30 Community Highlights: Straw Rockets to Shakespeare. Easter to Earth Day.

Easter is Sunday and there are many Easter activities happening this weekend throughout the region. Dying eggs and Easter candy are perfect opportunities for incorporating a little science into your family traditions. Check out these featured Spring & Easter Science pins over on Pinterest and put a little STEA(rt)M into your celebration!

Straw Rockets to Bug Collages. Arctic Tern to American Alligator. Shakespeare to Aldo Leopold… 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 dinosaurs lived right here in the Pioneer Valley millions of years ago? They are an important piece of the natural history of this area, and more can be learned about them and where they lived at the Dinosaur Footprints in Holyoke (Route 5). On Saturday morning April 19, The Trustees of Reservations are holding a free event for families that gives visitors a chance to “Walk Where Dinosaurs Roamed” and learn about their history in the area, what species might have lived here, how their footprints have been preserved over time, and what the local habitat was like.


Citizen ScientistPaleontologyCollaborative ConsumptionCultural StudiesFilm StudiesSTEMMuseum AdventuresHistoryCommunity ServiceAnimal StudiesLiterary AdventuresHikingEntomologyMusic StudiesPastry ArtsEnvironmentalism


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31 Community Highlights: Pollinators to Polliwogs. Seed Bombs to Black-Out Poetry.

Several vernal pool events happening this weekend throughout the region!

Pollinators to Polliwogs. Seed Bombs to Black-Out Poetry. Rockets to Knitting… 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 Spring and all things green at Easthampton’s Waste Not Want Not Art Walk on Saturday evening, April 12th. Explore Easthampton’s art scene and do free activities, like make seed bombs with Easthampton Community Garden at Nash Gallery, learn how to build raised beds at Old Town Hall, make your own notecards and envelopes at Knack, and more! This is a fun evening out that lets you experience some of the great art- and environment-related opportunities Easthampton has to offer!


Vernal PoolsEarth DayActivismCommunity ServiceFiber ArtsSTEMCultural StudiesPoetryNature StudiesOrnithologyArtHistoryEntomologyInternet SafetyParent Workshop


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29 Community Highlights: Food Chemistry to Period Restaurants. Edible Books to Oddball Science.

World music is a powerful pathway towards discovery of other cultures and music instruments. Families can learn about two instruments used in North Indian music – the sitar and the tabla – at the Amherst Jones Library‘s “Introduction to North Indian Classical Musicfree events this month!

Draft Horses to Merino Sheep. Food Chemistry to Period Restaurants. Edible Books to Oddball Science. Folk Dancing to Classical Indian 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: Did you know that if a domestic sheep weren’t shorn, their wool would grow and grow and grow? Come learn about shearing and the wool harvest at Winterberry Farm at their new farm in Colrain on Saturday, April 5th during  Shearing Day! There will be music, food, demonstrations, and a chance to see 30 sheep get sheared. A great chance for families to learn about this traditional process and for kids to know where their woollies come from. Free.


Animal ScienceFood StudiesAstronomyCultural StudiesLiteracySTEMMuseum AdventuresDance StudiesNature ScienceOrnithologyParent Workshops


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21 Community Highlights: Magic Flute to Sound of Music. Electricity to Telescope

The Magic Flute to The Sound of Music. Electricity to Telescope. Garlic Mustard to Bat Houses.

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:  Transport children into an enchanted world that blends myth, fairytale, and the archetypes of good vs. evil this Sunday afternoon, March 30th while exposing them to the wonderful world of opera! Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls presents a free screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of The Magic Flute. Mozart’s famous fairytale opera features magic bells, dancing animals, dragons, a hero and heroine, and much more. This production was directed by Julie Taymor in 2004 and is adapted for children.. This production is ideal for introducing children to opera – it is funny and engaging, yet it also teaches important lessons about patience and distinguishing right from wrong.


Community ServiceGeologySpace/AstronomyEnvironmental ScienceAnimal StudiesSTEMHistoryOutdoor AdventuresFashion StudiesTheaterParent WorkshopMusic Studies


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24 Community Highlights: Middle Eastern Textiles to Victorian Clothing. Big Band Music to Holograms.

Sugar season is an integrated part of New England culture. Whether you’re visiting or have lived here all your life, get out into your community during the first harvest of the year and enjoy the many cultural opportunities that celebrate maple syrup! This week we are featuring Maple Day at Hager’s Farm Market in Shelburne. On Saturday, March 22nd, there will be demonstrations, an old fashioned sap boiling, maple cream and maple candy making, as well as tons of maple-y treats (tons!). Enjoy this delicious springtime New England treat and learn about its history and how it’s processed.

Middle Eastern Textiles to Victorian Clothing. Big Band Music to Holograms. Mud Season to Maple Syrup

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: Performance artist Kandie Carle will be at the Storrs Library to perform her free one-woman show, “Victorian Lady,” on Monday evening, March 24th. Carle will use authentic Victorian and Edwardian clothing to interact with the audience and to take them on a journey into the past through fashion. She will discuss the history and significance of each item of clothing in order to give audience members an idea of what fashion, etiquette, and lifestyles were like during the Victorian and Edwardian era, including interesting anecdotes and ‘myth busting’.


STEMFashion StudiesEnvironmental ScienceCulinary ArtsLocal HistoryMaple SeasonAnimal StudiesGovernmentArtDance StudiesParent WorkshopsMusic StudiesWritingFilm/Video


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27 Community Highlights: Accordion Books to Togas. Vernal Equinox to Maple Syrup.

Happy Spring!

Accordion Books to Togas. Purim to St. Patrick’s Day. Vernal Equinox to Maple Syrup

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: Saturday, March 15, is Family Fun Day at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum! The theme for this free event is “Portraits and Costume,” and there will be drop-in craft activities, a gallery talk that includes a picture book related to the museum’s collection, and much more. Not only will the educational potential of the museum be unlocked by museum guides and interpreters, but children will be able to learn in a collaborative, multi-age environment where they share their thoughts and observations with others and gain insight from information shared by other visitors.


Maple SyrupSTEMImmigrationSt. Patrick’s DayPurimCultural StudiesOutdoor AdventuresAnimal StudiesSpring EquinoxLiteracyTheater/MusicalsParent WorkshopsCrafts


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27 Community Highlights: Shadow Puppets to Sewing Machines. Fiddle Music to Cheese Caves.

Shadow Puppets to Sewing Machines. Manhattan Project to Fiddle Music. Tracking Fairies to Cheese Caves

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 BagShare Project is holding a free Sewing Machine and Clothing Repair Clinic on Sunday, March 9 in Cummington. Bring your sewing machine in for repair, learn how to fix and oil it yourself, and learn basic clothing repair, like sewing on buttons, shortening pants, and patching jeans. Bring a project you need help with so you can learn how to fix it on your own in the future. This clinic is an excellent example of collaborative consumption and how we can use it to educate as well as support sustainable living.


Puppet ShowsLiteracyWomen’s History MonthOutdoor AdventuresMusic StudiesHistory of Writing/PrintingCollaborative ConsumptionTeen/HistorySTEMSports HistoryTheater/MusicalsParent Workshops


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21 Community Highlights: Tap Dance to Folklore. Tulips to Trees.

Edible Book to Dr. Seuss Birthday. Wind Turbines to Hydrodynamics. Black Holes to Hubble Telescope. Food Systems to Sugaring

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: Just when you think you can’t stand winter for one minute longer, the spring flower shows open up at area colleges offering smells and colors of spring! Both the Smith College Botanical Garden and the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden will show off their extensive collections of flowering bulbs in their greenhouses starting this Saturday, March 1. Smith College’s annual Spring Bulb Show will take place at the Lyman Conservatory in Northampton, and The Spring Flower Show at Mt. Holyoke will be held in the college’s Talcott Greenhouse in South Hadley. A visit to these free shows can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany and plant habitat. Why is it, children might wonder, that the bulbs are blooming even though nothing else in nature seems to have woken up? What is it about greenhouses that allows plants to bloom when there is still snow on the ground? Ask questions and learn what makes a greenhouse different from outdoors to better understand the different needs that species of plants have.


Literacy/ArtLocal History  ♦ Performing ArtFolkloreHuman StudiesBotanyDendrologyFood StudiesScience & SustainabilityMaple HistoryAstronomyParent WorkshopsEngineering


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31 Community Highlights: Shaker Inventions to Turkish Coffee. Telescopes to Architecture.

On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22, families are invited to Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke for a free guided family program – “Signs of the Season.”

Shaker Inventions to Turkish Coffee. Smith Splash to Kitchen Kaboom. Telescopes to Rainforest

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: Students in grades 6 through 12 (ages 11 through 18) are invited to come to Smith Splash in Northampton on the Smith College campus for a day of workshops for middle and high school students taught by college students. Write a parody song, learn about energy and mathematical proofs, create a zine, and learn American Sign Language. Takes place on Saturday, Mar 1. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 26!


HistoryBirds of PreyFilm StudiesNature StudiesSTEMEntomologyCultureFood StudiesArchitectureBlack History MonthParent Workshops


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 15th & 16th, 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 February 15th-21st, 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, Learn Local. Play Local. for 26 Community Highlights: Chain Reactions to Aviation. Candy Land to Medieval Feasts., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsWant to advertise your event, open house, camp, volunteer opportunity or announcement with Hilltown Families. Find out about our enhanced publicity options and about our Summer Camp promotion! Great ways to reach thousands of families living throughout the region while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families!

February 15th21st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Animal TrackingMusic StudiesHistoryWolvesSTEMMuseum AdventuresCreative Free PlaySnowshoe Hikes

RECAP

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

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

26 Community Highlights: Chain Reactions to Aviation. Candy Land to Medieval Feasts.

To help kids understand the concept of interrelatedness, try building your very own chain reactions at home using dominos! Building chains of dominoes is the classic DIY chain reaction. On Monday afternoon, Feb. 17, the 7th Annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza take place!  See this classic DIY chain reaction take place on a large scale and marvel at the cascade of a chain reaction.

Chain Reactions to Aviation. Saber-Tooth Cat to Arctic Gray Wolf. Candy Land to Medieval Feasts….

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 the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks is housed at Amherst College in the Beneski Museum of Natural History?  The Museum offers opportunities for families and students to learn about the natural history of the Pioneer Valley and many other parts of the world during February Vacation week, Feb 18-21, with free guided tours for families with children ages 5 and up. There are over 1,700 specimens (including skeletons of a mammoth, cave bear, and saber-tooth cat, and skulls of a tyrannosaurus rex and a triceratops!), some from as far away as Patagonia, housed at the Museum, along with several collections, including anthropology, ichnology, meteorites, mineralogy, osteology, paleobotany and taxidermy. These guided tours will help museum visitors discover all the neat things the museum has to offer while learning about the natural history of the Pioneer Valley.


Animal TrackingMusic StudiesHistoryWolvesSTEMMuseum AdventuresCreative Free PlaySnowshoe Hikes


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 8th & 9th, 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

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Feb 12th by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors Here’s the link to vote: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for February 8th-14th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including:

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 40 Community Highlights: Valentine’s Day to Black History Month. Creative Free Play to Chemistry., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

Want to advertise your event, open house, camp, volunteer opportunity or announcement with Hilltown Families. Find out about our enhanced publicity options and about our Summer Camp promotion! Great ways to reach thousands of families living throughout the region while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families!

February 8th-14th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Creative Free Play Community Service/Animal WelfareSportsValentine HistoryLocal HistoryNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresSTEMBaking ♦  Valentine’s DayBlack History MonthParent Workshops

RECAP

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

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

40 Community Highlights: Valentine’s Day to Black History Month. Creative Free Play to Chemistry.

Pioneer Valley Bread House in South Hadley is holding a bread-baking event that’s open to everyone on Tuesday evening, February 11! Come learn how to bake bread from scratch and share, learn, and create with community members. Baking bread is a fun and useful skill and this is a perfect event to help you get started! Takes place at Five College Women’s Studies Research Center.

Valentine’s Day to Black History Month. Creative Free Play to Chemistry. Bread Baking to Snowshoeing.

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 UMass Department of Chemistry and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Institute is holding a family chemistry demonstration night to display the wonders of chemistry and chemical reactions on Thursday, February 13 in Amherst. There will be exciting explosions, colorful reactions, and much more! Come see how cool chemistry is at this family event! Students, parents, and teachers are especially encouraged to attend this free night of science!


Creative Free Play Community Service/Animal WelfareSportsValentine HistoryLocal HistoryNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresSTEMBaking ♦  Valentine’s DayBlack History MonthParent Workshops


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 1st & 2nd, 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

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Feb 12th by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors Here’s the link to vote: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for February 1st-7th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including:

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 27 Community Highlights: Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

Want to advertise your event, open house, camp, volunteer opportunity or announcement with Hilltown Families. Find out about our enhanced publicity options and about our Summer Camp promotion! Great ways to reach thousands of families living throughout the region while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families!

February 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


SportsMusic StudiesLiteracyImmigrationAstronomyNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresNew England HistoryCommunity ServiceValentine’s DayOrnithologySTEM/Physics

RECAP

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

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

27 Community Highlights: Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel.

Ice was once an important “cash crop” in New England. Learn about the history and science behind ice harvesting this Saturday, Feb 1st at the NCCHP Museum annual Ice Harvest in Granville, and next Saturday, Feb 8th at the Easthampton Winterfest!

Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel. Sleigh Rally to Ice Harvest

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 Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation (NCCHP) Museum is holding their 6th Annual Ice Harvest on Saturday afternoon, Feb 1 in Granville! Dennis Picard will organize the harvest and teach about the history of ice harvesting in New England – visitors will even get to try using an ice saw! Ice was once an important “cash crop” in New England, and you can learn about the history and science behind ice harvesting. The NCCHP museum will be open for tours, a video on ice harvesting, and information about drum-making. There will also be rescue horses from Blue Star Farm on site in order to help teach about the many roles of horses in New England’s history, live music, and refreshments at this free event.


SportsMusic StudiesLiteracyImmigrationAstronomyNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresNew England HistoryCommunity ServiceValentine’s DayOrnithologySTEM/Physics


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 25th & 26th, 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

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Feb 12th by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors Here’s the link to vote: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 25th-31st, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including:

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 21 Community Highlights: Rainforests to Surface Tension. Bread Baking to Ice Harvesting., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

January 25th-31st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


ScienceHistory/FurnitureTheater/PuppetryTransportation/RailroadsEcology/RainforestsDance/CultureFilm StudiesPastry Arts/BreadArt StudiesHistoryBook GroupsParent WorkshopsEarly Literacy

RECAP

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

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

21 Community Highlights: Rainforests to Surface Tension. Bread Baking to Ice Harvesting.

Trains to Bread. Rainforests to Surface Tension. Swords to Furniture

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 your kids ever asked you how a water strider can glide on the surface of a pond? Or why drops of water are round? The answer? Surface tension! On Monday evening, Jan 27, adults and older students can learn about the science of surface tension with professors from Yale University at SciTech Cafe hosted at the Amherst Brewing Company in Amherst. The wonders of surface tension will be illustrated with live action science demos at this free event.


ScienceHistory/FurnitureTheater/PuppetryTransportation/RailroadsEcology/RainforestsDance/CultureFilm StudiesPastry Arts/BreadArt StudiesHistoryBook GroupsParent WorkshopsEarly Literacy


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23 Community Highlights: California Gold Rush to Garland Dancing. Spirituals to Spoken Word.

Garland dancing, an English folk dance that began in the mill towns of North England in the 19th century, was a folk dance rural folks brought with them when they move into cities during the Industrial Revolution.

California Gold Rush to Garland Dancing.  Bald Eagles to Wolves. Spirituals to Spoken Word…

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:  Garland dancing, an English folk dance that originated from the British Isles, is a form of Morris dance with flower-covered garlands and measured movements. The Morning Glory Girls Garland dance group will begin practicing at the Whately Elementary School on Sunday afternoon, January 19th, and welcomes new participants (girls ages 7-12) to join in this free dance group. In this traditional dance, performers use ribbons, bells, and flower garlands while dancing in rhythmic steps to music and song. Mothers and daughter are invited to join in together with the Harts Brook dance group immediately following. Musicians (any age & gender) are welcomed too! Dancing, music, flowers and folks traditions… an inviting recipe for a Sunday afternoon!


HistoryCultural StudiesOutdoor AdventuresArts & CraftsAnimal StudiesMartin Luther King, Jr.Civic EngagementSTEMParent Workshops


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 11th & 12th, 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 January 11th-17th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Families’ Events, and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 18 Community Highlights: Firefighters to Hibernation. Contemporary Art to Marshmallow Catapults., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

January 11th-17th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art

RECAP

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

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

18 Community Highlights: Firefighters to Hibernation. Contemporary Art to Marshmallow Catapults.

Firefighters to Psychology. Marshmallow Catapults to Contemporary Art. Immigration to Hibernation

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:  Ask your child what a family would have done in the 1800′s if their home caught on fire before the invention of modern day fire departments. They might have had to rely on private fire brigades, but only if their home had a fire insurance mark! Learning about the history of the occupation of a fireman gives a unique perspective into the history of our country and the development of technology. This year’s Storrowtown Village‘s First Person Presentation is “A Fireman of 1899 – His Life and Job,” presented by retired firefighter, teacher, and historian William Moss on Friday evening, January 17th in West Springfield. Moss will be at Storrowtown, dressed in period costume, to discuss the lives and challenges of 19th century firefighters, taking families through a typical day in the life of a fireman during the 1800′s. To further your learning at home, tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show Firefighter Episode with guest DJs, Chicago Firefighters John and Pete. A fun radio show/podcast for the whole family!


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 4th & 5th, 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 January 4th-10th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

January 4th-10th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Outdoor Adventures/HikingCultural Studies/Cuba  ♦ Local History/StockbridgeCommunity Service/Animal WelfareSTEM/ChessParent WorkshopsAstronomy

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Kids Becoming World Citizens: Recommended Reading
  2. Q&A: Let’s Talk Bedtime
  3. 3 Soup Recipes for Winter
  4. The Struggle of Winter Wear
  5. Recommendations for Indoor Places to Host a Winter Birthday Party

HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPONSORED EVENTS

Saturday Morning Music Party

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies.

Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies. Parent Workshops to Chess Club

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:  Children love to volunteer and to feel like they are making a difference in the world and the lives of others… especially in the lives of the animals.  Volunteering with a local animal shelter offers children the chance to bring about support to the welfare of animals right in their own community.  On Saturday, January 4th, the Berkshire Humane Society will host an orientation for their “Humane Hero” program, for kids and parents. This is a new volunteer program just for kids. Families can learn about this new program at one of two different orientations: Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield in the morning; Berkshire South Community Center in Great Barrington in the afternoon.


Outdoor Adventures/HikingCultural Studies/Cuba  ♦ Local History/StockbridgeCommunity Service/Animal WelfareSTEM/ChessParent WorkshopsAstronomy


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 28th & 29th, 2013

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 December 28th, 2013-January 3rd, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 23 Community Highlights: Peter Rabbit to Cinderella. History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families through the end of the year.

December 28th, 2013, – January 3rd, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Outdoor AdventuresFoodHistoryNew Year’s EveSTEMFamily PerformancesAstronomy

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: 14 Recommended Websites by Western MA Parents
  2. 10 Tips on Setting Technology Limits for Your Family
  3. Q&A: Where to Enjoy Hot Chocolate in Western MA
  4. 20 Recommendations for Keeping the Family Entertained in Subzero Weather
  5. HFVS Doo-Wop Episode with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano (Radio Show/Podcast)

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

23 Community Highlights: Peter Rabbit to Cinderella. History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve.

History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve. Snowshoeing to Hiking. Peter Rabbit to Cinderella

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:  Julian calendar, Gregorian calendar, Lunisolar calendar, Sumerian calendar, Mayan calendar… with the new year approaching, let’s talk calendars! The history behind each one of these systems of keeping track of the days in a year tells an interesting story about the societies from which they came and how they saw time and the cycles of nature. On Saturday afternoon, Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams is offering an educational program on the history of the calendar. Stop in with your interest and questions and learn about the history of the calendar.


Outdoor AdventuresFoodHistoryNew Year’s EveSTEMFamily PerformancesAstronomy


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 21st & 22nd, 2013

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 December 14th-20th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Christmas. Mummers’ Play to Flash Mob., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2013 for a comprehensive list covering all four counties in Western MA!

December 21st-27th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Chorus & CarolingWinter SolsticeEuropean HistoryMYO CraftsWinter PoetryAnimal TrackingLEGO Block PartyMuseum Adventures


Tree LightingsSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral MusicHanukkahChristmasKwanzaaWinter Solstice

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Top 11 Family Music CD Releases from 2012
  2. 9 Resources for Surviving & Thriving the Winter in Western Massachusetts
  3. Searching for Nests & Animal Tracks in Winter
  4. Christmas Morning Clean-up: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
  5. Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield Hosts Interactive Web Site for New England History

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Christmas. Mummers’ Play to Flash Mob.

Saturday, December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. There are a number of community events, including outdoor celebrations with stories, songs and warming fires…

Flash Mob to Symphony. Winter Solstice to Christmas. Long Sword Dance to Animal Tracking

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 a number of dances with European origins that take place this time of year. On Saturday morning, a Holiday Tea, co-sponsored by the Pelham Library and Historical Society, takes place in Pelham and will include the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, an English folk dance from the Middle Ages. Another featured dance is the Long Sword Dance, traditional dance performed on Boxing Day in England (the day following Christmas Day).  Along with these dance, traditional songs will be sung and a mummers’ play (European folk plays) will be performed too.  Bring the family for a morning rich in European history… and maybe even a visit by Santa!


Chorus & CarolingWinter SolsticeEuropean HistoryMYO CraftsWinter PoetryAnimal TrackingLEGO Block PartyMuseum Adventures


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 14th & 15th, 2013

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 December 14th-20th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2013 for a comprehensive list covering all four counties in Western MA!

December 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Citizen ScientistOrnithologyNature StudiesDendrenology  ♦ Historical TradeChristmas HistoryMusic HistoryCreative Free PlayLocal History Tree LightingsSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral MusicHanukkahChristmasKwanzaaWinter Solstice

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Spread the Bread: Community Service from Hearth & Home
  2. Get Crafty with the Kids & Spread Holiday Cheer in Your Community
  3. Let’s Play: Stories from Family Holidays to Inspire Creative Free Play
  4. DIY: Repurposed Planters for Paperwhites For Giving
  5. 6 Holiday Podcasts from the Hilltown Family Variety Show

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions.

Christmas Bird Count to Watershed Investigators. Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions….

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:  Would you like to learn more about what the holidays were like in the past? The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and The Mount have partnered to present “Downton Abbey and Gilded Age Holiday Entertaining,” with food historian Francine Segan on Sunday afternoon, December 15th in Great Barrington. She will discuss the variety of traditions, etiquette, dishes, and entertainment that were popular in high society during the Gilded Age, such as calling cards, horse-drawn coaches, high tea, cotillions, formal dinner, and more. The evening also includes trivia, tastings, demonstrations, recipes, and a screening of Somewhere in Time (1980; rated PG). This fascinating and entertaining lecture would be best for older students interested in history, food, or film.


Citizen ScientistOrnithologyNature StudiesDendrenology  ♦ Historical TradeChristmas HistoryMusic HistoryCreative Free PlayLocal History


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 7th & 8th, 2013

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 December 7th-13th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Families Events, and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 21 Community Highlights: Yuletide to Colonial Christmas. Jane Austen to Charles Dickens., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2013 for a comprehensive list covering all four counties in Western MA!

December 7th-13th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Holiday HistoryAnimal StudiesSocial JusticeLiteratureLocal HistoryNature StudiesCultural StudiesPerformance ArtParent Workshops Tree LightingsSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral Music ♦ HanukkahChristmasKwanzaa ♦ Winter Solstice

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. The Christmas Spider & the Legend of Tinsel
  2. The Little Drummer Boy: A Story of Humanity & Kindness
  3. Spread the Bread: Community Service from Hearth & Home
  4. Get Crafty with the Kids & Spread Holiday Cheer in Your Community
  5. 6 Holiday Podcasts from the Hilltown Family Variety Show

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

GIVEAWAYS

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

21 Community Highlights: Yuletide to Colonial Christmas. Jane Austen to Charles Dickens.

There are a number of variations on the Gingerbread Man story available to read with your kids. Click here for a list of titles.

Yuletide to Colonial Christmas. Human Rights to Afro-Caribbean. Jane Austen to Charles Dickens.

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 history of a town can often times been seen in the architecture of it’s buildings and the remains of local industry.  In the early 19th century, Westfield was manufacturing bricks, cigars and whips (the city is know as the “Whip City” to this day.) On Sunday afternoon, December 8th, families can participate in a self-guided Dickens Days Historic House Tour of Westfield. Discover the history behind eight historic Westfield homes, all decorated for the holidays, and learn about what the city was like in the past and the industries in which past inhabitants worked.


Holiday HistoryAnimal StudiesSocial JusticeLiteratureLocal HistoryNature StudiesCultural StudiesPerformance ArtParent Workshops


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