Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.
SUGGEST AN EVENT
“Hilltown Families gives us lots of info about all the different happenings each week that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. This has been an invaluable resource for us to get to cool events and to make connections with other local families. Thank you!” - Stacy Calabretta of Goshen, MA (Photo credit: Angie Gregory)
If you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.
SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. — Help us help you
On Saturday, April 16th from 1-3pm – GEOLOGY: Families are invited to take a walk at the Chesterfield Gorge , along the Westfield River, with professor Richard Little. Learn about the geology of the gorge and enjoy the outdoors! Rain date is 4/17. Meet for the walk in the Trustees of Reservations parking lot in Chesterfield. West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)
On Sunday, April 17th from 11am-4pm – EARTH FESTIVAL: Visit the Springfield Science Museum for the Earth Week Festival! Tons of special activities, including demonstrations on how to cast a fishing rod provided by the DFW Angler Education Program. There will also be giveaways and a bluegrass performance. 21 Edwards Street. 800-625-7738. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Mark you calendars for the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 14th at the Cummington Fairgrounds, right in the heart of the Hilltowns!
Saturday, April 23rd at 3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Explore Natural Glow, the Berkshire Museum’s hands-on program where kids can learn about naturally florescent minerals, lichens, and scorpions. Sponsored by the Northern Berkshire Mineral Club. 39 South Street. 413-443-7171. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)
Sunday, April 24th from 2-4pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Winterberry Farm’s Lambs’ Open House. Visit newborn baby lambs, as well as (maybe) some baby rabbits, ducklings, and/or goslings. There will definitely be chicks! Donations will be collected for Right Sharing of World Resources. 21 Teawaddle Hill Road. 413-548-3940. Leverett, MA. (FUNDRAISER)
MEDITATION FOR KIDS: Meditation Course for Children ages 8-12, Sun., May 8. Kids are invited to spend the day at the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne attending a 1-day course. Day will start at 9am & include sessions in the meditation hall interspersed with games & activities, ending at 4:30pm. All courses at VMC are offered on a donation basis. To register/watch a video about children’s & teens’ courses: www.Dhara.Dhamma.org
POST C-SECTION WORKSHOP: Post C-Birth Healing 5-Week Workshop at Cradle in Northampton begins on Mon., May 2nd from 6-8pm. This group is for women-post partum, to have a formalized space to process and heal from issues related to C birth experiences. Come share your story. Cost for full workshop: $70. To register, contact Sabrina Herman at Sabrinaherman.email@example.com.
PUPPET FESTIVAL: The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton presents their 3rd annual Puppet Festival, April 18-21, 2011. The theater comes alive with story during school vacation week as puppets and marionettes take the stage all week (ages 4 and older). April 18th: The Woman Who Outshone the Sun, performed by Behind-the-Mask Puppets. April 19th: Jack and the Beanstalk performed by Spring Valley Puppet Theater. April 20th: Sleeping Beauty, performed by National Marionette Theatre. April 21st: Pinocchio, performed by the National Marionette Theatre. All shows begin at 10am and are 50 minutes long. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Academy Box Office, Tuesday-Friday from 3-6pm or by calling 584-9032 x105 or online at www.academyofmusictheatre.com.
BENEFIT CONCERT: Don’t miss Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry and The Nields, live in Shelburne Falls for The Academy at Charlemont‘s annual benefit concert! Sunday, April 17, 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall. Also featuring the debut of the astonishing student band Flapjack Overkill. Visit www.charlemont.org, or call the school at 413-339-4912. All proceeds will benefit The Academy’s scholarship fund.
Arianna Alexsandra writes: “Now that Spring is growing, so is the Ashfield Community Garden. If you are an Ashfield Resident and looking for some open, sunny land, inquire about available spaces… Throughout the year we also offer canning workshops and other “anyone can do this” community activities.”
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Despite drought conditions last summer and early ice this winter, trout hatcheries in Massachusetts have produced enough trout to stock the state’s waters. Trout will be released throughout the beginning of April. For more information on trout stocking and a list of weekly activities, visit here or call the valley DFW office at 413-323-7632. Along with trout, the state’s waters will also be stocked with salmon this month. The salmon release process is more involved than that of trout and requires that fish be transferred by hand in buckets from trucks to waterways. For a list of dates and locations of salmon releases to volunteer at, click here or call 508-389-6331.
EARTH DAY: Celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd) with Transition Northampton by helping to create an Oil Memorial- a large structure made up of empty oil drums and covered in materials and products that oil is used to produce (glue, plastic bottles, shopping bags, candles, CDs, rope, lipstick, etc.). Families are encouraged to help out with creating the memorial- it is a great way to teach kids about what resources are used to create the products that they use on a daily basis. The Oil Memorial will be displayed at Pulaski Park in Northampton on Saturday, April 23rd, and families can bring items to contribute on that day. For more information, contact Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamie at email@example.com.
EARTH DAY: Northampton Public Schools are working together to create the world’s largest ball made from single-use shopping bags for Earth Day. The ball, which will be rolled through Northampton to Pulaski Park on April 23rd, is being created by students at all four elementary schools in Northampton, along with the high school’s Environmental Club. Students are working together to collect bags from their families, neighbors, and friends. The number of bags collected is being recorded and will be reported once the ball has been made. The goal of the project is to highlight the excessive amount of bags that shoppers use and to show how many non-biodegradable items could be saved if local shops went bag free.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION: April’s Critter of the Month, designated by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, is the New England Cottontail- Massachusetts’ only native rabbit! The New England Cottontail is currently a candidate to be designated as endangered, as it requires large spaces of thick underbrush in order to survive and only 5% of the state’s forested areas fit this description. The DFW is currently counting cottontail populations throughout the state, and if you are aware of cottontail populations near you, please alert the DFW by visiting here.
SCREEN FREE WEEK: Celebrate Screen Free Week from April 18th-24th. Advocated for by the Department of Public Health, Screen Free Week means exactly what its name implies- no screens for you or your kiddos for a whole week! (Except when you need to check Hilltown Families to find fun family events.) Children who spend excessive amounts of time in front of screens (television, computer, hand held game device, etc.) have higher rater of obesity, poor school performance, and attention problems- not to mention the fact that they take part in far less creative play. Find out more at www.screenfreeweek.org.
SATURDAY SPRING FARMERS’ MARKETS:
HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW
Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.
This week is a rebroadcast of David Weinstone from Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals.
Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:
- Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
- On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
- Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!
WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS
Saturday• Sunday • Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday
Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here
Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.
7:30am-7:30am – SEWING: Help sew bags for ten different Bagshare locations at the Village Church and Hilltown Sewing Center! This is a 24-hour event ending on Sunday morning (the 17th). The event is broken into six four-hour shifts, each lead by an experienced sewer. Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
8am – NATURE STUDIES: Help restore Atlantic Salmon in MA by stocking Salmon fry with MassWildlife at Middle Branch Westfield River. You will get wet!!! Some waders will be available for loan. A change of clothes is a good idea. You will be walking on slippery stream and river beds, up and down steep banks in chest or hip waders so you should be in good physical condition. Meet atGateway Regional HS. Call to confirm schedule: 508-389-6331 Huntington, MA (FREE)
8am-3:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Head to Hadley for the UMass Livestock Classic! There will be petting zoos, arts and crafts, hay rides, Joshua the Camel, and raffles, as well as a chance to watch UMass students compete with their livestock. 111 North Maple Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
9am – WALK FOR PEACE: Take part in the Cave Hill Classic with your family. Participants can do either a five mile run or a two mile walk. The walk is a great walk to get out with the family while supporting the Leverett Peace Pagoda. Cave Hill Road. Leverett, MA. (FUNDRAISER)
10am – MOVIE: Images Cinema will screen the animated shorts nominated for Oscars this year. There are six movies contained in the hour and a quarter run time, and the collection is not rated. 50 Spring Street. 413-458-1039. Williamstown, MA. ($)
10-11:30am – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Nonotuck Community School presents a workshop lead by Sarah Getoff, MEd LMHC, entitled, “Assertiveness at All Ages: How to Teach Children Skills to Protect them for a Lifetime.” 221 Riverside Drive. 413-586-5996. Florence, MA. ($)
10-11:30am - NATURE STUDIES: Explore vernal pools at Laughing Brook with your family. Naturalist Kevin Kopchynski will lead kids in observing pools and looking for invertebrates, egg masses, amphibians, and reptiles. Pre-registration required. 739 Main Street. 413-584-3009. Hampden, MA. (>$)
10am-12noon – NATURE STUDIES: Explore vernal pools at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Learn to identify egg masses, fingernail clams, fairy shrimp, wood frogs, and salamanders. Be prepared to get wet and muddy, and please pre-register. 413-229-8600. Sheffield, MA. (>$)
10am-12noon – EGG HUNT: The Basketball Hall of Fame hosts the Easter Egg Extravaganza! Over 500 eggs will be hidden inside the Hall of Fame- come and find them. 1000 West Columbus Avenue. 413-781-6500. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
10am-12Noon – PARENTING SOCIAL: Color Play is a monthly social and craft for families parenting children of color, supporting parents by addressing the cultural imbalances on their children’s community, encouraging self-acceptance and identity awareness. Providing parents with the opportunity to have open dialogue around the many concerns of parenting children of color, it will include a story hour, healthy snack and seasonal craft; as well as, fun interactive parent-child connecting in a diverse setting. Northampton, MA (FREE)
10am-1pm – VOLUNTEER: Help clean up the gardens at the Great Falls Discovery Center for Massachusetts’ Park Serve Day. All ages welcome. 2 Avenue A. 413-863-3221. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
10am-2pm – TEEN VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Join Grow Food Northampton for the first work day at the Northampton Community Farm. The fields need to be cleared of rocks for spring plowing, so bring gloves, a spade, and a large bucket if you have any (or all) of those things! Ages 12 and older. Corner of Spring and Meadow Streets. Northampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
10am-2pm – EGG HUNT: Shaker Farms Country Club’s annual Easter egg hunt. Along with the egg hunt, there will be a raffle, games, and a visit from the Easter bunny (delivered by helicopter!). 866 Shaker Road. 413-568-4087. Westfield, MA. (FREE)
10am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield for a Patriots Day celebration. Learn about the history behind the holiday and “the shot heard ‘round the world.’ There will be a Revolutionary Muster and Parade, as well as other activities to keep families occupied all day. 84 Old Main Street. 413-774-5581. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)
10am-4pm – HEALTHY KIDS: The Pittsfield YMCA hosts Healthy Kids Day- there will be zumba, gymnastics, a scavenger hunt, face painting, and more! 292 North Street. 413-499-7650. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
10am-4pm – SHEEP SHEARING: Head to Hancock Shaker Village for sheep shearing demonstrations! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
10am-5pm – ART FESTIVAL: The Paint and Pixel Festival will take place at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Meet creators of comics, graphic novels, picture books, and webcomics! 17 New South Street. 413-584-7327. Northampton, MA. (>$)
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