Suggested Events for May 11th-17th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Thank you to all of our volunteers, facilitators & sponsors for making last Saturday’s Family Community Service Event a great success! At this one of a kind event, families came together to volunteer at seven different stations in a single morning, generating 450 hours of community service.  Throughout the morning folks participated in hands-on projects for different non-profit and community organizations in our region that work on behalf of animal welfare, conservation and food security… including the building of nearly 50 bluebird houses we donated to the Franklin Land Trust!  Read more about the event here and how you can get involved in the next one: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

Hilltown Spring Festival: The Hilltown CDC’s Hilltown Spring Festival on June 1st at the Cummington Fairgrounds will be a combined music festival, food festival, children’s festival, craft festival, and alternative energy exposition! Music for children of all ages will be performed by Mister G, David Grover and Terry A La Berry.  Other musical performers include percussionist Tony Vacca, acoustic string band Appalachian Still, singer-songwriter Heather Maloney, the Lonesome Brothers, Hot Day at the Zoo, the Walkin’ Blues Band, & Dan Hales and the Frost Heaves. There will be children’s activities all day long, music workshops for families, dancing around the Maypole, children selling hand-made crafts at the Kids-Made Crafts Bazaar, 8 foot tall puppets, Morris dancers, & much more.

Talking to Your Kids About Sex Series Hilltown Families and Cup and Top Café are presenting a series of free talks for parents with Brooke Norton, Certified Sex Educator. Continuing with this series, the third talk, “Puberty for Parents,” will focus on the physical changes, social impacts and emotional aspects of puberty.  Brooke will also touch upon sexual orientation and coming out, and what parents can teach their kids about consent.  “Puberty for Parents” will take place on Tuesday, May 21st after hours at Cup and Top Café from 6:30pm-8:30pm (1 North Main Street) in Florence, MA. For more information, please contact Brooke Norton at 413-684-8697 or email brookenorton712@gmail.com.

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

May 10

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Hilltown Families presents a free family Friday night event, Mother’s Day Mementos, at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls on Friday, May 10th from 4-7pm.  Come make handmade cards and gifts to give to the mothers in your life. Let them know they are appreciated while getting creative with your family! All materials included and everyone is invited to join in this community building event that honors the mother in your life.  The Art Garden is located at 14 Depot Street, Suite 2 in Shelburne Falls, MA (in the same building as the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.).

May 17-19

Starlight’s Youth Theatre proudly presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr., the musical, May 17th at 7:00 pm, May 18th at 2:00 & 7:00 pm, May 19th at 2:00 pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Tickets are $12 students/seniors and $16 adults and may be purchased from the Academy of Music box office: in person, or by phone at 413-584-9032, extension 105, or online: www.academyofmusictheatre.tix.com. This year’s production will feature a double cast of over 100 children representing 30+ communities throughout the Pioneer Valley. There’s something for everyone in this Disney favorite: Princess Ariel and Prince Eric, the adorable Flounder, the comical duo of Sebastian the crab and Scuttle the sea gull, and other colorful sea creatures.

June 26

Host Families Needed for Spanish Teens. Expand your family’s horizons this summer by welcoming a student from Spain into your home through the STEP-to-U.S.A. program. These boys and girls, who range in age from 14 to 17, arrive Wednesday, June 26, for a 3 ½ week home stay. They are eager to be part of your family and to practice their English. You and your children can also practice your Spanish and make a lifelong friend from another country. Host siblings are welcome to join the students in a variety of weekly activities, including day trips to Boston and Six Flags. Apply early to select just the right student for your family. To learn more, contact Ann Newsmith at 802-257-4710, exchangevt@gmail.com and visit www.step-to-usa.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Please help the Southern Hilltown Domestic Violence Task Force by taking a five to ten minute survey on-line at @ www.surveymonkey.com/s/hilltowndvsurvey, and by sending this link to others in the Hilltowns. Survey respondents may be eligible to enter a raffle for $200 cash. The Task Force designed the survey to get a better understanding of how Hilltown residents view and respond to domestic abuse, and to find out if community members know where to get help. The Task Force will use survey results as the foundation for a community education and outreach campaign later this year. For more information about the survey or the Task Force, email southernhillsdvtaskforce@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 11th-17th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 4th-10th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Join us this Saturday, May 4th at the Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event! Our goal is to contribute up to 600 hours of volunteer service in a single event!  We’ll be making  bird houses for the Franklin Land Trust, cat toys for the Dakin Humane Society, fleece chews for Kane’s Krusade, making seed bombs with Help Yourself, planting seedlings with Grow Food Northampton, making Giving Bags with Knack, writing letters with the Key Club, collection donations of cat/dog food & blankets for wildlife rehabilitation… It’s gonna awesome! Happens both indoors and outdoors from 10am-1pm at Leeds Elementary School in Northampton where you’ll find something for ALL AGES. Find out more about this free event here and sign up to join us: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th!

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

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

WEEKEND BEST BET:
Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits at seven different hands-on volunteer stations— a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Come any time after 10am, get your Passport, and travel about to one or all stations! Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

May 4

Yes ComputersYes Computers is co-sponsoring their 2nd annual Free Electronic Waste Recycling Event on Saturday, May 4th, 9am-12noon, adjacent to Yes Computers in the Public Parking Lot in Northampton. In partnership with River Radio, Alternative Waste Recycling & Gold Circuit E-cycling, they will take for FREE, Computers, Monitors (CRT’s), all small electronics & electrical appliances even old TV’s (limit one). Bring old cell phones to donate to Safe Passage & working old iPods to donate to Music & Alzheimer’s Project (sponsored by the Northampton Community Music Center). Please limit largest recyclables to 3 items, smaller stuff no limit; Household items only. Participants get a free Yes Computers $10 gift voucher good on anything in the store for participating.

May 5

Bread Euphoria is having a birthday & the community is invited to celebrate 15 years of baked goodness at Wheatstock II, featuring live music & delicious food. The party takes place on Sunday, May 5th from 12noon-6pm at the Williamsburg Grange, on Route 9. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12yo (under 5yo are free), & includes an impressive entertainment lineup of local favorites the Sweetback Sisters, Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan — & birthday cake (including vegan & gluten-free choices). Meat & vegetarian shish kabobs, salads, sides & beverages will be available for purchase, as well. Come for the food and stay for the fun-or come for the fun & stay for the food-either way, come! For more info call Bread Euphoria: 413-268-7757

May 11

Mother’s Day Giveaway! Enter to win more than $700 worth of wellness services for new and expecting mothers in Western MA. This collaboration of five local (women-owned) businesses will grant one lucky mother with gift certificates for a month of free diaper service, 2 appointments for prenatal or postnatal massage, 2 acupuncture treatments, $150 savings on birth doula service & $150 savings on birth photography. Participating business include Simple Diaper & Linen, Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga, Jo Bunny Massage and Yoga, Bellyfull Birth, and Nature & Nurture Photography and Doula Services. Deadline to enter is May 11, 2013. Drawing will take place on Mother’s Day. Check out www.facebook.com/MothersDayGiveaway to enter & for details.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Enter for a chance to win tickets for a Parents’ Night Out!

The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm. They are looking for a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks with organizing and sorting through fresh bread & produce, helping in their Free Store, serving lunch and doing dishes. Their Emergency Food Pantry often needs help too with keeping the shelves stocked and helping folks fill their carts with their monthly food “box.” Strong folks can help pick up furniture from around town in the mornings. And people who like to clean can help clean the place after 2:30pm. Lots and lots of options for summer volunteering. For more info visit www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 4th-10th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 27th-May 3rd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Outdoor Farmers’ Markets are slowly starting back up! The opening of Tuesday Market in Northampton happens this coming Tuesday, April 30th where you can pick up the ingredients you need to make a dish to bring to the Burgy Farmers’ Market Pot-Luck Dinner Benefit at the Williamsburg Grange two days later on Thursday, May 2nd!  How convenient is that?!

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits — a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 27

Ashfield Community PreschoolThe Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, April 27th 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children age 2.9 – 5yo who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing sunflowers, pumpkins and blueberries. The preschool grazes the neighbors’ sheep and llamas in their pastoral setting and offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on April 27th and tour their facility and grounds. 103 Baptist Corner Road. Ashfield, MA. Call for more information 413-628-3248.

Apr 27

On Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 noon, the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) at 51 Bates Street, Northampton, will hold a family open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students interested in September 2013 admission are encouraged to attend. The school currently has full- and part-time openings available for fall 2013, including a new full day 3-day/week program for toddlers and a new half-day Children’s House (preschool) classroom. MSN enrolls students from ages 2 through 12 and is currently in its 36th year of fostering independent learners in a welcoming community. For information, please call (413) 586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 28

Holy Bonfire! Community Lag B’Omer Festival happening Sunday, April 28th from 11am-1pm- rain or shine! Beit Ahavah & Congregation B’nai Israel Community Schools present: Bonfire, live music by Yiddishkeit Klezmir, musical storytelling by Anna Sobel & Aharaon Skogland, recycled art crafts, archery, games, haircutting booth, chickens, facepainting, “love-shack booth” & more! Kosher, pastured beef hot-dogs & veggie dogs. $5 suggested donation. All ages welcome! Held at Cong. B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect St, Northampton. Lag B’Omer is the joyous holiday held on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer between Passover & Shavuot. For more info & RSVP: 413-584-3593, rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org. “Join” us on Facebook & invite your friends!

May 5

Looking for an excuse to wear your superhero cape in public all while supporting students in our community with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (We don’t believe that you ever need an excuse to do this!)? Come on out to the Best Buddies Superhero Friendship Walk on Sunday morning , May 5th, 2013 in the beautiful setting of Look Park in Florence, MA. Best Buddies is an amazing organization that promotes inclusion and friendships between students with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The event will feature musical performances by the students of Berkshire Hills Music Academy, Circus performances by students of Show Circus and so much more! Sign up at www.bestbudiesma.org/walk.

May 5

Bread Euphoria is having a birthday & the community is invited to celebrate 15 years of baked goodness at Wheatstock II, featuring live music & delicious food. The party takes place on Sunday, May 5th from 12noon-6pm at the Williamsburg Grange, on Route 9. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12yo (under 5yo are free), & includes an impressive entertainment lineup of local favorites the Sweetback Sisters, Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan — & birthday cake (including vegan & gluten-free choices). Meat & vegetarian shish kabobs, salads, sides & beverages will be available for purchase, as well. Come for the food and stay for the fun-or come for the fun & stay for the food-either way, come! For more info call Bread Euphoria: 413-268-7757

May 11

Mother’s Day Giveaway! Enter to win more than $700 worth of wellness services for new and expecting mothers in Western MA. This collaboration of five local (women-owned) businesses will grant one lucky mother with gift certificates for a month of free diaper service, 2 appointments for prenatal or postnatal massage, 2 acupuncture treatments, $150 savings on birth doula service & $150 savings on birth photography. Participating business include Simple Diaper & Linen, Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga, Jo Bunny Massage and Yoga, Bellyfull Birth, and Nature & Nurture Photography and Doula Services. Deadline to enter is May 11, 2013. Drawing will take place on Mother’s Day. Check out www.facebook.com/MothersDayGiveaway to enter & for details.

Spring

Join Crimson & Clover Farm in celebrating the spring! The Farm Education Collaborative will be leading a wide array of farm-based education programs this growing season at Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA. Whether you’re a parent wanting to share a morning with your young child on the farm or an aspiring farmer looking to work in the fields, there’s something for you at Crimson & Clover Farm this spring. Plant, harvest, tend to the animals, cook farm-fresh produce, explore and work together, and so much more! Financial aid is available to low-income families through Grow Food Northampton. For complete details and registration please visit their website – www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event,  workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 27th-May 3rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 20th-26th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Woodland wildflowers are starting to emerge! Can you find Bishop’s Cap, Nodding Trillium, Bloodroot or Dutchmen’s Breeches in your local woods? Look for guided walks your family can join in this spring, or check out a wildflower field guide from your local library and go on a wildflower hunt! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits — a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 20

For Earth Day, just change the diaper you use. Thousands of cloth diapers will be changed around the globe to build awareness of the cloth diaper movement! Help create a new Guiness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time! Sat April 20th. Doors open at 10am, change happens promptly at 11am. Everyone’s welcome! It’s FREE to attend. Door prizes, raffles, info tables, snacks, and plenty of cloth diapering tips, tools, and treasures to be had! Learn how-to cloth diaper if you are curious at heart! This is event is hosted by Simple Diaper & Linen at 418 Dwight St. in Holyoke (right across the canal from the Holyoke Children’s Museum). Please contact info@simple.coop with any questions, & visit the Facebook event page to register.

Apr 27

Ashfield Community PreschoolThe Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, April 27th 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children age 2.9 – 5yo who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing sunflowers, pumpkins and blueberries. The preschool grazes the neighbors’ sheep and llamas in their pastoral setting and offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on April 27th and tour their facility and grounds. 103 Baptist Corner Road. Ashfield, MA. Call for more information 413-628-3248.

Apr 27

On Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 noon, the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) at 51 Bates Street, Northampton, will hold a family open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students interested in September 2013 admission are encouraged to attend. The school currently has full- and part-time openings available for fall 2013, including a new full day 3-day/week program for toddlers and a new half-day Children’s House (preschool) classroom. MSN enrolls students from ages 2 through 12 and is currently in its 36th year of fostering independent learners in a welcoming community. For information, please call (413) 586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

May 5

Looking for an excuse to wear your superhero cape in public all while supporting students in our community with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (We don’t believe that you ever need an excuse to do this!)? Come on out to the Best Buddies Superhero Friendship Walk on Sunday morning , May 5th, 2013 in the beautiful setting of Look Park in Florence, MA. Best Buddies is an amazing organization that promotes inclusion and friendships between students with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The event will feature musical performances by the students of Berkshire Hills Music Academy, Circus performances by students of Show Circus and so much more! Sign up at www.bestbudiesma.org/walk.

Spring

Join Crimson & Clover Farm in celebrating the spring! The Farm Education Collaborative will be leading a wide array of farm-based education programs this growing season at Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA. Whether you’re a parent wanting to share a morning with your young child on the farm or an aspiring farmer looking to work in the fields, there’s something for you at Crimson & Clover Farm this spring. Plant, harvest, tend to the animals, cook farm-fresh produce, explore and work together, and so much more! Financial aid is available to low-income families through Grow Food Northampton. For complete details and registration please visit their website – www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Having a Baby? Our Experts Help You Understand Your Options The staff at Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center know parents lead busy lives. That’s why organizers offer a childbirth education series held weekday evenings and weekends. Each series provide answers to questions about labor, birth, newborn care, breastfeeding, and more. Download the Having a Baby flyer or register at www.cooley-dickinson.org/events Baby is here. Now what? Once baby is born, parents don’t know what to expect. Join Beyond Birth, a group of new parents and babies up to four months old, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital Thursdays from 1–3 pm. A parent education specialist guides the group and answers questions. All are welcome no matter where you gave birth.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event,  workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Hilltown Families is accepting applications for our Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will afford the opportunity to identify the place-based educational value of local events and the importance of community engagement while gaining a better understanding of how community based resources and local organizations can work together to create a network that promotes learning and sustainability of local resources. The program is a two year position open to students or graduates living in Western Massachusetts with an ability to attend weekly meetings in Northampton, MA. Hours per week 10-15. Stipend/Wage: $100/week.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 20th-26th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 13th-19th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Thank you to everyone who joined Hilltown Families at the Art Garden in Shelbune Fall last Friday night for Flowers for Friends. Families had a lovely time painting pots & planting them with spring blossoms to pass along to others… spreading kindness one blossom at a time! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits — a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 14 & 15

Academy of Music TheatreThe Academy of Music Theatre will present their fifth annual Puppet Festival, April 14th and 15th. There will be two performances to delight young children and their families. Tanglewood Marionettes will stage the first show, The Dragon King, on April 14th at 2 p.m. The acclaimed, award-winning National Marionette Theatre will perform their production of Pinocchio, on April 15th at 10 a.m. All shows are approximately fifty minutes and puppeteers will answer questions from the audience following the performance. All tickets are $5 (box office fees apply) – Academy Box Office,Tuesday-Friday from 3pm-6pm or by phoning 413-584-9032 x105 or online at www.academyofmusictheatre.com. For ages 4 and up.

Apr 15 & 18

Celebrate spring in the garden over school vacation! Plan Your Family’s Garden Workshop, Monday April 15 10am-12pm & Thursday April 18 10am-12pm with Sweet Roots Gardens in South Deerfield, MA. Learn to grow a garden with your child over spring vacation! This 2- part workshop will help you plan, design and leave with the tools to begin digging up your home garden. Learn to build a raised bed garden, techniques for planting seeds with little ones and how to make theme gardens. Hands on garden and craft activities for kids. You will leave with a plan for your garden that includes a colorful set of cards and map to play with at home. For more info or to register, go to www.sweetrootsgardens.com or email saracoblyn@gmail.com.

Apr 16

On Tuesday April 16, CityStage in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts will turn into a live petting zoo like no other with Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo! With the Springfield Museums onsite with an interactive Dinosaur exhibit between the 10am and 2pm performances, and near-by restaurants, it’s the perfect Spring Break Day Trip for Hilltown Families! Erth’s awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants, will take to the stage for three performances only at 10am, 2pm and 6pm! Dinosaur Petting Zoo allows heaps of interaction for kids and adults while they travel with Erth’s multi-faceted performers on a journey through prehistoric ages. Tickets are $20 and are available by phone at (413) 788-7033 or online HERE.

Apr 20

For Earth Day, just change the diaper you use. Thousands of cloth diapers will be changed around the globe to build awareness of the cloth diaper movement! Help create a new Guiness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time! Sat April 20th. Doors open at 10am, change happens promptly at 11am. Everyone’s welcome! It’s FREE to attend. Door prizes, raffles, info tables, snacks, and plenty of cloth diapering tips, tools, and treasures to be had! Learn how-to cloth diaper if you are curious at heart! This is event is hosted by Simple Diaper & Linen at 418 Dwight St. in Holyoke (right across the canal from the Holyoke Children’s Museum). Please contact info@simple.coop with any questions, & visit the Facebook event page to register.

Having a Baby? Our Experts Help You Understand Your Options The staff at Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center know parents lead busy lives. That’s why organizers offer a childbirth education series held weekday evenings and weekends. Each series provide answers to questions about labor, birth, newborn care, breastfeeding, and more. Download the Having a Baby flyer or register at www.cooley-dickinson.org/events Baby is here. Now what? Once baby is born, parents don’t know what to expect. Join Beyond Birth, a group of new parents and babies up to four months old, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital Thursdays from 1–3 pm. A parent education specialist guides the group and answers questions. All are welcome no matter where you gave birth.

SUMMER CAMP: Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA?  Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs are featured! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event,  workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Hilltown Families is accepting applications for our Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will afford the opportunity to identify the place-based educational value of local events and the importance of community engagement while gaining a better understanding of how community based resources and local organizations can work together to create a network that promotes learning and sustainability of local resources. The program is a two year position open to students or graduates living in Western Massachusetts with an ability to attend weekly meetings in Northampton, MA. Hours per week 10-15. Stipend/Wage: $100/week.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 13th-19th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 6th-12th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Space is limited and we’re filling up fast! All participants must pre-register for this free event. Don’t miss your chance!

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 4-18

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival returns April 4-18 to Lander  Grinspoon Academy in Northampton,  MA. 20 Films / 8 Towns: International films  that entertain, educate & inspire. Especially  for families is last year’s favorite, DAVID on April 7. In this film a lonely Brooklyn  Muslim boy pretends to be Jewish with his new found friends in this tender drama that bridges culture & religion. Ages 8+ (Families with younger sibs welcome  to school library & playground). Buy a bag lunch/film ticket combo at  www.pvjff.org. Film-only tickets at the door. Lunch at 12noon; film at 1pm. Kidcentered discussion & activities.  Visit web site for all films: coming-of-age,  romantic comedy, ‘60s cult classic, documentaries of masters of the graphic  novel.

Apr 6 & 7

Quilt Show for the Family -Introduce your family and children to the exciting art and craft of quilting at the Hands All Around Biennial Quilt Show, April 6 and 7, at the UMass Amherst Campus Center. In recent years, many artists have expanded the rich American tradition of quilting to create exquisite works of arts. This show, featuring 300+ quilts, showcases the best contemporary quilting has to offer – traditional blocks and patterns next to pictorial and abstract quilts. Demos, kids activities, a special World War II quilt exhibit, fabric vendors, a mini-quilt exhibit and much more. $8 for adults, kids 5 and under for FREE, kids ages 6-12 – $2, students and military or veterans $4. 10am-4pm both days. handsacrossthevalley.org/quilt-show

Apr 6 & 7

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents an original ballet, The Little Mermaid. April 6 & 7 at The Academy of Music in Northampton. Set to Camille Saint Saens’ musical score and based on the fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea for a human soul and the love of a human prince. An opulent production with all-new choreography: flirty Nereids delicately kicking their way through the crashing Waves, tiny swimming Sea Turtles, a towering Sea Witch accompanied by Sea Monsters and menacing Angler Fish, and, of course, The Little Mermaid, played by returning dancer Meghan Mangsen. Tickets available online or in person. More information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Apr 9

Open House: The Deerfield Academy Children’s School is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, April 9th from 5:45-7pm. Come see the school, meet the teachers and learn about The Children’s School nurturing philosophy. Fall slots available for toddlers and preschoolers. Call Elizabeth Bertini-Franseen at 413-774-6626 for more information. 488 Greenfield Rd., Deerfield, MA (RT 5&10 across from Williams Sugar House).

Apr 10

Cultivating Compassion–A Powerful Agent of Change. Got conflict in your life? Whether it’s tension with co-workers, your children, your spouse or anyone who touches your life, cultivating compassion eases the suffering.  Attend this FREE workshop to find out how!  In this interactive program, various research, exercises and discussion topics will be presented to highlight how compassion transforms relationships and reduces conflict. All are welcome to attend on April 10th, 2013 from 6-8pm at Forbes Library in Northampton, MA. Please register to reserve a seat @ Coaching-with-Compassion.com. This event is created and facilitated by Shana Hiranandani, M.A., BCC Board Certified Life and Career Transition Coach

Apr 14 & 15

Academy of Music TheatreThe Academy of Music Theatre will present their fifth annual Puppet Festival, April 14th and 15th. There will be two performances to delight young children and their families. Tanglewood Marionettes will stage the first show, The Dragon King, on April 14th at 2 p.m. The acclaimed, award-winning National Marionette Theatre will perform their production of Pinocchio, on April 15th at 10 a.m. All shows are approximately fifty minutes and puppeteers will answer questions from the audience following the performance. All tickets are $5 (box office fees apply) – Academy Box Office,Tuesday-Friday from 3pm-6pm or by phoning 413-584-9032 x105 or online at www.academyofmusictheatre.com. For ages 4 and up.

Apr 16

On Tuesday April 16, CityStage in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts will turn into a live petting zoo like no other with Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo! With the Springfield Museums onsite with an interactive Dinosaur exhibit between the 10am and 2pm performances, and near-by restaurants, it’s the perfect Spring Break Day Trip for Hilltown Families! Erth’s awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants, will take to the stage for three performances only at 10am, 2pm and 6pm! Dinosaur Petting Zoo allows heaps of interaction for kids and adults while they travel with Erth’s multi-faceted performers on a journey through prehistoric ages. Tickets are $20 and are available by phone at (413) 788-7033 or online HERE.

SUMMER CAMP: Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA?  Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs are featured! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event,  workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Hilltown Families is accepting applications for our Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will afford the opportunity to identify the place-based educational value of local events and the importance of community engagement while gaining a better understanding of how community based resources and local organizations can work together to create a network that promotes learning and sustainability of local resources. The program is a two year position open to students or graduates living in Western Massachusetts with an ability to attend weekly meetings in Northampton, MA. Hours per week 10-15. Stipend/Wage: $100/week.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 6th-12th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 30th-April 5th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Spring! Happy Passover! Happy Easter! — Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! La la la…

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

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

BEST BETS

To discover Easter Events happening this weekend check out our post: Easter Events in Western MA, 2013

Saturday, March 30th from 10am-4pm – FAMILY MUSIC/BOOK FESTIVAL: It’s that time of year again! The River (WRSI 93.9 FM) hosts the annual Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash today at their new location Smith Vocational High School! The event is a celebration of kid-friendly music and great children’s literature, and is filled with fun things to do, see, and learn. Live performances will include The Nields, Mister G, The Deedle Deedle Dees, and Hey Dango; popular authors like Jarrett Krosoczka (Lunch Lady), Judith Schachner (Skippyjon Jones), and Tony Diterlizzi (the WondLa series) will read from their favorite books; and families can try out circus arts, crafts, meet farm animals, and visit local vendors. Local businesses will provide food in the food court, so be sure to bring an appetite! Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 4-18

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival returns April 4-18 to Lander  Grinspoon Academy in Northampton,  MA. 20 Films / 8 Towns: International films  that entertain, educate & inspire. Especially  for families is last year’s favorite, DAVID on April 7. In this film a lonely Brooklyn  Muslim boy pretends to be Jewish with his new found friends in this tender drama that bridges culture & religion. Ages 8+ (Families with younger sibs welcome  to school library & playground). Buy a bag lunch/film ticket combo at  www.pvjff.org. Film-only tickets at the door. Lunch at 12noon; film at 1pm. Kidcentered discussion & activities.  Visit web site for all films: coming-of-age,  romantic comedy, ‘60s cult classic, documentaries of masters of the graphic  novel.

Apr 4 & 6

Parent Workshops with Aletha Solter, Ph.D. (Aware Parenting, author of 5 books) Cradle, Northampton. Why Babies Cry: Some Unrecognized Reasons Thurs Apr 4, 6-8pm, $35. Did you know that babies cry not just for immediate needs, but to release and heal stress? Recognize sources of stress, improve sleep, and help your baby release tension through therapeutic holding/listening. Discipline Without Punishments and Rewards Sat Apr 6, 9-1, $70 Raise cooperative, responsible, self-disciplined children. Pitfalls of punishments and rewards, basic techniques of democratic discipline, reasons for inappropriate behavior, how children’s behavior changes when their needs are met. Eliza 720-252-9982 Contact@InspiritAlive.com Register at cradlefamily.com

Apr 6 & 7

Quilt Show for the Family -Introduce your family and children to the exciting art and craft of quilting at the Hands All Around Biennial Quilt Show, April 6 and 7, at the UMass Amherst Campus Center. In recent years, many artists have expanded the rich American tradition of quilting to create exquisite works of arts. This show, featuring 300+ quilts, showcases the best contemporary quilting has to offer – traditional blocks and patterns next to pictorial and abstract quilts. Demos, kids activities, a special World War II quilt exhibit, fabric vendors, a mini-quilt exhibit and much more. $8 for adults, kids 5 and under for FREE, kids ages 6-12 – $2, students and military or veterans $4. 10am-4pm both days. handsacrossthevalley.org/quilt-show

Apr 7

Come Meet Eden Village Camp’s Founding Director,  Yoni Stadlin, at Congregation B’nai Israel (253 Prospect St, Northampton, MA) on April 7th at 11:30am. Snacks provided! Eden Village Camp is the innovative Jewish organic farm camp, focusing on food, wilderness connection & creative arts! The 3rd-11th grade campers and apprentices develop leadership, community-living & outdoor skills, explore a vibrant food culture, and awaken their sense of purpose, joy, & positive Jewish identity. Campers enjoy ethically-sourced (and Kosher) food; care for animals, experience cooking, herbalism, natural science, joyful Shabbat celebration & Jewish practice, swimming & more! Scholarships are available. Contact welcome@edenvillagecamp.org to learn more!

Apr 10

Cultivating Compassion–A Powerful Agent of Change. Got conflict in your life? Whether it’s tension with co-workers, your children, your spouse or anyone who touches your life, cultivating compassion eases the suffering.  Attend this FREE workshop to find out how!  In this interactive program, various research, exercises and discussion topics will be presented to highlight how compassion transforms relationships and reduces conflict. All are welcome to attend on April 10th, 2013 from 6-8pm at Forbes Library in Northampton, MA. Please register to reserve a seat @ Coaching-with-Compassion.com/events. This event is created and facilitated by Shana Hiranandani, M.A., BCC Board Certified Life and Career Transition Coach.

Jul & Aug

Journey Camp is a nurturing program where children can be themselves and make new friends. Each day offers creative play, walks in the woods and choices of workshops in art, music and drama. Hilltown session for boys and girls, ages 7-13, July 15-19, Taproot Commons Farm, Cummington. Session One for boys and girls, 7-12, July 1-5, at Woolman Hill, Deerfield, Girls Weeks, 7-12, Aug. 5-9 and Aug. 12-16, Woolman Hill, and Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 29- August 1, Woolman Hill. Contact: Marsha Lieberman, 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com; www.sarahpirtle.com

Accepting applications for fall 2013. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

SUMMER CAMP: Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA?  Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs are featured! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April Vacacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event,  workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

Thank you to everyone who pre-registered for this free event. We are now full and registration is closed. If you’d like to be added to our cancellation list, visit the page and submit your contact info.

On Friday, April 5th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Must pre-register. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Space is limited and we’re filling up fast! All participants must pre-register for this free event. Don’t miss your chance!

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School.  We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 30th – April 5th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 23rd-29th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

It’s officially spring, but the snow continues to linger…  The good news is that while kids might not be able to ride their trikes in the snow, the sledding hills are still a ton of fun!

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

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

BEST BETS

To discover Easter Events happening this weekend and next, check out our post: Easter Events in Western MA, 2013

This weekend, Saturday & Sunday, March 23rd & 24th from 9:30am-5pm – GEOLOGY: The Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show takes place this weekend at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center! The show features the collections of numerous geologists, collectors, and dealers, and offers families an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at gemstones, fossils, petrified wood, crystals, mineral specimens, and more. There will be demonstrations throughout the day, as well as opportunities to see and learn about equipment used to cut and polish stones. Budding geologists will be in heaven while surrounded by the museum-quality displays and the vast wealth of knowledge held by presenters. 1 Atwood Drive. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 23rd from 10am-2pm – SUSTAINABILITY: A Community Resiliency Summit at the Cummington Community House. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to network and find opportunities to get engaged in the community. Open to all, regardless of geography. Panels are planned on the topics “Food, Farm & Local Economy” and “Strengthening Local Institutions & Planning for Emergencies.” Lunch will be provided by the Village Church, followed by networking and discussions about steps we can take as a community to strengthen resiliency. Child-care will be provided. Pre-register if possible. 413-634-5005. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 23rd from 1:30-3pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Build a home for cave-nesting birds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary! Bluebirds in particular will love nesting in these wooden nest boxes, made using white pine. Other species of birds to particularly enjoy nest boxes include tree swallows, tufted titmice, and white-breasted nuthatches. Families will also learn about good places to mount their boxes – if you have a good place within viewing distance of your home, use it as a way to learn about the habits of whichever bird species moves in! Registration required. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

March 22

ArtSpark, dance party and auction to benefit the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, Friday March 22nd, 7 to 11 p.m. at Look Park’s Garden House in Florence, MA. Music by the O-Tones, food, cash bar, silent and live auction with eclectic mix of handcrafted furniture, art, local business gift certificates, travel, and one-of-a-kind events up for bid. Tickets $20, available at Cooper’s Corner, State Street Fruit Store, the Creamery and at the door. For more information, 413-268-3421.

Apr 4 & 6

Parent Workshops with Aletha Solter, Ph.D. (Aware Parenting, author of 5 books) Cradle, Northampton. Why Babies Cry: Some Unrecognized Reasons Thurs Apr 4, 6-8pm, $35. Did you know that babies cry not just for immediate needs, but to release and heal stress? Recognize sources of stress, improve sleep, and help your baby release tension through therapeutic holding/listening. Discipline Without Punishments and Rewards Sat Apr 6, 9-1, $70 Raise cooperative, responsible, self-disciplined children. Pitfalls of punishments and rewards, basic techniques of democratic discipline, reasons for inappropriate behavior, how children’s behavior changes when their needs are met. Eliza 720-252-9982 Contact@InspiritAlive.com Register at cradlefamily.com

Jul & Aug

Journey Camp is a nurturing program where children can be themselves and make new friends. Each day offers creative play, walks in the woods and choices of workshops in art, music and drama. Hilltown session for boys and girls, ages 7-13, July 15-19, Taproot Commons Farm, Cummington. Session One for boys and girls, 7-12, July 1-5, at Woolman Hill, Deerfield, Girls Weeks, 7-12, Aug. 5-9 and Aug. 12-16, Woolman Hill, and Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 29- August 1, Woolman Hill. Contact: Marsha Lieberman, 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com; www.sarahpirtle.com

Accepting applications for fall 2013. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Maria Curtin-McKenna is a Smith College Social Work student looking for mothers who have an ADD or ADHD diagnosis to join her research study about challenges, coping strategies and support experienced during the first year after the baby’s birth. The interview is audio-taped and confidential. It lasts about 1 hour and is held at a time and place convenient to the mom. A $15 thank you gift card to Target is provided. To participate, the mother must be 18 years or older, have and ADD or ADHD diagnosis, and have given birth to a child who is age 2-60 months. Contact Maria at 413-362-4053 or mcurtinm@smith.edu

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

On Friday, April 5th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Must pre-register. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School.  We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 23rd-29th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 16th-22nd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

This is the last weekend to see the bulb shows at Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse and Smith College Botanic Garden! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Saturday Morning Music Party: March 16th Hilltown Families & Flywheel present another Saturday Morning Music Party in Easthampton!

Saturday, March 16th from 10am-12noon - MUSIC PARTY: Hilltown Families and Flywheel Presents a Saturday Morning Music Party with special guest, Shiprock & Anchordog. Bring the family for another family friendly morning of live music & free pancakes! Local group, Shiprock & Anchordog will bring us a mixed media performance of theater and video set to music in the Americana vein about the story of two dog heroes and their adventures through forests, oceans and dreamscapes. Free pancakes will be flipped onto your plates beginning at 10am. Kids of all ages welcome! Happens at Flywheel. 43 Main Street (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (>$)

Saturday, March 16th  from 9am-3pm – MAPLE SUGARING: Celebrate a delicious New England tradition at the town of Chester’s 28th annual Maple Fest!  Start the day with a pancake breakfast at the First Congregational Church.  Then, spend the rest of the day learning all about maple sugaring (you can even take a wagon ride to the High Meadows Sugarhouse), visiting with farm animals, listening to live music from the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, and more.  There will be food available all day long, just in case you miss the pancakes!  Skyline Trail.  Chester, MA.  ($)

Sunday, March 17th at 11:30am – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Western MA’s most Irish city! The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade includes floats, dancers, and other performers from local groups and marches all over the city! Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

March 17

Are you hungry for something to do this Sunday? Head to The Eric Carle Museum to celebrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day on March 17th from 12noon-5pm. Make your own caterpillars from found objects in the Art Studio. Join special story times. Meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar in costume and get a caterpillar tattoo. There will be caterpillar cookies, giveaways & a sale in The Carle Bookshop. Translated in over 50 languages, and celebrated a world over, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is universally known as one of the greatest childhood classics of all time. Bring a picnic lunch & spend the day! For more info visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE with Museum Admission)

March 22

ArtSpark, dance party and auction to benefit the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, Friday March 22nd, 7 to 11 p.m. at Look Park’s Garden House in Florence, MA. Music by the O-Tones, food, cash bar, silent and live auction with eclectic mix of handcrafted furniture, art, local business gift certificates, travel, and one-of-a-kind events up for bid. Tickets $20, available at Cooper’s Corner, State Street Fruit Store, the Creamery and at the door. For more information, 413-268-3421.

RH Conwell SchoolRH Conwell Community School of Worthington, MA is accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year with openings in all classes from Pre-K through 6th grade. Located in the heart of the Hilltowns of Western MA, Conwell is an affordable private school with a supportive environment, offering a rigorous, encouraging, and developmentally appropriate program to all students. Children are taught to think creatively, read critically, and reason logically. Conwell has a high level of parent and community involvement in both classroom and after school activities. Students are valued as individuals and learning plans are tailored to meet their needs and learning styles. For more information visit online at www.conwellcec.org or call 413-238-5856.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Habitat for Humanity is beginning some new local projects – and the organization is searching for families to become new homeowners!  There will be projects taking place in Northampton, Easthampton, and Turners Falls, and families who are able to make small mortgage payments and participate in the home’s construction are encouraged to apply.  Learn more about the opportunities available and how to be successful in the application project on Saturday. March 16th from 10am-12noon at Greenfield Savings Bank  (282 Avenue A.) in  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter for a chance to win tickets!

Next Saturday, March 23rd from 10am-2pm – SUSTAINABILITY: A Community Resiliency Summit at the Cummington Community House.  This is a wonderful opportunity for families to network and find opportunities to get engaged in the community. Open to all, regardless of geography. Panels are planned on the topics “Food, Farm & Local Economy” and “Strengthening Local Institutions & Planning for Emergencies.” Lunch will be provided by the Village Church, followed by networking and discussions about steps we can take as a community to strengthen resiliency. Child-care will be provided.  Pre-register if possible. 413-634-5005. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

Easter EventsNext Sunday, March 24th from 12noon-4pm: MUSEUM ADVENTURES: There’s more to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute than its magnificent paintings. Celebrate the remarkable diversity and beauty of decorative arts in the collection—from elaborate works of silver and elegant furniture to charming teacups and colorful glass objects—at a free Decorative Arts Family Day. The day’s program offers plenty of fun for parents and children alike. Music, demonstrations, and art projects are just some of the activities that will highlight the decorative arts in the Clark’s collection. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Willamstown, MA (FREE)

On Friday, April 5th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community.  With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Must pre-register. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 16th-22nd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 9th-15th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

At the beginning of Maple Sugar Season last year we invited our readers to share with us how Maple Sugar Season gets their family outdoors and participating in the harvest with their community. We also invited them to share their favorite recipe that they like to make for/with their family breakfast/brunch hour. Check out what they had to share in our post, Seasons at Our Table: Maple Sugar.

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

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

BEST BETS

Saturday, March 9th from 9am-12pm in Hampshire CountyKIDS’ STUFF SWAP: Northampton Dept. of Public Works is holding a Kids’ Stuff Swap and Art Workshops, PopUp Artists’ Shop and Environmental Info table at Smith Vocational School. Pre-registration. 80 Locust St. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 9th from 10am-4:30pm in Franklin CountyHISTORY: Children in early New England had to work often to help their families survive – somehow, though, they still had time to play!  Visit Historic Deerfield today to learn about and try out many Colonial-era toys often enjoyed by children in early Deerfield.  Visitors can make their own toys to take home, and can even try on 18th-century clothing to see what they might have looked like as a child long ago.  413-775-7170.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

Sunday, March 10th from 11am-3pm in Hampden County – MAPLE HARVEST DAY: Storrowton Village Museum’s 8th annual Maple Harvest Day will showcase the history and lore of maple sugaring in the Gilbert Farmstead’s front yard with Sugar Maple tree tapping, sumac spile making and sap boiling over an open fire, to educate the public about the origin and legend of the tradition. Inside the historic home, docents will demonstrate 19th century open hearth cooking at the cozy kitchen fireplace as well as quilting and spinning wool. 413-205-5051. Eastern States Expo. West Springfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, March 10th at 1pm in Berkshire CountyANIMAL STUDIES: Meet some real-life bats today at the Berkshire Museum!  The museum is currently hosting an exhibit all about bats, which features specimens of actual bats, but no live bats.  However, today some fruit bats, a big brown bat, and a Malayan flying fox will all pay a visit to the museum!  Families can learn all about what bats eat, where they live, and the fragility of their populations before meeting the live bats.  Not to be missed – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

BULLETIN BOARD

March 9

Piti Theatre presents 4th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival on Sat., March 9 at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls. Family show at 2pm with Piti’s “To Bee or Not to Bee,” leading U.S. mask artist Larry Hunt of Masque Theater, children’s mask parade, syrup tasting, free Real Pickles and more! Evening show at 7pm for ages 8+ with Masque Theater’s 20 mask variety show, juggling/comedy with national touring actor Jack Golden, brother-sister duo June and the Bee. Family show $5, Evening $12/$8 under 16. Fri., 3/8: paper pattern mask making workshop for grades K – 5, 4:30 – 5:30 pm at Mem. Hall. Children can be in next day’s mask parade. Sun. 3/9: Mask Movement for ages 15+ at Hart Yoga, 1-4pm. info@ptco.org, www.ptco.org/shows/syrup

RH Conwell SchoolRH Conwell Community School of Worthington, MA is accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year with openings in all classes from Pre-K through 6th grade. Located in the heart of the Hilltowns of Western MA, Conwell is an affordable private school with a supportive environment, offering a rigorous, encouraging, and developmentally appropriate program to all students. Children are taught to think creatively, read critically, and reason logically. Conwell has a high level of parent and community involvement in both classroom and after school activities. Students are valued as individuals and learning plans are tailored to meet their needs and learning styles. For more information visit online at www.conwellcec.org or call 413-238-5856.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

SUGAR SHACKS: Sugar shacks all over Western MA are open, boiling down sap, flipping jacks, and serving both up fresh out of the kitchen.  Find a recommended Sugar Shack here: Where’s Your Favorite Sugar Shack in Western MA?.

MotherWoman is coming to the Hilltowns, offering two support groups to Hilltown mothers.  The first group meets on Mondays in Ashfield at St. John’s Corner House from 11am-12:30pm.  Expectant mothers welcome. Free childcare is available for children up to age four. Contact Anna Westley for more info at 413-625-6948. A second group will be hosted by the Cummington Family Center at the Cummington Community House on the 2nd Thursday each month from 10-11:30am.  Contact Stacey Mackowiak for more info at 413-634-8853.  More info on both at www.itavillage.com.

Enter to win a pair of tickets for a Parents’ Night Out!

Volunteers wanted for Salamander Tunnel Maintenance Day in Amherst on  Saturday, March 9th from 1-3pm. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment will be cleaning Salamander tunnels and drift fences on Henry Street.  Volunteers will be raking leaves, shoveling sand and debris, clipping brush, repairing plastic mesh fences, pounding in wooden stakes, and picking up litter and will have some tools and gloves available for families to help out (but please bring your own if you have them.). All ages are welcome! Henry Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Mark Your Calendars: March 16th Hilltown Families & Flywheel present another Saturday Morning Music Party in Easthampton!

Next Saturday, March 16th from 10am-12noon - MUSIC PARTY: Hilltown Families and Flywheel Presents a Saturday Morning Music Party with special guest, Shiprock & Anchordog. Bring the family for another family friendly morning of live music & free pancakes! Local group, Shiprock & Anchordog will bring us a mixed media performance of theater and video set to music in the Americana vein about the story of two dog heroes and their adventures through forests, oceans and dreamscapes. Free pancakes will be flipped onto your plates beginning at 10am. Kids of all ages welcome! Happens at Flywheel. 43 Main Street (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (>$)

We have 3 family 4-pack of tickets we’re giving away to see the musical Annie in Northampton, March 14-16!

Next Saturday, March 16th at 2pm - FILM/LITERATURE: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center hosts author Brian Selznick for a screening of the movie adaptation of his book, Hugo. The film (meant for families!) features Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese. Following the screening, Selznick discuss the process of transforming the book into film, and will answer audience questions. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. ($)

Next Sunday, March 17th at 11:30am – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Western MA’s most Irish city! The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade includes floats, dancers, and other performers from local groups and marches all over the city! Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 9th-15th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 2nd – 8th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Looking for a whiff of spring? Starting this Saturday, March 2nd, both Smith College Botanic Garden and Mount Holyoke College’s Botanic Garden spring flower shows open featuring hundreds of spring-blossoming bulbs! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Winter Bucket ListSaturday, March 2nd from 10am-4pm in Hampden CountyMUSEUM ADVENTURE: Happy 109th birthday, Dr. Seuss!  Celebrate today with the Springfield Museums, home of the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden.  Celebrations will take place all day long, including MYO Cat in the Hat bowties and birthday cards for Dr. Seuss, a chance to meet the Cat in the Hat himself, family science adventures, planetarium shows (additional charge), and a Dr. Seuss cake contest where visitors can vote for their favorite, most Seuss-est cake!  413-263-6800.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

Saturday, March 2nd at 10:30am in Hampshire CountyFAMILY PERFORMANCE: Grammy-nominated folk musician David Grover performs this morning at the Jones Library!  His beautiful music is unique amongst folk-style family music in that it speaks to people of all ages, and not just children.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, March 2nd at 1pm in Berkshire CountyMUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Family Curiosity Day at the Williams College Museum of Art!  Visit the museum to learn all about art – there will be gallery activities, artistic experiments, and lots of art projects!  413-597-3131.  15 Lawrence Hall Drive.  Williamstown, MA. 

Saturday, March 2nd from 11am-12:30pm in Franklin CountyLITERACY: Families with kids ages 6+ are invited to take part in a 6-week workshop series with professional storyteller John Porcino at the Dickinson Library!  Porcino will share beautiful children’s books with families, and the events are a celebration of stories – each week will focus on a new theme.  Registration required.  413-498-2455.  Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Mark Your Calendars: March 16th Hilltown Families & Flywheel present another Saturday Morning Music Party in Easthampton!

Next Saturday, March 9th from 9am-12pm in Hampshire County  – KIDS’ STUFF SWAP: Northampton Dept. of Public Works is holding a Kids’ Stuff Swap and Art Workshops, PopUp Artists’ Shop and Environmental Info table at Smith Vocational School. Pre-registration.  80 Locust St. Northampton, MA (FREE) 

Next Saturday, March 9th from 11am-2pm Berkshire CountyMAPLEFEST: Maple sugaring season has arrived once again, and Hopkins Memorial Forest host its annual celebration to usher in the new season. The celebration will allow people to both observe and take part in the maple syrup production process, from tapping a tree to checking out the finishing and bottling of the final product.  Participants will also be able to visit a working sugar house, assist with sap gathering, and taste the homemade syrup on pancakes and “sugar on snow.” In addition, there will be demonstrations of old-time evaporating methods, dating back to the pre-colonial era, as well as maple sugaring exhibits, videos, and more. Intersection of Bulkley Street & Northwest Hill Road. 413-597-4277. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Next Sunday, March 10th from 11am-3pm in Hampden County – MAPLE HARVEST DAY: Storrowton Village Museum’s 8th annual Maple Harvest Day  will showcase the history and lore of maple sugaring in the Gilbert Farmstead’s front yard with Sugar Maple tree tapping, sumac spile making and sap boiling over an open fire, to educate the public about the origin and legend of the tradition. Inside the historic home, docents will demonstrate 19th century open hearth cooking at the cozy kitchen fireplace as well as quilting and spinning wool. 413-205-5051. Eastern States Expo. West Springfield, MA (FREE) 

BULLETIN BOARD

March 3

Teen Social Justice Workshop: How Did Young People Lead the Drive for Workers’ Rights? Join Temple Israel (27 Pierce St.) in Greenfield on Sunday, March 3 from 12:30-2:30pm for the next in their series of teen social justice workshops exploring Jewish history and ethics. This week they will be learning about the essential role young people played in organizing the garment workers’ strikes in New York City. There will be history, study of Jewish ethical identity as expressed across the spectrum of religious observance, critical thinking activities and a special segment on learning Yiddish workers’ songs. Free and open to everyone. Refreshments will be provided. For more info contact Samantha Wood: cornerrobot@gmail.com. 413-522-3832

March 3

Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company at the Academy of Music Theatre, this Sunday, March 3rd, at 2pm. This vibrant performance will feature over 70 dancers of all ages as well as guest musicians Emerald Rae (a National Scottish Fiddle Champion) and Liz Simmons (a Honey Voiced Singer). Tickets are $12/adults, $10/seniors, $10/children and are available through the Academy of Music Theatre at www.academyofmusictheatre.com or by phone at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 (box office fees may apply). Join in the fun of the jigs and reels with your children at this toe tapping hand clapping afternoon of family fun!

March 9

Piti Theatre presents 4th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival on Sat., March 9 at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls. Family show at 2pm with Piti’s “To Bee or Not to Bee,” leading U.S. mask artist Larry Hunt of Masque Theater, children’s mask parade, syrup tasting, free Real Pickles and more! Evening show at 7pm for ages 8+ with Masque Theater’s 20 mask variety show, juggling/comedy with national touring actor Jack Golden, brother-sister duo June and the Bee. Family show $5, Evening $12/$8 under 16. Fri., 3/8: paper pattern mask making workshop for grades K – 5, 4:30 – 5:30 pm at Mem. Hall. Children can be in next day’s mask parade. Sun. 3/9: Mask Movement for ages 15+ at Hart Yoga, 1-4pm. info@ptco.org, www.ptco.org/shows/syrup

Beginning Feb 25

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in our Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to our Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

MotherWoman is coming to the Hilltowns, offering two support groups to Hilltown mothers.  The first group meets on Mondays in Ashfield at St. John’s Corner House from 11am-12:30pm, offering a free, safe, confidential drop-in group for mothers of infants & young children a place to feel heard, valued, understood, nurtured and energized.  Expectant mothers welcome. Free childcare is available for children up to age four. Contact Anna Westley for more info at 413-625-6948. A second group will be hosted by the Cummington Family Center at the Cummington Community House on the 2nd Thursday each month from 10-11:30am.  Contact Stacey Mackowiak for more info at 413-634-8853.  More info on both at www.itavillage.com.

Volunteers wanted for Salamander Tunnel Maintenance Day in Amherst on a Saturday in March (determined by the weather). One of Amherst’s many claims to fame are the Henry St. amphibian tunnels, North America’s first, designed to direct spotted salamanders under the road, thus avoiding the tires of passing autos. All are invited to ready the tunnels for the annual spring migration. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment will be raking leaves, shoveling sand and debris, clipping brush, repairing plastic mesh fences, pounding in wooden stakes, and picking up litter and will have some tools and gloves available for families to help out (but please bring your own if you have them.). All ages are welcome! FREE • Please call 413-256-6006 to be added to the call/email list to volunteer.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 2nd-8th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 23rd – March 1st, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Need to shake off some of that cabin fever? Heather from Northampton says, “Fill up a thermos with hot soup and go cross country skiing at Notchview (Windsor, MA) with the family.” One of many recommendations from our post, 50 Winter Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Saturday, February 23rd at 11am & 1pm in Hampden County – FAMILY CONCERT: SteveSongs is coming to the Springfield Museum for a family concert sure to get the kids dancing way! A “meet and greet” will follow each concert. Check out these videos to get ready for next weekend. Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, February 23rd from 10am-4pm in Berkshire County – WINTERFEST: City of North Adams’ 16th Annual WinterFest will have your family shaking of cabin fever! All of downtown will turn into a winter fun-land with activities happening all day, including horse-drawn wagon rides, ice sculptures, culinary delights, ice skating and many performances. 413-664-6180. Downtown. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Winter Bucket ListSaturday, February 23rd at 11am in Hampshire County – FAMILY CONCERT: The Northampton Community Music Center presents the Deedle Deedle Dees in concert at the Eric Carle Museum!  An educational rock band, the Deedle Deedle Dees sing about science, history, and everything in between, making their fun, catchy songs educational as well as entertaining.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 23rd at 11am in Franklin County – LUAU: Kids got cabin fever?  Pretend it’s summer for just a day – Chandler’s Restaurant is hosting a luau for kids!  Families can order lunch and enjoy special Hawaiian-themed food and drinks, as well as crafts, games, and Hawaiian music!  Reservations suggested.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Friday-Sunday, March 1st-3rd: WINTER CARNIVAL: The Holyoke Winter Carnival spans three days!  There will be a free luminaria event, ice skating, dog show, domino tournament, firemen’s hockey benefit, family movie night, chili cook-off, pancake breakfast, cake decorating contest, and spaghetti dinner featuring Zydeco Connection.  413-244-6766. Holyoke, MA 

Saturday, March 2nd from 10am-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Family Day at the Smith College Museum of Art.  Try your hand at several art projects inspired by fisherman, fireworks, flowers, and more on view in the Collecting Art of Asia exhibition.  Smith students will lead families with kids ages 4yo+ in projects, have snacks available and be on hand to assist.  Elm Street At Bedford Terrace. Smith College Museum of Art. Northampton, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 24

Purim Justice Fair, co-sponsored by Congregation Bnai Israel and Beit Ahavah, will be held Sunday, February 24, from 3:30-5:30pm at Beit Ahavah, 130 Pine St, Florence. This family-oriented Purim Festival is for all ages. Festivities will include spirited singing, interactive games and booths including face-painting, bingo, palm reading, blackjack, bowling and ring-toss. All proceeds (suggested donations $3-$5) from the event will go to support local and international social justice and environmental causes. Please bring canned food for a sculpture activity to donated to Northampton Survival Center. Bring homemade humantaschen to share to take part in our humantaschen bake-off contest. Come in costume! Contact: rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org

Beginning Feb 25

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in our Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to our Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

March

Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, MA is offering half-day Saturday workshops in March for students ages 13+. Try flameworking (glass beads and small sculpture), ceramics, digital printing on alternative surfaces, or stained glass with upcycled materials. A great parent/teen opportunity – or some creative alone time for mom or dad. Our instructors are fun, encouraging, and wildly talented. Our studios in a historic New England farm setting are comfortable and professionally equipped. Treat yourself! www.snowfarm.org/intergenerational-workshops.html. 413-268-3101. info@snowfarm-art.org.

Guess what’s growing in Pelham? A Preschool! One of the Valley’s pre-eminent elementary schools is growing to include a preschool in the fall of 2013! Pelham Elementary is renowned for its MCAS scores, respected for its staff, and revered for its reputation of being a caring, nurturing place for our youth. Open to residents of all towns, with a number of slots reserved for Pelham residents. Full day program, hours and prices competitive. Options for before and after school care. Make your child’s first experience in the world of education one to grow on. For details call 413-362-1101 or email Principal Lisa Desjarlais at desjarlaisl@arps.org.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer.  On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA.  Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

The Amherst Toy Library is now opening!  Offering free toy rentals for children up to 8 years old!  Located on the 2nd floor of the Bangs Community Center in downtown Amherst, the Toy Library is open Wed & Thurs from 11am-1pm and Fridays from 9am-12noon.  Donation of new or gently used toys (puzzles, games, block, etc) are needed, but not stuffed animals or cloth toys.  If you’d like to donate or volunteer, contact Randa or Shangzhu at amhersttoylibrary@gmail.com

Allison Scott, Youth Action Coalition Programs Liaison writes: “GirlsEyeView (GEV) offers a supportive and creative space for young women to express themselves through photography & creative writing, free of charge. We write stories & poems, share our ideas about important issues, & laugh! GEV exhibits work several times a year in our schools & in community spaces. In Ware, we create color and b&w photos using digital cameras & Photoshop. Our program is open to girls in middle & high school as well as those who are not in school. We meet Mon & Wed from 2:30-5pm at Ware Jr/Sr High School. In Amherst, we shoot with black & white film & manual cameras, & develop our prints in the darkroom. We’re open to 7th-9th grade girls & we meet Tues & Thurs from 2:30-5pm at Amherst Regional High School.”  www.youthactioncoalition.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 23rd-March 1st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 16th-22nd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

School playgrounds might be quiet next week, but there’s still a whole lotta fun going on during school Winter Vacation Week! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Children’s Theater at Williston Northampton performs “Wondrous Tales of Old Japan,” and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway for the opening day!

Saturday, February 16th from 9am-1pm in Hampden County – SPORTS: Celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day at Springfield College!  Girls will be able to try out and learn about new sports, and will learn about playing higher level sports from some dedicated female college athletes.  After the event, participants can cheer on the Springfield College women’s basketball team as they take on MIT.  Registration required.  Open to girls in grades K-6.  413-748-3000.  Alden Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, February 16th at 12noon in Berkshire County – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Show off your snow-building talents at the Lee Cabin Fever Festival’s Children’s Snow Sculpting Competition!  Build, stack, and scrape away until you’ve created a beautiful, icy masterpiece.  Takes place on the Town Green at 1:30pm, participate in (or watch!) the annual Strut Your Stuff Stroll down Main Street, where participants bare their skin in the cold – the event features swimsuit-clad walkers and runners!  Main Street.  Lee, MA (FREE)

Saturday, February 16th at 2-3:30pm in Franklin County – MARDI GRAS: Celebrate Mardi Gras as a family at the Winklepicker Ball!  The family-friendly event will feature live music from the Primate Fiasco, the valley’s own New Orleans-style street band.  Takes place upstairs at Ashfield Town Hall.  413-628-4003.  412 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  ($)

Saturday, February 16th at 2pm in Hampshire County – THEATER: Piti Theater Company – just back from a tour in Switzerland – brings their popular show To Bee or Not to Bee to the Northampton Center for the Arts!  Their original show teachers audiences about the important role that bees play in the production of food.  Beekeepers worldwide have been experiencing trouble maintaining bee populations in recent years – the show’s topic is timely and important.  Kids will learn positive ways to support bees while enjoying the show!  413-625-6569.  South Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, February 23rd at 11am & 1pm in Hampden County – FAMILY CONCERT: SteveSongs is coming to the Springfield Museum for a family concert sure to get the kids dancing way! A “meet and greet” will follow each concert. Check out these videos to get ready for next weekend. Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, February 23rd from 10am-4pm in Berkshire County – WINTERFEST: City of North Adams’ 16th Annual WinterFest will have your family shaking of cabin fever!  All of downtown will turn into a winter fun-land with activities happening all day, including horse-drawn wagon rides, ice sculptures, culinary delights, ice skating and many performances. 413-664-6180. Downtown. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Sunday, February 24th at 2pm in Hampshire County – VARIETY SHOW: The Really Big Show, the Pioneer Valley’s very own Ed Sullivan show, takes place at the Academy of Music Theatre.  Monte from The River will MC and the show will include a variety of talent, including s contortionists, poets, jugglers, opera stars, comedians, child prodigies, animal acts and many other forms of entertainment.  1-800-838-3006. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 16

Sunnyside Child Care Presents: “Hot Choco LA LA LA.” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. “Mister G is the musical equivalent of a tasty chocolate bar infused with a spicy chili kick!” -Scholastic Family and Children. Warm up with yummy hot chocolate, coffee, and pizza. Chill out by doing art with your friends. Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 16th from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine St. Florence MA). Tickets just $5 per person ($20 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Feb 18-22

February vacation at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Open Monday, Feb 18! Join the museum for storytimes, art making, scavenger hunts & live performances! See your friends, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, Babar, Shrek, and many others in their galleries. Plus, The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School presents, Goldilocks & the Three Bears: An Epic, Feb 19-22 at 11am, 1pm & 3pm [$6 (Members $5). Museum admission extra.]. So you think you know this tale? Think again! In this epic adaptation, there’s a lot more in store for Goldy than three bears, some chairs, and bowls of breakfast food. Fun for the whole family! Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk. 413-658-1126. www.carlemuseum.org

Feb 23 & 24

Beginning beekeepers will learn everything they need to know to keep bees in natural top bar hives when they attend a Gold Star Honeybees Weekend Intensive. The class is two full days, and packed with information! The class covers hive inspections, bee biology, wax and honey harvesting, problems like CCD, and why bees matter so much! Give your honey the sweet gift of beekeeping for Valentine’s Day! Location: Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA in the Cafe. Dates: Feb 23 & 24. Times: 8:30am – 4:00pm. Local/organic meals are included. Register online at www.goldstarhoneybees.com or call 207-449-1121. Instructor: Christy Hemenway, author of “The Thinking Beekeeper.” For more info: classes@goldstarhoneybees.com

March

Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, MA is offering half-day Saturday workshops in March for students ages 13+. Try flameworking (glass beads and small sculpture), ceramics, digital printing on alternative surfaces, or stained glass with upcycled materials. A great parent/teen opportunity – or some creative alone time for mom or dad. Our instructors are fun, encouraging, and wildly talented. Our studios in a historic New England farm setting are comfortable and professionally equipped. Treat yourself! www.snowfarm.org/intergenerational-workshops.html. 413-268-3101. info@snowfarm-art.org.

Guess what’s growing in Pelham? A Preschool! One of the Valley’s pre-eminent elementary schools is growing to include a preschool in the fall of 2013! Pelham Elementary is renowned for its MCAS scores, respected for its staff, and revered for its reputation of being a caring, nurturing place for our youth. Open to residents of all towns, with a number of slots reserved for Pelham residents. Full day program, hours and prices competitive. Options for before and after school care. Make your child’s first experience in the world of education one to grow on. For details call 413-362-1101 or email Principal Lisa Desjarlais at desjarlaisl@arps.org.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer.  On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA.  Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 16th-22nd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 9th-15th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

This weekend, 1,410 handmade tokens of community & friendship will be circulating through the USPS to be distributed throughout the four corners of Western MA as part of the 5th annual Handmade Valentine Swap!  Thank you to all of the families who joined us this year!  It was another great swap!

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

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

BEST BETS

[RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10th] Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective present a Saturday Morning Music Party, a breakfast bash featuring dancing, performances and diversions for kids! Flywheel kicks off the first of two installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party at 10am on February 9th, 2013 at their headquarters in the town hall building at 43 Main Street in Easthampton, MA. This event is free and open to families and kids of all ages. Following breakfast, there will be a screening of a classic episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, an 80s-era, cult-classic kids’ television show. After the show, kids join DJ Youthelectronix for the best ever dance party before noon. Snow date: Sunday, February 10th at 10am.

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its eighth year, celebrate the past seven with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 13th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

By special arrangement with Hilltown Families, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is pleased to offer our readers a rare opportunity to take in a classic Shakespearean performance paired with a guided tour backstage. On Friday, Feb. 15th at 10am, schools and homeschooling families are invited to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tina Packer Playhouse, followed by a backstage guided tour where participants can learn how the process of theatre is crafted in the costume shop, prop studio, and production workshop. Tickets for this package are only $8/person and a Study Guide for educators is available to download before attending. To reserve discounted tickets, contact Alexandra Lincoln, and let her know you are a Hilltown Families reader: 413-637-1199 x131. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. www.Shakespeare.org.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater on Tuesday, February 19th at 2pm, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA!

ART RECEPTION:  Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit of Life and Landscape in Western MA is currently being shown at the Forbes Library’s Hosmer Gallery!  There will be an artist reception on Wednesday, February 13th from 6-8pm, a chance to view the images featured here on Hilltown Families over the years, meet the artist, and reflect on what it means to live, work, and play here in Western MA.  The show’s vibrant images showcase some of the best – and most beautiful – parts of life unique to our area, and celebrate local culture and values.  413-587-1013.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Children’s Theater at Williston Northampton performs “Wondrous Tales of Old Japan,” and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway for the opening day!

KIDS ICE FISHING DERBY IN THE HILLTOWNS: Ashfield Rod &  Gun Club’s annual children’s ice fishing derby.  This year’s annual children’s ice fishing derby will be held on Saturday, February 16th on Ashfield Lake, from 8am to 12Noon.  All school age children are invited to attend and take part in this fun event.  Prizes will be awarded. After the fishing derby there will be a spaghetti lunch held at Sanderson Academy ($5 for adults).  Following the lunch a presentation will be given by Tom Ricardi on birds of prey. For more info call Joe Miraglia 413-628-4400, or Ken Magdycz 413-634-5585. Ashfield, MA (FREE)CHILDREN’S CONCERT: Johnny Appleseed, The Legend and Truth, will be performed, among other works, by Jane Yolen, accompanied by musicians at the Smith College Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall on Saturday, February 16th. Northampton, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 9, 16, & 23

Come to Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield for a Fancy Nancy luncheon on Feb. 2nd and 16th at 11am. Dress fancy for the luncheon while a special guest reads Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor. Full kids menu will be available with cupcakes for dessert! Make your reservations soon for Kid’s Cooking Class on Sat., Feb. 9th at 10:30am. $25/child includes lunch, instruction & lunch for one accompanying adult. Space is limited. Turn February vacation into a tropical vacation at our Winter Luau for the kids on Sat., Feb. 23rd at 11am. Full kids menu will be available along with some great specials and summery drinks! Crafts, games & Hawaiian music are on the agenda. Come dressed in your tropical finest! Reservations are requested: 413-665-1277.

Win a pair of tickets for a Parents’ Night Out to the WinklePicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball with music by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Feb 16 at 8pm at the Ashfield Town Hall. Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 02/12/13 by 11:59pm (EST)..

Feb 15-17

Celebrate the amazing food, festive music & vibrant culture of New Orleans at the 2nd Annual WinklePicker Festival, Feb. 15-17 in Ashfield! It’s a weekend-long Mardi Gras party – costumes, dancing, gumbo and all! This year they’re throwing not one but TWO Mardi Gras Balls. Saturday afternoon it’s a Family Ball with The Primate Fiasco, and that night, a Grown-Ups Ball with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Sunday lineup: afternoon conversation/performance by Charles Neville & an evening concert with Eilen Jewell. Take a “Cooking New Orleans” class with Chef Carlos Neville, and enjoy authentic New Orleans dinners at Elmer’s, and a Sunday Gospel Brunch too. Advance tickets and more information at WinklePickerFest.com or call 413-638-4003.

Winklepicker Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Ball with The Primate Fiasco! Win a family 4-pack of tickets and shake off the winter blues at the Ashfield Town Hall during a winter afternoon of family-friendly creole fun on Feb 16 at 2pm! Deadline to enter to win: 02/12/13 by 11:59pm (EST).

Feb 16

WinklePicker Festival “Cooking New Orleans” Class: Learn to cook authentic New Orleans cuisine with Chef Carlos Neville, of Susan Spicer’s top New Orleans restaurant, Bayona! Chef Carlos, son of Neville Brother Charles Neville, and a longtime culinary school pastry and baking tutor, will teach you to cook like the biggest chefs do – sublimely. His food is absolutely the best New Orleans food outside that city. The class will be held Saturday, February 16th from 10am – 12:30pm, upstairs at Elmer’s Store, 396 Main St, Ashfield. Just come as you are, all materials needed are included. Capacity is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended. $65/class. Tickets are at Elmer’s Store and www.WinklePickerFest.com, or call 413-628-4003.

Feb 16

Sunnyside Child Care Presents: “Hot Choco LA LA LA.” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. “Mister G is the musical equivalent of a tasty chocolate bar infused with a spicy chili kick!” -Scholastic Family and Children. Warm up with yummy hot chocolate, coffee, and pizza. Chill out by doing art with your friends. Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 16th from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine St. Florence MA). Tickets just $5 per person ($20 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Thursdays

Having a Baby? Our Experts Help You Understand Your Options. The staff at Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center know parents lead busy lives. That’s why organizers offer a childbirth education series held weekday evenings and weekends. Each series provide answers to questions about labor, birth, newborn care, breastfeeding, and more. Download the Having a Baby flyer here or register at www.cooley-dickinson.org/events. Baby is here. Now what? Once baby is born, parents don’t know what to expect. Join Beyond Birth, a group of new parents and babies up to four months old, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital Thursdays from 1–3 pm. A parent education specialist guides the group and answers questions. All are welcome no matter where you gave birth.

February

Cup & Top in Florence, MAFebruary is Cup and Top Cafe’s birthday month and it’s turning 7! To celebrate, every day in February, the cafe’s 77th customer will receive a $7 coupon to Cup and Top Cafe. It’s Cup and Top’s way of saying thank you for supporting a family friendly cafe where parents can meet to enjoy fair trade, organic coffee, and delicious food sourced from local farms, while their children enjoy themselves in the creative play space. So stop by Cup and Top Cafe in February, enjoy a treat, browse the walls and shelves adorned by local artists, and give yourself a chance to win! Cup and Top Cafe is located at 1 N. Main Street in Florence. See more at www.cupandtop.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 9th-15th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 2nd-8th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Ice Sculpture in Northampton

Northampton Center for the Arts writes: “Art celebrates ice one more time, as the third annual Northampton Ice Art Festival gets underway on Friday, February 8, 2013. The public is invited to witness the creation of fabulous ice sculptures that will grace a dozen downtown locations. Work starts at 10 am on the day of the event, and completed pieces will highlight Northampton’s “Arts Night Out,” 5pm-8pm. The icy masterpieces remain on display throughout the weekend—longer, if the weather cooperates.” 10 artists will carve 12 ice sculptures along the streets during Arts Night Out. Download a map here, (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Friday-Sunday, February 1st-3rdWINTER FESTIVAL: The city of Greenfield’s annual Winter Carnival takes place all weekend, featuring an incredibly wide variety of wintry family-friendly events, both inside and out!  Highlights include the annual Sleigh Bell Run, a snowshoe trek, public skating, women’s hockey game.  Saturday is Family Fun Day, meaning that there will be lots of exciting indoor events at the Greenfield Youth Center all day long!  There will be a special performance featuring Jack Golden at 10am, a LEGO competition, face painting, crafts, games, and more.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE, $)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective present a Saturday Morning Music Party, a breakfast bash featuring dancing, performances and diversions for kids! Flywheel kicks off the first of two installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party at 10am on February 9th, 2013 at their headquarters in the town hall building at 43 Main Street in Easthampton, MA. This event is free and open to families and kids of all ages. Following breakfast, there will be a screening of a classic episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, an 80s-era, cult-classic kids’ television show. After the show, kids join DJ Youthelectronix for the best ever dance party before noon.

By special arrangement with Hilltown Families, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is pleased to offer our readers a rare opportunity to take in a classic Shakespearean performance paired with a guided tour backstage. On Friday, Feb. 15th at 10am, schools and homeschooling families are invited to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tina Packer Playhouse, followed by a backstage guided tour where participants can learn how the process of theatre is crafted in the costume shop, prop studio, and production workshop. Tickets for this package are only $8/person and a Study Guide for educators is available to download before attending. To reserve discounted tickets, contact Alexandra Lincoln, and let her know you are a Hilltown Families reader: 413-637-1199 x131. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. www.Shakespeare.org.

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its eighth year, celebrate the past seven with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 13th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 26

On Sunday, Feb 3rd Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. Admissions information available. All activities are free. www.centerschool.net Birds of Prey Open House, K-5th, Sun. Feb. 3, 1-4pm. Greenfield Center School is now accepting applications for fall 2013.

Feb 2, 9, 16, & 23

Come to Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield for a Fancy Nancy luncheon on Feb. 2nd and 16th at 11am. Dress fancy for the luncheon while a special guest reads Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor. Full kids menu will be available with cupcakes for dessert! Make your reservations soon for Kid’s Cooking Class on Sat., Feb. 9th at 10:30am. $25/child includes lunch, instruction & lunch for one accompanying adult. Space is limited. Turn February vacation into a tropical vacation at our Winter Luau for the kids on Sat., Feb. 23rd at 11am. Full kids menu will be available along with some great specials and summery drinks! Crafts, games & Hawaiian music are on the agenda. Come dressed in your tropical finest! Reservations are requested: 413-665-1277.

Win a pair of tickets for a Parents’ Night Out to the WinklePicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball with music by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Feb 16 at 8pm at the Ashfield Town Hall. Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 02/12/13 by 11:59pm (EST)..

Feb 15-17

Celebrate the amazing food, festive music & vibrant culture of New Orleans at the 2nd Annual WinklePicker Festival, Feb. 15-17 in Ashfield! It’s a weekend-long Mardi Gras party – costumes, dancing, gumbo and all! This year they’re throwing not one but TWO Mardi Gras Balls. Saturday afternoon it’s a Family Ball with The Primate Fiasco, and that night, a Grown-Ups Ball with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Sunday lineup: afternoon conversation/performance by Charles Neville & an evening concert with Eilen Jewell. Take a “Cooking New Orleans” class with Chef Carlos Neville, and enjoy authentic New Orleans dinners at Elmer’s, and a Sunday Gospel Brunch too. Advance tickets and more information at WinklePickerFest.com or call 413-638-4003.

Winklepicker Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Ball with The Primate Fiasco! Win a family 4-pack of tickets and shake off the winter blues at the Ashfield Town Hall during a winter afternoon of family-friendly creole fun on Feb 16 at 2pm! Deadline to enter to win: 02/12/13 by 11:59pm (EST).

Feb 16

WinklePicker Festival “Cooking New Orleans” Class: Learn to cook authentic New Orleans cuisine with Chef Carlos Neville, of Susan Spicer’s top New Orleans restaurant, Bayona! Chef Carlos, son of Neville Brother Charles Neville, and a longtime culinary school pastry and baking tutor, will teach you to cook like the biggest chefs do – sublimely. His food is absolutely the best New Orleans food outside that city. The class will be held Saturday, February 16th from 10am – 12:30pm, upstairs at Elmer’s Store, 396 Main St, Ashfield. Just come as you are, all materials needed are included. Capacity is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended. $65/class. Tickets are at Elmer’s Store and www.WinklePickerFest.com, or call 413-628-4003.

Join Sheep Shares Yarn & Fiber CSA and be a part of a local fiber farm. Yarn and/or fiber shares are shipped in spring and fall. Springdelle Farm is a 220 acre sheep farm located in Shelburne’s bucolic Patten District. The farm hosts special events for CSA members: Shearing Day Celebration (April); Strolling of the Sheep (June); Fiber Foliage & Friends (October). CSA has been featured in the Valley Advocate and Massachusetts Preview Magazine. For details visit www.foxfirefiber.com or email: barb@foxfirefiber.com.

Thursdays

Having a Baby? Our Experts Help You Understand Your Options. The staff at Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center know parents lead busy lives. That’s why organizers offer a childbirth education series held weekday evenings and weekends. Each series provide answers to questions about labor, birth, newborn care, breastfeeding, and more. Download the Having a Baby flyer here or register at www.cooley-dickinson.org/events. Baby is here. Now what? Once baby is born, parents don’t know what to expect. Join Beyond Birth, a group of new parents and babies up to four months old, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital Thursdays from 1–3 pm. A parent education specialist guides the group and answers questions. All are welcome no matter where you gave birth.

February

Cup & Top in Florence, MAFebruary is Cup and Top Cafe’s birthday month and it’s turning 7! To celebrate, every day in February, the cafe’s 77th customer will receive a $7 coupon to Cup and Top Cafe. It’s Cup and Top’s way of saying thank you for supporting a family friendly cafe where parents can meet to enjoy fair trade, organic coffee, and delicious food sourced from local farms, while their children enjoy themselves in the creative play space. So stop by Cup and Top Cafe in February, enjoy a treat, browse the walls and shelves adorned by local artists, and give yourself a chance to win! Cup and Top Cafe is located at 1 N. Main Street in Florence. See more at www.cupandtop.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 2nd – 8th, 2013

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Berkshire Family Fun

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50 Winter Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA

Winter Bucket List
Reader Recommendations for Western MA

Elise Gibson of Williamsburg writes, “Pack up your cross-country skis AND your ice skates and head to the DAR State Forest in Goshen. Once you’re there you can judge the conditions and see which activity suits the day. Sometimes we do both! Plus, no fee in the wintertime!” (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Western Massachusetts is rich in opportunities to get out and about with the family… any time of the year!  Winter offers outdoor activities like snowshoeing, sledding, skiing and ice skating.  And local businesses and attractions welcome you indoors to warm up with comforts, culture and entertainment.  Whether you’re visiting the area, or are fortunate enough to live here year round, winter in Western MA is a joyous time of year!

We asked our readers to recommend their favorite attractions, must see or must do family activities during the winter, and we received fifty great tips.  While not an exhaustive list (nor in any order) of the fun adventures families can have in Western MA, it’s a great place to start.  If you have a recommendation to add to this list, please do!  Post your suggestion below.

  1. “We’re looking forward to renting a cabin at Mohawk Trail State Forest (Charlemont, MA).” – Amy Meltzer (Northampton, MA)
  2. “The things I most enjoy… going ice skating on Ashfield Lake and DAR State Forest; going sledding on the Ashfield Golf Course.” – Laura Arruda (Ashfield, MA)
  3. Ice skating at UMass Mullins Center, snow shoeing to the Northfield Mountain Chocolate Pot, and pond hockey and sledding wherever we can!” – Rebecca Chambers (Amherst, MA)
  4. “Fill up a thermos with hot soup and go cross country skiing at Notchview (Windsor, MA) with the family.” – Heather (Northampton, MA)
  5. “My 3 and 5 yr old daughters and I LOVE to warm up inside the Smith College greenhouses! The bulb show in March is refreshing and vibrant. It’s fun to be in the humid greenhouses while its a winter wonderland outside.” – Heather Johnson
  6. “Holyoke has done a great job making over Community Field. They’re supposed to have ice skating and hot chocolate in the winter.” – Christa Figueroa (Holyoke, MA)
  7. “If you aren’t a member of one of the best spots in the Berkshires- you are missing out! We join the Berkshire Museum as a family and Grandma and Grandpa can bring our grandchildren there all year for free. We have 6 grandchildren and they love the aquarium, the digging for bones, natural history, Native American dress-up, vacation plays or feeding times for fish, discounts on all things charged and the gift shop. As another benefit you will be given a list of hundreds of museums across the country to enter free with this membership- such as NY museums, the Boston science center and SO many other great things. Join- support the area and take advantage of SO much.” – Bernice Hagan
  8. “Catching a Springfield Falcons ice hockey game or a Springfield Armor basketball game at the Mass Mutual Center (Springfield, MA)  is always a fun family outing.” – Christine Curtis (South Hadley, MA)
  9. “Always a perfect spot to go sledding behind C.T. Plunkett Elementary School in Adams… hike and explore Greylock Glen while there.” – Kim Robert
  10. “The Springfield Museums always have a family friendly exhibit!” – Ellen Rustico (Goshen, MA)
  11. Monson Library has some great events: a science club on Thursday afternoon once a month; Lego club; book club; and many more.” – Jo Sauriol
  12. “Cross country ski at Stump Sprouts (Hawley, MA). Hot chocolate at Mocha Maya’s (Shelburne Falls, MA). Ice skate or broom hockey! Bake a batch of cowboy cookies and cozy down for an indoor snow day with a good book or a movie. Invite friends for pancakes on Sunday. Snowshoe the neighborhood on a snow day. All fun things we do in winter!” –Dory Pelletier (Belchertown, MA)
  13. “The banks of the Westfield River when the ice begins to break up. It’s so awesome to see the different kinds of ice layered in massive chunks stranded on the banks.” Deanna Scarfe (West Chesterfield, MA)
  14. “The Cyr Skating Arena (Springfield, MA) is one of my families favorite places to go in the winter. They have ice skating sessions open to the public and very affordable. And you can bring your own skates or rent some there. It is located in Forest Park in Springfield, the same place as Bright Nights.” – Heather Houghton-Smith (East Longmeadow, MA)
  15. “Love to snowshoe at Northfield Mountain.” – Bonnie beth Pierce (Greenfield, MA)
  16. “Visit the Windsor Library – there are always new books. I can’t keep up with the Librarian’s wonderful choices!” – Valerie Kohn (Windsor, MA)
  17. “There are so many great winter activities in Western MA to choose from! Here a few of my favorites: Indoor: escaping to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory (South Deerfield, MA) and sampling first run of the year maple syrup at a sugar shack. Outdoor: hiking at Mount Tom State Reservation (Holyoke, MA) or cross-country skiing a trail in the woods.” – Susan VanPelt (Holyoke, MA)
  18. “I love to visit the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls. Here you can learn about the Connecticut River Watershed’s rich natural, cultural and industrial history.” – Sylvia Snape (Plainfield, MA)
  19. “Find any snowmobile trail and follow it (Regardless of whether or not you have a snowmobile)!” – Miranda Edison (Worthington, MA)
  20. “Go see a frozen waterfall. Check out your favorite summer spot and see all the cool ice formations.” – Maxine Oland (Belchertown, MA)
  21. “Walking from our house (downtown Northampton) to the Smith College greenhouses and then going to share a pot of tea at a coffee shop.” – Lisa Andrews (Northampton, MA)
  22. “A trip to Yankee Candle (South Deerfield, MA) never gets old, especially for young kids. We go about once a month in the winter. We walk around the whole place (great for tiring out toddlers), smell candles, and visit Santa’s workshop. In Santa’s workshop they have a train table for kids to play at and it’s always a big hit with our two little ones.” – Kristen Estelle (Goshen, MA)
  23. “Come shopping in Shelburne Falls. Holiday lights strung across Bridge street. Galleries with local crafts. Walk along the Bridge of Flowers. Have lunch or dinner in one of the fine restaurants.” – Karen Powers
  24. Sledding at the Worthington Golf Club hill — and after that if you’re still ready for more winter fun — across the street is ice skating on the pond – maybe a pick up ice hockey game for little ones … Being a thermos of hot cocoa to keep toasty!” – Amy Kane Coyne (Hinsdale MA)  Read the rest of this entry »

30 Autumn Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA

Autumn Bucket List
Reader Recommendations for Western MA

“The Ashfield Fall Festival is one of the most memorable small town events in the Pioneer Valley. Arrive early and have pancakes and strong coffee at Elmer’s, then step out and enjoy all that the town has to offer.” – Ken Johnston (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Western Massachusetts is a glorious region to explore with family and friends in the fall as the leaves start to change and drop, and harvest festivals and seasonal traditions happen each weekend. Whether you’re visiting the area, or are fortunate enough to live here year round, Western MA in the fall is one of the most beautiful places to be! We asked our readers to recommend their favorite attractions, must see or must do family activities during the fall, and we received thirty great tips.  While not an exhaustive list (nor in any order) of the fun adventures families can have in Western MA, it’s a great place to start.  If you have a recommendation to add to this list, please do!  Post your suggestion below.

  1. “One of my favorite fall destinations in Western MA is the Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival in October. Lots of things to see and do for both adults and kids…food, crafts, games, white elephant and book sales…not to mention the gardens themselves! Very affordable too!” – Rosy Crittendon (Otis, MA)
  2. “Go to Atkins Farms (Amherst) and get fresh hot apple cider and a bag of cider donuts. Eat a few donuts while sipping your hot cider, then hike to the top of Skinner Mountain and enjoy the rest of the bag as your reward.” – Shannon Dillard (Holyoke, MA)
  3. “We love the Berkshire Coaching Weekend. It is held every other year over Columbus Day weekend, falling on the even years. They have carriage drives to the Norman Rockwell Museum, The Mount, and Shakespeare & Co. It is free to go and watch them arrive or depart. Then you can walk among the carriages and ask questions. It is quite spectacular!” – Gretchen Fairfield (Lenox Dale, MA)
  4. “The Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield) is a great rainy-day trip for the family and kids. Head to Coldstone Creamery in the same complex for a cool treat.” – Mary Rarogiewicz (Springfield, MA)
  5. Franklin County Pumpkinfest!” – Marya LaRoche (Cheshire, MA)
  6. “My favorite family autumn attraction is to visit Outlook Farm on Rte. 66 in Westhampton! They offer apple picking, hay rides with horses, BBQ, ice cream, cider, pumpkins and even live music! They sell their own fruits and vegetables, and offer a wide selection of pork products. Their pulled pork, bacon, ham and sausage are outta this world! It really is a fun-filled day my family and I have enjoyed for years.” -Risa Mantino (Lunenburg, MA)
  7. Lakeview Orchards in Lanesboro.  Apple picking, hayrides, and warm apple cider donuts. Along with great views.” - Kenna Major (Adams, MA)
  8. “Apple picking at Pine Hill Orchards (Colrain), then baking pies with the kids.” – Victoria Lenois (Colrain, MA)
  9. “Definitely the Big E (West Springfield)!! Best fair of all time. Enjoy a main baked potato followed by a cup of hot apple cider. I would also recommend going to pick some pumpkins and enjoy some cider donuts at Atkins Farms (Amherst).” – Kristen Frodema
  10. “Okay, fall time is to have fun, so Mike’s Corn Maze first in Sunderland, then off to Long Hollow Bison Farm in Hadley. How about dinner at the Goten of Japan (Sunderland) where they cook the food in front of you?” – Pamela Brown
  11. “Get a lunch to go from Tail Gate in South Hadley and bring with you to eat after a hike at MT. Tom Reservation. Or go to Skinner Mountain, take a look at the scenery, and eat your lunch on the rocks on top of the mountain and take in the view. Absolutely amazing. End your day by going to Atkins Farms (Amherst) for cider doughnuts and cider.” – Megan Brunelle (Holyoke, MA)
  12. “Leaf peeping as we ride to Hilltop Orchard (Richmond) to go apple picking, hayride, cider donuts and apple cider. Mom and Dad get a bottle of wine to take home for the holidays.” – Lorna (Wilbraham, MA)
  13. “Taking a leaf-peeping drive through The Quabbin…” -  Jennifer Meighan (Belchertown, MA)
  14. “I recommend taking a ride to South Deerfield to Yankee Candle and then go down the road to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens. Not only will you be visiting two amazing places, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the breathtaking foliage!!!” – Sue Messier
  15. “I enjoy taking my family to Whitney’s Farm pumpkin patch (Cheshire)! They have an amazing assortment of fall activities including haunted hay maze, pony rides, giant slide and of course pumpkin picking! My kids favorite time of year!” – Jennifer Carchedi (Pittsfield, MA) Read the rest of this entry »

77 Summer Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA

Summer Bucket List
Reader Recommendations for Western MA

The Cummington Fair is a gem of an agricultural fair that happens every August in the heart of the Hilltowns. Mark Melhorn, Arjuna Greist and Piet Slaghekke all picked “The Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country” for our Summer Bucket List! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

With it’s natural beauty, local food, family attractions and community festivals and fairs, Western Massachusetts is a haven for family fun.  Whether you’re visiting the area, or are fortunate enough to live here year round, the region in the summer is an engaging place to vacation or staycation! We asked our readers to recommend their favorite attractions, day trips, must see or must do family activities, and we received 77 great tips.  While not an exhaustive list (nor in any order) of the fun and adventure families can have in Western MA, it’s a great place to start.  If you have a recommendation to add to this list, please do!  Post your suggestion below.

  1. “The (free!) spray park at the Beachgrounds Park in South Hadley.” — Sandra Dias (Holyoke, MA)
  2. “We love to go blueberry picking at River Valley Farm in Whately!” — Laura Muller (Amherst, MA)
  3. “I like to pick up sandwiches and Polish treats from BBA Deli Market in South Deerfield, then hike up Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation for a picnic with a view.” — April Genung (Sunderland, MA)
  4. Musante Beach is a relaxing and inexpensive way to spend the afternoons reading, swimming and picnicking.” — Keith Lepine (Northampton, MA)
  5. “I love to take a picnic to Greenfield Energy Park with my daughter and enjoy the music. She loves the music, play structure, and trains. Buckland Recreation also has movies out by the pool at night during the summer. Next best thing to the old drive-ins! (Northfield Drive-In is also a great summer activity….)” — H Loomis
  6. “We love to go to Chapel Brook; a beautiful land near Ashfield protected by the Trustees of the Reservation. On one side of the road there’s is a lovely hike where beginning rock climbers can practice their skills. On the other side of the road is a series of cascading waterfalls, one even safe & gentle enough to slide down (with caution!). The water is deliciously icy-cold even on the warmest of summer days.” — Christy Winslow (Northampton, MA)
  7. Mass MoCA combined with Natural Bridge State Park (North Adams, MA) is always a good day trip. More locally, the Mill River offers countless great spots to bath–many of which are along our excellent bike paths.” — Ruth von Goeler (Northampton, MA)
  8. “Frisbee in Child’s Park in Northampton. This park seems to be the most under utilized resource in the area. This well manicured gem harkens back to another time.” — Glenn Sullivan (Holyoke, MA)
  9. “Walking on the Quabbin Dam (Belchertown, MA). It is a great place to take pictures of the kids.” — Matthew Galman (Shutesbury, MA)
  10. “The Eric Carle Museum (Amherst, MA) is a great place to spend some time.” — Eugenie Wu (Shutesbury, MA)
  11. “Any way you can float down the Deerfield River. It is sheer joy. It’s great 3 seasons, but late spring is very special – beautiful and exciting!” — Laurie Goddard
  12. “Yelena’s Flavorland Soft Serve in Turners Falls.” —Glenn Johnson (Greenfield, MA)
  13. “The Upper Valley Music Festival in Turners Falls. It’s a noon to midnight event that takes place at multiple venues (including Great Hall at Great Falls Discovery Center) in downtown Turners. Celtic music, singer-songwriters, rock n’ roll, contra dancing, you name it. The days events (including lots of opportunities to dance) are family friendly. And all proceeds benefits the American Cancer Society to boot. Check it out. ” — Chris Scanlon
  14. “Our favorite event is Yankee Doodle Days in Charlemont they have great fireworks and a demo Derby! Favorite everyday activities are the bike trails (i.e. Norwottuck and the Turners Falls one)” — Jen Knight (Bernardston, MA)
  15. “We always make sure to go to the 3 County Fairgrounds (Northampton, MA) to catch a horse show, preferably the sliders – it is truly amazing.” — Heather Polson (Northampton, MA)
  16. “Visit the Peace Pagoda in Leverett.” — Marion Hohn (Amherst, MA)
  17. Conway Station. Hike in and swim in that crystal clear water!” —Marissa Potter (Shelburne Falls, MA)
  18. “We love to go to the Heath Fair! It’s the perfect family day trip. Be sure to watch the herding dogs, eat lots of good food and jump into the cross cut saw competition!!” — Zoe Johnson (Ashfield, MA)
  19. “I second the Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out stage. Also weekends at Camp Norwich (Huntington, MA) for members of the Northampton YMCA.” — Amy Meltzer (Northamtpon, MA)
  20. “Summer isn’t complete without canoeing or kayaking (lots of places, but especially the DAR during blueberry season), blueberry picking at Fox Run, a summer hike at Graves Farms, soft serve from Village Green Greenhouse and Ice Cream (Williamsburg, MA) . . .” — Sara Barry (Haydenville, MA)
  21. “We would go to Puffer’s Pond (Amherst, MA) every day if we could!” — Karen Bayne (Northampton, MA)
  22. “On of our favorite summertime activities is playing Poohsticks on the bridge at the Mill River Recreation Area, and then walking on the trail to the Puffer’s waterfall.” —Melissa Miller (Amherst, MA)
  23. “Swimming at Ashfield Lake and then eating on the deck at the Ashfield Lake House!” — Rona Leventhal
  24. “Hot summer days mean heading to Flayvors of Cook Farm in Hadley for great ice cream and finding a spot to fish on a local river and if it has a rope swing~ bonus!” —Glenda Datsko (Greenfield, MA)
  25. “The Cummington Fair in late August is fun for the whole family.” — Arjuna Greist (Greenfield, MA)  Read the rest of this entry »

Documentary on the History of Traveling the Mohawk Trail by Berkshire Students

Tales from the Trail:
Four Centuries of Travels Along the Mohawk Trail

By Gabriel Abbott Memorial School Students
(Florida, MA)

The Mohawk Trail has been an important transportation route to communities across the northwestern part of Massachusetts for hundreds of years.  Though the types of vehicles used for transportation and the purpose of transportation have changed, the Mohawk Trail remains an important route through the Western Massachusetts.

Students from Gabriel Abbott Memorial School in Florida, MA conducted a year-long study of the history of the Mohawk Trail, and their work has been made into a full-length documentary!  Students in grades 4-7 worked to conduct interviews with community members (featured in the film) and used primary and secondary resources to piece together the story of the Mohawk Trail’s role in the community throughout its history.

Titled, “Tales from the Trail: Four Centuries of Travels Along the Mohawk Trail,” the film is a full 90-minutes long, and is available for viewing at www.abbottmemorial.org. Watch it as a family to learn about Western MA history, the advancement of transportation, and the gradual changes in culture that the area has seen.

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