Suggested Events for August 19th-25th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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! Click HERE to find out more.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2017-2018 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Sat & Sun thru Labor Day

Hoosac Valley Train rides are for families, groups, and couples. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. Their authentic Budd railcar is from 1955. Gift shop has memorabilia and rail-related products for adults and children. Group size 20+ are asked to make reservations one week in advance. Summer train rides are every Sat and Sun thru Labor Day at 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm. Cost $8/10/12. Cabaret Trains are Saturday Aug 26, Sept 9 & 23. Cost $20. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 80 persons per ride. See www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com or contact info@berkshirescenicrailroad.org.

Aug 19

The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day-long festival featuring students, alumnae, and faculty including: And the Kids, Christine Ohlman, Felixis Jinx, June Millington, Kalliope Jones, Kristen Ford, Leah Kunkel, Lioness, Mal Devisa, Naia Kete, Parlicium, SpaceKase, Whoda’ Funk It?, and Wishbone Zoe. Takes place on Saturday, August 19th at IMA’s Big Barn lawn at 165 Cape Street (Highway 112) in Goshen, MA. Gates open at 11am. Family friendly. Festival seating. Food & drink vendors on-site. Picnicking allowed. For tickets & information visit www.ima.org.

Ohana means family! Ohana School of Performing Arts in South Hadley is a family that shares a passion for creativity, self-expression, love, and performance. It’s a place where you can experience life-enriching, all-inclusive classes that inspire children and adults to express themselves through movement, dream big, and change the world. Ohana believes that each and every human being deserves the chance to experience dance. Join their family and help them to spread peace and positivity through performance. Email them at Ashley@ohanaperformingarts.com or call 413-539-9996 for more information. Located at 470 Newton Street, South Hadley, MA. www.OhanaPerformingArts.com

Sep 24

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its seventh year on Sun., Sept. 24 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by forming a team of four or more friends, family or co-workers. Riders can choose from any of the four scenic routes (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles) through the Pioneer Valley. Enjoy a fun and exciting day with your team while raising funds and awareness of hunger in our region. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Looking for summer options? Check out our featured post, 2017 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.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit 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 advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 19th-25th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Community-Based Events for the Solar Eclipse

Partial Eclipse Visible on Monday, August 21, 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon will pass in front of the sun, creating a solar eclipse which will be visible throughout the United States. In western Massachusetts, this event will be visible as a partial eclipse, as the moon will not entirely obscure our view of the sun. In fourteen states across the country, it will be visible as a total eclipse! The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the United States in this manner was June 8, 1918!

Since the sun will still be visible to us throughout the eclipse, viewers will need to acquire eclipse glasses in order to view it safely. Various organizations will be offering these tools, as well as fun educational activities, at eclipse viewing events on Monday, August 21, 2017:  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Summer Wildflowers & Gardens

 Season of Summer Wildflowers & Gardens

Summer is the season of flower-studded meadows and blossoms on the wayside or at home in our gardens. Nothing says summer like a freshly picked bouquet of Oxeye Daises or New England Asters. Summer is also the time of year when public gardens are open to visitors wanting to learn about botany or just enjoy the beauty of cultivated flowers. These public gathering places connect community to the growing season, these senses in the form of color and scent, and to the incredible beauty and diversity nature has to offer. In Western Massachusetts there are a few public gardens to explore and enjoy that may offer inspiration to the artist, writer, or botanist inside:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bees & Ants: Symbiotic Relationships with Plants

Bees & Ants: Symbiotic Relationships with Plants

“Bees and flowers have an amazingly close relationship. Flowers need bees in order to reproduce, and bees need flowers to feed their colonies. Take away one, and the other would disappear too. It begs the question: When it comes to evolution, which came first, the bees or the flowers?” Discover more with this short video by It’s Okay To Be Smart.

But not only do bees have a symbiotic relationships with plants… so do ants!

Literature Guide for Debby Dahl Edwardson’s “My Name is Not Easy”

Literature Guide for Debby Dahl Edwardson’s My Name is Not Easy

Download literary guide for Debby Dahl Edwardson’s My Name is Not Easy

Told from multiple perspectives, Debby Dahl Edwardson’s My Name is Not Easy is a narrative of the hard, culture-crippling truths of the boarding schools that native Alaskans attended during the early 1960’s. The characters in Edwardson’s story attend the fictional Sacred Heart School, a Catholic institution whose structure and methodology is fierce, brutal, and deeply rooted in the idea that native students needed to be re-trained in order for their communities to succeed. The characters are fictional, but just like their school, they each present carefully designed portraits of “typical” students at such schools, and their experiences give literary life to the real life experiences of unnamed others.

The students at Sacred Heart have been sent there from villages all over Alaska, and while each one’s story of why they’ve wound up there varies, each native Alaskan student’s story shares the same undercurrent: their presence at the school forces them to let go of their language, their landscape, and their people, and it is assumed by those in charge that this is necessary in order for native Alaskans to survive. On top of the clashes between students from self-identified Eskimo villages and Indian villages are emotional and physical abuse from school staff, forced consumption of radiation-filled iodine for government testing, and the adopting out of students not deemed appropriate for school life.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: August 14-18, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
August 14-18, 2017

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Weekdays in Western MA!

 

Save

Save

Save

HFVS Summer in the City Episode with Guest DJ, Meredith Wright (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Summer in the City Episode with Guest DJ, Meredith Wright

Join Guest DJ Meredith Wright from Sweetbeatz for Summer in the City. She’ll be spinning a soulful mix of songs that will have you boppin’ to the beat of the city streets. Grab your metrocard (you’ll need it for the subway) for a fun adventure to Central Park, a ballgame and everything in between! – www.sweetbeatzbaby.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
August 12th & 13th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO:  The Subway! Large cast of Muppets sing about riding the subway.  It’s vintage New York City and Sesame Street all in one!


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Stevie Wonder – “Master Blaster” [Stevie Wonder the Definitive Collection]
  • Hot Peas ‘n Butter – “Baila/Dance” [Best of the Band, Ingles y Español]
  • Martha Reeves & The Vandellas- “Dancing In The Street” [20th Century Masters- the Millennium Collection- Motown 1960’s vol.1]
  • Sweetbeatz- “Neighborhood” [Soulful Songs for City Kids]
  • Bari Koral- “Subway” [Rock and Roll Garden]
  • Joanie Leeds- “Sunday in the Park” [City Kid]
  • Heritage O.P. – “Friendship” [Heritage]
  • Sweetbeatz – “Laundry” [Soulful Songs for City Kids]
  • Carly Simon- “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” [Baseball- a Film by Ken Burns]
  • Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton- “Ice Cream” [Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues (Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center)]
  • James Brown – “Get On The Good Foot, pt. 1” [20 All-Time Greatest Hits!]
  • Sweetbeatz- “Hairdos” [Soulful Songs for City Kids]
  • Byron Lee & The Dragonaires – “Give Me Soca” [Soca Greatest Hits]

[Original broadcast: August 24, 2013]

Save

Save

Save

Suggested Events for August 12-18, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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! Click HERE to find out more.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2017-2018 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Mon & Fri’s

Only a few more weeks left of summer vacation to visit the Connecticut Trolley Museum, in East Windsor, CT! Let CTM help make memories that will last a lifetime! Activities include Trolley Rides, Trolley Experiences, Crafting Station, Dress-up Station, Scavenger Hunt, Guided Tours and visiting the Fire Truck Museum on property. Every Monday throughout the summer join CTM for Storytime Monday’s featuring stories about the adventures of trolleys and trains. The reading will be inside one of our historic trolleys and a trolley ride to follow. Every story is different and all ages are welcome! Every Friday CTM will hold Fantastic Friday’s ending with Super Hero & Princess Day. For a complete list of programs visit www.ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Aug 19

The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day-long festival featuring students, alumnae, and faculty including: And the Kids, Christine Ohlman, Felixis Jinx, June Millington, Kalliope Jones, Kristen Ford, Leah Kunkel, Lioness, Mal Devisa, Naia Kete, Parlicium, SpaceKase, Whoda’ Funk It?, and Wishbone Zoe. Takes place on Saturday, August 19th at IMA’s Big Barn lawn at 165 Cape Street (Highway 112) in Goshen, MA. Gates open at 11am. Family friendly. Festival seating. Food & drink vendors on-site. Picnicking allowed. For tickets & information visit www.ima.org.

Ohana means family! Ohana School of Performing Arts in South Hadley is a family that shares a passion for creativity, self-expression, love, and performance. It’s a place where you can experience life-enriching, all-inclusive classes that inspire children and adults to express themselves through movement, dream big, and change the world. Ohana believes that each and every human being deserves the chance to experience dance. Join their family and help them to spread peace and positivity through performance. Email them at Ashley@ohanaperformingarts.com or call 413-539-9996 for more information. Located at 470 Newton Street, South Hadley, MA. www.OhanaPerformingArts.com

Sep 24

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its seventh year on Sun., Sept. 24 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family, and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games, and more. Last year’s event raised $114,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Sept 18 – Dec 11

Online-Live Animation and Drawing classes taught by a former Disney animator (and veteran homeschool Dad) Chad Stewart. Offering a 12 week live-online animation courses for 11-18 year olds. He also teaches online drawing classes for multiple ages as well. Weekly classes are one hour long and include personal video reviews for individual learning! The cost is $300 for the full 12 weeks. The Fall Session meets Sept 18-Dec 11, and classes tend to fill up very quickly, so register soon! Hold a child’s spot with a non-refundable $50 registration fee. Please send inquiries to kayla@theanimcourse.com or check out our website: theanimcourse.com.

Study

Support Science! Participate in the Amherst College Children’s Social and Emotional Experiences Study. Two-hour study, $50 compensation. Children 10-12 years, with parents. Amherst College is reaching out to families with children to participate in research studies on social learning and peer relationships this summer on campus. Children and parents visit the Amherst College campus for one two-hour study visit during the summer. Parents and children complete questionnaires about social relationships and emotions. Children also complete a social interaction task and cognitive measures while their physical response (e.g., heart rate and breathing) is recorded. Call 413-542-5619 or peerstudy@amherst.edu.

Looking for summer options? Check out our featured post, 2017 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.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit 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 advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 12-18, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

10 Messy Summer Science Activities for Outside!

One of the best ways to engage in hands-on science learning is by simply messing about. When children’s play leads them to make observations about the things around them and the ways in which they interact with each other, they learn powerful lessons that they’ll remember for years to come. Luckily the time of year messy science learning can be done outdoors! Below are ten suggestions for hands-on science activities that families can engage in both to learn about a specific topic and to encourage self-directed “messing about” with safe science materials once formal experimentation has been done.  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Fishing

Season of Fishing

The summer time is the season for fishing! There are many places to go fishing in Western Massachusetts as a way to connect with the local landscape while spending time outdoors. There are different types of fishing, such as saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, fly fishing, and ice fishing. Fishing, or angling, is a sport that provides a direct interaction with our rivers and lakes as well as a meditative and tranquil way to relax and enjoy nature quietly.

The art of fly fishing has even inspired writers to create stories based on the sport, such as David James Duncan’s contemporary novel The River Why (1983). Voted the 35th best novel in the San Francisco Chronicle list of “The 20th Century’s 100 Best Books of the American West,” the novel centers on a young man from a fishing-centric family that moves to a small cabin in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range where he spends most of his days fly fishing. The novel was also made into a film in 2010. Check out your local Western Massachusetts library to see if the novel or film is available. Read the rest of this entry »

The Art of Printing Fish: A History

Gyotaku: The Ancient Japanese Art of Printing Fish

“How did fishermen record their trophy catches before the invention of photography? In 19th century Japan, fishing boats were equipped with rice paper, sumi-e ink, and brushes in order to create gyoktaku: elaborate rubbings of freshly caught fish. K. Erica Dodge recounts the story of this competitive fishing culture, plus some tips on how to make your very own etchings.” – TED-Ed

View full lesson:
Gyotaku: The ancient Japanese art of printing fish – K. Erica Dodge

The Good Life: A Thousand Miles Apart

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

A Thousand Miles Apart

This summer, writer Sarah Mattison Buhl travels to see her family in Wisconsin. She embraces the differences, and vows to look deeply at the issues.

We’ve lived in Massachusetts for five good years. It is a sensible fit for my family, and a culturally rich place to set root. I’ve appreciated the hard-working, New England sensibility. I share the long-standing social liberalism of the state. The rural quiet resonates with me, having relocated from Wisconsin. In fact, my adopted city reminds me a lot of the city from where I came. We are back visiting the Badger State this summer as we do every year, but I am noticing differences between Wisconsin and Massachusetts more vividly now than any visit in recent years. My east coast beliefs and my core midwestern values feel out of sync for the first time. I feel fortunate to be fluent in both languages. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: August 7-11, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
August 7-11, 2017

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Weekdays in Western MA!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

HFVS Rivers, Critters and Pirate Misfit Episode with Guest DJs, Funkinships (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Rivers, Critters and Pirate Misfit Episode
with Guest DJs, Funkinships

LISTEN TO PODCAST:

During this segment an unlikely band of musical misfits known as Funkinships, share some of their favorite songs about the river that brought them together. Learn about the critters that make the water a magical place and why we need to keep the rivers clean for them. — www.funkinships.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
August 5th & 6th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Sesame Street: Alligator King


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

LISTEN TO PODCAST:

PLAYLIST

  • Funkinships – “Sea Legs” [Post Folk Absurdist]
  • Shel Silverstien – “Captain Hook” [Where The Sidewalk Ends]
  • Pete Seeger and Ed Renehan – “The Old Ben Franklin and the Sloop Sally B”[Fifty Sail on Newburgh Bay]
  • Funkinships – “The Shad and The Eel”[Post Folk Absurdist]
  • Make and Clancy – “A Place in the Choir” [The Makem and Clancey Collection]
  • Kermit the Frog – “Rainbow Connection” [The Muppet Movie Original Soundtrack]
  • Lyle Lovett – “If I had a Boat” [Pontiac]
  • Funkinships – “Left Foot, Right Foot”[Post Folk Absurdist]
  • Sesame Street – “Alligator King” [The Count Counts: Vol. 1]
  • Pete Seeger – “Sailing Down my Golden River” [Pete]
  • Funkinships – “If You Cant Sing Well Sing Loud”[Post Folk Absurdist]
  • Derek McGee – “The Donkey Of Violet Hill”
  • John Hartford – “Turn Your Radio On” [Steam Powered Aero Plane]
  • Funkinships – “The Great Whale Ball”[Post Folk Absurdist]

[Original broadcast: October 8th & 9th, 2016]

Save

Save

Suggested Events for August 5th-11th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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! Click HERE to find out more.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2017-2018 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Now – Aug 12

Finally, the birds and the bees for funky families! The Flexible Facts of Life: Information and Stories for Kids, Celebrating Diverse and Creative Families. This book includes a straightforward, gender-neutral introduction to the sperm and the egg, and lots of sweet stories about daily life in all kinds of families. This is a full-color 35-page book, written by a local mom, author, and clinical social worker. Check it out, order a copy, tell your friends, and help make this valuable resource a reality! Find it now on Kickstarter, only until August 12th: Flexible Facts of Life – a book about families.

Aug 19

The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day-long festival featuring students, alumnae, and faculty including: And the Kids, Christine Ohlman, Felixis Jinx, June Millington, Kalliope Jones, Kristen Ford, Leah Kunkel, Lioness, Mal Devisa, Naia Kete, Parlicium, SpaceKase, Whoda’ Funk It?, and Wishbone Zoe. Takes place on Saturday, August 19th at IMA’s Big Barn lawn at 165 Cape Street (Highway 112) in Goshen, MA. Gates open at 11am. Family friendly. Festival seating. Food & drink vendors on-site. Picnicking allowed. For tickets & information visit www.ima.org.

Sept 18 – Dec 11

Online-Live Animation and Drawing classes taught by a former Disney animator (and veteran homeschool Dad) Chad Stewart. Offering a 12 week live-online animation courses for 11-18 year olds. He also teaches online drawing classes for multiple ages as well. Weekly classes are one hour long and include personal video reviews for individual learning! The cost is $300 for the full 12 weeks. The Fall Session meets Sept 18-Dec 11, and classes tend to fill up very quickly, so register soon! Hold a child’s spot with a non-refundable $50 registration fee. Please send inquiries to kayla@theanimcourse.com or check out our website: theanimcourse.com.

Calling all volunteers! You can help make The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event another tremendous success. Volunteering is a great way to support Will Bike 4 Food for those who are unable to ride at the event. They have a number of volunteer opportunities available throughout the day including check-in & check-out, route patrol, lawn game facilitators, food service, water stop coordinators, and more. For more information about how you can get involved and lend your support, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Aug 4-6

Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience member should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Performances are Fri. August 4 at 7pm, Sat. & Sun. August 5 & 6, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets. Group discounts (12+): $7, call 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheater.com.

Study

Support Science! Participate in the Amherst College Children’s Social and Emotional Experiences Study. Two-hour study, $50 compensation. Children 10-12 years, with parents. Amherst College is reaching out to families with children to participate in research studies on social learning and peer relationships this summer on campus. Children and parents visit the Amherst College campus for one two-hour study visit during the summer. Parents and children complete questionnaires about social relationships and emotions. Children also complete a social interaction task and cognitive measures while their physical response (e.g., heart rate and breathing) is recorded. Call 413-542-5619 or peerstudy@amherst.edu.

Looking for summer options? Check out our featured post, 2017 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.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit 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 advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 5th-11th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

History Through the Lens of “What If?”

AlternateHistoryHub Promotes Consideration of Context in Studies of Human History

Every event in our own lives directly influences the next – and similarly, everything that we do as a country, a culture, and as humans influences all that comes after. Every major historical event – from battles and assassinations to natural disasters and deadly diseases – has shaped the events that follow it, making our timeline of human history not just a series of events, but a gradual and (so far) endless chain reaction of events.

So what if some of the major events that are part of our human timeline had never happened, or had happened differently?

Read the rest of this entry »

Local Ruins Support Learning

Throughout western Massachusetts are many reminders of the past. From cellar holes to quarries, the region’s ruins speak volumes about its history. Families can explore old hotels, drowned towns, abandoned quarries, and old mill sites safely to learn about life in the past and to explore the ways in which nature can reclaim spaces. Read more in our post, Exploring Ruins Reveals Local History and Culture.

Sports: Benefits & Local Learning

“The victory of the underdog. The last minute penalty shot that wins the tournament. The training montage. Many people love to glorify victory on the field, cheer for teams, and play sports. But should we be obsessed with sports? Are sports as good for us as we make them out to be, or are they just a fun and entertaining pastime? Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh show what science has to say on the matter.” – TED-Ed

View full lesson: How playing sports benefits your body … and your brain – Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh

Though western Massachusetts isn’t known as a sports mecca, it’s filled with community-based resources for exploring sports and the history behind them. As the birthplace of at least two major sports and home to teams and clubs engaging in a great many more, the area offers a variety of ways to learn about sports of all kind. Read more in our post, Exploring Athletics and Sports History Through Community-Based Resources.

Learning Ahead: Vacation Destination

Season of Vacation Destination

In the 19th century, New England was a popular place for outdoor recreation. At a time when the American landscape was championed for its unique, natural features, setting it apart from Europe, Americans were interested in exploring the mountains and woods that defined this country’s geography. In fact, as you discovered in the Summer Storms section of this issue of Learning Ahead, 19th century authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville participated in outdoor recreation by hiking up Monument Mountain. Henry David Thoreau, another 19th century author and transcendentalist, climbed Mt. Greylock, located in Adams, MA. Another scenic spot for recreational tourists was the Summit House at Skinner State Park (then known as Mt. Holyoke) which operated as a hotel, allowing visitors to stay overnight while visiting. As you can see, Western Massachusetts was a popular destination for 19th century Americans with many of the outdoor places and summits still available for today’s hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore. Read the rest of this entry »

Off the Mat: Take a Breather

Take a Breather

Stomach tense, not grumbling but hard, a potato sized stone sitting just below my ribs. Centered, which isn’t where my stomach is. So this is muscle tension? Breathe in more deeply and breathe out, focus on the potato. It softens, moves down an inch or two. Let’s try again. Yup, there it goes. And beautifully, the deep inhale harmonizes with a dissonant chord in the Bach cello piece playing on the stereo. Breathing with Bach.

Stomach looser, I now notice the scowl on my face, there since waking. Can I relax it with breath, too? Purposefully smooth the skin between and above my eyebrows. Feels a little surprised. The remaining frown below the spread brow feels sad. Feels like the moment of realization – whatever the realization might be – that tears are coming. Feels like disappointment. What can breath do for my mouth? I’ve heard it takes more muscles to frown. Is that accurate? In this day in age, it seems more of an effort to choose happiness, to concentrate on what’s working and what’s hopeful than on what’s wrong. Especially when hormone cycles resemble spaghetti bowl tangles more than predictable sine curves.

♦♦♦

Letting breath guide movement is central to my yoga training. We teach what we most need to learn; I’m someone who holds her breath walking down the sidewalk!  Yoga breathing practices purposefully employ our inhale, exhale, and retention of breath to affect our physical, mental, and emotional health. Science now has the technology to explain how and why this works.

Researchers at Northwestern used brain scans to show how breathing through the nose affects areas of the brain associated with emotions and memory. A team at Stanford has identified jumbles of nerve cells that connect the brain’s respiratory center to the area in charge of alertness and attention. (If you geek out on this stuff like I do, this article in Neuroscience News describes the findings in understandable terms, down to a description of mellow mice.) One researcher described the almost 200 neuron subtypes as “well stirred spaghetti.”  This spaghetti tangle serves to calm. Breath is automatic and can be controlled through behavior, as well.

Too often still, I look outside of myself first – caffeine, conversation, therapy, vacation. I “should” myself with goal setting and exercise plans, social media challenges. Bemoan the lack of resources: money, sure, but also time, for self-care. And yet the simplest tool is right here, flowing in and out, rarely noticed except in its absence.

♦♦♦

Teaching yoga class, I notice one of my students looking flushed and worried. I check in – she can’t catch her breath. There’s a slight edge to her voice as she shares how she’s trying to breathe deeply but not getting air and fears she’s triggered an asthma attack. In my best calm teacher voice, I instruct her to breathe out all the way. She releases a long, large exhale. Now there’s room for fresh air to come in. Oh! She smiles, breathing in deeply.

♦♦♦

In the Sanskrit language, the word for breath, prana, is also translated as life force or spirit.  Some days, the only dedicated yoga practice I can muster is breath. Close my eyes. Turn attention to breath. Soften belly, gently spread ribs, lift collar bones as breath stretches me from the inside. Comfortably full, muscles lift from inside, gently squeezing air up and out of my lungs. Repeat. Long, smooth inhales. Full, complete exhales. In and out through my nose. Notice the movement breath creates. Sound like ocean waves. Unwind the strands of my mental tangle. Free my spirit.

[Photo credit: (cc) Lorianne DiSabato]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ginny Hamilton

Pain specialist, yoga instructor, and Reiki practitioner Ginny Hamilton teaches simple & proven techniques to release pain & restore energy in the workplace, group classes & private sessions. She has put down roots in South Amherst with her spouse and young son. Daily she’s amazed by the beauty the Pioneer Valley offers, though her allergies beg to differ. In Off the Mat, Ginny explores how yoga’s physical and mindfulness exercises help her parent and how parenting shapes her yoga practice. http://www.ginnyhamilton.com

Save

Weekdays in Western MA: July 31-August 4, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
July 31 – August 4, 2017

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Weekdays in Western MA!

 

Save

Save

Save

HFVS with Guest DJ, Jason Didner (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Guest DJ, Jason Didner

“Jersey Jason” Didner from the Jungle Gym Jam hosts a show that’s all about animals – real and imaginary. Hear a bilingual track by Northampton’s own Mister G along with “Pandagarten” by Jason’s band – a song that tells the story of how pandas born in captivity are trained to possibly live in the wild. Plus gems by Laura Doherty, Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkner and more. Hear a story narrated by Jason’s brother Matthew Didner, a theatre director and storyteller, that their grandfather used to make up and tell them when they were kids. — www.junglegymjam.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 29 & 30, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: I Chew – Hullabaloo


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Animal Tracks – Laura Doherty [Animal Tracks]
  • Elephants – Uncle Dox [Single]
  • Marsupial – Danny Weinkauf and the Red Pants Band [No School Today]
  • Omnivore – Seanster and the Monsters [Yay!]
  • The Goldfish – Laurie Berkner Band [The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band]
  • Billy the Fish – Darlene Graham and the Shades of Green Band [Big Hugs from Mama]
  • Every Little Step – Justin Roberts [Recess]
  • Sheep Don’t Wear Shoes – Marsha Goodman-Wood [Gravity Vacation]
  • I Chew – Hullabaloo [I Chew]
  • Pandagarten – Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam [Single]
  • Cinnamon Bear – Suzi Shelton [Smile in my Heart]
  • Una Jirafa en mi Casa – Mister G [Los Animales]
  • Bunnybot – Sugar Free Allstars [Sugar Free Allstars]
  • Liftoff – Chibi Kodama [Dragons]

Save

Save

Save

Save

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 29th & 30th, 2017

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

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 29th-August 4th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for Community-Based Educational Highlights: Graffiti to Robotics. Tricksters to Liars. Mindfulness to Placemaking. and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

July 29th-August 4th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

MindfulnessRoboticsCommunity MealPlacemakingEntomologyDance StudiesBotanyLocal HistoryArt StudiesTransportation HistoryAgricultureSports HistoryShakespeareOrganic ChemistryMythologyHuman BehaviorPaleontology

Bucket ListFor more suggestions, check out our Bucket List of 75 recommendations from our readers of things to do and places to see in Western MA in the summer. (Add your own recommendation too!)

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Web-Based Space Explorations Blast Off Through NASA Kids’ Club
  2. Nature’s Patterns Reveals Mathematical Reasoning
  3. Local Nature Centers Connect Families to Nature Through Interpretive Programs
  4. Maker Spaces: Community-Based Opportunities to Think, Make, Do, Learn and Share
  5. In Appreciation: Reading as a Tool Towards Empathy

RECAP MAP SPONSOR


Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

Community-Based Educational Highlights: Graffiti to Robotics. Tricksters to Liars. Mindfulness to Placemaking.

“Spray-painted subway cars, tagged bridges, mural-covered walls – graffiti pops up boldly throughout our cities. And it turns out: it’s nothing new. Graffiti has been around for thousands of years. And across that span of time, it’s raised the same questions we debate now: Is it art? Is it vandalism? Kelly Wall describes the history of graffiti.

Graffiti to Robotics. Tricksters to Liars. Mindfulness to Placemaking. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list of Weekly Suggested Events and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: The field of robotics may seem sophisticated and intimidating; however, robotic machines don’t have to be very complex. Even kids can learn to make them! Robots are simply machines programmed to perform a task or series of tasks. A makerspace workshop at the Dickinson Memorial Library on Saturday, July 29, 10am-12pm will teach participants ages eight through eighteen how to design their own 3-D printed image. Participants will play with robotics tools such as Little Bits Electronics, Ozobots, and Spheros. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)


MindfulnessRoboticsCommunity MealPlacemakingEntomologyDance StudiesBotanyLocal HistoryArt StudiesTransportation HistoryAgricultureSports HistoryShakespeareOrganic ChemistryMythologyHuman BehaviorPaleontology

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for July 29th-August 4th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Study

Support Science! Participate in the Amherst College Children’s Social and Emotional Experiences Study. Two-hour study, $50 compensation. Children 10-12 years, with parents. Amherst College is reaching out to families with children to participate in research studies on social learning and peer relationships this summer on campus. Children and parents visit the Amherst College campus for one two-hour study visit during the summer. Parents and children complete questionnaires about social relationships and emotions. Children also complete a social interaction task and cognitive measures while their physical response (e.g., heart rate and breathing) is recorded. Call 413-542-5619 or peerstudy@amherst.edu.

Now – Aug 12

Finally, the birds and the bees for funky families! The Flexible Facts of Life: Information and Stories for Kids, Celebrating Diverse and Creative Families. This book includes a straightforward, gender-neutral introduction to the sperm and the egg, and lots of sweet stories about daily life in all kinds of families. This is a full-color 35-page book, written by a local mom, author, and clinical social worker. Check it out, order a copy, tell your friends, and help make this valuable resource a reality! Find it now on Kickstarter, only until August 12th: Flexible Facts of Life – a book about families.

Aug 19

The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day-long festival featuring students, alumnae, and faculty including: And the Kids, Christine Ohlman, Felixis Jinx, June Millington, Kalliope Jones, Kristen Ford, Leah Kunkel, Lioness, Mal Devisa, Naia Kete, Parlicium, SpaceKase, Whoda’ Funk It?, and Wishbone Zoe. Takes place on Saturday, August 19th at IMA’s Big Barn lawn at 165 Cape Street (Highway 112) in Goshen, MA. Gates open at 11am. Family friendly. Festival seating. Food & drink vendors on-site. Picnicking allowed. For tickets & information visit www.ima.org.

Sept 18 – Dec 11

Online-Live Animation and Drawing classes taught by a former Disney animator (and veteran homeschool Dad) Chad Stewart. Offering a 12 week live-online animation courses for 11-18 year olds. He also teaches online drawing classes for multiple ages as well. Weekly classes are one hour long and include personal video reviews for individual learning! The cost is $300 for the full 12 weeks. The Fall Session meets Sept 18-Dec 11, and classes tend to fill up very quickly, so register soon! Hold a child’s spot with a non-refundable $50 registration fee. Please send inquiries to kayla@theanimcourse.com or check out our website: theanimcourse.com.

Aug 4-6

Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience member should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Performances are Fri. August 4 at 7pm, Sat. & Sun. August 5 & 6, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets. Group discounts (12+): $7, call 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheater.com.

Looking for summer options? Check out our featured post, 2017 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.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit 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 advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 29th-August 4th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: August 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of August. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

If you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

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, story hours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale-Peru, Pittsfield, Sandisfield, Windsor, Washington, and Mt. Washington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Four Picture Books Teeming with Animals

Summer Bedtime Stories: Four Picture Books Teeming with Animals

Summer nights come alive with the sounds of nocturnal creatures, with shadows moving through the dark, with the scent of night-blooming flowers and the pungent perfume of skunks.  It is the season to spy fireflies in the dewy meadow and Luna moths under the porch light, to be surprised by rabbits and frogs and deer that leap across the road in front of car headlights, and to search for the glint of eyes in the beam of flashlights. In these four new picture books, readers will find pages teeming with animals at night. Some are trying to fall asleep at the end of the day, while others are waking up to explore the nighttime world. Some are humorously portrayed, while others appear in their natural habitat. If you’re looking for a new story to read to your child at bedtime, especially a child who loves animals, try tucking in with one of these.  Read the rest of this entry »

Clapping Games 101

“Clapping games continue to resonate across modern-day playgrounds. Although they have an earlier history, these games found real popularity in the 1960s, traveling to England from America and filling playgrounds across the country. They can be employed in a number of situations: to pass time while waiting in line, to play with a large circle of friends, or to keep your hands warm on a cold day. Enticingly, they offer the chance to demonstrate to your peers your ability to memorize and enact dazzlingly complicated rhythms and rhymes. The songs vary in complexity, from basic songs such as ‘A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea’ to hybrid pastiches drawing upon established clapping songs, pop songs, TV shows and actions. The result is a fantastically varied genre of play in a constant state of transition.” – The British Library

Life is full of patterns and the more exposure kids get with practicing, following and identifying them, the better! Studies have shown that hand clapping games, an organic summer camp & playground activity, provide that educational access to learning patterns and are a great brain boost. When you think of it, it makes perfect sense! Hand clapping is something we’ve done from even when we were in diapers, spurring motor skills that help us find simple and complex rhythms.

Clapping games are terrific summer time fun that can be done in the car on long road trips, in the sand at the beach, while waiting in line for your favorite ride at the amusement park, and so on! Read on about the different clapping games you can introduce into your child’s learn-scape. We’ve include resources to show you how: Hand Clapping Games: Summer & Schoolyard Creative Free Play that Supports Learning.

Learn About Local Food & Chemistry through Fermentation

Lessons in Local Food Preservation

Western Mass really drops an abundance of local food into our laps every summer! It’s an incredible bounty that brings with it a possibility of some waste, as storage can prove difficult. Enter Fermentation…a healthy and educational technique to repurpose delicious & healthy food into… delicious & healthy food! Did we mention fermentation is also educational? Involve your kids and they’ll get some experience with cellular biology & chemistry. Read on for some excellent insights in our post, Learn About Local Food & Chemistry through Fermentation.

Learning Ahead: Season of Berries

 Season of Berries

Summer is the season of berry picking and canning! It’s the time of year when pies are baked and fruit is canned to enjoy during the colder months.

During the months of July and August, blueberries become ready for picking. There are many farms in Western MA where you can pick your own berries, or farm stands and markets to purchase local berries to enjoy at home. At http://www.poets.org, read Robert Frost’s poem “Blueberries” before heading out to your nearby blueberry farm to fill your pail. Consider the first and last stanza and how Frost describes the beauty of the ripe blueberry:

“Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!”

As you read the rest the poem, consider how is it structured. As a conversation between two people? What are they discussing? How is the blueberry and berry picking discussed in this poem? Bring the poem with you and read it together amongst a colony of blueberry bushes.  Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: