Suggested Events for Sept 3rd-9th, 2011

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

Labor Day marks the return to school for many. We asked our readers what subjects/topics they wish schools would teach their kids. Responses ranged from cursive writing to carpentry. Share what you would like to see schools teach (or not teach) your kids by click on the photo above. (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 support 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, Sept 3rd starting at 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIRS: Take your pick from agricultural fairs happening throughout the region in Blandford, Northampton, and Spencer. ($)

On Sunday, Sept 4th from 10am-6pm in the Pioneer Valley – CULTURAL STUDIES: Spend a day in Armenia at St. Mark Armenian Church!  All day there will be food, cultural demonstrations, and a boutique of items imported from Armenia!  This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in and learn about the Armenian culture.  413-783-5793.  2427 Wilbraham Road.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Sunday, Sept 4th at 1pm in the Hilltowns – COMMUNITY BARBECUE: The 41st annual Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department Firefighters’ Barbecue is this afternoon!  The event takes place behind the Shaw Memorial Library- enjoy some delicious food and support an important part of the community!  312 Main Street.  Plainfield, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Sept 10th from 10:30am – 2pm in the Pioneer Valley – ANIMAL STUDIES: How do beaks help birds to snatch up worms for dinner or sip on drops of water?  Are they made out of bones or cartilage?  Why are they pointy?  Learn all of these things and more today at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  Kids can learn through crafts, games, stories, etc. all about bird beaks!  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, Sept 11th from 12noon-7pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: St. George Cathedral hosts a traditional Greek Glendi!  There will be all things Greek- music, dancing, food, games, family activities, art, and more!  413-737-1496.  Main, Plainfield, and Carew Streets.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of weekday kid’s circus classes will begin on September 12th at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton. We 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 for students new to circus will be held on Tuesdays (Ages 5-7, 4-5pm and ages 8+, 5-6pm). A teen class will be held on Thursdays (ages 12-15, 5-6pm). Continuing students are able to choose from classes on Thursdays (age 5-7, 4-5pm), Level 2 classes on Monday (ages 7-11, 3:30-4:30pm), or the Level 3 classes on Mondays & Wednesdays (ages 8+, 4:30-6pm). Registration is available online at www.showcircusstudio.com.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & 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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

POST-IRENE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Mary Vilbon, Executive Director of SFABA writes: “The Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (SFABA) has been meeting with West County business owners over the past several days to coordinate volunteers, help identify specific needs, and connect businesses with local, state, and federal resources. If your business has a particular question, specific need, or if you or someone you know would like to volunteer please call the SFABA at 625-2526 or email info@shelburnefalls.com. We will make every effort to assist you within our capacity.”

Bread Euphoria Cafe & Bakery in Haydenville, MA

Free cookies at Bread Euphoria for kids: Sept 6-9!

FREE COOKIES: Bread Euphoria in Haydenville is having a back-to-school special event: Sept. 6-9, every child who comes to Bread Euphoria will receive a free cookie. Stop in after school for a tasty treat for the kids while picking up dinner for the family (and delicious pastries for the next morning!) 413-268-7757. 206 Main St. Haydenville, MA www.breadeuphoria.com

Suzi Kingsley Day writes,Ashfield Needles and Threads is working in collaboration with Share the Warmth to host a Free Clothing Exchange–a community hand-me-around to facilitate Recycling, Reusing, Sharing and Happiness! Scheduled for Saturday, September 17th from 9am–2pm in St. John’s Corner House on Main St. in Ashfield. Drop off clean clothes and shoes in excellent condition—all seasons and sizes– in the foyer of St. John’s Church on the corner of Main and South St. between the afternoon of Sunday September 11th and the night of Friday September 16th. Folks can come pick out some clothes whether they brought any to share or not. Bring family and friends and reusable shopping bags. Leftover items will be redistributed through Share the Warmth and the Salvation Army.”

COMMUNITY SERVICE: If you love books, love reading, and love the library, then the Greenfield Public Library is looking for you!  The library’s Homebound Delivery Program is looking for volunteers to help deliver library materials to homebound patrons so that they too can enjoy the numerous resources that the library has to offer!  Volunteers are paired individually with homebound patrons (effort is made to make a good match!) – this is an opportunity to create a relationship with a community member, as well as provide a much needed service.  For more information or to sign up for the program, contact Jane Buchanan at 413-772-1544 x 110.

HUNGER ACTION MONTH: September is Hunger Action Month, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is working hard to rally communities and continue to fight against hunger.  The food bank provides resources for how families can get involved on their website (for example, a “30 Ways in 30 Days” calendar) and also holds the Fork it Over for Food campaign, a program that encourages restaurant patrons to donate money to the food bank after their meals.  The food bank also organizes Will Bike 4 Food, another fundraising event.  Volunteers are needed to help with this event in particular, especially to drive the bike route and check on cyclists  (provide water, replacement gear, etc.), help set up/take down the event, and to provide healthcare (nurses and EMT’s).  For more information on how to volunteer for the event or how to get your family involved in the fight against hunger and food insecurity, visit www.foodbankwma.org.

SOAP BOX DERBY: The Montague Soap Box Derby is coming up!  The race takes place on September 17th, and there are age brackets for kids ages 8-12, 13-19, and 20+.  Carts must be homemade, contain at least three wheels, and have no motors or any other means of propulsion.  The race takes place on the hill at Unity Park, with older ‘kids’ (adults) beginning at the top and younger kids starting further down.  For information about how to enter the derby (or just to find out where the best place to be a spectator may be!) visit the derby’s website at www.montaguesoapboxraces.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Back-to-School

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

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

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Sept 3rd-9th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Aug 27th-Sep 2nd, 2011

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 Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country" starts this Thursday afternoon and happens through the weekend, August 25th-28th! - UPDATE: Cummington Fair gates close Saturday evening at 6PM and will be CLOSED SUNDAY. Exhibitors can pick up their entries on Monday anytime between 9-11am or 5-7pm. - (Bird Brains 4-H @ the Fair. 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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity.  Let us help get the word out about your 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

Starting today and going through the weekend, August 25th-28th  – CUMMINGTON FAIR: The 143rd Annual Cummington Fair happens at the Cummington Fairgrounds. With one of the most comprehensive agricultural presentations in the state, the fair is billed as “The Biggest And Best Little Fair in the Country”. This family friendly, four-day agricultural fair is packed with exhibits, family activities, delicious food, classic cars and live music. Truck, horse and oxen pulls headline the fair along with a demolition derby, and the Western Mass Logging Championship. And the fun doesn’t stop there-families can also enjoy midway, games, roving entertainers, live music, petting zoo, 4-H presentations, skid steer rodeo, square dancing and community dinners. Find a full schedule of events at www.cummingtonfair.com. 413-634-5091. Fairground Rd. Cummington, MA ($) [UPDATE: Cummington Fair gates close this evening at 6pm and will be closed on Sunday. Exhibitors can pick up their entries on Monday anytime between 9-11am or 5-7pm.]

On Saturday, August 27th from 12noon – 5pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: Visit Red Fire Farm for their annual amazing Tomato Festival! The event begins with the Tomato 5K at 10:30, followed by live music, workshops, food from guest chefs, kids activities, vendors, and tomato tasting all afternoon! Local music, local artists, local food! 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (<$)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 27th at 5pm – BIRDS: Interested in learning more about the beaks, wings, feet, and nests of your feathered friends? You can at the DAR State Forest! The program, called All About Birds, will teach kids fun facts about bird life. 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE) (CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE IRENE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Sept 3rd from 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY: Family Fun Days at Old Sturbridge Village take place this weekend!  The village is buzzing with fun activities and learning opportunities for families, and there will be fireworks tonight!  800-SEE-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

Beginning next Sunday, Sept 4th from 10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Visit Warner Farm’s corn maze- the one and only original!  There are tons of activities at the farm besides the maze, too!  413-665-8331. 23 South Main Street.  Sunderland, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of weekday kid’s circus classes will begin on September 12th at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton. We 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 for students new to circus will be held on Tuesdays (Ages 5-7, 4-5pm and ages 8+, 5-6pm). A teen class will be held on Thursdays (ages 12-15, 5-6pm). Continuing students are able to choose from classes on Thursdays (age 5-7, 4-5pm), Level 2 classes on Monday (ages 7-11, 3:30-4:30pm), or the Level 3 classes on Mondays & Wednesdays (ages 8+, 4:30-6pm). Registration is available online at www.showcircusstudio.com.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & 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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

PreK SOCCER PLAYDATE: Interested in a morning pickup soccer playdate for your preK kids during the weekday? Angela Mulkerin is organizing an informal soccer playdate in the Florence/Northampton area for kids up through 4yo and their parent/caregiver.  Once a week (beginning the week of Sept 5th) parents and their kids can come together to kick around the soccer ball, working on cooperation skills and “playing nice.” Anyone who is interested can email Angela at angelamulkerin@gmail.com.

Amanda Saklad writes, “I would like to start a clothing swap – any interest? or is there one already going somewhere? I have size 5 boys and size 8-10 girls clothes to offer, and I am needing size 12-14 boys and size 12-14 girls. any suggestions? I don’t (and can’t) buy new school wardrobes for the kiddos.” Leave comments HERE.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: It Takes a Village is offering a volunteer training!  The organization works to help support families during their first three months with a newborn baby- It Takes a Village supports a community approach to raising children.  Volunteers are placed with families and make home visits once a week to help with household tasks like dishes and meals, spend time with older children, etc.  There will be two training sessions, both of which will have free childcare.  For more information, visit itavillage.com or call 413-634-5431.

HOME BUYING: Are you hoping to soon be a first-time home buyer?  Are you overwhelmed or confused by all there is to know about all the steps there are to take before a house is actually yours to call home?  The Hilltown CDC is hosting a series of free workshops for those interested in buying their first home- the workshops are intended to ease confusion and to help answer questions and boost home-buying confidence!  There will be speakers including a realtor, lender, home inspector, attorney, and an insurance agent- all of whom can offer a wealth of information!  The workshops will take place from 6-8:30 on September 13th, 14th, 20th, and 21st at the Cummington Community House.  To register, call 413-296-4536.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Guest DJ, Nick Deysher

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Nick Deysher guest DJs the Hilltown Family Variety Show this weekend, spinning tunes by The Flannery Brothers, Livingston Taylor, The Jimmies, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Recess Monkey, Ivan Ulz, and many others, including music by his own band, In the Nick of Time.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

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

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Aug 27th-Sep 2nd, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Aug 20th-26th, 2011

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

Stone Fruits at Florence Farmers' Market

It's time for peaches in Western MA! Picking peaches with the kids is a great family activity. Lisa Smith-Hamilton recommends Quonquont Farm in Whately, and Heather Richardson recommends Cold Spring Orchards in Belchertown. (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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your 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, August 20th starting at 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIRS: Take your pick from agricultural fairs happening throughout the region in Westfield, Hardwick and Heath; plus a Chilifest in Belchertown starting at 12noon. ($)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 20th from 6-7:30pm – ASTRONOMY STUDIES: Educator Rachel Roberts presents Space-Tacular, a program for kids 7 and up about the science and mythology of stars! The program takes place at the Northfield Mountain Environmental Center and includes hands-on art and science activities. Registration required. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

On Sunday, August 21st from 4:30-6:30pm – HARVEST SUPPER: Enjoy a delicious dinner of healthy local food at the annual Harvest Supper in downtown Greenfield! Along with excellent food there will also be live music from local acts and some fun activities to keep kids entertained! The dinner takes place near the town common. Court Square. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, August 27th from 12noon – 5pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: Visit Red Fire Farm for their annual amazing Tomato Festival! The event begins with the Tomato 5K at 10:30, followed by live music, workshops, food from guest chefs, kids activities, vendors, and tomato tasting all afternoon! Local music, local artists, local food! 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (<$)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 27th at 5pm – BIRDS: Interested in learning more about the beaks, wings, feet, and nests of your feathered friends? You can next weekend at the DAR State Forest! The program, called All About Birds, will teach kids fun facts about bird life. 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CUMMINGTON FAIR: The 143rd Annual Cummington Fair happens August 25th-28th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. With one of the most comprehensive agricultural presentations in the state, the fair is billed as “The Biggest And Best Little Fair in the Country”. This family friendly, four-day agricultural fair is packed with exhibits, family activities, delicious food, classic cars and live music. Truck, horse and oxen pulls headline the fair along with a demolition derby, and the Western Mass Logging Championship. And the fun doesn’t stop there-families can also enjoy midway, games, roving entertainers, live music, petting zoo, 4-H presentations, skid steer rodeo, square dancing and community dinners. Find a full schedule of events at www.cummingtonfair.com.

SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOPS FOR FAMILIES: North Amherst Community Farm presents “Building Sustainability Together: Skill for Kids and Families.” This series of workshops will offer hands-on activities for kids 5yo and older, accompanied by a caregiver. Workshops in the series include; Worm Bin Composting (Wed., 8/17, 10am-12noon); Seed Saving: Plant the Future (Sat., 8/20, 2-4pm); and Harvest the Sun (Wed., 8/24, 10am-12noon). All classes are $10 for each child/adult pair, and $3 for additional children, and will be held in Amherst at the North Amherst Community Farm (rain or shine), home of Simple Gifts CSA (1089 North Pleasant St.). Pre-registration is required by calling 413-624-6223, or email programs@nacfonline.org. For more info about this series, visit www.nacfonline.org.

Bright Eyes

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Bright Eyes plus Titus Andronicus at Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA (previously scheduled for Mountain Park) on Sunday, August 28th! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, Aug. 24th. Click on banner to find out how you can enter for a chance to win.

PreK SOCCER PLAYDATE: Interested in a morning pickup soccer playdate for your preK kids during the weekday? Angela Mulkerin is organizing an informal soccer playdate in the Florence/Northampton area for kids up through 4yo and their parent/caregiver. Once a week (beginning the week of Sept 5th) parents and their kids can come together to kick around the soccer ball, working on cooperation skills and “playing nice.” Anyone who is interested can email Angela at angelamulkerin@gmail.com.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL: The Springfield Parent Academy and Springfield Public Schools are hosting a back-to-school celebration… and they’ll be giving away 3,000 free backpacks filled with school supplies! This is a great opportunity to get your kids excited about going back to school and to ensure that your student will have all of the tools they need. The celebration will take place from 10am-2pm on Saturday, August 27th at Blunt Park in Springfield. Along with free backpacks, there will also be a barbecue and activities for kids.

PAYING FOR COLLEGE: Do you have kids who are going to be applying to (or thinking about applying to) college soon? Are you unsure about how to pay for college, or even how to apply for financial aid? Forbes Library in Northampton is hosting a workshop on filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and strategies for affording college as tax-efficiently as possible and with the least amount of out-of-pocket expense. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, August 31st at 7pm. For more information or to register, call the library at 413-587-1011.

LOCAL FOOD: On Tuesday, August 23rd and Wednesday, August 24th, nearly 50 Pioneer Valley restaurants will highlight dishes featuring locally grown products as part of CISA’s 2011 Local Hero Restaurant Days Celebration. Enjoy delicious foods at local eateries and celebrate the relationship that CISA has encouraged between restaurants and local farms. Though all of the participating establishments use local produce regularly, some will have special menu items for the event. Participating businesses include Taylor’s Tavern, Bistro les Gras, Cup and Top Cafe, Karma, The Lone Wolf, The Night Kitchen, Soup, Paul and Elizabeth’s, and Great Wall Restaurant. Bon appétit!

SENIOR FARM SHARE: Good food for grandparents! Do you know a low-income senior who could benefit from a farm share? CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) is continuing its Senior FarmShare program, thanks to enormous community support. Senior FarmShare partners with 12 local farmers and 17 distribution sites, including senior centers and Councils on Aging, throughout Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden County. For more information, call 413-665-7100.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & 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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Guest DJ, Key Wilde & Mr Clarke

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Key Wilde & Mr Clarke guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show this weekend, spinning tunes by Syd Barrett, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Okee Dokee Brothers, Roger Miller, J. J. Cale and many others – along with music off of their CD, Rise & Shine.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

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

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Aug 20th-26th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Aug 13th-19th, 2011

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

Peter Freisem of Cricket Hill Jams preps yellow beans he plans to pickle into country style dilly beans. Pick up a jar this weekend at the Ashfield Farmers' Market.- Click on the photo to read resources CISA recommends for putting food by, and get those jams and jars ready to enter into the many upcoming agricultural fairs! (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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity.  Let us help get the word out about your 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, August 13th from 10am-10pm in the Berkshires – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: West Stockbridge hosts the 8th annual Zucchini Festival today! The event begins with a pet parade and show, followed by exciting activities throughout the day including a slam dunk challenge, mini golf, rock climbing, a zucchini catapult, dunk-a-fireman booth, zuke races, and live music! The day ends with a fireworks display. The festival takes place in the town center. 413-232-0222. Routes 41 and 102. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 13th from 3-6pm in the Pioneer Valley – COUNTRY FAIR: If you can’t make it to the entire NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) conference at UMass, at least visit the Country Fair! There will be all kinds of exciting activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides, tomato bobbing, sack races, melon seed spitting contests, pie-eating contests, cow plop bingo, and more! 413-230-7835. Massachusetts Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Also in the afternoon on Saturday, August 13th from 1-6pm in the Pioneer Valley- MUSIC FESTIVAL: KidsRock for Beacon music festival takes place today- the event is to raise money for the Beacon Field Playground Project. There will be live music all afternoon, as well as raffles, food, and a kids play area! All of the bands performing include local kids. 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. ($)

Then on Sunday, August 14th from 10am-6pm in the Berkshires - NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE: The 6th Annual Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow-Wow is this weekend at Wirtes Farm! The event is a celebration of Native American arts and culture and includes all kinds of entertainment, activities, vendors, and learning opportunities! 413-443-2481. 45 Greylock Road. Lanesborough, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, August 20th starting at 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit cows and sheep, hear live music, play games, learn about local agriculture, and more today at the Westfield Fair!  The grounds open early, and there are tons of exciting events happening throughout the day.  413-222-4067.  Fair Lane.  Westfield, MA.  ($) 

On Sunday, August 21st from 8am-5pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Today is the final day of the Heath Fair!  Today’s events and shows are mostly the youth category- check out what the kids are doing!  There will also be a blueberry pancake breakfast, classic car cruise, wagon rides, and a Primate Fiasco show at 2!  9 Hosmer Road.  Heath, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOPS FOR FAMILIES: North Amherst Community Farm presents “Building Sustainability Together: Skill for Kids and Families.” This series of workshops will offer hands-on activities for kids 5yo and older, accompanied by a caregiver. Workshops in the series include; Worm Bin Composting (Wed., 8/17, 10am-12noon); Seed Saving: Plant the Future (Sat., 8/20, 2-4pm); and Harvest the Sun (Wed., 8/24, 10am-12noon). All classes are $10 for each child/adult pair, and $3 for additional children, and will be held in Amherst at the North Amherst Community Farm (rain or shine), home of Simple Gifts CSA (1089 North Pleasant St.). Pre-registration is required by calling 413-624-6223, or email programs@nacfonline.org. For more info about this series, visit www.nacfonline.org.

CUMMINGTON FAIR: The 143rd Annual Cummington Fair happens August 25th-28th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. With one of the most comprehensive agricultural presentations in the state, the fair is billed as “The Biggest And Best Little Fair in the Country”.  This family friendly, four-day agricultural fair is packed with exhibits, family activities, delicious food, classic cars and live music. Truck, horse and oxen pulls headline the fair along with a demolition derby, and the Western Mass Logging Championship. And the fun doesn’t stop there-families can also enjoy midway, games, roving entertainers, live music, petting zoo, 4-H presentations, skid steer rodeo, square dancing and community dinners. Find a full schedule of events at www.cummingtonfair.org.

CLOTHING EXCHANGE: The Family Resource Center of North Adams would like to remind Berkshire parents that their Clothing Exchange is a great resource for back-to-school clothes!  The exchange has gently used clothing in every kids’ size (including babies) and there are new clothes coming in frequently!  Along with clothing, the exchange also has a shelf of free children’s books.  If your kids have outgrown clothes that are still in great shape, consider contributing them so that other families may benefit!  Families needn’t donate in order to take clothes, but there is a 2 bag per visit limit.  The exchange is in the Haskins Center at 210 State Street in North Adams.  For more information, call 413-664-4615.

Bright Eyes

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Bright Eyes plus Titus Andronicus at Mountain Park in Holyoke, MA on Sunday, August 28th! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, Aug. 24th. Click on banner to find out how you can enter for a chance to win.

PIONEER VALLEY MAP: Hiking, biking, and general outdoor adventuring in the Pioneer Valley are now all easier than ever thanks to the new trail map that the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has developed!  The map shows the exact locations of all trails in Hampshire and Hampden counties, along with a description of each trail to help adventurers choose the right location for their abilities!  The map is great for people who already hike and bike frequently, but it’s also great for those who don’t- it helps to make trails more accessible.  The map is available for purchase at many Pioneer Valley bookstores and outdoor equipment shops.  For more information, visit pvpc.org.

CALL FOR SIDEWALK CHALK ARTISTS: Northampton’s annual Chalk Art Festival will be taking place on September 9th, and the Northampton Center for the Arts is currently seeking artists to participate!  Artists must apply for the festival, which takes place as part of Arts Night Out.  Artists will work within a 5×5 concrete area and will spend from 8am-4pm the day of the contest creating their masterpiece.  There is a $100 stipend for participation, and larger cash prizes for winners.  Applications are available at Guild Art Supply (Northampton) and the Northampton Center for the Arts.  For more information, including contest rules, visit www.nohoarts.org.

GARDENS AS CLASSROOM: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced a formal request for applications to its People’s Garden Grant Program!  The grants are available for the creation of produce, recreation, and/or wildlife gardens in both urban and rural areas, so long as the gardens provide opportunities for informal science education.  Applicants who receive funding may be required to provide micro-subgrant support to other local projects.  For more information about the grants and the application process, and to download a copy of the application form, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

COMMUNITY BIKE RIDES: The Trustees of Reservations have organized a series of bike rides in and around Holyoke!  The rides, which will take place on August 20th and 27th, will begin at 9am from the Open Square Farmers’ Market (4 Open Square Way) and follow a 6-8 mile route.  During the ride, participants will get to explore various properties run by the Trustees within Holyoke, such as the Lands of Providence.  Cyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome, so long as they are capable of participating in a long ride that includes hills.  After the ride, cyclists will be able to buy fresh produce at the market!  For more information, visit ttor.org or call 413-274-8288.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & 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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

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

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Aug 13th-19th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Aug 6th-12th, 2011

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

It's blueberry season! Whether you like to pick your blueberries off of the high bushes, or rake them off the low ones, there are many places to PYO in Western MA and a couple of festivals to celebrate all things blueberry this weekend. (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.

SPONSORSHIP: Serving 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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity.  Let us help get the word out about your 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, August 6th from 11am-5pm – BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL:   10th Annual Wild Blueberry Jubilee at The Benson Place.  Learn about low bush blueberries through fun and educational activities. Celebrate the harvest with your community.  PYO low bush blueberries in small quantities. 413-337-5340  182 Flagg Hill Road. Heath, MA (FREE)

On Sunday, August 7th from 12Noon-4pm – BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL: 9th Annual Blueberry Days of Summer at the Kelso Homestead Blueberries. A festive day with PYO high bush blueberries, live music, pie eating contest, animals, Birds of Prey program, games and great food. Take a wagon tour of the farm and enjoy a day with the family. 413-354-7897 207 Bromley Rd. Chester, MA (>$)

Also on Sunday, August 7th from 12Noon-6pm - ETHNIC FAIR: Pittsfield Ethnic Fair returns with food, music, and costumes to the first block of South St. (between Park Sq. & Housatonic St.). International music and dance on two stages, the fair highlights the diverse culture found in Pittsfield. Come with the kids and enjoy delicious food, music, crafts and dancing. 413-443-6501 South St. Pittsfield, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

This week on Thursday, August 11th at 10am-4pm – LITERACY: “LittleFest” happens at the Springfield Museums.  The event is designed to promote literacy and a love of reading in young children.  There will be science demonstrations, art activities, crafts for kids, food vendors, free books for the first 500 visitors, and performances by storyteller/musician John Porcino and musician Brian Chevalier.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE w/Museum Admission)

On Saturday, August 13th at 1pm - FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G rocks the Berkshire Museum with a family concert in their auditorium. With his newest release, BUGS!, kids can learn about insects and the natural world through music, and then after the concert check out the live exhibit, “Geckos: Tails to Toepads”. Within the exhibit are 14 different types of geckos all living within their natural (museum-created) habitats!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

BULLETIN BOARD

LEARN TO CAMP: Do your children/grand kids want to go camping but you just don’t have the experience or confidence to go alone? The DCR and DFW’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program will be offering a Becoming an Outdoors Family Camping Weekend next weekend, Aug. 13-14, at Myles Standish State Forest in Carver, MA. If your family is just beginning their camping adventures, join other like-minded families for a weekend of skill building for outdoor recreation, including camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking and outdoor cooking skills. Enjoy a night hike, camp fire and outdoor adventures with other families learning the skills of camping. $30 per person, includes 2 meals. Register by Friday, Aug. 5th. Call for more info. 508-389-6300

SCREENINGS: The Family Resource Center in North Adams offers FREE Ages and Stages Screenings. Infants and young children have so many developmental changes and milestones in the early years, it’s helpful to know where your child is developmentally and how to best support their growth. Ages and Stages is a well respected screening tool that will guide families in understanding their child’s development. The FRC staff will spend an hour with you and your child to go through this screening tool. Please contact their office for more information or an appointment at mzepka@ccberkshire.org or 413-664-4821

Find out more about our enhanced publicity options and how you can advertise your event, class, camp - or join our team of amazing sponsors!

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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can with your marketing.

INSTRUMENT DONATIONS WANTED: Have an old piano, violin, flute, or other instrument taking up space in your home? Donate it to the Artspace’s Used Instrument Sale. Donations or consignment both accepted. All proceeds will benefit Strings for Kids, free weekly group lessons for grades 3 – 6 at Greenfield Public Schools. Artspace’s mission is to encourage and nurture the appreciation of and participation in the arts. Artspace serves 350 students annually with weekly lessons and classes. For more information, call  413-772-6811 , email info@franklyarts.com or visit www.franklyarts.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowHope Harris will Guest DJ the HFVS this weekend show playing tunes by Annette Funicello, John Prine. The Sippy Cups, The Subdudes, Ella Fitzgerald, Sly & The Family Stone, Johnny Cash, Julie Andrews, and many others, including selection off her new CD, Cousins Jamboree.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • 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:
Aug 6th-12th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for July 30th – Aug 5th, 2011

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

With the axiom “If You Grow it, You Can Show it,” the staff of Berkshire Botanical Garden invites backyard gardeners throughout the region to show what’s growing in their family gardens by entering the GROW SHOW August 6-7. Details below. (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.

SPONSORSHIP: Serving 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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity.  Let us help get the word out about your 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, July 30th from 10am-10pm in the BerkshiresHULA HOOP FESTIVAL: Pittsfield City Hoopla festival returns to Springside Park for a day of festivities inspired by the craft, craze and creativity of the hula hoop. There will be workshops ($), slacklining, drumming, mandalas, hiking, hooping contest, food & vendors. Bring the kids for a day of hula hooping madness in the park! 874 North St. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) 

Also on Saturday, July 30th at 12noon in the Pioneer ValleyCOMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Laurel Park celebrates this weekend with the annual Chataqua Revival!  There will be live music (including local heroes the Lonesome Brothers), food, hula hooping, a chance to meet Pedal People and try out their equipment, and a talk on local soil science.  The event ends with a community cookout in the evening.  2 Laurel Park.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

And in the evening on Saturday, July 30th from 7-9pm in the HilltownsBENEFIT CONCERT: The Nields, a local hero sister singer-songwriter duo, will perform tonight at The Village Church.  The show is a fundraiser for the rebuilding of the West Cummington Congregational Church.  413-634-2160.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

On Tuesday, August 2nd at 2pm – MUSIC FESTIVAL:  Tanglewood on Parade, the venue’s annual day of musical activities, welcome families to come and enjoy the day!  There will be live music throughout the day, with the event ending with the 1812 overture.  Alongside performances there will also be fun children’s activities such as an instrument playground, a magician, stargazing via telescope (after dark), and free tours of Tanglewood!  413-637-1600.  297 West Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, August 6th at 10:30am in the Pioneer Valley – FAMILY THEATER: Paintbox Theater presents “The Sword in the Stone”- a show just for kids!  The show takes place at Smith College’s Mendenhall Performing Arts Center.  413-587-3933.  Green Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($) 

Also on Saturday, August 6th from 12noon-8pm in the Berkshires – CORNFEST: Enter a corn-eating contest, hop around in a sack race, make dolls from corn husks, and more at Whitney’s Farm today as part of CornFest 2011!  413-442-4739.  1775 South State Road.  Cheshire, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

HILLTOWN POTTERY TOUR: The Hilltown 6 will host its annual pottery tour and sale on Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, from 10am-5pm. This is a great chance to see firsthand the tools and techniques behind eight nationally recognized clay artists who live and work in our very own hilltowns. Check out the studios, kilns and settings of these talented potters and step inside their worlds to see how their surroundings inspire their individual voices. This year three studios will feature guest artists. The studios and guests are: Robbie Heidinger with guest David Leith, Michael McCarthy, Constance Talbot, Christy Knox with guest Karin Noyes, Hiroshi Nakayama, Sam Taylor, Eric Smith, and Mark Shapiro with guest Jeffrey Lipton. For a detailed map go to www.hilltown6.com.

THERAPY DOGS WANTED: The Good Dog Foundation, which works to find pups who can be trained as therapy dogs, will be at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge every Monday through September 12th to search for dogs to join their therapy program!  If a dog (and their human) is chosen to participate in the program, they get the opportunity to go through training to learn to provide canine therapy for healthcare, social services, and in educational and community facilities.  Dogs must be at least 3 ½ months old to be screened.  Screenings will take place from 1-2pm and are free.  For more information, visit thegooddogfoundation.org.

Redcoats & Rebels

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tix to "Redcoats & Rebels" at Old Sturbridge Village for the weekend of August 6th & 7th. Deadline to enter: 8/3.

GROW SHOW: Does your family love to garden?  If so, the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Grow Show in Stockbrige is for you!  There are numerous divisions to enter and the show is open to all ages!  Plants, flowers, and vegetables can be entered into the horticulture division- anything from a stem or single flower to a basket of fruit and veggies is accepted.  There are also divisions for garden design, plant photography, and a special youth division where plant-themed artistic entries can be created before the show (kids can enter other divisions, too).  The Grow Show is an opportunity for families to showcase their green thumb(s) or to just learn more about horticulture!  Whether you enter or not, the Grow Show is a great learning opportunity for families- think of the plants you’ll see!  Entering the show is free, and it takes place on August 6th and 7th.  For more information, visit berkshirebotanical.org.

Meredyth Babcock writes, “Teen River Clean program is looking for a few Teens, ages 15-18 who live in Washington, Becket, or Chester, who are interested in helping preserve the Westfield River. We have volunteers who have adopted sections of the Wild & Scenic river that have identified a few problem areas and we need a few strong creative teens to help us address these areas and create a short film of our efforts!! We will be working August 1st, 3rd and 5th. All young volunteers will receive a small scholarship as a thank you from the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory committee. Call Meredyth Babcock, Wild & Scenic Volunteer Coordinator for more detailed information and to apply. 413-623-2070 or volunteer@westfieldriverwildscenic.org, www.westfieldriverwildscenic.org

Find out more about our enhanced publicity options and how you can advertise your event, class, camp - or join our team of amazing sponsors!

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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can with your marketing.

FREE MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation, every Friday this summer different museums have offered free admission to families.  On Friday, August 5th, the opportunity to see a museum for free is coming to Springfield- all four of the Springfield Museums will offer free admission for all!  There will be special activities throughout the day to celebrate, including a puppet show, a live performance, art activities, and science demonstrations!  Take advantage of this opportunity and check out all that the museums have to offer- you kids (and you!) can learn about tons of different topics while exploring the museums.  To learn more and to see an exact schedule of the day’s events, visit springfieldmuseums.org or call 413-263-6800.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowSummer fun on the Hilltown Family Variety Show this week as we dig deep into the archives for a summer episode from years past! So many great shows to choose from! Listen in to see what we end up rebroadcasting.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • 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:
JULY 30th – Aug 5th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for July 23rd-29th, 2011

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

Kids' Market in Ashfield

There will be an ice cream social this Wed. (7/27) at the Ashfield Kids Market. Joan Holiday from The River will be there and Barts Ice Cream will be scooping out local ice cream! Happens in front of the Ashfield Hardware Store starting at 6:30pm.(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.

SPONSORSHIP: Serving 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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity.  Let us help get the word out about your 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, July 23rd from 8am-4pm – PALEONTOLOGY: Dinosaurs take over Greenfield today during the Jurassic Roadshow! The event is part of Franklin County’s bicentennial celebration, and will include a display of dinosaur footprints, fossils, fish, raindrop impressions, etc.; an opportunity to take a geology tour (beginning at GCC); a chance to meet the author of Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon, which is about the first female paleontologist; nature drawing lessons; and more! Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

On Sunday, July 24th at 8pm – OUTDOOR THEATER: Family theatre performance with the Mettawee River Theatre Co. at Pettingill Field. This family-friendly performance of Old Boat Goddess, traditional tales from northern Japan, will be brought to life through masks, giant puppets, music and movement. BYO chairs/blankets. 518-854-9357 Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, July 30th at 12noon – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Laurel Park celebrates this weekend with the annual Chataqua Revival!  There will be live music (including local heroes the Lonesome Brothers), food, hula hooping, a chance to meet Pedal People and try out their equipment, and a talk on local soil science.  The event ends with a community cookout in the evening.  2 Laurel Park.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Saturday, July 30th from 9am-5pm – 4H FAIR: Learn about all of the hard work that 4H participants do at the Hampden County 4H Fair!  There will be exhibits from 4H participants, as well as livestock showing and other 4H activities.  Non-members are welcome to participate in some events as well- there is a kids’ tractor pull at 11, veggie races at noon, a talent show at 1, and a bottle rocket launch at 2pm, as well as make-and-take crafts all day long.  The fair is held at the Eastern States Exposition.  413-562-3001.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

HILLTOWN POTTERY TOUR: The Hilltown 6 will host its annual pottery tour and sale on Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, from 10am-5pm. This is a great chance to see firsthand the tools and techniques behind eight nationally recognized clay artists who live and work in our very own hilltowns. Check out the studios, kilns and settings of these talented potters and step inside their worlds to see how their surroundings inspire their individual voices. This year three studios will feature guest artists. The studios and guests are: Robbie Heidinger with guest David Leith, Michael McCarthy, Constance Talbot, Christy Knox with guest Karin Noyes, Hiroshi Nakayama, Sam Taylor, Eric Smith, and Mark Shapiro with guest Jeffrey Lipton. For a detailed map go to www.hilltown6.com.

Redcoats & Rebels

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tix to "Redcoats & Rebels" at Old Sturbridge Village for the weekend of August 6th & 7th. Deadline to enter: 8/3.

INSTRUMENT DONATIONS WANTED: Have an old piano, violin, flute, or other instrument taking up space in your home? Donate it to the Artspace’s Used Instrument Sale. Donations or consignment both accepted. All proceeds will benefit Strings for Kids, free weekly group lessons for grades 3 – 6 at Greenfield Public Schools. Artspace’s mission is to encourage and nurture the appreciation of and participation in the arts. Artspace serves 350 students annually with weekly lessons and classes. For more information, call  413-772-6811 , email info@franklyarts.com or visit www.franklyarts.com.

Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of Mister G's CD release party happening on July 26th at the Tuesday Market in Northampton, MA!

LOCAL KIDS MUSIC: Local kids’ hero Mister G will be releasing his irresistible new CD, BUGS, on July 26th at the Northampton Tuesday Farmer’s Market. Mister G will perform two sets (3:30 & 5PM), and kids are encouraged to arrive in homemade BUG costumes. Children will also be able to create bug-related art projects at the Tuesday Market on the 26th. BUGS has garnered rave reviews from critics around the USA with a collection of original songs which include rock, folk, bluegrass, bossa nova, ska and soul influences. The album features a number of bilingual songs inspired by Mister G’s performances for kids in Latin America. The CD also includes fan favorites such as “Shark in my Bathtub,” “Grilled Cheese,” and “Pam the Pug.” Come ready to dance! www.mistergsongs.com

FREE AND REDUCED SUMMER MEAL PROGRAM: Free meals for children and youth available in Greenfield through the Greenfield Summer Meals Program.  Breakfast and lunch served through Aug. 19th at Greenfield High School, YMCA of Greenfield, Greenfield Gardens, Leyden Woods And Oak Courts. Lunch at Greenfield Swimming Pool through Aug. 12th, and Newtown School offers both breakfast and lunch through Aug. 12th. Available to all Greenfield students who are eligible for Free & Reduced Lunch. Call Greenfield Public Schools for eligibility and more information: 413-772-1334, or visit www.gpsk12.org.

The Decemberists

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see The Decemberists at Mountain Park in Holyoke, MA on Sunday, July 31st! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, July 27th.

MINDFUL PARENTING COMMUNITY: Margaret Garrett writes, “I am a 40 y/o single mother with a 5 y/o son relocating to the area. We are looking to rent a studio apt or spacious room in a cooperative, cat-free house for under $650. If possible this space could also be where the practice community gathers for regular meetings, meditation sittings and activities that foster deep listening. Child-care could be arranged through pooling resources or rotating members. If necessary, a separate space could be found for gathering in a church or community building. The intention is to come together and work with the challenges of parenting as an opportunity to become wiser and more loving. We pass this on to our children directly and through example. If anyone has a place to offer or would like to join me in practice, I would love to hear from you! Email: Margaret_garrett@hotmail.com

Find out more about our enhanced publicity options and how you can advertise your event, class, camp - or join our team of amazing sponsors!

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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowThe Sugar Free AllStars will Guest DJ the HFVS this weekend show playing tunes by The Hipwaders, Led Zeppelin, Justin Roberts, Lee Dorsey, The Meters, Brady Rymer, and several others, including tunes off their CDs, Dos Ninos and Funky Fresh and Sugar Free.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • 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:
JULY 23rd-29th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for July 16th-22nd, 2011

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 natural water slides at Chapel Falls in Ashfield, MA are a great way to cool off on a hot summer day when the water is high! (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.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us 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 enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

On Saturday, July 16th in the Hilltowns from 7am-4pm & 9pm - LOCAL HISTORY: The 4th annual Bryant Day Celebration at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead will celebrate local history with poetry readings, nature walks, live music, yoga, and viewing of the moon in the evening sky at 9pm. Pack a picnic and bring the family for a lazy day at this Trustees of Reservation. Hand-cranked ice cream and popcorn provided. 207 Bryant Rd. Cummington, MA (>$)

Also on Saturday, July 16th in the Pioneer Valley from 9am-5pm -SCOTTISH FESTIVAL: Have you ever seen someone lift a telephone pole?  How about men in skirts?  Have you ever eaten haggis?  You can experience all of these things and more at the Glasgow Lands Festival at Look Park today!  It’s a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture- two things that you don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy.  Fun for the whole family!  300 North Main Street.  413-584-5457.  Florence, MA.  ($$)

And on Saturday, July 16th in the Berkshires at 11am- BANGLEWOOD: Kids can experiment with instruments and learn about sounds at Mass MoCA as part of the Bang on a Can Festival happening throughout July.  The event calls for audience participation- from kids!- in order to create music.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  413-662-2111.  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

On Sunday, July 17th from 12Noon-8pm – GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL: Happens all weekend long on the campus of GCC. Family stage with music by Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Mister G, Baze & His Silly Friends, R.O.C.K., Alchemystics, and many others. Giant puppet parade on Saturday. Balloon launch and illumination all weekend. Greenfield, MA ($$, Kids under 12 free)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, July 23rd from 8am-4pm – PALEONTOLOGY: Dinosaurs take over Greenfield today during the Jurassic Roadshow!  The event is part of Franklin County’s bicentennial celebration, and will include a display of dinosaur footprints, fossils, fish, raindrop impressions, etc.; an opportunity to take a geology tour (beginning at GCC); a chance to meet the author of Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon, which is about the first female paleontologist; nature drawing lessons; and more!  Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, July 24th at 8pm – OUTDOOR THEATER: Family theatre performance with the Mettawee River Theatre Co. at Pettingill Field. This family-friendly performance of Old Boat Goddess, traditional tales from northern Japan, will be brought to life through masks, giant puppets, music and movement. BYO chairs/blankets. 518-854-9357 Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of Mister G's CD release party happening on July 26th at the Tuesday Market in Northampton, MA!

LOCAL KIDS MUSIC: Local kids’ hero Mister G will be releasing his irresistible new CD, BUGS, on July 26th at the Northampton Tuesday Farmer’s Market. Mister G will perform two sets (3:30 & 5PM), and kids are encouraged to arrive in homemade BUG costumes. Children will also be able to create bug-related art projects at the Tuesday Market on the 26th. BUGS has garnered rave reviews from critics around the USA with a collection of original songs which include rock, folk, bluegrass, bossa nova, ska and soul influences. The album features a number of bilingual songs inspired by Mister G’s performances for kids in Latin America. The CD also includes fan favorites such as “Shark in my Bathtub,” “Grilled Cheese,” and “Pam the Pug.” Come ready to dance! www.mistergsongs.com

HILLTOWN FARM & GARDEN TOUR: During a farm and garden tour in Williamsburg on Saturday, July 16th from 10am-4pm, residents will showcase their farms and gardens, and share their years of experience, techniques, and stories of trial and error. See how the farmers and gardeners use creative problem-solving techniques such as curbing wildlife damage to crops, using cold frames to extend the growing season, creative trellising, and maximizing the use of small spaces. Talks on pest control, sheet composting, small-garden design, basic introduction to alpacas, beekeeping, and pasture restoration. Demonstrations of beekeeping, maple sugaring, and blacksmithing. Purchase tickets at Meekins Library, or at the Burgy Thursday Market. For more information: www.meekins-library.org

MUSIC EDUCATION: BUTI on Parade Children’s Concert will be presented at the Lenox Library Association on Thursday, July 21st at 2pm. Children will listen to instrumental ensembles from Boston University Tanglewood Institute, talk to the performers and get a closer look at how each instrument works. This program is most appropriate for children ages 5 to 15. The presentation is free and open to the public. No registration is required. For further information call Lenox Library Youth Department at 413-637-0197 x105.

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT: Enter to win a pair of tickets to see The Decemberists at Mountain Park in Holyoke, MA on Sunday, July 31st! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, July 27th

HISTORY: Storrowton Village in West Springfield presents, “Storrowton and the Civil War,” a storytelling tour that teaches visitors about the affects of the Civil War on small communities in New England.  Rather than following and learning from a tour guide, participants in the tour will make their way through the village and encounter Civil War-era personalities who will share their stories of life during the war.  Personalities included on the tour include an abolitionist, a blacksmith, seamstresses, a shopkeeper, and a farmer.  It’s a unique way to learn about local history- storytelling helps bring history to life and makes the experience all the more real for visitors!  The tour takes place from 6-8pm on Wednesday, July 20th.  In order to take part, reservations must be made.  Tickets are $5, and can be purchased by calling 413-205-5051 or contacting storrow@thebige.com.

WOMEN IN TRANSITION: A wonderful Valley resource for women and children: The New England Learning Center for Women  in Transition offers counseling, safe homes, advocacy, and education to women and children who have survived domestic violence or sexual abuse. All services are free and confidential. They offer advocacy for women, men, and children; for able-bodied and disabled individuals; for straight, lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people; and for speakers of other languages. Free and confidential hotline offering support and resources regarding sexual assault and domestic violence: 413-772-0806 or 1-888-249-0806. For more information: www.nelcwit.org

Find out more about our enhanced publicity options and how you can advertise your event, class, camp - or join our team of amazing sponsors!

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. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowLocal musician, Mister G, will Guest DJ the HFVS this weekend show playing tunes by Gustafer Yellowgold, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem, Debbie and Frieds, Bill Harley, Patty Griffin, Manu Chao, Justin Roberts, and several others, including tunes off of his new CD, BUGS.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • 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:
JULY 16th-22nd, 2011

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

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Spring Fun Navigator: An Interactive Social Site for Traveling Massachusetts

Day Trips In and Around Massachusetts

“The Spring and Summer Navigator makes accessing seasonally relevant events and ideas both fast and fun. We wanted to provide site visitors an enjoyable experience as they make their travel plans in Massachusetts. You’ll be surprised at how many truly great ideas are offered up based on how you steer the Navigator,” states Betsy Wall, MOTT Executive Director.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) today announced the launch of their interactive Spring and Summer Navigator site that lets travelers discover statewide spring and summer events, attractions and things to do for families, friends, and couples.

The site allows visitors to be the captain of their own virtual ship: sliding the digital navigation bar refines your activity search based upon travel interests as well as style of leisure.  The site is intuitive, engaging, simple and, best of all, fun.

Play with the dashboard and find activities that are adventurous, family oriented, relaxing, and romantic.  Find out about spring and summer events, lodging and share specific events with family and friends through Facebook and Twitter.

Check out all the wonderful indoor and outdoor adventures across the Commonwealth at www.massvacation.com.

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