Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 27th & 28th, 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 May 27th-June 2nd, 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 20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Beavers to Biomimicry. Urban Landscape to Theater., 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.

May 27th – June 2nd, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

ReligionWoolcraftColonial HistoryArt History BeaversBiomimicryMemorial DayPhilosophyFiber ArtsAnimationTheaterOrnithologyLocal HistoryUrban LandscapeEntrepreneurCulinary ArtsBiologyCommunity MealSheepArt HistoryFalconryGuided WalksBusiness

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Build Bridges Between Generations by Volunteering With Elders
  2. Open Sesame: The Lure of Foxes
  3. Building Fairy Houses Promotes Learning, Creative-Free Play & Citizen Science
  4. The Ripple: Streamcrawling
  5. 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Summer Camp

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20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Beavers to Biomimicry. Urban Landscape to Theater.

In the early spring, New England history and culture come alive with the arrival of newborn lambs and the shearing of sheep for the production of wool. The wool industry has strong ties to western Massachusetts, with annual events that celebrate our historical past and other events which showcase modern day shepherds and their flocks. Read more in our post, Sheep & Wool: Catalysts for Community-Based Education in Western MA.

Religion to Woolcraft. Colonial History to Art History. Beavers to Biomimicry. These are just a few of the community-based 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 community highlight this week: Join the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee on Sunday, May 28, 12pm as they celebrate the 15th annual commemoration of the Sojourner Truth statue. The gathering will honor her legacy and recognize the next generation of young people who follow in her footsteps. This year’s celebration will include an address by Ingrid Askew, theater artist and cultural activist, and a performance by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir. To be recognized at the event are this year’s recipients of the Sojourner Truth Scholarship for Social Justice. The day’s events will start with a walking tour of “Sojourner Truth’s Footsteps in Florence.” After the celebration, the David Ruggles Center, located at 225 Nonotuck Street in Florence, will be hosting a reception and open house. All are welcome to attend. In case of rain, the celebration will be indoors at the Florence Community Center, just across Pine Street fro


Memorial DayPhilosophyFiber ArtsAnimationTheaterOrnithologyLocal HistoryUrban LandscapeEntrepreneurCulinary ArtsBiologyCommunity MealSheepArt HistoryFalconryGuided WalksBusiness


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Suggested Events for May 27th-June 2nd, 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.

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! 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.

Health & Wellness Directory

In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers, resources, and institutions a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory.

We’ve all been there… deep in discussion about our health and wellness with friends and family, around the dining room table and cocktail parties, at a playgroup and on the playground. How often have you found yourself looking for a recommendation or local service that could support the health and wellness of your family? This spring we are pulling together a comprehensive list of services and practitioners that can support the health and wellness of you and your family. If you would like to be included in this list, find our more info here and reach out to our amazing Sales & Marketing Manager, Merricka Breuer.

Bulletin Board

June 3

Celebrate all things local and agricultural at the WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 6pm. This outdoor, family-friendly event offers character meet-and-greets with PBS Kids’ Curious George, outdoor learning games and displays, live children’s music in the am (pop/folk music in the p.m.), and many local food and beverage vendors. Parents can enjoy the farmers/makers market, the local craft beer tent, or the gourmet Chef Spearit Lunch (tickets sold separately for the this). Festival admission is free with suggested $5/person donation. Proceeds benefit local public television and PBS station WGBY. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org. Event details at wgby.org/asparagus.

June 4

A dance performance for the whole family! The Center Dance Studio proudly presents “The Enchanted Bookshelf,” a captivating tale of friendship, courage, and the healing power of a good book. Sunday, June 4th at Amherst Regional High School. Curtain rises at 5PM. Purchase tickets online or at the door. FREE for kids 12 and under. At The Center, children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training in the Pioneer Valley, New York City, and Montreal with a special approach to teaching that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance.

June 9-18

Come to the Town of Conway’s 250 Anniversary Celebration over 2 weekends 6/9-6/18! Six superb short plays 6/9 @ 7:30pm & 6/10 @ 2 and 7:30pm; call 413-369-4301 to reserve free seats. Starting 6/16: Fireworks; Family 5k run; Live music-national and local acts; children’s activities (magic show, movie night, birds of prey and more); Historic walking tour; Teamster’s Challenge; plus great exhibits and presentations: Lester Stevens paintings; Living History of Conway; Conway School of Landscape Design; Agriculture; Antique cars, tractors and engines; outstanding regional Artists show, and all events/exhibits are free, as is ample parking and shuttle transportation. Food and beverages available. For details go to townofconway.com.

Mobile App

Saturday morning errands, dinnertime, on the way to the beach this summer – these are all great times to talk to your children about underage drinking or drug use. It’s never too early or too late to convey your hopes, your expectations, and your family values. Many small talks are fine. Get tips on how to make the most of your conversations by downloading the Talk. They Hear You mobile app. Learn more at EasthamptonCoalition.org.

Jun 12

Kathryn Kothe Roszko of CyclePottery along with two assistants will teach kids ages 9+ how to throw plates, bowls, mugs, and more on the potter’s wheel. Campers will also learn hand building, trimming, decorating & glazing techniques. 4-6 students max. Camp is held in her studio in Florence. 7 sessions throughout the summer, with various options from 3-5 days, 9am-3pm. First 5 day camp begins June 12th! Dates: June 12-Aug 24; Age Range of Campers: 9+yrs.
Contact: 413-219-9594; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; www.cyclepottery.com.

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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@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 Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 27th – June 2nd, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

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Berkshire Family Fun: June 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
June 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of June. 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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@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.

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STEM Opportunities at The Great Holyoke Brick Race

The Great Holyoke Brick Race

Take on the coolest gravity based physics experiment around at the Great Holyoke Brick Race! The event can be used as a means of providing hands-on physics learning. Each car will need to be carefully designed and built with attention to the basic principles of physics. Depending on the age of participants, car-building can lend itself nicely to in-depth explorations of mathematical ideas and the principles of design, too!

Find out more at www.brickrace.org.

William Cullen Bryant Homestead Teen Poetry Contest

Bryant Homestead Teen Poetry Contest in the Hilltowns

The teen years are a turbulent emotional time. Lots of teenagers cling to their favorite music or poetry to process their experiences and form their identity. Perhaps even better than appreciating art during the teen years- creating art can help teens manage their emotions and express themselves in a positive way.

Spending time in nature is another positive way to soothe and handle turbulence in your life. Creative teens who have a love of nature can combine these two interests by entering the William Cullen Bryant Homestead Teen Poetry Contest! Poets from all different stylistic schools, from Ezra Pound to Robert Frost to Louise Glück, have drawn inspiration from the natural world in their writing.  Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness

Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness

For some, Memorial Day is a deeply personal holiday, a day for remembering those who have served the people of our country. Participating in these Memorial Day celebrations and ceremonies can also be a form of placemaking, strengthening ties to community spaces and encouraging social interaction between generations. These events also offer a chance to personally thank local veterans and recognize them for their bravery and service.

Ceremonies to honor veterans on this holiday often take place in outdoor, common spaces such as Main Streets, sidewalks, and town commons.

As friends, neighbors, and community members gather in these areas, opportunities for small acts of kindness arise. For example, families can bring a bouquet of daisies or loaves of fresh baked bread to a Memorial Day parade to share with veterans as small tokens of gratitude.

Memorial day parades thus invite people to engage with their communities in placemaking. Participating in parades by marching alongside an organization or viewing the parade from a common space thus supports individual health and well-being by strengthening a connection to place.

This day of remembrance is also a chance to learn about history from a local perspective. A sample of community events to honor Memorial Day include:  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Memorial Day

Memorial Day: Gathering Together & Honoring The Past

For some, Memorial Day is a deeply personal holiday, a day for remembering those who have served the people of our country. Participating in these Memorial Day celebrations and ceremonies can also be a form of placemaking, strengthening ties to community spaces and encouraging social interaction between generations. These events also offer a chance to personally thank local veterans and recognize them for their bravery and service.

Memorial Day honors those veterans who died serving our country in the armed forces.  Many of the ceremonies take place in outdoor, common spaces, such as Main Streets, town commons, and downtown sidewalks.  Community members gather together, in the spirit of kindness and compassion, to show gratitude for those who dedicated their lives to serving our democracy.  During these parades and outdoor ceremonies, folks bring bouquets of flowers, fresh baked bread, and other small tokens of kindness to share with veterans still living, in appreciation for their service, and that of their fellow soldiers who lost their lives.

Memorial Day parades are an opportunity for place-making and intergenerational dialogue.  Community members of all ages come out for the day’s ceremony and parade, while many of the activities take place in the gathering spaces of a town. It provides a space for neighbors, families, and friends to spend time together in a communal place.  Many Western Massachusetts’ towns ask their historical societies to organize events around Memorial Day to help us learn about local history and about those who served our country in the distant past. It is a day of remembrance from both a contemporary perspective and a historical perspective.  In the past, the following towns have hosted Memorial Day parades: Amherst, Agawam, Athol, Chicopee, Easthampton, Florence, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Holyoke, Housatonic, Plainfield, Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Westfield  and Williamsburg, among other towns in the region.

Each parade and event may include local school marching bands, community picnics, community dinners, bike rides, gun salutes, and guest speakers.  Memorial Day parades connect communities to their local history and past while celebrating, and being grateful for, the chance to spend time together in town. Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Memorial Day

Think about this:

  • How does Walt Whitman’s poem “Ashes of Soldiers” attempt to honor those fallen soldiers who may no longer be remembered? Why did Whitman write this poem for them?
  • Does your town have a Memorial Day parade? When did it get started? Who started it? Check out your local history society or library for more information!
  • What Memorial Day traditions does your family celebrate?

The Ripple: Takers of the Wild and Free

Takers of the Wild and Free

“Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?” by Mary Oliver is one of the poems to which I aspire to align my perspective on the world.

We are not the movers and shakers of the earth, for that would be far too appraising of how we have laid claim to a home that was never rightfully ours; rather, we are the Takers of all things wild and free and the Leavers* of a world whose light dims a little more each day.

With all of our advancements, we have not progressed to the point of living in ways that will allow us to continue to inhabit the earth. We are simply atoms that are arranged to form beings capable of comprehending arrangements of atoms, and we have not yet mastered the art of awareness – or so we pretend.

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Weekdays in Western MA: May 22-26, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
May 22nd-26th, 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.


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HFVS You, Me, and Our Community (Pt. 2) Episode with Guest DJ, Lucy Kalantari (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

You, Me, and Our Community (Pt. 2) Episode
with Guest DJ, Lucy Kalantari

HFVS Guest DJ Lucy Kalantari is back with more community centered songs. Families, neighbors, friends–she covers the many different and beautiful relationships that come through our lives.  — www.LucyKalantari.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 20th & 21st, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Okee Dokee Brothers, “Somos “Amigos”


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Sister Sledge – “We Are Family” [We Are Family [Expanded]]
  • Jazzy Ash – “Every Family’s Different” [Home]
  • Lisa Monet – “We All Sing With the Same Voice” [My Best Friend]
  • Alastair Moock – “My Life Is A Lot Like Yours” [All Kinds of You and Me]
  • KB Whirly – “Say Say My Playmate” [Camp Songs Vol.1]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Somos Amigos” [Saddle Up: A Western Adventure Album]
  • Ben E. King – “Stand By Me” [The Very Best Of Ben E. King]
  • Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could – “Chain Reaction” [Press Play]
  • Imagination Movers – “We Can Work Together” [For Those About to Hop]
  • The Beatles – “We Can Work It Out” [1]
  • Jon Samson – “CoCreative Music” [Another Kids Album]
  • Lucy Kalantari – “My Neighbor” [Big Things]
  • Bill Withers – “Lean on Me” [Greatest Hits: Lean On Me]
  • Steve Pullara And His Cool Beans Band – “The Little Blue Dot” [Spinning Tails]
  • mömandpöp – “Take Care” [Mömandpöp]
  • Joe Cocker – “With A Little Help From My Friends” [With A Little Help From My Friends]
  • Alphabet Rockers – “Change The World” [The Playground Zone (Ep)]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 20th & 21st, 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 May 20th-26th, 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 32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bobolinks to Marc Chagall. Free Press to Pseudoscience., 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.

May 20th-26th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Automotive HistoryPhysicsChild DevelopmentJournalismPollinatorsBicyclesPhilosophyPlacemakingTransporation ♦ ♦ Plant SalesOrnithologyGuided WalksPoetryFashion HistoryHealth & WellnessLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesCreative-Free PlayEntomologyCultural StudiesLatin AmericaArt StudiesService-Based Learning

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

 

  1. Interpretive Trail Marking the History of the Mill River Flood to Offer Service-Based Learning
  2. Explore Local History and Culture with a Downtown Springfield Walking Tour!
  3. Fish Ladder & Lift Elevates Local Learning & Critical Thinking
  4. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  5. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums

 

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32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bobolinks to Marc Chagall. Free Press to Pseudoscience.

Whether identifying clouds as animals or by their proper scientific names, families can look into the sky for opportunities to engage in meaningful cloud-inspired learning. In addition to creating a deepened sense of place through observations, families can help young scientists learn about climate, weather, and the atmosphere by tracking the things they see in the sky. Read more in our post, Cloud Studies Connect to Citizen Science, Language Learning, and Weather Studies.

Automotive History to Physics. Child Development to Journalism. Pollinators to Bicycles. These are just a few of the community-based 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 community highlight this week:

Typically, bicycling attire for a modern American involves flexible athletic clothing and sneakers. But at the beginning of cycling history, during the early 19th century, cyclists wore their typical, everyday clothing even when using bicycles for transport. In fact, women’s fashion of the time was a hindrance to their ability to ride, and this was a catalyst for change in women’s style of dress and in the design of the bicycle as manufacturers began marketing towards women. Learn more by reading our post, Exploring the History of Fashion through Bicycling.

You can discover what it was like to bike in traditional attire by participating in Sweet Spoken’s third annual Spring Tweed Ride on Saturday, May 21, 2pm-5pm. All ages are welcome. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)


PhilosophyPlacemakingTransporation ♦ ♦ Plant SalesOrnithologyGuided WalksPoetryFashion HistoryHealth & WellnessLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesCreative-Free PlayEntomologyCultural StudiesLatin AmericaArt StudiesService-Based Learning


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for May 20th-26th, 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.

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! 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.

Health & Wellness Directory

In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers, resources, and institutions a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory.

We’ve all been there… deep in discussion about our health and wellness with friends and family, around the dining room table and cocktail parties, at a playgroup and on the playground. How often have you found yourself looking for a recommendation or local service that could support the health and wellness of your family? This spring we are pulling together a comprehensive list of services and practitioners that can support the health and wellness of you and your family. If you would like to be included in this list, find our more info here and reach out to our amazing Sales & Marketing Manager, Merricka Breuer. (Online publish date: Spring 2017)

Bulletin Board

May 20

Come along for a Literary Adventure at Home Sweet Home a free Historic Open House Day at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington. Home Sweet Home takes place Saturday, May 20, from 10am-4pm. See the beautiful hills and fields that inspired Bryant’s early poetry, tour this incredible historic house, walk through Old Growth Forest and experience why this meaningful place beckoned the poet to come back and call it home again. Self-guided tour of the homestead, 19th century games & lawn games, greetings from the homestead, postcard writing, and writing nooks. www.thetrustees.org.

May 20

Thinking about planting an organic garden this spring, but feeling a little overwhelmed? The Atlas Farm Store’s Garden Fest, on May 20, will help. Healthy and strong organic vegetable and flower starts; organic compost and expert advice from the Atlas farmers and the UMass Vegetable Program, to answer gardening questions. Plus tour the Atlas greenhouses, have lunch, sample food from local vendors, listen to music and more. Learn how Atlas grows their delicious fruits and vegetables; leave ready to plant an organic garden. Saturday, from 12-5pm, Atlas Farm Store on Routes 5 & 10 South Deerfield. www.atlasfarm.com.

June 3

Celebrate all things local and agricultural at the WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 6pm. This outdoor, family-friendly event offers character meet-and-greets with PBS Kids’ Curious George, outdoor learning games and displays, live children’s music in the am (pop/folk music in the p.m.), and many local food and beverage vendors. Parents can enjoy the farmers/makers market, the local craft beer tent, or the gourmet Chef Spearit Lunch (tickets sold separately for the this). Festival admission is free with suggested $5/person donation. Proceeds benefit local public television and PBS station WGBY. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org. Event details at wgby.org/asparagus.

Mobile App

Saturday morning errands, dinnertime, on the way to the beach this summer – these are all great times to talk to your children about underage drinking or drug use. It’s never too early or too late to convey your hopes, your expectations, and your family values. Many small talks are fine. Get tips on how to make the most of your conversations by downloading the Talk. They Hear You mobile app. Learn more at EasthamptonCoalition.org.

May 21

Fast, slow, young, old…Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park on Sunday, May 21, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages and abilities. There will be race invents, including a chip-timed 5K race and a just-for-fun 1.2 mile race, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring music and live performances, food trucks, face painting, games, prizes, hula-hooping, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!

Jun 12

Kathryn Kothe Roszko of CyclePottery along with two assistants will teach kids ages 9+ how to throw plates, bowls, mugs, and more on the potter’s wheel. Campers will also learn hand building, trimming, decorating & glazing techniques. 4-6 students max. Camp is held in her studio in Florence. 7 sessions throughout the summer, with various options from 3-5 days, 9am-3pm. First 5 day camp begins June 12th! Dates: June 12-Aug 24; Age Range of Campers: 9+yrs.
Contact: 413-219-9594; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; www.cyclepottery.com.

Job Open- ing

Tinkergarten, a fast-growing Northampton-based company with the mission to get kids learning through outdoor play, is currently hiring for the FT position of Leader & Customer Support Liaison. This position is responsible for providing support to Tinkergarten’s team of leaders around the country, as well as to current and prospective families. The ideal candidate is an exceptional communicator; enjoys problem solving; has a natural ability to provide both warm and efficient service; and is excited about the fluidity, and fast pace of working for a startup. For more information, see tinkergarten.com/pages/careers. If interested, send your resume and a note about why you are interested in the role to support@tinkergarten.com.

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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@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 Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 20th-26th, 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 »

Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

People often talk about “chemicals” in our food, water, or hygiene products in reference to possibly toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. Some chemicals certainly are dangerous to humans, but EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals! But what is the exact definition of a chemical, anyway? The Merriam-Webster definition of “chemical,” reads A substance obtained by a chemical process or producing a chemical effect. And chemistry is the study of how chemicals interact and react with one another.

Here Hank Green gives us a “crash course” in chemistry with a series of fast-paced, educational videos:

Cooking is often used as an example of an everyday activity which involves chemistry. When you apply heat to a piece of steak in a pan, water content leaves the muscle fibers. This is why the fillet is smaller after it has been cooked. Think about some other interesting reactions which occur in the kitchen. Why does corn pop? Another way to ask this question would be, why don’t other grains pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding.

What do these reactions look like close up? The website, www.beautifulchemistry.net has amazing videos of reactions, like this one:  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ Markets: Engaging Community through Food

With the spring comes a resurgence of farmers’ markets. Local farmers have been planning and growing and are now ready to bring their seasonal produce to town commons, squares, and gathering places across the region to enjoy with our families and neighbors. The experience of going to a farmers’ market exceeds the basic transaction of purchasing fresh vegetables. Farmers’ markets are places that bring a community together, affording the opportunity to support local agriculture, make healthy food choices,  share stories, and connect with neighbors and farmers.  Farmers’ markets are community builders, the American version of the European plaza, and are intrinsically a part of our New England culture and traditions.

In Western Massachusetts, many farmers’ markets have expanded to not only include agricultural products but to also provide a space for local artists, crafters, performers, and teachers to make their services, knowledge, and products directly available to the community.  This type of collaborative consumption allows community members to support small businesses and individuals that directly affect the health of a small town’s economy, promoting sustainability and resilience at a local level.  Additionally, some farmers’ markets host spaces for instructors to lead workshops on topics related to homesteading, nutrition, and cooking.  The opportunity to learn at farmers’ markets through intergenerational skill-sharing makes them an important community-based educational resource that brings people together via shared interests.  Read the rest of this entry »

Farmers’ Market & Meals: Explore, Gather, Share

Farmers’ Market & Meals: Explore, Gather, Share

Create a meal with friends from start to finish! Learn where your food comes from, meet the farmers, and prepare a meal together. On the day of a farmers’ market, get together with friends or your family and peruse the market to see what produce is available. Based on the seasonal produce you find at the market, be inspired to create a meal together. Cooking seasonally with ingredients found at a farmers’ market help to connect to the seasons and the history of New England by understanding when and how local produce impact our meals and food traditions.

Stop by different market booths and meet the farmers that grow your food. Introduce yourself! Perhaps mention what you plan to make that evening. Ask them for tips on how to prepare their seasonal produce and swap recipes with others. Purchasing food directly from a local farm is part of a storytelling experience. From their land and hands to your hands and kitchen, it all becomes woven together into a tale of sustainability and local community.  Read the rest of this entry »

Recipe Collections & Storytelling

Recipe Collections & Storytelling

Food is an integral part of our human story. The act of cooking calls upon centuries of cooking methods, ingredients, spices, and flavors that have shaped our distinct cultures and traditions. Within our families, recipes are passed down and certain dishes are often considered an important part of our unique family gatherings and holiday celebrations. For example, when someone says, “No one makes apple pie like my grandmother,” that reflects how food shapes our memories and connects us to those we have spent time with and who are an important part of our personal history.

The art of recipe collecting and writing is something that allows the generations to share their family’s culture through the legacy of food. Cooking manuscripts from the 18th and 19th centuries permit us to see what early Americans in New England were preparing, giving us insight into how some of those food recipes have informed our current meals. In their own way, recipe cards and collections tell stories of who we are and how we connect with each other. Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Musings on Farming and Food

Literary Musings on Farming and Food

The act of growing food, the experience of living on a farm, and the process of cooking have all inspired writers to ponder how the cultivation of land has influenced the stories we tell and the moments we remember. Farming is a rich part of the Western Massachusetts New England tradition. The rich soil of the Connecticut River Valley is a community asset and important to preserve as farmland. Both the pastoral and wild landscapes of Western Massachusetts are an important piece of our New England history, identity, and sustainability. These are the landscapes that inspired poets like William Cullen Bryant and painters like Thomas Cole to champion the American landscape as being different and separate from Europe’s established cities and their developed environment. Our land is a part of our story and history. Agriculture connects us to the land. It is how we define our relationship between our everyday lives and the soil.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Season of Farmers’ Markets

Think about this:

  • How do recipes unfold the stories of our ancestors? What do they say about our agricultural practices and the places from which our families came?
  • What if you were to do a 10-mile diet like Vicki Robin in her book Blessing the Hands that Feed Us? Where would you find your produce? What farms would provide you with your food? Imagine the extended community you would become familiar with!
  • How can the purchasing of food locally help build a stronger and more resilient community?
    Have you ever thought of growing your own food? Container gardening is a great way to get started!

Nature Table for May: A World Beneath the Water

Nature Table for May

Every month, Hilltown Families features a new nature table whose contents inspire learning along a common theme easily spotted in our surroundings that month. A tradition carried out by teachers, environmental educators, and nature-curious families, nature tables bring a little bit of the outdoors inside for inspection, dissection, identification, creative play, art projects, and lots of other educational activities. The idea behind a nature table is to help open up children’s eyes to the unique attributes of each season, and to help them learn how to see these things in nature for themselves. A nature table can include a variety of items, and is often accompanied by a set of books and/or field guides so that children can take part in further learning at their own will.

Though the weather has finally warmed, the landscape has cloaked itself in green, and birds and peepers have returned in full force, it’s not at all summer yet. April’s forced buds satiated our appetite for natural brilliance and staved off our impatience for all things warm, but the itch is back, the rain is relentless, and the chill in the air lingers each morning. Despite the wet weather, many watery elements of our landscape are off limits: spring rains have filled rivers and streams to capacity, the rushing, rollicking waters lapping against rocks and trunks not accustomed to being a part of the river’s flow.

Regardless of the river’s springtime “off-limits” designation, wet weather calls for wet learning, and our young naturalists have channeled their already damp enthusiasm into explorations of an oft forgotten soggy habitat: the bottom of the pond.  Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Grow: Games and Practices for Naming and Identifying Family

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Family: A Name Game

Mother’s Day is every day for your toddler and preschooler. The love our children have for us is immeasurable.  A toddler is just beginning to express this love. “ I lobe you so much” I hear each night from my own toddler. I “lobe” her back, but she isn’t aware, or even capable for that matter, to being to understand how that love encompasses me as a mother.  It is even more unfathomable for her to begin to understand how terrified I am of anything bad ever happening to her. Mother’s Day is a good time of the year to help a toddler begin to identify these feelings and figure out what unconditional love looks.  It is a time for

Mother’s Day is a good time of the year to help a toddler begin to identify these feelings and figure out what authentic love looks.  It is a time for a family to talk about what it means to be united as a community. What it means to be together and help to keep each other safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: May 15-19, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA: May 15-19, 2017

We Are Non-CommercialWeekday 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.


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HFVS VFR Fundraising Episode with Guest DJ, Steve Weeks

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast: 

VFR Fundraising Episode with Guest DJ, Steve Weeks

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 13 & 14, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video:  What do you get when you put musician Steve Weeks and director Dave Franklyn in a room filled with cardboard, paint, tape, glue, scissors and string? Watch the new video for Steve’s song “Change of Heart” and find out! — www.steveweeksmusic.com


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 13th & 14th, 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 May 13-19, 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 24 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bike Week. Edible Flowers to Switchel., 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.

May 13-19, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Multidisciplinary LearningFood HistoryGlassblowingNeuroscienceEdible FlowersEarth SciencePhilosophyService-Based LearningPlant SalesPoetryLocal HistoryNatural HistoryCulinary ArtsArt StudiesMindfulnessLabyrinthsMuseum StudiesBicyclingCollaborative ConsumptionSTEMOrnithologyBird WalksCommunity MealsCivil War

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Supporting Spanish-Language Learners
  2. In Appreciation: Gratitude Discussions Inspired Joyous Living
  3. Clouds Connect Learners to the Local Environment & Nature Studies
  4. Learning Landscapes: Re-Framing Creativity
  5. Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

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24 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bike Week. Edible Flowers to Switchel.

An important aspect of culinary arts is learning how to pair flavors which complement each other. This is a skill and an art form, similar to an artist’s knowledge of color palettes. You can learn about, and sample, ideal pairings of tea and chocolate at the Sunderland Public Library on Saturday, May 13, 2pm-3:30pm. In this program, attendees will also learn about the history and health benefits of both chocolate and tea! Please register in advance at the library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland,

Multidisciplinary Learning to Food History. Glassblowing to Neuroscience. Edible Flowers to Earth Science. These are just a few of the community-based 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 community highlight this week:  Did you know that before inventing the world’s the first successful airplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright owned a bicycle shop? Bike maintenance has the potential to teach kids all kinds of subjects and skills including math, science, reading, writing, problem-solving, and working toward a goal. You can learn about how the Holyoke Urban Bike School supports this type of learning, and join in a leisurely, family-friendly community bike ride in Holyoke on Wednesday, May 17, 5pm-6:30pm! The ride will last about forty-five minutes and afterward, participants are invited to check out the HUBS space and learn about their work. Steady rain cancels the event.Holyoke Urban Bike School. 160 Beech St. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyService-Based LearningPlant SalesPoetryLocal HistoryNatural HistoryCulinary ArtsArt StudiesMindfulnessLabyrinthsMuseum StudiesBicyclingCollaborative ConsumptionSTEMOrnithologyBird WalksCommunity MealsCivil War


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Suggested Events for May 13-19, 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.

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! 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.

Health & Wellness Directory

In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers, resources, and institutions a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory.

We’ve all been there… deep in discussion about our health and wellness with friends and family, around the dining room table and cocktail parties, at a playgroup and on the playground. How often have you found yourself looking for a recommendation or local service that could support the health and wellness of your family? This spring we are pulling together a comprehensive list of services and practitioners that can support the health and wellness of you and your family. If you would like to be included in this list, find our more info here and reach out to our amazing Sales & Marketing Manager, Merricka Breuer. (Online publish date: Spring 2017)

Bulletin Board

May 12

Montessori Comes to Forbes Library: On Friday, May 12, at 11am, bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni. The hour will include time to explore Montessori materials, circle time and a story. The Forbes Library is located at 20 West Street in Northampton. Free; all families of children 0-6 are invited to attend. For more information, call Laura at 413-586-4538 x103 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

May 13 & 14

Join local artists May 13th & 14th for a celebration of Mother’s Day in Florence, featuring handmade pottery from Tandem Ceramics and Steve Theberge Ceramics and jewelry from Tiny Anvil. All flower vases will come with a custom arrangement of spring flowers from Wild Rose Farm, the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Plus bring a receipt from the Florence Pie Bar and get 10% off your whole purchase. Located at 221 Pine Street Studio #336 in Florence, MA (Arts + Industry Building). www.facebook.com/events/164079904117936.

May 13

Visit the Montessori School of Northampton at 51 Bates Street on Saturday, May 13, for the second annual family-friendly Pride Party and We Need Diverse Books Fair. The event, which is free and open to all children and their grown-ups, will take place from 10am- 1pm on MSN’s large, shaded playground. In addition to enjoying games, snacks, and music from Valley sensation DJ Quintessential, families can browse and purchase a wide range of children’s and YA books in support of We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization seeking to put more books with diverse characters into the hands of all children. The school will also be open for tours. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

May 14

Sunday, May 14, Mother’s Day Tea at the Bryant Homestead in Cummington! Pastries, scones, sandwiches and tea served on beautiful china along with tours of the historic house and Bryant’s poetry read aloud in the library. An unforgettable Mothers’ Day gift. Children under the age of 6 are FREE. First seating: 11am-1pm; Second seating 2pm-4pm. For pricing information and RSVP please contact acaluori@thetrustees.org or call 413-532-1631 x3110.

May 20

Thinking about planting an organic garden this spring, but feeling a little overwhelmed? The Atlas Farm Store’s Garden Fest, on May 20, will help. Healthy and strong organic vegetable and flower starts; organic compost and expert advice from the Atlas farmers and the UMass Vegetable Program, to answer gardening questions. Plus tour the Atlas greenhouses, have lunch, sample food from local vendors, listen to music and more. Learn how Atlas grows their delicious fruits and vegetables; leave ready to plant an organic garden. Saturday, from 12-5pm, Atlas Farm Store on Routes 5 & 10 South Deerfield. www.atlasfarm.com.

May 21

Fast, slow, young, old…Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park on Sunday, May 21, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages and abilities. There will be race invents, including a chip-timed 5K race and a just-for-fun 1.2 mile race, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring music and live performances, food trucks, face painting, games, prizes, hula-hooping, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!

Jul 5-28

Sled Dog Adventures in West Chesterfield, MA invites kids to learn to take care of & exercise a world class athlete-the Alaskan Husky Sled Dog! Choose a dog for the week: Learn to feed, pet, play, clean-up after & train a sled dog. Ride a racing rig, scooter, bike, jog & swim with the sled dogs. Some of the warm weather activities dogs & Day Campers love to do together. Overnight Camp includes wilderness skills, primitive cooking at the bonfire, storytelling, marshmallows & howling! All have fun bonding, playing & mushing with the team! “My son just finished his first Puppy Camp, it was everything & more! He not only bonded with the dogs – he seemed to grow in self-confidence each day.” Cummington MA. July 5-28, 7-16yrs. hwa@marlabb.com, www.hilltownwildernessadventures.com.

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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@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 Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 13-19, 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 »

Learning Ahead: Mother’s Day

Traditions & Cultural Celebrations: Mother’s Day

Although Mother’s Day has officially been a holiday in the United States since 1914, the celebration of motherhood dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who celebrated mothers and their roles in society through festivals that honored the goddesses Rhea and Cybele. Rhea, daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus, was considered the mother of gods and Cybele was known as the “great mother.”

Throughout the world, there are many cultural traditions that celebrate motherhood. For example, in Thailand, Mother’s Day is observed in August, in honor of Queen Sirikit. There are ceremonies and parades as well as the gift of jasmine to mothers.

In Ethiopia, Mother’s Day is celebrated during the end of the autumn rainy season as a part of the Antrosht festival. During this 3-day festival, daughters give vegetables, butter, spices, and cheese to mothers while sons give meats. Read the rest of this entry »

Small Town Explorations on Mother’s Day

Small Town Explorations on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day festivities here in New England are simple and sweet. They usually include a shared meal with family and meaningful time spent together. Now that the weather is warm, consider a picnic or outdoor explorations as a way to celebrate the mothers in your life while connecting to special places in Western Massachusetts

The Bridge of Flowers (Shelburne, MA)
Once a trolley bridge, The Bridge of Flowers spans the Deerfield River, connecting the Town of Buckland with the village of Shelburne Falls. Nearly 100 years old, the gardens on the bridge feature a variety of flowers in bloom not only in May but all season long. A shared walk across the bridge followed by perusing local art galleries and shops offers a flavor of the creativity and culture that support the micro-economies sustaining our small towns. From April 1 through October 30, visitors to the bridge can expect to see well-marked bulbs, perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees in bloom during different times of the season, supporting an interest in plant studies and reuse of industrial spaces. Visit the website to find out what flowers are in bloom before you go, and see how many you can find in bloom.

Pulaski Park (Northampton, MA)
A sweet little park in the center of downtown Northampton, MA, this newly (2016) renovated park is adorned with market lights and has cozy seating areas. This park provides a space for families and neighbors to gather in conversation and enjoyment during the day or evening. In the warmer days of May, ice cream from a nearby vendor enjoyed in the park before taking in a play or concert at the Academy of Music Theatre would be a lovely way to enjoy downtown Northampton and an evening on the town with your favorite mother figure.

Other parks rich in history, botanical beauty, and creativity include: Read the rest of this entry »

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