31 Community Highlights: Pollinators to Polliwogs. Seed Bombs to Black-Out Poetry.

Several vernal pool events happening this weekend throughout the region!

Pollinators to Polliwogs. Seed Bombs to Black-Out Poetry. Rockets to Knitting… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Celebrate Spring and all things green at Easthampton’s Waste Not Want Not Art Walk on Saturday evening, April 12th. Explore Easthampton’s art scene and do free activities, like make seed bombs with Easthampton Community Garden at Nash Gallery, learn how to build raised beds at Old Town Hall, make your own notecards and envelopes at Knack, and more! This is a fun evening out that lets you experience some of the great art- and environment-related opportunities Easthampton has to offer!


Vernal PoolsEarth DayActivismCommunity ServiceFiber ArtsSTEMCultural StudiesPoetryNature StudiesOrnithologyArtHistoryEntomologyInternet SafetyParent Workshop


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29 Community Highlights: Food Chemistry to Period Restaurants. Edible Books to Oddball Science.

World music is a powerful pathway towards discovery of other cultures and music instruments. Families can learn about two instruments used in North Indian music – the sitar and the tabla – at the Amherst Jones Library‘s “Introduction to North Indian Classical Musicfree events this month!

Draft Horses to Merino Sheep. Food Chemistry to Period Restaurants. Edible Books to Oddball Science. Folk Dancing to Classical Indian Music… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Did you know that if a domestic sheep weren’t shorn, their wool would grow and grow and grow? Come learn about shearing and the wool harvest at Winterberry Farm at their new farm in Colrain on Saturday, April 5th during  Shearing Day! There will be music, food, demonstrations, and a chance to see 30 sheep get sheared. A great chance for families to learn about this traditional process and for kids to know where their woollies come from. Free.


Animal ScienceFood StudiesAstronomyCultural StudiesLiteracySTEMMuseum AdventuresDance StudiesNature ScienceOrnithologyParent Workshops


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21 Community Highlights: Magic Flute to Sound of Music. Electricity to Telescope

The Magic Flute to The Sound of Music. Electricity to Telescope. Garlic Mustard to Bat Houses.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Transport children into an enchanted world that blends myth, fairytale, and the archetypes of good vs. evil this Sunday afternoon, March 30th while exposing them to the wonderful world of opera! Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls presents a free screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of The Magic Flute. Mozart’s famous fairytale opera features magic bells, dancing animals, dragons, a hero and heroine, and much more. This production was directed by Julie Taymor in 2004 and is adapted for children.. This production is ideal for introducing children to opera – it is funny and engaging, yet it also teaches important lessons about patience and distinguishing right from wrong.


Community ServiceGeologySpace/AstronomyEnvironmental ScienceAnimal StudiesSTEMHistoryOutdoor AdventuresFashion StudiesTheaterParent WorkshopMusic Studies


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24 Community Highlights: Middle Eastern Textiles to Victorian Clothing. Big Band Music to Holograms.

Sugar season is an integrated part of New England culture. Whether you’re visiting or have lived here all your life, get out into your community during the first harvest of the year and enjoy the many cultural opportunities that celebrate maple syrup! This week we are featuring Maple Day at Hager’s Farm Market in Shelburne. On Saturday, March 22nd, there will be demonstrations, an old fashioned sap boiling, maple cream and maple candy making, as well as tons of maple-y treats (tons!). Enjoy this delicious springtime New England treat and learn about its history and how it’s processed.

Middle Eastern Textiles to Victorian Clothing. Big Band Music to Holograms. Mud Season to Maple Syrup

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Performance artist Kandie Carle will be at the Storrs Library to perform her free one-woman show, “Victorian Lady,” on Monday evening, March 24th. Carle will use authentic Victorian and Edwardian clothing to interact with the audience and to take them on a journey into the past through fashion. She will discuss the history and significance of each item of clothing in order to give audience members an idea of what fashion, etiquette, and lifestyles were like during the Victorian and Edwardian era, including interesting anecdotes and ‘myth busting’.


STEMFashion StudiesEnvironmental ScienceCulinary ArtsLocal HistoryMaple SeasonAnimal StudiesGovernmentArtDance StudiesParent WorkshopsMusic StudiesWritingFilm/Video


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27 Community Highlights: Accordion Books to Togas. Vernal Equinox to Maple Syrup.

Happy Spring!

Accordion Books to Togas. Purim to St. Patrick’s Day. Vernal Equinox to Maple Syrup

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Saturday, March 15, is Family Fun Day at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum! The theme for this free event is “Portraits and Costume,” and there will be drop-in craft activities, a gallery talk that includes a picture book related to the museum’s collection, and much more. Not only will the educational potential of the museum be unlocked by museum guides and interpreters, but children will be able to learn in a collaborative, multi-age environment where they share their thoughts and observations with others and gain insight from information shared by other visitors.


Maple SyrupSTEMImmigrationSt. Patrick’s DayPurimCultural StudiesOutdoor AdventuresAnimal StudiesSpring EquinoxLiteracyTheater/MusicalsParent WorkshopsCrafts


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27 Community Highlights: Shadow Puppets to Sewing Machines. Fiddle Music to Cheese Caves.

Shadow Puppets to Sewing Machines. Manhattan Project to Fiddle Music. Tracking Fairies to Cheese Caves

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The BagShare Project is holding a free Sewing Machine and Clothing Repair Clinic on Sunday, March 9 in Cummington. Bring your sewing machine in for repair, learn how to fix and oil it yourself, and learn basic clothing repair, like sewing on buttons, shortening pants, and patching jeans. Bring a project you need help with so you can learn how to fix it on your own in the future. This clinic is an excellent example of collaborative consumption and how we can use it to educate as well as support sustainable living.


Puppet ShowsLiteracyWomen’s History MonthOutdoor AdventuresMusic StudiesHistory of Writing/PrintingCollaborative ConsumptionTeen/HistorySTEMSports HistoryTheater/MusicalsParent Workshops


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21 Community Highlights: Tap Dance to Folklore. Tulips to Trees.

Edible Book to Dr. Seuss Birthday. Wind Turbines to Hydrodynamics. Black Holes to Hubble Telescope. Food Systems to Sugaring

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Just when you think you can’t stand winter for one minute longer, the spring flower shows open up at area colleges offering smells and colors of spring! Both the Smith College Botanical Garden and the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden will show off their extensive collections of flowering bulbs in their greenhouses starting this Saturday, March 1. Smith College’s annual Spring Bulb Show will take place at the Lyman Conservatory in Northampton, and The Spring Flower Show at Mt. Holyoke will be held in the college’s Talcott Greenhouse in South Hadley. A visit to these free shows can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany and plant habitat. Why is it, children might wonder, that the bulbs are blooming even though nothing else in nature seems to have woken up? What is it about greenhouses that allows plants to bloom when there is still snow on the ground? Ask questions and learn what makes a greenhouse different from outdoors to better understand the different needs that species of plants have.


Literacy/ArtLocal History  ♦ Performing ArtFolkloreHuman StudiesBotanyDendrologyFood StudiesScience & SustainabilityMaple HistoryAstronomyParent WorkshopsEngineering


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31 Community Highlights: Shaker Inventions to Turkish Coffee. Telescopes to Architecture.

On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22, families are invited to Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke for a free guided family program – “Signs of the Season.”

Shaker Inventions to Turkish Coffee. Smith Splash to Kitchen Kaboom. Telescopes to Rainforest

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Students in grades 6 through 12 (ages 11 through 18) are invited to come to Smith Splash in Northampton on the Smith College campus for a day of workshops for middle and high school students taught by college students. Write a parody song, learn about energy and mathematical proofs, create a zine, and learn American Sign Language. Takes place on Saturday, Mar 1. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 26!


HistoryBirds of PreyFilm StudiesNature StudiesSTEMEntomologyCultureFood StudiesArchitectureBlack History MonthParent Workshops


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26 Community Highlights: Chain Reactions to Aviation. Candy Land to Medieval Feasts.

To help kids understand the concept of interrelatedness, try building your very own chain reactions at home using dominos! Building chains of dominoes is the classic DIY chain reaction. On Monday afternoon, Feb. 17, the 7th Annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza take place!  See this classic DIY chain reaction take place on a large scale and marvel at the cascade of a chain reaction.

Chain Reactions to Aviation. Saber-Tooth Cat to Arctic Gray Wolf. Candy Land to Medieval Feasts….

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Did you know that the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks is housed at Amherst College in the Beneski Museum of Natural History?  The Museum offers opportunities for families and students to learn about the natural history of the Pioneer Valley and many other parts of the world during February Vacation week, Feb 18-21, with free guided tours for families with children ages 5 and up. There are over 1,700 specimens (including skeletons of a mammoth, cave bear, and saber-tooth cat, and skulls of a tyrannosaurus rex and a triceratops!), some from as far away as Patagonia, housed at the Museum, along with several collections, including anthropology, ichnology, meteorites, mineralogy, osteology, paleobotany and taxidermy. These guided tours will help museum visitors discover all the neat things the museum has to offer while learning about the natural history of the Pioneer Valley.


Animal TrackingMusic StudiesHistoryWolvesSTEMMuseum AdventuresCreative Free PlaySnowshoe Hikes


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40 Community Highlights: Valentine’s Day to Black History Month. Creative Free Play to Chemistry.

Pioneer Valley Bread House in South Hadley is holding a bread-baking event that’s open to everyone on Tuesday evening, February 11! Come learn how to bake bread from scratch and share, learn, and create with community members. Baking bread is a fun and useful skill and this is a perfect event to help you get started! Takes place at Five College Women’s Studies Research Center.

Valentine’s Day to Black History Month. Creative Free Play to Chemistry. Bread Baking to Snowshoeing.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The UMass Department of Chemistry and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Institute is holding a family chemistry demonstration night to display the wonders of chemistry and chemical reactions on Thursday, February 13 in Amherst. There will be exciting explosions, colorful reactions, and much more! Come see how cool chemistry is at this family event! Students, parents, and teachers are especially encouraged to attend this free night of science!


Creative Free Play Community Service/Animal WelfareSportsValentine HistoryLocal HistoryNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresSTEMBaking ♦  Valentine’s DayBlack History MonthParent Workshops


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27 Community Highlights: Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel.

Ice was once an important “cash crop” in New England. Learn about the history and science behind ice harvesting this Saturday, Feb 1st at the NCCHP Museum annual Ice Harvest in Granville, and next Saturday, Feb 8th at the Easthampton Winterfest!

Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel. Sleigh Rally to Ice Harvest

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation (NCCHP) Museum is holding their 6th Annual Ice Harvest on Saturday afternoon, Feb 1 in Granville! Dennis Picard will organize the harvest and teach about the history of ice harvesting in New England – visitors will even get to try using an ice saw! Ice was once an important “cash crop” in New England, and you can learn about the history and science behind ice harvesting. The NCCHP museum will be open for tours, a video on ice harvesting, and information about drum-making. There will also be rescue horses from Blue Star Farm on site in order to help teach about the many roles of horses in New England’s history, live music, and refreshments at this free event.


SportsMusic StudiesLiteracyImmigrationAstronomyNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresNew England HistoryCommunity ServiceValentine’s DayOrnithologySTEM/Physics


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21 Community Highlights: Rainforests to Surface Tension. Bread Baking to Ice Harvesting.

Trains to Bread. Rainforests to Surface Tension. Swords to Furniture

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Have your kids ever asked you how a water strider can glide on the surface of a pond? Or why drops of water are round? The answer? Surface tension! On Monday evening, Jan 27, adults and older students can learn about the science of surface tension with professors from Yale University at SciTech Cafe hosted at the Amherst Brewing Company in Amherst. The wonders of surface tension will be illustrated with live action science demos at this free event.


ScienceHistory/FurnitureTheater/PuppetryTransportation/RailroadsEcology/RainforestsDance/CultureFilm StudiesPastry Arts/BreadArt StudiesHistoryBook GroupsParent WorkshopsEarly Literacy


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23 Community Highlights: California Gold Rush to Garland Dancing. Spirituals to Spoken Word.

Garland dancing, an English folk dance that began in the mill towns of North England in the 19th century, was a folk dance rural folks brought with them when they move into cities during the Industrial Revolution.

California Gold Rush to Garland Dancing.  Bald Eagles to Wolves. Spirituals to Spoken Word…

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Garland dancing, an English folk dance that originated from the British Isles, is a form of Morris dance with flower-covered garlands and measured movements. The Morning Glory Girls Garland dance group will begin practicing at the Whately Elementary School on Sunday afternoon, January 19th, and welcomes new participants (girls ages 7-12) to join in this free dance group. In this traditional dance, performers use ribbons, bells, and flower garlands while dancing in rhythmic steps to music and song. Mothers and daughter are invited to join in together with the Harts Brook dance group immediately following. Musicians (any age & gender) are welcomed too! Dancing, music, flowers and folks traditions… an inviting recipe for a Sunday afternoon!


HistoryCultural StudiesOutdoor AdventuresArts & CraftsAnimal StudiesMartin Luther King, Jr.Civic EngagementSTEMParent Workshops


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18 Community Highlights: Firefighters to Hibernation. Contemporary Art to Marshmallow Catapults.

Firefighters to Psychology. Marshmallow Catapults to Contemporary Art. Immigration to Hibernation

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Ask your child what a family would have done in the 1800′s if their home caught on fire before the invention of modern day fire departments. They might have had to rely on private fire brigades, but only if their home had a fire insurance mark! Learning about the history of the occupation of a fireman gives a unique perspective into the history of our country and the development of technology. This year’s Storrowtown Village‘s First Person Presentation is “A Fireman of 1899 – His Life and Job,” presented by retired firefighter, teacher, and historian William Moss on Friday evening, January 17th in West Springfield. Moss will be at Storrowtown, dressed in period costume, to discuss the lives and challenges of 19th century firefighters, taking families through a typical day in the life of a fireman during the 1800′s. To further your learning at home, tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show Firefighter Episode with guest DJs, Chicago Firefighters John and Pete. A fun radio show/podcast for the whole family!


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art


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20 Community Highlights: Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies.

Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies. Parent Workshops to Chess Club

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Children love to volunteer and to feel like they are making a difference in the world and the lives of others… especially in the lives of the animals.  Volunteering with a local animal shelter offers children the chance to bring about support to the welfare of animals right in their own community.  On Saturday, January 4th, the Berkshire Humane Society will host an orientation for their “Humane Hero” program, for kids and parents. This is a new volunteer program just for kids. Families can learn about this new program at one of two different orientations: Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield in the morning; Berkshire South Community Center in Great Barrington in the afternoon.


Outdoor Adventures/HikingCultural Studies/Cuba  ♦ Local History/StockbridgeCommunity Service/Animal WelfareSTEM/ChessParent WorkshopsAstronomy


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23 Community Highlights: Peter Rabbit to Cinderella. History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve.

History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve. Snowshoeing to Hiking. Peter Rabbit to Cinderella

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Julian calendar, Gregorian calendar, Lunisolar calendar, Sumerian calendar, Mayan calendar… with the new year approaching, let’s talk calendars! The history behind each one of these systems of keeping track of the days in a year tells an interesting story about the societies from which they came and how they saw time and the cycles of nature. On Saturday afternoon, Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams is offering an educational program on the history of the calendar. Stop in with your interest and questions and learn about the history of the calendar.


Outdoor AdventuresFoodHistoryNew Year’s EveSTEMFamily PerformancesAstronomy


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20 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Christmas. Mummers’ Play to Flash Mob.

Saturday, December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. There are a number of community events, including outdoor celebrations with stories, songs and warming fires…

Flash Mob to Symphony. Winter Solstice to Christmas. Long Sword Dance to Animal Tracking

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  There are a number of dances with European origins that take place this time of year. On Saturday morning, a Holiday Tea, co-sponsored by the Pelham Library and Historical Society, takes place in Pelham and will include the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, an English folk dance from the Middle Ages. Another featured dance is the Long Sword Dance, traditional dance performed on Boxing Day in England (the day following Christmas Day).  Along with these dance, traditional songs will be sung and a mummers’ play (European folk plays) will be performed too.  Bring the family for a morning rich in European history… and maybe even a visit by Santa!


Chorus & CarolingWinter SolsticeEuropean HistoryMYO CraftsWinter PoetryAnimal TrackingLEGO Block PartyMuseum Adventures


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20 Community Highlights: Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions.

Christmas Bird Count to Watershed Investigators. Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions….

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Would you like to learn more about what the holidays were like in the past? The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and The Mount have partnered to present “Downton Abbey and Gilded Age Holiday Entertaining,” with food historian Francine Segan on Sunday afternoon, December 15th in Great Barrington. She will discuss the variety of traditions, etiquette, dishes, and entertainment that were popular in high society during the Gilded Age, such as calling cards, horse-drawn coaches, high tea, cotillions, formal dinner, and more. The evening also includes trivia, tastings, demonstrations, recipes, and a screening of Somewhere in Time (1980; rated PG). This fascinating and entertaining lecture would be best for older students interested in history, food, or film.


Citizen ScientistOrnithologyNature StudiesDendrenology  ♦ Historical TradeChristmas HistoryMusic HistoryCreative Free PlayLocal History


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21 Community Highlights: Yuletide to Colonial Christmas. Jane Austen to Charles Dickens.

There are a number of variations on the Gingerbread Man story available to read with your kids. Click here for a list of titles.

Yuletide to Colonial Christmas. Human Rights to Afro-Caribbean. Jane Austen to Charles Dickens.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  The history of a town can often times been seen in the architecture of it’s buildings and the remains of local industry.  In the early 19th century, Westfield was manufacturing bricks, cigars and whips (the city is know as the “Whip City” to this day.) On Sunday afternoon, December 8th, families can participate in a self-guided Dickens Days Historic House Tour of Westfield. Discover the history behind eight historic Westfield homes, all decorated for the holidays, and learn about what the city was like in the past and the industries in which past inhabitants worked.


Holiday HistoryAnimal StudiesSocial JusticeLiteratureLocal HistoryNature StudiesCultural StudiesPerformance ArtParent Workshops


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17 Community Highlights: Colonial Christmas to Taiping Rebellion. Birds of Prey to Honey Bees.

Colonial Christmas to Taiping Rebellion. Birds of Prey to Honey Bees. Domestic Service of the Gilded Age to Culinary Curiosities

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate  Colonial Christmas during their “Christmas by Candlelight” event. This historical celebration happens every weekend leading up to Christmas including Friday evening, December 6th.  Families can experience life in the 1800′s through sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in Colonial New England.


Colonial HistoryOrnithologyCultural StudiesLocal HistoryEntomologyAstronomyParent Workshops


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26 Community Highlights: Violins to Locomotives. Thanksgiving to Hanukkah.

We asked our readers to share what they serve for their Thanksgiving Dinner and to offer cooking tips on how to both cook a turkey and favorite vegetarian dishes. See what they had to share in our post, Seasons at Our Table: Harvest Season.

Thanksgiving to HanukkahViolins to Locomotives. Democracy to Presidents. Glassblowing to Basket-Weaving

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s was glassblowing raised to the level of art, lead by German artist, Hans Godo Frabel. This weekend and next, families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm in Williamsburg. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glass blower in the glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year


HistoryNature StudiesArtisan TradeMuseum AdventuresTheaterGovernment StudiesPresidential StudiesHanukkahMusic StudiesCultural Studies ♦  Black Friday Alternatives


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27 Community Highlights: Unquomonk Mountain to Ice Glen. Medieval Music to Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Turkeys to Cougars. Unquomonk Mountain to Ice Glen. Medieval Music to Rock ‘n’ Roll. Roosevelt to Kennedy

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Do wild turkeys make their nest in trees or on the ground? How far can they fly? What kind of sounds do they make? What kinds of habitats do they need to thrive in? Find the answers to these questions and discover the history about Massachusetts state bird this Saturday morning, November 16th, during a Turkey Family Program at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Hampden. Families can also learn about the history of turkeys in Massachusetts and the United States, and then go out on the trails and search for evidence of turkeys with naturalist, Kevin Kopchynski.


Animal StudiesLocal HistoryNatural HistoryMusic StudiesPresidential HistoryCultural StudiesArtWomen’s HistoryCommunity ServiceParent Workshop


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20 Community Highlights: Ichnofossils to Illumination. Shoes to Soap.

Have you ever wondered how communities and homes were illuminated during the dark New England winter months before electricity? “An Evening of Illumination” at Old Sturbridge Village on Saturday evening, November 9th, allows visitors to experience an evening as early New Englanders did – by candlelight, oil lamps, and firelight.

Ichnofossils to Illumination. Linens to OperaShoes to Soap.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  The Five College West African Music Ensembles will perform a free concert in South Hadley at Mt. Holyoke McCulloch Auditorium on Friday, November 15th. The Ensembles, along with Ghanaian guest performers, will play music from southern Togo, Ghana, and Benin. There will also be a dance lesson for audience members. The whole family can come to this exciting concert and learn about music and dance in West Africa.


GeologyImmigrationNature ScienceHistoryMYO GiftsCulinary ArtsAgricultureCommunity ServiceCommunity MealsOutdoor AdventuresCultural StudiesParent Workshop


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22 Community Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Bubbles. Opera to Beatles.

Chrysanthemum Show at Smith College begins this weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Buttons to Apparel. Chrysanthemums to Bubbles. Opera to Beatles. Superman to Lydia Maria Child.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is the Fall Chrysanthemum Show which opens on Saturday, November 2nd at the Botanic Garden of Smith College in Northampton, and runs daily through November 17th.  The show features many beautiful flowers throughout Lyman Conservatory where cascades of chrysanthemums lined the walls creating an amazing display of “floral pyrotechnics.” Explore the rich history of the chrysanthemum before your visit, then examining the wide array of forms and colors that are cultivated when you arrive. See if you can get your kids to pick out the different varieties of chrysanthemum forms displayed at the show. Check the show brochure for a list. Click here for printable coloring sheets of different flowering forms. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Maize: Mysteries of an Ancient Grain too.


Science ♦ Plant StudiesHistoryStorytellingApparel ♦ Music StudiesOrnithologyHikingBiologySTEM Art HistoryParent Workshops


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32 Community Highlights: Frankenstein to Ghost Tours. Museum Adventures to Musicals.

Mount Cemetery in West Chesterfield, MA. [Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield]

Frankenstein to Ghost Tours. Stargazing to Birdwatching. Simple Machines to Science LabsMuseum Adventures to Musicals.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlights this week are Cemetery Tours! While touring a cemetery around Halloween might fit well into a spooky themed community event, nearby cemeteries are great places to learn about local history and the lives of those who have lived here before us. Interpreters can share the history of the cemetery and the roles the departed may have had on the settlement and growth of the area. Here are several upcoming walks happening during the Halloween season…


Nature StudiesMusic/Film StudiesCulinary ArtsAstronomyAnimal StudiesCemetery ToursCultural StudiesMusicals/TheaterMuseum AdventuresFarmingSciencePlant Studies


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29 Community Highlights: Witches Butter to Apple Cider. Beatbox to Native American Flute.

Great weekend to carve a pumpkin for Halloween! Where’s your favorite place to PYO pumpkins in Western MA?  Click here to share your recommendations.

Witches Butter to Apple Cider. Bear Hole to Old Burying Ground. Beatbox to Native American Flute.  Community Service to Community Meals.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is Archeology Day with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield on Saturday, October 19th. Families can learn about local history and local archaeological digs by taking part in an archaeological tour of the historic village, searching for artifacts in a mock dig site, attending a lecture on digs that have taken place at the former site of the Pocumtuck Fort, or visiting a display of artifacts that have been recovered from two local sites – Sanford Tavern and Taylor’s Fort. These free activities are not only fun for the entire family, but they give visitors of all ages to learn about local history and discover how archaeology has shed a light on life in the past here in Western Massachusetts.


Fall HarvestLandscape/HistoryAnimal StudiesLiteracyCultureCemetery ToursParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceScienceCommunity Meals


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20 Community Highlights: Barns to Trolleys. Canoeing to Storytelling.

Ashfield Fall Festival

Ashfield Community Preschool alumna volunteer at the Ashfield Fall Festival, helping to raise funds for the preschool!

Barns to Trolleys. Matcha to Blueberries. Honey to Bread. Canoeing to Storytelling.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is Art Walk Easthampton.  The theme this month is “Know Thy History,” and it happens on Saturday evening. The art on display at participating venues will be supplemented by several historic walking tours, reenactments, tours of the Old Town Hall, and historic exhibitions throughout town. These free events include: a half-mile guided walking tour with a focus on Samuel and Emily Williston; performances of “Weird and True Stories of Easthampton,” or stories taken from newspaper clippings and transformed into live reenactments by the Easthampton High School Drama Club; and special visiting hours at the Easthampton Historical Society.


PollinatorsLocal HistoryIndustryAnimal StudiesStorytellingCanoeingFoodMedieval HistoryCultureScience


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33 Community Highlights: River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History.

Orchard Ladders in Deerfield, MA

Apple orchard ladders in Deerfield, MA. Take your kids apple picking this weekend!  See where our readers recommend in our post, Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA? (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Talc Mines to Papermaking. River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is at the Keep Homestead Museum in Monson. There will be a free talk entitled “How the Apple Changed America and How America Changed the Apple” by Russell Steven Powell, a New England apple expert, on Sunday afternoon, October 6th. Powell will discuss the history of apples around the world and how America has cultivated many of these to form a “melting pot” of apples. He will also discuss heirloom apple varieties and the history of New England orchards.


Natural HistoryIndustryEnergyCommunity ServiceLiteracy/StorytellingFire SafetyLocal HistoryCultural StudiesFood HistoryScienceParent Workshops


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28 Community Highlights: Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Community Meals to Local Gardens.

Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Plein Air Painting to Piano Music. Community Meals to Local Gardens.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week about monarch butterflies and their annual migration at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton on Saturday morning. Monarch enthusiast John Bowe will teach about the monarch life cycle and migration route. Those who attend may even get to see monarch caterpillars or butterflies out in the field! Then on Sunday, discover the busy and exciting lives of squirrels and chipmunks at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. There will be crafts, a story, games, and a chance to go outside and see these small mammals prepare for winter. Both events are best for kids ages 4-12.


Local HistoryClimate ChangeLiteracyScienceIndustryAstronomyMusic & ArtGardeningAnimal StudiesCommunity MealsParent Workshop


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22 Community Highlights: Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes.

Want to improve your foraging skills and learn about wild edibles? Blanche Derby is leading a free wild edible workshop on identifying, collecting, and preparing wild edibles this weekend.

Honeybees to Wild Edibles. Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes

These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is part of the Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop series in Holyoke.  On Saturday morning, September 21st, the series will feature the life cycle of the spinach plant and include a lesson on pollination, in addition to some real-life farm experience planting spinach and harvesting arugula. The workshop will wrap up with a lesson in culinary arts that utilizes the harvested food: in this case, arugula and cheese quesadillas!


History & Local CulturePollinatorsLanguage ArtsPlant & Nature StudiesHistoryAstronomyCultural StudiesLocal Food


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