Snow Studies: Crystals & Frost

Snow Studies: Crystals & Frost

With chilly temperatures and icicles, we’re having the perfect winter for some great snow studies this year! The white coating that covers our landscape here in New England not only offers opportunities for winter sports, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too!  The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost are just waiting to be discovered!

CRYSTALS

Kids can use snow, ice, and frost to learn about crystals – a concept that they’ll eventually encounter when they study chemistry, but will understand much better if they have some firsthand experience with them. Snowflakes are a beautiful form of crystals, each one showing off a microscopic symmetrical design of spears, points, indents, and cutouts. Be sure to read the book Snowflake Bentley (by the talented Mary Azarian), a true story about the Vermont man whose curiosity about snowflakes lead him to be the first to photograph them! It would be pretty tricky to make snowflakes at home, but with a magnifying glass and a small square of black fabric, you can take a semi-close look at them when you venture outside. See if you can identify a difference between the shape and size of snow flakes and the snowy clumps that fall during each snowstorm we get… Read the rest of this entry »

PBS LearningMedia: Digital Media for Educators

PBS LearningMedia: Online Media Educational Resources for Educators

PBS LearningMedia is an online educational service offering media resources appropriate for PreK-16 curriculum, for use in classrooms, homeschool, and informal educational environments, such as after-school, community facilities, and museums.

Every season, family activities tend to follow a common thread, dictated by changes in weather and routine, the foods that are in season, and the activities that kids are participating in. Life has a way of presenting learning opportunities to kids that easily relate to the things they’re experiencing, and if the opportunities don’t present themselves, kids are quite skilled at finding ways to satisfy their own curiosity. However, their ability to do so is dependent on the resources available to them. There are endless books available from libraries, and the out-of-doors offers a plethora of possibilities, but some topics are difficult to learn about without digging deeper.

PBS Learning Media provides a wide variety of educational resources to help curious families expand their learning! The extensive content, presented in the form of videos, still images, games, audio clips, rich text, and lesson plans (which can easily be adapted for use at home!), covers almost every possible topic and is designed to reach kids from pre-K through 12th grade…

Read the rest of this entry »

6 Resources for Learning at Home During Frankenstorm While the Lights are On!

Hurricane Sandy and Halloween Offer Learning Opportunities Online

Hurricane Sandy might have schools closed while we await her arrival, but the learning can continue at home (so long as you have power!). Check out these online resources to brush up on math, chemistry, physiology, language arts and world & local history:

MATH

After you’ve battening down the shutters and have prepared your home & family for Hurricane Sandy (and still have power), let’s to use this event for real-world applications for learning. One online resource is “Math in the News” who takes current events as seen through the prism of mathematics every week. They are currently looking a probability maps for Hurricane Sandy.  Take a look with your kids at Math in the News and practice math skills:

CHEMISTRY

Who has Halloween candy laying around right now from events this past weekend or for passing out on Halloween night? Did you know you can use candy to conduct science experiments in the kitchen with your kids! Experiments include Acid Test using Pixy Stixs, Chromatography using M&M’s, Density experiment with Skittles, and many others!  Check out our post from last year, “Science Experiments with Candy” for ideas.

WORLD HISTORY

Here’s a succinct video about the history of Halloween produced by the History Channel: “Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.”

PHYSIOLOGY

Are your kids all about Zombies this Halloween? In this animated video from TEDed, Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek apply the various human medical possibilities that make zombies…zombies. Find out the physiology behind what’s happening in their brains to make them act as they do.  After watching this video check out the full lesson.

LANGUAGE ARTS

H-A-Double L-O-W-Double E-N spells Halloween! Remember that song when you were a kid just learning to spell? Here’s a cool video for this song for your young kids to watch for a fun way to learn how to spell Halloween

LOCAL HISTORY

Are your kids learning about or interested in the Salem Witch Trials?  National Geographic has an interactive resource on the Salem Witch Hunt, Discovery Education has tips for teachers and home educators on the Salem Witch Trials for grade level 5-8, the National Teacher Training Institute offers lesson plans on the The Salem Witchcraft Trials and The Crucible for grades 5-12, and Historian Elizabeth Reis uses primary sources in an education video on the history of the Salem Witch Trials at Teaching History.  The History Channel offers this short video to help tell the tale of this event in Massachusetts history:

Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood for Families & Educators this Summer

Students Can Discover the Symphony During Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood: Summer 2012

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

This summer, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood are offering a unique FREE musical learning opportunity for kids in Lenox. MA!  Every Friday morning through August, the orchestra rehearses – and families, educators, homeschool groups, musicians, and other community members are invited to attend the rehearsals for free!

Before each rehearsal, there will be a Youth Music Presentation (including a “Quiz the Kid” Q+A), an engaging and informational tour of Tanglewood, and a pre-rehearsal talk on the music to be played, instruments in the orchestra, and fun facts about the music!  Those participating in the program are offered shed seating at the rehearsal, though kids under the age of 8 are asked to enjoy the show with their grown-ups from the lawn.

Attending the Free Friday Mornings program can teach kids about classical music, and its place within music history (and modern music!).  Kids will also learn about the many different instruments that make up the orchestra’s beautiful sound.  Older students can use the program to supplement studies of physics (think sound waves!), history, and material culture (take a look at how instruments have evolved over time, and how pieces reflect certain cultural eras).  

Education highlights include:

  • A pre-rehearsal youth music presentation and instrument demonstration.
  • An engaging and informative Tanglewood tour—different each week!
  • High level musician educators will give a talk about specific music topics directly related to the upcoming rehearsal (geared for middle school to adults)
  • Shed seating for a closed rehearsal of a Boston Symphony Orchestra performance.
    All ages are welcome, bring the whole family! (Children 3rd grade and up may listen in the Shed, while younger children are invited to enjoy the music from the lawn)
  • Following the rehearsal, guests are welcome explore the grounds, listen to a second hour of rehearsal music from the lawn, or enjoy a picnic lunch under the trees

HOW TO SIGN UP

It is ultra easy to come to a rehearsal, it is done by email. To reserve free Shed seating, simply EMAIL your request to Darlene White at dwhite@bso.org with the number of participants in your party. If you are a parent, educator or a community or youth leader, simply email your request, be sure to include phone and contact information, and your affiliation (such as teacher, parent, etc.).  Also include what Friday (or Fridays) you would like to attend, and how many persons will be attending in your group. If some in your group will be listening from the lawn, let Darlene know that as well. If you like, you can reserve more than one week in advance.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR TEACHERS

The education program runs year round and they have some great education resources, so If you are a teacher, let Darlene know your school, grade level, and subject.

SHED SEATING IS LIMITED

Because Shed seating is limited, reservations are confirmed on a first-come-first-serves basis. Groups are welcome, and it is best – especially for groups – to reserve early.

For more information, email Darlene White at the Boston Symphony Orchestra Berkshire Education and Community Programs Office: dwhite@bso.org.

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 »

Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood for Families & Educators

Students Can Discover the Symphony During Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood: Summer 2011

The Boston Symphony Orchestra's Education and Community Programs will be offering a weekly FREE kid-friendly education program every Friday morning at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA for students ages 8 and up. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Families, homeschoolers, educators, and community and youth groups in Western MA are invited to reserve Shed seating for a closed rehearsal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood (Main Gate, 297 West St, Lenox, MA). It’s called the Friday Morning Rehearsal, and happens each Friday beginning July 8th at the Tanglewood Main gate 9-11am, running through August 26th, 2011. It is a festive morning education program for families that offers a free, fun, and kid friendly approach to classical music.

Each week children and adults are treated to a delightful music presentation by a young musician from the area, a brief tour, and a few words about the upcoming rehearsal, before entering the Shed for a closed session–all free of charge. The Shed is open to third grade age and up, as the intensity of quiet and stillness required is often to much for younger kids. But this is a family friendly program where parents with young children often bring a picnic or just relax on the lawn. Children love to listen from the lawn, and can often be seen twirling to the music.

Education highlights include:

  • A pre-rehearsal youth music presentation and instrument demonstration.
  • An engaging and informative Tanglewood tour—different each week!
  • High level musician educators will give a talk about specific music topics directly related to the upcoming rehearsal (geared for middle school to adults)
  • Shed seating for a closed rehearsal of a Boston Symphony Orchestra performance.
    All ages are welcome, bring the whole family! (Children 3rd grade and up may listen in the Shed, while younger children are invited to enjoy the music from the lawn)
  • Following the rehearsal, guests are welcome explore the grounds, listen to a second hour of rehearsal music from the lawn, or enjoy a picnic lunch under the trees

HOW TO SIGN UP

It is ultra easy to come to a rehearsal, it is done by email. To reserve free Shed seating, simply EMAIL your request to Darlene White at dwhite@bso.org with the number of participants in your party. If you are a parent, educator or a community or youth leader, simply email your request, be sure to include phone and contact information, and your affiliation (such as teacher, parent, etc.).  Also include what Friday (or Fridays) you would like to attend, and how many persons will be attending in your group. If some in your group will be listening from the lawn, let Darlene know that as well. If you like, you can reserve more than one week in advance.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR TEACHERS

The education program runs year round and they have some great education resources, so If you are a teacher, let Darlene know your school, grade level, and subject.

SHED SEATING IS LIMITED

Because Shed seating is limited, reservations are confirmed on a first-come-first-serves basis. Groups are welcome, and it is best – especially for groups – to reserve early.

For more information, email Darlene White at the Boston Symphony Orchestra Berkshire Education and Community Programs Office: dwhite@bso.org.

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):

Read the rest of this entry »

Kids Becoming World Citizens: Recommended Reading

Peace Travelers: Kids Becoming World Citizens
By HF Contributing Writer, Tony(a) Lemos

Up until last year my daughter was in a homeschooling program that I co-wrote with my friend Kate O’Shea called Peace Travelers. The program is presently taking a hiatus, but the organization is still meeting and we are continuing the development of programs and curriculums.

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP & CONNECTEDNESS

One of our favorite books for exploring global citizenship is One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway. I have read it to my daughter several times and it has sparked many conversations. We have also borrowed If the World Were Village from the library a number of times (based on the quote I have included below) along with One Well, the Story of Water on Earth.

Just this week I realize that these titles are included in the CitizenKid collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

One Hen reminds me a little of Beatrices Goat by Page McBrier, based on the Heiffer International approach: when a new goat arrives in Beatrice’s poor Ugandan village, big changes can be made.

Another element of these stories that I really like is that they can also fit into a geography curriculum as each one is set in a different country: Uganda, Honduras, Ghana, etc.

The Good Garden: How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough, also by Katie Smith Milway, and illustrated by Sylvia Daigneault, is another fabulous book to set kids on the “Peace Traveling” path; helping them understand some of the issues while promoting global connectedness, community, and the concept of world citizens. The Good Garden tells simple stories about big global issues; such as: food security, community and water.  There is also an interactive website connected the The Good Garden full of further activities for children aged 8-12ish: www.thegoodgarden.org.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Year of the Rabbit

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The Chinese Lunar New Year is on February 3rd this year. If you’re considering celebrating this year’s Chinese New Year for the first time, there are many web sites to guide you on decorations, food, activities, and crafts, and to learn how the day is determined.The libraries have several titles to lend for your family to discover the cultural traditions of the Lunar New Year. There are also a variety of supplemental social study curriculums that take a closer look at these traditions, superstitions and customary foods from Asian countries.

SUPERSTITIONS

The Lunar New Year is full of superstitions. Cutting your noodles on this day is said to shorten your life, and cleaning your home the day of the Lunar New Year is a big no-no, for it’s customary to clean in the days prior. Discovering these superstitions can lead to an exploration of their history with your children; opening up discussions on why they originated.

TRADITIONAL FOODS & DECORATIONS

There are many traditional foods you can serve on this day, or popular dishes from your local Chinese restaurant, along with a New Year’s Cake (Neen Gow) and fortune cookies. Decorating your home with paper lanterns, colorful dragons, Red Couplets, bowls or oranges and arrangements of flowers can be fun too.

LENGTH OF CELEBRATION

The Lunar and Chinese New Year can be celebrated for up to 15 days, depending on the culture that is in observance. The Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days (from the first full moon to the next new moon), but the Vietnamese Lunar New Year is celebrated for only half that time. A single evening of celebration to discover more about this culture is perfectly okay too.

SUGGESTED READINGS AVAILABLE THROUGH YOUR LOCAL MA LIBRARY

Everybody Cooks Rice (By Norah Dooley)
A child is sent to find a younger brother at dinnertime and is introduced to a variety of cultures through encountering the many different ways rice is prepared at the different households visited.

Lion Dancer : Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year (By K. Waters & M. Slovenz-Low)
Describes six-year-old Ernie Wong’s preparations, at home and in school, for the Chinese New Year celebrations and his first public performance of the lion dance.

Look What Came from China (By Miles Harvey)
Describes many things, both familiar and unfamiliar, that originally came from China, including inventions, food, tools, animals, toys, games, musical instruments, fashion, medicine, holidays, and sports.

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes (By Nina Simonds and Leslie Swartz)
A great book that gives reviews the history of and supplies recipes, crafts and legends of five different Chinese holidays, including: Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

China (DK Eyewitness Books) (by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore)
I love Eyewitness Books!  Their China book takes a look at Chinese culture with “eye-popping” images!

The Wishing Tree (By R. Thong)
Ming’s wishes at the tree on Lunar New Year with his grandmother always seemed to come true, but one year the tree does not help, and he alone must make peace with the loss of his grandmother and the spirit of the tree.

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 »

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 »
  • Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood for Families & Educators

    The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Education and Community Programs Present Free Friday Mornings for the Tanglewood 2010 Season

    Free kid-friendly education program every Friday morning at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA for students ages 8 and up. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Homeschool parents, educators, and community and youth groups in Western MA are invited to reserve Shed seating for a closed rehearsal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood (Main Gate, 297 West St, Lenox, MA). It’s called the Friday Morning Rehearsal, and happens each Friday at the Tanglewood Main gate at 8:30am. It is a festive morning education program for families that offers a free, fun, and kid friendly approach to classical music.

    Each week children and adults are treated to a delightful music presentation by a young musician from the area, a brief tour, and a few words about the upcoming rehearsal, before entering the Shed for a closed session–all free of charge. The Shed is open to third grade age and up, as the intensity of quiet and stillness required is often to much for younger kids. But this is a family friendly program where parents with young children often bring a picnic or just relax on the lawn. Children love to listen from the lawn, and can often be seen twirling to the music.

    HOW TO SIGN UP

    It is ultra easy to come to a rehearsal, it is done by email. The person to contact is education manager Darlene White at dwhite@bso.org. If you are a parent, educator or a community or youth leader, simply email your request, be sure to include phone and contact information, and your affiliation (such as teacher, parent, etc.).  Also include what Friday (or Fridays) you would like to attend, and how many persons will be attending in your group. If some in your group will be listening from the lawn, let Darlene know that as well. If you like, you can reserve more than one week in advance.

    SPECIAL NOTE FOR TEACHERS

    The education program runs year round and they have some great education resources, so If you are a teacher, let Darlene know your school, grade level, and subject.

    SHED SEATING IS LIMITED

    Because Shed seating is limited, reservations are confirmed on a first-come-first-serves basis. Groups are welcome, and it is best – especially for groups – to reserve early.

    For more information, email Darlene White at the Boston Symphony Orchestra Berkshire Education and Community Programs Office: dwhite@bso.org.

    OSV Programs for Homeschoolers

    Fall 2010 Programs for Home School Families at Old Sturbridge Village

    At OSV, children can learn about the transportation revolution in the 19th century. (Photo credit: OSV)

    • “Hop into History” overnight program August 14th
    • Home School Days September 14th and November 10th

    Living history museum Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) will offer programs just for home school families, beginning with a Hop into History Overnight sleepover on Sat., August 14th, and continuing with a special September 14th Home School Day on Travel: People and Goods in Motion, and a November 10th Home School Day on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

    Newly introduced by OSV, Hop into History Overnight are designed for groups of young people ages 6-12, giving them an exciting “night at the museum.” The August 14th overnight program for home school families includes an evening tour of the Village, 45-minute hands-on activities, storytelling, 1830s games, two-day admission to the museum, and a Continental breakfast. Learn more.

    Theme for the September 14th Home School Day at Old Sturbridge Village is Travel: People and Goods in Motion, giving children the opportunity to learn about the transportation revolution in the 19th century: new roads, canals, stagecoach routes and railways, which allowed for easier transport of people and goods all over New England and beyond. Registration for this Home School Day opens August 16th.

    At the November 10th OSV Home School Day, children can learn more about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving’s famous tale of a headless Hessian soldier returning to haunt a rural community. Storytelling, demonstrations, and hands-on activities will be offered, along with shadow puppet performances and workshops by visiting artist, Andrea Caspari. Online registration will be available one month in advance.

    Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is open year-round. Hours vary seasonally. Parking is free and visitors get a free second-day return visit within 10 days. For information: www.osv.org or call 1-800-733-1830. A calendar of additional days when home school families can receive discounted admission will be announced in September. For details call 508-347-0285; http://www.osv.org. For a summary of OSV offerings for home school groups: learn more.

    Kids’ Market in the Hilltowns

    Tony(a) Lemos of Ashfield, MA writes:

    Kids' Market happens every Wednesday in the Summer in the parking lot outside of the Ashfield Hardware Store. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    I would like to remind everyone about the Wednesday Kids’ Market that happens in Ashfield Center every Wednesday in the Summer from 4-6pm in the parking lot of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Kids can have a venue to sell their creations. Can be as simple as lemonade and popcorn, picked flowers, their favorite craft, a budding talent or even a service – Face Painting? Fortune Telling … It is a fun weekly event!

    Best of all there is no fee and no long term commitment. Come every Wednesday or just once. Let the kids run their own businesses for a few hours and watch them buy, trade and barter from each other.

    You’ll have to provide a little table for your childrens wares and a chair if they’d like to sit down.

    Hope you’ll join the market. We love it and are so grateful that Nancy and Laura (the fabulous owners of the Ashfield Hardware Store) will host this fun market again this summer.

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

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

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

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

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

    BEST BET

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

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Deadline to enter to win: June 30th

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

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

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

    Deadline to enter to win: June 30th

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

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

    Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

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

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

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

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

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

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


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 6/26

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Museums to Join Public Reading of Frederick Douglass Speech

    Springfield Museums to Join Public Reading of Frederick Douglass Speech
    Wednesday, June 30th at Noon

    The communal reading and discussion of abolitionist Frederick Douglass's 1852 speech, "The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro" would be a great supplement to America history curriculum for older students. Younger students can discover Frederick Douglass at home in David Adler's book, "A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass."

    The Springfield Museums are participating in a communal reading of Frederick Douglass’s fiery 1852 speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro.” The shared reading will take place at noon on June 30th in Court Square in Springfield and will be followed by a discussion at First Church.

    On July 5, 1852, Douglass, a former slave and leading abolitionist, addressed the “race question” at an event in Rochester, NY, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “Fellow-citizens,” he began, “why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” The full text of the speech is available online at the Mass Humanities website, www.masshumanities.org.

    The program is intended to take up the challenge leveled by Barack Obama at Constitution Hall in Philadelphia: “I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle. Race is an issue this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. To work for ‘a more perfect union’ we need to start to understand complexities that we’ve never really worked through. [This] requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point.”

    The event is part of a state-wide series of readings which is partially funded by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Local collaborating organizations are Mass Humanities, the Springfield Cultural Council, Art for the Soul Gallery, and the Springfield Museums. Additional sponsors are The Brethren, Olive Tree Books and Voices, PAHMUSA, Springfield NAACP, and the Teaching American History Program of the Springfield Public Schools.

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

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

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

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

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

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

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

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

    FEATURED EVENTS

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

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

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

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

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

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

    Deadline to enter to win: June 14th

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

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

    Deadline to enter to win: June 22nd

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

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

    Deadline to enter to win: June 16th

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

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

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

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

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

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

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

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

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


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    SATURDAY – 6/12

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 06/05/10-06/11/10

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Get out and play! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Friday, June 4th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Asian Fusion Burritos, featuring our ginger sesame tofu, organic black beans & brown rice, local organic spinach & sharp cheddar cheese, in a whole wheat tortilla. Carrot Ginger Soup – made from all organic vegetables, gluten-free and vegan. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie! – Gluten-free and vegan dishes too. BYOB. 268-7441

    Friday, June 4th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Chinese food (no msg- Brolin makes the sauce himself)! Sweet and Sour Pork with peppers, onions and fresh pineapple – or – Vegetarian Pad Thai. BYOB 628-4003

    Saturday, June 5th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: BE Shrimp empanadas, chimichurri sauce, black beans and plantains.  With side salad. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!). Open mic! Beer & wine available. 268-7757

    FEATURED EVENTS

    MEET THE DOULAS DAY: Expecting a new addition? Come and learn how a doula can help you have a safer and easier labor, birth and postpartum time at Meet the Doulas Day on Sunday, June 6th from 2-4pm at Cradle (3rd Floor, Thorne’s Marketplace)  in Northampton, MA. Come meet a wide range of birth and postpartum doulas, and other professionals who serve families in the childbearing year. Learn about local resources, find answers to your questions, and meet other pregnant families. This event is FREE TO EXPECTING PARENTS. There will be a short Q&A discussion, film clips will be shown, followed by an opportunity to mingle with the different doulas at the event, get their information and maybe find the right doula for you! Sponsored by the Green River Doula Network.

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

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

    BULLETIN BOARD

    BECOME A SPONSOR: Hilltown Families supports sustainable development of our local economy. Local businesses, individuals, institutions and schools are encouraged to become sponsors and communicate with our large, family-oriented audience. Get the word out about the valuable services you offer while you support Hilltown Families’ work in building community.  Please email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

    Sally Loomis of Williamsburg, MA writes: Come tour the new Dunphy School Forest Garden June 8th at 3 p.m. – This past weekend a Forest Garden course was held at the Dunphy School resulting in a beautiful new garden for the school to use and steward. Several Williamsburg residents participated in the course. Benneth Phelps, course organizer, will be leading a tour of the new garden on Tuesday, June 8th from 3-4pm for students, teachers, parents, and other community members interested in this new resource. Please join us. If you are interested in learning more about this garden, but are unable to attend the June 8th tour, please contact Sally Loomis (Loomissally@gmail.com, 268-0108).

    Jim Lobley of Ashfield, MA writes: In the mood for some dark Irish comedy this weekend (and why wouldn’t ye be, aye)? Come see “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm at the Ashfield Town Hall. Audiences have been raving. Here’s a preview:

    TOOTHBRUSHING WORKSHOP: Thursday, June 17, 6-8 PM, Our Lady Child Care Center, Easthampton. FREE Toothbrushing workshop for early education and care professionals. Open to all. This workshop will help early education and care providers partner with families and the community in promoting good oral health in young children. Presenter Nancy Lolacono will offer some tips for program planning and development to help make oral health an integral part of your overall curriculum. Registration is required by June 11th. Call Diana Norman 413-586-4998 x111 or email dnorman@collaborative.org.

    TICKET GIVEAWAY: Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in Northampton, MA for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT!  You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets! This month we are pleased to offer a chance for two folks to win a pairs of tickets to see celebrated Nashville singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman as she returns to the area with a powerful new album, Back To Love. Click here to enter to win.

    WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT SUMMER READING PROGRAMS: Children who participate in their local library’s summer reading program will be rewarded with coupons and passes to family-friendly locales in Western Mass. Area participants include the Basketball Hall of Fame, Children’s Museum at Holyoke, Eastern States Exposition, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Hancock Shaker Village, Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial. Sign your children up at your participating town library, and help your child sustain and build their reading skills during summer vacation.

    TICKET GIVEAWAY: Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a 4-pack of free day pass tickets to the 24th Annual Green River Festival, the weekend of July 17 & 18, 2010!  Presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, this celebration combines music on two stages, food, crafts, dancing, a wide array of kids activities and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for the Pioneer Valley’s biggest outdoor event of the summer. This is the only music festival in Massachusetts that features hot air balloons and rides.  Click here to find out how you can enter to win tickets!

    STATEWIDE FREE FISHING WEEKEND! Take a friend or family member fishing for free–you won’t need a fishing license to fish any waterbody statewide for these two days! It is time well spent with family and friends. Your purchase of a fishing license directly supports fishing, stocking, education and fish habitat management programs. Contact Jim Lagacy, Program Coordinator for scheduling a fishing festival or clinic in your area during the year at (508) 389-6309 or jim.lagacy@state.ma.us.

    Liz Friedman writes: Calling Mama Volunteers – Table for MotherWoman’s 5% Day at Whole Foods. We are looking for a couple good mama’s to help us table at Whole Foods in preparation for our big 5% Day at Whole Foods. Are you available for as little as 1 hour on any of the following days: Saturday, June 5th 11am – 4pm; and Monday, June 7th 10am – 6pm. Contact Liz@motherwoman.org

    PLAYHOUSE GIVEAWAY: Check out our review and enter to win a Kidscraft Eco-Friendly Cottage Playhouse. Kidscraft Playhouses has tapped into the cardboard box’s ability to captivate a child’s imagination with two playhouse designs made from 100% recycled materials in the USA while sparking their creativity with a house to decorate, paint and color.  Deadline to enter to win is June 14th. Find out more here.

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

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

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

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

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

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


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – June 5th

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

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

    6am - NATURE STUDIES: Early morning bird walk in the fields of Notchview.  Call the Highland Communities Initiative at 268-8219 for more information. Windsor, MA

    7am-10pm – STOLLING OF HEIFERS: Just over the board in Brattleboro, Vermont, the first weekend of June is always Strolling of the Heifers weekend — three days of events packed with fun for the whole family, but with a serious purpose: connecting people with the food they eat, so that family farms in the region can survive. Click here to see our feature on this annual event. Brattleboro, VT

    8am-3pm – NATURE STUDIES: Bioblitz at Forest Park.  Students will head out on various themed nature walks to explore, investigate, and record what is found with local area experts leading the walks.  Click here to read our feature article on this event. Springfield, MA

    8:30am – SOLAR ENGINEERING ADVENTURES: Area students will gather at Reid Middle School to race their model solar-powered cars in the eleventh annual Berkshire Junior Solar Sprint (JSS). Click here to read our featured article on the JSS.  445-4556 ext. 25 Pittsfield, MA

    9am-1pm - TAG SALE: Crocker Farm Elementary School indoor tag sale. (280 West Street) 362-1600 Amherst, MA (SALE)

    9am-3pm – CLOTHING SWAP: Ashfield Needles and Threads will host a free clothing exchange at the Ashfield Community Hall. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    9am-1pm – TAG SALE: The annual Northampton Parent Center Tag Sale happens on the front lawn at the Acadamey of Music Theater. Northampton, MA (SALE)

    9am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Celebrating the United Nation’s “Year of Biodiversity,” the Berkshire Museum is holding Berkshire County’s first BioBlitz in Pittsfield State Forest.  Click here to read our feature article on this event. Pittsfield, MA

    9:30am-12:30pm – BOOK SALE: Stock up on reading for this summer at the Greenfield Public Library book sale. 402 Main St. 773-8523 www.greenfieldpubliclibrary.org Greenfield, MA (SALE)

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

    10am-12Noon – PARENTING CLASS: Community Health Programs is offering a class to teach techniques for soothing your baby at the CHP Family Service Building.  Melanie Seseman will conduct the class, Happiest Baby on the Block.  Call to register: 644-0104.  Great Barrington, MA

    10am-12pm – NATURE STUDIES: Stream Meander at Arcadia MassAudubon.  Families can join Ruthie Ireland to follow a stream, search for small critters that live there, and play a few games learning about their life cycles. Registraiton is required: 584-3009. www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA ($)

    10am-1pm – ADULT WORKSHOP: Frank Grindrod of Earthwork Programs is offering an Emergency Survival Skills and Self-Sufficiency Workshop.  Learn what to do to care for your family in the case of emergency. 522-0338 www.earthworkprograms.com Ashfield, MA ($$)

    10am-2pm – HIKE: Bear Swamp Reservation Discovery Hike to explore the Deerfield Watershed.  Join historian Mike Whalen to explore the rocky woodlands and extensive wetland ecosystem. A moderate 2.5-mile hike offers an amazing diversity of flora and fauna within an exceptional range of wildlife habitat and topography. A moderate 2.5-mile hike offers an amazing diversity of flora and fauna within an exceptional range of wildlife habitat and topography. Call to sign up: 584-3009 Ashfield, MA ($)

    10am-2pm – FISHING:  Friends of Great Falls Discovery Center Family Fishing Day. Angler Education Program volunteers will be on hand to help novices cast a line, learn about fish in our waters, safety, ethics, and fishing equipment. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. A limited quantity of fishing equipment and bait will be available. Contact Sarah Bevilacqua at  863-3676 www.greatfallsma.org Turners Falls, MA

    10am-1pm – NATURE STUDIES: Pleasant Valley Family Adventure Day at Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Music with David Grover at noon, “Michael’s Surprise” puppet show by Dr. Marmalade at 11, Terrific Turtles with Tom Tyning at 1:30, Tom Ricardi’s Live Birds of Prey at 3.  Traditional tunes with George Wilson.  Food and Project Native plants for sale.  Children’s crafts, nature walks, and more. 637-0320 www.massaudubon.org Lenox, MA (FREE)

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

    12Noon-4pm – EXTRAVAGREENZA - Holyoke Youth ExtravaGREENza, Nuestras Raices Farm “La Finca,” 245 High Street, Holyoke. Students from Holyoke Works’ new Green Careers Program share their work on environmental issues: global warming and climate change, recycling, increased bike use in the city, safe chemicals in the workplace and at home, energy audits and weatherization, and school and community gardens. More details about in our Featured Events block. Holyoke, MA

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

    1pm – SPANISH: Spanish Get-Together at the Meekins Library. Call to confirm. 268-8343 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – BALLET: Bring the kids to see Pioneer Valley Ballet end of the year performance at the Northampton Center for the Arts.  There will be a demonstration from each ballet class followed by an informal reception. www.pioneervalleyballet.org Northampton, MA

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

    1-11pm – FOOD CELEBRATION: “West Side’s Taste of the Valley” is West Springfield’s annual weekend long gathering of local restaurants on the Park Street Town Common.  Family friendly entertainment and activities including live performances, a classic car show and games and rides for children and teens. www.westsidetaste.com West Springfield, MA

    3-5pm – FOOD CELEBRATION:  Annual Strawbarb and Rhuberry celebration  at the WRLF’s Sheep Hill headquarters.  Family activities include an outdoor scavenger hunt, self-guided nature hikes around the property, and checking out the nature cabin and the frog pond. 458-2494 www.wrlf.org Williamstown, MA

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

    8:35pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring Marmaduke (PG) as their first show, and Robin Hood (PG-13) as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

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    Suggested Events 05/29/10-06/04/10

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    With temps soaring past 95-degrees this past week, families cooled off with snow cones from Town Farm at the Tuesday Farmers' Market in Northampton, while others headed to Musante Beach, Ashfield Lake, Splash Park at Look Park or the Westfield River. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Friday, May 28th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Freshly smoked pork, spare ribs and kielbasa, potato salad, cole slaw, beans and corn bread -or- double-crusted Spinach Pie with fresh spinach, red onions, garlic, mozzarella and feta cheeses. BYOB 628-4003

    Friday, May 28th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Tex-Mex Chalupa – a grilled burrito with organic black beans and brown rice, our homemade vegetarian sloppy joe, salsa, spinach, cheddar cheese and sour cream;  Arugula Pesto Panini (vegan version available); and  Thai Coconut Soup with vegetables and tofu. Gluten-free and vegan dishes too. BYOB. 268-7441

    Saturday, May 29th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Veggie Lassagnia, Garlic Bread and side salad. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!). Open mic! Beer & wine available. 268-7757

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

    Saturday, June 5th, 12noon-4pm: Holyoke Youth ExtravaGREENza, Nuestras Raices Farm “La Finca,” 245 High Street, Holyoke. Students from Holyoke Works’ new Green Careers Program share their work on environmental issues: global warming and climate change, recycling, increased bike use in the city, safe chemicals in the workplace and at home, energy audits and weatherization, and school and community gardens. Nuestras Raices’ Food and Fitness Project will kick off the event with a “Raw Feast.” Following lunch there will be interactive learning opportunities by all groups, with music and a green-themed raffle.  For more information, contact Laura Porter at Holyoke Works at 413-532-2683 or email lauraporter@yahoo.com.

    FEATURED EVENT

    On June 4th, Chris Smither will be performing a Friday night fund-raising concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School … and we have a 4-pack of free tickets along with a signed CD to offer one lucky person! Deadline to enter to win is 05/28/10. Find out how to enter to win HERE.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    BECOME A SPONSOR: Hilltown Families supports sustainable development of our local economy. Local businesses, individuals, institutions and schools are encouraged to become sponsors and communicate with our large, family-oriented audience. Get the word out about the valuable services you offer while you support Hilltown Families’ work in building community.  Please email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

    Michael Kalagher of Plainfield, MA writes: Richard Shephard from Cummington is using his talents to assist environmental groups in documenting the tragedy on the Gulf Coast. See some of his work at www.rsairphoto.com. There is also an important blog you can link to from his site.

    Nan of Ashfield, MA writes: No-Risk Kid Meals at Elmer’s in Ashfield.  Beginning this week, kids aged six and under eat Free between 5 and 6:30 pm (when they are with a regular-paying person over the age of six!)  I saw that on a billboard while I was driving back from New Orleans and thought, “Man, what a good idea!”

    Beth Skolnick Bigelow wrote: There is a Native American Indian Pow Wow this weekend (Sat, Sun and Mon) at Indian Plaza, Route 2 in Charlemont, MA. It is a nice family event.

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: West County Resilence Conversation is looking for volunteers to help during Riverfest in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, June 12th. Click here for more info.

    MUSIC GIVEAWAY: Randy Kaplan has released a new family CD, The Kids Are All Id, and we have a signed copy to giveaway to one luck family!   Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, June 2nd 2010. Click here to enter to win.

    GIRLS ART CAMP IN THE HILLTOWNS: ArtStar Girl’s Camp in Williamsburg (June 28th-July 2nd) (July 5th-July 9th) for girl’s between the ages of 8-12 will spend the day (10am-2pm) creating batik, silkscreening and tie dye as well as experiencing hand sewing and book making! Girls will be encouraged to explore their own artist expression in a relaxed lounge like environment at the private home studio of Marie Westburg, artist and Art Therapist. Sessions are limited to eight so sign up now! Cost is $180 per child. See artstarlounge.com for more information, or email artstarmarie@verizon.net.

    CHORUS AUDITION: The South Hadley Children’s Chorus will have auditions on Wednesday, June 2nd in 10-minute “slots” between 4-6 pm at the Center Congregational Church. Boys and Girls ages 7-14 from many Pioneer Valley towns, rehearsing Wednesday afternoons in South Hadley, from early September thru mid-May. We sing all sorts of songs—“classical”, folk songs, Broadway and jazz tunes, in English and many other languages. Audition is informal & painless. Tests your ability to read words and “echo” the pitches you hear sung to you. Older, musically-experienced children may be asked to show knowledge of music notation. To schedule an audition time, parents should call or email Director Cathy Melhorn 413-548-1098; cmelhorn@mtholyoke.edu.

    TICKET GIVEAWAY: Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in Northampton, MA for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT!  You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets! This month we are pleased to offer a chance for two folks to win a pairs of tickets to see celebrated Nashville singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman as she returns to the area with a powerful new album, Back To Love. Click here to enter to win.

    SCIENCE MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Robots + Us at the Connecticut Science Center opens this weekend. This exhibit offers a playful look at how biology and engineering are coming together to close the gap between reality and the robotic dreams of some.  Build your own jitterbug robot, visit Low Life Labs and find out what robot designers are learning from.  Museum is in Hartford, CT and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm., and it will be open on Memorial Day! www.ctsciencecenter.org

    FREE HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENTS:  It may be hard to believe right now, but snow and cold will be coming back! No time like the present to call and schedule your no-cost home energy assessment. Slots fill up quickly, so call today. It is free and there are great incentives to be had! WMECO and other gas and electric utility companies offer this free assessment to residents through Mass Save, the statewide home energy efficiency program. There are no income requirements to participate, and incentives include up to 75% off up to $2000 in insulation upgrades, and an even better deal on air sealing. Call 866-527-7283, or visit http://www.masssave.com for more info.

    Liz Friedman writes: Calling Mama Volunteers – Table for MotherWoman’s 5% Day at Whole Foods. We are looking for a couple good mama’s to help us table at Whole Foods in preparation for our big 5% Day at Whole Foods. Are you available for as little as 1 hour on any of the following days: Tuesday, June 1st 2 – 6pm; Saturday, June 5th 11am – 4pm; and Monday, June 7th 10am – 6pm. Contact Liz@motherwoman.org

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


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – May 29th

    6-10am – 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.

    8am-6pm – SHEEP & WOOLCRAFT FAIR: All weekend at the Cummington Fairgrounds. www.masheepwool.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: First Market of the Season! With Rhubarb Pie playing music. On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-3pm – PLANT SALE: At the Amherst Farmers’ Supply, sponsored by the 4-H. Amherst, MA (SALE)

    9:30am-4:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: At the Historic Deerfield, families can investigate the diverse ingredients of soil and learn how it formed as part of the museums program, “The Earth Beneath Our Feet.”  Make soil and take home seeds to plant. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (FREE with Admission)

    9:30am-5pm- WOOL DAYS: During Wool Days Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village this weekend, families can meet the new baby animals, watch historical demos, be hands-on, take a boat ride, get crafty and much more. Sturbridge, MA ($)

    10am -BIKE RIDE: Pittsfield’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a community bike ride, beginning at the Controy Pavilion on Onota Lake at Burbank Park. A fun way to spend an afternoon with friends and family! Younger riders are welcome and encouraged to ride the trail along the lake within Burbank Park. Registration starts at 9am. 448.9678 Pittsfield, MA

    10am-6pm – CULTURAL BAZAAR: The Cultural Survival Bazaar happens this weekend on the Amherst Common. Amherst, MA (FREE)

    10am-12Noon: CRAFT WORKSHOP: Make Knitting Needles for kids at the MA Sheep & Woolcraft Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. www.masheepwool.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – CRAFT FAIR: Craft Fair in Haydenville: Fine Arts & Crafts in a Country Setting. 3 Grove Street. Haydenville, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – HISTORIC EXPLORATIONS: Visit the 48-acre Naumkeag Estate in the Berkshires from and view Miss Choate’s tree peonies and tour her 44-room Berkshires Cottage, given intact to The Trustees of Reservations 50 years ago. Children will enjoy the “Kipper” activity pack as they explore the magical Blue Steps, Chinese Garden, Oak Lawn, Peony Terrace, Afternoon Garden and Evergreen Garden. Location: Naumkeag Estate, 5 Prospect Hill Road. 298-3239 Stockbridge, MA ($, KIDS FREE)

    11am-12Noon – CRAFT WORKSHOP: Learn to Spin for kids at the MA Sheep & Woolcraft Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. www.masheepwool.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    11am-4pm – RIVERFEST: Riverfest at Cole Field, sponsored by the Hoosic River Watershed Association. An annual celebration of the river is fun for the entire family and includes rafting, canoeing, live music and other live performances, riverbank art, pony rides, live birds of prey, live river critters, crafts and activities for kids, good food, and more! 458-2742 www.hoorwa.org Williamstown, MA ($)

    12Noon-4pm – MUSUEM ADVENTURES: Chesterwood Opening Day with events for famileis, including art and nature activities, a Lincoln impersonator, live music, and the grand opening of the “Discovery Room” in the Barn Gallery. 298-3579 www.chesterwood.org Stockbridge, MA ($)

    12Noon-5pm – ART ADVENTURES: Canal Gallery’s Artists’ Market, between 2 canals next to the Childrens’ Museum. This Artist Market comes alive with music, food, and color. Inspired by markets of a 100 years ago; also those in warmer more colorful places and early Americana circuses & carnivals. 532-4141 Holyoke, MA

    12:35pm, 1:45pm & 3pm – THEATER: Paintbox Theater will perform their twist of Cinderella at the Paradise City Arts Festival, at the 3-County Fairgrounds. http://www.paradisecityarts.com Northampton, MA ($)

    1pm – FLOWER SHOW: Take the kids to see the stunning beauty of the lovely Iris. The Western New England Iris Society is hosting an Iris Show a the Shelbure Buckland Community Center. Spend the day in Shelburne Falls! Shelburne Falls, MA

    1-3pm – CRAFT WORKSHOP: Kool-Aid Dyeing for kids at the MA Sheep & Woolcraft Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. www.masheepwool.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

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

    1-4pm – TEEN LITERARY EVENT: Jane Austen Tea Party at The Meekins Library. Croquet, Badminton, and Games of Chance. Jane’s favorite foods. Watch the movie “Lost in Austen.” For teens 13+ Williamsburg, MA

    2-3pm – CRAFT WORKSHOP: Felting Treasure Bags for Kids at the MA Sheep & Woolcraft Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. www.masheepwool.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    2-4pm – CRAFT WORKSHOP: Needle Felting For Young People (Ages 9-14) at the MA Sheep & Woolcraft Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. www.masheepwool.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    4:30-6:30pm – PUPPET PERFORMANCE: Marmalade Productions and the Bumble Bee Players presents The Watershed Waltz at the Ramsdell Library. Celebrate with song, puppet fish, birds, and aquatic creatures. For all ages. 274-3738‎ Housatonic, MA

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    Western Mass Students to Compete in Junior Solar Sprint

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    Educational & Fun Competition for Students Promotes Awareness About Transportation, Technology and the Environment

    The Junior Solar Sprint happens on June 5th in Pittsfield, MA and is open to teachers, home educators and community groups. A great opportunity for students to learn firsthand about non-polluting transportation.

    On Saturday, June 5th, area middle school students will gather at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield, MA to race their model solar-powered cars in the eleventh annual Berkshire Junior Solar Sprint (JSS). Participation is open to teachers, home educators and community groups. More than 80 students from Western Mass are expected to participate in the JSS this year.

    The JSS is a fun and educational competition for students in grades 5-8 who work in teams to build model vehicles powered by the sun. In the process they learn firsthand about non-polluting transportation. Now in it’s 11th year, the Berkshire JSS is part of a national program that offers 5th through 8th grade students the opportunity to design, construct and test the performance of a model solar electric vehicle. It inspires teachers, students and their families to learn, teach and raise community awareness about transportation, technology and the environment.

    Registration for students begins at 8:30am Judging of entries begins at 9:30am and races begin at 10am. The solar vehicles will be judged for speed, craftsmanship, innovation and technical merit, and the top three winners in each category will be eligible to compete in the regional JSS championship in Springfield, MA on June 13th.

    If you are interested in registering a team, or are interested in volunteering for this event, contact Cynthia Grippaldi at 413-445-4556 ext. 25.

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    Suggested Events 05/22/10-05/28/10

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    The United Nations Program for the Environment has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. Get kids excited about science and the natural world by participating in the many events and activities that explore nature and the outdoors in Western MA. Increase your families awareness and appreciation for the biodiversity in our own backyards! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS:

    Friday, May 21st at Remington Lodge in Cummington: Salad, and Song with Sarah Stockwell Arthen. Come share an evening of delicious spring soups, fresh salad, home-baked bread and cookies, followed by a house concert with the marvelous songstress, Sarah Stockwell Arthen (www.sarahstockwell.com). Josh Wachtel, of Radio Free Earth, may stop in for a few songs, also! BYOB RSVP 634-5493

    Friday, May 21st at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Ginger Sesame Tofu with Bell Peppers, in our homemade sauce. Gluten-free and vegan. BYOB. Steve Nelson, Singer/Songwriter, will be performing at 6:30pm. 268-7441

    Friday, May 21st at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Spicy Thai Coconut chicken or tofu with stir-fry veggies and rice. BYOB 628-4003

    Saturday, May 22nd at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Korean Braised short ribs with Glazed Sesame carrots and fried shallots. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!). Open mic! Beer & wine available. 268-7757

    FEATURED EVENTS

    Saturday, May 22nd, 9am-4pm,Chester on Track 20th Anniversary in Chester, MA.  The annual Chester Railway Station celebration will include a parade, helicopter rides, train show, craft fair, live entertainment, a blacksmith, historic re-enactments, live steam and classic-car displays, and more! Dine in a wooden boxcar, ride on a wagon, tour the Keystone Arch Bridges. For more information, call 354-7878, or visit chesterrailwaystation.org

    Sunday, May 23rd, 2pm, Academy of Music, Northampton CARTOON-A-PALOOZA to benefit the renovation of the Forbes Library Childrens and Teens area. Enjoy a special screening of award-winning animation by Mo Willems, from Sesame Street and Nickelodeon shorts to Carnegie Award-winning adaptations of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Knuffle Bunny, and the world premiere of the adaptation of The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog! Mo Willems, a 3-time Caldecott honoree and Northampton resident, will be on hand to answer questions after the screening, and will be signing limited-edition Forbes Library posters featuring Elephant and Piggie.  To purchase tickets, visit the Forbes website or the Academy box office. (Listen to PSA)

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

    On June 4th, Chris Smither will be performing a Friday night fund-raising concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School … and we have a 4-pack of free tickets along with a signed CD to offer one lucky person! Deadline to enter to win is 05/28/10. Find out how to enter to win HERE.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    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 here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events. – SPONSORSHIP: Interested in supporting the work of Hilltown Families?  Find out how to be a sponsor! Inquiries can email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details

    Irene Branson of Ashfield, MA writes: There will be a clothing swap on Saturday, June 5th from 10am-3pm at Ashfield Community Hall. “Ashfield Needles and Threads” will sponsor this one-day opportunity to clear out some of your clothes in a way that redirects and recycles them right here in the community. All remaining clothing will be donated to area shelters, the Salvation Army, etc.

    HILLTOWN PRESCHOOL SUMMER PROGRAM: The Ashfield Preschool is planning an exciting summer program. From July 6 to August 13 the Preschool will offer 6 weeks of age-appropriate learning and adventure. During these weeks the preschool will host a cast of animals from Red Gate Farm, Dr. Jane Willis of West County Physicians, and Warren Kirkpatrick, Animal Control Officer. Karen Sullivan will demonstrate basket weaving, Beverly Duncan will give illustration lessons, Dawn Fessenden from Claydance Pottery will build with clay, and Julie Messervy will inspire with music. The program includes walking field trips to Country Pie Pizza, New England Cheesemaking, Gloriosa Garden Tea Party, Spring Hill Acre Sheep Farm, Ashfield Hardware and the Ashfield Fire Dept. Register your child now for one, two, or even all six weeks! For info call 628-3248.

    RECOMMEND A SUMMER CAMP: Holly is looking for a summer camp recommendation in the Greenfield Area. Read her inquiry and make a recommendation over on our Facebook page.

    SUMMER BOWLING: Does your family like to go bowling?  Airway Lanes in Springfield, Chicopee Lanes and Canal Bowling Lanes in Southampton are participating in a summer bowling program that allows kids to bowl for free, all summer long.  For more info go to www.kidsbowlfree.com

    SUMMER READING CHALLENGE: Read 10 books, get one free! We double-dog dare you! Challenge is open to kids 12 and under. Read any ten books that you like. Record them on the downloadable form. Bring the completed form to any Borders Bookstore by August 26, 2010, and get a free book! It’s that easy! Happy reading!

    FRIDAY NIGHT OUT: Hey parents, if you can get out to see this one, you’ll love it. Gaia Roots world music ensemble CD release party at The Jae’s Spice Ballroom, Pittsfield at 9:30pm on May 21st. This inspiring and lively performance will feature an 11 piece ensemble performing folkloric Afro-Caribbean and West African percussion and drumming rhythms accompanied by vocal harmonies, traditional and contemporary dance, original music and unique arrangements with special guests on guitar, bass and drum set. They were a big hit this past weekend at the Hilltown Spring Festival! Here’s your chance to see them again! For info email aimee@gaiaroots.com or visit http://www.gaiaroots.com.

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: 4-H Youth Program seeks adult volunteers with skills in science, environment, creative arts, foods, sewing and working with animals. Spend two hours each month serving as leaders for local 4-H clubs. Call 545-0611 or visit www.mass4h.org.

    SUBMIT A VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Looking for volunteers for your non-profit, service organization or not-for-profit event? Post your “call for volunteers” on our Community Bulletin Board for profile consideration.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowHFVS airs every Saturday from 9-10am, and encores air on Sundays from 7-8am, on 103.3FM WXOJ Northampton, MA.

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

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

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

    PLANT SALES FOR SATURDAY, MAY 22ND, 2010

    • ASHFIELD: 9am-1pm at Gloriosa & Co. 628-4567
    • GREENFIELD: 8:30am-1:30pm on the St. James Church lawn.  Hands on children’s activities.
    • HAWLEY: 9am-12Noon at 108 West Hawley Road.
    • NORTHAMPTON: 9am-12Noon at 24 Nonotuck St.
    • SHELBURNE FALLS: 9am-12Noon at the Bridge of Flowers
    • SOUTHAMPTON: 10am-2pm at the First Congregational Church. 527-9480
    • SOUTH DEERFIELD: 9am-12Noon at the Tilton Library 665-4683
    • WILLIAMSBURG: 9am-12Noon at the Williamsburg Congregational Church

    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    SATURDAY – MAY 22

    6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Guest DJ, Randy Kaplan on the HFVS! Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8am-3pm – SALE: All 4 Kids Consignment Sale happens at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.  Kids’ clothing, toys, DVDs, baby gear, sports equipment. Click here to see flyer. Easthampton, MA (SALE)

    9am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Nahorniak Five Mile Pond Family Fishing Festival.  Volunteers will be on hand to help novices cast a line, learn about fish in our waters, safety, ethics, and fishing equipment. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. A limited amount of fishing equipment will be available for loan. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 Springfield, MA

    9am-3pm – BOOK SALE: Stock up on summer reading for the kids at the Emily Williston Memorial Library. 527-1301 Easthampton, MA (SALE)

    9am– 4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chester on Track 20th Anniversary. The annual Chester Railway Station celebration will include a parade, helicopter rides, train show, craft fair, live entertainment, a blacksmith, historic re-enactments, live steam and classic-car displays, and more! Dine in a wooden boxcar, ride on a wagon, tour the Keystone Arch Bridges. For more information, call 354-7878 chesterrailwaystation.org Chester, MA (FREE)

    9am-4pm – SALE & SWAP: Tag sale and Frock Swap to benefit the Great Barrington Waldorf High School.  Will be held at Pete’s Motors. 528-8833 Great Barrington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    10am-2pm – BOOK SALE: Stock up on summer reading for the kids at the First Congregational Church. 527-9480 Southampton, MA (SALE)

    10am-2pm – TAG SALE: The Goshen Historical Society will host a tag sale at the town offices (route 9). Goshen, MA (SALE)

    10am-5pm – HISTORIC EXPLORATIONS: Visit the 48-acre Naumkeag Estate in the Berkshires from and view Miss Choate’s tree peonies and tour her 44-room Berkshires Cottage, given intact to The Trustees of Reservations 50 years ago. Children will enjoy the “Kipper” activity pack as they explore the magical Blue Steps, Chinese Garden, Oak Lawn, Peony Terrace, Afternoon Garden and Evergreen Garden. Location: Naumkeag Estate, 5 Prospect Hill Road. 298-3239 Stockbridge, MA ($, KIDS FREE)

    10am-12:30pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: Springfield Museum School will offer Hodge Podge of Science for kids ages 8-12.  For complete course descriptions and travel itineraries, call 413-263-6800, ext. 377 or 382, or log on to www.springfieldmuseums.org. Springfield, MA

    11am – MAYFAIR: Ashfield Community Preschool is holding a Mayfair and Benefit Concert with Rani Arbo and Andrew Kinsey. Ashfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    11am & 1pm – THEATER: Castle Hill Theatre Co. presents Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the New Stage Theater (55 North Street).  429-1505 castlehilltheatre.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

    11am-3pm – BIKE: Commuting and repair clinic at Pulaski Park. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    11am-4pm – MUSIC: SPRINGFEST – Students and faculty of the Northampton Community Music Center will take to the streets for a day of public performances and festivities. www.ncmc.net 585-0001 Northampton, MA (FREE)

    11:30am – FARM ADVENTURES: Family Farm Day at Red Gate Farm.  Discover how animals help gardens grow and explore the ponds to see who has hatched this spring. Ages 2 – 8, with accompanying adult. Backpack babies and older children welcome. 625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA ($)

    12Noon-5pm – ART ADVENTURES: Canal Gallery’s Artists’ Market, between 2 canals next to the Childrens’ Museum. This Artist Market comes alive with music, food, and color. Inspired by markets of a 100 years ago; also those in warmer more colorful places and early Americana circuses & carnivals. 532-4141 Holyoke, MA

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

    2-9pm – SUSTAINABILITY FESTIVAL: Sustainable Communities Family Festival at the All Souls Church (29 South Street). An afternoon and evening of kid-friendly entertainment to benefit ReNew Salvage and Brattleboro’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter.  Activities for kids, including crafts, puppets, theater, music and more.  Dancing from 6-9 to the funky horn sounds of local favorites Simba.  Food, drink, sustainability info and much more. West Brattleboro, VT ($)

    3:30-4:30pm – FARM ADVENTURES: Farm Chores are Fun at Red Gate Farm. Children are invited to come help the farmer with Saturday afternoon chores. Come feed the animals, check for eggs and do other daily chores that make life on the farm so interesting. All are welcomed. Buckland, MA (FREE)

    7:15pm – 10:30pm – CONTRA DANCE: Community Contra Dance at the Munson Library.  Beginner-friendly dances start early and progress into a full-fledged contra dance. 256-0673 South Amherst, MA ($)

    7:30pm – CONCERT: The Nields will perform at the Cummington Village Church.  268-3828 Cummington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 05/08/10-05/14/10

    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

    Celebrating May in the Hilltowns. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

    DINNER & BRUNCH IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Friday, May 7th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Cowboy Steak (bone-in ribeye) with roasted garlic mushrooms, chipotle and goat cheese mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus – or – Mediterranean couscous-stuffed eggplant with yogurt mint sauce and asparagus. BYOB 628-4003

    Saturday, May 8th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Open mic! Beer & wine available. 268-7757

    Saturday, May 8th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Homemade vegetarian fare with local and organic ingredients. Open Mic with Steve Koziol! BYOB 268-7441

    Sunday Brunch, May 9th at Remington Lodge in Cummington: Fresh fruit plate, Freshly baked muffins and breads, Eggs Florentine with home fries, Chocolate-dipped strawberries, Juice, coffee, and tea and . . . spring posies for all the mothers!. BYOB RSVP 634-5493

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

    HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL: The Hilltown Spring Festival, a daylong family-friendly celebration of Hilltown music, arts, culture and community, will take place Saturday, May 15th, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Produced by the Hilltown CDC, the fourth annual Festival will feature 15 musical acts on two performance stages, including headliners Charles Neville, The Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan, all-day children’s activities, maypole, local food and local brews, arts and crafts and a sustainable living expo. - (LISTEN TO PSA)

    FAMILY CONCERT: Brady Rymer will be performing a Sunday matinee concert for families at the Iron Horse on Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at 2pm in Northampton, as part of the No Nap Happy Hour Series.  More info here.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    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 here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events. – SPONSORSHIP: Interested in supporting the work of Hilltown Families?  Find out how to be a sponsor! Inquiries can email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details

    Debra J’Anthony, Executive Director of the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton, MA writes: We continue to accept registration forms for our Summer Musical Theater Workshops for ages 7-14. Our first session, Encore, Glee Club, begins July 5th and is offered for children ages 11-14. The second session, First Act!, begins July 19th, running for two weeks for children ages 7-11. Call 584-9032 for more info.

    MUSIC GIVEAWAY: Uncle Rock has released a new family CD, The Big Picture, and we have a copy to giveaway to one luck family!  Click here to find out how you can win a copy of his newest release!

    RECYCLING BENEFIT: There will be an Electronic Recycling Collection May 15th, 2010 from 9-12 at Smith Vocational High School. The location is 80, Locust Street, Northampton, MA. The collection is open to the public- you do not need to be a Northampton resident. Recycling fees run between $2-$10 and benefit Northampton Public Schools. There is no charge to recycle printer cartridges or cell phones. Unable to accept refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, or any appliances containing freon at this collection. Co-sponsored by the Northampton DPW, the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and WRSI. Special thanks to Duseau Trucking.

    FISHWAY: Each spring when the shadbush blooms, New Englanders have the opportunity to view an incredible natural phenomenon – the return of the American shad. The fishways on the Connecticut River help migrating fish over the dams and provide an opportunity to view these fish at underwater viewing windows. FirstLight Power Resources’ Turners Falls facility will open Saturday, May 15 and close Sunday, June 20. The migration season happens quickly, so plan your trip soon! For directions, hours of operations or to schedule a school program, please call (800) 859-2960 or Click here to download a fishway brochure which also contains information about Holyoke Gas and Electric’s Barrett Fishway.

    Hilltown Spring FestivalCALL FOR KID CRAFTERS: Crafty kids up to 13yo are invited to participate in the Kids-Made Craft Bazaar from 1:30-3:30pm at the Hilltown Spring Festival on Saturday, May 15th.  The Hilltown CDC’s goals are to allow children to participate directly in the Festival, to reward them for their creativity, and to give them some real-world experience showing and selling their work. The Kids-Made Crafts area will be highlighted in a central covered area on the fairground, and all crafts and art must be hand-made predominantly by children and is only $5 per table.  For more information and registration, click here.

    RECALL: Working in consultation with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), McNeil Consumer Healthcare is implementing a voluntary recall of infant and children’s liquid products due to manufacturing deficiencies which may affect quality, purity or potency. Following McNeil’s recall announcement on Friday evening, the FDA is providing additional advice to consumers.  More info here.

    TICKET GIVEAWAY: Congratulations to Jennifer Page of Amherst, MA and Elizabeth Brooke-Willbanks of Easthampton, MA. Both families have won a pair of free tickets to see Dan Zanes performing with the Whole Children Community Chorus and special guest, local musician Mister G at First Churches in Northampton on Mother’s Day (May 9th).

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Amherst Survival Center. Volunteers are needed to prepare, serve and clean up after meals; to help sort donations and drivers to pick up produce and baked goods for daily distribution. Call 549-3968, ext. 202 or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org.

    SUBMIT A VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Looking for volunteers for your non-profit, service organization or not-for-profit event? Post your “call for volunteers” on our Community Bulletin Board for profile consideration.

    MAY 8th PLANT SALES:

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowHFVS airs every Saturday from 9-10am, and encores air on Sundays from 7-8am, on 103.3FM WXOJ Northampton, MA

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

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

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


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmer’s Market | PSA

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    SATURDAY – 5/8

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Mother’s Day Episode! 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-12Noon -FAMILY WALK/RUN: Berkshire Trail Elementary “Spirit of Learning” 5K Run & Walk. Cummington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    9:30am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Grab the family and come dig up and learn now to eat Garlic Mustard: Learn how to properly identify, pull and dispose of garlic mustard plants. As an alternative and fun means of disposal, edible wild plant expert Blanche Derby will lead a demonstration and tasting of some easy recipes for garlic mustard that will take place afterwards on the beautiful grounds of the Bryant Homestead. 268-8219 Cummington, MA (FREE)

    10-11am – NATURE STUDIES: Fascinating Frogs: Exploring Life Cycles with Rachel Roberts at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. A program about life cycles. Variety of hands-on science and art activities connected to life cycles with a focus on frogs, including a story time about the life of tree frogs and time to look at books about other frogs and life cycles. This class will reinforce participants’ understanding of animal behavior and the cycles of nature around us all year long. Ages 4 and older. 800-859-2960 Northfield, MA (FREE)

    10-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Falconry Up Close at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Chris Davis, Master Falconer, provides the opportunity to observe up close the handling and free-flying of a trained hawk. Experience the ancient art of falconry while learning about the life history of raptors, their role in the environment, and the efforts underway to ensure their survival and conservation. Appropriate for ages 8 and up accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required; please call 256-6006 www.hitchcockcenter.org Amherst, MA ($)

    10am-12Noon – CRAFTS: Mother’s Day Floral Arrangement at the Whately Library. Drop in for an all ages craft project. Adults and children are welcome to make a spring wreath or arrangement for Mother’s Day. Fiona will guide you and all materials will be provided. Feel free to bring additional flowers, ribbons, or containers you would like to use. Funding for this program has been provided from the Friends of the Library. Whatley, MA (FREE)

    10am-1pm - OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: The Art of Shelter with Earthwork Programs. Learn the skills to make your own shelter in the wilderness, using all natural materials. 522-0338 www.earthworkprograms.com Northampton, MA ($$)

    10am-2:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Youth Fishing Derby. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Office (300 Westgate Center Drive) will hold a Free Youth Fishing Derby for children14yo and under. Participants will fish in a stocked pond. Other activities include face painting, arts and crafts, and casting demonstrations. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories. Refreshments on sale by local Boy and Girl Scout Troops. Hadley, MA (FREE)

    10am-11pm – COMMUNITY FAIR: On the Town Common in Amherst, sponsored by the Rotary Club.  Rides for kids, games, rock climbing wall, food and more.  Amherst, MA (FREE)

    10:30am-12Noon – ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES: Students and adults can discover local architectural styles with local historian and retired city planner Robert McCarroll who will lead a walking tour to see Springfield’s Art Deco-style buildings. The tour will begin at the Springfield Museums. Art Deco was a modernistic, streamlined, sleekly decorative style that was popular between the two world wars. McCarroll will discuss the Art Deco features of several Springfield buildings, including the state office building on Dwight Street, the Community Music School building on State Street, and the art and science museums at the Quadrangle. For additional information, call the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association at 413-747-1830 or email aqca@kimballtowers.com Springfield, MA (>$)

    10:30am-12Noon – CRAFTS: Painting with Wool Worksop: An Introduction to Felt Making. A 2-hour workshop at the Wistariahurst Museum with Sue McFarland. Learn techniques along with the history of felt making. Students 12yo & older. RSVP 322-5660 www.wistariahurst.org Holyoke, MA ($)

    11am – PUPPET SHOW: Watershed Waltz, a puppet performance for kids 5-12yo at North Hall. Music, storytelling and shadow puppetry. Explore the dynamics of a healthy watershed with an 11-year-old boy as he teaches his mother about the watershed. 667-5543 www.northhallhuntington.org Huntington, MA (KIDS FREE, Adults donation)

    11am – MEMORY WALK: Empty Arms Mothers Day Walk at Look Park. This walk is a fundraiser, but also stands as an opportunity for the community to come together to honor all mothers on Mother’s Day Weekend. Donations are optional but your presence is worth so much to the families involved. 529-1610 carolmcmurrich@comcast.net Florence, MA (Fundraiser)

    11am-1:30pm – COOKING: Mother’s Day Lunch, a hands-on For kids (8-12yo) at Different Drummer’s Kitchen Co. Cooking School. Here is every mom’s dream: drop off your kids for a wonderful cooking class with talented cooking teacher Barbara Morse. Then go shopping, get a manicure, do whatever you fancy. When you return an hour and a half later, you will be treated to a delicious meal prepared by the young chefs. What better gift for Mother’s Day! 800-375-2665 www.differentdrummerskitchen.com Northampton, MA ($$)

    11am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Stories from Nature’s Garden at the Lee Library (100 Main Street). Join The Trustees of Reservations horticulturalist Anne Gannon for a free program of indoor stories and activities sharing the wonders of nature in all seasons. 243-0385 Lee, MA (FREE)

    11:30am-1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Eyes On Owls: Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. Join naturalist Marcia Wilson and photographer Mark Wilson in sharing their passion for owls! They will be holding two live owl presentations at the International Migratory Bird Day celebration at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region Office (300 Westgate Center Drive). The building is located south of the intersection of Route 9 and Route 116 North. Hadley, MA

    1-2:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Stream Explorers, a workshop for kids 10yo+. Discover the magic of streams! Wear waterproof footwear, bring bag lunch. Desserts provided. Parents may wait indoors at North Hall. Space is limited. Registration is required: 667-5543 www.northhallhuntington.org Huntington, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – HENNA PARTY: At the Meekins Library, Sangita Desigawill henna your hands with a beautiful flower design.  Call to sign up, 268-7472. Williamsburg, MA


    1pm & 3pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival Presents Hansel & Gretel in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1126 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

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

    1-3pm – NATURE STUDIES: Broad Brook Coalition presents a mid-spring nature hike with botanist, Connie Parks at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. Discover ephemeral spring wildflowers and signs of plants to come. Sturdy footwear. Meet at the North Farms Road entrance. Florence, MA (FREE)

    2pm-8pm – CULTURAL EVENT: Batepapo Festa, a Brazilian celebration, at North Star. Capoeira workshops, Brazillian BBQ, games, music and more. 386-8316 Hadley, MA (Fundraiser)

    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)

    7:30pm – CONCERT: Mother’s Day Benefit Concert to benefit the Prison Birth Project. A multigenerational feast of song at Edwards Church. 584-3843 www.theprisonbirthproject.org Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER, Under 6yo Free)

    8-9pm – NATURE STUDIES: Nocturnal Pond explorations at Red Gate Farm. Tromp down to the farm pond and experience the evening come alive! Learn more about tadpoles, peepers and other springtime pond activity as children get firsthand experience with evening pond life and creatures of the wetlands. All ages welcome. Please call the Farm Office to register. 625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (>$)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Sheep to Shawl Festival on May Day to Celebrate New England Heritage

    Celebration of New England in the Spring

    Sheep to Shawl Festival in Wlliamstown this weekend will focus on historic fleece & fiber. Demos of shearing with traditional tools, carding, pinning and weaving. Sheep herding with boarder collies. Old-time toys and games for the kids. And much more! (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) will host its annual Sheep to Shawl Festival at its Sheep Hill headquarters in Williamstown Saturday, May 1st from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

    The festival is a celebration of spring and our New England heritage, with time-honored crafts and artisans, farm animals, and a focus on the region’s historic fleece and fiber industry. For the 7th year, sheep return to Sheep Hill, and the legendary Fred DePaul will spin stories while shearing with traditional tools. Denise Leonard and Kristen Whittle will demonstrate sheep herding with border collies. These amazing dogs will delight visitors as they herd not only sheep but Indian Runner Ducks up the steep meadows of Sheep Hill. Area farms will bring llamas, alpacas and other livestock for viewing and petting, and local farm products for sale. Barnwright Shaun Garvey will demonstrate the traditional building techniques he used to restore the barns at Sheep Hill.

    The Green Mountain Weavers & Spinners Guild will demonstrate carding, spinning, and weaving throughout the day. Fiber artists and other local artisans will show and sell their wares. Local artists will be painting En Plein Air and demonstrating their skills at capturing the Sheep Hill landscape.

    Volunteers are busy installing a wood floor in the newly renovated Horse Barn in time to open the traditional Soup Kitchen. Children’s activities sponsored by the Williamstown House of Local History will include period costumes for children to try on, and old-time toys and games. There will be fiber-arts crafts and other activities for children and enthusiastic adults.

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    Museum of Springfield History Presents an Underground Railroad Lecture on Sunday

    Underground Railroad Talk
    Museum of Springfield History
    April 11th @ 2pm

    National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, historical site in Florence, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Many families emailed to let me know how much they appreciated the Underground Railroad Episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show as a supplement to their children’s studies. Another opportunity for older students to learn about the Underground Railroad will be this Sunday, April 11th in Springfield, MA. At 2pm, the new Museum of Springfield History will host a talk titled “The Underground Railroad in Western Massachusetts.” The program will be held in the museum’s SIS Hall and is free with the price of museum admission. Museum passes may be available to check out from your local library.

    The talk will be presented by historian Steve Strimer of the David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and Underground Railroad Studies. The Ruggles Center, named for an early abolitionist, documents the movement and settlement of fugitive slaves in the Connecticut River corridor of Massachusetts. Strimer will discuss what has been preserved and uncovered about the Underground Railroad, particularly in Florence and Springfield.

    For older kids studying the California Gold Rush, there will be a talk “Springfield and the California Gold Rush” on April 25th.

    The series is co-sponsored by the Pioneer Valley History Network, a coalition of historical museums, libraries, and societies. The Museum of Springfield History is located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in downtown Springfield. Free parking is available in the Edwards Street parking lots. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $12.50 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, $6.50 for children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. Springfield residents are free with proof of address. The fee provides admission to all four Springfield Museums at the Quadrangle. For information, call 413-263-6800 or visit http://www.springfieldmuseums.org.

    100 Links (February 2010/March 2010)

    100 Links (February 2010/March 2010)

    Nearly every day I 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.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime I 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 up or down.

    100 Links (February 2010/March 2010): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the last 100 links we’ve posted in the past two months: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

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    Turn Holiday Travel Time Into Learning Time!

    Seven Car-Time Activities to Do with the Kids While Traveling

    Diane Flynn Keith, author of Carschooling, recently wrote an article, Turn Holiday Travel Time Into Learning Time! In her article she shares fun activities that will not only entertain your young passengers, but will “boost your kids’ brain power” too. In her article she include the classic car game, Alphabet Hunt, along with some simple games that incorporate concepts of speech, geometry, art, zoology and community studies.  Click here to read her article over at RoadTripJournal.com. It’s worth printing out and tucking it in your glove compartment!

    Road Trip: Destination … Sandwich, MA

    Heritage Museums and Gardens Celebrating the American Spirit

    Heading to the Cape this summer?  The Heritage Museums & Gardens located in Sandwich, Massachusetts is worth checking out.

    Heritage Museums & Gardens celebrates the American Spirit. The Museum fosters lifelong learning by preserving and sharing the history, industry, art and horticulture of America. They offer  a unique experience ranging from quiet contemplation to active exploration. Click here to check out what they have happening for kids and families.

    Museums are open daily from 10am to 5pm through October 31.  For more information check out Heritage Museums and Gardens.

    100 Links (March 2009)

    100 Links (March 2009)

    Nearly every day I 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.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  But if you visit the blog on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend,” with a list of our most recent recommended links.  If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the last 100 links we’ve posted in the past two months: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page).

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

    Read the rest of this entry »

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