maple sugar block and Indian sugar.  Their maple candy make great table/party favors and all maple products are available for both home and commercial use, shipping out daily to customers from MA to California. Find out more about Dufresne’s Sugar House at www.berkshiremaple.com.

GIVEAWAY: Dufresne’s Sugar House is offering 2 quarts of their finest maple syrup! (Value: $50)

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a breakfast giveaway package (valued at $185), including a $50 gift certificate to shop at River Valley Market Co-Op in Northampton, a gift box from Dean’s Beans coffee, and maple syrup from Dufresne’s Sugar House, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER INVITING YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS TO SHARE THEIR RECIPES TOO by selecting the Facebook icon below,
  • SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE(S) YOU LIKE TO MAKE FOR/WITH YOUR FAMILY BREAKFAST/BRUNCH HOUR in the comment field below and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last), where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) (must include your town to be eligible), and
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and share their name below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, March 28th by 7pm (EST).

[Photo credit: Muffin (ccl) Dennis Wilkinson]

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: Traditional Irish Music with Danú in the Berkshires

Traditional Irish Musical Group, Danú
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA
Friday, March 16th @ 8pm

Internationally acclaimed traditional Irish musical group, Danú, comes to at the Colonial Theatre on Friday, March 16th at 8pm to ring in St. Patrick’s Day. At the forefront of the Irish music scene, Danú takes its audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience not to be missed. Enter to win tickets for a parents' night out in the Berkshires. Deadline to enter to win: 3/14th @ 7pm (EST).

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway to one very lucky couple to ring in St. Patrick’s Day with internationally acclaimed traditional Irish musical group, Danú, on Friday, March 16th at 8pm at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Friday, March 16th at 8pm - a night out in the heart of the Berkshires!

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT DANU

Named after an ancient Irish goddess, Danú is at the forefront of the traditional Irish music scene. Having toured extensively throughout the world, Danú takes its audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience.

Danú’s standing room only concerts throughout Ireland are truly amazing events, featuring high-energy performances and a glorious mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire. According to The Washington Post, Danú is a “vibrant mix of virtuosity, energy, and empathy.”

For over a decade, Danú’s virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, bouzouki, and vocals (Irish and English), have performed around the globe and recorded seven critically acclaimed albums. Their live DVD, One Night Stand, was filmed at Vicar St. Dublin. Winners of numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music Magazine, Danú has toured throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America with stops at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Symphony Space in New York City and major concert engagements in the United Kingdom, India, Israel and across Europe. Danú’s popular recordings are available on the Shanachie label and live performances are often broadcast on NPR, the CBC and the BBC. – www.danu.net

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Danú in concert, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Friday, March 16th at 8pm is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!   To enter win simply:

  1. KINDLY CONSIDER SHARING THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONNECTS YOU WITH EVENTS IN THE BERKSHIRES and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 7pm (EST).  Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast Giveaway: Pancakes, Coffee & Tea in Western MA

Breakfast Giveaway in Western MA:
Sugar Shack Breakfast for Your Family Plus
Locally Produced Coffee & Tea Gift Boxes

Our region is rich in locally grown, produced and served food.  Enter to win a breakfast out for a family of four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse (Ashfield), along with locally produced coffee from Gay Coffee (Williamsburg) and tea from Tea Guys (Hatfield). Deadline to enter to win: March 19th by 7pm (EST).

Maple Sugar Season is upon us and many families make it an annual tradition to enjoy breakfast together at one of the rustic sugar shacks in the region.  It’s a great way to spend a morning together with the kids while enjoying the first harvest of the year and watching the sugaring process.  We asked our readers to share their favorite sugar shack in Western MA and recommendations ranged from Gould’s in Shelburne, Red Bucket in Worthington, Steve’s Sugar Shack in Westhampton, to South Face Farm in Ashfield… but one thing was quiet clear… families LOVE their local sugar shacks!

To celebrate this short and sweet breakfast tradition of coming together with your community to dine at these seasonal houses of sweetness, Hilltown Families has partnered with three local businesses to offer one lucky family the chance to win a breakfast for four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse in Ashfield, plus a coffee gift box from Gay Coffee in Williamsburg, and a tea gift box from Tea Guys in Hatfield (all three!).

According to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, “Sugaring is one of the few tourist destination events to occur during mud season in March and April. 60,000 visitors spend in excess of one million dollars during sugaring season. Farms, restaurants, Bed and Breakfasts, country inns, and other tourist businesses share this income, which flows mostly into small towns and farm communities.”

To enter to win our Breakfast Giveaway, we’re looking for community feedback on how the harvest of maple syrup gets your family outdoors, participating in the harvest with your community to share in a collection stories and recipes we are putting together for a new project we’re working on called Seasons at Our Table.  In addition to dining out at a sugar shack, maybe your family gathers maple sap and boils it down, or you like to attend the maple festivals and educational opportunities in the area… Or maybe you have a new tradition you’re looking forward to participating in with your family and/or community.  Details on how to enter to win are below, and deadline to enter is Monday, March 19th by 7pm (EST).

Here’s what you can enter to win:

South Face Farm Sugarhouse (Ashfield, MA)

South Face Farm Sugarhouse is located in Ashfield, MA, a small rural and farming community in the Berkshire foothills.  Their traditional old New England sugarhouse and restaurant is open this year on Saturdays and Sundays from March 3rd to April 7th, and closed Easter Sunday.  Families can watch pure maple syrup being made and then just a few steps away, taste the results on a plate of steaming hot blueberry pancakes. They offer a varied menu of traditional New England sugarhouse food, using the best ingredients from local farms and sources. Their French toast is made from locally baked real French bread, or cinnamon bread. All batters are made from scratch each day using the finest ingredients. To see the sugarhouse menu click here to view or print. Seasonal updates are posted on the South Face Farm Facebook page and more info can be found at www.southfacefarm.com.

GIVEAWAY: South Face Farm is offering Hilltown Families readers a chance to win breakfast for a family of four at their restaurant and sugarhouse for this season.  Don’t miss the chance to experience a taste of the maple sugaring season while dinning with your family in a quintessential New England tradition. (Value: Whatever your family orders, they’ve got you covered!)

Gay Coffee (Williamsburg, MA)

Gay Coffee is based in Williamsburg, MA.   Each batch of hand roasted coffee is fairly traded and organically sourced, respecting their coffee growing partners, and the planet’s health.   At the intersection of a historic moment in gay civil rights, and over the morning ritual of sharing a cup of exquisite coffee, Gay Coffee was conceived as the perfect integration of these two powerful themes with 1% of all profits donated to the National Gay Lesbian Task Force.  Find out more about Gay Coffee at www.gaycoffee.com

GIVEAWAY: Gay Coffee gift box includes a 10 oz gift tin of Second Date, a deep and very full bodied brew that combines African and Central American beans;  A 10 oz bag of Stone Butch Breakfast Blend: A classic blend of medium roasted beans from the highlands of Guatemala; and a set of “Wake Up and Taste the Gay!” mugs. (Value: $56)

Tea Guys (Hatfield, MA)

Tea Guys in Hatfield, MA is a local family-owned business specializing in artisan whole leaf loose tea blends. Their culinary-inspired tea creations are blended in small batches daily and made with the finest loose tea from around the world, freshly hand-milled spices, vanilla bean, dried fruits, nuts and artisan ingredients to create unique and colorful blends that stimulate the eyes, nose, and palate – and truly taste like no other tea. www.teaguys.com

GIVEAWAY: This Tea Guys gift box includes a selection of three tins of our unique blends: Tropical Green tea, Strawberry Kiwi fruit tisane, and Coconut Truffle black tea, along with a brewing basket for brewing the perfect cup of tea. (Value: $35)

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family breakfast for four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse in Ashfield this season, plus a gift box of coffee from Gay Coffee in Williamsburg, and a gift box of tea from Tea Guys in Hatfield is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below,
  • TELL US HOW MAPLE SUGAR SEASON GETS YOUR FAMILY OUTDOORS AND PARTICIPATING IN THE HARVEST WITH YOUR COMMUNITY below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, March 19th by 7pm (EST).

MUSIC GIVEAWAY: Music Collection from Uncle Rock!

Uncle Rock Returns to the Pioneer Valley
Saturday, March 10th at 10am
At Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA

Saturday Morning Music Party Presents a Family Concert with Uncle Rock at Flywheel Arts Collective on Saturday, March 10th at 10am in Easthampton, MA. Enter to win Uncle Rock's entire collection of fabulous music CD's & DVD! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Hilltown Families, the No Nap Happy Hour and Flywheel are proud to present a family concert with Uncle Rock as part of the Saturday Morning Music Party in Easthampton at the Flywheel Arts Collective!  On March 10th at 10am Uncle Rock will rock the house and have all members of the family on their feet dancing away the winter blues!  Fill up on free pancakes before the concert, and for a suggested donation of $5 per person ($10 per family), enjoy a fun filled morning with the family!

Leading up to his performance we’re giving listeners of the Hilltown Family Variety Show the opportunity to enter to win Uncle Rock’s entire collection of music CDs & DVD.  One lucky family will walk away with a fabulous collection to add to their family music/video repertoire!  Find out how to enter to win below. Deadline to enter to win is midnight, March 9th!

And the day of the performance while driving on over to Flywheel, be sure to tune into the Hilltown Family Variety Show (103.3FM WXOJ) from 9-10am as Uncle Rock will be our guest DJ!  Encore on Sunday, March 11th from 7-8am and podcast anytime following Saturday’s broadcast right here at www.HilltownFamilies.org!

ABOUT UNCLE ROCK

Uncle Rock has shared stages with Joe Cocker, Vassar Clements and Hanoi Rocks. Hilltown Families has presented Uncle Rock here in Western Mass for performances at the Florence Civic Center in 2008 and at the Children’s Art Museum in 2007, and have had him as our Valentine’s Day guest DJ on the Hilltown Family Variety Show. And our friends over at Spare the Rock have brought Uncle Rock to the Northampton Community Music Center in 2009, the Music Meltdown in 2009/10, and to the Iron Horse in 2010 … Uncle Rock is no stranger to our area, and much admired by many families.

Uncle Rock (a.k.a. Robert Burke), is a musician with a “rock of all ages” persona who blends an inventive rock sound for families. His offbeat approach, plus a dynamic live show, has won critical praise from the L.A. Times & the New York Times. Before his nephew dubbed him “Uncle Rock,” Robert Burke Warren performed as a bass player in many rock and roll bands, including international garage rock titans The Fleshtones. He portrayed the title character in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story in London’s West End. He’s also co-written songs for multi-Grammy winner Rosanne Cash and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson.

Uncle Rock’s CD, The Big Picture won a Parents Choice Award, and he was voted Best Children’s Performer of 2011 by Hudson Valley Magazine. Uncle Rock has participate in several collaborative efforts, including Healthy Food For Thought, which was nominated for a Grammy, and Many Hands: Family Music For Haiti, which has raised over 40k for Haitian relief! – www.unclerock.com.

GIVEAWAY: 5 MUSICAL ADDITIONS TO YOUR FAMILY MUSIC COLLECTION!

Here’s Uncle Rock’s entire catalog of CD’s and DVD which we’re giving away to one very luck family:

PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: Uncle Rock – AKA Robert Burke Warren – has lost count of the number of parents who have expressed relief and gratitude that a CD has been created that they can enjoy WITH their kids. The former globe-trotting bass player stumbled onto his most satisfying creative endeavor yet as a teacher’s assistant at the rural School Of The New Moon in Mount Tremper, New York, where Uncle Rock was born.

UNCLE ROCK U: Uncle Rock U, a collection of 17 songs, explores the joy, excitement and imagination of childhood. The album also reflects Uncle Rock’s indie-rock background (former bassist with The Fleshtones), his theatrical gifts (the lead in the London production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story) and his knack for connecting with children (being a Dad himself, as well as a preschool teacher).

THE BIG PICTURE: Shel Silverstein meets Buddy Holly! The eco-rock on Uncle Rock’s fourth CD is a salute to his musical heroes, with stylistic nods to Bowie, the Stones, Cat Stevens, and Johnny Cash. Cross-generational toe-tappin’ tunes for kids from 2 to 92!

NUMBER 1 DVD: “Uncle Rock is a musical Icon in the Woodstock area,” reviews Amazon. When you go to one of his live concerts, the smiling faces and energy flows as much from the parents in the audience as from the kids. Number 1 DVD captures positive, hopeful energy through a live concert shot at the famed Utopia sound stage in Woodstock, NY, plus five videos.

EXPRESS YOUR ELF: Express Your Elf is a holiday CD with a few surprises, including Uncle Rock’s versions of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” plus some rockin’ originals! Sure to be a welcome addition to your holiday CD collection!

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win Uncle Rock’s entire collection of music CDs & DVD is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below,
  • TELL US HOW THE HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW ENTERTAINS YOUR FAMILY below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 03/09/12 @ 12midnight (EST).

Ticket Giveaway: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Family Concert in Northampton

Win a Family 4-Pack of Free Tickets…

Family Concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 @ 10:30am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Rani Arbo says the band is ready to party with the Valley: "Nonotuck knows how to cure the midwinter blues! Stir together a handful of musicians and a heap of kids and parents, pour into a beautiful old church, season with fund-raising goodwill, and presto: a party!"

For the third year in a row, Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of the Nonotuck Community School Winter Family Concert Series.  This year the school ends their concert series with a family concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, “one of America’s most inventive string bands” (Boston Herald)…and we have a family 4-pack of free tickets to giveaway to one lucky family! Proceeds from the performance go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a local non-profit preschool! Deadline to enter to win is 02/29/12 by 7pm (EST). Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT RANI ARBO & DAISY MAYHEM

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is a rootsy, Americana-style string band of four musicians — all parents — who have played and toured together for 10 years. Their grooves are deep, their four-part harmonies are rich, and their adventurous, eclectic song selection serves their debut family CD Ranky Tanky well. Family music is a new endeavor for the band, but they have longstanding reputation for performances that are, as the Boston Globe put it, “playful and profound. Ranky Tanky sticks with that equation: it’s uplifting, danceable, playful, sometimes silly, sometimes wistful, and never sarcastic. Rani Arbo fires up the fiddle; Anand Nayak plays electric and acoustic guitars; Andrew Kinsy is on upright acoustic bass (and ukulele and banjo), and Scott Kessel pilots the Drumship Enterprise, a percussion rig made from cardboard boxes, tin cans, water jugs, and a vinyl suitcase. Together, they create a joyful, musical fusion of sounds both old and new — and a great soundtrack for family tim

ABOUT THE NCS 2012 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

The NCS Winter Family Concert Series is an annual three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The 2012 season started off with a family concert with The Nields in January, followed by A Family Dance Party with DJ Joan Holliday in February and Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem in March.  The family concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street). Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem in concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 @ 10:30am , is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below,
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONNECTS YOUR FAMILY WITH EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES DURING SCHOOL VACATION WEEKS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/29/12 @ 7pm (EST).

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Lucy Kaplansky at Iron Horse Music Hall

Lucy Kaplansky
Iron Horse Music Hall ♦ Northampton, MA
Sunday, Feb 26th, 2012 @ 7pm

Win a pair of tickets to see Lucy Kaplansky at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Sunday, Feb 26th at 7pm. Deadline to enter to win: 2/22 @ 7pm (EST).

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For the end of February we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Lucy Kaplansky at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Sunday, Feb 26th at 7pm with opening act, Sandy Bailey. Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 2/22 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

ABOUT LUCY KAPLANSKY

She started out singing in Chicago bars. Then, barely out of high school, Lucy Kaplansky took off for New York City. There she found a fertile community of songwriters and performers – Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, Bill Morrissey, Cliff Eberhardt. Lucy was everyone’s favorite singing partner, but most often she found herself singing as a duo with Shawn Colvin. Lucy temporarily left the musical fast track to pursue a doctorate in Psychology and open her own private practice, although she continues to tour extensively across North America, reminding audiences why she has been hailed as “a truly gifted performer…full of enchanting songs” (The New Yorker). www.lucykaplansky.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Lucy Kaplansky at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Sunday, Feb 26th at 7pm with opening act, Sandy Bailey, is easy & simple!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOUR FAMILY ENGAGED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY DURING SCHOOL VACATION WEEK below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/22/12 @ 7pm (EST)

If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco in the Hilltowns!

Winklepicker Festival
Mardi Gras Ball w/ Buckwheat Zydeco
& After-Party w/ The Primate Fiasco
Saturday, Feb 18th @ 7pm in Ashfield, MA

Winklepicker Festival's Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall (412 Main Street), followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco, happens on Feb 18th! Deadline to enter to win: 2/15. Details below.

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway to one very lucky couple to the Winklepicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall (412 Main Street), followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco next door at Elmer’s, in Ashfield, MA on Saturday, February 18th at 7pm. Deadline to enter to win: 2/15. Details below.

WHAT IS WINKLEPICKER?

Italy has Carnivale, Brazil has the same. Germany has Fasching, New Orleans has Mardi Gras… Ashfield has Winklepicker! – And while those other festivals are all tied to the last possible blow-out moments before the contemplative days of Lent, out here in the Protestant hinterlands, Winklepicker is tied to the hardest part of the year – when the novelty of winter has worn off, warmth is still half a globe-turn away and you’d like something to do besides plow snow and rake roofs.

Winklepicker stirs all the warmth of music, dancing, community, eating and drinking up together in one big, roiling pot. Winklepicker celebrates warmth and fun in the coldest, plainest days of the year. This inaugural year, the third weekend of February also turned out to be the weekend that precedes the above celebrated festivals, and the theme of Mardi Gras in New Orleans was picked as the inaugural theme for the weekend.

This year’s festival includes: Creole Cooking Workshop; Exhibit of Mardi Gras costumes; Mardi Gras Kids Music Camp; Concert with Chris Smither; Gospel Brunch; and a Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco (after-party with The Primate Fiasco). Find out more at www.winklepickerfest.com.

MARDI GRAS BALL WITH BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO

Grammy Award-winning American musical legend, Louisiana vocalist, and accordion and organ master Buckwheat Zydeco is the preeminent ambassador of Louisiana zydeco music. The New York Times says, “Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Dural leads one of the best bands in America. A down-home and high-powered celebration, meaty and muscular with a fine-tuned sense of dynamics…propulsive rhythms, incendiary performances.” This high-energy band will lead a night of dancing and Mardi Gras revelry that you won’t want to miss, so put on your dancing shoes and join Buckwheat Zydeco as he heats up Ashfield Town Hall. Then stay for the After Party with The Primate Fiasco. The Ball begins at 7pm; after party at 9:30pm. – Not familiar with Buckwheat Zydeco, sample his music here… but be sure to put on your dancing shoes first!

HOW TO ENTER WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to the WinklePicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall (412 Main Street),  followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco next door in Ashfield, MA, on Saturday, February 18th at 7pm is easy & simple!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting “Like” below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES HELPS YOUR FAMILY SHAKE OFF THE WINTER BLUES below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, 02/15/12 @ 7pm (EST)

Tickets at Turn It Up!, World Eye Books, Boswell’s Books, Elmer’s Store & online at mightyalbert.com. For more info call 413-628-4003.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Ruth Moody at Iron Horse on Valentine’s Day

Ruth Moody Band
Iron Horse Music Hall ♦ Northampton
Wednesday, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 7pm

Parents' Night Out ticket giveaway for Valentine's Day to see Ruth Moody at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA! Deadline to enter to win: 02/10/12 by 7pm (EST)

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For Valentine’s Day we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Ruth Moody Band on Valentine’s Day, Wed., February 14th, 7pm at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA.

Win the tickets and take your sweetheart or BFF out for Valentine’s Day. Deadline to enter to win is Friday, 02/10/12 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT RUTH MOODY BAND

Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth Moody is a Juno Award winning songwriter who’s made numerous critically-acclaimed albums and appeared more than a dozen times on A Prairie Home Companion. She’s also the former lead singer of The Duhks. She plays guitar, banjo, accordion, piano, and bodhrán and is a gifted songwriter. Writing with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal, and exceptionally well-crafted, all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably hers. Ruth released her highly-anticipated solo album The Garden in Spring 2010 features with an all-star cast including Crooked Still, Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, k.d. lang), Luke Doucet, and a guest appearance by The Wailin’ Jennys. The Ruth Moody Band, is Adam Dobres (electric guitar), Adrian Dolan (strings, mandolin, accordion) and Sam Howard (bass, vocals). www.ruthmoody.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Ruth Moody Band on Valentine’s Day, Wed., February 14th, 7pm at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. is easy & simple!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting “Like” below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH DATE NIGHT OPPORTUNITIES  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 02/10/12 @ 7pm (EST)

If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

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