Library Events Support Chemistry, Physics, Forensics & More this Summer!

Statewide Summer Learning Programs Offer Developmental Advancement

This summer, libraries across the state are offering an innovative summer reading program to young readers. Titled Fizz, Boom, Read!, the program supports the development of reading and literacy skills, while also allowing participants to explore the intersection of science and the humanities. By combining science with reading, libraries are encouraging children to explore the world of non-fiction writing- opening up endless possibilities for learning and satisfying science-based curiosity. Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS: Music of the World Episode with Guest DJ, Keith Terry (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Music of the World Episode with Guest DJ, Keith Terry

Listen to Podcast:

Keith Terry from Crosspulse Ensemble is our Guest DJ this week! Keith’s program is about World Music AND Music of the World - not only songs from artists around the planet, but sounds of the planet, itself – from the calls made by insects and birds,  to  atmospheric sounds created by lightening.  Plus some found sound — music created by the sounds we don’t always think of as musical, such as fog horns and trains, even bricks.  Join Keith in this exploration of some new and unusual ways of creating and listening to music.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 14th & 15th, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO: Keith Terry, organizer of the International Body Music Festival, stopped by The World studios in Boston to demonstrate the amazing music the human body can make. – www.crosspulse.com


 Archived Podcasts ♦ Radio  Facebook  Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Body Beat – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do.
  • Bayaka Pygmies – Bayaka Song – Pulse of the Planet
  • Ba Benzélé Pygmies – Unknown – Anthology of Afro Music – UNESCO
  • Zap Mamá – Brrrlak! –  Divas volume two
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Cumbe – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do
  • Mangbetu – Water Drumming – Pulse of the Planet
  • Tangle Eye – Katie Left Memphis with wood chopping – Alan Lomax’s Roots of the Blues
  • Unknown – Bricks – Unknown
  • Postal Workers Cancelling Stamps at the University of Ghana Post Office – 1975 field recording, James Koetting
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Flores – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do
  • Mayan Marching Band – Unknown – Unknown
  • The Tahitian Choir – Morotiri Nei – Rapa Iti
  • Keith Terry & Crosspulse – Body Music – Keith Terry & Crosspulse
  • Vocal Sampling – Una Forma Mas – Una Forma Mas
  • Barbatuques – Cneiro verde – O Seguinte é Esse
  • Ants – Ants – Pulse of the Planet
  • Antonio Carols Jobim – Foghorn – original soundtrack from the film Black Orpheus
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Jalan Jalan – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do
  • Talab Khan Barna – Sat Bhayan Ki Ek Behanadli I – Latcho Drom: Bande Originale Du Film Soundtrack
  • Atmospheric Whistlers – Atmospheric Whistlers – Pulse of the Planet
  • Barbatuques – Respirando – O Seguinte é Esse
  • Inuits – Unuit Throat and Harp Songs – Canadian Music Heritage Collection
  • Sergio Mendez – Fanfarra Despedida – Brasileiro

Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  • ❥ Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  • ❥ A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  • ❥ A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  • ❥ A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  • ❥ Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  • ❥ Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  • ❥ Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  • ❥ Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  • ❥ Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  • ❥ Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Underground Railroad Episode (Podcast/Radio Show)

Listen to Podcast:

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Underground Railroad Episode

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” According to American folklore, this song was a “musical” map which led fugitive slaves north to freedom. For a history of the song, see www.followthedrinkinggourd.org.


Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

Discover the Songs: Lyrics & History

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Sheep Shearing & Maple Syrup Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

SHEEP SHEARING & MAPLE SYRUP EPISODE

Sheep Shearing

Shearing the sheep and skirting the fleece at Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA. Click on photo to see more images. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfie

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
March 9th & 10th, 2013
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

  • Lunch Money – “Wake Up, World” - Dizzy 
  • Pete Seeger – “Maple Syrup Time” – Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger
  • Kitty Donohoe  – “Maple Syrup” – Bunyan and Banjoes
  • Phil Rosenthal – “Buffalo Gals” – This Land is Your Land
  • Nashville Bluegrass Band & Kid Pan Alley – “Extra Hand” – Kid Pan Alley
  • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
  • Carla Sciaky – “Sheep Shearing” – Spin the Weaver’s Song
  • Justin Roberts – “Field Trip” – Pop Fly
  • The Hipwaders – “Field Trip” – Goodie Bag 
  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • L. Frank Baum – The Story of Baa-Baa Black Sheep
  • Teresa Doyle – “The Shearing” – If Fish Could Sing … and Sheep Could Dance
  • Matt Nathanson – “Starfish and Coffee” – For the Kids Too
  • Moxy Fruvous – “Maple Syrup Time” – If I Had a Song: Songs of Pete Seeger Vol. 2
  • The Hipwaders – “Things You Want” – Goodie Bag 

Must-Hear Music Monday: Mister Rabbit by Caspar Babypants

Caspar Babypants’ New Kids’ Books

Bunny Rabbit in the SunlightDid you know that Caspar Babypants is now writing kids’ books? It’s true!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that all of Caspar’s album covers are beautifully illustrated with paper cut out pictures. All of those adorable little creatures were created by Caspar’s, that is Chris Ballew’s, real wife, Kate Endle.

So doesn’t it make perfect sense that they would team up to create a couple of bright, colorful, and fun-to-read books for kids? Of course it does!

With Kate illustrating and Caspar writing, these two new books are perfectly balanced and delightfully beautiful. Bunny Rabbit in the Sunlight is a simple board book for little guys and My Woodland Wish is a longer book for bigger guys.

Both are adorable and both follow a similar theme: pictures of cutey pie wild animals and rhymes about what those animals do (and how much we want to play with them).

Plus, each book comes with a FREE Caspar Babypants song that you can download at Caspar’s website.

And speaking of all things cute, bunny, and Caspar Babypants… have you seen the video for Mister Rabbit?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

Are your children’s back to school supplies safe?

Make sure your children’s back to school supplies are safe & PVC free!

Did you know your child’s school supplies may be loaded with toxic PVC plastic? Go PVC-free this Back to School Season with their free guide.

The Center For Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) has created a Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies allowing parents and children healthier and safer options when it comes to choosing school supplies. CHEJ’s product list of PVC-free items include:

  • backpacks
  • binders
  • notebooks
  • lunch boxes, food wrappers & dishware
  • raincoats
  • shoes
  • art supplies
  • clothes
  • electronics
  • and more

Click here to download their free guide.

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing of online resource that are educational and entertaining!

Follow Me on DeliciousWhere are these links? Hilltown Families Del.ici.ous Page!  This icon can be found at the top of our site, in the left-hand column.  Click any time to see what links we’ve added!

Below is the latest 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page). All links are provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement:

Read the rest of this entry »

Must-Hear Music Monday: Down at the Zoo

Down at the Zoo

Down at the ZooOne of my favorite bands is Belle and Sebastian and one of my all time favorite albums is Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Yes, I suppose that is music for grown ups, but my son loves this album, too!

Anyway, when I heard that Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian was creating kids’ albums I just had to check it out! Recording under the name Too Many Cookes, Mick’s newest album is Down at the Zoo and it’s just lovely.

The album is all about animals and their antics in the zoo. Elephants, monkeys, alligators… they’re all here. The lyrics are simple and wonderful fare for preschoolers and toddlers. Easy to sing to and full of life and imagery.

But what I really like is the quality of the music itself. The horns are tremendous throughout the album and it’s fun to talk to your kids about the different instruments you can hear in each song. My favorite song on the album has to be Sarah the Seal. Just so happy and free!

Check out the new album on the Down at the Zoo Facebook page and listen to one of the songs from the album here: We are the Tigers.

By the way, did you know that tigers like to eat chocolate pie?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

Must-Hear Music Monday: New Video by Renee & Jeremy

Share This Video

Renee & Jeremy are simply awesome as is. Their music is melodic and beautiful. But they also seem to know all of the coolest artists around and when their songs are accompanied by animation… well, it’s perfection.

See for yourself:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Dads & Daughters Valentine’s Day Tips
By Joe Kelly

Dad and Daughter Sledding in Northampton, MA

Spend 1-on-1 time with your daughter. Take her sledding, to the museum, visit the library... (photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  1. Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  2. A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  3. A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  4. A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  5. Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  6. Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  7. Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  8. Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters® Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  9. Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  10. Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

October 16th Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Radio Show/Podcast)

October 16th Episode

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
October 16th & 17th, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Listen Now


FEATURED VIDEO: The Leisure Society play live at the Union Chapel on 15 May 2010 to launch American Laundromat’s latest charity compilation, Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies.


 

PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

Northampton Parents Center Turns 25!

Northampton Parents Center
25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert
Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Jay Mankita is a touring songwriter, an internationally recognized recording artists and a local dad. Join him on Saturday, October 16th at a fundraising concert for the Northampton Parents Center. Click on flyer to see larger image.

Northampton Parents Center is having a 25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert with Putumayo recording artist, Jay Mankita, Saturday, October 16th, at 4 pm in the upstairs of Edwards Church.  Everyone is welcome – the whole community is invited! A sliding scale donation is suggested, but  not required.  Please come celebrate music for the whole family with the Northampton Parents Center!

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON PARENTS CENTER

Northampton Parents Center is a nonprofit cooperative drop-in site for children (birth to kindergarten) and their caregivers. Since 1985, Northampton Parents Center (NPC) has provided a safe, nurturing environment for families with young children to socialize. Open Monday through Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 am, mid September to late May. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street. Generously supported by Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Edwards Church, and partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care administered by Collaborative for Educational Services and Northampton Public Schools. www.northamptonparentscenter.org

October 2nd Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast)

October 2nd Episode

Listen Now


Featured video: The Flannery Brothers perform “Pirate or Parrot?” off of their new CD, The New Explorers Club.

Repeat Button Award
We’re loving The Okee Dokee Brothers new CD, Take it Outside.  Their combination of bluegrass and country sounds make for excellent breezy listening.  We find their songs fun, entertaining, even educational, with lyrics reminiscent of country living.  This album gets a 4-Star Repeat Button Award with four different repeat button requests being shouted from the back seat of the mini-van, including the songs: “Neighbors,” “Antidisestablishmentarianism,” “Tippy Toes” and “Auctioneer.”


PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Station ID: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Neighbors” [Take it Outside]Music
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Naked Truth” [Take it Outside]Music
  • Flannery Brothers – “Pirate or Parrot?” [The New Explorers Club]Music
  • Claire Bloom  – “The History of Seven Young Parrots (Of The Lake Pipple-Popple)” [Nonsense Stories and Poems by Edward Lear]
  • Steve Songs – “The Pirate Song” [Little Superman]
  • The Bazillions – “Super Sonic Rocket Bike” [Rock-n-Roll Recess]Music
  • Station Id: Bill Harley [www.billharley.com]
  • Caspar Babypants – “The Legend of the Bone” [This is Fun]Music
  • Bill Harley – “Jack and the Singing Leaves” [The Best Candy in the Whole World and Other Stories by Bill Harley]Music
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “The Extraterrestrials” [Take it Outside]Music
  • Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – “The Rattling Can” [Rise and Shine]

VALLEY FREE RADIO: It’s fundraising week over at our beloved community radio station, 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA). Visit Valley Free Radio online and make a donation to keep the station on air and equipment up-to-date.  Any amount is welcomed!  Visit www.valleyfreeradio.org and select the Donate Now button (large and up top) to make your pledge.

Valley Free Radio is a commercial-free community radio station that gets the vast majority of its funding from listeners like you!  Make a donation of $20 or more during our show (Saturday, 9-10am) and receive a CD from one of the many wonderful family-genre musicians we feature every week on our show. Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to let us know that you made your pledge.  Thank you for supporting community radio!

Back-to-School Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

Listen Now

Back-to-School Episode

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
September 11th & 12th, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


Featured Video: Our friends over at Boston Children’s Music turned us on to this new video,Bookmobile Submarineby John Hadfield.


PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Chuck Berry – “School Day” [His Best, Volume 1]
  • Imagination Movers – “First Day of School” [Juice Box Heroes]
  • The Not-Its! – “Welcome to Our School” [Time Out to Rock]
  • Station ID: Charity and the JAMband [www.jamjamjam.com]
  • Charity and The JAMband – “Jump into the Middle” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Ernie & Neal – “Pre-School Punk” [Rock the House]
  • Duplex – “Figure 8″ [Album]
  • Jack Johnson – “We’re Going to be Friends” [Sing-a-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George]
  • Opus Ditty – “Folsom Preschool Blues”
  • Rocknocerous – “School Bus” [Dark Side of the Moon Bounce]
  • Tom Paxton – “What Did You Learn in School Today” [Best of Tom Paxton]
  • The RTTs – “Learning My Letters” [Turn It Up Mommy!]
  • Adam and the Couch Potatoes – “Go To The Playground” [One Size Fits All!]
  • Clint Holmes – “Playground in My Mind” [Radio Hits of the '70s]
  • The Terrible Twos – “Playground” [Jerzy The Giant]
  • Ellis Paul – “I Like To Swing” [The Dragonfly Races]
  • Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck – “Carnival Ride” [Special Kind of Day]
  • Lisa Loeb – “It’s Not Goodbye” [Camp Lisa]
  • The Sweet Colleens – “The Terrible Twos Step” [The Monkey Dance: All The Kids Are Doin' It!]Music
  • Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – “The Rattling Can” [Rise and Shine]Music

7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child

7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child
By Emily Graham, PTO Today

When your child heads back to school, it’s a great time to start talking with his teacher.

What can you tell a teacher that will help him do his job better? You might be surprised. While your child’s teacher is the expert in education, no one knows more about your child than you do. It’s just as important for parents to tell teachers about issues at home that may affect school performance as it is for teachers to report how children are doing in the classroom.

Students do best when parents and teachers work together as partners. The start of a new school year is a great time to open a dialogue with your child’s teacher. Not sure where to start? Here are seven things teachers wish you would tell them. Sharing this information with a teacher will help her better understand your child’s needs and lay the groundwork for a cooperative relationship throughout the school year.

READ MORE:  7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child – GreatSchools.net.

Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with Princess Katie & Racer Steve @ The Carle

WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
At the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA

Princess Katie & fan. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Hilltown Families and the Northampton Community Music Center have partnered up to offer a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Princess Katie & Racer Steve at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA on Saturday, August 7th at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  Deadline to enter to win is 08/04/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT PRINCESS KATIE & RACER STEVE

“Don’t let the name fool you, this Manhattan-based musical duo (and married couple) stirs up some seriously rockin’ music, ranging from alt-pop to country to reggae, all with a positive message.” (Publishers Weekly)

In 2008, Hilltown Families and Spare the Rock co-present Princess Katie & Racer Steve at Lyman Hall in Northampton, MA.  PK&RS had the kids rockin’ out and doing the tango, with the parents laughing and joining in … Two years and two albums later, they’re returning to the Pioneer Valley, and this time to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts, sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River!

Princess Katie & Racer Steve have recently released a new album titled Tiny Cool, which has been described as “a book you cannot put down – in music form!” They create high energy, positive and upbeat music that both kids and parents alike can enjoy.

Spontaneity and surprise are key to PK&RS shows. You never know what they’ll dream up. Princess Katie (aka Katie O’Sullivan) says, “I just can’t seem to do a show unless it’s spectacular for the kids!”

“Alternative rock-loving parents will dig how much Katie sounds like Natalie Merchant (only much more chipper), and the high-spirited high jinks of Racer Steve will keep their tots in stitches.” (FamilyFun magazine)

Find out more about Princess Katie and Racer Steve at www.princessracer.com.

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY MUSIC CENTER

The Northampton Community Music Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to foster the love and pursuit of music within the community through quality musical education, performances, and activities that are accessible to all.” NCMC’s talented 50+ faculty members offer a diverse range of musical programs to more than 750 participants a year—both adults and children—and bring concerts and other musical events to hundreds more in our surrounding communities, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared experience of music. NCMC is the only music school in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: no qualifying student has ever been denied scholarship.

This family concert is the sixth concert in the Kids Concert Series sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River.  The Eric Carle Museum is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission is $6, with all proceeds benefiting the Scholarship Program at NCMC.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see Princess Katie & Racer Steve at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (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 a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 08/04//10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are $6 and available at 12:30pm the day of the show.  No advance reservations. – For more information about the Northampton Community Music Center, call 585-0001.

Suggested Events 07/24/10-07/30/10

Like This!

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Hot Air Balloon Display at the Green River Festival last Saturday in Greenfield, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday & Saturday, July 23rd & 24th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Thai style fish cakes with cucumber relish and coconut rice.  Special drinks: Asian style Pimm’s Cup and Lime Shandy. Also available: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

BEST BET

Saturday, July 24th at 10:30am: Paintbox Theater presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff at  Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus. Director Tom McCabe is going to place a very special spin on this classic. His take – a tale about bullying. The twist? The troll is the one who is bullied, teased and, at the beginning of the story, alone. With the help of the audience and lots of suggestions from fairy tale characters crossing the bridge overhead, the troll will make friends and work things out. – Making friends is tough, especially if you feel different. – Every kid in the audience can bring their own special talents to participate & shine! 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

Saturday, July 24th from 12Noon-5pm & 8-10pm: Pittsfield City Hoopla at Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House. Hula Hooping, Fire Poi Spinning, Drumming by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots (8-10pm) and more.  Great event for all ages! Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

August 14th at 9pm: Mt. Greylock Star Parties. Join families on the summit of Massachusetts’ highest peak for a wonderful evening of night sky observing!  Astronomy Association members are eager to share their knowledge about the night sky. Families will be able to observe the ringed majesty Saturn, galaxies, open star clusters, whispy nebula, double stars, colored stars, Neptune, Uranus, and much more through telescopes on display. The programs are FREE, appropriate for all ages and canceled only if there is heavy cloud cover or rain. Please contact the Mt. Greylock Visitors Center at (413)-499-4262 or Kevin Collins from the Astronomy Association at (413)-320-2509 if you have questions regarding the program or status of the program. Lanesbourgh, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

Shelley Brooks of the South Berkshire Community Coalition writes: Kickball Tournament – we need players! Deadline to sign up – Friday, July 23… We are looking for 10 eager players that would like to join our SBCC Kickball Team. This fun (one-time) event will take place *Saturday, July 31* at the Little League Field in Great Barrington. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and wrap up arou…nd 6 p.m. All ages (and abilities) are encouraged to join!  Call us at 413-528-1919 x 14 or email at sbcc@chpberkshires.org.

Deadline to enter to win: Tonight, 7/22, at 7pm!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Help support The Food Bank of Western MA. Food and fund drives organized by community groups, schools, and local businesses help fill The Food Bank’s warehouse and enable them to dedicate more resources towards their mission. Organizing a food drive or other fundraising event for The Food Bank can make a major impact in your community. Most-needed items: peanut butter and jelly, rice and canned soup or stew, spaghetti and canned spaghetti sauce, canned pasta meals, tuna, low-sugar cereals, canned beans. For more information about how your group can support The Food Bank, or to arrange a drop-off time of food or funds, please call The Food Bank at 413-247-9738 or email our Development & Marketing Department: development@foodbankwma.org.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Part-time volunteer opportunities. The Hilltown Community Development Corporation (Hilltown CDC) is offering three part-time one-year stipended volunteer positions starting in September to talented adults (must be over 18) who are interested in serving as Commonwealth Corps members and learning about the community development field. Hours are flexible; each volunteer will serve approximately 17 hours per week as an assistant on community outreach projects relating to Hilltown CDC’s work on affordable housing, small business development and planning projects. For more information, contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org.

Deadline to enter to win: August 4th

WORKSHOP: Thursday August 12, 2-5 PM. Grow Food at Schools workshop. This popular workshop features school garden and greenhouse techniques, curriculum connections, and service learning. Geared toward educators; all are welcome. PDPs (professional development points) available to teachers. Pre-registration required, contact solidarity@seedsofsolidarity.org.

WORKSHOP: Tuesday, August 24 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Chicopee Public Library, Workshop “Making Sense of Behavior: Teaching Young Children How to Develop Self-Control and Self-Regulation Using Behavioral and Sensory Techniques.” Designed to assist teachers, parents, and caregivers of children with challenging behaviors – the children who hit, bite, scream, etc. We will explore the reasons behind their behaviors and concentrate on a variety of techniques to help them develop more appropriate ways to deal with stress and channel their frustration, energy level, or sensory need. For more information contact Karen Cassidy at 413-783-5500 ext 16 or at kcassidy@thomchild.org.

LOCAL MUSICIANS WANTED: Local musicians wanted to perform as part of the Greenfield Savings Banks Morning Melodies summer series of musical entertainment featuring local artists.  If you have musical ability and would like the opportunity to schedule a date when you could perform for your Hilltown neighbors, please call Sarah Mancinelli (775-8291) at the bank.

PARENT NIGHT OUT: Saturday July 24, 4 PM, 10th Annual Chili & Chowder Fest, Camp Russell in Richmond, ages 21+. Sponsored by Boys and Girls Clubs of Pittsfield. Now in its tenth year, the Chili & Chowder Fest showcases the talents of chefs from more than 20 eateries across Berkshire County. The event will also feature pontoon boat rides on Richmond Pond, music, raffles, door prizes, beer and wine, and other snacks and refreshments. Tickets may be purchased at the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield and will be sold at the door if any remain; tickets are limited to 500. For more information, call (413) 448-8258.


WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 7/24

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Local contradance superstars Rhubarb Pie have reformed as Calamity Physics! Fun, danceable tunes loved by kids and adults alike! Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

9am-10pm – YANKEE DOODLE DAYS: At the Charlemont Fairgrounds.  Civil War Re-Enactment, Ox Draw, Music, Kid Activities, Rides, Demolition Derby, Crafts, Animals, much more. www.charlemontfairgrounds.org Charlemont, MA (>$)

9am-3pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: The Third Annual Otis Arts Festival at the Farmington River Elementary School, 555 Main Road (Rte. 8).  This year over 50 artists and artisans will be featured. Entertainment will feature Moonshine Holler, Appalachian fiddlers and singers  (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Henry the Juggler (11 a.m.), Leland Martin, fiddler and Joe Dziok accompanist (1:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.). 269-0220 Otis, MA (FREE, SALE)

9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The kids can learn about colonial cooking at the Historic Deerfield Museum’s Open Hearth Cooking Classes. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA

10am - HIKE: The Deerfield River Watershed Association’s July Hike will be a chance to explore Colrain’s Archeology and Geography.   Join Muriel Russell, local expert in Catamount history, for an exploration of cellar holes and caves in the Catamount State Forest.  This is always a popular hike because of its variety and it is not too strenuous. Bring  flashlight to explore caves, unscented  bug repellant and lunch to enjoy at McLeod Pond.  Directions to start: From Rte. 112 in Griswoldville, Colrain, take Adamsville Rd. to Lively Rd., then quick left onto East Catamount Rd. (steep and dirt) to end where there is parking.  Please register with Muriel 624-3311. Colrain, MA (FREE)

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: A Wheelie Good Time on the Manhan Rail Trail – Bring Strollers, wagon, bikes, trikes or just your feet for a child friendly stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail with the Easthampton Family Center. Meet on Payson Ave at the Easthampton Safety Complex. Picnic Snack provided after the stroll. 563-7672 Easthampton, MA (FREE)

10am – MUSIC: Come to the  Greenfield Savings Bank Conway office for family music, featuring Joanie Schwartz, Conway resident, local realtor and singer/songwriter. Joanie is very lively and tries to involve others to sing along. 775-8291 Conway, MA [FREE]

10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: Paintbox Theater presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff at  Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus. 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

10:30-11:15am - NATURE STUDIES: Tom Ricardi will have his birds of prey at the Village Commons’ Summer Children’s Entertainment Series, outside in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Zucchini Brothers at Eastfield Mall Center Court. 543-8000 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

11am – THEATER: “The Mummy’s Tale and Other Stories from the Great Beyond” at the Berkshire Museum. This family-friendly journey explores the ultimate mystery: the afterlife as viewed across centuries and cultures. www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

11am-3pm - TAG SALE: Children’s Tag Sale, Chester Parent Center, Town Center Playgrounds (across from Town Hall). (Rain date July 31) to benefit Chester Elementary School PTO. 623-0111 Chester, MA (SALE)

11am-4pm - ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Snow’s Ice Cream is celebrating their 100th anniversary with $1 ice cream cones for all. Snow’s will be serving cones at the River Valley Market (North King St.). Students of the Northampton Community Music Center will be playing music for the event throughout the earlier part of this event – from 11am till 2pm (approx.) All proceeds of the event will benefit the Music Center. Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

12Noon-5pm & 8-10pm – HOOP-FEST: Pittsfield Cioty Hoopla happens at Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House. Hula Hooping, Fire Poi Spinning, drumming by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots (8-10pm) and more. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

1pm - ICE CREAM SOCIAL: All ages welcome to cool off with some ice cream at the Whately Library (202 Chestnut Plain Rd.). 210-4346 Whately, MA (FREE)

1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer. Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. 256-6234 amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUMS ADVENTURES:  Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate the art of acclaimed “New Yorker” and children’s book illustrator William Steig and his wife/creative collaborator Jeanne Steig, during SuperSteig Day, a family event.  298-4100 www.nrm.org Stockbridge, MA (FREE FOR KIDS)

1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

2pm-12Midnight – BLOCK DANCE: The Hinsdale muster team will be hold its 12th annual Block Dance.  Music, dancing, fireworks, kids’ muster, water polo, bonfire and more.  Hinsdale Fire Department. 655-8084  www.hinsdalefire.org Hinsdale, MA (FREE)

3-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Hilltown Sustainability Celebration at the Cummington Community House (33 Main St.).  Contra dance and potluck/picnic.  Live music with Sarah Stockwell-Arthen, Josh Wachtel and Benny Schults & Choral Group.  Activities for all ages, including dance movement workshop, seed ball making, bag sew, ride an electric bike and more.325 3988 Cummington, MA (FREE)

6pm – MOVIE SCREENING: Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas – a red carpet fundraiser!  Moviegoers are encouraged to dress for the red carpet or as their favorite character from the Ramona books. The evening will also feature a silent auction with signed books, movie posters, etc, and a special pre-screening video specific to Franklin County.  774-3167 x 101 Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

6-9pm – HIKE: Blueberry Moon Hike.  Seach for berries on a 3-mile hike at the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. Ages 8 & older. (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA (>$)

7pm – YOUTH THEATER: Starlight’s Youth Theatre’s production of Les Miserables at the Belchertown High School. 533-7896 Belchertown, MA ($)

7pm – OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE: Scaramouche Jones – a one-man show, at the Three Sisters Sanctuary. This is the first performance in the new outdoor stone amphiteater. “On the eve of the millennium, Scaramocuhe Jones, a 100-year old pale faced Gypsy clown, breaks a fifty year silence to tell his life story. We are taken on a journey from the slums of Trinidad to England, via Africa, Italy and wartime Poland: an odyssey spanning the entire 20th Century.” Performances are July 22 – 31. www.threesistsersanctuary.com 268-3850 Goshen, MA ($)

8pm – THEATER: Double Edge Theatre presents The Firebird 2010 Indoor/Outdoor Traveling Summer Spectacle. The Firebird is based on the classic Russian folk tale as well as a multiplicity of other Firebird and Phoenix myths and legends. 866-811-4111 www.doubleedgetheatre.org Ashfield, MA ($)

8:45pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as their first show, and Grown Ups as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

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Great Parks Pursuit: Outdoor Family Adventure Game

Great Park Pursuit: The MA State Park Family Adventure

The Great Park Pursuit

Outdoor adventure game challenges all ages to disconnect from cyberspace and reconnect with open space.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is launching its fourth annual Great Park Pursuit, a summer-long series of free family adventures in Massachusetts state parks. This year, families will design their own Park Pursuit adventures with activities they choose.

“We envision the Great Park Pursuit as a first step in building the next generation of environmental stewards,” said DCR Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr. “The Great Park Pursuit gives participants a sampling of what our more than 450,000 acres of state parks offer on a daily basis. Let’s not let television and the Internet replace wonderful, traditional activities like hiking, fishing, and biking.”

Each year, several hundred families have participated in the Great Park Pursuit, hiking to beautiful views, learning to fish, pitching a tent, roasting s’mores, discovering secrets of the past, riding in horse-drawn wagons, and much more.

This year’s program will run through September 18th. DCR parks across the Massachusetts will host Great Park Pursuit activities at various times and locations throughout the summer. Teams are challenged to participate in six programs in several themed categories by September 18th. Categories include “Into the Woods,” “Go Wild,” “Explore the Night” and more. Adults and children will step back in time, discover secrets of the coast, and get to know the night sky.

The Great Park Pursuit is free, but teams must register to be eligible to participate. For information and to register, visit www.greatparkpursuit.org.


About The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR):

An agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr., the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at mass.parks@state.ma.us.

Lullabies to Ease Transitions

More Lullabies

I’m a huge advocate of using music as a way to signal everyday events. This works especially well for special needs kids who may need a little extra help moving through transitions.

We have certain songs that we listen to when it’s time to eat or time to go to school, special Wake Up Songs, and, of course, special going-to-sleep songs.

We have so many sleep songs that we’ve actually separated them into three categories: relaxing songs when it’s time to just wind down a bit; nap songs; and bed time songs. I’m starting to feel like a lullaby expert!

So I wanted to share some of our favorite lullaby songs with you. Some are full albums and others are just one song off an otherwise excitable CD (and these days it’s so easy to just download one song), but all are magnificent.

Charlie Hope’s World of Dreams is a beautiful CD. She really thought through the entire concept from beginning to end and recorded an album fully with the intent of lulling your child to sleep.

I know it sounds obvious, but many lullaby CDs will include spoken words or jarring sounds that can wake you up! On World of Dreams, however, you’ll find that each song runs smoothly to the next, that the imagery is peaceful, the songs are ethereal, and the last song, If I Lie Here, sort of drifts off and fades away at the end, perfect for falling asleep to.

The beats on Under the Stars may move a bit faster than World of Dreams, but works beautifully for an afternoon nap time. What I love most about this album is that singers Nancy Falkow & Fran King take turns as lead vocalist, so get this very nice back and forth between a male voice and female.

Both singers are now based in Ireland (though Nancy is originally from the US), and you’ll hear lots of nature references in the songs that make me think of the Irish countryside. Very soothing and very sweet, my favorite song has to be I Wish You Love. It’s such a tender song about a parent’s love for their child.

This CD by Renee & Jeremy is a must-have in our car. It’s a Big World is the CD we pop in when Ivan is fussy and tired while we’re driving around town and just needs to settle down. It always works!

Renee & Jeremy are probably one of the best duo bands ever, their voices just blend perfectly, and this CD is home to my absolute favorite lullaby ever: Powder Blue. This is the song I hum to Ivan when it’s just me and him and he needs a little extra love. So simple yet so effective!

And can we talk for a minute about artwork? I’m just mesmerized by this CD cover. Brilliant and beautiful, but also soothing at the same time. Very nice.

A lot of artists will also record one lullaby song with the rest of the upbeat songs on their album. Here are some of our favorites:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

8th Birthday Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

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LISTEN TO PODCAST

8th Birthday Episode

Featured Video: “Figure Eight” by They Might Be Giants


Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 3rd & 4th, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

listen NOW | listen on WXOJ | archived shows/podcasts request a song | subscribe to free podcast | contests & giveaways | myspace | facebook | twitter

TAKE ACTION: Feeding Families in Western Mass

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in Hatfield, MA writes:

U.S. Senate leaders are currently considering legislation that would cut benefits available to struggling families through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This legislation has been proposed as part of the pending American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (H.R. 4213) (“extenders bill”).

The proposed cuts to SNAP could reduce the amount of support that hungry families receive to put food on their tables by as much as $45 per month. For the hundreds of thousands of families in Massachusetts that are facing hunger, these cuts would mean more days without enough to eat.

Food hardship — what families experience when they don’t have enough money to buy the food they need — is a national problem. In Massachusetts, food hardship rates are at 16.3%, according to a report compiled by the Food Research and Action Center.

More than 114,000 people in Western Massachusetts receive support through SNAP to help feed their families — that’s about one in every eight residents of our region. Without the safety net provided by SNAP benefits, these families would face severe hunger or chronic food insecurity.

Now is not the time to roll back an essential program that helps fight hunger.

TAKE ACTION

Please contact Senators Brown and Kerry, and House Representatives, to ask them to reject any cuts to SNAP funding in the extenders bill.

Click here to find out how to contact Massachusetts Senators and Representatives.


About The Food Bank

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is the leading provider of emergency food that reaches individuals and families with lower incomes in western Massachusetts. In addition, The Food Bank is working with the community to develop strategies that will reduce the number of people in the four counties of western MA who must rely on emergency food. The Food Bank seeks to make nutritious and affordable food accessible to all residents in our region.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Inc.
PO Box 160, 97 North Hatfield Road
Hatfield, Massachusetts 01038-0160
(413) 247-9738
www.foodbankwma.org

Suggested Events 06/26/10-07/02/10

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Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday, June 25th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Gluten-free and vegan dishes. BYOB. 268-7441

Friday, June 25th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Local as possible, with an Asian accent: Asian-style baby back ribs in a sweet hoisin sauce; local Asparagus; local-vegetable stir-fry; local greens salad; locally made bread (AnnaBread). 10% of all dinner sales this night will be donated to The Conway School of Landscape Design. BYOB 628-4003

Friday & Saturday, June 25th-26th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

BEST BET

4TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON TOWN FAMILY FUN DAY & TOWN TAG SALE: Saturday June 26th, 9am-3pm.  Small town goes all out big for annual event! Bird walk (at 6:30 AM), pancake breakfast (at 8:30 AM), Blessing of the Bikes (at 10 AM), face painting, free pony rides, bounce house, Cub Scouts car wash, Smokey the Bear, Jacob’s Pillow, The Eagles Band (at 1 PM), duck race, food and craft vendors, Becket Fire and Police department safety tips, activities, and give-aways for kids, and more! Proceeds benfit Friends of the Park. For more info, call RJ 413-623-5911 (rain date: 6/27).

BULLETIN BOARD

Deadline to enter to win: June 30th

ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

RE-USABLE SHOPPING BAGS FUNDRAISER: The Blandford Elementary School PTO is selling cute, re-usable shopping bags as a fundraiser. Click here for an order form.

GATEWAY IS OFFERING SUMMER ACADEMIC HELP: Students in grades 5 through 12 are invited to attend Gateway’s annual Summer Academic Support Program, which helps students prepare for MCAS exams and retests in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science and Technology/Engineering. Don’t worry – it’s fun, too!

Deadline to enter to win: June 30th

KEEPING KIDS SAFE THIS SUMMER: School is out and kids will be spending more times out-of-doors. Check out the Summer Safety Tips offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics—covering everything from suntan lotions to lawn mower safety.

USED INSTRUMENT AND MUSIC EQUIPMENT SALE: In early September, Artspace Community Arts Center in Greenfield will have a sale of used music instruments and equipment. They are seeking donated and consigned instruments and equipment for the sale. Proceeds will benefit Artspace’s financial aid program and STRINGS FOR KIDS. If you have an instrument (s) or equipment that you would like to donate or consign (50/50), call or email – 413-772-6811, info@franklyarts.com.

Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

PHOTO CONTEST: Mass Audubon Photo Contest. “Picture This: My Connection to Nature.” This contest calls for “striking digital images that highlight the beauty and diversity of Massachusetts wildlife, habitats, and people in nature.” There will be up to 24 winners (12 adults and 12 students) chosen by an esteemed panel of judges. Two Grand Prize Winners’ photos will be featured on the cover of a Mass Audubon publication. All winning photos will be displayed at a special event this fall at the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center. Participants may submit up to five digital images taken in Massachusetts via Mass Audubon’s free public group on flickr®. Contest ends September 6, 2010. For complete rules, visit: http://www.massaudubon.org/picturethis.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Amber Bobnar or Boston Children's Music has put together a sweet playlist for HFVS this week! Tune in every Saturday & Sunday - or anytime via Podcast!

This week on the HFVS our friend and recent collaborator, Amber Bobnar of Boston Children’s Music, puts together our playlist with her current top picks.  She’s featuring music by Alastair Mock, Ben Rudnick & Friends, Debbie & Friends, Flannery Brothers, Gustafer Yellowgold, Vanessa Trien, Little Groove, Joe’s Backyard Band, Leeny & Tamara, Mariana Iranzi and SteveSongs. Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 6/26

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Special guest Amber Bobnar of Boston Children’s Music puts together our playlist this week with her current top picks. Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Zoar Outdoor with be hosting a DemoFest – a chance to find out and test whitewater boats, with kids clinics, kayaking clinic, and more. 800-532-7483   www.zoaroutdoor.com Charlemont, MA (FREE)

    9am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Washington Town Family Day and Town Tag Sale with music, food and activities for the whole family. townparkwashingtonma.blogspot.com Washington, MA

    9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The many uses of berries will be investigated in a new program called “Berry Season” at the Historic Deerfield Museum. Used for food, medicine, and even for dyes and inks, berries were also a seasonal treat for early Americans. Visitors will explore the importance of berries to both Native Americans and English settlers in the 18th century, make berry ink, put together a refrigerator-jam kit to take home, and receive a berry recipe booklet. 774-5581 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA ($)

    10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: A Wheelie Good Time on the Manhan Rail Trail – Bring Strollers, wagon, bikes, trikes or just your feet for a child friendly stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail with the Easthampton Family Center.  Meet on Payson Ave at the Easthampton Safety Complex. Picnic Snack provided after the stroll. 563-7672 Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    11am-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Trolleyfest at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum – a celebration of the restoration of No. 10. Back again this year is the 10th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Militia Co. C Civil War reenactors, who will be encamped at the Buckland Railyard Friday night and Saturday. Besides the usual trolley car rides and pump car rides, activities include: Caboose rides, Displays of local agriculture and industry served by the trolley line, (yes the popular cider pressing will be back!), Additional railroad equipment display and Trolleyfest lunch. www.sftm.org Shelburne Falls, MA (>$)

    10am-3pm – AGRICULTURE FAIR:  Franklin County 4H Fair at the Franklin Co. Fairgrounds.  Dairy, sheep, beef, chickens, rabbits, drill team demonstration, Fire Department, meet some animals in petting area, activities for little ones, food and fun. Greenfield, MA

    10am-4pm – AGRICULTURE FESTIVAL: Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm. Local artisans and crafters, demos, workshops, relaxed self-guided tour of farm.  625-6439 www.lavenderland.com Buckland, MA (FREE)

    10am-4pm - AGRICULTURE ADVENTURES: Farm and Garden Tour, a self-guided look at the secret gardens, working farms and special places in Conway and West Whately. Explore six private gardens and five unique farms, including an organic, horse-powered farm, an herbal apothecary garden, and a nationally-known miso farm. Artists’ studios will also be open, as well as the historic Boyden one-room schoolhouse in Conway. 625-9151 Conway/West Whately, MA ($$)

    11am-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chicopee Fest-Of-All at Szot Park. www.festofall.com Chicopee, MA

    11am-12Noon – GARDEN ADVENTURES: Seeds and Weeds: Children’s Garden at Naumkeag.  Children ages five and under along with their caregivers and siblings are invited to participate in the planning and planting of a children’s garden through a combination of stories and guided activities. 298-3239 Stockbridge, MA

    12Noon-1:30pm – FATHER’S GROUP: Father’s support group at Cradle. Facilitated by David Ettleman.  Babies welcomed. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-5pm & 7:30-9:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Astronomy Association will offer a solar program during the Chicopee Fest-Of-All at Szot Park.  Using their telescopes with solar filters, families will be able to see sun spots and different phases of the sun during the day, and in the evening the full moon up close – plus Saturn, Jupiter, and Messier clusters. www.amastro.org Chicopee, MA (FREE)

    12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at 12:30pm, and the Battle-Ready! Discovery Program (last day) at 1pm.  At the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

    1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer.  Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more.  256-6234  amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

    2pm – READING PROGRAM: Going Green @ Your Library The annual summer reading program is “GOING GREEN” this year. Children from pre-school on can sign up at the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. Participants will be able to create green crafts as well as enjoy making their own sundae! Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    2pm - FAMILY CONCERT: Jay Mankita in the Lang Auditorium at the Westfield Athenaeum.  562-6158 x5 Westfield, MA

    2:30pm - TEEN/TWEEN READING: tnk grEn Sign-up for the Teen/Tween Summer reading program (ages 11 and up). Music, Crafts, games and refreshments! Meekins Library. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    7:30pm – MOVIES: Shelburne Falls: Pothole Pictures Film Series presents The Three Musketeers with Michael York, Raquel Welch, Charlton Heston, Faye Dunaway. Directed by Richard Lester. 1974. Color. PG. 105 min. (51 Bridge Street) 625-2896 Shelburne Falls, MA (>$)

    8:45pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring Toy Story 3 (G) as their first show, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PG-13) as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    9:30pm – FIREWORKS: As part of the Chicopee Fest-Of-All celebration at Szot Park. www.festofall.com Chicopee, MA

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Family Day at The Clark Celebrates the Exhibit, Picasso Looks at Degas

    Family Day at The Clark Celebrates the Exhibit, Picasso Looks at Degas
    Sunday, June 27th, 2010

    Free Family Day at the Clark on June 27th, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, celebrates the exhibition Picasso Looks at Degas with art activities, dance and theater performances, ice carving, and more; includes free admission to the museum.

    A spectacular FREE day of family activities on Sunday, June 27, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, will celebrate the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s summer exhibition, Picasso Looks at Degas, which examines Picasso’s lifelong fascination with the life and work of Degas. The day will feature art activities and workshops, entertainment for all ages, local food vendors, and more. Admission to the Clark’s galleries and most activities is free on this festive day. Registration for workshops and other programs is not required.

    Ongoing, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

    Explore the grounds and enjoy fun performances and activities:

    • Gather your courage and ride the mechanical Spanish bull
    • Cool off at the “Take a Bath” water sprinkler park
    • Delight in the moveable Degas and Picasso statues
    • Watch ice sculptor Craig O’Connell of Images in Ice create a frozen masterpiece
    • Create a mix of bath salts, decorate a mirror, and paste together a Cubist cube
    • Enhance your hair with wrapping, braiding, and colorful extensions
    • Capture your movements in a flipbook and watch yourself jump, dance, and run
    • Learn to sculpt in a sculpture project inspired by Degas and Picasso

    Other time specific activities, check clarkart.edu for times

    • Be mesmerized by the impassioned performance and dazzling footwork of critically-acclaimed Spanish flamenco dancer Inés Arrubla of Inés Arrubla Flamenco Dance Theater. “Inés Arrubla, what a dancer!  She is so subtle, so assured…Inés brought decades of tradition, passion and skill to the stage…it was spectacular.”–The Berkshire Eagle
    • Pay homage to Degas’s dancers with a special performance by members of  the Albany Berkshire Ballet
    • Learn to emulate the masters in a mono-printmaking workshop with artist Andrew Davis
    • Join Picasso People for an amazing performance that sets Picasso’s masterpieces into motion and brings more than a dozen of the artist’s people to life. Novel costuming and masks enlivened by music, mime, and puppetry translates the energy behind Picasso’s work into an array of clever stories and reveals how his life experiences inspired his creativity.

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    A Day at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

    School’s Out

    Engineer Polly Bartlett shows the boys how to operate the pump car at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

    School’s out! The last time it was this hot, my family and I had just moved to Northampton from a sleepy Connecticut suburb, there were two weeks until school started, and we knew nothing and no one. We spent every hot afternoon at Look Park, running through the much beloved sprinklers. Now that it is summer again, we are more or less unpacked and ready adventures. My boys are 11, 6 and 4. The age span can be a challenge for us. My summer goal is to find places we can frequent that satisfy us all, build bridges between the boys’ different ages and temperaments and wear them out so they will sleep heartily at night.

    I decided to surprise Matt on Father’s Day with a short day trip to Shelburne Falls. The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is home to trolley car #10. This trolley belonged to the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Railway company which closed up shop in 1928. It was saved by a farmer, used as a chicken coop and then refurbished in 1999.  It is a charming little trolley, with a shiny dark wood interior, the original frosted glass windows at the top and fresh exterior boards painted a perfect farm yellow. Our tickets were punched, the lights came on, the kids sat at attention for the short ride.

    While the conductor turned the line around for our return trip, we had a bit of a history lesson from the guide.  We learned that car #10 was a combination car. It carried both cargo and passengers. One side hauled cotton, apples and vinegar from the farms to town and the other side carried passengers, usually workers or students who used the trolley to commute to high school in Colrain.  High school feels like a world away to me now, but I pictured my boys as teenagers, commuting by trolley in 1920, hopping on, eyeing the barrel full of apples in the cargo section, borrowing the fare from a friend, swimming in the Deerfield River to cool down once they reached home again.

    Bridge of Flowers, built in 1908 by the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Railway company. (Photo credit: Isaac Bayne)

    When #10 headed back, we found ourselves in a race with the pump car on the nearby track. Engineer Polly, along with a teenager and her grandpa were flying down the track pumping the handles, hair whipping everywhere.  My six year old assures me that we won, as trolleys cannot be beat. The boys were intent on riding the pump car, because they are the fastest ever. I thought maybe Theo was too young so Matt took Isaac and Henry first. Polly, our engineer, assumed control of our family for a short time, as she explained the purposes and rules of the pump car. Henry was to stand on the side and hold on to the bar in the center.  Isaac and Matt face forward and pumped side by side at the back. Polly pumped at the front and controlled the foot break.

    On the way back, Henry was allowed to pump, as she determined he was both tall enough and old enough to follow the instructions. When I took Theo on he held on tight with two hands and kept his feet on the platform. He will have to grow a few more inches until he can pump without it bumping his chin, but he has just turned 4. Polly instructed him not to wave at daddy, as she wanted both hands on the bar. When we coasted in, Theo did not wave but gave a big smile, with a “hello there!” He was quite pleased with himself. All the kids got a “I drove the pump car” sticker.  Before we left, the boys crawled all over the yet to be restored little caboose. They climbed up to the upper seats, admired the wood burning stove & the “closet potty” in the corner. We poked around the museum for a bit, enjoying this store house of trolley treasure, with telegraph machines and electric trains running.

    Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls, MA. (Photo credit: Isaac Bayne)

    Since we were in Shelburne Falls, we crossed the famous Bridge of Flowers, which was built in 1908 by the trolley company itself. Just a few years after the trolleys stopped running, the town itself saved this bridge transforming it into a glorious garden. I expected to have a difficult time in engaging the boys in the viewing of a garden, but walking on a foot bridge over a river was entertaining for Theo. Henry was happy to direct my attention to the smell and colors of different roses and Isaac was pleased when I set the camera to macro and showed him how to photographs the flowers close up.  On the far side of the bridge, we visited the Glacial Potholes. My kids are easily impressed by geological formations (also known as rocks), and these were very impressive rocks which can be very safely view from the observation deck. The boys itched to get down and scramble in the river bed, but the glacial potholes are actual holes in the river bed left by stones swirling in the river when it swelled with the melting of the glaciers. We left with promises to find another spot for river scrambling and swimming. There are many hot days of summer ahead.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Karen Bayne

    Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

    Father’s Day Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

    Like This!

    LISTEN TO PODCAST

    Father’s Day Episode with Guest DJ Yosi & The Superdads


    Featured Video: “Educated Kid” by The Hipwaders

    Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
    June  19th & 20th, 2010
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    listen NOW | listen on WXOJ | archived shows/podcasts request a song | subscribe to free podcast | contests & giveaways | myspace | facebook | twitter

    PLAYLIST

    Father’s Day 2010 Radio Show with Guest DJ, Yosi & the Superdads

    • Yosi & The Superdads Intro
    • Yosi & The Superdads  – “Oo, La, La (Travelin’)” [Super Kids Rock]
    • Brady Rymer  – “Drawing on The Sidewalk” [I Found It!]
    • Yosi Father’s Day Station ID
    • The Hipwaders – “Educated Kid” [Educated Kid]
    • Steve Songs – “Marvelous Day” [Marvelous Day]
    • Yosi & The Superdads discuss presents for Dad
    • Yosi & The Superdads  – “Thank You” [Super Kids Rock]
    • The Hipwaders – “Twitchy” [The Hipwaders]
    • Yosi & The Superdads have e-mail!
    • Yosi & The Superdads – “Hey” [Super Kids Rock]
    • Sara Hickman – “Radiation Man” [Big Kid]
    • Yosi & The Superdads phone call
    • Yosi & The Superdads – “B-E-A-C-H” [Super Kids Rock]
    • Yosi & The Superdads – “Dinosaur in Love” [Super Kids Rock]
    • Yosi Father’s Day Station ID
    • Brady Rymer – “Dilly Dally Daisy” [Every Day is a Birthday]
    • Yosi & The Superdads News (w/Bill Melater & Prof. Smarty Pants)
    • Dr. Noize – “Banana” [The Ballad Of Phineas McBoof]
    • Yosi – “Pass The Purple Pesto Pasta Please” [What’s Eatin’ Yosi?]
    • Yosi – “Chilly Chili” [What’s Eatin’ Yosi?]
    • Yosi & The Superdads wish you a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
    • Yosi & The Superdads – “Funky Monkey” [Super Kids Rock]
    • Yosi & The Superdads – “Alliteration Alphabet” [Super Kids Rock]

    Suggested Events 06/19/10-06/25/10

    Like This!

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Fresh baked croissants from Bread Euphoria at the Ashfield Farmers' Market. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Friday, June 18th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Tex-Mex Chalupa: grilled burrito with organic beans, rice, spinach, cheese, sour cream and homemade vegan sloppy joe mix. – Macaroni & Cheese – Indian Split Lentil Soup (Daal) – Gluten-free and vegan dishes too. BYOB. 268-7441

    Friday, June 18th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Grilled lemon chicken or grilled lemon tofu; Grilled red onion; Locally raised Swiss chard with golden raisins and tamari roasted almonds; Oven roasted potatoes; Locally raised mixed green salad. Kids aged 6 and under eat free from 5 to 6:30! BYOB 628-4003

    Friday & Saturday, June 18th-19th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Flank steak satay with peanut sauce and fresh cumber salad. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

    FEATURED SUMMER CAMPS

    THEATER CAMP: Look no further than Ashfield Community Theater Full Day Summer Arts Program at Sanderson Academy for affordable children’s Arts programs!  NOW SAVE $15 each when you sign up with a friend or sibling! There are 4 great Visual & Theater Arts sessions this year, but this discount applies only to Session #1 (TAKE STAGE: WRITING COMES ALIVE- July 12-16) or #2 (ART OUTDOORS/BATIK & UKRANIAN EGGS-July 19-23).   Both feature talented teaching artists, small groups, and lots of fun– from T-shirt design, to nature sculptures and photos, Word Collages, improv games, stage craft, and performances—this is a chance to learn through doing in creative and inspiring ways.  M-F, 9am-3:30pm. Regular Tuition: $180. Call 413-626-1976. Scholarships available!

    GIRLS ART CAMP: ArtStar Girl’s Camp, July 5th-9th, for girls 8-12yo in Williamsburg, MA. Spend the day (10am-2pm) creating with batik, silkscreening and tie dye as well as experiencing hand sewing and book making! Girls will be encouraged to explore their own artist expression in a relaxed lounge like environment at the private home studio of Marie Westburg, artist and Art Therapist. Sessions are limited to eight so sign up now! Cost is $180 per child. See artstarlounge.com for more info. or email artstarmarie@verizon.net

    BEST BET

    Saturday, June 19th in Amherst: Family Concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts on Saturday (6/19) at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  More info here.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Paintbox Theater

    Warm welcome to Hilltown Families newest sponsor, PaintBox Theatre, Northampton's own innovative theatre of imagination and improvisation for the young and young at heart, in residence at New Century Theatre at Smith College for it's 7th year! - Interested in joining PaintBox Theatre in the support of the work of Hilltown Families? Find out how to become a sponsor too! Inquiries can be emailed to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

    ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

    Marie Westburg of Williamsburg, MA writes: Did you know that the Center for Ecological Technology is offering free air sealing of homes! Call MassSave for an energy audit. Also, click here for info about Deep-energy Retro-fits that can make your home 80-90% more energy efficient.

    Candy Bird Laflam of Goshen, MA writes: I wanted to “put it out there”, that the Goshen Women’s Softball Team is looking for players for our summer games. Anyone from 17-70 is welcome! Skill level isn’t as important as having fun. We play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting June 22- August 1st. Please email me Candy.Laflam@gmail.com or call me at 695-0427.

    Katie Flanders writes: Any good preschools around the Hilltowns?

    FREE CHILDBIRTH ED CLASS: The Hilltown Community Health Center will be offering a free childbirth education class next Saturday, June 19th, from 10am-2pm. This day-long format will prepare families for the childbirth experience in one session. Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, will talk about what to expect in labor and delivery, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. Call Lee at 238-5511 x155 for more information on location and to register.

    Deadline to enter to win: June 22nd

    ARENA CIVIC THEATRE will hold auditions for its fall musical ANNIE Friday June 25 at 6:30 pm at the Jones Library (Amherst) and Saturday June 26 at 5:30 pm at Artspace (Greenfield). Roles for 15 girls ages 7-14, 2 boys and 20 men and women ages 15-70. For more information contact director Martha King-Devine at devinekingmartha@gmail.com or http://www.arenacivictheatre.org. Annie will be produced at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Directed by Martha King-Devine with musical direction by Susanne Anderson and choreography by Melanie Reneris and Cara Leach.

    FAMILY WELLNESS RESOURCE: Healthy Families is a statewide home visiting program for first-time mothers and fathers under the age of 21. They work with families beginning in pregnancy until their first baby turns three years old. They offer a range of services including home visiting, support groups, and help with resumes and job applications. They provide transportation to important appointments for parents and their infants/toddlers, parenting education information, referrals for community resources, general case management, and a non-judgmental listening ear. They work with both mothers and fathers, even if they are not living with their child. Be the best parent you can be, join Healthy Families today! Call 413-584-5690 x130, or email edlugosz@gcfcma.org.

    Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

    KIDS PHOTO CONTEST: MA 4-H Photography Contest. For current 4-H club members who are 8 to 18 years of age. Categories: action, people, animals, landscape, nature, waterscape, design, architecture, formal portrait. You may enter up to five photos that are unmounted, no smaller than 5″ x 7″ and no larger than 8″ x 10″, and each in a sheet protector. Up to 10 photos will be selected to be mounted and laminated for exhibit in the New England Center during the Big E. Entries are due in Waltham on July 5. Check out the entry guidelines on the 4-H website www.mass4h.org , click on News & Events, and then Upcoming Events.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety Show

    Tune in every Saturday & Sunday - or anytime via Podcast!

    This week on the HFVS, Yosi and the Superdads with be Guest DJing with a special Father’s Day Show, featuring music off of their new album, Super Kids Rock, along with their favorites by Brady Rymer, The Hipwaders, Steve Songs, Sara Hickman, and Dr. Noize.

    Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 6/19

    Deadline to enter to win: June 30th.

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Yosi and the Superdads with be Guest DJing with a special Father’s Day Show, featuring music off of their new album, Super Kids Rock, along with their favorites by Brady Rymer, The Hipwaders, Steve Songs, Sara Hickman, and Dr. Noize . Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    7:30am-9am – NATURE STUDIES: Notchview’s Nests at Notchview.  Join naturalist John Green for a bird walk exploring a variety of habitats during nesting season.  Call The Trustees of Reservations at 413 532-1631 x13 Windsor, MA (>$)

    9am-12Noon - LOCAL FOOD: Want to learn how to make jam with all those strawberries you’re picking?  North Amherst community Farm is having a Making Jam workshop in the Community Room Kitchen at Pulpit Hill Co-Housing.  Space is limited so call Beth at 259-1972 Amherst, MA ($)

    9am-5pm – NATURE STUDIES: Visit the Turners Falls Fishway. Underwater viewing windows offer visitors of all ages a chance to see American shad, sea lamprey and other migratory fish during their upriver spring journey to spawn. At Turners Falls Dam (behind town hall). 659-3714 Turners Falls, MA (Free)

    9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The many uses of berries will be investigated in a new program called “Berry Season” at the Historic Deerfield Museum. Used for food, medicine, and even for dyes and inks, berries were also a seasonal treat for early Americans. Visitors will explore the importance of berries to both Native Americans and English settlers in the 18th century, make berry ink, put together a refrigerator-jam kit to take home, and receive a berry recipe booklet. 774-5581 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA ($)

    All Day – COMMUNITY EVENT: Taste of Amherst happens this weekend with fun events for the kids, including: pony rides, face painting, hay rides, family music and much more. 253-0700 tasteofamherst.com Amherst, MA

    All Day - COMMUNITY EVENT: 15th Annual World Peace and Prayer Day. Blue Star Equiculture invites you to participate in a weekend of music, history, horses, and prayer for peace, on Burgundy Brook Farm, a family-friendly event. www.worldpeaceandprayerday.org Palmer, MA ($)

    10-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Forest Sensory Walk at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.  Use your five senses to explore Laughing Brook in a whole new way. See how many items you can find on their “unnature trail,” listen to the many different sounds, smell and taste nature’s mints, and feel different textures. Registration required 584-3009 Hampden, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – SAFETY DAY: Child safety seat checks, SAFE house demos, Sheriff’s office iris scan, and much more.  Food and fun too at the Anne Dunphy School (1 Petticoat Hill Rd.) 268-7237  Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: A Wheelie Good Time on the Manhan Rail Trail – Bring Strollers, wagon, bikes, trikes or just your feet for a child friendly stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail with the Easthampton Family Center.  Meet on Payson Ave at the Easthampton Safety Complex. Picnic Snack provided after the stroll. 563-7672 Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    10am-1pm – HIKE: Native Treasures of Bear Swamp. Experience vista views, diverse native flowers and ferns, towering trees, rocky outcrops, streams and wet meadows on this 3-mile moderate hike.  Trustees of Reservations members and Ashfield residents free.  To register call The Trustees of Reservations at 413 532-1631 x13 Ashfield, MA

    10am-5pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Russian Cultural Festival: Kalinka.  Discover Russian culture with a day of Russian music, crafts, cuisine, kid activities, and more. Will be at the West Springfield High School (500 Amostown Road). 726-1352 sprinfieldru.com West Springfield, MA (FREE)

    10:30am – PARADE: Easthampton 225 Big Parade assembles on Williston Ave and continues on Union Street, Main Street and ends at Eastworks. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    10:30am-7pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Coop Power Sustainable Energy Summit at Nuestras Raices farm (24 Jones Ferry Rd.). Fun-filled family event this year with lots of hands-on activities. cooppower.coop Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    11am-12Noon – GARDEN ADVENTURES: Seeds and Weeds: Children’s Garden at Naumkeag.  Children ages five and under along with their caregivers and siblings are invited to participate in the planning and planting of a children’s garden through a combination of stories and guided activities. 298-3239 Stockbridge, MA

    11am-3pm – SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: Summer Solstice Celebration with the Berkshire Co-Op Market.  Events and shows include Harry: Dragon for Hire, music with David Grover, Roger the Jester, kids’ games, arts & crafts. 528-9697 berkshire.coop Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

    11am-3pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Storrowtown Village Museum will host an opening day celebration. Costumed interpreters will reveal what life was like in the 19th century with activities and guided tours through Storrowton Village’s historic buildings. 205-5051 thebige.com West Springfield, MA (>$)

    12Noon-4pm: COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Holyoke Heritage State Park celebration with music, games, entertainment and more.  Organized By: Centro Restauracion Emanuel. Holyoke, MA

    12Noon-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Grand opening of Wrapped! Search for the Essential Mummy at the Berkshire Museum. live camels on the lawn; live cobras, pythons, and other scary snakes inside, hieroglyphic crafts & face painting, and an Egyptian reception! 443.7171 berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE for members. >$)

    1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem perform a family concert at The Eric Carle Museum Picture Book Art. 658-1100 carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer.  Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more.  256-6234  amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Backyard Friends at Forest Park Zoo. Learn about animals indigenous to Massachusetts and Connecticut. 733-2251 forestparkzoo.org Springfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

    1-9pm – MUSIC FEST: There will be music all day at Millside Park as part of the Easthampton 225 celebration. easthampton225.com Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in Chess at the Forbes Library Mezzanine. Casual meets every Saturday the library is open. All competition levels are welcome. Drop in for part or all of the session. Bring your own set if you have one or use one of the library’s. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    1-5pm - HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Explore the historic William Cullen Bryant Homestead, a Trustees of Reservation landmark. Cummington, MA (>$)

    2pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES:  Space-tacular: Solar System with Rachel Roberts at Northfield Mountain. Hands-on science and art activities connected to the planets in the solar system.  Ages 5yo+ Pre-registration required – call 800-859-2960 Northfield, MA (FREE)

    2:30pm – LOCAL FOOD: The WAPF Northampton Chapter is co-sponsoring a Farm Tour at Sidehill Farm.  Meet their cows, tour their pastures and barn and enjoy some raw milk and yogurt. Great opportunity to get to know a local farmer, see where the milk comes from, and to try delicious raw milk if you haven’t yet had the pleasure. Click here for more info. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

    7pm – COMMUNITY GATHERING: Star-light, Star-Bright: Bike-In Movie, Plant Swap & Local Food Pot-luck at Montview Neighborhood Farm Soccer Field. Plant Swap and Food starts at 7pm. Movie starts at dark o’clock (Shine Only). An evening of magic, intrigue & tikki torches as we celebrate the longest day of the year. Movies-under the stars, on the Montview soccer field, screening The Fantastic Mr. Fox. What to bring: plants and seeds to swap, a local/seasonal dish made with ingredients that you have gathered or grown (farmers markets and CSA food is great), blankets and beach chairs for the movie, bug spray or long-sleeved pants and shirts. 610-955-7168 montviewfarm.org Northampton, MA (FREE)

    8:45pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring Toy Story (G) as their first show, and Prince of Persia (PG-13) as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 06/12/10-06/18/10

    Like This!

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Rhubarb not only makes a great mate to strawberry for an excellent seasonal pie, it can double as a sun umbrella while strolling your local farmers' market! Pick-your-own strawberries this weekend, pick up some rhubarb at the market and find a shady spot to work some culinary magic with this well matched duo! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Friday, June 11th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Quesadillas with organic black beans and local organic spinach. Arugula Pesto with Gluten-Free Pasta. – Gluten-free and vegan dishes too. BYOB. 268-7441

    Friday, June 11th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Fish Tacos – or – Veggie and cheese enchiladas with rice, beans and home-made guacamole. BYOB 628-4003

    Friday & Saturday, June 12th-13th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Crabcake Po’Boy Sandwiches with Remolude sauce and Brioche buns and Cole slaw. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

    FEATURED EVENTS

    Saturday, June 12, Shelburne Falls, RiverFest. An annual tribute to the Deerfield River, and the role it plays in people’s lives and the ecosystem of western MA. Entertaining and educational displays and demonstrations, Frog & Flower Parade, musicians and vendors, children’s games, singing and storytelling, creative workshops. Meet some of the birds of prey that soar through local skies, learn how to identify edible wild plants, see specially chosen movies at Pothole Pictures. Take a guided tour of the Gardner Falls power plant to learn how our river makes so much electricity for us and the power grid. Try some quiet-water rafting, ride an 1896 trolley car, or join a guided hike. Call Polly Bartlett for more info 413-625-6628.  More info here.

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

    Friday, June 18, 2010, 6:30 PM, Cummington Community House. “City Project” performance featuring students from Berkshire Trail Elementary School. City Project is a week of dance workshops that explore improvisation and choreography, and culminate in a performance. Students are not only the performers, but have done the drawings for the poster and tickets, helped write the press release and contact the media, and will be ushers and ticket-takers for the audience. Free admission. For more information, contact Maureen Shea 413-634-5431 or maureenmshea@gmail.com

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

    Dave DelloRusso writes: The Primate Fiasco is playing at the GUTHRIE CENTER on Sat., June 12. It’s the former site of Alice’s Restaurant. This will be a night to remember. If kids show up, there will be some songs from the new kids album “Wheels On The Bus”. Tickets: 413-528-1955

    Jaime Michaels, Executive Producer/Director for Out! For Reel LGBT Film Series in Northampton, MA writes: Out! For Reel is presenting a wonderful concert for the whole family, The Topp Twins, on Sat., June 12th, 8 pm at the Academy of Music Theatre. In New Zealand, the Topp Twins are the most popular music and comedy duo in the whole country. Families from all over will go to the Topp Twins concerts because their humor is a delight for children and adults. One of my friend’s son, 8 years old, who saw the documentary about the Topp Twins in February, said, “I like them. They’re funny, and they don’t care what anyone thinks or says about them. I wish I could be like that.” Can it be anymore perfect than that?

    Deadline to enter to win: June 14th

    FREE CHILDBIRTH ED CLASS: The Hilltown Community Health Center will be offering a free childbirth education class next Saturday, June 19th, from 10am-2pm. This day-long format will prepare families for the childbirth experience in one session. Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, will talk about what to expect in labor and delivery, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. Call Lee at 238-5511 x155 for more information on location and to register.

    Gary Kuntz of Williamsburg, MA writes: Transition Williamsburg invites you to come out to Meekins Library on Thursday, June 17 at 7 PM. We will present excerpts from the movie, What a Way to Go, which addresses issues about peak oil and climate change. Come learn more about these issues and participate in discussion with members of your community. This will be the first of several information sharing/discussion evenings that will be planned over the coming months. Folks from Transition Williamsburg will be on hand to share the latest on activities being planned in our town and surrounding communities. If you want more information about the Transition Town movement go to Transitionus.org or transitiontowns.org. For more info call me at 268-2626 or John Pepi at 268-9276.

    Deadline to enter to win: June 22nd

    ARENA CIVIC THEATRE will hold auditions for its fall musical ANNIE Friday June 25 at 6:30 pm at the Jones Library (Amherst) and Saturday June 26 at 5:30 pm at Artspace (Greenfield). Roles for 15 girls ages 7-14, 2 boys and 20 men and women ages 15-70. For more information contact director Martha King-Devine at devinekingmartha@gmail.com or http://www.arenacivictheatre.org. Annie will be produced at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Directed by Martha King-Devine with musical direction by Susanne Anderson and choreography by Melanie Reneris and Cara Leach.

    OPEN HOUSE: Families looking for child care in the Hilltowns: Davenport Child Care in Chesterfield will have an open house and family picnic this Saturday from 12noon-4pm. They are located at 387 Main Road (Route 143) in the lower level of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation (HCDC) building. Call Therese for more info at 296-4785.

    Deadline to enter to win: June 16th

    FREE ASTRONOMY RESOURCE: Educators and parents: Are you ready to take a Journey to the Stars? The American Museum of Natural History and NASA have joined forces to produce a planetarium show about the amazing variety of stars that dot our cosmos–exploding stars, giant stars, dwarf stars, neutron stars, even our own star! But you don’t have to go to a planetarium to experience this mind-blowing journey. NASA will send you a DVD, for free! More info here.

    HCDC NEWS: The Summer, 2010 Issue of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation is now available on-line!

    DON’T STOP LEARNING JUST BECAUSE ITS SUMMER: With summer vacation almost upon us, here is some helpful information for parents who see themselves as true partners in their children’s education. The Family Education Website has loads of suggestions on fun ways to keep kids reading, math, science, social studies and arts skills honed. And just some plain old family fun ideas to enliven those wonderful days of summer!

    ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowThis week on the HFVS we will be spinning new tunes by Verve Pipe, Sugar Free Allstars, Dream Jam Band, Sweet Colleens, Randy Kaplan, Star Fish, Justin Roberts and Treehouse 10.

    Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    SATURDAY – 6/12

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: New tunes by Verve Pipe, Sugar Free Allstars, Dream Jam Band, Sweet Colleens, Randy Kaplan, Star Fish, Justin Roberts and Treehouse 10 on the HFVS! Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8am – 11pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Granby Charter Days – held yearly in June at Dufresne Park featuring local country and farm themes, tractor pulls, logging, fireworks, helicopter rides, food, petting zoo, live music, Adult and Kids Idol Karaoke Contest, arts and crafts, midway rides for all ages, and much more. www.granbyma.net/granby-charter-days.php Granby, MA ($)

    OUTDOOR ADVENTURES:  Family paddle on the Housatonic River, sponsored by the  Housatonic Valley Association from Searles School to Sheffield Covered Bridge. For families with small children only. 6.5 miles, flat water. Longer stop for lunch and relaxation. 394-9796  Great Barrington/Sheffield, MA (FREE)

    COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Water Under the Bridge Music Festival. Click here for more info. Turners Falls, MA

    9am - TOWN WIDE TAG SALE: There will be a town wide tag sale in Worthington.  Maps available at the library for a donation.  Map proceeds go to the children’s summer programs.  Worthington, MA (SALE)

    9am-4pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Belchertown Arts and Crafts on the Common – a benefit for the Teen Center. Belchertown, MA (SALE)

    9am-5pm – NATURE STUDIES: Visit the Turners Falls Fishway. Underwater viewing windows offer visitors of all ages a chance to see American shad, sea lamprey and other migratory fish during their upriver spring journey to spawn. At Turners Falls Dam (behind town hall). 659-3714 Turners Falls, MA (Free)

    9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Garden Day at Historic Deerfield.  Discover the important roles that gardens played for early New Englanders. Tours the Cooks’ Garden, Open Hearth Cooking, tastings of herbal foods, culinary-focused house tours, a “Tree and Shrub ID” walk, a talk about Composting and Soil Health, an agricultural walk, and a garden tour focusing on the critical role of pollinators. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfield.org. Deerfield, MA ($)

    9:30am-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Muster Day at Old Sturbridge Village.  www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($$)

    10-11am – MUSIC PROGRAM: Little Groove Live at the Westfield Athenaeum. Little Groove is groovy, fun, educational music for children. This program is open to children of all ages. Registration is required.  Contact: Dan Paquette.  562-6158 x5 Westfield, MA

    10am-5pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURES:  The Eric Carle Museum’s 3rd Annual Children’s Book Festival Celebrates Dogs in Children’s Literature.  Click here for more info. Amherst, MA ($)

    10:30am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: RiverFest, an annual tribute to the Deerfield River, and the role it plays in people’s lives and the ecosystem of western MA. Entertaining and educational displays and demonstrations, Frog & Flower Parade, musicians and vendors, children’s games, singing and storytelling, creative workshops. 625-6628. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

    10:30AM-12Noon – ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES: Springfield architect William Devlin will lead a walking tour in the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street area.  Devlin will discuss how buildings in the area have evolved through the years, from simple changes like filling in windows to major additions. He will point out the distinctive features of the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Classical High Condominium, and the Verizon building on the corner of Dwight and Bridge streets. Walking tour tickets may be purchased in the Springfield Museums Welcome Center  (21 Edwards St.)  the day of the event. 747-1830 Springfield, MA (>$)

    11am-12Noon – STORY TIME: Stories from Nature’s Garden at the Lee Library for kids 5yo and younger. 243.0385 Lee, MA (FREE)

    1pm – SINGING: Singing Games with Roomful of Teeth at MASS MoCA. Roomful of Teeth and their Inuit throat-singing guests will present a family-friendly workshop. Partly education, partly interactive, and wholly entertaining, this event will have the entire room singing in ways new, beautiful and fun. No singing experience necessary. All ages welcome. If you can talk, you can sing. www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($)

    1-3pm - FISH ART: Fish Printing for ages 6 and older. Fish print your very own T-shirt or artwork on paper and discover the intricate beauty and important function of fish fins and scales. Drop by the Turners Falls Fishway and bring a T-shirt or other cloth item to use for fish printing. Fish Tee-shirts make great Father’s Day presents! Please wear clothes that can get stained. (800) 859-2960 Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in Chess at the Forbes Library Mezzanine. Casual meets every Saturday the library is open. All competition levels are welcome. Drop in for part or all of the session. Bring your own set if you have one or use one of the library’s. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: The Springfield Museum offers Family Science Adventures.  Investigate the solar system, examine animal characteristics and discover together engaging activities. 263-6800 www.springfieldmuseum.org Springfield MA ($)

    1-4pm – OPEN HOUSE: Easthampton Art School Grand Opening & Open House at The Paragon Arts & Industry Building (150 Pleasant St.) 320-8680 easthamptonartschool.wordpress.com Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    1-4pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Volunteer Day at Red Gate Farm. Help out in the garden, paint/organize the classroom, clear trails, or mend fences. Share in the laughter and a spirit of community as you help build a special place. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. All ages welcome. (4 Norman Rd.)625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (FREE)

    1-4pm – BIKE ADVENTURES: Holyoke Get Outdoors Day.  Get outside, get some exercise and see what’s green in Holyoke on a moderate bike tour of the city’s gardens and parks. Along the way you will learn about where you can find some fresh air and fresh veggies in the city and also get a chance to look more closely at this historic city. The tour will start and end at Land of Providence. Helmets are required and guardians must accompany youth under 14. 532.1632 x13 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    2-4pm – FARM EVENT: Wildcat Sanctuary for Peace. There will be circle dancing, hula hooping, a pot luck and possibly some other activities. Route 9 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

    7:30pm – FILM: Pothole Pictures Film Series will feature The Deerfield-A Working River at Memorial Hall Theater. The story of the Deerfield River is one of fascinating natural and human histories, environmental successes and challenges, beauty and power. Director Joe DeFelice will be on hand to discuss his film. (51 Bridge St.) 625-2896 Shelburne Falls, MA (>$)

    8pm – COMEDY: Out! For Reel will present The Topp Twins, the talented, award-winning music and comedy duo at the Academy of Music Theatre. The Topp Twins are lesbian twin sisters whose talent and popularity in their native New Zealand has won them best Country Western Music Album, their own prime time television variety show, and induction into NZ’s Music Hall of Fame. www.outforreel.org Northampton, MA ($$)

    8:40pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring Marmaduke (PG) as their first show, and Date Night(PG-13) as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Must-Hear Music Monday: Jungle Gym

    Jungle Gym

    Justin Roberts isn’t just a musician; he’s a phenomenon. When we hear that Justin has a new CD coming out, we begin pining for it immediately. We don’t worry if it will be good or not—it’s just a question of which songs we will love the most.

    And Justin has been receiving some much deserved accolades in the mainstream press lately. The New York Times wrote about him in April and I was glad to see that the reporter was a true fan who recognized Justin as a “natural poet,” quoting some of his best lines from classic songs like Picture Day and Sandcastle.

    Justin was also featured in a recent article in Time Magazine, which was accompanied by a video interview online.

    At his root Justin is an incomparable lyricist. His songs move smoothly from verse to chorus and are divine to sing along to. He gets you thinking, laughing, and every so often even crying—and sometimes that can all happen in the same song (like From Scratch, which gets to me every time I hear it).

    His new CD, Jungle Gym, is no exception. The songs take the perspective of a child, but in a way that we can all relate to. We all know what it feels like to get an unexpected day off—whether we’re a kid finding out school’s canceled due to a Snow Day or a mom who’s just been given the afternoon to herself. And in the song Never Getting Lost, is he really singing about a child getting lost in a mall or about losing our way in life and needing to reconnect?

    Justin’s new CD is set to release this week but can be pre-ordered now. In the meantime, you can check out this video for Obsessed by Trucks:

    And once you’ve got your new CD and you’re singing every song by heart, you’ll be ready for Justin’s upcoming performances, including the Regattabar in Cambridge, MA on July 25th. Yes, it’s time to get excited.

    Like This!


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

    Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

    Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem @ The Carle

    WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
    Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
    Saturday, June 19th, 2010
    At the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA

    The music style of Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is described by the Boston Globe as “neo old-timey with cosmopolitan splashes of contemporary pop and jazz.” - Your family will LOVE them!

    Hilltown Families and the Northampton Community Music Center have partnered up to offer a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA on Saturday, June 19th at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center!  Deadline to enter to win is 06/16/10. 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 time.

    ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY MUSIC CENTER

    The Northampton Community Music Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to foster the love and pursuit of music within the community through quality musical education, performances, and activities that are accessible to all.” NCMC’s talented 50+ faculty members offer a diverse range of musical programs to more than 750 participants a year—both adults and children—and bring concerts and other musical events to hundreds more in our surrounding communities, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared experience of music. NCMC is the only music school in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: no qualifying student has ever been denied scholarship.

    This family concert is the fifth concert in the Kids Concert Series sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River.  The Eric Carle Museum is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission is $6, with all proceeds benefitting the Scholarship Program at NCMC.

    HOW TO WIN

    Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see Rani Arbos & daisy mayhem at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

    1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (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 a winner and will share the results below.

    IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 06/16/10 @ 7pm (EST).

    If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are $6 and available at 12:30pm the day of the show.  No advance reservations. – For more information about the Northampton Community Music Center, call 585-0001.

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