31 Community Highlights: Lava Lamps to Cannonballs. Tap Dancing to Rotochutes.

Cannonballs are an excellent way to support an interests in math and history! Kids can learn about physics and how sailors in the past sent cannonballs through the air at the Westfield Athenaeum on Tuesday morning, July 29 during their free program, Under Pressure! Presented by the USS Constitution Museum, this hands on event will be a “blast” for the entire family!

Lava Lamps to Cannonballs. Biomimicry to Experimentology. Tap Dancing to Rotochutes… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week: Do you ever wonder what life was like in New England during the Civil War? On Friday, August 1st, families can experience life in 1860s Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Library’s “Stroll Back in Time: Life Along Main Street 150 Years Ago,” a free event that transforms Stockbridge’s Main Street into a mid-1800s New England village with historically accurate activities like chores, games, and more. Learn about professions of the time by seeing a blacksmith forge horseshoes and meeting a local shopkeeper, hear music from the Civil War era, enjoy historic games, and discover how people lived 150 years ago. This is a unique opportunity to see Stockbridge as it once was and to think about the ways the town has changed since the 1860s.


AstronomyMusic StudiesNature AdventuresCommunity MealsPresidential HistorySTEMAnimal StudiesLocal HistoryHikesTheaterInsectsCrafts


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

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Suggested Events for July 26th-August 1st, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“We have been using the Hilltown Families eNewsletter for the past several years. We find activities that we can all enjoy such as activities at local library’s, outdoor music venues and dance opportunities for families.” – Margaret Ezell (West Whately, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 26

Gustfer Yellowgold at The Carle this Saturday, July 26th in Amherst! Enjoy a unique blend of live music, animated illustrations, and storytelling by award-winning performer Morgan Taylor. Come to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Saturday, July 26 and meet Gustafer Yellowgold! Yellowgold is a small, yellow, cone-headed fellow who came from the Sun and landed in Minnesota. The show will include a brand new hand-drawn animated music video and Top-10 hit “Cakenstein,” along with plenty of other fan favorites! Performance begins at 11 am and tickets are $7 and may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126.

Jul 30-Aug 2

PaintBox Theatre, Northampton’s theatre of imagination and improvisation for all ages, presents the world stage premiere of Cornelia Funke’s picture book, Pirate Girl, adapted and directed by Tom McCabe. Pirates, singing and carrying on, audience participation, bad jokes from Captain Firebeard, art from local children, a band of silvery pirates from the Northampton Senior Center—all without any scurvy or seasickness! Performances are Wed., July 30 – Sat., Aug. 2, 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-320-0517. Stay tuned for Tarzan, August 13-16 at the Three County Fairgrounds! www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Aug 1,6 & 13

The fun continues this summer at the Springfield Museums! There’s the Life Through Time exhibit of roaring, stomping mechanical dinosaurs and Ice-age mammals (extra fee), plus enjoy art and science activities, live reptile demos and more every weekday at the Summer Spectacular Family Series. There are also great family shows every Wednesday – Friday, including the Tanglewood Marionettes on Thursdays, Bubblemania with Casey Carle (August 1), Grammy-nominated The Pop Ups (August 6), Mister G (August 13), and many others, plus the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden, all free with museum admission! Check www.springfieldmuseums.org for a full schedule.

Aug 12, 14, 19 & 21

Graphic design classes for kids and tweens in Easthampton! Introduce your art loving kid to graphic design in these two-hours courses taught by Leslie Tane at Eastworks. Intro to Graphic Design for 8-12 year olds will be held from 1-3pm on Tues., August 12; the class for 12-15 year olds is from 1-3pm on Thurs., August 14. What is Graphic Design? is from 1-3pm on Tues., August 19; the class for 12-15 year olds is from 1-3pm on Thurs., August 21. Your kids will learn about graphic design: what it is, where to find it, and the beginnings of how to make it. Supplies are provided. $25/student per class. www.tadashow.com/workshops

Through Aug 22

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun programs through the end of the summer. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the Museum’s 80 display aircraft. A variety of activities will be offered each day such as build and fly challenge activities, flight science demonstrations and the chance to sit in the cockpit of an aircraft. The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will be open each of these days between 11am-4pm. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls. NEAM is located in Windsor Locks, CT and can be reached at 860-623-3305. Click here for more details on New England Air Museum’s summer programs.

Sep 28

On Sunday, Sept. 28th, join The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts at their 4th annual Will Bike 4 Food (WB4F) charity cycling event. Ride as an individual or form a team. Starting a team (4 or more) with your friends and family is an easy way to help them feed our neighbors in need! With multiple courses to choose from—a 10, 25, 50 or 100 mile loop—riders of any level can become involved. WB4F provides a chance for families to participate in an activity together, while raising awareness of the issue of hunger. Now is a great time to get started. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike.

Aug 4-8

The 24th annual Children’s Literature Festival sponsored by the Mary Lyon Foundation will be held this summer at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School in Shelburne Falls from 8:30am-Noon, Aug 4-8. This unique program combines children’s literature with arts and crafts, music, field trips and special guests. Children will have an opportunity to visit the Mary Lyon House in Upper Buckland where Mary Lyon, founder of Mount Holyoke, first taught school in 1823. The theme this year is A Sense of Place and introduces children grades K-6 to local history. Cost for $50/child. Includes all materials and snacks. Scholarships available. For more info Toni Wilcox at 413-863-9418. Call the Mary Lyon Foundation office at 413-625-2555 for application.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall program, after school class, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 26th-August 1st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now

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33 Community Highlights: Whalemobile to TrolleyFest. Scottish Festival to Bang on a Can.

Guess how many owl species have been recorded in New England… twelve! On Saturday afternoon, July 19, Eyes on Owls will be at the Sunderland Library with their free owl program. This program features six live owls and will teach about the owls of the northeast. Owl pellets will be dissected and are a fascinating way to learn about owl anatomy and physiology, along with what their diets consist of and the habitats necessary to support not only owls but the prey these raptors survive on.

Whalemobile to TrolleyFest. Scottish Festival to Bang on a Can. William Cullen Bryant to Sojourner Truth… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week: The Whalemobile is a 43-foot, life-sized inflatable whale named Nile, modeled after a female humpback whale born in 1987 who summers off the coast of Massachusetts. This traveling educational program teaches kids all about whales – where they live, how they communicate, what they eat, what their behavior is like – and then gives them a chance to climb inside the inflatable replica to learn about whale anatomy and physiology. The Whalemobile will be visiting several libraries in western Massachusetts this summer. Don’t miss this free interactive program for all ages. Find out where it will be appearing here.


Animal StudiesShakespeareTransportationCulturePlaygroundsNature StudiesAgriculture/Farm ToursLocal HistorySTEMInsectsCommunity MealsGeologyFestivals


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

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Suggested Events for July 19th-25th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“When I moved to Western MA from Memphis, TN, two years ago, I thought I was loosing the ‘big city’ resources that my kids loved (such as free festivals, outings, activities). Hilltown Families provided me with the ‘big city’ connections that I loved; more so, this is the site that I share with families that I meet that are new to the area.” – Shannon Audley-Piotrowski (Northampton, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 19

On Saturday, July 19, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst presents “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Children’s Circus” from 1 to 4 pm. Especially appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, this Family Day is free and open to all. Activities include: folksongs and stories with Tim Van Egmond; a performance by Henry the Juggler; the Circus Parade; and a reading from Burleigh Muten, author of the newly published YA book, Miss Emily. Other activities include a scavenger hunt, “tightrope” walking, other games, and kid-friendly crafts. For details and a complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/events. With questions, email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call 413-542-2034.

Jul 20

Western Mass Jobs with Justice will host its 1st Annual Justice Cup on Jul 20 in Hoyloke at Crosier Field. The festival will include a soccer tournament with divisions for all skill levels and ages. Beets & Barley and Salsarengue Restaurant will serve food. Families will be treated to music by Putamayo artist Jay Mankita and Flame and Peach, face painting and games plus a social justice resource fair to learn about the great work in the region. Code Pink, River Valley Market, Springfield No One Leaves, and many more have teams. The action on the field, cheering crowd, and music over the speakers will ensure a festive atmosphere. Proceeds will be used to support WMJWJ and its organizing project: The Pioneer Valley Workers Center. Register Here.

Through Aug 22

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun programs through the end of the summer. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the Museum’s 80 display aircraft. A variety of activities will be offered each day such as build and fly challenge activities, flight science demonstrations and the chance to sit in the cockpit of an aircraft. The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will be open each of these days between 11am-4pm. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls. NEAM is located in Windsor Locks, CT and can be reached at 860-623-3305. Click here for more details on New England Air Museum’s summer programs.

Family Resource Center, a program of Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc., has a playground and park guide for northern Berkshire County.  They also have a Playground Scavenger Hunt game families has participate in together while exploring the different playgrounds, parks and trails in and around northern Berkshire.

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton on July 29 & 30, and Hilltown Families is a proud premier sponsor! Find out how you can be our guests at one of the four shows taking place at the Three-County Fairgrounds! Subscribe to our eNewsletter and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets with preferred seating! Best seats in the house will give our guests an opportunity to see the award-winning, international traveling youth circus up close during this exuberant & joyful two-hour show! Presented by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. For more info about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.northstarteens.org/circus-smirkus.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall program, after school class, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 19th-25th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

34 Community Highlights: A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Casablanca. Service Dogs to Bald Eagles.

Lemons… they can be a catalyst for community service and STEM based learning!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Casablanca. Robots to Rockets. Service Dogs to Bald Eagles… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week: Step back in time at Cummington’s Kingman Tavern, which opens for the season on Saturday afternoon, July 12, and will be open on Saturdays through August 30 with no admission charge. The Tavern is a historic building from the early 1800s that contains 17 rooms, with a replica country store, a barn, a cider mill, and a carriage shed. Families can discover the local history of Cummington and the Hilltowns by exploring the museum and seeing many of its historic artifacts. The general store, in particular, is a great resource for understanding life in the past – it contains many things that would have been sold in a New England general store from 1900-1910!


Film StudiesLocal HistoryEntomologyTheaterArtBird StudiesSTEMSustainabilityWritingAnimal Studies


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for July 12th-18th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is my go to spot for what is going on for kids and families around the valley. I always check it for ideas of what to do with the kids on the weekends, during school vacations and summertime.” – Adelle F. (Greenfield, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 5-Aug 3

Stiltwalkers, puppets, masks, theater and storytelling make for magical performances under the stars at Ko Festival of Performance — July 5-August 3 in Amherst! KoFest’s 23rd season, on the Amherst College campus, presents five weeks of theater, 15 performances, two all-ages events, three intensive theater workshops, a Story Slam, and so much more. Special family events are Saturday, July 5 at 5:00 pm: Carpetbag Brigade’s outdoor acrobatic stilt extravaganza, “Callings.” And Sunday, July 20 at 8:00 pm, don’t miss Mettawee River Company’s “The Dancing Fox” wisdom tales from the Middle East, told through puppetry and masks. KoFest tickets $7-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. Visit: www.kofest.com or email: info@kofest.com

Jul 7-Aug 15

The Summer Spectacular Family Series at the Springfield Museums features great family entertainment every weekday, including fun art and science activities, live reptile demos and more, all free with museum admission! Great family shows every Wednesday – Friday, including the Tanglewood Marionettes on Thursdays, plus Grammy-nominated The Pop Ups, Mister G, and many others. There’s also Music in the Museums every Tuesday & Thursday for parents and kids age 0-5, plus the special Life Through Time exhibit of roaring, stomping mechanical dinosaurs and Ice-age mammals (extra fee). General admission is free on Friday, July 18 through the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Friday program! Check www.springfieldmuseums.org for a full schedule.

July 19

On Saturday, July 19, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst presents “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Children’s Circus” from 1 to 4 pm. Especially appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, this Family Day is free and open to all. Activities include: folksongs and stories with Tim Van Egmond; a performance by Henry the Juggler; the Circus Parade; and a reading from Burleigh Muten, author of the newly published YA book, Miss Emily. Other activities include a scavenger hunt, “tightrope” walking, other games, and kid-friendly crafts. For details and a complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/events. With questions, email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call 413-542-2034.

Amherst Montessori School is now enrolling children ages 12 months – 6th grade for Fall 2014. AMS fosters the natural self-construction, cognitive development, and social-emotional well-being of each child in programs that include music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE and yoga. Spanish language exposure for ages 3-12, with an optional Spanish bilingual classroom for ages 3-6 (Casa de Niños). Afterschool programming includes options like private instrument lessons, theater, soccer, and band. Limited spaces available at all levels. Contact Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org for more information. www.amherstmontessori.org

Jul 9 – Aug 9

Join NCT Kids! this summer for 2 family-friendly musicals based on beloved children’s books. First up is Judith Viorst’s classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day about a boy who is having the world’s worst day! Sing along with Alexander as he learns that everyone has a bad day every now and then but the great thing is…there’s always tomorrow! Next up it’s the rollicking, mischievous, off-the-wall adventures of SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole! Based on the bestselling book series about the Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a chihuahua super hero, SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole is a tuneful romp through the big-top of Skippy’s imagination. For tickets call 413-585-3220 or online www.newcenturytheatre.org

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton on July 29 & 30, and Hilltown Families is a proud premier sponsor! Find out how you can be our guests at one of the four shows taking place at the Three-County Fairgrounds! Subscribe to our eNewsletter and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets with preferred seating! Best seats in the house will give our guests an opportunity to see the award-winning, international traveling youth circus up close during this exuberant & joyful two-hour show! Presented by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. For more info about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.northstarteens.org/circus-smirkus.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall program, after school class, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 12th-18th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 5th & 6th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 5th-11th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, 35 Community Highlights: Fiddle Fest to Living Culture. Junior Ranger to Magic. and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun: July 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

For your summer plans, our Summer Bucket List for Western MA has a growing list of reader recommended places to go and see this summer, our 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA has a list of over 55 summer camps & programs.

Also, celebrate 4th of July this Saturday evening! Firework displays scheduled across Western MA, including Westfield, Greenfield, North Adams, West Springfield, Springfield, and Amherst — many of them rescheduled from Friday. Details here: Fourth of July Firework Displays in Western MA.

July 5th-11th, 2014

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Local HistoryAnimal StudiesArchitectureMusic StudiesCulturePerformance ArtFarmingNature StudiesSTEMMagicEntomologyFamily Performances

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 11 Recommended Art Studios/Classes in Western MA
  2. Little Homes for Little Folks: Make Your Own Gnome Home
  3. 13 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Western MA
  4. HFVS Summer Essentials Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  5. Q&A: Where Can Kids Take Swim Lessons in the Summer?

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Click here to read the rest of our RECAP MAP!…

35 Community Highlights: Fiddle Fest to Living Culture. Junior Ranger to Magic.

Join the Dickinson Memorial Library in Northfield for a free program on dragonflies and damselflies with naturalist Julia Blyth on Friday afternoon, July 11. Kids 5 and up and their families can learn all about these interesting insects, their lifecycle from water to sky, and search for them using field guides and nets. 

Construction to Cottages. Fiddle Fest to Living Culture. Junior Ranger to Magic… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Double Edge Theatre at their “Celebrate Living Culture” event on Sunday afternoon, July 6. Located in Ashfield, Double Edge Theatre is a rich environment for both experiential learning and performance on 105 acres of historic buildings, forests, pastures and organic gardens. The afternoon includes an open house, tours, fun family activities, raffles, and an exhibition following the Theatre’s 20-year history. This is a great free opportunity to learn more about Double Edge Theatre, their theater philosophy, and explorations of their farm.


Local HistoryAnimal StudiesArchitectureMusic StudiesCulturePerformance ArtFarmingNature StudiesSTEMMagicEntomologyFamily Performances


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for July 5th-11th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I use your Facebook updates and your regular emails to find things to do with my kids every week. We just moved to western Mass about a year ago . . . at one of our first trips to the park another mom told me about you, and I am so glad she did! I’d be lost as a SAHM otherwise.” – Barbara Smith (Greenfield, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 5-Aug 3

Stiltwalkers, puppets, masks, theater and storytelling make for magical performances under the stars at Ko Festival of Performance — July 5-August 3 in Amherst! KoFest’s 23rd season, on the Amherst College campus, presents five weeks of theater, 15 performances, two all-ages events, three intensive theater workshops, a Story Slam, and so much more. Special family events are Saturday, July 5 at 5:00 pm: Carpetbag Brigade’s outdoor acrobatic stilt extravaganza, “Callings.” And Sunday, July 20 at 8:00 pm, don’t miss Mettawee River Company’s “The Dancing Fox” wisdom tales from the Middle East, told through puppetry and masks. KoFest tickets $7-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. Visit: www.kofest.com or email: info@kofest.com

Jul 7-Aug 15

The Summer Spectacular Family Series at the Springfield Museums features great family entertainment every weekday, including fun art and science activities, live reptile demos and more, all free with museum admission! Great family shows every Wednesday – Friday, including the Tanglewood Marionettes on Thursdays, plus Grammy-nominated The Pop Ups, Mister G, and many others. There’s also Music in the Museums every Tuesday & Thursday for parents and kids age 0-5, plus the special Life Through Time exhibit of roaring, stomping mechanical dinosaurs and Ice-age mammals (extra fee). General admission is free on Friday, July 18 through the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Friday program! Check www.springfieldmuseums.org for a full schedule.

Jul 10

Explore the amazing, up-close worlds of common animals—from butterflies and birds to frogs and flying squirrels—with award-winning photographer and writer David FitzSimmons at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Thursday, July 10 at 11am. With the help of the audience, David will perform parts of his Curious Critters picture books. Children will shriek like hawks, hop like toads, and slither like snakes. Learn how butterflies drink, ways mammals fly, and why frogs sing. Show includes puppets and take-home activities for all children at this free event! If that weren’t already enough, staff from Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary will share fun facts and artifacts from local critters, as well as a live turtle! www.odysseybks.com

Jul 9 – Aug 9

Join NCT Kids! this summer for 2 family-friendly musicals based on beloved children’s books. First up is Judith Viorst’s classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day about a boy who is having the world’s worst day! Sing along with Alexander as he learns that everyone has a bad day every now and then but the great thing is…there’s always tomorrow! Next up it’s the rollicking, mischievous, off-the-wall adventures of SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole! Based on the bestselling book series about the Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a chihuahua super hero, SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole is a tuneful romp through the big-top of Skippy’s imagination. For tickets call 413-585-3220 or online www.newcenturytheatre.org

Amherst Montessori School is now enrolling children ages 12 months – 6th grade for Fall 2014. AMS fosters the natural self-construction, cognitive development, and social-emotional well-being of each child in programs that include music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE and yoga. Spanish language exposure for ages 3-12, with an optional Spanish bilingual classroom for ages 3-6 (Casa de Niños). Afterschool programming includes options like private instrument lessons, theater, soccer, and band. Limited spaces available at all levels. Contact Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org for more information. www.amherstmontessori.org

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton on July 29 & 30, and Hilltown Families is a proud premier sponsor! Find out how you can be our guests at one of the four shows taking place at the Three-County Fairgrounds! Subscribe to our eNewsletter and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets with preferred seating! Best seats in the house will give our guests an opportunity to see the award-winning, international traveling youth circus up close during this exuberant & joyful two-hour show! Presented by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. For more info about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.northstarteens.org/circus-smirkus.

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in western Massachusetts! On the eve for July 4th, you can catch fireworks in Easthampton or South Hadley, and then on Friday, July 4th, fireworks and parades take place across the region, from North Adams to Springfield (some with rain dates)! Check our post, 2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts, for all the details!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 5th-11th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 28th & 29th , 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 28th-July 4th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, 26 Community Highlights: Fireworks to Bedrock. Garden Party to Campfire. and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun: June 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

For your summer plans, our Summer Bucket List for Western MA has a growing list of reader recommended places to go and see this summer, our 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA has a list of over 55 summer camps & programs, and 2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks gives you a heads up for the 4th of July!

June 28th-July 4th, 2014

SaturdaySunday MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


4th of July ♦ Geology ♦ Bird Studies ♦ History ♦Museum Adventures ♦ Dance ♦ Astronomy ♦ Plant Studies ♦ Outdoor Adventures ♦ Community Celebrations ♦ Reading & Writing ♦ STEM ♦Community Service ♦ Maps ♦ Agriculture

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Journal-Making: Inspiration for Writing & Drawing
  2. Five Picture Books That Bubble And Splash
  3. Get involved! Service-Learning Opportunities in Western MA
  4. Oak & Acorn: Edible Summer Flowers
  5. Camping with Kids

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

Find out how you can be a sponsor too! Click here to read the rest of our RECAP MAP!…

26 Community Highlights: Fireworks to Bedrock. Garden Party to Campfire.

Grow Food Amherst will have a special free event for kids each week at the Amherst Wednesday Market in Kendrick Park. This week on Wednesday afternoon, July 2, kids can learn how to become a “fungi ally.”

Fireworks to Bedrock. Dancing to Fungi. Garden Party to Campfire… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  Did you know that Hawley has a rich geologic history? From pillow rocks to a 25-foot by 25-foot charcoal kiln, Hawley has plenty of interesting geology to learn about! You can explore Hawley’s geology with the Sons and Daughters of Hawley at their annual Hawley tour, “The Bedrock of our Foundation: Rocks and Gardens of Hawley,” on Saturday, June 28. Bud Wobus, Professor of Geology at Williams College, will speak about Hawley’s many interesting rocks and geologic features. Participants can also see and learn about the town’s charcoal kiln, which dates back to 1870 and was used to produce charcoal fuel for local industry. Older students interested in local history and geology would enjoy this fascinating and unique tour.


4th of JulyGeologyBird StudiesHistoryMuseum AdventuresDanceAstronomyPlant StudiesOutdoor AdventuresCommunity CelebrationsReading & WritingSTEMCommunity ServiceMapsAgriculture


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 28th-July 4th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“My husband, young son and I moved to the area almost exactly a year ago and we have been avid readers of Hilltown Families since months before then! It’s been an invaluable resource for getting to know the community and for learning about some of the amazing activities, events and institutions…” – Alla K. (Northampton, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 28

Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield (25 Greenfield Road) is hosting a Doll’s Day Out Luncheon on Saturday, June 28th at 11am. Whether it’s an American Girl doll or a beloved baby, every doll deserves a fabulous day out! The award winning kids menu will be available with a special sweet treat included. Adults will be offered the brand new lunch menu! Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance with her own favorite doll and beautiful handmade doll clothes will be for sale. Call 413-665-1277 to make reservations for this great event! Chandlers.yankeecandle.com ($)

Jul 1 – Aug 19

Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley hosts Camp Odyssey this summer! This once-a-week one hour craft camp features one book and activity for kids every Tuesday afternoon, July 1-Aug 19. Activities range from designing your own glitter tattoos, decorating cupcakes, making and taking home your very own lava lamp, plus many other activities. Appropriate for ages 4-12, depending on activity. Visit their web site at www.odysseybks.com for a full list of their summer long activities. There is a $3 supply fee (or the purchase of the book) to participate, and RSVPs are required at least two days prior. Hurray! Spots are filling up fast! Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley. 413-534-7307

Jul 9 – Aug 9

Join NCT Kids! this summer for 2 family-friendly musicals based on beloved children’s books. First up is Judith Viorst’s classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day about a boy who is having the world’s worst day! Sing along with Alexander as he learns that everyone has a bad day every now and then but the great thing is…there’s always tomorrow! Next up it’s the rollicking, mischievous, off-the-wall adventures of SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole! Based on the bestselling book series about the Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a chihuahua super hero, SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole is a tuneful romp through the big-top of Skippy’s imagination. For tickets call 413-585-3220 or online www.newcenturytheatre.org

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival! The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a free pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton on July 29 & 30, and Hilltown Families is a proud premier sponsor! Find out how you can be our guests at one of the four shows taking place at the Three-County Fairgrounds! Subscribe to our eNewsletter and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets with preferred seating! Best seats in the house will give our guests an opportunity to see the award-winning, international traveling youth circus up close during this exuberant & joyful two-hour show! Presented by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. For more info about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.northstarteens.org/circus-smirkus.

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in western Massachusetts beginning this weekend! Fireworks are happening in Holyoke on Friday, June 27, and four more displays are planned for Saturday, June 28. On the eve for July 4th, you can catch fireworks in Easthampton or South Hadley, and then on Friday, July 4th, fireworks and parades take place across the region, from North Adams to Springfield! Check our post, 2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts, for all the details!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 28th-July 4th 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Lifeline Waterways

River Trees

Make the world of rivers bigger than the world of pavement inside of you!

Imagine—by float, boat or walking, you’re in the river as it wends past farmland, backyards and woods, through plains, valleys and gorges. After an hour, the initial thrill of united movement, of flesh and water and flow, has passed, and so have the conversations. The river begins to insinuate your skin and re-network your synapses; you start thinking like a river. Feel the expansion.

Hear the river sound; its voice (like ours) combines the everything it passes through, and that passes through it (for it breathes and eats with its mouth open): the more obstructions, the more turbulence; the more turbulence, the louder the growl. Read the rest of this entry »

29 Community Highlights: Battle of the Books to Scavenger Hunt. Shaker Dinner to Strawberry Jam.

Join Grow Food Amherst for a strawberry jam making workshop on Saturday, June 21! Come pick your own strawberries and then learn how to cook and preserve it so you can enjoy the fruit all year long. This workshop would be best for teens and adults interested in food preservation. This skillsharing workshop is free but you must pay for the strawberries you pick, and you must preregister.

Scavenger Hunt to Bug Safari. Strawberry Jam to Shaker Dinner. Battle of the Books to Medieval Festival…. These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  Did you know that some animals can survive in sub-zero temperatures? And that some are able to climb great heights and steep slopes or rocks? It is amazing how animals are able to evolve and adapt to their surroundings! You can learn about how and why some of these animals had to change to make themselves better suited to their environments at the Hatfield Public Library‘s “Amazing Adaptations” program on Tuesday morning, June 24. This free program focuses on mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates and how they have evolved and adapted over time. Kids will have fun meeting and learning all about these fascinating creatures and how where they life impacts their adaptations.


American HistoryRiver StudiesAnimal StudiesLocal HistoryInsectsFizz, Boom, Read!Local Food/StrawberriesLiteracyMusic HistoryCultureHikes


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 21st-27th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I discovered Hilltown Families about 3 years ago, shortly after the birth of my first child.  I grew up here, and felt like I had a pretty good grasp on community events and going-ons.  I read the local newspaper, worked in a public school, attended town meetings…but I still felt like I wasn’t ‘in the loop’ when it came to family-oriented life in the area.  Hilltown Families has definitely opened us up to new adventures, even things that have been going on for years that we just hadn’t ever checked out…” Lillian W. (Shelburne Falls, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 26

Acupuncture and Cancer Care. There are increasingly complex and successful interventions for the treatment and management of cancer. While supportive care for symptom management has improved, there are many side effects of treatment and consequences of cancer that affect quality of life in cancer survivors. The Role of Acupuncture in Cancer Care, a Cooley Dickinson/Mass General Hospital lecture, will examine the role of acupuncture in the alleviation of symptoms of pain, bowel disorders, neuropathy, anxiety, and depression. The importance of a holistic approach to cancer care and survivorship issues will be reviewed. Thursday, June 26, 6pm. Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Registration required: www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or 888-554-4234.

Jun 28

Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield (25 Greenfield Road) is hosting a Doll’s Day Out Luncheon on Saturday, June 28th at 11am. Whether it’s an American Girl doll or a beloved baby, every doll deserves a fabulous day out! The award winning kids menu will be available with a special sweet treat included. Adults will be offered the brand new lunch menu! Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance with her own favorite doll and beautiful handmade doll clothes will be for sale. Call 413-665-1277 to make reservations for this great event! Chandlers.yankeecandle.com ($)

Springfield MuseumsSpringfield Science Museum. See stomping, roaring, robotic dinosaurs and life-like Ice Age mammals come to life! Experience the thrill of meeting enormous pre-historic creatures up close, including Maiasaura, Apatosaurus, and T-rex, along with a Woolly Mammoth and a family of Smilodon saber-toothed cats. The exhibit also includes dino-dig and fossil rubbing stations, plus a host of educational displays. The Springfield Museums are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm (also open Mondays from June 30-August 30). There is a special exhibition fee of $5 in addition to museum admission for all visitors ages 3 and up to view Life Through Time. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

Worthington Swim Club. Enjoy family fun this summer at an outdoor pool in Worthington. The W S C is located at 35 Huntington Road (Rte 112) in a sunny, tree-screened setting. Membership is open to everyone and includes: Certified Lifeguard on duty Monday – Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Children over age 10 can swim without their parent during lifeguard hours, 24-hour key access for adult members (and children with an adult family member), a 25-yard-long pool w/ a low diving board, swimming lessons available. 2014 membership is: Family Plan $365, Individual Plan $160. Payment schedules available. Call Lynn at 238-8038 or Alain at 238-5954 or visit us on FB www.facebook.com/worthington.swimclub

The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm. There are several places for teens & adults to volunteer. In an inquire about volunteer opportunities for teens they responded, “We look for a minimum of a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks…If they are able to get here in the morning, we need help organizing and sorting through fresh bread and produce from area markets and farms which we then distribute to about 100 people/day. If they have a super organized closet, they may be a good fit for helping in our Free Store. Certain days we also need help serving lunch and doing dishes. And our Emergency Food Pantry often needs help 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 more information visit their website at www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival! The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a free pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 21st-27th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

32 Community Highlights: Summer Kitchens to Cultural Chaos. Mona Lisa to James Joyce.

Father’s Day is on Sunday! Head to the farmers’ market on Saturday and pick up fresh produce and meats to make a delicious meal for the father in your life! Great opportunity to meet local farmers and for kids to learn where their food comes from!

Geologic Bike Ride to Classic Cars. Summer Kitchens to Cultural Chaos. Mona Lisa to James Joyce… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  Have you ever wondered what day-to-day life was like in New England in the 19th Century? What was it like to cook and clean, to go to school, or to make crafts? What kinds of medicine existed? Family members of all ages and with varied interests can learn about all these topics at Storrowton Village Museum‘s Opening Day on Saturday, June 14 in West Springfield. At this free event, visitors can tour historic buildings, learn from costumed interpreters, discover open hearth cooking and blacksmithing, experience a one-room schoolhouse, see demonstrations in chairmaking and broommaking, study historic artifacts, learn about historic plant uses, and more. By coming to Storrowton Village and immersing yourself in 19th-century New England life and culture, you can learn what it was truly like to be alive in the time period.


GeologyAstronomyNew England HistoryMusic HistoryAviation HistoryArchitectureChoreographyArt HistoryParent WorkshopsCommunity CelebrationsAutomotive HistorySTEMNature StudiesCommunity ServiceLiterature


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 14th-20th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“For every school vacation, and each summer, Hilltown Families has provided resources for events to attend with our children! These opportunities have created precious memories that will last a lifetime!” Kristy D. (Hatfield, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 55 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 55 summer camps & programs in the region! 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! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 14-Sep 14

Springfield MuseumsSpringfield Science Museum. See stomping, roaring, robotic dinosaurs and life-like Ice Age mammals come to life! Experience the thrill of meeting enormous pre-historic creatures up close, including Maiasaura, Apatosaurus, and T-rex, along with a Woolly Mammoth and a family of Smilodon saber-toothed cats. The exhibit also includes dino-dig and fossil rubbing stations, plus a host of educational displays. The Springfield Museums are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm (also open Mondays from June 30-August 30). There is a special exhibition fee of $5 in addition to museum admission for all visitors ages 3 and up to view Life Through Time. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

Open House: Jun 14


Worthington Swim Club. Enjoy family fun this summer at an outdoor pool in Worthington. The W S C is located at 35 Huntington Road (Rte 112) in a sunny, tree-screened setting. Membership is open to everyone and includes: Certified Lifeguard on duty Monday – Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Children over age 10 can swim without their parent during lifeguard hours, 24-hour key access for adult members (and children with an adult family member), a 25-yard-long pool w/ a low diving board, swimming lessons available. Swim free at open house, June 14th, noon-3 p.m. 2014 membership is: Family Plan $365, Individual Plan $160. Payment schedules available. Call Lynn at 238-8038 or Alain at 238-5954 or visit us on FB www.facebook.com/worthington.swimclub

The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm.  There are several places for teens & adults to volunteer. In an inquire about volunteer opportunities for teens they responded, “We look for a minimum of a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks…If they are able to get here in the morning, we need help organizing and sorting through fresh bread and produce from area markets and farms which we then distribute to about 100 people/day.  If they have a super organized closet, they may be a good fit for helping in our Free Store.  Certain days we also need help serving lunch and doing dishes. And our Emergency Food Pantry often needs help 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 more information visit their website at www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival! The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a free pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival!  Find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 14th-20th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA for 2014

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2014. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday!

Click here to find firework displays & parades!

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival!

Take the Family to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
Happening July 12th & 13th, 2014
Greenfield, MA

Enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 12th or 13th in Greenfield, MA. Kids 10 and under get in free. Win tickets and take the family! Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 7/2/14.

The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Click here to find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

28 Community Highlights: Aviation to Yo-Yos. Vintage Music to Bioblitz.

Did you know that Shelburne Falls was originally known as Salmon Falls, an important fishing site to both colonial settlers and native people? Find out about the interesting history of Shelburne, and make plans to visit Shelburne Falls this Saturday to learn about the history and importance of the Deerfield River Watershed during their annual RiverFest celebration!

Aviation to Yo-Yos. Civic Hackathon to RiverFest. Historic Weapons to Cemetery Tour. Vintage Music to Bioblitz… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  There are twelve species of owls that live in New England (although some are very rare), and about 200 throughout the world. You can learn about some of these owls, as well as their behaviors, habitats, calls, and more, at the Great Falls Discovery Center‘s free live owl show with Eyes on Owls on Saturday, June 7 at 10:30am and 12:30pm. Eyes on Owls is an organization that teaches the public about owls through live owl shows. During this program, you can learn field marks and signs in order to find owls in the wild without disturbing them, get a hooting lesson, and get tips on attracting and protecting owls in your area. All ages will love learning about these fascinating birds of prey. Call 413-863-3221 for more information. The Great Falls Discovery Center is located at 2 Avenue A in Turners Falls, MA.


Aviation/AerodynamicsCommunity MealCivic EngagementEntomologyPlant StudiesOrnithologyNature StudiesLocal HistoryFarming & FoodRiver EcologyLocal Music HistorySTEMCultural StudiesCitizen Scientist/Biology


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 7th-13th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I found a great summer art camp that I knew nothing about through Hilltown Families. I’ve signed both my children up for two classes there this summer. Thanks Hilltown Families!” – Kim Babineau (Greenfield, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 55 summer camps & programs in the region! 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! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 7

Grab your favorite stuffed animal and go wild at The Carle’s 9th Annual Children’s Book Festival! On Saturday, June 7th from 10 am – 4 pm, join the Museum for a fun-filled celebration of creatures big and small. Meet authors Nick Bruel and Peter McCarty, get a picture of your favorite stuffed animal drawn by local artists, and go on an animal scavenger hunt. Create stuffed animal houses and make your own animal ears! Meet Bright Spot Therapy Dogs and amazing live animals from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Each attending child will receive a FREE copy of What’s Your Favorite Animal?, a new book by Eric Carle & Friends while supplies last. All events are free with Museum Admission. For more information, visit www.carlemuseum.org

Jun 8

The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, will host an afternoon of gardening activities for all ages on Sunday, June 8 from 1-4 p.m. during the Museum’s annual Garden Days. Featured events include a children’s garden tour at 1:30 pm and a historic landscape tour at 2:30 pm with historian Marta McDowell. McDowell will sign copies of her new book, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. Under the craft tent, visitors may start their own herbarium, just as Dickinson did as a young girl, and ask gardening questions at the “Ask a Master Gardener” table! For details and complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/gardendays. With questions, email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call 413-542-2034.

Jun 14-Sep 14

Springfield MuseumsSpringfield Science Museum. See stomping, roaring, robotic dinosaurs and life-like Ice Age mammals come to life! Experience the thrill of meeting enormous pre-historic creatures up close, including Maiasaura, Apatosaurus, and T-rex, along with a Woolly Mammoth and a family of Smilodon saber-toothed cats. The exhibit also includes dino-dig and fossil rubbing stations, plus a host of educational displays. The Springfield Museums are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm (also open Mondays from June 30-August 30). There is a special exhibition fee of $5 in addition to museum admission for all visitors ages 3 and up to view Life Through Time. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Jun 6

Hilltown Families & The Art Garden present, “We ❤ the Deerfield River,” the final community-service through art event in a series of five free family community service nights! Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers. At this event we will be focusing on what we love about the Deerfield River Watershed and preparing for the annual Deerfield RiverFest’s Frog and Flower parade on June 7. Be a part of creating large cardboard fish, frogs and flowers for the parade, as well as individual processional artworks. All ages can participate! Materials provided. Takes place on Friday, June 6th from 4-7pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA!

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! We are continuing to offer tickets to Dean’s Beans Music from Around the World monthly concert series at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. For June we have two pairs of tickets to giveaway to see Zvuloon Dub System, Israel’s leading World-Reggae band, at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Wednesday, June 11th at 8:30pm. Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. These concerts are also a great opportunity to expose older children with audience skills to music from around the world!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 7th-13th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Families & Flower Pots at Emily Dickinson Museum Garden Days

Garden Days at Emily Dickinson Museum welcomes families to explore and connect with the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family

Next week, garden-loving families can get some historic dirt underneath their fingernails at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA. The museum’s annual Garden Days will be held this year from June 8th through 11th, and brings with them ample opportunities to learn, grow, and honor Emily Dickinson’s love of gardening – all while helping to maintain the museum’s beautiful and historic grounds.

Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst

To kick off Garden Days, the Emily Dickinson Museum will hold Family Day on Saturday, June 8th from 1-4pm. Gardeners and plant enthusiasts of all ages and abilities are welcome at the museum, and there will be a plethora of gardening activities that anyone can easily participate in. Additionally, Family Day will include a special kid-friendly garden tour at 1:30pm, as well as a historic garden tour (better for older students) at 2:30pm, which will be lead by Marta McDowell, author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: A Celebration of a Poet and Gardener.

After learning about the gardens and helping out with some projects around the museum’s grounds, families can take Emily Dickinson’s love of gardening home with them – supplies will be available for beginning your very own herbarium, which Emily herself did as a child. Read the rest of this entry »

29 Community Highlights: Orienteering to Archaeological Dig. Violins to Jazz Music.

Stamell Stringed Instruments in Amherst is hosting a Violin and Viola Exhibit, Guadagnini’s Galore! through June 28. The instruments are all copies of the famous 18th century Italian violinmaker G.B. Guadagnini. A free opening will be held on Thursday evening, June 5, and all of the instruments will be offered for trial and playing in house.

Orienteering to Archaeological Dig. Veterinary Medicine to Folk Medicine. Violins to Jazz Music…. These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  Are you interested in stargazing? Families can learn about astronomy and the night sky with members of Arunah Hill Natural Science Center and The Trustees of Reservations at Notchview on Saturday, May 31 from dusk until 11pm. You can try out different types of telescopes to search the night sky for stars, galaxies, planets, meteors, and more. Learn about telescopes and how they work by comparing what you can see with them with what you can see with the naked eye. There are an infinite number of things in space just waiting to be discovered by people – maybe even you! Come to Notchview to spend time with family learning about astronomy at this free event. Notchview is located on Route 9 in Windsor, MA. Call 413-532-1631 x10 for more information.


OrienteeringArchaeologyLocal FoodEntomologyCommunity ServiceVeterinary StudiesSkill Sharing/CraftsHistory/MedicineLocal HistoryAstronomyPlant StudiesSTEMParent WorkshopsLiteracyMusic Studies


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 31st – June 6th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Seeing Hilltown Families on the internet when we were in Providence gave us the reassurance and confidence that the area we were thinking of moving to was going to be full of quality activities that resonated with our lifestyle. – We found that to be not only true about the schools, parent centers, and child-centered activities, but that the people as well! What a great resource Hilltown Families has been to connect us all, bring forward great seasonal ideas, inspiration, and activities – helping to enrich where we are by bringing to the surface all these wonderful treasures of families to connect with!” – Angie Gregory (Northampton, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! 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! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 7

Grab your favorite stuffed animal and go wild at The Carle’s 9th Annual Children’s Book Festival! On Saturday, June 7th from 10 am – 4 pm, join the Museum for a fun-filled celebration of creatures big and small. Meet authors Nick Bruel and Peter McCarty, get a picture of your favorite stuffed animal drawn by local artists, and go on an animal scavenger hunt. Create stuffed animal houses and make your own animal ears! Meet Bright Spot Therapy Dogs and amazing live animals from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Each attending child will receive a FREE copy of What’s Your Favorite Animal?, a new book by Eric Carle & Friends while supplies last. All events are free with Museum Admission. For more information, visit www.carlemuseum.org

Jun 8

The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, will host an afternoon of gardening activities for all ages on Sunday, June 8 from 1-4 p.m. during the Museum’s annual Garden Days. Featured events include a children’s garden tour at 1:30 pm and a historic landscape tour at 2:30 pm with historian Marta McDowell. McDowell will sign copies of her new book, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. Under the craft tent, visitors may start their own herbarium, just as Dickinson did as a young girl, and ask gardening questions at the “Ask a Master Gardener” table! For details and complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/gardendays. With questions, email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call 413-542-2034.

Jun 23-Aug 15

The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Day Camp offers activity choices that include Chinese, cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Summer programs run from June 23 to August 15. Visit their website or email summer@bement.org for more information!

Featured Ad: Sweet RootsSweet Roots Gardens offers kids yoga programs, a kids CSA program and garden installation services. Learn and play in the garden this season! Big Kids Yoga at Second Chances, Fridays May 23- June 13 (sign up for single sessions or all 4). Children learn body awareness, mindful breathing and have fun through movement. Kids CSA at Sweet Roots Gardens in South Deerfield, July 8-August 5. Engaging garden and art activities for little ones and a snack share of veggies to take home. Free art activities for kids at Sweet Roots stand at Wednesday Kendrick Park farmers market in Amherst, 2-6. Sweet Roots also provides help with your home garden too! Grow a garden with your children this season and get the help you need to continue on your own. Contact saracoblyn@gmail.com; www.sweetrootsgardens.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Hilltown Families & The Art Garden present, “We ❤ the Deerfield River,” the final community-service through art event in a series of five free family community service nights! Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers. At this event we will be focusing on what we love about the Deerfield River Watershed and preparing for the annual Deerfield RiverFest’s Frog and Flower parade on June 7. Be a part of creating large cardboard fish, frogs and flowers for the parade, as well as individual processional artworks. All ages can participate! Materials provided. Takes place on Friday, June 6th from 4-7pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA!

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! We are continuing to offer tickets to Dean’s Beans Music from Around the World monthly concert series at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. For June we have two pairs of tickets to giveaway to see Zvuloon Dub System, Israel’s leading World-Reggae band, at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Wednesday, June 11th at 8:30pm. Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. These concerts are also a great opportunity to expose older children with audience skills to music from around the world!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 31st-June 6th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Greenfield: A Town with an Innovative Past, Present and Future

Take an educational trip right into Greenfield’s innovative past, present and future

Taken from the upper story front porch of the Grand Trunk Hotel in Turners Falls, this image shows the trolley near Second Street and Avenue A (c.1890), an example of trolly use in the Pioneer Valley. – Courtesy Image.

The Pioneer Valley Institute is offering a day tour of the highlights of Greenfield on Saturday, June 7: “Spring into Greenfield: A Trolley Ride Through our Town’s History and Architecture.” The town’s trolley bus will be the mode of transportation for the day, and is a reminder of the active trolley system available 100 years ago throughout the Connecticut River Valley.

Greenfield, its buildings, its industries, and farmland, offers a complex story. This hub town for Franklin County is the site of fine examples of architectural design, of industrial innovation, and of current efforts to retrofit Greenfield’s fine older buildings to conserve energy for the coming decades. Greenfield was a crossroads for train freight service and will soon see restored passenger service. Waterpower and fine farmland attracted early settlers and investors, and innovators and businesses continue to recognize opportunities in the town.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: When I Jump into Your Flow

When I Jump into Your Flow

When I jump into your flow
You’ll take me wherever you go
ever you go, ever you go
You’ll take me wherever you go

Flow.

We’re in one, and sucked into bigger flows that swept into bigger flows. And on and on. Minnows circling in eddies. In white water, stonefly nymphs cling to stone. Anadromous fish are making their way up whatever tributaries aren’t dammed, and being watched and counted at Holyoke and Turners Falls dams. Visit them, because their populations are declining and might soon vanish—just 397 Blueback Herring, for example, have passed Holyoke Dam as of May 21st.

Read the rest of this entry »

25 Community Highlights: Backstairs Tour to Paper Lanterns. Corn Worm to Fishways.

Backstairs Tour to U.S. 20. Corn Worm to Fishways. Paper Lanterns to International Children’s Day… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week:  Do you like learning about nature? What about reading children’s books? Nature is the theme of some great children’s books, including many by Springfield author Thornton W. Burgess. He was an acclaimed naturalist and children’s book author, and is the subject of Christine Palmer Lowrance’s book, Nature’s Ambassador: The Legacy of Thornton W. Burgess. Lowrance will be at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary to sign books and talk about Burgess. This is part of the Sanctuary’s free Turtle and Field Day event on Saturday, May 24 from 10am-2pm. Families can explore the trails, go on a natural history walk, and search for turtles, frogs, and more in the pond. Children’s book- and nature-lovers of all ages will enjoy this fun and informative program on natural history, animals, nature, and children’s books. Call 413-584-3009 for more information. The Sanctuary is located on Main Street in Hampden, MA.


Animal StudiesAgriculture & Fiber ArtsLocal HistoryBread BakingCommunity ServiceNature StudiesTravel/TransportationHistory/Martial ArtsActivism/Performance Art  ♦ ArchitecturePlant StudiesSTEMCrafts & Culture


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:
North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens
Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 24th-30th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is a great connector. We run the Tuesday Farmers’ Market in Northampton and they always send people our way which we totally appreciate. The more kids and families that make it to our market the merrier!” – Oona Coy, Town Farm (Northampton, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! 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! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

May 24

May 24 at The Carle: Meet Eric Carle and Dance with Mister G! Enjoy a special day at The Carle on Saturday, May 24 in Amherst, MA, with a book signing with Eric Carle and a performance by Mister G! Meet the beloved children’s book author and illustrator and celebrate 45 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar at 10am. Become a Member and enter at 9am! Then, enjoy a must-see performance by award-winning artist Mister G, who was recently named by People Magazine as one of the “Best Live Acts for Kids and Families.” Performances begin at 1pm and 3pm and are $8. For book signing guidelines and event details, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

Jun 23-Aug 15

The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Day Camp offers activity choices that include Chinese, cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Summer programs run from June 23 to August 15. Visit their website or email summer@bement.org for more information!

Common SchoolThe Common School in Amherst, MA, has openings in the Nursery Program! Children age 3 to 5 are brimming with wonder and curiosity. Hands-on investigation is at the core of the program. What young child doesn’t love digging, pouring, drawing, cooking, singing, building, and painting? Science, math, art, and language are integrated into each day’s activities. And with their teachers’ help, their sense of wonder leads them to love learning. With a 6:1 ratio in the classroom, teachers are able to nurture the social and emotional growth of each child. For more information visit online at www.commonschool.org or call 413-256-8989.

Featured Ad: Sweet RootsSweet Roots Gardens offers kids yoga programs, a kids CSA program and garden installation services. Learn and play in the garden this season! Big Kids Yoga at Second Chances, Fridays May 23- June 13 (sign up for single sessions or all 4). Children learn body awareness, mindful breathing and have fun through movement. Kids CSA at Sweet Roots Gardens in South Deerfield, July 8-August 5. Engaging garden and art activities for little ones and a snack share of veggies to take home.  Free art activities for kids at Sweet Roots stand at Wednesday Kendrick Park farmers market in Amherst, 2-6. Sweet Roots also provides help with your home garden too! Grow a garden with your children this season and get the help you need to continue on your own. Contact saracoblyn@gmail.com; www.sweetrootsgardens.com.

Through May 26

Joyful learning starts with Oak Meadow! Save from Mother’s Day to Memorial Day. Enjoy 15% off Oak Meadow’s engaging, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off enrollment in their fully accredited distance learning school. Oak Meadow helps you set a natural rhythm of learning for your family through their creative and challenging curriculum. Their compassionate, child-centered approach encourages critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities, interdisciplinary projects, and thoughtful reading and writing practice. This May treat Mom to great savings, and treat the family to a great home learning experience! Offer runs through May 26.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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
May 24th-30th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

25 Community Highlights: Community Celebrations to Community Service. Science to Art History.

Discover the world of native woodland plants  at Mt. Skinner State Park in Amherst on Tuesday evening, May 20! Mt. Skinner is home to many unique, beautiful, at-risk medicinal plants, in addition to spring ephemerals like Dutchman Britches picture here, medicinal trees, and other woodland plants. This walk would be great for older students who are interested in medicinal plants.

Corn Broom to Native Woodland Plants. Mud Day to Long Meddowe Days. Architecture to Endangered Species… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week: On Monday, May 19th, student volunteers from the Northampton High School Key Club will be making meal packages. The Key Club has teamed up with Kids Against Hunger, a non-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to providing food for starving and malnourished children and their families locally and around the world. The community-service learning event will take place in the high school cafeteria from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event will produce between four to five thousand nutritious meals. The Key Club is thankful to Youth Service America and the Disney Friends for Change Program for helping provide funding to purchase the raw ingredients for this event. The NHS Key Club invites students who are at least eight years old and are enthusiastic about making a difference to join them. Pre registration required. Please email the president of the Key Club, Zachary, at zachdietz1@gmail.com to RSVP.


Community CelebrationsSTEMArt/HistoryCommunity ServiceArchitectureImmigrationPoetryMuseum AdventuresAnimal StudiesBusinessSports HistoryLocal HistoryPlant Studies


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

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Suggested Events for May 17th-23rd, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families has been my place to go to each week when planning what to do together with our family time. I love getting an easy weekly reminder with a clear list for the weekend days of what’s happening. I love stumbling across things from people I know on the bulletin board and listserv. And giving us an easy spot to figure out the best summer camps…summer things to do – all around wonderful job for our community!” Jagdish L. (Amherst, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! 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! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

May 11-26

Joyful learning starts with Oak Meadow! Save from Mother’s Day to Memorial Day. Enjoy 15% off Oak Meadow’s engaging, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off enrollment in their fully accredited distance learning school. Oak Meadow helps you set a natural rhythm of learning for your family through their creative and challenging curriculum. Their compassionate, child-centered approach encourages critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities, interdisciplinary projects, and thoughtful reading and writing practice. This May treat Mom to great savings, and treat the family to a great home learning experience! Offer runs from May 11 through May 26.

May 18

Abundance Farm Work Party and Celebration! Abundance Farm is an emerging Food Justice Farm and Outdoor Classroom on 253 Prospect Street in Northampton. This partnership between Congregation B’nai Israel, Northampton Survival Center and Lander-Grinspoon Academy will support local food security and serve as a unique, learning environment. Help launch the Farm on Sunday, May 18th. From 10-12 volunteers will create garden beds and plant an orchard. Delicious lunch for volunteers from 12-1. Celebrate from 1-3 with live music and activities for all ages including sports, cob oven baking, seed bomb workshop and bike blending! Come dressed to work and bring tools if you have them. For more info info@abundancefarm.org or visit www.abundancefarm.org.

May 21

Wednesday, May 21st, 6:30pm. Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for an adventure in reading! Tony DiTerlizzi, New York Times bestselling author, will present The Battle for WondLa, the final installment WondLa series. Dress up/costume booth, fun activities and book signing! Award winning author and illustrator, Tony DiTerlizzi, is a creator of fanciful picture books like, Adventure of Meno, Ted, and The Spider & the Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to books like Kenny and the Dragon and The Search for WondLa. His series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions, been adapted into film, and translated into over thirty languages. For more information visit www.odysseybks.com. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley, MA.

May 22

Amherst Montessori School is holding a Toddler Open House on May 22, 3:30-5:30 PM. Meet the Toddler faculty and learn about their Montessori programs for children ages 12 months – 3 years. Enrolling now for the 2014-2015 year in full-and part-time programs. Inquire about their Spanish-English bilingual classroom, La Casita! Join them in a joyful, beautiful classroom that is prepared for the child’s emerging independence. The Toddler program includes music, art, practical life, grace and courtesy, language, outdoor play, and more in a child-centered and respectful setting. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org.

May 24

May 24 at The Carle: Meet Eric Carle and Dance with Mister G! Enjoy a special day at The Carle on Saturday, May 24 in Amherst, MA, with a book signing with Eric Carle and a performance by Mister G! Meet the beloved children’s book author and illustrator and celebrate 45 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar at 10am. Become a Member and enter at 9am! Then, enjoy a must-see performance by award-winning artist Mister G, who was recently named by People Magazine as one of the “Best Live Acts for Kids and Families.” Performances begin at 1pm and 3pm and are $8. For book signing guidelines and event details, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

Common SchoolThe Common School in Amherst, MA, has openings in the Nursery Program! Children age 3 to 5 are brimming with wonder and curiosity. Hands-on investigation is at the core of the program. What young child doesn’t love digging, pouring, drawing, cooking, singing, building, and painting? Science, math, art, and language are integrated into each day’s activities. And with their teachers’ help, their sense of wonder leads them to love learning. With a 6:1 ratio in the classroom, teachers are able to nurture the social and emotional growth of each child. For more information visit online at www.commonschool.org or call 413-256-8989.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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
May 17th-23rd, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

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