Upcoming Educational and Community Service Highlights for Families

There are several opportunities for families you volunteer together this weekend, including Red Gate Farm’s family volunteer day in Buckland on Saturday. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Be sure to check our Best Bets for this weekend, Jun 9 & 10, for several fabulous community celebrations!  We’ve featured Riverfest in Shelburne Falls, the Children’s Book Festival Baseball Bonanza in Amherst, Bear Fest in Easthampton, Hilltown Bluegrass Festival in Goshen, and The Mount’s Family Day in Lenox. Aside from these homeruns, families can build upon their nature studies, explore local history, enjoy the outdoors and participate in community service with several community based educational and service learning opportunities, all week long!

Kids interested in insects can learn about dragonflies and damselfiles at the Millers River Environmental Center in Athol on Saturday or join in Northfield Town Forest BioBlitz, where kid volunteers can help identify the many different species of living things that are present in the forest with local experts. And later in the week, on Wednesday, Jun 13, at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, families can learn about the Boston Museum of Science’s Firefly Watch program and join in on a firefly walk.

Young ornithologists can meet birds of prey up close at the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic on Saturday, or take part in Northfield Town Forest BioBlitz early morning bird search by helping to identify bird species with local experts. Later in the week on Thursday, Jun 14, in Leverett, the library hosts “The World of Owls,” an event all about these feathered night creatures.

Cemeteries can offer families a glimpse into early New England life.  On Saturday, the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage will be giving a tour of the Green River Cemetery in Greenfield, and the Stockbridge Library will host a cemetery tour in Berkshire County where families can learn about important historical figures and their life stories.  And on Thursday, Jun 14, older students can learn about the art, history, and symbolism of burial practices in New England from colonial times until today with Gravestone Girls in Belchertown.

On Sunday, Jun 10, families can learn about the history of the canal in Turners Falls by taking a guided walk down the canal-side trail/bike path to inspect the skeletons of the cutlery and paper industries while learning about the history of the industries, what the canal was used for, and the history of the first dam built on the Connecticut River.  And on Tuesday, Jun 12, in West Springfield, families can take an interactive tour of Storrowton Village where visitors will encounter villagers and hear each of them tell their own unique tale of life in New England during the Civil War.

During the week there are a couple of local history learning opportunities for older students. On Monday, Jun 11, Hope Church – historically Amherst’s first all-black established church, is offering a presentation on its history tonight! The church’s history dates back to the early 1700’s, though it has been officially established for only a century. And in Northfield on Tuesday, Jun 12, the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir will be discussed at the Dickinson Memorial Library.  Learn about the making of Boston’s water source with a narrated slide presentation by Historian JR Greene.

If outdoor adventures is what your family craves, on Saturday, Jun 9, there will be a day of kayaking with the M. N. Spear Library  and “Adventures In Adventure Out” at the Shutesbury town beach, a nature sensory awareness hike at Olivia’s Outlook in Lenox, and an afternoon family hike at Mt. Greylock waterfalls in Lanesborough. If you can’t make it to Mt. Greylock on Saturday, try Sunday when there will be a guided medicinal plant walk or a guided wild edible/medicinal plant walk at Bug Hill Farm in Ashfield, also on Sunday.

Community service learning opportunities happen all weekend too. Red Gate Farm in Buckland hosts a volunteer day on Saturday where families can help out with farm chores, and Stanley Park is raising community awareness on creating accessibility at their annual Wheel Walk in Westfield, and permablitz is happening in Amherst where folks can come work together on permaculture-related projects while sharing skills related to sustainable living.
Then on Sunday, families can help out at the Just Roots Food for All Garden in Greenfield (this Sunday, and every Sunday, during the growing/harvest season).

To find out about these events in Western MA and many others, check our list of Weekly Suggested Events.

Indoor & Outdoor Highlights for this Weekend

Many outdoor adventures away young naturalists this weekend, from guided wild flower walks to Family Fun Day’s at Mass Audubon Sanctuaries. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

With rain in the forecast for Saturday, June 2nd, it’s our hope that it will pass us by as there are so many great outdoor activities to enjoy with your family! In Hampshire County, young naturalists can take a guided walk to learn about wild edibles and flowers at either the North Amherst Community Farm or the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.  They could further supplement an interest in local habitats during Family Fun Day at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.  For the more adventures ones, Morse Hill Outdoor Education Center will host a Community Day, giving families an opportunity to explore their ropes course.

In Franklin County on Saturday, young anglers can learn about fishing during Family Fish Day at the Great Falls Discovery Center, or they can discover and play Victorian Lawn Games in Hampden County at the Wistariahurst Museum.  In Berkshire County, Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary will also be hosting a Family Fun Day for naturalists of all ages.

But even if it does rain on Saturday, there’s plenty of fun opportunities happening indoors too!  There are a couple of free Learn to Felt family workshops happening in Conway, a marionette show in Lee, and a final family concert with (soon to be missed!) Royal Order of Chords and Keys in Easthampton.

In the evening there are two school productions: Gateway High School students perform “Our Town;” and Mt. Greylock Middle School students perform the musical, “Alice in Wonderland.”  Other evening options include exploring Forest Park Zoo by flashlight, and a family-friendly square dance at the Montague Grange.

On Sunday, June 3rd, get outdoors and bring the kids to the Fort River Celebration Day, or check out a number of indoor performances, including: Burchie Green‘s free performance at the Florence Community Center; classical music for kids with Beethoven’s Wig at the Wistariahurst Museum; or learn history through performance at North Hall with “They Call Me Lizzy.”

And there’s so much more happening all week, but you’re going to have to scroll through our list of Weekly Suggested Events to find out about tag sales, community service opportunitiesauditions, free events, and events just outside the area, like Strolling of the Heifers and the antique car rally at Old Sturbridge Village.

Suggested Events for April 28th-May 4th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy May Day! In 2 weeks join us at the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12th for a Community Maypole, Morris Dancers, Live Concerts, Family Contra-Dance, and a festival of all things that make the Hilltowns of Western MA an amazing place to live! Click on the photo to see Maypole Dance. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, April 28th, families can learn about vernal pools at Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls or go explore vernal pools in the Maitland Memorial Forest in Heath. Click on the banner full listings.

Saturday, April 28th at 11am in Berkshire Co. – ANIMAL STUDIES: Visit the Stockbridge Library to learn all about North American birds of prey!  Wingmasters, a partnership dedicated to raising awareness about birds of prey, presents a program for kids on identifying birds of prey, bird rehabilitation, where birds fit into folklore, and more!  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, April 28th at 7:30pm in Hampshire Co. – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School presents Fiddler on the Roof!  The musical is about life in a Jewish Russian peasant village during the pogroms (during the early 20th century).  Great supplement to studies of Jewish history.  413-529-3434.  18 Payson Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

Sunday, April 29th at 2pm in Franklin Co. – OPERA: See the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Engelbert Hunperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel on the big screen at Memorial Hall!  The screening is a special kids’ free matinee, but the story is engaging for adults, too, and the beautiful music and scenery are fantastic!  See the classic tale come to life on stage! Lovely introduction to opera for kids. 413-625-3052.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, April 29th at 10am-2pm in Hampden Co. – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: Visit the Zoo in Forest Park to experiment with bubbles of all types!  Kids can make big and small (and medium) bubbles and learn about surface tension and the chemistry of soapy liquids.  Great opportunity to learn through play!  413-733-2251.  302 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds! Entertainment will include live music, workshops, artists & artisans, local food, family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, Maypole, Morris Dancers, and much more!

Saturday, May 5th from 9:30-11am – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: It’s Family Day at Red Gate Farm!  This month’s theme is chickens- how do they eat?  Where do they sleep? Why do their legs look like dinosaurs?  Learn all this and more this morning at the farm!  Registration required.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  ($)

Sunday, May 6th from 11am-4pm – RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Attend the Renaissance Fair hosted by the UMass Renaissance Center. There will be music, swordsmanship, falconry, plays, juggling and much more! 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 12th from 5-7pm - FAMILY CONTRA-DANCE: New this year at the Hilltown Spring Festival is a family contra-dance featuring The Gaslight Tinkers, a new group that includes Peter Siegel and Zoe Darrow. They describe their music as “Afrobeat, Caribbean, breakbeat, funk, and latin grooves meet traditional Northern Fiddle. It’s the future of the music of the past; it’s a live remix; it’ll move your feet and intrigue your mind.” Steve Howland will be the caller. Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (>$, kids 12yo & under FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Ashfield Community PreschoolPRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, April 28th 10am-Noon.  This event is for families with young children age 2.9 – 5yo who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing sunflowers, pumpkins and blueberries. The preschool grazes the neighbors’ sheep and llamas in their pastoral setting and offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists.  Join their staff on April 28th and tour their facility and grounds. 103 Baptist Corner Road. Ashfield, MA.  Call for more information 413-628-3248.

BLUEGRASS BBQ: 3rd Annual Kentucky Derby Bluegrass BBQ happens on Saturday, May 5th at the Pines Theater at Look Park in Florence MA from 12noon-6:30pm. Open Jam featuring Acoustic Brew, barnRocket, and Seven Mile Line Cliff’s Smokin’ Backyard BBQ, Kentucky Derby Coverage. Still slots available for fiddler’s in Novice and Senior divisions.  A benefit for uninsured cancer therapies. $5 at the door for guests over 12. Picnics and lawn chairs welcome but no beverages please.

"Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps." - Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

WESTFIELD RIVER: At the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds, the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Committee will provide important information to Hilltown residents and visitors. The Committee will show residents how their communities can apply for grants to protect portions of the River and its tributaries. Residents are also invited to sign up as Stream Team volunteers for wild and scenic portions of the river. And the Committee is seeking people to share their stories and photos about experiences along the river during Hurricane Irene, so that the community can be better prepared for the next hurricane. Young visitors to the Festival will learn about conservation by creating a simulated flow of water, sediment, and pollution in a table-top model of a watershed. Come to learn more about how you can help protect the Westfield River watershed, this treasure in our midst in the Hilltowns.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Leftover prescription medicines can pose a hazard to both families and wildlife!  Many streams contain traces of prescription medicines (up to 80%, in fact!), and drinking water can be affected, too.  This water pollution has adverse affects on aquatic life, as well as those who drink the water!  Having unnecessary medications around the house can also be dangerous to children and/or teenagers, whose health can be affected by consumption (intentional or accidental) of prescription drugs.  On Saturday, April 28th, from 10am-2pm, there will be prescription medication collection sites all over Western MA!  Any medication that is in solid form and not a chemotherapy drug can be recycled at a drop off site.  Other items not accepted include lancets, IV bags, thermometers, and syringes.  Drop-off locations will be set up in many locations, including Anne Dunphy School in Williamsburg, town hall in Ashfield or Southampton, Westhampton Police/Fire Station, Huntington Transfer Station, Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School, Greenfield High School, Wildwood Elementary School in Amherst… For a complete list of locations, visit www.northwesternda.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
April 28th-May 4th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 21st-27th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Earth Day Events

With Earth Day on Sunday, there are many ways families can be eco and civic minded this weekend and next, including opportunities to swap, giveaway and recycle clothes and textiles! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Saturday, April 21st from 11am-12noon in Berkshire Co. – CULTURAL STUDIES: Learn about the history of shadow puppetry in cultures all around the world with Nanny’s Puppets!  The program, which takes place at the Ramsdell Library, will look as the development of shadow puppets as an art form.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE)

Enter to win a pair of tickets! Deadline: Apr 25th by 7pm.

Saturday, April 21st from 11am-12:30pm in Hampshire Co. – MUSIC  STUDIES: Hear (and learn about!) traditional folk music and how it reflects American history and culture at the Jones Library!  Tom Breiding will share stories (through music) of life during the past 50 years across America.  413-259-3091.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, April 21st from 11am in Franklin Co. – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Enjoy a pink-themed lunch and a performance of a musical version of the popular children’s book, Pinkalicious!  There will, of course, be pink cupcakes – but don’t eat too many and get pinkitis!  Show begins at 1pm, lunch includes a meet and greet with the show’s cast and crew!  Call to reserve seats: 413-665-1277 ex 1308.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

Sunday, April 22nd from 11am-4pm in Hampden Co. – EARTH DAY: Celebrate Earth Day at the Springfield Museums! There will be live music (featuring environmentally-themed songs), free seedlings, a presentation on a birds of prey rehabilitation program, and displays from many local businesses, nonprofits, and initiatives – all Earth Day-themed! The event is an opportunity to learn about green initiatives happening locally and ways to get involved, as well as a way to celebrate Earth Day! 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! Entertainment will include live music, workshops, artists & artisans, local food, family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, Maypole, Morris Dancers, and much more!

Saturday, April 28th from 8am-12noon in Hampden Co.  – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Celebrate Earth Day by volunteering with your family to help clean up Springfield’s outdoor spaces!  Sponsored by the Springfield Museums, the clean-up day will include gloves and buckets for volunteers, as well as lunches on a first come, first serve basis.  Meet at Duggan Middle School.  413-263-6800.  1015 Wilbraham Road.  Springfield, MA.  (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 28th from 10am-4pm in Berkshire Co. – CLOTHES GIVEAWAY: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) is hosting a toy and clothes giveaway!  There will be all kinds of gently used kids (and maternity) clothes, as well as great toys, books, etc. for play-hungry kiddos.  Handing down kids items is a great environmentally friendly way of getting “new” things for kids – celebrate Earth Day by refreshing your closets and toy box at the giveaway. Begins April 27th at 4pm, and runs April 28-29 from 10am-4pm. 88 Sheffield Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, April 28th from 10:30-11am in Franklin Co. – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Learn about all kinds of creatures at Birds, Beasts, and Bugs, a program for kids at the Leverett Library.  Educator Dawn Marvin Ward will help kids learn and guide activities like critter searching, nest making, and more.  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, April 28th from 11-11:45am in Hampshire Co.  – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Miss Leticia Davies performs at Groff Park! Sponsored by the Amherst Family Center, the performance will get kids dancing and singing to fun spring-y music.  Mill Lane.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CLOTH DIAPERS: The Great Cloth Diaper Change Western Mass serves to promote the joys of cloth diapering, celebrate Earth Day, and break a World Record! Saturday. April 21st 11:30am at the Florence Community Center, 140 Pine Street, Florence, MA. Colorful cloth diapers galore! Local Eco-Conscious Vendors! Music! Door Prizes! Raffles! Come capture tons of excitement as we attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ of most number of diapers changed simultaneously. Doors Open at 11:30am. World Record Diaper Change Attempt will be at 12:30 sharp! If you don’t already cloth diaper your baby EVEN BETTER! They will have diapers to borrow for the event and there will be demonstrations of various kinds of cloth diapers that are available.

Ashfield Community PreschoolPRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, April 28th 10am-Noon.  This event is for families with young children age 2.9 – 5yo who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing sunflowers, pumpkins and blueberries. The preschool grazes the neighbors’ sheep and llamas in their pastoral setting and offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists.  Join their staff on April 28th and tour their facility and grounds. 103 Baptist Corner Road. Ashfield, MA.  Call for more information 413-628-3248.

SUPPORT THE BALLET: Dance, Dine, & Indulge at Pioneer Valley Ballet’s Third Annual Silent Auction, “April in Paris,” on Friday, April 27th. Treat yourself to a fabulous night of great live music, wonderful food, and an exceptional silent auction that promises something for everyone.  The theme of this year’s auction is “April in Paris.” The event will be held from 6-9pm at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.  Music will be provided by the Paul Collins Quintet. Performers include: mime Chris Yerlig, dance instructor Andre Russo, and dancers from Pioneer Valley Ballet. Food will be provided by the Log Cabin. Cash bar available. Tickets $35 at the door and $30 in advance by contacting the Ballet at 413.527.6363 or www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

SUMMER CAMP: Adventure Camp: Four two-week sessions, June 25-August 17, 2012 The Bement School Summer Programs offer a preschool program and adventure day camp for boys and girls ages 15 months to 15 years. Adventure Camp provides a traditional day camp experience. Your child will participate in many activities to make his or her summer a memorable one. At the same time, parents can enjoy peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe and caring place. A sibling discount is available for siblings who enroll in multiple sessions. Bement School, Deerfield, 413- 475-3044. www.bement.org/summer. Optional services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day supervision, enrichment programming, and bag lunches.

SUMMER CAMP: Adventures in Chinese: Two two-week sessions, July 16-Aug 10. Campers, ages 5-12 years, participate in activities designed to build vocabulary and confidence in speaking Mandarin Chinese. Campers will gain an understanding of Chinese art, culture and tradition. They will learn daily conversations in Mandarin including listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Bement School, Deerfield. 413-475-3044. www.bement.org/summer. Optional services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day supervision, and bag lunches.

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

JOIN THE FESTIVAL: The Hilltown Community Development Corporation is signing up local artisans, businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers for the 6th annual Hilltown Spring Festival, to be held Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cummington Fairgrounds.  This year’s Festival, which is expected to draw 2,000 visitors, will feature performances and workshops by professional musicians and student musicians, specialty food and drink from Hilltown vendors, displays by businesses, artists and craftspeople, children’s activities all day long, and an all-ages contra-dance beginning at 5pm. Registration forms are at www.hilltowncdc.org, or email sethi@hilltowncdc.org or call 413-296-4536 ext. 112.  The deadline for reserving a space is April 29, 2012.

CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Become a Grassland Bird Monitor at the Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield and nearby communities by helping survey grassland habitat and assist The Trustees of Reservations in evaluating the management of the grassland and agricultural resources on their properties. Conduct three site visits, record survey results on a standardized data sheet, and submit all data to The Trustees ecology staff. For more information please contact the Trustees of Reservations at jrichburg@ttor.org or call 413.532.1631 x1


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
April 21st-27th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 14th-20th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Patriot's Day Revolutionary Muster & Parade at Historic Deerfield (2011)

Fife and drum music this week, starting at the Historic Deerfield on Saturday with a Patriot's Day Revolutionary Muster & Parade. And on Monday, Old Sturbridge hosts a special Patriots Day. Both events provide hands-on learning opportunities and reenactments. Great way for kids to learn about Colonial History. Scroll down for details. Click on photo to see images from last year's event in Deerfield. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Spring Vacation Week: April 16th-20th: Many students get April 16th-20th off from school, and parents will be looking for activities for their children to enjoy during the break. There are many opportunities to be found in the region, with several boutique options to choose from, including nature, art, sports, ballet, history, gymnastics, stewardship, outdoor adventures, among others. Check out our post, 15 Camps for Spring Vacation Week in Western MA for some highlights of events and week long camp opportunities happening during Spring Vacation Week right here in Western MA. Some options are for the entire week, while others allow you to choose your days and have full day or half-day options. Then scroll down and check out our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events to see what’s happening all week during Spring Break in Western MA… there are over 150 events and activities to choose from!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! Entertainment will include live music, workshops, artists & artisans, local food, family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, Maypole, Morris Dancers, and much more!

Saturday, April 21st at 11am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Enjoy a pink-themed lunch and a performance of a musical version of the popular children’s book, Pinkalicious!  at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle. There will, of course, be pink cupcakes – but don’t eat too many and get pinkitis!  Show begins at 1pm, lunch includes a meet and greet with the show’s cast and crew!  413-665-1277 ex 1308.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($) 

Sunday, April 22nd from 11am-4pm – EARTH DAY: Celebrate Earth Day at the Springfield Museums!  There will be live music (featuring environmentally-themed songs), free seedlings, a presentation on a birds of prey rehabilitation program, and displays from many local businesses, nonprofits, and initiatives – all Earth Day-themed!  The event is an opportunity to learn about green initiatives happening locally and ways to get involved, as well as a way to celebrate Earth Day!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) 

BULLETIN BOARD

CLOTH DIAPERS: The Great Cloth Diaper Change Western Mass serves to promote the joys of cloth diapering, celebrate Earth Day, and break a World Record! Saturday. April 21st 11:30am at the Florence Community Center, 140 Pine Street, Florence, MA. Colorful cloth diapers galore! Local Eco-Conscious Vendors! Music! Door Prizes! Raffles! Come capture tons of excitement as we attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ of most number of diapers changed simultaneously. Doors Open at 11:30am. World Record Diaper Change Attempt will be at 12:30 sharp! If you don’t already cloth diaper your baby EVEN BETTER! They will have diapers to borrow for the event and there will be demonstrations of various kinds of cloth diapers that are available.

SUMMER CAMP: Adventure Camp: Four two-week sessions, June 25-August 17, 2012 The Bement School Summer Programs offer a preschool program and adventure day camp for boys and girls ages 15 months to 15 years. Adventure Camp provides a traditional day camp experience. Your child will participate in many activities to make his or her summer a memorable one. At the same time, parents can enjoy peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe and caring place. A sibling discount is available for siblings who enroll in multiple sessions. Bement School, Deerfield, 413- 475-3044. www.bement.org/summer. Optional services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day supervision, enrichment programming, and bag lunches.

SUMMER CAMP: Adventures in Chinese: Two two-week sessions, July 16-Aug 10. Campers, ages 5-12 years, participate in activities designed to build vocabulary and confidence in speaking Mandarin Chinese. Campers will gain an understanding of Chinese art, culture and tradition. They will learn daily conversations in Mandarin including listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Bement School, Deerfield. 413-475-3044. www.bement.org/summer. Optional services include: round-trip van transportation (Hadley, Northampton, Amherst), extended day supervision, and bag lunches.

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm Share

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

CHEMISTRY: The Edwards Library in Southampton invites library patrons to begin their chemistry adventures at their library for the next few weeks. Beginning April 18th the Passport to Chemistry Adventure Program will be available to check out to families with kids ages 5-12yo for doing experiments at home. Kits may be check out for one week at a time and are available at the library until June. 413-529-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA (LIBRARY PATRONS)

Jennifer Atkins writes, “The MA Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, which is held in Cummington on Memorial Day weekend every year, needs spinners for the very popular Drop-In Spinning area.  We are looking for spinners willing to spend a couple of hours demonstrating their craft, and if they feel comfortable, helping people try it out. We will have some wheels available, or you can bring your own…Please contact Delia Nash if you could help out or would like more information… It is a fun way to help the fair be successful and to meet lots of interesting folks. 413-230-1458. bydelia@yahoo.com.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
April 14th-20th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 7th-13th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Along with the yellow bloom of Coltsfoot, the white bloom of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is one of the first wildflowers to appear in April. Take your family on nature scavenger hunt along one of our Western MA rivers and streams this weekend and see what you can find. Click on the image to find out about nature scavenger hunts. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Easter Events in Western MA

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

In Hampshire County on Saturday, April 7th at 10am  – SATURDAY  MORNING MUSIC PARTY:  The Flywheel Arts Collective, an Easthampton-based, volunteer-run music and arts venue, along with the Hilltown Families and No-Nap Happy Hour, invites families with kids of all ages to a free pancake breakfast followed a family dance party by local kids performers R.O.C.K. (Royal Order of Chords and Keys)! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

In Berkshire County on Saturday, April 7th from 10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Today is the first day of Hancock Shaker Village’s annual Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm event! Visitors to the village can meet tons of different baby animals, such as calves, chicks, piglets, lambs, and ducklings. There will also be activities for kids that involve both art and learning about history, such as weaving on a loom and basket making! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($) 

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm ShareIn Hampden County on Saturday, April 7th from 11am-3pm – YARN BOMBING: Yarn bomb the Storrs Library today! Yarn bombing, a recently growing craze, is when knitters create flat knit pieces and use them to cover things like lamp posts, fences, railings, etc. Today, the Storrs Library invites kids to cover their book carts with their own handmade yarn bombs. Kids can practice their knitting and/or crocheting skills and will get to share their creations with the community! Call to register. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

In Franklin County on Saturday, April 7th from 1-4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help give the Greenfield Energy Park a good spring cleaning. There will be lots to do, including cleaning up debris left by winter storms and gardening in the park’s beds. BYO garden tools and gloves. Families can work together to help prepare the park, a great community resource, for the season! 413-772-1533. Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Spring Vacation Week: April 16th-20th: Many students get the third week of April off from school, and parents will be looking for activities for their children to enjoy during the break. There are many opportunities to be found in the region, with several boutique options to choose from, including nature, art, sports, ballet, history, gymnastics, stewardship, outdoor adventures, among others. Check out our post, 15 Camps for Spring Vacation Week in Western MA for some highlights of events and week long camp opportunities happening during Spring Vacation Week right here in Western MA. Some options are for the entire week, while others allow you to choose your days and have full day or half-day options. Then be sure to check back next week for our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events for events happening during Spring Break!

BULLETIN BOARD

SHOW Circus Studio CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of week day kid’s circus classes will begin on April 9 at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton. Participants will work on trapeze, fabric, juggling, tumbling, human pyramids, tight wire, rolla bolla, globe and more. Circus is a great way to increase self esteem, have fun, get in shape, improve focus and learn new skills.  Classes are available for new and continuing students during after school hours. Students may come 1-3 times per week with a final show for parents and friends. Visit www.showcircusstudio.com/Classes.html for info and to register: Not sure if circus is right for your child? Try free circus classes on April 7 and find out! Class is free but registration is required. More info at www.showcircusstudio.com/Trial.html

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Individuals of all genders, sexual orientations, races, religions, abilities, ages, and income levels are encouraged to apply for volunteer positions at Everywoman Center. Educator Advocates work to prevent sexual violence and relationship violence on campus and in the community by facilitating workshops, discussions, and events on sexual assault, consent, and bystander intervention. Counselor Advocates support and advocate for people who have experienced sexual, physical and emotional abuse or violence. Academic credit available to volunteers (optional). Apply Online: www.umass.edu/ewc/work.  For more info: visit www.umass.edu/ewc, or email ewcmail@admin.umass.edu.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
April 6th-13th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 31st-April 6th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Mark your calendars for the Hancock Shaker Village's annual Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm beginning next Saturday, April 7th, 2012. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Venal Pool Events in Western MAAll day on Saturday, March 31st from 10am-4pm – MUSIC/LITERATURE FESTIVAL: The Meltdown, an annual family music and book celebration, takes place today! The event features live music from many great children’s musicians (the Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Mok and Friends, The Nields, School for the Dead, etc.), readings and talks with celebrated children’s authors (including Lisa Yee, Jeff Mack, and Eric Wright), crafts for kids, a gymnastics area, storytelling, magic and puppet shows, booths featuring local vendors and family services (including Hilltown Families!), and more. Celebrate great family music and books, and get the family out of the house and on their feet! Takes place at JFK Middle School. 100 Bridge Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

In the evening on Saturday, March 31st from 5:30-9pm – SPRING ADVENTURES: There are mysterious creatures and critters in the woods at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Families can take a guided tour (leaving the visitor’s center every 15 minutes) of the woods to characters who live in the vernal pools at the sanctuary. There will be frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and more. Along with the tours will be games, presentations, and real live pond critters for kids to meet. Celebrate spring and the unique habitats created by the change in seasons! 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm Share

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

In northern Berkshire County on Sunday, April 1st from 12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s Free Family Day at The Clark!  Enjoy an afternoon of activities, games, gallery talks, and tours all centered around the theme of Copycat: Reproducing Works of Art.  Kids will get to use various materials to create their own reproductions of classic works, can play follow-the-leader games, and explore the galleries.  The event is a great opportunity for kids to learn about creating art and art history.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

And in central Berkshire County on Sunday, April 1st from 1-2pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: The Berkshire Museum is incubating eggs from Hancock Shaker Village!  The eggs are set to hatch today, in honor of the museum’s 109th birthday, as well as the beginning of spring.  There will also be a lamb visiting from the village, and kids can meet animal friends and take part in fun animal- and spring-themed activities.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Easter Events in Western MA

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Saturday, April 7th from 1-4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help give the Greenfield Energy Park a good spring cleaning.  There will be lots to do, including cleaning up debris left by winter storms and gardening in the park’s beds.  BYO garden tools and gloves.  Families can work together to help prepare the park, a great community resource, for the season!  413-772-1533.  Miles Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, April 8th from 2-4:30pm - ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Winterberry Farm’s Lambs’ Open House takes place today!  Families are invited to the farm to meet the recently born lambs, as well as some fuzzy little chicks!  There will also be adult goats and poultry to visit.  413-548-3940.  21 Teawaddle Hill Road.  Leverett, MA.  (DONATION) 

BULLETIN BOARD

Pioneer Valley BalletBALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents Cinderella based on the classic fairytale of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of love, the obstacles in its path and finally the dream fulfilled.  This comic ballet is known for its jubilant music, lush scenery, beautiful dancing and the hilariously wicked stepsisters, more mad than bad in this production.  Come experience a beggar turning into a Fairy Godmother, a pumpkin and mice that turn into a coach and coachmen, a glass slipper that makes dreams come true. You will leave the theater laughing, awe-inspired, and believing in “happily ever after!” Shows: March 31 & April 1 at the Academy of Music in Northampton.  Visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org or the Academy at 413-584-9032 for tickets.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Swing into spring with the O-Tones at ArtSpark, Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School’s annual party & auction at Look Park’s Garden House, Saturday March 31st at 7 p.m. Put the “fun” in fundraiser with live music, dancing, food by Bread Euphoria & a cash bar. The silent auction is the Valley’s most eclectic, with many one-of-a-kind furniture and crafts by local artisans to a Cape Cod getaway and South African Safari. Tickets are $20 apiece, available in advance at local businesses including Bread Euphoria, State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner & The Creamery, or at the door. More info, please call 413-268-3421.

sarahpirtle.com/JourneyCamp.htmSUMMER CAMP: Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The unique camp offers a supportive atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends as campers explore nature, dramatics, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Director Sarah Pirtle, founder of Journey Camp, has won numerous awards for her books & music for children. SESSION ONE, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 2-6, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. HILLTOWN JOURNEY CAMP, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 16-20, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. MOONSEED TEEN LEADERSHIP FOR GIRLS, ages 12-18, July 30-Aug. 2, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. GIRLS WEEKS, ages 7-13, Aug. 6-10 & Aug. 13-17, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com.

"Last year a participant from the Boston area found out about my camp through your website and spent a week out here with her daughter just for my camp!" - Beth Fairservis, Puppets in the Woods Summer Arts Camp

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids?  Check out our post  Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT: Empty Arms is a local community of bereaved parents who seek to support families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Four support groups are held each month. The Bereavement group meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 PM at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The Subsequent Choices group meets on the 2nd Monday of each month.  Contact Carol McMurrich for time and location (carolmcmurrich@comcast.net). The Miscarriage group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 PM at Cooley Dickinson. The Parenting After Loss group meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the morning. Contact Erika Parker for time and location (ehenyey@gmail.com). For more information, contact Carol McMurrich, director carolmcmurrich@comcast.net.

EARTH HOUR: Join together with other community members to celebrate togetherness and local resilience, and observe Earth Hour, too!  “Weaving a Web of Resilient Community” takes place at the Cummington Community House (33 Main St.) on Saturday, March 31st.  Beginning at 7pm, the event features activities, performances, and images that highlight the unique culture and values shared locally.  There will be a photography show featuring pictures taken by Hilltown Families’ Sienna Wildfield, a seed swap, potluck snacks (bring something to share!), a concert with Sarah Stockwell-Arthen (whose music channels the theme of the event), and a celebration of Earth Hour, where the lights will be turned out and candles will be lit (BYO!).  Visitors will also have a chance to share information about farms, sustainability projects, or other relevant community ideas, projects, and initiatives with others at the event, and there will be art materials available for kids to experiment with!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
March 31st-April 6th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 24th-30th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Spring! Get out and enjoy the vernal pools, muddy hikes and blooming spring bulbs! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

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

In Hampden Co. on Saturday, March 24th from 9:30am-5pm – GEOLOGY: Learn all about different types of minerals, jewels, rocks, and fossils this weekend at the Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show.  The event brings together collectors from all over New England (and beyond!) to share their unique collections.  Kids will be able to see hundreds of different types of specimens- a visit to the show fits into studies of natural history (especially of the Connecticut River Valley) and, of course, geology.  It’s a great learning opportunity for the whole family, and kids under 12 get free admission.  Takes place at the Holyoke Hotel and Conference Center.  245 Whiting Farms Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

In Franklin Co. on Saturday, March 24th from 4-6pm - FAMILY CONCERT: The Pioneer Valley Symphony’s annual family concert, “A Carnival of Animals,” takes place this afternoon.  Pieces performed include the orchestral suite from The Lion King (by John and Zimmer) and Stravinsky’s Firebird!  There will also be an instrument “petting zoo” where kids can take a close-up look at the instruments they’ll hear featured during the show. Takes place at Greenfield High School.  141 Davis Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (<$)

In Berkshire Co. on Sunday, March 25th from 10am-10pm – FILM FESTIVAL: Project Native’s annual film festival takes place.  The event features films on a variety of different topics that all have to do, somehow, with food, consumption, and/or the environment.  Special shorts for families (best for kids ages 3-8) will be shown at 10am, and full-length films begin at 11:25.  The event, sponsored by a local nursery committed to sustainable production of native foods, is a great opportunity for kids to learn about food production, the role of food in our culture, environmentally friendly daily habits, and more.  Seating is limited!  Takes place at the Triplex Cinema.  413-528-8885.  70 Railroad Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

In Hampshire Co. on Sunday, March 25th at 2pm – THEATER: Students from Hampshire Regional High School present the classic musical Guys and Dolls.  413-527-7680.  19 Stage Road.  Westhampton, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, March 31st from 5:30-9pm – SPRING ADVENTURES: There are mysterious creatures and critters in the woods at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Families can take a guided tour (leaving the visitor’s center every 15 minutes) of the woods to characters who live in the vernal pools at the sanctuary.  There will be frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and more.  Along with the tours will be games, presentations, and real live pond critters for kids to meet.  Celebrate spring and the unique habitats created by the change in seasons!  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA.  ($)

Sunday, April 1st beginning at 10am – PHYSICS/YO-YOS: The Z-Games, also known as the Northeast Regional Yo-yo Contest, takes place today!  Hosted by A to Z Science and Learning Store, the event takes place at JFK Middle School and features yo-yo-ers of all ages and abilities.  There are divisions based on age, special categories for tricks, and more.  Kids can learn about the sport of yo-yo-ing and supplement studies of physics by observing performances and thinking about how yo-yos work.  The event runs all day.  413-586-1611.  100 Bridge Road.  Florence, MA.

BULLETIN BOARD

Pioneer Valley BalletBALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents Cinderella based on the classic fairytale of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of love, the obstacles in its path and finally the dream fulfilled.  This comic ballet is known for its jubilant music, lush scenery, beautiful dancing and the hilariously wicked stepsisters, more mad than bad in this production.  Come experience a beggar turning into a Fairy Godmother, a pumpkin and mice that turn into a coach and coachmen, a glass slipper that makes dreams come true. You will leave the theater laughing, awe-inspired, and believing in “happily ever after!” Shows: March 31 & April 1 at the Academy of Music in Northampton.  Visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org or the Academy at 413-584-9032 for tickets.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Save the date for ArtSpark, Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School’s annual party & auction at Look Park’s Garden House in Florence on Saturday, March 31st at 7 p.m. Music by The O-Tones, food by Bread Euphoria & a cash bar. A good time for a good cause, with auction items at all price points, from a carton of fresh eggs to one-of-a-kind furniture & crafts to a South African Safari. Tickets are $20 apiece, available in advance at local businesses including Bread Euphoria, State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner & The Creamery, or at the door. More info, please call 413-268-3421.

sarahpirtle.com/JourneyCamp.htmSUMMER CAMP: Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The unique camp offers a supportive atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends as campers explore nature, dramatics, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Director Sarah Pirtle, founder of Journey Camp, has won numerous awards for her books & music for children. SESSION ONE, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 2-6, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. HILLTOWN JOURNEY CAMP, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 16-20, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. MOONSEED TEEN LEADERSHIP FOR GIRLS, ages 12-18, July 30-Aug. 2, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. GIRLS WEEKS, ages 7-13, Aug. 6-10 & Aug. 13-17, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: RH Conwell Community School of Worthingon, MA is accepting applications for the 2012-13 school year with openings in all classes from Pre-K through 6th grade. Located in the heart of the Hilltowns of Western MA, Conwell is an affordable private school with a supportive environment, offering a rigorous, encouraging, and developmentally appropriate program to all students. Children are taught to think creatively, read critically, and reason logically. Conwell has a high level of parent and community involvement in both classroom and after school activities where students are valued as individuals and tailor learning plans to their needs and learning styles. For more information visit online at www.conwellcec.org or call 413-238-5856.

"Last year a participant from the Boston area found out about my camp through your website and spent a week out here with her daughter just for my camp!" - Beth Fairservis, Puppets in the Woods Summer Arts Camp

SUMMER CAMPS MARKETING SPECIAL: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, we’re offering camps a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. This spring we will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about how your camp can partner with Hilltown Families.

EARNED PAID SICK TIME: On Saturday, March 23rd from 9am-12:30pm adults can learn about how the Earned Paid Sick Time legislation being currently deliberated will affect families.  There are benefits for employers, families, and communities if the legislation passes- find out more today on what it’s all about and what it means for you.  Representative Ellen Story will speak at the workshop.  Takes place at the Kittredge Center at HCC.  303 Homestead Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

PREGNANT YOUTH: On Saturday, March 23rd from 9:15am-1:15pm young women up to 21yo are invited to attend a newborn care class at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center.  Learn about what to expect, how to feed a newborn, how to care for yourself and how to keep a baby safe. 413-475-1566. The Birthplace, 3rd Floor Classroom. Greenfield, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
March 24th-30th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 17th-23rd, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

This is the last weekend to take the kids to Smith College’s spring bulb show in Northampton and Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden's Annual Spring Flower Show in South Hadley. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Saturday, March 17th from 9am-3pm – MAPLEFEST: The annual Chester Maplefest begins with a pancake breakfast at the Church of Chester on Skyline Trail. The during the day, there are crafters in the old schoolhouse, hayrides to High Meadow Farm’s Sugarhouse, animal exhibits and entertainment at the church as well as food vendors. 413-667-3410. Chester, MA

On Sunday, March 18th at 11:30am – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Western MA’s most Irish city!  The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade includes floats, dancers, and other performers from local groups and marches all over the city!  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Breakfast in Western MAOn Saturday, March 24th at 10am – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: Think outside the box!  What can you make with a cardboard box, tape, markers, and glue?  Kids and parents are invited to exercise their creativity and practice their architectural skills this morning at Hatfield Elementary School!  The Collaborative for Educational Services is hosting this event, which offers kids an opportunity for non-commercial creative free play.  It’s intended for kids 5 and under and their families.  Call to register.  413-586-4998.  33 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, March 25th from 10am-4pm – GEOLOGY: Learn all about different types of minerals, jewels, rocks, and fossils this weekend at the Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show!  The event brings together collectors from all over New England (and beyond!) to share their unique collections.  Kids will be able to see hundreds of different types of specimens- a visit to the show fits into studies of natural history (especially of the Connecticut River Valley) and, of course, geology.  Sponsored by the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club, the event also features live demonstrations, art, and prizes!  It’s a great learning opportunity for the whole family, and kids under 12 get free admission!  Takes place at the Holyoke Hotel and Conference Center.  245 Whiting Farms Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

CELTIC DANCE: The Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company will put on an exciting toe tapping, hand clapping St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Sunday, March 18 at 2pm at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. With over 70 exquisite dancers joined by National Scottish Fiddle Champion, Emerald Rae and All Ireland Accordion Champion, Damien Connolly this is sure to be an event enjoyed by all ages! Tickets are $10/adults $8/seniors $8/children and are available at the Academy Box Office 413-584-9032 x105 (box office fees will apply). For additional information about this production or dance classes for children and adults please visit www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

ERIC CARLE CELEBRATION: Are you hungry for something to do this Sunday? Head to The Eric Carle Museum to celebrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day on March 18th from 12noon-5pm. Make your own caterpillars in the studio. Join special story times. Meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar in costume and get a caterpillar tattoo. There will be caterpillar cookies, giveaways & a sale in The Carle Bookshop. Translated in over 50 languages, and celebrated a world over, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is universally known as one of the greatest childhood classics of all time. Bring a picnic lunch & spend the day! Sponsored by MEFA’s U.PLAN Prepaid Tuition Program. For more info visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE with Museum Admission)

LOCAL FOOD: Crimson & Clover Farm is happy to announce that 2012 CSA Shares are now available! Located at the Northampton Community Farm, right near downtown Florence, Crimson & Clover Farm raises a wide variety of delicious, beautiful, and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for our 20 week CSA program. As a community based farm we offer a welcoming environment where our members and their families can come and enjoy this amazing community resource as well as receive nutritious locally grown food. In addition to vegetables we also offer a variety of locally produced products for sale through our farm store. For more information about the CSA and how to become a member of the farm please visit our website: crimsonandcloverfarm.com.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: RH Conwell Community School of Worthingon, MA is accepting applications for the 2012-13 school year with openings in all classes from Pre-K through 6th grade. Located in the heart of the Hilltowns of Western MA, Conwell is an affordable private school with a supportive environment, offering a rigorous, encouraging, and developmentally appropriate program to all students. Children are taught to think creatively, read critically, and reason logically. Conwell has a high level of parent and community involvement in both classroom and after school activities where students are valued as individuals and tailor learning plans to their needs and learning styles. For more information visit online at www.conwellcec.org or call 413-238-5856.

PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL: Piti Theatre presents the 3rd Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival on Saturday, March 17th at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA. Family show at 2pm with Piti Theatre, juggling, internationally renowned dance-mime artist Karen Montanaro, Ballet Renversé, art activities, and syrup tasting. Evening show at 7pm with Karen Montanaro’s Tanzspiel (German for “dance-play”), clowning from Strong Coffee Stage, juggler Thom Wall, and cellist Wayne Smith. On Sunday, March 18th at Shelburne Falls Yoga there will be a Dance-Mime workshop with Karen for kids 7-12yo from 11am-12:30pm and Physical Storytelling for teens/adults from 1:30-3pm. Family show $5, Evening $12/$8 youth under 16. Schedule & tickets: www.ptco.org/shows/syrup

"Last year a participant from the Boston area found out about my camp through your website and spent a week out here with her daughter just for my camp!" - Beth Fairservis, Puppets in the Woods Summer Arts Camp

SUMMER CAMPS MARKETING SPECIAL: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, we’re offering camps a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. This spring we will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: Summer Camps and Programs in the Western MA Region. Find out more about how your camp can partner with Hilltown Families.

Teresa O’Brient writes, “On Wednesday, March 21, 2012, from 1- 3 pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum, the Berkshire Country Home School Community and the 4H Earth Stars Club are hosting Geography Games and more. Along with geography-related board games and trivia games, there will be an interactive “talking” globe. There will also be country boards on display from previous Geography Fairs held by homeschoolers, so anyone interested in participating or attending this year’s Geo Fair (coming up on Thursday, April 5th), can get some ideas for the fair. This event is free and open to all. For information email berksierra@aol.com or call 413-298-0099.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
March 17th-23rd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 10th-16th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Go on a quest for patterns this weekend at Mass MoCA in North Adams! On Saturday families can take guided tours of the galleries to explore shapes and patterns in art. There will be a project for kids and a snack at the end. Registration required. 413-664-4481. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Family concert with UNCLE ROCK at Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 10th at 10am. Free pancakes before the concert, and then a rockin' good time for the whole family with Uncle Rock! (>$) Presented by Hilltown Families, No Nap Happy Hour Series and Flywheel. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

In the Pioneer Valley this Saturday, March 10th from 10am-12noon – FAMILY CONCERT: Uncle Rock returns to the Pioneer Valley this Saturday. Partnering with Hilltown Families and the No-Nap Happy Hour Series, families can enjoy free pancakes and a rockin’ family concert at Flywheel Arts Collective. All are invited to join in a family fun filled morning! 413-527-9800. 43 Main Street (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA ($)

In the Berkshires later in the afternoon on Saturday, March 10th 1-4pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: Visit the Williams College Museum of Art to learn about ancient artifacts!  There are fun learning activities for kids where they can learn to decode ancient Assyrian writing, create their own Egyptian-inspired jewelry, and learn about excavation techniques at a simulated archaeological dig.  The event fits into studies of archaeology, art history, and anthropology.  15 Lawrence Hall Drive.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Then on Sunday, March 11th from 11am-3pm in Hampden Co. - MAPLE HARVEST DAY: Storrowton Village Museum hosts their 7th annual Maple Harvest Day.  Families can learn about the local history and lore of maple sugaring through demonstrations at the museum.  Demos will include boiling sap and tapping trees.  The learning continues indoors too with cooking demos in their 19th century open hearth along with quilting and spinning demos. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA (FREE)

And later on Sunday, March 11th from 3-6pm in Hampshire Co. - FAMILY CONCERT: The Northampton Parents Center is hosting a Family Fun Night! There will be a performance from local hero children’s musician Mister G, and families are asked to bring a dish to share at the dinner potluck. There will be fun activities for kids and a chance to socialize with friends new and old! 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, March 17th from 9am-3pm – MAPLEFEST: The annual Chester Maplefest begins with a pancake breakfast at the Church of Chester on Skyline Trail. The during the day, there are crafters in the old schoolhouse, hayrides to High Meadow Farm’s Sugarhouse, animal exhibits and entertainment at the church as well as food vendors. 413-667-3410. Chester, MA

Sunday, March 18th from 4-7pm – CHOWDER CONTEST: Does your family have a blue ribbon chowder recipe that’s been passed down through the generations?  Get a cookin’ in the kitchen with the kids and make a batch to enter into the 4th annual Chowder Fest!  Share the back story behind your recipe with your kids while getting some quality time together in the kitchen before heading out into your community to share a taste of your family’s culinary history. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Charlemont Fairgrounds- entry is free, and proceeds from the event sponsor the annual Charlemont Fair!  A ticket buys a taste of every chowder entered.  Takes place at the Mohawk Park Campground and Pub with music by Zydeco Connection.  413-339-4305.  559 Tea Street.  Charlemont, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

LOCAL FOOD: Crimson & Clover Farm is happy to announce that 2012 CSA Shares are now available!  Located at the Northampton Community Farm, right near downtown Florence, Crimson & Clover Farm raises a wide variety of delicious, beautiful, and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for our 20 week CSA program.  As a community based farm we offer a welcoming environment where our members and their families can come and enjoy this amazing community resource as well as receive nutritious locally grown food.  In addition to vegetables we also offer a variety of locally produced products for sale through our farm store.  For more information about the CSA and how to become a member of the farm please visit our website: crimsonandcloverfarm.com.

PURIM CARNIVAL: Temple Israel of Greenfield annual Purim Carnival & Hebrew School Open House.  Sunday, March 11th from 11am-12:30pm at 27 Pierce Street in Greenfield, MA.  All are welcome. Play games, eat hamantashen, meet Hebrew School teachers and families. Students learn Jewish ritual, holidays, culture and ethics, kindergarten through bar/bat mitzvah,  in an open, joyful environment. Inter-faith and gay and lesbian parents welcomed.

"Last year a participant from the Boston area found out about my camp through your website and spent a week out here with her daughter just for my camp!" - Beth Fairservis, Puppets in the Woods Summer Arts Camp

SUMMER CAMPS MARKETING SPECIAL: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, we’re offering camps a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. This spring we will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: Summer Camps and Programs in the Western MA Region. Find out more about how your camp can partner with Hilltown Families..

NUTRITION WORKSHOP: With funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and  Community Development, the Hilltown Community Health Center is offering a  free nutrition workshop,”Healthy Eating for Children,” on Wednesday, April 4 from 10-11am at the Cummington Family Center, 33 Main Street in Cummington. Nutritionist, Rachel Keim, will  be sharing tips and techniques to get children to eat healthy food and will share  recipes for easy, yummy, and inexpensive meals for the whole family. Please  call Lee at the Worthington Health Center at 413-238-4155 for more information.

Sabine Prather writes, “On Tuesday, March 13th, at 7pm, members of the Westfield community will meet in the Lang Auditorium at the Westfield Athenaeum once again meet to talk about practical ways to make our home a better place. The evening will begin with a potluck supper and an inspiring film called “The Power of Community.” We’ll have time after the film to discuss how, in the 1990s, Cubans transitioned economically from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens.” For more info call 413-949-3914.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
March 10th-16th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 3rd-9th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Spring Bulb and Flower shows begin this weekend at Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden in South Hadley, and Smith College Lyman Conservatory in Northampton, MA. These annual harbingers of spring are excellent community based educational opportunities to supplement your child's interest and studies in botany. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, March 3rd at 10:30am, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform a family concert at The First Churches in Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 3rd from 10am-3pm in Hampshire Co. – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s Free Family Day at the Smith College Museum of Art today! Explore the galleries and enjoy hands-on art and music making! A trip to the museum can teach kids about art within a family-friendly setting. 413-585-2760. Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 3rd from 10:30am-12noon in Franklin Co.CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle is hosting a cooking class for budding chefs!  Kids can learn to cook something special, and will learn about the science behind what they’re eating!  Registration required.  413-665-1277.  Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

Saturday, March 3rd from 1-3pm in Berkshire Co.FARM ADVENTURE: Sheep Hill’s annual winter open house takes place today!  Hosted by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, the event will include snowshoeing (if there’s snow), an animal tracking workshop, an eco-hike, crafts, and maple treats to celebrate the beginning of maple season!  413-458-2494.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, March 4th from 10am-4pm – BOTANY/SPRING FLOWER SHOW: Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden hosts their Annual Spring Flower Show in their Talcott Greenhouse. Showcasing spring blooming plants and bulbs with a theme “Orchard and Vine” this year.  Kids can supplement their botany studies while view blooming plants that wouldn’t normally be blooming at the same time.  By comparing and contrasting, even the youngest kids can have fun studying the differences in blooming bulbs, as well as the greenhouse’s miniature vineyard with red & white grape vines. And while your family is there, check out the greenhouse’s living collections, including tropical and temperate plants.  Kids can see how coffee, banana and dates grow. 413-538-2116. Lower Lake Road.  South Hadley, MA (FREE)

Also on Sunday, March 4th from 10am-4pm – BOTANY/SPRING BULB SHOW: Smith College’s spring bulb show is also happening! Visit the college’s botanic garden to view many different types of beautiful flowers!  Pair a visit to the show with a study of how flowers grow, greenhouse gardening, or a look at flowers native to the area.  Visit their greenhouse too to see their living collections, including a live chocolate plant! 413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

Scroll down to see our complete list of Weekly Suggested Events!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Family concert with UNCLE ROCK at Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 10th at 10am. Free pancakes before the concert, and then a rockin' good time for the whole family with Uncle Rock! (>$) Presented by Hilltown Families, No Nap Happy Hour Series and Flywheel.

Saturday, March 10th from 11am-2pm – MAPLEFEST: Bring the family to visit a working sugar house, bottling of maple syrup, assist in tapping maple trees and gathering the sap, and enjoy fresh syrup on delicious pancakes at Hopkins Forest.  Kids can see how demos of old-time methods of evaporation used in precolonial times and learn about the history of maple sugaring in exhibit and displays. Junction of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road. 413-597-4277. Williamstown, MA  (FREE)

Saturday, March 10th from 9:30am-4pm – SHEEP SHEARING: 24th Annual Shearing Day Festival at the Winterberry Farm.  Shearing between 10:30a-1:30p, spinning/weaving demos, Border collie demos, workshops, food and felting. 413-548-3940. 21  Teawaddle Hill Rd. Leverett, MA (FREE)

Sunday, March 11th from 3-6pm - FAMILY CONCERT: The Northampton Parents Center is hosting a Family Fun Night!  There will be a performance from local hero children’s musician Mister G, and families are asked to bring a dish to share at the dinner potluck.  There will be fun activities for kids and a chance to socialize with friends new and old!  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

SUMMER CIRCUS ARTS CAMP: SHOW Circus Studio announces three rings of Circus Summer Camp for children ages 6-15 this August in Easthampton: Aug 6-10, 13-17 & 20-24. These three week-long camps will run from 9am-3pm each day and will cover all aspects of circus including trapeze, fabric, juggling, balancing, acrobatics, partnering, human pyramids, stretching, strength, & circus games/activities. Each week of camp will end with a performance for friends & family on the last day. A great way to spend your summer! Cost: $250/week. For registration & more information please visit: www.showcircusstudio.com/Programs.html & click on Circus Camps.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

HILLTOWN ARTS FESTIVAL: Hilltown Arts Alive is having the Second Annual Hilltown Arts Festival Saturday July 14, 2012 from 10-4 on the Green along Rt. 112 in Worthington. Artists & artisans are invited to apply and/or get information about participating. The fee is modest to have a 12′ X 12′ space. In addition the local church will run a Country Fair, Plein-Air Artists will be painting in town and selling their work at a silent auction, Hilltown Artisans Guild will have  an Art Sale at the Town Hall and local musicians will be playing at an open Mike. At night there will be a Cabaret at the Historical Society. Please contact Natalie Stafford-Festival Chair at 413-238-0192 or staffordnatalie@gmail.com by April 1st.

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission writes: “Did You Know? Bay State Bike Week is getting bigger every year. 18 communities hosted events in 2011 (up from 13 communities in 2010). Despite the rainy weather, there were 970 riders participating in the week’s events. Biking instead of driving improves air and water quality in our region and reduces greenhouse gas emissions—and it’s good for you, too!  Plan ahead for this year’s Bay State Bike Week in May. All events will be posted at www.baystatebikeweek.org by the end of April. Check the website, pencil local events into your calendar, and come out and ride. Also, consider making a belated New Year’s resolution to ride your bike at least once a month—or perhaps once a week—this year.  For more info contact the PVPC at 413-781-6045.”

Steve Damon writes: “It’s Maple Sugaring Time!  The Massachusetts Maple Producers have published their 2nd Annual Maple Passport.  Collect signatures of Mass Maple members and be entered into the drawing for pure maple: www.massmaple.org/2012passport.pdf


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:

March 3rd-9th, 2012

SaturdaySunday

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes

Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Feb 25th-March 2nd, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Maple Sugar Season is arriving 2 weeks early this year! Trees are being tapped, sap is being boiled and many sugar shacks will be serving up breakfast as early as this weekend (most start serving next weekend). Click on the photo for a list of Sugar Shacks in Western MA. Give them a call to see when they will be boiling and serving up their sweet harvest! Take the kids and enjoy breakfast together as a family! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Ice Skating in Western MASaturday, February 25 at 11:30am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Gustafer Yellowgold performs live today at MASS MoCA!  It’s a live/animated show for kids that parents will enjoy too- the New York Times described it as a combination of Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss.  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

Later in the day on Saturday, February 25 from 5-8pm - FIRE & ICE: Red Gate Farm hosts Fire and Ice tonight!  Bring your own sled for sliding down the hill, then warm up at a bonfire afterward!  There will be food and a grill for cooking, as well as hot cocoa and s’mores for dessert.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (<$) [READ THIS UPDATE]

Sunday, February 26 from 12:30am-3pm in Franklin Co. - LOCAL HISTORY: In 1704, the English settlement of Deerfield was raided by a group of Pocomtuck Indians and French settlers.  Visit Deerfield today to learn about the controversy surrounding the event and the effect that it had on the area.  The Indian House will be open all day, and there will be historical re-enactors sharing stories about the event and what happened to Deerfield afterwards.  Kids can learn about the history of the settlement of the Pioneer Valley, and information that they learn can help them in developing a more sensitive view of the events that took place during the settlement of New England.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

Family concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem in Northampton on March 3rd. Deadline to enter to win is 02/29/12 by 7pm (EST).

Sunday, February 26  at 1pm in Hampden Co. - FAMILY ADVENTURE: Holyoke is hosting a Amazing Race-style event for families!  Beginning at Heritage State Park, the race requires that families follow clues and visit locations near the park in order to finish the race!  There are great prizes available and the race offers families a chance to learn more about Holyoke!  413-552-3363.  221 Appleton Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Family concert with UNCLE ROCK at Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 10th at 10am. Presented by Hilltown Families, No Nap Happy Hour Series and Flywheel.

Saturday, March 3rd from 10am-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s Free Family Day at the Smith College Museum of Art today!  Explore the galleries and enjoy hands-on art and music making!  A trip to the museum can teach kids about art within a family-friendly setting.  413-585-2760.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, March 4th from 12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE/SEWING: Help BagShare today by participating in an afternoon of sewing!  Today is bag repair day- old bags that are beginning to tear or get worn out will be patched and sewn back together.  It’s okay if you don’t know how to sew- you can learn!  Kids can help out, too, as long as they’re old enough to use a sewing machine (use your own discretion).  Takes place at the Cummington Community House.  413-634-5591.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CHILDCARE OPENINGS: Little Bear Learn & Care, a high quality childcare program serving the Greater Easthampton Area, has limited openings available in their infant and two year classrooms. Offering childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Little Bear’s welcoming family atmosphere and creative free play environment supports the critical brain-building development of a child’s first five years of life, building a foundation of valuable social/emotional adeptness for later learning. Through basic sign language, modeling and role playing, Little Bear encourages the development of healthy communication skills. To schedule a visit or to find out more about current openings, call 413-203-1776, or visit online at www.littlebearlearnandcare.com.

HILLTOWN IDOLS: Coming soon: Hilltown Idols! An adult & child karaoke competition/fundraiser for the Cultural Arts Committee (CAC) of the Williamsburg Schools. Auditions are Sat., 3/3, with the Final Performance on Sat., 3/10 at 7pm at the Dunphy School in Williamsburg. The competition is open to children & adults from near and far! There are four competition groups: Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, & Adults. Prizes will be awarded to winners. Entry fee for contestants in Grades 3-12 is $5.00 & $25.00 for adults. Register by 3/2! Tickets for audience members on 3/3 are $2/individual or $5/family for the day. Tickets for the Final Performance on 3/10 are $5(Ages 3-18), $10(Adults), or $20 per family. See sites.google.com/site/hilltownidols for details.

SUMMER CIRCUS ARTS CAMP: SHOW Circus Studio announces three rings of Circus Summer Camp for children ages 6-15 this August in Easthampton: Aug 6-10, 13-17 & 20-24. These three week-long camps will run from 9am-3pm each day and will cover all aspects of circus including trapeze, fabric, juggling, balancing, acrobatics, partnering, human pyramids, stretching, strength, & circus games/activities. Each week of camp will end with a performance for friends & family on the last day. A great way to spend your summer! Cost: $250/week. For registration & more information please visit: www.showcircusstudio.com/Programs.html & click on Circus Camps.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY: The Springfield Library is offering free concerts in the Rotunda beginning Feb 26 at 1pm with the sweet sounds of Jesse Doane, whose original & improvisational Celtic harp music has the power to relax & inspire. Bring the entire family to enjoy the monthly hour-long performances featuring different types of music, including classical, popular, and ethnic improvisations presented by local, professional musicians. Other performers & Sunday dates include: Meadow Flutes on March 25, Carol Hutter String Quartet on April 22, & Dixieland Stomp on May 27. In addition, the New England Winds, a division of the USAF Band of Liberty, will play in the Rotunda on Wed, June 6 at 6:30pm. Please call the Central Library at 413-263-6828 x213 for more info.

FARM TO SCHOOL: The 2nd statewide MA Farm to School Convention will be held on March 15, at Old Sturbridge Village! Sessions will run from 9-4:45. Registration at 8:15 & attendance includes a lunch featuring locally sourced ingredients. This full-day convention will feature leaders in the farm to school movement providing info on everything from creating school gardens to overcoming barriers to local foods procurement to the growing partnerships between schools & community farms. Come hear how inspiring food service directors, educators, farmers, advocates, & students are building connections between cafeterias, dining halls, classrooms, & farms in MA, & learn what you can do to further those connections. Register at www.massfarmtoschool.org/convention.htm


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 25th—March 2nd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Feb 18th-24th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count takes place from February 17th-20th this year! If your kids have off for winter vacation week, this is a fun way to keep them learning and unplugged while out of school. Click on photo for more info. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Ice Skating in Western MAIn the morning on Saturday, February 18th at 10am or 12noon in Berkshire Co. – FAMILY FILM: Share with your kids international films today at Images Cinema! The cinema is screening, “Lotte from Gadgetville,” an animated children’s movie from Estonia. The movie tells the story of Lotte, and the adventures she has learning about the many inventions created in her village. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

In the afternoon on Saturday, February 18th at 2pm in Franklin Co. – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players perform Treasure Island at the Shea Theater! The show is a high-energy pirate adventure appropriate for families with slightly older kids (some parts are scary!). 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

In the evening on Saturday, February 18th at 7:30pm in Hampshire Co. – THEATER/HISTORY: Old Deerfield Productions is presenting the premier of the new folk opera, “Truth,” which tells the story of former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. Kids with audience skills can supplement studies of American History by seeing the show. Seeing the show could be a great way to start a family dialogue about abolition and how it fits into the larger topic of human rights. Takes place at the Academy of Music. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

All day on Sunday, February 19th from 9am-5pm in Hampden Co. – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site where visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. This week beginning today there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party

Family concert with UNCLE ROCK at Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 10th at 10am. Presented by Hilltown Families, No Nap Happy Hour Series and Flywheel.

Saturday, February 25 from 10-11am in the Pioneer Valley – PUPPETS: Tom Knight is performing a puppet show at Hatfield Elementary School this morning! The show is designed for pre-school aged kids and their families and is sponsored by the Collaborative for Educational Services. 413-586-4998. 33 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 25 from 10:30am-12:30pm in the Berkshires – STORYWALK: The North Adams Public Library has arranged a storywalk through downtown North Adams! It will be around until March 3rd for families to visit anytime, but this particular Sunday morning there will be a special craft at the library accompanying the story Annie and the Wild Animals by Western MA author, Jan Brett. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 26 from 1:30-4:30pm – FAMILY FUN: Northampton Recreation is hosting a fun family afternoon as part of Fabulous February! There will be ice cream and games of bingo beginning at 1:30, then open swim time beginning at 2:30. Younger kids can practice matching and identifying numbers by playing bingo, and kids of all ages (and adults!) can get some great exercise and swimming practice for summer during pool time. 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

CHILDCARE OPENINGS: Little Bear Learn & Care, a high quality childcare program serving the Greater Easthampton Area, has limited openings available in their infant and two year classrooms. Offering childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Little Bear’s welcoming family atmosphere and creative free play environment supports the critical brain-building development of a child’s first five years of life, building a foundation of valuable social/emotional adeptness for later learning. Through basic sign language, modeling and role playing, Little Bear encourages the development of healthy communication skills. To schedule a visit or to find out more about current openings, call 413-203-1776, or visit online at www.littlebearlearnandcare.com.

FAMILY CONCERT: Sunnyside Children’s Center Presents… R.O.C.K…Paper…Blizzard! Rock those winter blues away, eat pizza with your pals, make art, and try to win our Rock Paper Scissors Championship! Come spend the morning with the Valley’s own rockin’ family music band, The Royal Order of Chords & Keys (R.O.C.K.), with Aric Bieganek on vocals and guitar, Hans Dalhaus on drums and David Picchi on bass. Featured on the Meltdown Stage at the 2011 Green River Festival, together they form the hardest rocking band for families in the world. Sunday, February 19th from 10:30am-12noon at the Florence Community Center. Tickets just $5 per person ($25 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside financial aid fund for families in need. www.sunnysidekids.org

SCHOOL VACATION WEEK: This February vacation join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA for live performances, art making, gallery exhibitions, scavenger hunts, and story times! There will be live performances of The Ugly Ducking in the auditorium by the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School, Feb. 21 – 24 at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. $6 ($5 members). And while school might be out for some, kids can still learn about history through a new art exhibition, We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, paintings by Kadir Nelson, and by creating timelines in the art studio, highlighting significant events and journeys from the past. The museum will be open on President’s Day! For more information please visit: www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Accepting applications for fall 2012. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 245 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts daily. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

HILLTOWN IDOLS: Coming soon: Hilltown Idols! An adult & child karaoke competition/fundraiser for the Cultural Arts Committee (CAC) of the Williamsburg Schools. Auditions are Sat., 3/3, with the Final Performance on Sat., 3/10 at 7pm at the Dunphy School in Williamsburg. The competition is open to children & adults from near and far! There are four competition groups: Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, & Adults. Prizes will be awarded to winners. Entry fee for contestants in Grades 3-12 is $5.00 & $25.00 for adults. Register by 3/2! Tickets for audience members on 3/3 are $2/individual or $5/family for the day. Tickets for the Final Performance on 3/10 are $5(Ages 3-18), $10(Adults), or $20 per family. See sites.google.com/site/hilltownidols for details.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

ADOPTIVE PARENTS: Berkshire Children and Families (BCF) is hosting a workshop for families interested in learning more about adopting a child. Prospective adoptive parents can learn about available children, as well as the process of applying to adopt. The process includes undergoing MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting) Training, as well as a homestudy. If approved after applying, adoptive parents are able to adopt children from within the state’s DCF system. There are many children in need of families- if you’re interested in considering adoption, feel free to attend! The workshop will take place on Tuesday, Feburary 21st from 5:30-7pm at the BCF office (200 Russell Street) in Hadley. Questions can be directed to Linda Dugas at 413-584-5690.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 18th—Feb 24th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Feb 11th-17th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Northampton's 2nd Annual Ice Art Festival happens this Friday, Feb. 10th as part of Northampton Arts Night Out. See sculptures being made during the day on Friday and enjoy them Friday night and throughout the weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Flywheel Saturday Morning Music PartyOn Saturday, February 11th from 10am – MUSIC/PANCAKES – The first in a series of Saturday Morning Music Party events kicks of at Flywheel with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain, and DJ Youthelectronix for a family dance party. This series is presented by Flywheel, Hilltown Families and The No Nap Happy Hour. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St. (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (FREE)

Then later on Saturday, February 11th from 12:30-3:30pm – VALENTINES/HISTORY: Create your own Victorian-inspired valentines today at the Wistariahurst Museum!  The museum will have antique valentines on display for participants to view and gain inspiration from.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

In the evening on Saturday, February 11th from 5-8pm - COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Easthampton’s annual Fire and Ice celebration takes place tonight!  It’s during the town’s monthly Art Walk event, and along with galleries being open across town, there will be ice sculptures all over town, street performances, and live music!  Families can see art created by local artists and enjoy the pop-up winter street art.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

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

On Sunday, February 12th from 10am-12noon – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: The Cummington Family Center is hosting a valentine-themed potluck and box play event for families today!  Bring a dish to share, and then enjoy creative free play using a collection of boxes big and small.  Kids can exercise their creativity by building and creating- boxes are great for free play, and it’s a totally non-commercial activity!  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, February 12th from 2-5pm – FATHER/DAUGHTER VALENTINE BALL: Dads and granddads can take the special daughters and/or granddaughters in their lives to Longmeadow Parks and Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine’s Ball! Dress up in your fanciest clothes and enjoy a fun afternoon of holiday-themed music, dancing, decorations, and treats! Perhaps dads and daughters can learn a few dances together before the event. Takes place at the Community House. 413-565-4160. 735 Londmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win tix to the Winklepicker Festival's Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco. Deadline to enter to win: 02/15/12 by 7pm (EST)

On Saturday, February 18th from 9am-1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Spend the day outside learning about animal tracking, botany, and how animals adapt for survival during the winter today at the Guyette Farm with the Franklin Land Trust!  Naturalist John Foster will lead the exploration. Registration required.  413-625-9151.  Gloyd Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, February 19th from 3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Families are invited to Laurel Park for live music, traditional country dancing, singing and some games, all led by an experienced caller, for families with little ones. 413-230-7037. 2 Laurel Park. Northampton, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Accepting applications for fall 2012. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 245 students in kindergarten through grade 9.  Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts daily. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061  www.bement.org.

Jennifer Van Beckum writes, “There are currently 2-3 openings in my home-based Waldorf Childcare Program in Florence, ½ or full day options.  The program is based on rhythm, a love of nature, the protection of childhood, and the belief that the caregiver should surround the children with the love and happiness which will help their capacities unfold and flourish.  Our days include creative play, crafts, painting, baking, and gardening, circle time, story time, outdoor play and rest time.  Warm, home-made, nutritious snacks and lunch are served.  I have 20 years experience as an Early Childhood Teacher and am also a Certified Simplicity Parenting Group Leader.  For more information call Jennifer Van Beckum: 413-586-0596 or email: javanbeckum@iglide.net.”

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 11th—Feb 17th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Feb 4th-10th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Click on the photo to see WGBY'S piece on the exhibit.

Have you seen the exhibit, "Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit of Life and Landscape in Western MA?" Check it out at the Worthington Library this month, moving to the Cummington Community House in March. (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield, Farm Truck in Ashfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

There's still time so show your support of Hilltown Families by voting us as Best Local Blog in the Valley Advocate's Best of the Valley Readers' Poll for 2012! Best Local Blog is listed under the "Media Mavens" category. Deadline to vote is Wed., Feb. 8th by 12Noon. Click on the banner to cast your vote! Must vote for at least 10 of your local favorites... how about some of our sponsor?

Saturday, February 4th in Hampden Co. from 12noon-3pm – ICE HARVESTING: Join the town of Granville for their annual ice harvest!  Visitors can see the process of harvesting ice and learn about what it was used for.  Storrowton Village historian Dennis Picard will demonstrate ice cutting techniques- spectators may even get to try their hand at using the ice saw, pike pole, or ice tongs!  Ice harvesting was once a very profitable industry in New England, and ice from the area was shipped all over the world.  Learning more about ice harvesting fits into studies of American History, local history, American culture, and technology development.  Takes place on the pond at the Noble Drum Factory.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Saturday, February 4th in Franklin Co. at 10am – FAMILY FUN: It’s Family Fun Day today at the Greenfield Youth Center! There will be fun activities, including a magic show, crafts, face painting, and a movie!  413-772-1553.  20 Sanderson Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, February 5th in Hampshire Co. from 2-6pm - ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Learn about the natural history of the crow, a very common and very interesting bird!  The event begins with a presentation on crows, then a field trip to Springfield- watch the skies for crows, then follow them to a place where they congregate in a large group.  Kids can learn about the behavior of and habitat needed by these birds- it’s a great supplement to studies of the local environment.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

Also on Sunday, February 5th in Berkshire Co. from 12noon-4pm - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowfest is today!  Kids can enjoy snow-related outdoor activities like an obstacle course, skating, winter games, and more!  The event is a fundraiser for the Williamstown Youth Center and is hosted by Williams College.  413-458-5925.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$)

Later in the week on Tuesday, February 7th from 6pm-7:30pm – ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: CREATIVE FREE PLAY IN A COMMERCIALIZED WORLD: Hilltown Families is hosting a community roundtable discussion on supporting creative free play within our commercialized world.  The event, which is open to parents, educators, and community members, will take place at Cup and Top Cafe and is co-sponsored by the Northampton Public Schools.  Participants are invited to informally discuss the challenges of supporting free play and strategies for allowing children the opportunity for non-commercialized play.  Attendees will be able to engage in discussion, seek and offer advice, and develop ideas or plans for dealing with commercialism targeted at kids.  The event is a follow up to a presentation with Dr. Susan Linn (author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids) hosted by Hilltown Families before the holiday season.  Dinner is available for purchase from the cafe until 6:30pm (gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free options available), and FREE childcare is available in the cafe’s playspace (e-mail hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to sign up for childcare). 1 North Main Street. Florence, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tix!

On Saturday, February 11th from 10am-12Noon: FAMILY DANCE PARTY – There will be a family dance party with DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9 FM The River at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Families from throughout the Pioneer Valley will don their dancing shoes at this benefit for Nonotuck Community School. Come join kids of all ages under the disco ball and groove to a mix of classics, new tunes, and kids favorites at this all-for-the-family dance party!  413-586-5996. 17 New South Street, 3rd Floor. Northampton, MA ($) 

On Sunday, February 12th from 2-5pm – FATHER/DAUGHTER VALENTINE BALL: Dads and granddads can take the special daughters and/or granddaughters in their lives to Longmeadow Parks and Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine’s Ball!  Dress up in your fanciest clothes and enjoy a fun afternoon of holiday-themed music, dancing, decorations, and treats!  Perhaps dads and daughters can learn a few dances together before the event.  Takes place at the Community House.  413-565-4160.  735 Londmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

OPEN HOUSE: Amherst Montessori School will hold an Admissions Open House for Parents, Saturday, February 4, 10AM-12noon. Learn what a Montessori education is all about, and if it is the right choice for your child. By following true Montessori principles, Amherst Montessori School nurtures each child’s spirit by demonstrating respect for others and a celebration of diversity, while offering a competitive academic curriculum. To register for the Open House, please call 413-253-3101. Amherst Montessori School, 27 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst. www.amherstmontessori.org.

OPEN HOUSE: On Sunday, Feb 5th Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2pm to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4pm enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. All activities are free. www.centerschool.net. Birds of Prey Open House, K-5th, Sun. Feb. 5, 1-4pm.

KIDS MUSIC CAMP: WinklePicker Mardi Gras Kids Music Camp (for kids age 10-15), Sat. Feb. 18 from 10:30am-2:30 pm at Ashfield Preschool, Ashfield.  Fiddle players, accordion aces & guitar players - learn Cajun technique from Stuart Kenney (Dewey Balfa’s band) and friends. Intermediate-level players, bring your fiddle, accordion or guitar, attend the workshops, then rehearse as “The WinklePickers” and perform at the Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco (7:00 PM, Ashfield Town Hall)! Pack a bag lunch, WinklePicker will supply beverages. Fee is $25/Student and includes 1 adult ticket admission to the Chris Smither concert and the Buckwheat Zydeco concert and after-party.  Tickets at Elmer’s Store & www.WinklePickerFest.com or call 413-230-0237 to register.

COOKING WORKSHOPS: Three WinklePicker Cajun & Creole Cooking Workshops  Feb. 17, 18, 19 at Elmer’s Store, Ashfield.  New Orleans chef and Food Director at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Michelle Nugent will demonstrate Cajun & Creole cuisine in 3 demo & tasting classes over 3 days.  Learn to make Duck Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffée & Gateau de Sirop; Oysters Rockefeller, Seafood Gumbo, Pecan Fish Muniere & Bananas Foster; or Crabmeat Ravigote, Shrimp Creole, Grillades & Grits & Brandy Milk Punch.  Classes/tastings run 3 hours per session; see website for daily schedule & menu. Capacity is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended.  $65/class; $175 3-classes advance price only. Tickets at Elmer’s Store and www.WinklePickerFest.com.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

Shelly Bathe Lenn writes: “The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens offers a safe and welcoming setting to process the many feelings associated with grief and loss.  Any family with a child ages 5-18 years who has experienced the death of a close family member is invited to participate in our Sunday afternoon groups.  New groups will be forming late February, and will meet at the Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton.  Pre-registration is required.  For more information, please call 413-584-7086 x124 or email at shelly.thegarden@gmail.com.” www.garden-cgc.org

COMPOSTING: The Center for EcoTechnology will be offering three free workshops on home composting throughout February!  The workshops, which will take place in the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley, will teach attendees about how to compost effectively at home as well as the year-round benefits of doing so and each workshop will include a hands-on compost pile creation.  Compost is healthy for lawns, gardens, and houseplants, and helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste put in landfills.  The workshops will take place on February 4th at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown, February 11th at Ward’s Nursery in Great Barrington, and February 25th at the Hadley Garden Center.  Registration is required for the workshops- call 413-445-4556 x30 to sign up.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 4th—Feb 10th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Jan 28th-Feb 3rd, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Even in mid-winter Western MA families can enjoy fresh local food from nearby farms and weekly winter farmers' markets. This Saturday at Forest Park is the Springfield Winter Fare. From 10am-2pm families can enjoy a lively and diverse farmers' market, free workshops, cooking demos, bartering of canned goods and fun! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

As Hilltown Families enters its seventh year, celebrate the past six by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Local Blog in the Valley Advocate's Best of the Valley Readers' Poll for 2011! Best Local Blog is listed under the "Media Mavens" category. Deadline to vote is Noon, Feb 8th. Click on the banner to cast your vote! Must vote for at least 10 of your local favorites... how about some of our sponsor?

Saturday, Jan 28th at 1pm in Hampshire Co. – KIDS’ CONCERT: The Four Story players present, “Peter and the Wolf and Other Stories” at the Eric Carle Museum today! The event is part of the Northampton Community Music Center’s Family Concert Series. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Later in the day on Saturday, Jan 28th from 5-7pm also in Hampshire Co. – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Visit Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for a puppet show presentation of the story Owl Moon and learn about the owls that live locally. After the show, head outside to look and listen for owls. Call to register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

On both Saturday & Sunday, Jan 28th & 29th from 10am-5pm in Hampden Co. – TRAINS: The Amherst Railroad Hobby Show will take place at the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds (1305 Memorial Ave.). Over 50 model railroad displays in varying scales, vendors, crafts, clinics, and more. If you have kids crazy over trains, here’s 7 acres of railroad mania! 267-4555. West Springfield, MA (>$)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Push back against the commercialization of Valentine's Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community... sign up to participate in the Hilltown Families 4th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Click on the banner to find out more and to sign up! It’s free and open to all families in Western MA.

Saturday, February 4th in Hampshire Co. from 9:30-11am – VALENTINES: Make your own valentines at the Eric Carle Museum’s valentine-making party!  Kids will get to choose of different materials, and if you visit the galleries, they may be inspired by an art style.  413-625-1138.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

Saturday, February 4th in Berkshire Co. from 10:30-11:45am - CHINESE NEW YEAR: Learn about Chinese culture and the celebration of Chinese New Year at the Mason Library by doing some themed crafts and activities from 10:30-11:45am!  There will be a variety of  age-appropriate activities for kids ages 12yo and youner.  Then from 11:45am-12:30pm, the library hosts a lunch buffet of good luck noodles and fried rice.  Talk with your children about why different cultures eat different foods and how they incorporate these foods into their holiday celebrations.  RSVP required. 413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Hilltown Families will host a free informal roundtable discussion for parents, educators and community members interested in a dialogue about creative free play in a commercialized world on Tuesday, February 7th from 6-7:30pm at Cup & Top Cafe in Florence, MA, sponsored by Hilltown Families and the Northampton Public Schools. Click on the banner to find out more!

OPEN HOUSE: Amherst Montessori School will hold an Admissions Open House for Parents, Saturday, February 4, 10AM-12noon. Learn what a Montessori education is all about, and if it is the right choice for your child. By following true Montessori principles, Amherst Montessori School nurtures each child’s spirit by demonstrating respect for others and a celebration of diversity, while offering a competitive academic curriculum. To register for the Open House, please call 413-253-3101. Amherst Montessori School, 27 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst. www.amherstmontessori.org.

OPEN HOUSE: On Sunday, Feb 5th Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2pm to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4pm enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. All activities are free. www.centerschool.net. Birds of Prey Open House, K-5th, Sun. Feb. 5, 1-4pm.

KIDS MUSIC CAMP: WinklePicker Mardi Gras Kids Music Camp (for kids age 10-15), Sat. Feb. 18 from 10:30am-2:30 pm at Ashfield Preschool, Ashfield.  Fiddle players, accordion aces & guitar players – learn Cajun technique from Stuart Kenney (Dewey Balfa’s band) and friends. Intermediate-level players, bring your fiddle, accordion or guitar, attend the workshops, then rehearse as “The WinklePickers” and perform at the Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco (7:00 PM, Ashfield Town Hall)! Pack a bag lunch, WinklePicker will supply beverages. Fee is $25/Student and includes 1 adult ticket admission to the Chris Smither concert and the Buckwheat Zydeco concert and after-party.  Tickets at Elmer’s Store & www.WinklePickerFest.com or call 413-230-0237 to register.

COOKING WORKSHOPS: Three WinklePicker Cajun & Creole Cooking Workshops  Feb. 17, 18, 19 at Elmer’s Store, Ashfield.  New Orleans chef and Food Director at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Michelle Nugent will demonstrate Cajun & Creole cuisine in 3 demo & tasting classes over 3 days.  Learn to make Duck Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffée & Gateau de Sirop; Oysters Rockefeller, Seafood Gumbo, Pecan Fish Muniere & Bananas Foster; or Crabmeat Ravigote, Shrimp Creole, Grillades & Grits & Brandy Milk Punch.  Classes/tastings run 3 hours per session; see website for daily schedule & menu. Capacity is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended.  $65/class; $175 3-classes advance price only. Tickets at Elmer’s Store and www.WinklePickerFest.com.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

DINNER ON US: UMass Amherst and the Amherst Family Center are presenting Dinner On Us, a dinner-and-discussion series for families on Monday, February 6th from 5:30-7:30pm.  The event begins with dinner from 5:30-6, and children’s activities will take place from 5:45-7:30.  Parent discussion will be from 6-7:30.  This week’s topic is building vocabulary and encouraging language development in young learners, and is hosted by Claire Hamilton, a member of the education faculty at UMass.  Takes place in the Student Union Building, Room 428.  413-545-0865.  280 Hicks Way.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE) [CANCELED]

HISTORY: The Berkshire County Homeschool Community hosts a presentation titled, “Cotton and Race in the Making of America” on Thursday, February 9th at 7pm.  The talk, which is best for older students who have some background in American history, will address the connections between the economic growth the the United States saw as a result of the cotton industry and issues of race and the American experience.  Students can learn about topics that are often not addressed in typical studies of American history and the textile industry, and they will learn to make connections between issues of race in modern culture and the issues present during the 19th century.  This event can be paired with a visit to the American Textile History Museum, too, for an even broader study of the importance of the textile industry.  Takes place at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire.  413-528-6378.  270 State Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Jan 28th—Feb 3rd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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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 »

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011)

100 Links (Winter/Spring 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!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader, nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our list of the most recent recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

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100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011)

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 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!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our list of the most recent recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 01/08/11-01/14/11

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

(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.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, January 8th at 10am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G kicks off the Nonotuck Community School Winter Concert Series with a family concert at First Churches of Northampton (129 Main St.) More info here. 586-5996 Northampton, MA (>$)

On Wednesday, January 12th at 6:30pm, Hilltown Families presents ... Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families , a FREE interactive and fun presentation for adults with author Susan Tordella at Cup & Top Cafe (1 North Main St.) in Florence, MA. Learn how cleaning toilets, washing dishes and raking leaves empower families. More information HERE. Florence, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

CONCERT & DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS: Chris Smither in concert on Sat, Jan 15 at 8pm, Ashfield’s Town Hall. Chris is an acclaimed acoustic roots singer-songwriter whose career spans 40 years, 12 albums & 3 DVDs. He tours world-wide and his songs have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Diana Krall. Tickets are $18adv/$20door. Elmer’s will serve a pre-concert dinner (5 – 7:15pm) with BBQ Pulled Pork Po’ Boys from Skippy & Wanda Walker of New Orleans.  This po-boy was named one of America’s top sandwiches in 2008 by Esquire Magazine, and their daughter, Shayne Walker, will be our chef of the evening.  (Vegetarian option will be offered as well.) Dinner is $14 and includes dessert and coffee. Dinner reservations and concert info:  628-4003. www.Elmersstore.com/events

BULLETIN BOARD

INFORMATIONAL MEETING: The Hilltown Charter Cooperative Public School (HCCPS) invites prospective parents to attend an Informational Meeting on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 at 6:30pm. HCCPS is an arts-integrated, parent-involved public K-8 school located in the Brassworks Building on Rte. 9 in Haydenville, MA. There is no tuition or application fee. The Admissions Lottery will be held February 8th, 2011.Applications received after Feb 7th will be entered in subsequent lotteries. Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School does not discriminate on any basis. For an application, information, or to schedule a visit, call (413) 268-3421 or email info@hilltowncharter.org. Visit the HCCPS online at www.hilltowncharter.org

Pioneer Valley Local First - buy localPioneer Valley Local First writes: In the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts we are blessed with natural beauty and a vibrant local living economy made up of independent businesses, family farms, educational institutions and active community organizations. It’s a rich and diverse culture and one that Pioneer Valley Local First is dedicated to protect and strengthen. Our mission is to encourage people to Think Local First so that they Buy Local First.  We also encourage and support companies to be socially, locally and environmentally responsible. In addition we educate Pioneer Valley citizens, community organizations, businesses and local governments about the benefits of doing business with locally owned, independent businesses. Help the Pioneer Valley to continue to be its unique, wonderful self; so that our place, doesn’t look like every place, by using your Pioneer Valley Local Business Guide.

PRESCHOOL FAIR: The Northampton Parents Center is having its annual Preschool Fair on Thursday, January 13th, at the Parents Center from 9:30 to 11:00 am.  Snow date is January 20th.  Representatives from local preschools will be on hand to answer questions.  This event is free of charge.  Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street.  Everyone is welcome!  For more information go to the Parents Center website: www.northamptonparentscenter.org.

POLKA DANCE LESSONS: February 5th is Sweetheart Family Polka Night at the Sunderland Elementary School from , 6:30-1opm. Put on your dancing shoes and celebrate Valentine’s Day at Cafe Sun. Local favorite The Eddie Forman Orchestra will have you carousing, and secret local entertainers will kick things off. Yummy desserts will be served. Proceeds to benefit the Sunderland Elementary School PTO. Free babysitting!Also FREE Polka lessons for kids and adults, Thursday evenings Jan 13 – Feb 3, 7- 8pm. For more info: 665-1151 or 768-9857 or go to www.cafesun.org.

Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for 5 years! Help HF continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and/or enhanced publicity. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

The Forbes Library of Northampton, MA writes: Food for Fines, Jan. 3rd through Jan. 15th. Support your local community, clear your library account and return our books and media to circulate to others!  During this time, patrons may pay overdue fines with canned goods (please check your expiration dates) or healthy non-perishable food items. This applies to late fines only and not to lost or damaged fees. All food collected will be given to the Northampton Survival Center for distribution to those in need in our community.

Lilly Lombard of Grow Food Northampton writes: Spread the word that Whole Foods in Hadley will have a “5% day” for us on WED. JANUARY 12. 5% of all proceeds that day will go to Grow Food Northampton. Mark your calendar to shop at Whole Foods that day. They have become proactive in sourcing food locally!

Evan Wilson of Health Resource in Action writes: Health Resources in Action and The 84 are looking for youth ages 15-17 to become trained to conduct tobacco compliance checks.  A tobacco compliance check is a way to make sure tobacco retailers are not selling tobacco products to underage youth. It involves youth under the age of 18 going into stores where tobacco is sold to attempt to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products.   The next training will be in Northampton on Monday, January 10th from 4-7pm at the Western Regional Health Office. Once trained, youth’s name will be entered into a database of teens who are trained and willing to participate in checks. Youth will be paid $8-10/hour to conduct the checks in their community.   Contact Evan Wilson at ewilson@hria.org or (617) 279-2240 x332 to sign up for an upcoming training. Please provide your name, age, address, phone and an email address.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: TOP 10 OF 2010!

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS is our Top 10 of 2010 Episode. We’re playing songs off of our top 10 albums selected for 2010. Tune in to hear who we’ve selected and get ready for some great music!

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.
  • 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

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – January 8th, 2011

    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.

    9am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Winter Farmers’ Market in the basement of Thornes through April 30th. Food, live music and art. Northampton, MA (MARKET)

    10am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G kicks off the Nonotuck Community School Winter Concert Series with a family concert at First Churches of Northampton (129 Main St.) More info here. 586-5996 Northampton, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Winter Farmers’ Market at Amherst Middle School (170 Chestnut St.) with live music by the hilltown’s very own, Radio Free Earth. Amherst, MA (MARKET)

    10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: North Amherst Farmers’ Market happens a the Big Blue Barn at SwartzFamiy Farm (11 Meadow St.). www.northamherstmarket.com Amherst, MA (MARKET)

    10am-12Noon – ANIMAL STUDIES: Berkshire Sanctuaries is sponsoring a Bird Banding Demo at  Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for families w/kids 3yo & older.  Use mist nets, band birds, record data, relase birds unharmed. (472 West Mountain Rd.) berkshires@massaudubon.org Lenox, MA (>$)

    10am-3pm – WINTER TRAILS DAY: Activities at Notchview Reservation for annual Winter Trails Day. Cross-country ski lessons for all levels, clinics, snowshoe hike. Bring skis or rent in advance from your local ski shop.  Snowshoes available on site. 684-0148 http://www.ttor.org Windsor, MA (FREE) Rescheduled for January 22nd due to lack of snow.

    10:30am-12Noon – STORY/MOVIE TIME: Reading and screening of The Snowman and The Snowy Day at the Berkshire Athenaeum auditorium (1 Wendell Ave.). Snacks & crafts too. 499-9480 Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

    11am & 1pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Grateful Crane: A Japanese Tale, will be performed by the Hartsbrook School Early Childhood Faculty at the Eric Carle Museum. 584-3198 www.hartsbrook.org Amherst, MA (FREE W/ADMISSION)

    11am-12Noon – STORY TIME: Stories from Natures Garden at the Lee Library (100 Main St.). Join Anne Gannon, horticulturist with The Trustees of Reservations, for a program of stories and activities sharing the wonders of nature in all seasons. Open to ages 2-7 with caregivers (older siblings welcome!). To sign-up or for more information email rborsody@cwmars.org or call the Lee Library at 243-0385 Lee, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEALMontague 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 – CHESS: Western MA Blitz Chess Challenge for kids ages 6yo+ happens at the Westfield Athenaeum (6 Elm St.). All levels welcomed. Presented by the Western Massachusetts Chess Association and the Westfield Chess Club. 568-7833 www.westath.orgWestfield, MA (FREE)

    1pm – SPANISH: Spanish Get-Together at the Meekins Library the second Saturday of each month.  Intermediate to advanced speakers. ¿Quieres Practicar tu español? Puedes Hacerlo en Las Tertulias en Espanol en la biblioteca Meekins en Williamsburg Los segundos sabados de cada mes a la una. 268-7472 www.meekins-library.org Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    1-10pm – RED TENT: Red Tent Temple of the Berkshires for all women 13yo and older. 441-4186 Pittsfield, MA ($)

    1:30pm – KNITTING GROUP: Get-Together Knitting Bees at Norton Inn (across street from Elmer’s). Get cozy with other knitters next to a warm fire and enjoy the company and help of other knitters (all skill levels). Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    1:30-3:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

    ♦ 2-3:50pm - ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena (575 Maple St.) Skate rentals available. 532-2929 Holyoke, MA ($)

    2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum (6 Elm St.) will host a screening of “Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga’Hoole” (PG). http://www.westath.org Westfield, MA (FREE)

    2pm – HERBAL REMEDIES: Dr. Rebecca Shwartz will offer a workshop on making simple herbal remedies for common wintertime complaints in the community room at the Forbes Library. www.forbeslibrary.org Northampton, MA (FREE)

    2-4pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Worm composting workshop at Green Fields market. 586-3699 Greenfield, MA (FREE)

    2-5pm – GIRLS CIRCLE: The Girl Circle, an ongoing group for girls between 9-12 yrs to explore their holistic relationship with the seasons, the moon cycles, sense of self and esteem, body image and awareness, verbal vocal clarity, holistic empowerment, fullness of expression, and gain skills for managing and balancing emotional and physical health and wholeness. Led by Alisa Wright Tanny. 695-6950 Conway/Shelburne Falls, MA ($$)

    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. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    5pm – 12th NIGHT: St John’s Church is hosting a Twelfth Night celebration. There will be a festive gathering and a lively reading of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  Musical instruments are encouraged.  Potluck supper between acts featuring Three Kings Cake and wassail.  Bring a potluck dish to share and copy of the play (if you have one). Open to all. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    7:30pm – CABARET: Amherst Regional High School will host a cabaret, showcasing the perfoming arts of ARHS.  Amherst, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 01/01/11-01/07/11

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Start the year off right and get the family outside! Take the kids sledding or on a New Year's Day hike! Several free First Day Hikes are featured for Saturday. Pick one in the Pioneer Valley, Hilltowns or Berkshires and set tracks for a great new year! (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.

    BEST BETS

    Sunday, January 2nd at 4pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Cummington Family Center and the Tanglewood Marionettes present Cinderella at the Community House (33 Main St.) Cummington, MA (FREE)

    Friday, January 7th at 6:30pm – MOVIE: Northampton Community Music Center hosts a movie/sing-along for kids of all ages to “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring blankets and get cozy.www.ncmc.net Northampton, MA (FREE)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Hilltown Families presents: "Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families" on Jan. 12th @ 6:30pm. Free & open to the public.

    On Saturday, January 8th at 10am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G kicks off the Nonotuck Community School Winter Concert Series with a family concert at First Churches of Northampton (129 Main St.) More info here. 586-5996 Northampton, MA (>$)

    On Wednesday, January 12th at 6:30pm, Hilltown Families presents ..Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families, an interactive and fun presentation for adults with author Susan Tordella at 6:30pm on Wednesday, January 12th at Cup & Top Cafe (1 North Main St.). Learn how cleaning toilets, washing dishes and raking leaves empower families. Florence, MA (FREE)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Pioneer Valley Local First - buy localPioneer Valley Local First writes: In the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts we are blessed with natural beauty and a vibrant local living economy made up of independent businesses, family farms, educational institutions and active community organizations. It’s a rich and diverse culture and one that Pioneer Valley Local First is dedicated to protect and strengthen. Our mission is to encourage people to Think Local First so that they Buy Local First.  We also encourage and support companies to be socially, locally and environmentally responsible. In addition we educate Pioneer Valley citizens, community organizations, businesses and local governments about the benefits of doing business with locally owned, independent businesses. Help the Pioneer Valley to continue to be its unique, wonderful self; so that our place, doesn’t look like every place, by using your Pioneer Valley Local Business Guide.

    Deadline to enter to win: Jan. 4th

    CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of week day kid’s circus classes will begin on January 10th at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton, MA. We will work on trapeze, fabric, juggling, tumbling and acrobatics, human pyramids, balancing, strength and flexibility. Circus is a great way to increase self esteem, have fun, get in shape, improve focus and learn new skills. Classes for students new to circus will be held on Tuesday and Thursday. Ages 5-7 will run from 3:30-4:30pm and ages 8+ will be from 4:30-5:30pm. Continuing circus students are able to choose from Level 2 classes on Monday (ages 5-7 from 3:30-4:30pm and ages 8+  from 4:30-5:30pm) or the SHOW Stars Performance Troupe on Wednesdays (All ages, 4-5:15). Registration is available online.

    Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for 5 years! Help HF continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and/or enhanced publicity. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

    NATURE GAMES: Check out Mass Audubon’s Winter Walk Bingo cards.  Print out these cards and head out into the snow with your kids.  Try to find five in a row!

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Emailhilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    ENERGY ASSISTANCE: The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to any Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month’s energy expense and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance.  Income eligibility guidelines for 2010-2011 can be found HERE.  Emergency Grant Applications are already being accepted with all other grant applications being accepted starting on Monday, January 3rd, 2011.  For more info visit www.magoodneighbor.org or call 1-800-262-1320

    Deadline to enter to win 5 annual family memberships is Jan. 3rd.

    DONATIONS OF ITEMS WANTED: The Franklin County 4-H Community Service Project for 2011 is providing “comfort care bags” to the Department of Children and Families in Greenfield. Items needed: Stuffed animals (new or gently used) for ages newborn to 8 years old; Toothbrushes and tooth paste for children – teens; Baby bottles, baby lotion, wet wipes, diapers and onesies; Pajamas for 1 – 8 year olds; Underwear for 3 – 8 year olds; Socks for 3 year olds – teens; Books (new or gently used) for 1 – 8 year olds; Crayons, pens, pencils, drawing books; Playing cards.  If you have any questions, please contact the Franklin County 4-H Community Service Coordinator, Ellen White at white246@verizon.net

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Tune in to 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton) every Sat. from 9-10am & Sun. from 7-8am - or anytime to our podcast.

    Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS is our New Year’s Day Peace Episode. 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.
  • 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

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    SATURDAY, JANUARY 1st, 2011

    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.

    10am-5pm - MASS MOCA: Explore MASS MoCA as they open their doors on New Year’s Day.  Kidspace open 11am-4pm. New Katharine Grosse installation on view. 662-2111 www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    All Day – ICE SKATING: New Year’s Day activities all day at Amelia Park Ice Arena (21 South Broad St.). Big Screen broadcast of NHL’s Winter Classic, BBQ & of course, ice skating! 562-2277 Westfield, MA

    10am – HIKE: First Day Hike at D.A.R. State Forest.  Meet in the Day Use Area off Route 112, main parking lot. Goshen, MA (FREE)

    10am – HIKE: First Day 2011 Hike with Williamsburg Woodland Trails at Bradley Sanctuary.  Directions here. 268-7523 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    1pm – HIKE: First Day Hike at Mount Greylock State Reservation.  For families with kids 7yo+. An easy 1.8 mile hike on the Bradley Farm Trail, followed by hot cocoa by the fireplace.  Bring shoshoes & poles. Leashed dogs welcomed. Meet at the visitors center (30 Rockwell Rd.) 499-4262 Lanesborough, MA (FREE)

    1pm – HIKE: First Day Hike at the Chesterfield Gorge for families.  Casual community meet-up. Walk along the Westfield River. West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

    1-2:30pm – HIKE:  First Day Hike through the Holyoke Heritage State Park and along the canalwalk in the historic district of Holyoke.  Learn about the city’s past and future possibilities. Hot cocoa. 534-1723 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    6:30-8:30pm – ICE SKATING: 2nd Annual Snowflake Skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink to benefit the Sunderland 6th Grade Class. Amherst, MA ($)

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    100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

    100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

    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!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our bank of the most recent 25 recommended links.

    Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

    100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):
    

  • One Hungry Mama Guide to Halloween
  • Daddy Issues: How Can I Keep My Daughter Loving Science? (article)
  • Science Experiments You Can Do At Home or School
  • Booklists for Teens (Boston Public Library)
  • AAASpell.com – Practice Your Spelling
  • The wisdom of teenagers (article)
  • Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic
  • Out in the Berkshires (LGBT Life in the Berkshires)
  • Day of the Dead: History, Facts, and Resources
  • Maths Teaching Ideas
  • Sidekicks: Graphic Novel Reviews for Kids
  • HauntedHappenings.org (Halloween in Salem, MA)
  • Banking Curriculum
  • Best Documentaries on Eating Green
  • Math Game: 100s Grid
  • Glow in the Woods (For Babylost Parents)
  • My Science Box
  • Ashfield Local Goods Catalog
  • Johnnie’s Math Page
  • RECOMMENDED DVD: Life in the Undergrowth w/ David Attenborough (Nature Science)
  • ArtsVivants/ArtsAlive
  • Kids Caving
  • Online Spelling Course
  • Virtual Skies
  • Smithsonian Education for Students
  • Read the rest of this entry »
  • Suggested Events 11/21/09-11/27/09

    Follow Hilltown Families on

    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

    Families enjoying a bonfire at the Hartsbook School Annual Winter Fair, taking place this Saturday in Hadley, MA. (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield)

     

    Click here to suggest an event

    Click here to suggest an event.

    If 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, location, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE HILLTOWNS

    • 6:30-8:30pm – PRESENTATION | ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Tamarack Hollow cultural and environmental educational programs will present a photo show about the native and non-native flora, wildlife and ecology of the Berkshire Highland region at Notchview in the Budd Visitor Center www.thetrustees.org www.tamarackhollow.com Windsor, MA (>$)
    • 8pm – ADULT PERFORMANCE: Parallel Lives: The Kathy & Mo Show happens at First Congregational Church in Ashfield. A series of satirical sketches in which two actresses play numerous characters, ranging from two Supreme Beings dividing up gender responsibilities over a ping-pong match to working women undergoing the torture of dressing for a day on the job. Shows also on Sat & Sun afternoon (413) 268-3850 www.paulinelive.com Ashfield, MA

    Bulletin Board

       

    • Phoebe Shaw of Williamsburg, MA writes: Hi Friends, The Williamsburg Schools have Four Fridays in January coming up and need a teacher/artist to volunteer their time. Four Fridays is a fundraiser for Arts Adventure Day. We have two visual artists so far. We need two more artists, especially in the performing arts! The gig is three Fridays in January and one in February, 3pm- 4:30. Any leads, please let me know-soon! shaw.phoebe@gmail.com
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    • Elizabeth Brooke-Willbanks writes: I would like to recommend volunteering for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. You don’t have to be a mom, you don’t have to have been a Girl Scout – you just have to want to make a difference in the life of a girl. Our latest program, It’s Your Planet – Love It!, address energy savings, where our food comes from, and environmental justice. To find out more visit our website at www.gscwm.org.

      Click here to enter to win free tickets!

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    • RECOMMEND A CHARITY: Jeff Rutherford had the great idea of putting together a list of volunteer opportunities, specifically for Thanksgiving. If you have a recommended place for families to volunteer this holiday season like Elizabeth, check out our recent post, Recommend a Charity. Volunteer Your Time Wisely. and post your recommendation there.
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    • Peggy O’Neal of Cummington, MA writes: The newly formed Perennial Food Growing Group will be meeting at 6:30pm at Warner Farm in Cummington on Tuesday, November 24th. Their goal for now is to learn more about permaculture, by teaching each other and reading selected books on the subject. For the next month or two the text we are working out of is “Gaia’s Garden” by Toby Hemenway. Please join us. We intend to read part one (70 pages) by the November 10th meeting and Part Two by the November 24th meeting. Our immediate focus is apple guilds (the community/ecosystem of flora, fauna, fungi and conditions that comprise a healthy environment for apple trees/orchard). So really, please join us…Let’s build some momentum for perennial food gardening in the hilltowns!

      Moonlight Magic on 11/27/09 in Shelburne Falls

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    • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Notchview Tuesday Trail Team will meet at the Notchview Reservation in Windsor from 9am-12:30pm. Volunteers will tackle storm clean-up and upgrade the trails for the winter ski season. Free. (413) 684-0148
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    • TICKET GIVEAWAY: Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance for two families to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see 2-time Grammy Award Winner Bill Harley at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Sunday, December 6th at 2pm. Deadline to enter to win is 12/02/09. Find out how to enter to win HERE.
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    • FREE WORKSHOP: The Gateway Family Center is offering a workshop on speech and language development for young children on Tuesday, November 24th at 10 a.m. at the Gateway Family Center in Huntington. Lambert will give a workshop for parents on the typical developmental stages and ages for acquiring speech and language skills, as well as warning signs. Activities to promote speech, language, feeding and oral motor development will be discussed. Free and open to the public. Please register with Kim Savery at 667-2203 ext. 3 or email at ksavery@hchcweb.org
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    Gorge apres Gorge 11/29/09 in West Chesterfield

       

    • HILLTOWN SKI LEAGUE: Register for the Bill Koch Youth Ski League at Notchview Reservation in Windsor. This cross-country ski program introduces young people to the lifelong sport of cross-country skiing. Have a winter of fun with relays, games on skis, and age- appropriate races to develop cross-country ski skills for ages 5 to 13. Parents and children participate in league activities. Visit www.skireg.com or call 413-532-1631 x13 for more information.
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    • Craig Smith of Harvard University writes: I am a child development researcher in the psychology department at Harvard University. (I also have 5- and 7-year-old kids of my own.) I have recently been studying what children understand about the emotions that are connected to behaviors like pushing, hitting, and stealing. I am also interested in how parents respond to these types of behaviors in children. I am currently conducting an online study of this issue, and I would be grateful for your participation. More info HERE.

      Eco-Winter Fair 12/05/09 in Haydenville

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    • FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: Kids free at Old Sturbridge Village in November. As a special thank-you, OSV is offering free admission for children in November. All kids under 17 get free admission when accompanied by an adult. This includes Thanksgiving Day and weekend Nov. 26-29.
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    • SPONSORSHIP, 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 on our Weekly List of Suggested Events. Serious inquiries can email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.
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    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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