Suggested Events for April 19th-25th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families lets me connect to great events that are slightly out of the way, but worth the drive! For example, I recently found out about several Earth Day events that are fun for my whole family!” – Sarah Kowalski (Springfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

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

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 17-18; 21-25

For some educational, interactive family fun, bring your kids to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, a ninety minute drive from Boston and only twenty minutes from Hartford. Thurs., Apr. 17th- Open Cockpit; Fri., Apr. 18th- LEGO Contest & Easter Bunny Visit; Mon., Apr. 21st-Wed., Apr. 23rd- Open Cockpit & Museum Tours; Thurs., Apr. 24th- Zip Line Challenge; Fri., Apr. 25th- Blimp Maze. Also enjoy over 80 aircraft on display, interactive exhibits, guided tours and not to be missed-our newest exhibit “Flight Sim Spot” open daily.

Apr 18, 21-25

During April vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their amazing Puppet Festival, April 21-25, 2014. Classic fairy tales like Robin Hood, Beauty and the Beast, and Jack and the Beanstalk will be presented by renowned puppet ensembles including the National Marionette Theater and Crabgrass Puppets (shown here). There’s also live animal demonstrations, hands-on science and art activities, and roving puppetry by Caravan Puppets. The fun gets off to an early start with a performance of Spring into Easter by The Wayne Martin’s Puppets on Friday April 18 at 1pm, along with appearances by the Easter Bunny and more. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org

Apr 19

Skip down to the Odyssey Bookshop for a morning of fun with author, Paul Reynolds! Paul and his brother Peter have teamed up to bring us a fantastic new picture book. Going Places is about working together and letting your imagination soar. In celebration of this new book Odyssey is hosting the author and inviting you to use your imagination to make a creation of your own for a storytime and crafting fun on Saturday, April 19th at 11am. This event if free but RSVP encouraged at www.odysseybks.com. Great for ages 3 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075.

Apr 21

The Academy of Music Theatre presents National Marionette Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast on Monday, April 21st at 10am. The classic story of a prince who is changed into a hideous beast by an evil enchantment that can only be broken by true love. When Beauty looks beyond the Beast’s external appearance, she learns to love him for who he truly is on the inside. Using meticulously crafted marionettes and beautifully painted scenery, National Marionette Theatre’s production is classical marionette theater at its finest. Appropriate for family audiences aged 4+. Tickets $7, plus box office fees. For more information and tickets, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com or call the Box Office at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 Tuesdays-Fridays 3-6pm. Northampton, MA.

Apr 21, 23 & 25

April 21, 23 and 25 from 9am to 11am spring-inspired art projects help kids enliven their creativity at Spring Break Art Detox at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Discover how exhibiting artists preserve, re-purpose, and recycle materials. On Monday, preserve natural materials in resin; On Wednesday, re-purpose objects into a mobile planter; On Friday, recycle found items into sculpture. Parents can drop off their kids or join in the action. Pre-registration is recommended. Reservations are $7 per day for members and $10 for not-yet members, and can be made at the MASS MoCA box office. Sign up for one, two, or all three days. Registration is also open for summer art camps. Find out more online at kidspace.massmoca.org/art-camps.

Apr 21-27

Enjoy April vacation week at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Create paper sculptures in the Art Studio with guest artist Susan Schwake, go on an underwater storytime adventure with author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, and see the classic tale The Bremen Town Musicians come to life on stage! Cap off this fun-filled week of activities, storytimes, films, and special guests with our Family Poetry Jam on Sunday, April 27! The Museum is open Monday, April 21 for Patriots’ Day. For event details and performance tickets, visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100.

Apr 26

Middle School Fair. Meet representatives from six independent middle schools: Academy Hill School, The Center School, Four Winds School, The Hartsbrook School, North Star: Self-Directed Learning, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. Saturday, April 26, 2:00-4:00, at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA. More information at www.fourwindsschool.info or call 413-863-8055.

Apr 27

The celebrated Alonzo King LINES Ballet comes to the UMass Fine Arts Center on Sunday, April 27th to enrapture audiences with works of luminous beauty. Described by The New Yorker as “hyper kinetic” and “exceptional,” the Lines Ballet performs exhilarating works that meld classical Western ballet with a diverse set of cultural traditions. The dancers’ flawless technique, mixed with King’s expressive choreography, creates a performance that is like no other. “Gripping, urgently beautiful choreography” hails the San Francisco Chronicle. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Open House: Jun 14

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

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

Happy Easter: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA, your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


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

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 12th-18th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is my go-to place to look for upcoming family activities in my community (and the surrounding communities). I truly appreciate this site and all of the work that’s put into it!” – Renee Hill (Easthampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

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

50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 13, 18, 21-25

Spring into spring at the Springfield Museums! There’s a variety of family-friendly events and activities happening all month long, starting with the annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 13 from 11am-4pm, with music, environmental displays, and live animal demonstrations. There’s more fun on Friday April 18, with appearances by the Easter Bunny and a performance of Spring into Easter by The Wayne Martin’s Puppets at 1pm. Then enjoy a week of hands-on activities and shows by the region’s finest puppet ensembles during their amazing Puppet Festival, April 21-25, featuring tales like Robin Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Beauty and the Beast. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

Apr 14-18; 21-25

For some educational, interactive family fun, bring your kids to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, a ninety minute drive from Boston and only twenty minutes from Hartford. Mon., Apr. 14th- Aero Modeling Workshop; Tues., Apr. 15th- Glider Engineering Design Challenge; Wed., Apr. 16th- Parachute Drop; Thurs., Apr. 17th- Open Cockpit; Fri., Apr. 18th- LEGO Contest & Easter Bunny Visit; Mon., Apr. 21st-Wed., Apr. 23rd- Open Cockpit & Museum Tours; Thurs., Apr. 24th- Zip Line Challenge; Fri., Apr. 25th- Blimp Maze. Also enjoy over 80 aircraft on display, interactive exhibits, guided tours and not to be missed-our newest exhibit “Flight Sim Spot” open daily.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

Apr 19

Skip down to the Odyssey Bookshop for a morning of fun with author, Paul Reynolds! Paul and his brother Peter have teamed up to bring us a fantastic new picture book. Going Places is about working together and letting your imagination soar. In celebration of this new book Odyssey is hosting the author and inviting you to use your imagination to make a creation of your own for a storytime and crafting fun on Saturday, April 19th at 11am. This event if free but RSVP encouraged at www.odysseybks.com. Great for ages 3 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 college street, South Hadley, MA, 01075.

Apr 21

The Academy of Music Theatre presents National Marionette Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast on Monday, April 21st at 10am. The classic story of a prince who is changed into a hideous beast by an evil enchantment that can only be broken by true love. When Beauty looks beyond the Beast’s external appearance, she learns to love him for who he truly is on the inside. Using meticulously crafted marionettes and beautifully painted scenery, National Marionette Theatre’s production is classical marionette theater at its finest. Appropriate for family audiences aged 4+. Tickets $7, plus box office fees. For more information and tickets, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com or call the Box Office at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 Tuesdays-Fridays 3-6pm. Northampton, MA.

Apr 21, 23 & 25

April 21, 23 and 25 from 9am to 11am spring-inspired art projects help kids enliven their creativity at Spring Break Art Detox at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Discover how exhibiting artists preserve, re-purpose, and recycle materials. On Monday, preserve natural materials in resin; On Wednesday, re-purpose objects into a mobile planter; On Friday, recycle found items into sculpture. Parents can drop off their kids or join in the action. Pre-registration is recommended. Reservations are $7 per day for members and $10 for not-yet members, and can be made at the MASS MoCA box office. Sign up for one, two, or all three days. Registration is also open for summer art camps. Find out more online at kidspace.massmoca.org/art-camps.

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

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 40 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


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

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 5th-11th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I SO appreciate being able to go through your eNewsletter each Thursday evening to find the kinds of events & activities that appeal to me & my family! The format allows me to first scan the outdoor, educational and/or service opportunities, and then fine-tooth search through the day-by-day ‘suggested events.’ I usually check out at least a post or two as well – and I often email a link to the eNewsletter to a friend whom I think will be interested. I rely on Hilltown Families more & more as my son gets older – especially since we started home-schooling. Thanks very much for your excellent work, folks!” Susan M. (Amherst, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

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

Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Introducing The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT), offering innovative dance training and performance studies for all ages. SCDT is made up of a collective of seasoned teachers who are independent performance artists with international experience. Classes include: Creative Contemporary Dance (ages 6-12) Song, Story and Dance (ages 2.5-4) Friday morning advanced Contemporary Dance, Hip-Hop Urban fusion for kids and adults Contemporary Indian Dance (ages 6-12) (Mohiniyattam/Bharatanatyam), Shaking Practice, and The Observatory: Tuning Scores Laboratory. Please visit the website for class schedules, faculty, and registration information: scdt2014.weebly.com

Open House: Apr 5

Visit the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN), 51 Bates Street, for an open house on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10:30am to 12noon! Parents of students from ages 2 through 12 interested in September 2014 admission are invited to tour the school, participate in an art project and music circle, and meet staff. MSN offers a Little Children’s House program for toddlers from age 2, a Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten) program for ages 2 years 9 months through 6, and an Elementary program for ages 6 through 12. MSN is accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE). For information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 10

Greenfield Center SchoolThe Center School presents: Parenting, Teaching & Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children, An Evening with Lori Duron, New York Times Book reviewed author of Raising my Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Thursday, April 10th at 7:00pm at Seelye Hall, Smith College in Northampton. Based on her (one million subscribers & counting) blog, Rainbow is the first memoir written by a mother that chronicles the daily joys & struggles of raising a gender-variant child. For the first time ever in the Pioneer Valley, Ms. Duron will speak in an evening sponsored by The Center School. The event is free to the public. Tickets are limited & subject to availability, so please call 413-773-1700 to reserve. www.centerschool.net

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

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

On Friday, April 11th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Pre-registration is kindly requested. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 30 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


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

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 29th-April 4th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is an amazing resource. It is my go-to for discovering kid-friendly events each week. This website makes it really easy to find out what’s happening in and around the Valley, as well as provides great information about local resources and ideas of things to do with my child. Thank you!” – Jaime C. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

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

Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Helping a Parent-Helps a Child. Prevent child abuse and neglect. Caring, flexible, good listeners are needed to do weekly home visits to Hampshire County parents living in stressful situations. With three to five hours per week, you can make a difference to a family in need of extra support. Training and regular supervision are provided. The Spring Training Group for the Parent Aide Volunteer Program is forming now. Commitment to volunteering isn’t required until after the training. Having a car is required. For more information call Lydia at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at 413-584-5690 Ext. 144 or email lvernon-jones@bcfcma.org

Mar 29

Valley Vegfest, Saturday, March 29, 10-4, at J.F.K. Middle School in Northampton. The first–ever Western Mass vegetarian festival featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, healthy living, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include author and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary director Jenny Brown, along with Neil Hornish, Dr. Kumara Sidhartha, MD, and Hannah Kaminsky. Have your questions answered during Q&A discussion sessions on a variety of topics, such as raising vegan children. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Details at www.valleyveg.org

Mar 29 & 30

Tiny Owls, Captivating Ravens, an Enchanted Castle, Magical Roses, a Jealous Suitor, and a Lonely Beast. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty and the Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Pioneer Valley Ballet’s original ballet features all new choreography and a colorful cast of characters dancing to the music of Antonin Dvorak. A thrilling and opulent performance for all ages, March 29 & 30 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and information: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Mar 30

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party, a live family concert on Sunday, March 30 at 3:30 PM at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. An award-winning singer, songwriter and performer, Mama Doni and guitar virtuoso Eric Lindberg fuse together traditional Jewish melodies with contemporary bluegrass sounds. They rock the stage with a live performance guaranteed to get every member of the family dancing. Perfect for toddlers to grandparents! $7.50 adults, $5 children (under 2 free), capped at $20/family. Advance tickets at Lander-Grinspoon Academy or Springfield Jewish Community Center. Tickets also available at the door. Call 413.584.6822 or visit PVJFF.org. Co-sponsored by PJ Library.

Apr 7-Jun 16

StoryCatchers: Writing to Discover is offering an afterschool writing workshop for girls in 5th and 6th grade. Held on Monday afternoons (3:30-5:30) in a peaceful Florence yoga studio, girls will explore, invent, and imagine the stories they have to tell. Writers will gather, have a snack and be offered a prompt — a found object, a quote, an image, a piece of music – before settling down to write. We will reconvene to listen to one another’s words, discovering our answers to Mary Oliver’s question: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Meets Mondays between April 7-June 16 (except April 21 and May 26). $180 for 9 weeks. Learn more at www.storycatchersworkshops.com or email info@storycatchersworkshops.com.

Apr 10

Greenfield Center SchoolThe Center School presents: Parenting, Teaching & Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children, An Evening with Lori Duron, New York Times Book reviewed author of Raising my Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Thursday, April 10th at 7:00pm at Seelye Hall, Smith College in Northampton. Based on her (one million subscribers & counting) blog, Rainbow is the first memoir written by a mother that chronicles the daily joys & struggles of raising a gender-variant child. For the first time ever in the Pioneer Valley, Ms. Duron will speak in an evening sponsored by The Center School. The event is free to the public. Tickets are limited & subject to availability, so please call 413-773-1700 to reserve. www.centerschool.net

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

Jun 25-Jul 25

Share a local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain. Since 2008, Home Stays USA has arranged home stays for Spanish students. They look for host families with children of the same gender and close in age and interests to create a strong, intercultural relationship. Hosts invited on two-day group trip to New York City. Local organizers Joe Bock and Paula Garcia, from both Spain and America, are always close-by and in touch to ensure a successful stay. If attending a camp, organizers arrange camp paperwork for student if necessary. Airport transportation provided. Many references available upon request. June 25-July 25. $700 stipend provided. A great way to make a friend in Spain, have fun and represent the great Hilltown area.

Introducing The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT), offering innovative dance training and performance studies for all ages. SCDT is made up of a collective of seasoned teachers who are independent performance artists with international experience. Classes include: Creative Contemporary Dance (ages 6-12) Song, Story and Dance (ages 2.5-4) Friday morning advanced Contemporary Dance, Hip-Hop Urban fusion for kids and adults Contemporary Indian Dance (ages 6-12) (Mohiniyattam/Bharatanatyam), Shaking Practice, and The Observatory: Tuning Scores Laboratory. Please visit the website for class schedules, faculty, and registration information: scdt2014.weebly.com

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 29th-April 4th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: April 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
April 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of April. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 22nd-28th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“The resources made available (and sent to my inbox!) have been such a treasure chest of information! I’ve followed up on many, and learned about so many others… This is like a quilt of the region–all the squares brought together into a wonderful blanket of information and opportunities. Thank you!” Toni H. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  MassachusettsOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 22

SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival featuring Avner the Eccentric, Saturday, March 22, 2 pm – 6:30 pm, Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls. Piti Theatre Co. presents its’ 5th annual delicious potpourri of theatre, music, clowning, syrup tasting, mural-making and . . . free pickles. This year’s headliner is Avner the Eccentric, a master of physical comedy and member of the International Clown Hall of Fame who will also offer a workshop on 3/23 for ages 15+. “Here is what Avner the Eccentric does best: he reduces his audience to laughter and giggles and applause.”- New York Times. Also featuring Piti’s “Elmer and the Elder Tree” and storyteller-musician John Porcino. Schedule and tix: www.ptco.org/syrup; info@ptco.org

Mar 29

Valley Vegfest, Saturday, March 29, 10-4, at J.F.K. Middle School in Northampton. The first–ever Western Mass vegetarian festival featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, healthy living, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include author and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary director Jenny Brown, along with Neil Hornish, Dr. Kumara Sidhartha, MD, and Hannah Kaminsky. Have your questions answered during Q&A discussion sessions on a variety of topics, such as raising vegan children. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Details at www.valleyveg.org

Mar 29 & 30

Tiny Owls, Captivating Ravens, an Enchanted Castle, Magical Roses, a Jealous Suitor, and a Lonely Beast. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty and the Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Pioneer Valley Ballet’s original ballet features all new choreography and a colorful cast of characters dancing to the music of Antonin Dvorak. A thrilling and opulent performance for all ages, March 29 & 30 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and information: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Mar 30

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party, a live family concert on Sunday, March 30 at 3:30 PM at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. An award-winning singer, songwriter and performer, Mama Doni and guitar virtuoso Eric Lindberg fuse together traditional Jewish melodies with contemporary bluegrass sounds. They rock the stage with a live performance guaranteed to get every member of the family dancing. Perfect for toddlers to grandparents! $7.50 adults, $5 children (under 2 free), capped at $20/family. Advance tickets at Lander-Grinspoon Academy or Springfield Jewish Community Center. Tickets also available at the door. Call 413.584.6822 or visit PVJFF.org. Co-sponsored by PJ Library.

Mar 30; Apr 3-May 29

Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering an Adult Beginner Wheel Throwing class: 8 classes on Thurs. from 9-11am, Apr 3-May 29 (skipping Apr 24), w/open studio time on Sat. 2-4pm. Drop the kids off at school and enjoy some quiet, creative time for yourself making pottery! Interested in a Tues. class, same time? Contact Kathryn. Cost: $260. Includes 25 lb bag of clay, tools, glazes, firings & studio time. Also Parent/Child Workshops: Limited openings on Sun., 30, 2-3:30pm. $25/pair for lesson + $10 for Kathryn to trim, glaze & fire work. See www.cyclepottery.com for more info, call 413-219-9594 or email kathryn@cyclepottery.com. 4 students max/class, allows for individualized attention!

Apr 7-Jun 16

StoryCatchers: Writing to Discover is offering an afterschool writing workshop for girls in 5th and 6th grade. Held on Monday afternoons (3:30-5:30) in a peaceful Florence yoga studio, girls will explore, invent, and imagine the stories they have to tell. Writers will gather, have a snack and be offered a prompt — a found object, a quote, an image, a piece of music – before settling down to write. We will reconvene to listen to one another’s words, discovering our answers to Mary Oliver’s question: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Meets Mondays between April 7-June 16 (except April 21 and May 26). $180 for 9 weeks. Learn more at www.storycatchersworkshops.com or email info@storycatchersworkshops.com.

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

Jun 25-Jul 25

Share a local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain. Since 2008, Home Stays USA has arranged home stays for Spanish students. They look for host families with children of the same gender and close in age and interests to create a strong, intercultural relationship. Hosts invited on two-day group trip to New York City. Local organizers Joe Bock and Paula Garcia, from both Spain and America, are always close-by and in touch to ensure a successful stay. If attending a camp, organizers arrange camp paperwork for student if necessary. Airport transportation provided. Many references available upon request. June 25-July 25. $700 stipend provided. A great way to make a friend in Spain, have fun and represent the great Hilltown area.

One’s never too old, and rarely too young to study violin! Vicki Citron, experienced teacher of over 30 years, offers Suzuki violin lessons for ages 4 and up. Learn violin the way we learn language – through listening, imitation, and practice. Vicki understands different learning styles, has a passion for music and a love of children. She creates a positive environment where play and discipline are equally valued. Watch your child’s confidence and mastery grow through carefully prepared steps which guarantee success. Weekly private lessons and group classes in Shelburne. For more information: citronmusic.com, 413-625-6269 or citronmusic@gmail.com.

Helping a Parent-Helps a Child. Prevent child abuse and neglect. Caring, flexible, good listeners are needed to do weekly home visits to Hampshire County parents living in stressful situations. With three to five hours per week, you can make a difference to a family in need of extra support. Training and regular supervision are provided. The Spring Training Group for the Parent Aide Volunteer Program is forming now. Commitment to volunteering isn’t required until after the training. Having a car is required. For more information call Lydia at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at 413-584-5690 Ext. 144 or email lvernon-jones@bcfcma.org

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 22nd-28th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA

Suggested Events for March 15th-21st, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Thank you [Hilltown Families] for the wonderful work you do. I’m impressed with your web site and all of the information you manage to get out there. You are an inspiration to all of us working to create and build programs that uplift society.” – MaryGrace Stewart (Academy Hill School, Springfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western Massachusetts

Add your summer camp/program to the list!

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 16 & 30; Apr 3-May 29

Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering an Adult Beginner Wheel Throwing class: 8 classes on Thurs. from 9-11am, Apr 3-May 29 (skipping Apr 24), w/open studio time on Sat. 2-4pm. Drop the kids off at school and enjoy some quiet, creative time for yourself making pottery! Interested in a Tues. class, same time? Contact Kathryn. Cost: $260. Includes 25 lb bag of clay, tools, glazes, firings & studio time. Also Parent/Child Workshops: Limited openings on Sun., Mar 16 & 30, 2-3:30pm. $25/pair for lesson + $10 for Kathryn to trim, glaze & fire work. See www.cyclepottery.com for more info, call 413-219-9594 or email kathryn@cyclepottery.com. 4 students max/class, allows for individualized attention!

Mar 22-23

March 21-23, IMA & Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS) present Rock the Moon a spring “coming of age” gathering for girls 9-12 in Goshen, MA. Program includes musical activities & use of herbs to support well-being; activities focus on self-care & nourishment, creative self expression, and building healthy social networks & community. Tonya Lemos & Lisa Ganci of BSHS offer short hands-on workshops on making herbal self-care products & teas. Musicians Rebecca Lasaponaro, Megan Miller & Hannah Mohan of the band And the Kids will work with the girls on music-making & song writing that engenders a “rock & roll” attitude toward coming of age. Tuition: $250. Includes food, housing, & access to IMA’s instruments. More info: 413- 268-3074 www.ima.org

Mar-Apr

Farm Hands Preschool, located at Town Farm in Northampton, is hosting visiting days on Wednesdays throughout March and April. Please contact teacher/director Alya Stoffer Koloszyc at alya@thefarmeducationcollaborative.org to schedule a visit. Farm Hands is currently enrolling students ages 2-6yo to join a farm school family which consists of two classrooms, many chickens, two goats, two angora rabbits, and an infinite number of plants both cultivated and wild! Spend the days growing and preparing food, feeding and watering the animals, sledding, building, acting out original stories, and creating a democratic culture of care that keeps all community members feeling safe and heard. Learn more at www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

One’s never too old, and rarely too young to study violin! Vicki Citron, experienced teacher of over 30 years, offers Suzuki violin lessons for ages 4 and up. Learn violin the way we learn language – through listening, imitation, and practice. Vicki understands different learning styles, has a passion for music and a love of children. She creates a positive environment where play and discipline are equally valued. Watch your child’s confidence and mastery grow through carefully prepared steps which guarantee success. Weekly private lessons and group classes in Shelburne. For more information: citronmusic.com, 413-625-6269 or citronmusic@gmail.com.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

 The final Hilltown Families & Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party takes place  on Saturday, March 15th at 10am! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Come to Flywheel for free pancakes, an episode of Pancake Mountain, and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! The Saturday Morning Music Party events get families and kids of all ages engaged in their community through music and food. This event is free and open to all ages, making it a great opportunity to meet your fellow community members and make some new friends! Flywheel is located at 43 Main Street in Easthampton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 15th-21st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 8th-14th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Local Hero Hilltown Families founder Sienna Wildfield did a TEDx Talk about sense of place and how many opportunities there are for us as parents right here in Western MA to enrich our children’s sense of place through community involvement. View it here, it’s worth the 10 minute break from your norm today. We all need that reminder right now as we eek through these last weeks of winter wondering why we settled in New England. Love our happy valley.” – Angie Gregory (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 8

Dance the morning away at Nonotuck Community School‘s 3rd Annual Family Dance Party! DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9FM will be playing kid friendly tunes on Saturday March 8, 2014 from 10am to 12pm. Eastworks Building, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. Use the building’s West Entrance and find the concert in Room 160 across from Riff’s on the first floor. $5 per person, kids under one are free, all proceeds benefit Nonotuck Community School. Nonotuck Community School provides high quality education and care for children 15 months to 5 years in an environment that promotes self-esteem, creative thinking and individuality.

Mar 8

Bugtastic Book Bash! Buzz on over to The Odyssey Bookshop on Saturday, March 8th at 2pm for a Bug Book Party! Dig for worms, decorate your own bug, snack on gummy bugs and join them for a bugtastic reading by author, Angela Diterlizzi and illustrator Brendan Wenzel’s newest picture book, SOME BUGS. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bug(toy.) Extra prizes for those who come in bug themed costumes! This event is free of charge but please RSVP by emailing kids@odysseybks.com or call us at 413-534-7307. For more information visit www.odysseybks.com. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Mar 8 & 9

This weekend: March 8th & 9th! Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the ‘Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company’ and musical guests ‘Four Sisters & the Farmhands.’ This innovative local dance troupe puts on a show you don’t want to miss with a modern take on traditional Irish dance and music. Due to their exciting shows being sold out in the past, they are now offering two shows including a family friendly and affordable matinee on Sunday. Tickets can be reserved by email at celticheels@gmail.com, purchased at the World Eye Bookstore, or if available at the door. $12/adults $10/seniors+students $3/children under 5. Showtimes: Saturday@7:00 + Sunday@2:00 at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls. A wholesome and fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Weds in Mar

Calling all school volunteers! Are you a parent or community member available to help students in reading? Do you have as little as one hour a week to give to Northampton classrooms? Volunteers in Northampton Schools (VINS) will be holding workshops in March to train prospective volunteers in guiding K-5 students in early literacy. Schedule & Information: Every Wednesday morning in March from 9-12 pm. These FREE training workshops will take place at RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School. RSVP’s required by March 3rd. Find more information online: vins.northampton-k12.us/vins-volunteer-training or call Anne Schlereth, 413-587-1332.

Mar 22-23

March 21-23, IMA & Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS) present Rock the Moon a spring “coming of age” gathering for girls 9-12 in Goshen, MA. Program includes musical activities & use of herbs to support well-being; activities focus on self-care & nourishment, creative self expression, and building healthy social networks & community. Tonya Lemos & Lisa Ganci of BSHS offer short hands-on workshops on making herbal self-care products & teas. Musicians Rebecca Lasaponaro, Megan Miller & Hannah Mohan of the band And the Kids will work with the girls on music-making & song writing that engenders a “rock & roll” attitude toward coming of age. Tuition: $250. Includes food, housing, & access to IMA’s instruments. More info: 413- 268-3074 www.ima.org

Mar-Apr

Farm Hands Preschool, located at Town Farm in Northampton, is hosting visiting days on Wednesdays throughout March and April. Please contact teacher/director Alya Stoffer Koloszyc at alya@thefarmeducationcollaborative.org to schedule a visit. Farm Hands is currently enrolling students ages 2-6yo to join a farm school family which consists of two classrooms, many chickens, two goats, two angora rabbits, and an infinite number of plants both cultivated and wild! Spend the days growing and preparing food, feeding and watering the animals, sledding, building, acting out original stories, and creating a democratic culture of care that keeps all community members feeling safe and heard. Learn more at www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

 The final Hilltown Families & Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party takes place  on Saturday, March 15th at 10am! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Come to Flywheel for free pancakes, an episode of Pancake Mountain, and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! The Saturday Morning Music Party events get families and kids of all ages engaged in their community through music and food. This event is free and open to all ages, making it a great opportunity to meet your fellow community members and make some new friends! Flywheel is located at 43 Main Street in Easthampton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 8th-14th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 1st-7th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Just found out about [Hilltown Families on Facebook] and I love the information all in one place. Now, no more random hit-or-miss internet searching for fun things to do. Thank you so much, excellent concept!” Susan Mulry (Holyoke, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House: Mar 1

Please join the Hartsbrook School at their Open House, this Saturday, March 1, 10AM – 12PM in Hadley, MA. Parents and their children are invited to explore, learn and experience their classrooms and unique Waldorf curriculum. They will have activities for children in their brand new Early Childhood Center, Elementary School and High School. Visit their farm animals, make a craft, watch a play rehearsal! Come and learn more about their brand new “Forest Classroom” meet their teachers and take a tour. This event is open to all ages and free. Contact admissions@hartsbrook.org for more information, or call 413-584 -3198.

Mar 1

Join the Springfield Museums on Saturday, March 1 for their annual Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration! The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and features the annual Seuss Cake Contest plus two great shows by The Deedle Deedles Dees, “America’s ultimate teaching band.” And be on the lookout for the Cat in the Hat himself, who will be prowling the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden! All this plus great hands-on art and science activities throughout the day, all included with Museum admission. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Mar 4

In Gluten-Related Disorders: Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone, Alessio Fasano, MD, will review current knowledge about the three main forms of gluten reactions: allergic (wheat allergy), autoimmune (celiac disease), and possibly immune-mediated (gluten sensitivity). The lecture will be introduced by gastroenterologist and Cooley Dickinson Medical Staff member Jaya Agrawal, MD. This community lecture, free and open to the public, will be Tuesday, March 4, at 6 pm. Registration is required at www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes; capacity is limited. The lecture will held in the Dakin Conference Room, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton.

Mar 5

Get ready for Shannon Hale as you’ve never seen her before! A new genre for the Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy, but featuring the same brilliant storytelling and well-rounded characters for which she is known, Dangerous breaks the barriers between science fiction and superhero adventure. Stop by Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley for a reading and signing on Wednesday, March 5th at 6:30pm as Shannon Hale breaks into young adult literature with her new novel Dangerous, called “One of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever.” by James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Mar 5

“Invigorating the stage with that elusive thing called joy” (New York Times), Spirit of Uganda presents riveting programs of music and dance for audiences of all ages. To the melodic tones of standing drums, with dramatic choreography, bright, layered rhythms, and gorgeous call-and-response vocals, a vibrant cast of 22 performers, ages 10-20, bring to life the sounds and movements of East Africa. Ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.7 million orphans, these children personify the resilience and promise of Africa’s next generation when they are provided with the resources to succeed. They come to the FAC Concert Hall on Wednesday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Mar 6

On March 6thThe Hartsbrook School will be hosting a lecture with Angela Hanscom, a revolutionary pediatric occupational therapist and founder of the unique and unconventional TimberNook camps, who will will talk about how lack of movement and play outdoors is affecting child development and academic success. Lecture takes place from 6:30 -8:30pm at The Hartsbrook School, located at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. 413-584-3198. All are welcomed to this informative evening lecture.

Mar 8

Dance the morning away at Nonotuck Community School‘s 3rd Annual Family Dance Party! DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9FM will be playing kid friendly tunes on Saturday March 8, 2014 from 10am to 12pm. Eastworks Building, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. Use the building’s West Entrance and find the concert in Room 160 across from Riff’s on the first floor. $5 per person, kids under one are free, all proceeds benefit Nonotuck Community School. Nonotuck Community School provides high quality education and care for children 15 months to 5 years in an environment that promotes self-esteem, creative thinking and individuality.

Mar 8

Bugtastic Book Bash! Buzz on over to The Odyssey Bookshop on Saturday, March 8th at 2pm for a Bug Book Party! Dig for worms, decorate your own bug, snack on gummy bugs and join them for a bugtastic reading by author, Angela Diterlizzi and illustrator Brendan Wenzel’s newest picture book, SOME BUGS. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bug(toy.) Extra prizes for those who come in bug themed costumes! This event is free of charge but please RSVP by emailing kids@odysseybks.com or call us at 413-534-7307. For more information visit www.odysseybks.com. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Weds in Mar

Calling all school volunteers! Are you a parent or community member available to help students in reading? Do you have as little as one hour a week to give to Northampton classrooms? Volunteers in Northampton Schools (VINS) will be holding workshops in March to train prospective volunteers in guiding K-5 students in early literacy. Schedule & Information: Every Wednesday morning in March from 9-12 pm. These FREE training workshops will take place at RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School. RSVP’s required by March 3rd. Find more information online: vins.northampton-k12.us/vins-volunteer-training or call Anne Schlereth, 413-587-1332.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: March 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of March. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 22nd-28th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families was hugely helpful to us when my sister and her four kids came to visit from out of town for their school vacation week… Sisters and cousins alike had a blast. Going to a sugarhouse was a big highlight for my niece and nephews! I love being able to easily access the best of what our region has to offer.” – Jennifer Hartley (Florence, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 22

Sunnyside Child Care Presents: “February Fiesta!” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Grammy-Nominated Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. Come dance, decorate a maraca, and eat pizza with your friends! Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 22nd from 10:30am-12noon at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine Street, Florence, MA). Tickets just $5 per person ($20 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Feb 23

Sunday February 23, 9:30 am – CPR & First Aid Training at Hartsbrook School. This certificate CPR & First Aid class is designed for anyone caring for children. It will include basic life-saving techniques for critical situations as well as first-aid treatments for illnesses and injuries such as cuts, abrasions, impaled objects, shock, head trauma, sprains, fractures, burns, allergic reactions, stings, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, and infections. Conventional treatment protocols as well as natural modalities including homeopathic remedies and herbal preparations will be taught. You may attend CPR and/or First Aid. Contact instructor, Nicole Thurrell to register or for more information as school office is closed for the week.

Mar 4

In Gluten-Related Disorders: Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone, Alessio Fasano, MD, will review current knowledge about the three main forms of gluten reactions: allergic (wheat allergy), autoimmune (celiac disease), and possibly immune-mediated (gluten sensitivity). The lecture will be introduced by gastroenterologist and Cooley Dickinson Medical Staff member Jaya Agrawal, MD. This community lecture, free and open to the public, will be Tuesday, March 4, at 6 pm. Registration is required at www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes; capacity is limited. The lecture will held in the Dakin Conference Room, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton.

Mar 5

Get ready for Shannon Hale as you’ve never seen her before! A new genre for the Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy, but featuring the same brilliant storytelling and well-rounded characters for which she is known, Dangerous breaks the barriers between science fiction and superhero adventure. Stop by Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley for a reading and signing on Wednesday, March 5th at 6:30pm as Shannon Hale breaks into young adult literature with her new novel Dangerous, called “One of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever.” by James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Mar 5

“Invigorating the stage with that elusive thing called joy” (New York Times), Spirit of Uganda presents riveting programs of music and dance for audiences of all ages. To the melodic tones of standing drums, with dramatic choreography, bright, layered rhythms, and gorgeous call-and-response vocals, a vibrant cast of 22 performers, ages 10-20, bring to life the sounds and movements of East Africa. Ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.7 million orphans, these children personify the resilience and promise of Africa’s next generation when they are provided with the resources to succeed. They come to the FAC Concert Hall on Wednesday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For info on how to apply, financial aid, their upcoming Kindergarten Screenings, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 22nd-28th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

February Vacation Week 2014: Events, Resources & Ideas in Western MA

School might be out this week for many, but that doesn’t mean the learning (and fun) ends! All week there are exciting community-based educational opportunities happening and local resources and attractions to check out!  To get you started, peruse each day of the week to find something your kids will enjoy:

Other spots to peruse for ideas and adventures to be had in western Massachusetts during February Vacation Week:

Click here to discover more great ideas!

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 15th & 16th, 2014

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

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for February 15th-21st, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 26 Community Highlights: Chain Reactions to Aviation. Candy Land to Medieval Feasts., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

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

February 15th21st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Animal TrackingMusic StudiesHistoryWolvesSTEMMuseum AdventuresCreative Free PlaySnowshoe Hikes

RECAP

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

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

Suggested Events for February 15th-21st, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“My son and I attend events we learn about through Hilltown Families every week! Thanks to Hilltown Families we went to the Birds of Prey workshop at the Greenfield Center School this past weekend (even more interesting and fun than we’d anticipated); we’re finishing up our cards to send out for the Valentines Card swap tonight; we hope to attend a concert at Mount Holyoke of mbira music of Zimbabwe tomorrow evening; and we’ll decorate chocolates at All Things Local on Saturday (yum!) before heading over to the Winterfest…” – Susan M. (Amherst, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 17-20

February vacation at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Open Monday, Feb 17th! Come by the Museum for storytimes, art making, and live performances! See your friends, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Elephant and Piggie, and many others in the galleries. Plus, The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School presents, The Fairy’s Mistake, Feb 18th-20th at 11am & 1pm. Filled with jewels, bugs, ladies in waiting and magic, The Fairy’s Mistake is fun for the whole family! [$6 (Members $5.50). Museum Admission extra.]. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126. www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA.

Feb 17-21

This school vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their “Sights and Sounds of the Rainforest” programs, February 17 – 21. Enjoy live animal demonstrations by Teaching Creatures and Rainforest Reptiles, shows by top family performers like Jungle Jim and Roger Tincknell, and a host of family activities. All this, plus the new Rainforest Adventure exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum, where kids can learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests, one of our planet’s most delicate resources (Recommended for ages 3-9; $5 special exhibit fee to see both Rainforest Adventure and Intent to Deceive.). For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Feb 17-21

KidsBestFest 2014, the annual children’s film festival, runs Monday, 2/17 through Friday, 2/21. Every day at 1 pm at Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre, there will be YouthFilm screenings—shorts produced and directed by local youth at the beginning of their budding careers—followed by feature films, from “Matilda” and a selection of Mo Willems’ animated shorts to a coming-of-age story from Germany and an award-winning documentary about a 14-year-old who sails around the world alone. All seats $3 cash only at the door. northamptonartscouncil.org. Amherst Cinema hosts Family Week featuring “The ZigZag Kid” from the Netherlands, and the Miyazaki Children’s Festival, screening “Porco Rosso” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” amherstcinema.org.

Feb 19-22

The Williston Northampton School Children’s Theatre is proud to present the classic tale of Cinderella, with a dose of pop glam thanks to songs by Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. The play features an all-female cast and will be performed in the British pantomime style, which encourages audience participation—cheer, boo, even sing—with the actors. The production runs from February 19 through February 22 at 3:30pm in the Williston Theatre. Tickets are $5 and are available at snsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Parking is available and free of charge behind the building.

Feb 22

Sunnyside Child Care Presents: “February Fiesta!” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Grammy-Nominated Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. Come dance, decorate a maraca, and eat pizza with your friends! Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 22nd from 10:30am-12noon at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine Street, Florence, MA). Tickets just $5 per person ($20 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Feb 22, Mar 8, Apr 12, May 31

Stepping into the Creative Flow” is a personalized retreat that will support all of its participants to open up to a deeper sense of creative passion and life purpose. On this retreat participants will take time from their busy and hectic lives to make an internal shift: from pushing to allowing…The Retreat will be offered on four Saturdays from 10am-5pm: February 22, March 8, April 12, May 31. Choose the day that works best for you. Takes place in the DeCice Room at the Marian Center in Holyoke, MA. For more info and pre-registration, visit www.jessicafeldheim.com or call 413-250-6111.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For info on how to apply, financial aid, their upcoming Kindergarten Screenings, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 15th-21st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 8th & 9th, 2014

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

MAP

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

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

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

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

February 8th-14th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


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

RECAP

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

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

Suggested Events for February 8th-14th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“We have found fun things to do to lift the winter blues on this web site…Fire and Ice arts walk in Easthampton and the Holyoke Winter Carnival are just two of our recent winter-blues-busting outings. There’s really no need to look further than Hilltown Families for fun events during the week and on the weekends!” – Sandra Dias of Holyoke, MA

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 8

Meet Oliver Jeffers, author/illustrator of Stuck, and see the United Kingdom’s Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company bring it to life on stage at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11am & 2pm. It all begins when Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree. He throws up his shoe to move it, but his shoe also gets stuck. One by one Floyd throws other things up in the tree to get his kite unstuck. Jeffers is the author/illustrator of Lost and Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit. Limited seating. Pre-purchase tickets in advance at museum or call 413-658-1126. Tickets: $12/$10 members. Museum admission included. www.carlemuseum.org

Open House Feb 13

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is hosting an open house on Thursday, February 13 Thursday, February 20 from 6-8pm. Interested parents and other community members are invited to join the school for a tour through their toddler and preschool classrooms. The Director, teaching staff, and Center parents will be available to answer questions about the program. Sunnyside Child Care Center is located at 557 Easthampton Rd. Serving children 18 months to five years old their mission is to provide an early care and education program of the highest quality. For more info call 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org. [RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER: FEB 20]

Feb 17-21

This school vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their “Sights and Sounds of the Rainforest” programs, February 17 – 21. Enjoy live animal demonstrations by Teaching Creatures and Rainforest Reptiles, shows by top family performers like Jungle Jim and Roger Tincknell, and a host of family activities. All this, plus the new Rainforest Adventure exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum, where kids can learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests, one of our planet’s most delicate resources (Recommended for ages 3-9; $5 special exhibit fee to see both Rainforest Adventure and Intent to Deceive.). For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Feb 17-21

KidsBestFest 2014, the annual children’s film festival, runs Monday, 2/17 through Friday, 2/21. Every day at 1 pm at Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre, there will be YouthFilm screenings—shorts produced and directed by local youth at the beginning of their budding careers—followed by feature films, from Matilda and a selection of Mo Willems’ animated shorts to a coming-of-age story from Germany and an award-winning documentary about a 14-year-old who sails around the world alone. All seats $3 cash only at the door. northamptonartscouncil.org. Amherst Cinema hosts Family Week featuring The ZigZag Kid from the Netherlands, and the Miyazaki Children’s Festival, screening Porco Rosso and Kiki’s Delivery Serviceamherstcinema.org.

Feb 19-22

The Williston Northampton School Children’s Theatre is proud to present the classic tale of Cinderella, with a dose of pop glam thanks to songs by Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. The play features an all-female cast and will be performed in the British pantomime style, which encourages audience participation—cheer, boo, even sing—with the actors. The production runs from February 19 through February 22 at 3:30pm in the Williston Theatre. Tickets are $5 and are available at snsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Parking is available and free of charge behind the building.

Feb 22, Mar 8, Apr 12, May 31

Stepping into the Creative Flow” is a personalized retreat that will support all of its participants to open up to a deeper sense of creative passion and life purpose. On this retreat participants will take time from their busy and hectic lives to make an internal shift: from pushing to allowingThe Retreat will be offered on four Saturdays from 10am-5pm: February 22, March 8, April 12, May 31. Choose the day that works best for you. Takes place in the DeCice Room at the Marian Center in Holyoke, MA. For more info and pre-registration, visit www.jessicafeldheim.com or call 413-250-6111.

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!

Kicking off the Easthampton Fire & Ice Festival, Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA! Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the party will feature performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra. Tickets are $12/family; $6/individual.  Flywheel Arts Collective located at 43 Main Street in the old town hall in Easthmapton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 8th-14th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 1st & 2nd, 2014

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

MAP

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

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

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

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

February 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


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

RECAP

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

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

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

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

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

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 1st-7th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Great website! Found just what I was looking for… a plan for a special day with my granddaughter… The Eric Carle Museum will be perfect and I found links to so many more fun spots! Anyone with kids in Western Mass should bookmark this site!” – Gail Hescock

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House Feb 1

Amherst Montessori School will be holding an Open House on Saturday, February 1st from 10am-12noon. They are now accepting applications for the 2014- 2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. They are a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Open House Feb 2

Birds of Prey Open House, Sun. Feb. 2nd, 1-4pm. The Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks, nests and more. Pre-K through 8th activities are free. www.centerschool.net

Feb 8

Meet Oliver Jeffers, author/illustrator of Stuck, and see the United Kingdom’s Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company bring it to life on stage at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11am & 2pm. It all begins when Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree. He throws up his shoe to move it, but his shoe also gets stuck. One by one Floyd throws other things up in the tree to get his kite unstuck. Jeffers, author/illustrator of Lost and Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit will sign books at 12:30pm. Limited seating. Pre-purchase tickets in advance at museum or call 413-658-1126. Tickets: $12/$10 members. Museum admission included.

Open House Feb 13

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is hosting an open house on Thursday, February 13 Thursday, February 20 from 6-8pm. Interested parents and other community members are invited to join the school for a tour through their toddler and preschool classrooms. The Director, teaching staff, and Center parents will be available to answer questions about the program. Sunnyside Child Care Center is located at 557 Easthampton Rd. Serving children 18 months to five years old their mission is to provide an early care and education program of the highest quality. For more info call 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org. [RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER: FEB 20]

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Deadline to sign up: Friday, Jan 31st!

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Free event. Limited space. Sign up to join us!

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!

Polka and pancakes! Join us!

Kicking off the Easthampton Fire & Ice Festival, Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA! Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the party will feature performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra. Tickets are $12/family; $6/individual.  Flywheel Arts Collective located at 43 Main Street in the old town hall in Easthmapton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
February 2014

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of February. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 25th & 26th, 2014

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

MAP

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

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

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

January 25th-31st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


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

RECAP

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

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

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

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

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 25th-31st, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families gives us lots of info about all the different happenings each week that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. This has been an invaluable resource for us to get to cool events and to make connections with other local families. Thank you!” – Stacy Calabretta (Goshen, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House Jan 25

The Campus School at Smith College, a coeducational day school, will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 9:30-11am. All prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their families are welcome! Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA.

Open House Jan 25

The Common School in Amherst will host an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 10am-12noon. Offering independent, progressive education for children age 3-12 in the Pioneer Valley, The Common School’s mission is to develop strong academic and social skills while nurturing each child’s love of learning, respect and compassion for others, and commitment to the environment. Parents and children are welcome to come to the Open House. Come meet the faculty, play in classrooms, and explore the beautiful campus. Accepting applications now for fall 2014. To schedule a visit call 413-256-8989. Find out more at www.commonschool.org

Jan 25

Kids and families, get ready for a Rainforest Adventure, the new traveling exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum. Learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests and the many challenges they face today. Explore a gorilla nest, climb a kapok tree, and identify endangered species. The Museum provides the vests, flashlights, and binoculars – you provide your imagination! A special Opening Day Celebration on Saturday, January 25th at 10am will feature hands-on activities, Family Science Adventures and “The Wild About Rainforest Balloon Magic Show” by Jungle Jim. The Springfield Science Museum is located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. 413-263-6800. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jan 26 & Feb 2

Littlest Dancers Parent and Child Movement Class. This is a lively movement class for both parents and children where each song inspires a new way of dancing or a game for everyone to enjoy. The kiddos love the music and dance, and the adults get a moderate workout. For ages 3 months to 5 years. Sunday, January 19th, 26th & February 2nd, from 10:30 to 11:30am. Classes held at the new Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA. Classes are $12 for drop-in or $30 for the 3 class series. For more info and pre-registration, please email littlestdancers@gmail.com or call 413-230-7953.

Open House Jan 26

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 26th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church (130 Pine Street) in Florence since 1954, and is a half-day preschool with the option of extended days. See their new layout and learning centers during their open house while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House Feb 1

Amherst Montessori School will be holding an Open House on Saturday, February 1st from 10am-12noon. They are now accepting applications for the 2014- 2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. They are a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Open House Feb 2

Birds of Prey Open House, Sun. Feb. 2nd, 1-4pm. The Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks, nests and more. Pre-K through 8th activities are free. www.centerschool.net

Enrolling Now

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2014! Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule, affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non-denominational, welcoming new families to their school community.. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!

Kicking off the Easthampton Fire & Ice Festival, Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA! Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the party will feature performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra. Tickets are $12/family; $6/individual.  Flywheel Arts Collective located at 43 Main Street in the old town hall in Easthmapton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 25th-31st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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Suggested Events for January 18th-24th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I can’t believe I didn’t know about Hilltown Families before. I thought it was just for families who lived in the Hilltowns, not for Valley families like us in Hatfield. After looking through the site (which is also great looking), I see that there are tons of events that my family would like to know about and attend, from Northampton, to Amherst to Pittsfield. Thanks!” – Kathie Gow (Hatfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 19, 26 & Feb 2

Littlest Dancers Parent and Child Movement Class. This is a lively movement class for both parents and children where each song inspires a new way of dancing or a game for everyone to enjoy. The kiddos love the music and dance, and the adults get a moderate workout. For ages 3 months to 5 years. Sunday, January 19th, 26th & February 2nd, from 10:30 to 11:30am. Classes held at the new Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA. Classes are $12 for drop-in or $30 for the 3 class series. For more info and pre-registration, please email littlestdancers@gmail.com or call 413-230-7953.

Jan 23 & Feb 6

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061. www.bement.org.

Open House Jan 25

The Common School in Amherst will host an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 10am-12noon. Offering independent, progressive education for children age 3-12 in the Pioneer Valley, The Common School’s mission is to develop strong academic and social skills while nurturing each child’s love of learning, respect and compassion for others, and commitment to the environment. Parents and children are welcome to come to the Open House. Come meet the faculty, play in classrooms, and explore the beautiful campus. Accepting applications now for fall 2014. To schedule a visit call 413-256-8989. Find out more at www.commonschool.org

Open House Jan 25

The Campus School at Smith College, a coeducational day school, will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 9:30-11am. All prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their families are welcome! Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA.

Jan 25

Kids and families, get ready for a Rainforest Adventure, the new traveling exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum. Learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests and the many challenges they face today. Explore a gorilla nest, climb a kapok tree, and identify endangered species. The Museum provides the vests, flashlights, and binoculars – you provide your imagination! A special Opening Day Celebration on Saturday, January 25th at 10am will feature hands-on activities, Family Science Adventures and “The Wild About Rainforest Balloon Magic Show” by Jungle Jim. The Springfield Science Museum is located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. 413-263-6800. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Open House Jan 26

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 26th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church (130 Pine Street) in Florence since 1954, and is a half-day preschool with the option of extended days. See their new layout and learning centers during their open house while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House Feb 1

Amherst Montessori School has three openings for Toddlers, ages 18 months-3 years, for immediate enrollment. Full- or part-time schedule.  Maria Montessori said, “Little children, from the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence.” Join us in a joyful, beautiful classroom that is prepared for the child’s emerging independence. The Toddler program includes music, art, practical life, grace and courtesy, language, outdoor play, and more in a child-centered and respectful setting. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Also enrolling now for Fall 2014. Open House on Saturday, February 1, 10 AM-noon.

Enrolling Now

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2014! Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule, affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non-denominational, welcoming new families to their school community.. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 18th-24th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 11th & 12th, 2014

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

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 11th-17th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Families’ Events, and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

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

January 11th-17th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art

RECAP

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

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

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

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

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art


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Suggested Events for January 11th-17th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is my first stop for an interesting and fun weekend with my two 7-year olds. It is our saving grace to have a kid-friendly destination on a Saturday morning, and Hilltown Families comes through for us in spades! We especially love it being new to the Valley (from Boston) and don’t know up from down out here! Concerts are our favorites in the winter.” – The Greenwoods (Florence MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 12

Adi Bemak will lead a half-day retreat for parents, grandparents and guardians on Practicing Meditation. The retreat, hosted by the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, will include guided sitting and walking meditation, one-on-one conversations, and group discussions to facilitate sharing on the ups and downs of parenting and how meditation can act as a support. No prior meditation experience is necessary. Sunday, January 12, 1-4pm at Eastworks, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 242, Easthampton. Suggested contribution: $15-$25 plus teacher donation. Please pre-register at insightpv.org/retreats or call 413-527-0388.

Open House: Jan 15

Open House, Wednesday, January 15, at the Montessori School of Northampton. On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, the Montessori School of Northampton, located at 51 Bates Street, will hold an open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students who are interested in applying for admission for September 2014 are encouraged to attend. Parents will have the opportunity to visit the school’s Toddler, Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten), Lower Elementary (grades 1 through 3), and Upper Elementary (grades 4 through 6) classrooms, meet staff, and explore the advantages of Montessori education. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Open House: Jan 23, Feb 6

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

Goodchild Music Studio in Shelburne offers music classes for all ages! Simply Music Piano® (7yo-adult), a remarkable, Australian-developed piano program that has students, playing pop, classical, blues and accompaniment pieces, from their very first lessons; Play-a-Story Piano® (5-7yo w/guardian), a comprehensive improvisational piano foundation that provides a springboard into the Simply Music Piano program; Simply Music Rhapsody® (3mo-5yo w/guardian), an exciting and experiential musical immersion program, based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy (classes by age); Bagpipe Lessons (9yo-adult). Also, Beginning Violin-Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo lessons. More info, contact Barbara & Eric Goodchild, 413-625-8203, ebgoodchild@hughes.net.

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Saturday Morning Music PartyFamily Music Party: On Saturday, January 11, at 10am, Hilltown Families and Flywheel Arts Collective present the second year of our “Saturday Morning Music Party” series! This Saturday kicks off this winter’s series, and features a free pancake breakfast, a screening of an ’80s-era kids’ TV show, and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix. All ages are invited to this super fun event! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Family Community Service NightFamily Community Service Night: On Friday, January 17th from 4-7pm, Hilltown Families will be hosting a Free Family Community Service Night with The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls.  We are inviting families to join us for an evening of DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition. Come with an outgrown felted wool sweater, and/or fleece outerwear to be repurposed into easy-to-sew mittens and scarves to donate to New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT).  No previous experience is needed and there will be tasks for all ages Sign up to join us. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 11th-17th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Snow Much Fun in Western Massachusetts!

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Winter time in Western MA can be a lot of fun! Between downhill and nordic skiing, great sledding hills and outdoor ice skating rinks, there are so many opportunities to get outside when the snow flies in the region… and there’s no better source of information on how to survive and thrive during winter in Western MA than from Hilltown Families’ readers!

Over the years Western MA families have shared their favorite places to go sledding and where to get a cup of hot chocolate after (or coffee for the parents!).  They’ve discussed how to get kids to dress for the cold, and where to take the family for a horse drawn sleigh ride (or an indoor winter birthday party).  Find out what local treasures and words of wisdom our readers have offered in these posts from our archives, and add your 2-cents too!

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