Hindsight Parenting: Nothing Beats Planning for the Summer

Creative planning can maximize summer fun for kids

It’s that time again!  Although I look forward to it all year, I also DREAD it as well.  Summer!

Time spent with our children–Yippee!

Time spent with our children–UGH!

The dichotomy of feelings that come with school-free children are ones that many parents feel, including me…ESPECIALLY me.  Last year, I tried to head off the dread and doom by planning, planning, planning, searching, searching, searching for fun things to keep my preschooler occupied. I began this searching/planning process in May. It was a rousing success.  Summer with my posse of “things to do” went smoother, felt better, and was enjoyable.

So this year, I decided that summer would be an even bigger success and much less stressful if I started planning in January.  I have to say I am pretty pleased with this year’s summer ideas.  I have broken them down for you into three categories as shared on my Pinterest board:  Outdoor Activities, Rainy Day Activities, and Summer Day Trips.

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Oak & Acorn: Local Strawberry Smoothie

Take advantage of strawberry season!

In June, Western Mass is a blush of strawberries as harvest approaches. Don’t be afraid of buying too much as they can be frozen and used throughout the year.

It’s been really exciting the past few weeks in Western MA. Everything is growing like crazy, farmers’ markets are getting busy and the first of CSA share pick-ups are starting to happen. We are pretty lucky to live in an area where we are surrounded by such rich soil, have access to local farms and live where we can know where our food comes from. Thankfully, a good number of farms in the area also offer subsidized community agricultural shares.

One of my favorite things to see at the farmers’ market, is the abundance and variety of beautiful foods. I also appreciate the hard work that goes behind all that we see and buy at the market. It takes a lot of sweat and dedication to make these things happen.

This week at the market, I was really excited to see that it’s Strawberry season. The sweetness and beautiful rich reds in them, say enough. I usually try to get as many as I can, from either local markets, pick your own farms or from my own garden. If you ever find you have more than you need, just freeze them and use them throughout the year. I still have a few quarts of local berries in my freezer from last summer, that go well in many things. Read the rest of this entry »

Oak & Acorn: Rhubarb Crumble in Season

Rhubarb Crumble

It’s that time of year when little green things are starting to come out of the ground, flowers are blooming and the trees have their leaves again. Without the work of planting new seeds, we get lucky to have those few perennials that come back each year. The only things that I have coming back from last spring are a variety of herbs and rhubarb. Rhubarb is a vegetable that is known for its large leaves and tall, thin red stalks but is mostly known for its strong tart flavor. It’s an easy thing to grow with kids and also doesn’t require a lot of maintenance like other vegetables or fruits. Generally people will combine something sweet with the rhubarb to complement it.

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 10th & 11th, 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 August 10th-16th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 10th-16th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Plant & Nature StudiesCitizen ScientistsHistoryCultural StudiesLocal FoodFilmsScienceAnimal Studies

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Our Daughters: CyberDRAMA
  2. 6 Variations of Pesto for Family Dinner
  3. Let’s Play: Special Places
  4. Books for Kids Who Love Ten-Ton Trucks
  5.  Five Ways Families Can Enjoy MA State Parks

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 3rd & 4th, 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 August 3rd-9th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, Summer Camp Options, and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 24 Community Highlights: Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing, and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 3rd-9th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


TheaterHistoryNature Studies/HikesArts & CraftsMuseum AdventuresAstronomyCultural StudiesMusic Studies

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 19 Children’s Books on Food Security/Scarcity
  2. 13 Suggestions on What to Do with Tattered & Torn Clothes
  3. Dirty Dozen & Clean 15: A Family Guide to Reducing Exposure to Pesticides in Your Produce
  4. How Does Your Family Approach Chores, Allowances and Educating Kids About Finances?
  5. Language Play: 6 Pre-Reading Activities

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 27th & 28th, 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 July 27th-August 2nd, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, Summer Camp Options, and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 27 Community Highlights: Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Pollinators to Raptors., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: July 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

July 27th-August 2nd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Community Service Animal & Insect StudiesNature Studies Museum AdventuresHistoryMusic StudiesOrnithology

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Kids Can Count Jellyfish as Seaside Citizen Scientists this Summer
  2. Youth Against Hunger Education
  3. Let’s Play: Tactile Play
  4. Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Place to PYO Blueberries in Western MA
  5. Music Trekking: Down By the Ocean

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

HFVS Summer Essentials Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast: 

SUMMER ESSENTIALS EPISODE

Hilltown Family Variety Show
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am

July 6th & 7th, 2013 (Rebroadcast)

 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter


PLAYLIST

  • Lisa Loeb – “Ready for the Summer” [Camp Lisa]
  • Dog on Fleas – “Green Grass of Summer” [When I Get Little]
  • Nat King Cole – “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” [The Greatest Hits]
  • Tony Bennett – “Firefly” [The Playground]
  • Robbi K & Friends – “Summer’s Here” [Music Makes Me Happy]
  • Justin Roberts – “Kickboard, Baby, Yeah” [Pop Fly]
  • Gunnar Madsen – “Summertime is Here” [Old Mr. Mackle Hackle]
  • Storytelling ID: Steve Weeks www.steveweeksmusic.com
  • Bill Harley – “King of the Clams” [Blah, Blah, Blah]
  • The Terrible Twos – “Lily Names Everything Sandy” [Jerzy the Giant]
  • The Beach Boys – “Fun, Fun, Fun” [Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys]
  • T-Squad – “No Sleep ‘Til Summertime” [T-Squad]
  • SHOW ID: Princess Katie & Racer Steve (www.princessracer.org)
  • Randy Kaplan – “Mosquito Song” [Five Cent Piece]
  • Ellis Paul – “Dragonfly Races” [The Dragonfly Races]
  • Recess Monkey – “The Sandbox Song” [Tabby Road]

HFVS Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

ICE CREAM & LEMONADE STANDS EPISODE

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Original Broadcast: August 9th, 2008
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

Iced Tea Stand (the alternative to the traditional Lemonade Stand) -Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield

  • Louis Prima – “Banana Split for My Baby” [The Wildest!]
  • Telephone Company – “I-C-E C-R-E-A-M” [The King's Surprises?]
  • Michael Hearst – “Ice Cream!” [Songs For Ice Cream Trucks]
  • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
  • Green Means Go – “Ice Cream” [A Day at the Seaside]
  • The Terrible Twos – “Jerzy the Giant’ [Jerzy the Giant]
  • Rhonda Vincent – “Bananaphone” [Sing Along with Putumayo]
  • The Hipwaders – “I Like Summertime” [The Hipwaders]
  • The Dirty Sock Funtime Band – “I’m Hot” [Mr. Clown and the Day the Sun Got Wet]
  • Adam and the Couch Potatoes – “Swimming, Swimming, Swimming” [One Size Fits All]
  • Michael Hearst – “The Sprinkle Twinkle’” [Songs for Ice Cream Trucks]
  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • Randy Kaplan – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” [Five Cent Piece]
  • Nathan Abshire – “Lemonade Song” [Kings of Cajun Vol. III]
  • Gunnar Madsen – “Selling Lemonade” [Old Mr. Mackle Hackle]
  • Ralph Covert – “Happy Lemons” [Welcome to Ralph's World]
  • Station Id: Princess Katie & Racer Steve [www.princessracer.com]
  • Peter Himmelman – “Lemonade Stand” [My Lemonade Stand]
  • Sly & The Family Stone – “Hot Fun in the Summertime” [The Essential Sly & the Family Stone]
  • Steve Weeks – “Up!” [Alphabet Songs Vol. III Rabbit Run]

Highlights for the First Weekend of Summer

Lavender Festival happens this weekend in Buckland at Johnson Hill Farm. Walk their Lavender Labyrinth, gaze at their dove release, and join in on a number of hands-on workshops. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Summer is officially here and school is out (for most)! This weekend there are several community festivals and celebrations happening in Western MA to start your summer off right. Three such festival will be celebrating specific cultures, including Puerto Rican, Chinese and Vietnamese.

A community celebration of Puerto Rican arts and culture happens on Saturday, June 23rd in Holyoke at La Noche de San Juan. Live music will fill Holyoke Heritage State Park as participants enjoy dancing, beach volleyball and family activities. And on Sunday, June 24th up in the Berkshires, The Clark in Williamstown will host a traditional Chinese Street Festival, while down in the Pioneer Valley STCC host a Springfield Vietnamese Festival.

On both Saturday and Sunday this weekend the annual Mutton and Mead Festival takes place in Montague, a traditional Renaissance Faire offering families a unique opportunity to learn about medieval culture. And in the Hilltowns, Johnson Hill Farm in Buckland will have their annual Lavender Festival where visitors can tour the farm, watch demonstrations and take part in workshops.

Other festivals and celebrations this weekend include Trolleyfest on Saturday at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum where families can enjoy a trolley ride with costumed actors offer a living-history presentation of a 1910 trolley trip. And in Great Barrington, welcome the summer at the Berkshire Coop’s Summer Solstice Bash at Memorial Field with David Grover giving a family concert and local food being featured. Then on Sunday, festivals continue with Family Fun Day in Greenfield.

Library adventures await you this week too! With school letting out, many libraries will begin their summer reading programs. On Saturday, June 23rd, Tom Stankus presents, “T-Bone’s Big Adventure” at the Wilbraham Library to kick-off their summer reading program in the morning, and then in the afternoon Roger Ticknell and Davis Bates present,”Imagine That: A Song and Story Celebration” at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg to kick-off their program. Then on Monday, June 25th, Lee Library will kick-off their program with Magician Ed Popielarczyk, and the Southampton Library will kick-off theirs with a family-friendly show from the Salvation Alley String Band in the evening on Tuesday, June 26th. Then on Wednesday, June 27th, there will be a family concert with Jay Mankita at the Whatley Library to kick-off their summer reading program too!

Other literary adventures this coming weekend include local local author Ty Allen Jackson, reading When I Close My Eyes at the Lanesborough Library this Saturday morning, and a Bear-Themed Storywalk for the book Saturday Errands: A Day With Momma Bear and Honey Bee will lead families through Easthampton Saturday afternoon. Then later in the week on Thursday, June 28th, there will be a poetry slam at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield which will include a workshop for kids where they can learn about the idea of a slam, and see a mock-slam in the evening.

Find out about all of these events, and other weekend highlights, as well as our summer list of ongoing weekday events, on this week’s list of Weekly Suggested Events.

Unexpected Last Days of Summer Play

Running on Empty

He runs—five to ten miles per day with his cross country team. He jumps-before and after cross country practice-on a super charged pogo stick. He flips-on a trampoline before sunrise and way after sunset. He skates, scats skedaddles—up and down the street and around the block on a skate board, on a long board, on a bike, on two feet. He never stops; not even to fuel all that movement with food or drink.

It’s a typical summer scenario. Gannan, the quintessential boy, wakes up at the crack of dawn to soak up every single second of play time that he can wring out of a sweltering sunny day. Breakfast, if eaten at all, is usually a piece of fruit or a granola bar that he can shove down his throat as he’s whipping open the backdoor (only to throw the wrapper on the lawn as the back gate slams.) At lunch time, I scream my voice hoarse trying to locate my Prince-of-Playtime. He comes reluctantly, shoulders slumped, smelling of sweat and dirt and grass, but will stubbornly stay out on the front porch until the food is absolutely ready–not wanting to let one second of fresh air miss his awaiting nose. Somehow it is as if all that playing has caused his legs to forget how to bend him to a seated position. So he stands…and bounces…up and down… and wolfs a half a sandwich in one bite. He runs toward the front door. I yell “Halt” and hand him an 8 ounce glass of milk. Foot tapping, he drinks half and then those tapping feet bolt him out through the portal-of-play. Dinner is much the same. Even though I require that he must spend at least ten minutes at the family dinner table, he still will eat a half of a hot dog in a great big chomp and shovel a handful of fries into his mouth so that they stick out like the whiskers of the Energizer Bunny. Feigning a stomach ache he says he can eat no more and then bounces his right leg up and down, keeping the engine revving, looking at the clock, sighing with head in hand, blowing his long bangs out of his eyes, doing whatever it is so that he can get away from that table and back out to paradise. As he bolts once more, I again demand he drink “at least SOMETHING!” He dramatically takes in a gulp of milk and dashes off to greener pastures with his mother smiling after him, marveling at his energy.

Okay, so to some of you this description of a boy and his love for summer will conjure some smiles and make you wistful for the days of Andy and Opie walking to the “crick” with their fishing poles slung over their shoulders. However, after what happened this week, the description makes me feel ashamed. Yes. That’s right. I said ashamed. Not sunny. Not whistly. Not reminiscent of days gone by….nope. Ashamed. Here’s why.

Last Saturday, I awoke to a very ghostly looking boy standing at the foot of my bed asking me where the thermometer was. His arms were holding his comforter tightly around him, pathetically and weakly whispering, “I don’t think I feel good.” Since this is not a phrase that typically is spoken by Gannan because he knows it is one that would seal his fate INSIDE for the day, I immediately pop the thermometer in his mouth. It reads 103 degrees, and so I begin all the “mom” things that we do when we have a sick kid. Get him set up on the couch, ply him with Advil, coo and coddle. I suggest to him that he sip a little ginger ale and I wait for the protest. But to my surprise, he doesn’t. Instead he asks for water, and I give him water; glass after glass after glass. It seems as if he is a bottomless pit and can’t get enough H2O. That’s not the only thing that is unusual. He practically begs for food. I question my husband….”What’s that saying? Feed a cold-starve a fever. Or is it–starve a cold and feed a fever?” No matter. He wanted food; an egg and cheese sandwich to be exact, and then a bowl of cereal, and then a strawberry milkshake, and then another. All eaten in the span of two hours. He was ravenous. He was severely parched, very odd behavior for a sick kid. Or was it?

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Suggested Events 07/24/10-07/30/10

Like This!

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Hot Air Balloon Display at the Green River Festival last Saturday in Greenfield, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday & Saturday, July 23rd & 24th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Thai style fish cakes with cucumber relish and coconut rice.  Special drinks: Asian style Pimm’s Cup and Lime Shandy. Also available: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

BEST BET

Saturday, July 24th at 10:30am: Paintbox Theater presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff at  Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus. Director Tom McCabe is going to place a very special spin on this classic. His take – a tale about bullying. The twist? The troll is the one who is bullied, teased and, at the beginning of the story, alone. With the help of the audience and lots of suggestions from fairy tale characters crossing the bridge overhead, the troll will make friends and work things out. – Making friends is tough, especially if you feel different. – Every kid in the audience can bring their own special talents to participate & shine! 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

Saturday, July 24th from 12Noon-5pm & 8-10pm: Pittsfield City Hoopla at Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House. Hula Hooping, Fire Poi Spinning, Drumming by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots (8-10pm) and more.  Great event for all ages! Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

August 14th at 9pm: Mt. Greylock Star Parties. Join families on the summit of Massachusetts’ highest peak for a wonderful evening of night sky observing!  Astronomy Association members are eager to share their knowledge about the night sky. Families will be able to observe the ringed majesty Saturn, galaxies, open star clusters, whispy nebula, double stars, colored stars, Neptune, Uranus, and much more through telescopes on display. The programs are FREE, appropriate for all ages and canceled only if there is heavy cloud cover or rain. Please contact the Mt. Greylock Visitors Center at (413)-499-4262 or Kevin Collins from the Astronomy Association at (413)-320-2509 if you have questions regarding the program or status of the program. Lanesbourgh, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

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

Shelley Brooks of the South Berkshire Community Coalition writes: Kickball Tournament – we need players! Deadline to sign up – Friday, July 23… We are looking for 10 eager players that would like to join our SBCC Kickball Team. This fun (one-time) event will take place *Saturday, July 31* at the Little League Field in Great Barrington. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and wrap up arou…nd 6 p.m. All ages (and abilities) are encouraged to join!  Call us at 413-528-1919 x 14 or email at sbcc@chpberkshires.org.

Deadline to enter to win: Tonight, 7/22, at 7pm!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Help support The Food Bank of Western MA. Food and fund drives organized by community groups, schools, and local businesses help fill The Food Bank’s warehouse and enable them to dedicate more resources towards their mission. Organizing a food drive or other fundraising event for The Food Bank can make a major impact in your community. Most-needed items: peanut butter and jelly, rice and canned soup or stew, spaghetti and canned spaghetti sauce, canned pasta meals, tuna, low-sugar cereals, canned beans. For more information about how your group can support The Food Bank, or to arrange a drop-off time of food or funds, please call The Food Bank at 413-247-9738 or email our Development & Marketing Department: development@foodbankwma.org.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Part-time volunteer opportunities. The Hilltown Community Development Corporation (Hilltown CDC) is offering three part-time one-year stipended volunteer positions starting in September to talented adults (must be over 18) who are interested in serving as Commonwealth Corps members and learning about the community development field. Hours are flexible; each volunteer will serve approximately 17 hours per week as an assistant on community outreach projects relating to Hilltown CDC’s work on affordable housing, small business development and planning projects. For more information, contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org.

Deadline to enter to win: August 4th

WORKSHOP: Thursday August 12, 2-5 PM. Grow Food at Schools workshop. This popular workshop features school garden and greenhouse techniques, curriculum connections, and service learning. Geared toward educators; all are welcome. PDPs (professional development points) available to teachers. Pre-registration required, contact solidarity@seedsofsolidarity.org.

WORKSHOP: Tuesday, August 24 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Chicopee Public Library, Workshop “Making Sense of Behavior: Teaching Young Children How to Develop Self-Control and Self-Regulation Using Behavioral and Sensory Techniques.” Designed to assist teachers, parents, and caregivers of children with challenging behaviors – the children who hit, bite, scream, etc. We will explore the reasons behind their behaviors and concentrate on a variety of techniques to help them develop more appropriate ways to deal with stress and channel their frustration, energy level, or sensory need. For more information contact Karen Cassidy at 413-783-5500 ext 16 or at kcassidy@thomchild.org.

LOCAL MUSICIANS WANTED: Local musicians wanted to perform as part of the Greenfield Savings Banks Morning Melodies summer series of musical entertainment featuring local artists.  If you have musical ability and would like the opportunity to schedule a date when you could perform for your Hilltown neighbors, please call Sarah Mancinelli (775-8291) at the bank.

PARENT NIGHT OUT: Saturday July 24, 4 PM, 10th Annual Chili & Chowder Fest, Camp Russell in Richmond, ages 21+. Sponsored by Boys and Girls Clubs of Pittsfield. Now in its tenth year, the Chili & Chowder Fest showcases the talents of chefs from more than 20 eateries across Berkshire County. The event will also feature pontoon boat rides on Richmond Pond, music, raffles, door prizes, beer and wine, and other snacks and refreshments. Tickets may be purchased at the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield and will be sold at the door if any remain; tickets are limited to 500. For more information, call (413) 448-8258.


WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 7/24

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – 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.

8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Local contradance superstars Rhubarb Pie have reformed as Calamity Physics! Fun, danceable tunes loved by kids and adults alike! Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

9am-10pm – YANKEE DOODLE DAYS: At the Charlemont Fairgrounds.  Civil War Re-Enactment, Ox Draw, Music, Kid Activities, Rides, Demolition Derby, Crafts, Animals, much more. www.charlemontfairgrounds.org Charlemont, MA (>$)

9am-3pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: The Third Annual Otis Arts Festival at the Farmington River Elementary School, 555 Main Road (Rte. 8).  This year over 50 artists and artisans will be featured. Entertainment will feature Moonshine Holler, Appalachian fiddlers and singers  (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Henry the Juggler (11 a.m.), Leland Martin, fiddler and Joe Dziok accompanist (1:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.). 269-0220 Otis, MA (FREE, SALE)

9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The kids can learn about colonial cooking at the Historic Deerfield Museum’s Open Hearth Cooking Classes. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA

10am - HIKE: The Deerfield River Watershed Association’s July Hike will be a chance to explore Colrain’s Archeology and Geography.   Join Muriel Russell, local expert in Catamount history, for an exploration of cellar holes and caves in the Catamount State Forest.  This is always a popular hike because of its variety and it is not too strenuous. Bring  flashlight to explore caves, unscented  bug repellant and lunch to enjoy at McLeod Pond.  Directions to start: From Rte. 112 in Griswoldville, Colrain, take Adamsville Rd. to Lively Rd., then quick left onto East Catamount Rd. (steep and dirt) to end where there is parking.  Please register with Muriel 624-3311. Colrain, MA (FREE)

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

10am – MUSIC: Come to the  Greenfield Savings Bank Conway office for family music, featuring Joanie Schwartz, Conway resident, local realtor and singer/songwriter. Joanie is very lively and tries to involve others to sing along. 775-8291 Conway, MA [FREE]

10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: Paintbox Theater presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff at  Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus. 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

10:30-11:15am - NATURE STUDIES: Tom Ricardi will have his birds of prey at the Village Commons’ Summer Children’s Entertainment Series, outside in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Zucchini Brothers at Eastfield Mall Center Court. 543-8000 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

11am – THEATER: “The Mummy’s Tale and Other Stories from the Great Beyond” at the Berkshire Museum. This family-friendly journey explores the ultimate mystery: the afterlife as viewed across centuries and cultures. www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

11am-3pm - TAG SALE: Children’s Tag Sale, Chester Parent Center, Town Center Playgrounds (across from Town Hall). (Rain date July 31) to benefit Chester Elementary School PTO. 623-0111 Chester, MA (SALE)

11am-4pm - ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Snow’s Ice Cream is celebrating their 100th anniversary with $1 ice cream cones for all. Snow’s will be serving cones at the River Valley Market (North King St.). Students of the Northampton Community Music Center will be playing music for the event throughout the earlier part of this event – from 11am till 2pm (approx.) All proceeds of the event will benefit the Music Center. Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

12Noon-5pm & 8-10pm – HOOP-FEST: Pittsfield Cioty Hoopla happens at Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House. Hula Hooping, Fire Poi Spinning, drumming by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots (8-10pm) and more. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

1pm - ICE CREAM SOCIAL: All ages welcome to cool off with some ice cream at the Whately Library (202 Chestnut Plain Rd.). 210-4346 Whately, MA (FREE)

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

1-4pm – MUSEUMS ADVENTURES:  Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate the art of acclaimed “New Yorker” and children’s book illustrator William Steig and his wife/creative collaborator Jeanne Steig, during SuperSteig Day, a family event.  298-4100 www.nrm.org Stockbridge, MA (FREE FOR KIDS)

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

2pm-12Midnight – BLOCK DANCE: The Hinsdale muster team will be hold its 12th annual Block Dance.  Music, dancing, fireworks, kids’ muster, water polo, bonfire and more.  Hinsdale Fire Department. 655-8084  www.hinsdalefire.org Hinsdale, MA (FREE)

3-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Hilltown Sustainability Celebration at the Cummington Community House (33 Main St.).  Contra dance and potluck/picnic.  Live music with Sarah Stockwell-Arthen, Josh Wachtel and Benny Schults & Choral Group.  Activities for all ages, including dance movement workshop, seed ball making, bag sew, ride an electric bike and more.325 3988 Cummington, MA (FREE)

6pm – MOVIE SCREENING: Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas – a red carpet fundraiser!  Moviegoers are encouraged to dress for the red carpet or as their favorite character from the Ramona books. The evening will also feature a silent auction with signed books, movie posters, etc, and a special pre-screening video specific to Franklin County.  774-3167 x 101 Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

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

6-9pm – HIKE: Blueberry Moon Hike.  Seach for berries on a 3-mile hike at the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. Ages 8 & older. (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA (>$)

7pm – YOUTH THEATER: Starlight’s Youth Theatre’s production of Les Miserables at the Belchertown High School. 533-7896 Belchertown, MA ($)

7pm – OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE: Scaramouche Jones – a one-man show, at the Three Sisters Sanctuary. This is the first performance in the new outdoor stone amphiteater. “On the eve of the millennium, Scaramocuhe Jones, a 100-year old pale faced Gypsy clown, breaks a fifty year silence to tell his life story. We are taken on a journey from the slums of Trinidad to England, via Africa, Italy and wartime Poland: an odyssey spanning the entire 20th Century.” Performances are July 22 – 31. www.threesistsersanctuary.com 268-3850 Goshen, MA ($)

8pm – THEATER: Double Edge Theatre presents The Firebird 2010 Indoor/Outdoor Traveling Summer Spectacle. The Firebird is based on the classic Russian folk tale as well as a multiplicity of other Firebird and Phoenix myths and legends. 866-811-4111 www.doubleedgetheatre.org Ashfield, MA ($)

8:45pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as their first show, and Grown Ups as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

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Suggested Events 07/17/10-07/23/10

Like This!

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Kids (even adults) are going crazy over Silly Bandz! What are your thoughts on this new fad? Click photo to join discussion. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday, July 16th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Sausage Lasagna; or Veggie Lasagna. Both with Garlic bread. – BYOB. Children aged 6 and under eat free from 5:00 to 6:30! 628-4003

Friday & Saturday, July 16th & 17th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Lamb chili with heirloom beans. Cornbread. Succotash salad. House made sangria. Also available: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

Friday & Saturday, July 16th & 17th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Spinach Lasagna. Summer Borscht with Local BeetsBYOB. 268-7441

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Dan Zanes will be at the Pine Theater at Look Memorial Park in Florence, MA on September 26th as part of the lineup for the Many Hands CD release concert, and locally produced CD by our friends from Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child!

BULLETIN BOARD

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

Tom Adams of Williamsburg, MA writes: This Wednesday (7/21) Angel Park Music Concert in Williamsburg at 6:30pm: Special KIDS SHOW: Featuring Dennis Caraher and Greenfield, MA’s 11 year old, singing sensation Emma Marie Henderson. It’s gonna be a great show for kids of all ages… in one of the nicest-little-outdoor-performance spaces in the Happy Valley. … See you there! www.angelparkmusic.info

Deadline to enter to win: August 4th

WORKSHOP: Tuesday, August 24 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Chicopee Public Library, Workshop “Making Sense of Behavior: Teaching Young Children How to Develop Self-Control and Self-Regulation Using Behavioral and Sensory Techniques.” Designed to assist teachers, parents, and caregivers of children with challenging behaviors – the children who hit, bite, scream, etc. We will explore the reasons behind their behaviors and concentrate on a variety of techniques to help them develop more appropriate ways to deal with stress and channel their frustration, energy level, or sensory need. For more information contact Karen Cassidy at 413-783-5500 ext 16 or at kcassidy@thomchild.org.

Deadline to enter to win: July 22nd

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Part-time volunteer opportunities. The Hilltown Community Development Corporation (Hilltown CDC) is offering three part-time one-year stipended volunteer positions starting in September to talented adults (must be over 18) who are interested in serving as Commonwealth Corps members and learning about the community development field. Hours are flexible; each volunteer will serve approximately 17 hours per week as an assistant on community outreach projects relating to Hilltown CDC’s work on affordable housing, small business development and planning projects. For more information, contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org.

NEW WEB SITE FOR CFC: The Cummington Family Center has a new web site!  Check it out at www.cummingtonfamilycenter.org.


WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 7/17/10

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – 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.

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

9am-1pm – NATURE STUDIES: East Branch Trail, Chesterfield Gorge.  Identifying invasive plant species workshop, followed by safe removal and prevention of invasive plants. West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

9am-5pm – CULTURAL EVENT: Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival.  Festival activities include Highland Dance competition, Highland Athletic competition, Pipe and Drum Band competitions, individual pipe and drum competitions, Scottish food and mercant vendors, two entertainment stages, and lots more. At Look Park. 848-2816 www.glasgowlands.org Florence, MA ($)

9:30am-5pm - HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Fire & Ice at the Old Sturbridge Village.  Old-fashioned fireman’s muster, grand procession of antique fire engines.  Old Sturbridge Village food historians will demonstrate 18th- and 19th century ice cream making methods using popular “receipts” or recipes of those periods.  www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

10am-Noon – NATURE STUDIES:  Biozone Walk with Gopi Krishna. Kid friendly.  Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of the Earthdance Bio-zone. Local tour of wonderous places to explore around Earthdance: Waterfalls, Edible Plants, Crystal stones, and Cavernous sound chambers are but a few of the places to commune with nature at Earthdance (252 Prospect St.).  634-5678 www.earthdance.net Plainfield, MA ($)

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

10am-2pm – BIG RIGS: Big Rigs will be on display in the town center. Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

10am-6pm – CULTURAL EVENT: Cultural Survival Bazaar.  Indigenous artisan bazaar featuring fine art, jewelry, native crafts, food and entertainment. Rain or Shine. Kripalu Yoga Center Field. www.culturalsurvival.org Lenox, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:15am - KIDS CONCERT: Roger Tincknell will perform children’s songs and singing games at the Village Commons’ Summer children’s Entertainment Series, outside in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

11am – MUSIC FESTIVAL: Green River Festival, presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, this celebration combines music on two stages, food, crafts, dancing, a wide array of kids activities and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for the Pioneer Valley’s biggest outdoor event of the summer. This is the only music festival in Massachusetts that features hot air balloons and rides. Greenfield, MA (Kids under 12 are free, $$)

11am-12Noon – FAMILY THEATER: Nutshell Playhouse Performs “Pirates!” New Stage Performing Arts Center (Beacon Theater Complex) www.nutshellplayhouse.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

12Noon-4:30pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Bryant Day at the Bryant Homestead.  Join in this Hilltown tradition of celebrating the Bryant legacy with poetry, speeches, music, and home made ice cream, featuring poet Barry Sternlieb and historian Bernard Drew.  www.thetrustees.org 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

1-3pm - SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOP: Composting at Home.  Composting is a simple way to put your food scraps to good use.  Cut down on the trash you are hauling to the dump each day and increase the health and vibrancy of your gardens.  This is an introductory session for first-time composters.  At the Land of Providence Reservation (Main St.). www.thretrustees.org 532-1631 x13 Holyoke, MA (>$)

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

1pm - PUPPET SHOW: Gerwick Puppets presents Aesop’s Fables.  Join the award-winning Gerwick Puppets for fables rich in fun and foibles in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

2-4pm – NATURE STUDIES: Edible plant walk at NACF/Simple Gifts Farm (1089 N. Pleasant St.).  Guided walk exploring wild edibles with John Root.  North Amherst, MA (FREE)

3-4:30pm – COMMUNITY SING:  Songs for the Earth with Penny Schultz. All ages welcome. Come celebrate the earth, peace, and well being in a Community SING. Traditional songs in 2 to 4 part harmony, from a wide variety of cultures will be taught by rote.  At Earthdance (252 Prospect St.).  634-5678 www.earthdance.net Plainfield, MA ($)

6:15pm – DANCE: At Jacob’s Pillow, Inside/Out Performance: The School at Jacob’s Pillow – Contemporary. 243-0745 www.jacobspillow.org Becket, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – ASTRONOMY STUDIES: Space-tacular: Starry Night with Rachel Roberts at Northfield Mountain.  Participate in a variety of hands-on science and art activities connected to the viewing, science, and mythology of stars.  Ages 7 and older. Pre-registration required – call 800-859-2960  Northfield, MA (FREE)

8pm – ACROBATS: Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats at The Colonial Theater.  www.thecolonialtheatre.org 997-4444 Pittsfield, MA ($$)

8:45pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as their first show, and The Karate Kid as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Hinsdale, MA

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 07/10/10-07/16/10

Like This!

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Hillside Agricultural Tractor & Engine Club had a great float in the Town of Chesterfield 63rd Annual Independence Day Parade this past Sunday. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Thursday & Friday, July 8th & 9th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: On Thursday: Middle Eastern Platter w/Lamb meatballs on couscous with vegetables. Hummus, Tabouleh, Green Salad, pita. – On Friday: Steak Tips.  Mushroom Stromboli with goat cheese mashed potatoes and local vegetables. Mixed greens salad. – BYOB. Children aged 6 and under eat free from 5:00 to 6:30! 628-4003

Friday & Saturday, July 9th & 10th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Menu TBD. Also available: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

Friday & Saturday, July 9th & 10th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Thai Peanut Noodles: Rice noodles with our homemade peanut coconut sauce, served cold with fresh vegetables (Gluten-free and vegan). Carrot Ginger Soup (served hot or cold, all organic.) Open mic on Saturday this week. BYOB. 268-7441

BULLETIN BOARD

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

CHP-South Berkshire Community Coalition writes: We are looking for 10 eager players that would like to join our SBCC Kickball Team. This fun (one-time) event will take place Saturday, July 31 at the Little League Field in Great Barrington. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and wrap up around 6 p.m. All ages (and abilities) are encouraged to join!  This is a family event – there will be food (for purchase), kid’s activities, fun for all. This is a Community Health Programs fundraiser – join us for a great cause! To join us, call 413-528-1919 x 14  Or email: sbcc@chpberkshires.org

Deadline to enter to win: July 14th.

LEARN TO CAMP: If your family  has always wanted to learn how to camp, a fun-filled Becoming an Outdoors Family Camping Weekend is planned for novice campers at Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA on August 7-8, 2010.  Organized by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Becoming an Outdoorswoman Program, families new to camping will have the option of learning some basic camping skills and as well as other outdoor recreational skills such as archery, fishing, canoeing and hiking. Registration materials and more details about the weekend will be posted soon at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Becoming an Outdoorswoman Calendar.

FARM TO SCHOOL: Grant money for Farm to School available through Community Facilities Program. Funds must be awarded by August 2010. Since time is short, the proposals most likely to be accepted are very simple applications for the purchase of equipment (for example, kitchen equipment or salad bars). Funds can also be used for other innovative regional food system projects like slaughter facilities, community kitchens, and regional food hub buildings. Please note that the project must not be a commercial endeavor and must serve the community as a whole. For more information about this program, or to apply, first contact the local Rural Development office in your area. For detailed questions about the program, please contact Chad Parker, 202-720-1500 or Beth Jones, 202-720-149. If you have recommendations for programs that should be funded, please contact Debra Eschmeyer.

DONATIONS WANTED: July 24th, 11 – 3 PM. Children’s Tag Sale, Chester Parent Center, Town Center Playgrounds (across from Town Hall). (Rain date July 31) to benefit Chester Elementary School PTO. Gently used childrens items (toys, clothing, winter gear, baby items, etc.) are now being collected for the tag sale. Drop locations for items in good condition at the following locations: at the home of Nikki Barsalou, 3 Birch Hill Rd. in Blandford; at the home of Kara Engwer, 14 Olin Avenue in Chester; and at the home of Aimee Gagliardi, 195 Town Hill Rd. in Middlefield. For more information, please contact Aimee Gagliardi @ 623-0111 or Kate Forgue @ 667-3176.

Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

ADVOCATING FOR YOUR CHILD(REN) IN SCHOOL: Georgia Douillet, Associate Editor for The Women’s Times, has posted a request for feedback from parents of Hilltown Families who have found themselves in a position of advocacy for their child(ren) in a school setting – whether the advocacy involved getting a learning disability acknowledged, getting enrichment for a bored or gifted student, tackling a bullying issue the school wasn’t recognizing, etc.  They’re interested in feedback about how to go about it, when to recognize the need for it, and why it is important.  Read her post HERE for more info and contact.

MUSIC DOWNLOAD: The singers and musicians of the children’s group Treehouse 10 invites you to a free download of their song “The Man with 29 Cats” on www.wigglenation.com (left side link). A family of 29 cats are waiting for you to join them as they have the run of the house, the roof and the piano!

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

This week on the HFVS we will be playing an encore of last years Summer Essential episode. Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

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

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


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 7/10/10

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – 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.

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

    FESTIVAL: Hoop City Jazz & Art Festival all weekend long.  The festival is free to all and offers a stellar line up of entertainment, including many Grammy Award winners on stage along with Springfield’s own Greg Caputo’s Big Band. This year’s performers include: Terence Blanchard, Average White Band, Elan Trotman, Zoe with Cindy Bradley, Kashif, Ken Navarro, Greg Caputo’s Big Band, Ed Fast & Conga Bop, Soul Source, Modern Riffs, and the Springfield Youth Chorus.  Springfield, MA (FREE)

    4H FAIR: Hampshire County 4-H Fair, Cummington Fairgrounds Cummington, MA

    9am-2pm – TAG SALE: Northampton Council on Aging’s annual Ceil Goral Tag Sale at the Northampton Senior Center (67 Conz St.) Northampton, MA (SALE)

    9am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Join botanist Connie Parks at the Marion Sherman Lynes sanctuary for a summer wildflower walk.  Call to reg. 584-3009 Westhampton, MA (>$)

    9am-5pm – CRAFT FAIR:  Big Brothers Big Sisters 30th Annual Amherst Crafts on the Common Fair.  439-2107 Amherst, MA (Sale)

    9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Open Hearth Cooking Demo at Historic Deerfield.  During the hot summer months, come learn how people in early New England kept cool, and preserved summer produce.  Open hearth cooks will demonstrate how to make cooling beverages including lemonade and switchel (a drink made with molasses, ginger, sugar and water).  See how people preserved summer vegetables like cucumbers or beets.  Drop in anytime. 775-7175 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

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

    10am-3:30pm – COUNTRY FAIR: Otis Library Country Fair on the green (Route 8).  269-0109 Otis, MA

    10am – BOOK SALE: Stock up on summer reading at the Stockbridge Library Book Sale. Stockbridge, MA (Sale)

    10am-5pm – ARTISAN SHOW: The Hilltown Artisans Guild is having their Summer Show at the Town Hall. www.hilltownarts.com Worthington, MA

    10am-6pm – MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL: Third Annual Peskeomskut Park Music & Arts Festival, feature a full schedule of live bands, the Peske Park Craft Fair (with 30 + artisans from all over New England), the “Re-Cycle” bike sale, a book and plant sale, performances by The New England Center for Circus Arts, performances by the Shea Theater Resident Companies & Valley Idol Winners, interactive art installations as part of the Shea Theater’s “Art In The Park”, a beverage garden from Berkshire Brewing Company, food from area restaurants as well as Texas BBQ and vegetarian offerings. www.peskeparkfest.com Turners Falls, MA ($)

    10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: PaintBox Theater presents: Peter Rabbit.  At Theater 14 on the Smith College Campus. 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

    10:30-11:15am – PUPPET SHOW: Caravan Puppets and Timeless Tales perform as part of the Village Commons’ Summer Children’s Entertainment Series in fron of the Odyssey Bookshop. Outdoors. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

    10:30 & 11:30am – FAMILY SHOW:  Goowin’s Balloowins in the Center Court at the Eastfield Mall.  www.eastfieldmall.com 543-8000 Springfield, MA (FREE)

    11am – PARADE: Celebebrate local agriculture with the Szawlowski Potato Farms Centennial Tractor Parade will be on Main Street.  703-298-4374 Hatfield, MA (FREE)

    11am – THEATER: “The Mummy’s Tale and Other Stories from the Great Beyond” at the Berkshire Museum. This family-friendly journey explores the ultimate mystery: the afterlife as viewed across centuries and cultures. www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

    11am-3pm – HORSE RIDES: Horse Drawn Carriage Rides through Scenic downtown Lee.  243-0852 Lee, MA ($)

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

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

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

    1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Gallery hunt at MASS MoCA.  Kids and their families will explore the wide variety of materials artists use through projects and activities. www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($)

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

    1 & 3pm – THEATER: Castle Hill Theatre presents Bremen Town Musicians in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 658-1126 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    1-4pm – CHILDREN’S CIRCUS: “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery”:  A Nineteenth-century Children’s Circus at the Emily Dickinson Museum.  Entertainment by Henry the Juggler and by folksinger and storyteller Tim Van Egmond.  (Rain date: July 11th) 542-816 www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

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

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    6:15pm – DANCE: At Jacob’s Pillow, “First Lady of Tap” Dianne Walker, with the legendary Harold Cromer, director/choreographer Ray Hesselink, and music director Paul Arslanian, showcases dancers of The School in a range of tap styles to conclude their two weeks of intensive study at the Pillow. 243-0745 www.jacobspillow.org Becket, MA (FREE)

    7:30pm – MOVIES: Pothole Pictures Film Series presents: National Velvet. A young girl (Elizabeth Taylor) with a passion for horses enlists drifter trainer Mickey Rooney to teach her to ride steeplechase. The connection between them and their wild horse becomes a life-affirming bond that leads to England’s most prestigious riding event, the Grand National. A sweet tender film about coming of age and breaking of barriers. Directed by Clarence Brown. 1945. Color. G. 123 min. (51 Bridge Street) 625-2896 Shelburne Falls, MA (>$)

    8:50pm - DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (PG-13) as their first show, and The A-Team (PG-13) as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    9pm – ASTRONOMY ADVENTURES: Mt. Greylock Star Parties  The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomy Association are co-sponsoring star parties on the summit of Mt. Greylock. 499-4262 Lanesborough, MA (FREE)

    9pm – FIREWORKS: Fireworks at Tolland State Beach at dusk. (Rain Date: July 11th) Otis, MA (FREE)

    9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Fireworks at Pelham Lake Park at 9:30pm. (Rain date: July 11th) Rowe, MA (FREE)
    Read the rest of this entry »

    HFVS Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

    Listen to Podcast:

    ICE CREAM & LEMONADE STANDS EPISODE

    Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
    August 9th, 2008
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA


    New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
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    PLAYLIST

    Iced Tea Stand (the alternative to the traditional Lemonade Stand) -Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield

    • Louis Prima – “Banana Split for My Baby” [The Wildest!]
    • Laurie Berkner – “Ice Cream Cone” [Buzz Buzz]
    • Telephone Company – “I-C-E C-R-E-A-M” [The King's Surprises?]
    • Michael Hearst – “Ice Cream!” [Songs For Ice Cream Trucks]
    • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
    • Green Means Go – “Ice Cream” [A Day at the Seaside]
    • The Terrible Twos – “Jerzy the Giant’ [Jerzy the Giant] Release
    • Rhonda Vincent – “Bananaphone” [Sing Along with Putumayo]
    • The Hipwaders – “I Like Summertime” [The Hipwaders]
    • The Dirty Sock Funtime Band – “I’m Hot” [Mr. Clown and the Day the Sun Got Wet]
    • Adam and the Couch Potatoes – “Swimming, Swimming, Swimming” [One Size Fits All]
    • Michael Hearst – “The Sprinkle Twinkle’” [Songs for Ice Cream Trucks]
    • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
    • Randy Kaplan – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” [Five Cent Piece]
    • Nathan Abshire – “Lemonade Song” [Kings of Cajun Vol. III]
    • Gunnar Madsen – “Selling Lemonade” [Old Mr. Mackle Hackle]
    • Ralph Covert – “Happy Lemons” [Welcome to Ralph's World]
    • Station Id: Princess Katie & Racer Steve [www.princessracer.com]
    • Peter Himmelman – “Lemonade Stand” [My Lemonade Stand]
    • Sly & The Family Stone – “Hot Fun in the Summertime” [The Essential Sly & the Family Stone]
    • Steve Weeks – “Up!” [Alphabet Songs Vol. III Rabbit Run]

    HFVS Summer Essentials Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

    Listen to Podcast: 

    SUMMER ESSENTIALS EPISODE

    Hilltown Family Variety Show
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA
    Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am

    June 28th, 2008

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    PLAYLIST

    • Lisa Loeb – “Ready for the Summer” [Camp Lisa]
    • Dog on Fleas – “Green Grass of Summer” [When I Get Little]
    • Nat King Cole – “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” [The Greatest Hits]
    • Tony Bennett – “Firefly” [The Playground]
    • Robbi K & Friends – “Summer’s Here” [Music Makes Me Happy]
    • Justin Roberts – “Kickboard, Baby, Yeah” [Pop Fly]
    • Gunnar Madsen – “Summertime is Here” [Old Mr. Mackle Hackle]
    • Storytelling ID: Steve Weeks www.steveweeksmusic.com
    • Bill Harley – “King of the Clams” [Blah, Blah, Blah]
    • The Terrible Twos – “Lily Names Everything Sandy” [Jerzy the Giant]
    • The Beach Boys – “Fun, Fun, Fun” [Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys]
    • T-Squad – “No Sleep ‘Til Summertime” [T-Squad]
    • SHOW ID: Princess Katie & Racer Steve (www.princessracer.org)
    • Randy Kaplan – “Mosquito Song” [Five Cent Piece]
    • Ellis Paul – “Dragonfly Races” [The Dragonfly Races]
    • Recess Monkey – “The Sandbox Song” [Tabby Road]

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