32 Community Highlights: Frankenstein to Ghost Tours. Museum Adventures to Musicals.

Mount Cemetery in West Chesterfield, MA. [Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield]

Frankenstein to Ghost Tours. Stargazing to Birdwatching. Simple Machines to Science LabsMuseum Adventures to Musicals.

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 highlights this week are Cemetery Tours! While touring a cemetery around Halloween might fit well into a spooky themed community event, nearby cemeteries are great places to learn about local history and the lives of those who have lived here before us. Interpreters can share the history of the cemetery and the roles the departed may have had on the settlement and growth of the area. Here are several upcoming walks happening during the Halloween season…


Nature StudiesMusic/Film StudiesCulinary ArtsAstronomyAnimal StudiesCemetery ToursCultural StudiesMusicals/TheaterMuseum AdventuresFarmingSciencePlant Studies


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29 Community Highlights: Witches Butter to Apple Cider. Beatbox to Native American Flute.

Great weekend to carve a pumpkin for Halloween! Where’s your favorite place to PYO pumpkins in Western MA?  Click here to share your recommendations.

Witches Butter to Apple Cider. Bear Hole to Old Burying Ground. Beatbox to Native American Flute.  Community Service to Community Meals.

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 is Archeology Day with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield on Saturday, October 19th. Families can learn about local history and local archaeological digs by taking part in an archaeological tour of the historic village, searching for artifacts in a mock dig site, attending a lecture on digs that have taken place at the former site of the Pocumtuck Fort, or visiting a display of artifacts that have been recovered from two local sites – Sanford Tavern and Taylor’s Fort. These free activities are not only fun for the entire family, but they give visitors of all ages to learn about local history and discover how archaeology has shed a light on life in the past here in Western Massachusetts.


Fall HarvestLandscape/HistoryAnimal StudiesLiteracyCultureCemetery ToursParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceScienceCommunity Meals


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for Columbus Day Weekend

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 October 12th-18th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Barns to Trolleys. Canoeing to Storytelling., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: October 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

October 12th-18th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


PollinatorsLocal HistoryIndustryAnimal StudiesStorytellingCanoeingFoodMedieval HistoryCultureScience

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 10 New Picture Books for Halloween
  2. Our Daughters: 5 Ways To Talk With Your Daughter About Technology
  3. Q&A: Home Remedies for Colds and Flu
  4. Lloyd Miller Guest DJ Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)
  5. Family-Friendly Farms for Pumpkin Pickin’ in Western MA

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Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

20 Community Highlights: Barns to Trolleys. Canoeing to Storytelling.

Ashfield Fall Festival

Ashfield Community Preschool alumna volunteer at the Ashfield Fall Festival, helping to raise funds for the preschool!

Barns to Trolleys. Matcha to Blueberries. Honey to Bread. Canoeing to Storytelling.

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 is Art Walk Easthampton.  The theme this month is “Know Thy History,” and it happens on Saturday evening. The art on display at participating venues will be supplemented by several historic walking tours, reenactments, tours of the Old Town Hall, and historic exhibitions throughout town. These free events include: a half-mile guided walking tour with a focus on Samuel and Emily Williston; performances of “Weird and True Stories of Easthampton,” or stories taken from newspaper clippings and transformed into live reenactments by the Easthampton High School Drama Club; and special visiting hours at the Easthampton Historical Society.


PollinatorsLocal HistoryIndustryAnimal StudiesStorytellingCanoeingFoodMedieval HistoryCultureScience


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for October 5th & 6th, 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 October 5th-11th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 33 Community Highlights: River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: October 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

October 5th-11th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Natural HistoryIndustryEnergyCommunity ServiceLiteracy/StorytellingFire SafetyLocal HistoryCultural StudiesFood HistoryScienceParent Workshops

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Library Cat Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Q&A: What Are the Going Rates For a Mother’s Helper or Babysitter?
  3. 5 Ways to Enjoy Shorter Days with Less Light
  4. The Holyoke History Walk: A Virtual Tour of the City
  5. Let’s Play: Alternate Identities

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Lui Collins' Upside Up Music 

33 Community Highlights: River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History.

Orchard Ladders in Deerfield, MA

Apple orchard ladders in Deerfield, MA. Take your kids apple picking this weekend!  See where our readers recommend in our post, Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA? (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Talc Mines to Papermaking. River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History

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 is at the Keep Homestead Museum in Monson. There will be a free talk entitled “How the Apple Changed America and How America Changed the Apple” by Russell Steven Powell, a New England apple expert, on Sunday afternoon, October 6th. Powell will discuss the history of apples around the world and how America has cultivated many of these to form a “melting pot” of apples. He will also discuss heirloom apple varieties and the history of New England orchards.


Natural HistoryIndustryEnergyCommunity ServiceLiteracy/StorytellingFire SafetyLocal HistoryCultural StudiesFood HistoryScienceParent Workshops


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 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 September 28th-October 4th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 28 Community Highlights: Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Community Meals to Local Gardens., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 28th-October 4th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Local HistoryClimate ChangeLiteracyScienceIndustryAstronomyMusic & ArtGardeningAnimal StudiesCommunity MealsParent Workshop

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Two Fall Soups for Chilly Autumn Nights
  2. Bring a StoryWalk to Your Neighborhood
  3. 8 Ways to Make Math Fun at Home
  4. 15 Recommended Activities Grandparents Can Do With Their Grandkids in Western MA
  5. HFVS Lucky Diaz Guest DJ Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

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

28 Community Highlights: Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Community Meals to Local Gardens.

Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Plein Air Painting to Piano Music. Community Meals to Local Gardens.

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 about monarch butterflies and their annual migration at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton on Saturday morning. Monarch enthusiast John Bowe will teach about the monarch life cycle and migration route. Those who attend may even get to see monarch caterpillars or butterflies out in the field! Then on Sunday, discover the busy and exciting lives of squirrels and chipmunks at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. There will be crafts, a story, games, and a chance to go outside and see these small mammals prepare for winter. Both events are best for kids ages 4-12.


Local HistoryClimate ChangeLiteracyScienceIndustryAstronomyMusic & ArtGardeningAnimal StudiesCommunity MealsParent Workshop


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 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 September 21st-27th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 21st-28th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


History & Local CulturePollinatorsLanguage ArtsPlant & Nature StudiesHistoryAstronomyCultural StudiesLocal Food

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Autumn Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Local Hilltown History Website is Now “Live”
  3. Citizen Scientists Track Owls in Massachusetts
  4. Tips for a New School Year
  5. Q&A: Where to Pick Local Pears?

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

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

22 Community Highlights: Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes.

Want to improve your foraging skills and learn about wild edibles? Blanche Derby is leading a free wild edible workshop on identifying, collecting, and preparing wild edibles this weekend.

Honeybees to Wild Edibles. Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes

These are just a few of the 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 is part of the Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop series in Holyoke.  On Saturday morning, September 21st, the series will feature the life cycle of the spinach plant and include a lesson on pollination, in addition to some real-life farm experience planting spinach and harvesting arugula. The workshop will wrap up with a lesson in culinary arts that utilizes the harvested food: in this case, arugula and cheese quesadillas!


History & Local CulturePollinatorsLanguage ArtsPlant & Nature StudiesHistoryAstronomyCultural StudiesLocal Food


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 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 September 14th-20th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Coffee to Silk. Watercycles to Watersheds., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Food HistoryOrnithologyHabitat & EcologyLiteracyHistoryMusic Studies ♦  Film/Tech/TeensGrandparentsSTEM

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child
  2. Recommend an Educational Podcast or Website for Families
  3. Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA?
  4. Featured Video: Reflections of Motherhood
  5.  Music Worth Adding to Your iTunes Children’s Mix

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

22 Community Highlights: Coffee to Silk. Watercycles to Watersheds.

Coffee to Silk. Watercycles to Watersheds. Literacy to STEM

These are just a few of the 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 takes place in the Hilltowns at the Becket Arts Center. Nationally-renowned storyteller Judith Black will perform a free preview of “Our Heritage To Save” on Wednesday afternoon, September 18th. This is a story of 17-year-old Hannah Jean Conrad, a passionate Confederate supporter, and her family as they struggle with the realities of living in the Yankee-occupied town of Collierville, Tennessee in 1863 – revealing a different perspective on the events surrounding the Civil War.


Food HistoryOrnithologyHabitat & EcologyLiteracyHistoryMusic Studies ♦  Film/Tech/TeensGrandparentsSTEM


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 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 September 7th-13th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Monarchs to Macroinvertebrates. 19th-Century Chores to Food Traditions., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 7th-13th- 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Entomology ♦  Transportation History ♦  Archeology ♦  Culinary Arts & Food History ♦  Fashion ♦  Storytelling ♦  Immigration Studies ♦  Cultural Celebrations ♦  Ornithology ♦  Colonial History

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 5 Solutions to Packing a Waste-Free Lunch
  2. 6 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas
  3. How to Get Kids to Practice Their Musical Instruments
  4. Q&A: Temper Tantrums… What to Do?
  5. Western MA Folk Remedies for Wellness

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

20 Community Highlights: Monarchs to Macroinvertebrates. 19th-Century Chores to Food Traditions.

Pictured here are Hilltown Families’ volunteers at The Food Bank of Western MA last September. Join The Food Bank this Sunday, September 8th in Hatfield for a Family Volunteer Day.

Monarchs to Macroinvertebrates. 19th-Century Chores to Food TraditionsIntergenerational Story Swap to Nature-Based StoryWalk

These are just a few of the 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 is service based learning at The Food Bank of Western MA. On Saturday, September 7th, Hilltown Families and Whole Foods in Hadley are hosting a Kids’ Day of Community Service, gleaning left over organic vegetables at Atlas Farm to donate to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. With 100 folks signed up to help, the event is full on Saturday; however, on Sunday, September 8th, The Food Bank is holding Family Volunteer Day in Hatfield for family members of all ages – even toddlers can help out! Activities include touring the Food Bank warehouse, sorting food (including organic vegetables gleaned the day before), educational opportunities for kids, a screening of the documentary A Place At the Table, and more. It is important that kids understand the value and importance of volunteering and community service, and this is an excellent opportunity to give them some hands-on experience volunteering to help improve food security for area residents. This free all-ages event shows that no one is too young to start making a difference in their community.


Entomology ♦  Transportation History ♦  Archeology ♦  Culinary Arts & Food History ♦  Fashion ♦  Storytelling ♦  Immigration Studies ♦  Cultural Celebrations ♦  Ornithology ♦  Colonial History


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for Labor Day Weekend, 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 31st-September 6th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Family Variety Show: Back to School Episode and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: West African Drumming to Greek Dancing. Stockbridge Mohicans to Victorian Technology., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 31st-September 6th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Community ServiceCultureScience & MathHistoryAgricultural Fairs

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: Organic PYO Apples in Western MA
  2. Suggestions & Recommendations for Back-to-School
  3. 16 Picture Books That Celebrate Apples!
  4. Language Play: 5 Useful Apps That Help to Promote Speech & Language Skills
  5. Let’s Play: Collages

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

20 Community Highlights: West African Drumming to Greek Dancing. Stockbridge Mohicans to Victorian Technology.

West African Drumming to Greek Dancing. Bridges to Comets. Stockbridge Mohicans to Victorian Technology

These are just a few of the 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 is chess! Research shows that, when played from a young age, chess can be beneficial to a child’s learning and development. The game requires the use of high-order thinking skills, such as weighing actions and consequences, and helps players practice decision making. The Susan Polgar Foundation offers a page of information on this topic. If your child is interested in learning to play chess or is in need of new people to play with, there are opportunities to do so locally throughout the school year at various libraries. On Friday afternoon, September 6th, youth ages 7 and up can go to the West Springfield Public Library to improve their chess skills by playing against other kids. This is a great way to make new friends while working your way up to becoming a chess master! For an intergenerational chess experience, drop in chess is organized on Saturdays from 1-3pm at the Forbes Library in Northampton. Check with our local library to see if they too offer chess opportunities for youth and adults!


Community ServiceCultureScience & MathHistoryAgricultural Fairs


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 24th & 25th, 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 24th-30th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Agricultural Fairs, 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: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 24th-30th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 10 Tips for Dad to Help Ease the Back-to-School Transition
  2. Language Play: 6 Pre-Reading Activities
  3. HFVS Back to School Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. 11 Suggestions on How Western MA Families Can Make Wise Back-to-School Purchases
  5. Q&A: Hair Cuts in Western MA

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

22 Community Highlights: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin.

Antique Tractors at the Cummington Fair

Tractors to Airplanes. Tomato Fest to Breakfast. Reggae to Gershwin…

These are just a few of the 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 highlights this week are all about transportation and engines! The first annual Great New England Wings and Wheels show takes place at Westover Metropolitan Airport this weekend and North Adams’ Motorama event is back for its third year on Sunday! And the Cummington Fair this weekend features small engines too, including an antique engines & tractor show.  Check out our Engines & Aircraft highlights for all the details!


Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 17th & 18th, 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 17th-23rd, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community Highlights: Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Textiles to Shape-Note Singing., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 17th-23rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Agricultural Fairs  ♦  Geology  ♦  Insects & ReptilesHistoryCultureMusicArtisanLocal Food

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Sweeten Up Your Summer With Local Fruit
  2. HFVS Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. 18 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Western MA
  4. Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week
  5.  Q&A: Ear Piercing

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

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

25 Community Highlights: Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Textiles to Shape-Note Singing.

Old Sturbridge Village is offering free admission for kids in the month of August. For this year’s Textile Weekend, Aug 17 & 18, Village historians are highlighting 19th-century fashion accessories and a tour of the new “Trimmed to Taste” exhibit, which salutes the clever creativity of early New England seamstresses.

Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Renaissance Garden to Shape-Note Singing. Greece to Middle East…

These are just a few of the 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 happens at the Kingman Tavern Museum in Cummington where there will be a free shape-note singing school on Saturday afternoon, August 17th.  Introduced in 1801, shape notes were designed to help facilitate community singing and originated in colonial New England. This type of singing was created to support a persons desire to sing with others either in their community or in their congregations. The class will teach participants about this unique singing style, celebrate American history, and offer a chance to engage in an intergenerational activity.


Agricultural Fairs  ♦  Geology  ♦  Insects & ReptilesHistoryCultureMusicArtisanLocal Food


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22 Community Highlights: Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets.

Modern pow wows invite both Native and non-Native American people together to honor American Indian culture and history. Authentic dancing, drumming and tribal regalia will be presented at the 8th Annual Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow this weekend in Adams, MA.

Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets. Silversmithing to Citizen Scientists… These are just a few of the 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 celebrates while learning about Native American traditions and history at the Rock, Rattle, and Drum Pow Wow in Adams this Saturday & Sunday, August 10th & 11th. The event is an explosion of Native American culture – families can listen to drumming, try out traditional foods, learn about the creation of arts and crafts such as pottery and beaded items, participate in community dances, and more!


Plant & Nature StudiesCitizen ScientistsHistoryCultural StudiesLocal FoodFilmsScienceAnimal Studies


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25 Community Highlights: Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing.

Age of Iron Weekend at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield this August 3rd & 4th, 2013. Blacksmiths will showcase their art and artisanship with both historical and contemporary demonstrations. Ironwork craftsmanship dating from the 17th to the 21st century,

Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing. Ethnic Fair to Agricultural Fair. Earth Songs to Revolutionary War… These are just a few of the 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 is a free summer celebration at the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage in Greenfield on Sunday afternoon, August 4th. See the art of blacksmithing with a live demonstration and learn what a blacksmith might have made, other than horseshoes! There will also be an opportunity to learn about textile technology with hands-on activities for all ages, and to view several exhibits on Franklin County’s industrial history, including “Textile Town: Conway’s Industrial History” and “Industry and Innovation: Franklin County’s Unique History.” Light fare and live music will add to the festive atmosphere too! Come celebrate and learn a  few new things about Franklin County’s rich industrial history!


TheaterHistoryNature Studies/HikesArts & CraftsMuseum AdventuresAstronomyCultural StudiesMusic Studies


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27 Community Highlights: Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Pollinators to Raptors.

Frog at the Westfield RiverIce Cream Socials to Intergenerational Hikes.  Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Herpetology to Lepidoptera. Susan B. Anthony to Virginia Lee Burton. … These are just a few of the 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 explores river critters at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield! Discover the creatures that live in and around the river with naturalist Aimee Gelinas and the Trustees of Reservations on Saturday, July 27th. See if you can spot a red newt or how to tell the difference between a frog and a toad. This free intergenerational event is appropriate for ages 5 and older. The hike is easy and time will be spent in the river with nets exploring, so come prepared to get wet!


Community Service Animal & Insect StudiesNature Studies Museum AdventuresHistoryMusic StudiesOrnithology


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30 Community Highlights: Munch to Thoreau. Scottish to Yiddish.

Opportunities to supplement insect studies this weekend include dragonflies and damselflies in Easthampton, Bug Safari in Housatonic, Science in the Parks in Pittsfield, and a search for aquatic insects (like this one pictured here)in Plainfield.

Munch to Thoreau. Motorcycles to Metalworking. Turbines to Firefighting. Scottish to Yiddish… These are just a few of the 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 explores the ecosystem of streams, home to a wide variety of often overlooked creatures. By wading in and flipping rocks, netting fish and sorting through leaf packs, discoveries of remarkable critter can be found which can lead to a better understanding our waterways and habitats. The Franklin Land Trust will be hosting an free opportunity for families to explore these stream ecosystems at the Guyette Farm in Plainfield on Saturday morning, July 20th. Josh Morse will lead an exploration of woodland streams and the different aquatic insects that live in these habitats. Families with kids ages 6-12yo will learn how to interpret the health of our streams by the presence of these benthic invertebrates.


Art HistoryCulinary ArtsIndustryHistoryShakespeareHikesNature StudiesSTEMGeology & PaleontologyCultural StudiesEntomologyLawn Concerts


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30 Community Highlights: Wiggly Worms to Curious Creatures. Marionettes to Shadow Puppets.

Wiggly Worms to Curious Creatures. Local Diarist to Local Industry. Marionettes to Shadow Puppets… These are just a few of the 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 turns STEM into STEAM! Kids 12 and under can participate in the Sunderland Public Library’s free paper airplane contest on Wednesday evening, July 17th! Make a plane at home and bring it to the library to see how it flies. Airplanes must be true paper airplanes – no cardboard, wood, plastic, wire, tape, clips, staples, etc. If youth participants want to continue to experiment with paper airplane, bring them to the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield every Thursday at 1pm as part of their PaperWorks art exhibit to further supplement their interests and learning about basic principles of physics & engineering… and art!


Nature & Animal StudiesHikesArt WalksCulinary HistoryHistoryFilm & Music StudiesFolktales & Puppet ShowsLibrary Adventures


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23 Community Highlights: French Paintings to Folk Art. Cockatoos to Bald Eagles.

French Paintings to Folk Art. Cockatoos to Bald Eagles. Rockets to Farm Tools… These are just a few of the 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!

Lots of art opportunities happening this week!


EntomologyLocal HistoryColonial HistoryArt HistoryArtAnimal StudiesMusic/Cultural StudiesArchaeologySTEMNature StudiesAgriculture


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28 Community Highlights: Rockets to Origami. Hieroglyphics to Bridges.

Hometown parades are a great way to have fun with your family while taking in the culture of various local towns. The Chesterfield 4th of July Parade is the quintessential hometown parade, now in its 66th year! The theme this year is “Children are Our Future.”

Swamps to Camp Fires. Rockets to Origami. Fireworks to Hometown Parades. Hieroglyphics to Bridges… These are just a few of the 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!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA. Check our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks


Independence DayPlants, Nature & Animal StudiesSTEMArchaeologyLocal HistoryArts & CraftsLawn Concerts & Family DinnersMovies


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30 Community Highlights: Fossils to Fire. Kirtan to Orchestra.

Ants to Grasshoppas. Fossils to Fire. Kirtan to Orchestra. Earth to Outerspace… These are just a few of the 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!

Summer Solstice

Friday, June 21st, marks the first day of summer, the longest day of the year!  Celebrate the Summer Solstice at UMass at sunset this evening.  Professors from the UMass Department of Astronomy will be at the UMass Sunwheel in Amherst inviting the public to join them on the longest day of the year.  Learn about the significance of solstices and equinoxes and the history of the UMass Sunwheel at this participatory community event.  Gather with your friends & neighbors, mark the seasons, and learn a little while you’re at it!


EntomologyAnimal StudiesNature ScienceArchaeologyHistoryGeologyLibrary AdventuresAstronomyFilm, Dance & Music StudiesFashion StudiesHighlights in the Hilltowns


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29 Community Highlights: Dragonflies to Damselflies. Father’s Day to Juneteenth.

Dragonfly or damselfly? Learn how to tell the difference between these two insects this weekend at the Mills River Environmental Center and the benefits they contribute to our larger ecosystem.

Dragonflies to Damselflies. The Hundred Dresses to The Hunger Games. Naturalists to Musicians.  Father’s Day to Juneteenth… These are just a few of the 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!

Happy Father’s Day!

On Father’s Day this Sunday, June 16th, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride at Look Park in Florence, or Forest Park Zoo in Springfield. Or take an even bigger free train ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village, both of which will offer free admission on Sunday, and a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. Check our Best Bets for Father’s Day highlights for more ways to spend time with the dad in your life this weekend in western Massachusetts!


Historic Homes & BuildingsMusic StudiesLawn Concerts Animal & Insect StudiesPlant StudiesLibrary AdventuresHistoryParent Workshops & Support


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36 Community Highlights: Hermits to Fairies. Tornadoes to Dioramas.

Lawn concerts in the summer are lovely opportunities to enjoy a picnic dinner together with your family, and your community! We’ll be adding lawn concerts to our list of weekly Suggested Events throughout the summer, from the Berkshires down to the Valley. Check there each week and make plans for a fun family dinner, al fresco style!

Hermits to Tornadoes.  Fairies to Snow White.  Lawn Concerts to Kayaking… These are just a few of the 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!

LAWN CONCERTS

Summer evening lawn concerts are a lovely way for families to enjoy an al fresco dinner together, in the warm air with live music. BYO picnic dinners and chairs to the following free evening concerts this week and enjoy time together with your family and community:

  • Concert Series at Stanley Park in Westfield presents Shakin’ All Over, one of New England’s premier dance bands, on Sunday evening, June 9th.
  • Musical Moments at Amelia’s Garden in Westfield presents Dan Kane and Friends, who will be performing Broadway classics, on Tuesday evening, June 11th.
  • Coop Concerts Summer Series takes place on Thursday evening, June 13th at Greenfield Energy Park. This week’s show features Devlin Miles, Orlen & Gabriel, and Pat & Tex LaMountain Band. Each group will perform a range of music, including love songs, folk tunes, jazz, blues, ragtime, and country music.
  • Arts in the Park Summer Concert Series happens at Millside Park in Easthampton on Friday evening, June 14th.

Indoor AdventuresHistoryAnimal Studies ♦  Nature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresMeteorologyMuseum AdventuresEngineeringOccupational ScienceMusic StudiesCommunity Service


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