Suggested Events for Aug 20th-26th, 2011

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Stone Fruits at Florence Farmers' Market

It's time for peaches in Western MA! Picking peaches with the kids is a great family activity. Lisa Smith-Hamilton recommends Quonquont Farm in Whately, and Heather Richardson recommends Cold Spring Orchards in Belchertown. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, August 20th starting at 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIRS: Take your pick from agricultural fairs happening throughout the region in Westfield, Hardwick and Heath; plus a Chilifest in Belchertown starting at 12noon. ($)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 20th from 6-7:30pm – ASTRONOMY STUDIES: Educator Rachel Roberts presents Space-Tacular, a program for kids 7 and up about the science and mythology of stars! The program takes place at the Northfield Mountain Environmental Center and includes hands-on art and science activities. Registration required. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

On Sunday, August 21st from 4:30-6:30pm – HARVEST SUPPER: Enjoy a delicious dinner of healthy local food at the annual Harvest Supper in downtown Greenfield! Along with excellent food there will also be live music from local acts and some fun activities to keep kids entertained! The dinner takes place near the town common. Court Square. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, August 27th from 12noon – 5pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: Visit Red Fire Farm for their annual amazing Tomato Festival! The event begins with the Tomato 5K at 10:30, followed by live music, workshops, food from guest chefs, kids activities, vendors, and tomato tasting all afternoon! Local music, local artists, local food! 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (<$)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 27th at 5pm – BIRDS: Interested in learning more about the beaks, wings, feet, and nests of your feathered friends? You can next weekend at the DAR State Forest! The program, called All About Birds, will teach kids fun facts about bird life. 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CUMMINGTON FAIR: The 143rd Annual Cummington Fair happens August 25th-28th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. With one of the most comprehensive agricultural presentations in the state, the fair is billed as “The Biggest And Best Little Fair in the Country”. This family friendly, four-day agricultural fair is packed with exhibits, family activities, delicious food, classic cars and live music. Truck, horse and oxen pulls headline the fair along with a demolition derby, and the Western Mass Logging Championship. And the fun doesn’t stop there-families can also enjoy midway, games, roving entertainers, live music, petting zoo, 4-H presentations, skid steer rodeo, square dancing and community dinners. Find a full schedule of events at www.cummingtonfair.com.

SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOPS FOR FAMILIES: North Amherst Community Farm presents “Building Sustainability Together: Skill for Kids and Families.” This series of workshops will offer hands-on activities for kids 5yo and older, accompanied by a caregiver. Workshops in the series include; Worm Bin Composting (Wed., 8/17, 10am-12noon); Seed Saving: Plant the Future (Sat., 8/20, 2-4pm); and Harvest the Sun (Wed., 8/24, 10am-12noon). All classes are $10 for each child/adult pair, and $3 for additional children, and will be held in Amherst at the North Amherst Community Farm (rain or shine), home of Simple Gifts CSA (1089 North Pleasant St.). Pre-registration is required by calling 413-624-6223, or email programs@nacfonline.org. For more info about this series, visit www.nacfonline.org.

Bright Eyes

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Bright Eyes plus Titus Andronicus at Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA (previously scheduled for Mountain Park) on Sunday, August 28th! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, Aug. 24th. Click on banner to find out how you can enter for a chance to win.

PreK SOCCER PLAYDATE: Interested in a morning pickup soccer playdate for your preK kids during the weekday? Angela Mulkerin is organizing an informal soccer playdate in the Florence/Northampton area for kids up through 4yo and their parent/caregiver. Once a week (beginning the week of Sept 5th) parents and their kids can come together to kick around the soccer ball, working on cooperation skills and “playing nice.” Anyone who is interested can email Angela at angelamulkerin@gmail.com.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL: The Springfield Parent Academy and Springfield Public Schools are hosting a back-to-school celebration… and they’ll be giving away 3,000 free backpacks filled with school supplies! This is a great opportunity to get your kids excited about going back to school and to ensure that your student will have all of the tools they need. The celebration will take place from 10am-2pm on Saturday, August 27th at Blunt Park in Springfield. Along with free backpacks, there will also be a barbecue and activities for kids.

PAYING FOR COLLEGE: Do you have kids who are going to be applying to (or thinking about applying to) college soon? Are you unsure about how to pay for college, or even how to apply for financial aid? Forbes Library in Northampton is hosting a workshop on filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and strategies for affording college as tax-efficiently as possible and with the least amount of out-of-pocket expense. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, August 31st at 7pm. For more information or to register, call the library at 413-587-1011.

LOCAL FOOD: On Tuesday, August 23rd and Wednesday, August 24th, nearly 50 Pioneer Valley restaurants will highlight dishes featuring locally grown products as part of CISA’s 2011 Local Hero Restaurant Days Celebration. Enjoy delicious foods at local eateries and celebrate the relationship that CISA has encouraged between restaurants and local farms. Though all of the participating establishments use local produce regularly, some will have special menu items for the event. Participating businesses include Taylor’s Tavern, Bistro les Gras, Cup and Top Cafe, Karma, The Lone Wolf, The Night Kitchen, Soup, Paul and Elizabeth’s, and Great Wall Restaurant. Bon appétit!

SENIOR FARM SHARE: Good food for grandparents! Do you know a low-income senior who could benefit from a farm share? CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) is continuing its Senior FarmShare program, thanks to enormous community support. Senior FarmShare partners with 12 local farmers and 17 distribution sites, including senior centers and Councils on Aging, throughout Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden County. For more information, call 413-665-7100.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Guest DJ, Key Wilde & Mr Clarke

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Key Wilde & Mr Clarke guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show this weekend, spinning tunes by Syd Barrett, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Okee Dokee Brothers, Roger Miller, J. J. Cale and many others – along with music off of their CD, Rise & Shine.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Aug 20th-26th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Aug 20th, 2011

“My favorite day actually all takes place in the town where I live, Ashfield. Saturday morning we wake up and head to the Ashfield Farmer’s Market. It’s small but we love it; we have gotten to know the people and the fresh berries, yogurt, bread, cordial, snacks, and veggies that they sell. We also collect our CSA at the Farmers’ market and often meet friends there. Next, we head to Elmer’s for brunch – Pope Florentine, French Toast, Breakfast Burrito, Hot Chocolate – Yum! Then we head to the Lake for a dip, some playtime for our 1 year old son, and more friends, sun and fun. If we still have energy, on our way home or in the late afternoon, we’ll take a walk at Chapel Brook, up to see the view from the cliffs or down by the cooling rock water slides. And all of that is only a few things that Ashfield has to do!” - Jackie MacNeish (Ashfield, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org

8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit cows and sheep, hear live music, play games, learn about local agriculture, and more today at the Westfield Fair! The grounds open early, and there are tons of exciting events happening throughout the day. 413-222-4067. Fair Lane. Westfield, MA. ($)

8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Today is the second day of the Hardwick Fair! Activities include a pancake breakfast, a mountain bike ride, tennis tournament, hay rides, a road race, children’s parade, and more! Hardwick, MA. ($)

8am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit the Heath Fair! There will be shows of rabbits, sheep, goats, and cows; a chicken barbecue and other food vendors; wagon rides; games for kids, and much more! The Sweetback Sisters will perform live at 7pm. 9 Hosmer Road. Heath, MA. ($)

9am – BIKE RIDE: Take a bike ride to Little Tom Mountain in Holyoke! The ride begins at the Holyoke Farmers’ Market and will be between 6 and 8 miles. Don’t worry- you’ll be back in time to buy some local produce. 413-532-1631. 4 Open Square Way. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

9am-12noon – FISHING DERBY: The DAR State Forest’s youth fishing derby is this morning! Fisherpeople of all abilities are welcome- if you don’t know how to fish, you can learn! If you have your own gear, bring it along… if not, there are poles available for use. 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

10am – SEED SAVING: Learn how to save and preserve seeds for next year’s garden at the Berkshire Co-op! Registration required. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

10-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Learn all about the many different small creatures that live at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary! Participants will learn how to (neatly and respectfully) turn over logs to find salamanders and identify mammal homes. 413-584-3009. Main Street. Hampden, MA. (<$)

10am-12noon – CARTOONING: Cartoonist Justin Prokowich presents a morning of drawing, doodling, and cartoon making! Kids can learn about creating cartoons and take home their own personalized drawings. Takes place at Greenfield Savings Bank- call to register. 413-863-4316. 282 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

10am-2pm – LITERATURE FESTIVAL: KidZone Childcare and Educational Center hosts Read-A-Palooza today! Local children’s authors Kenneth Duncan, Carl Ameen, and Ty Allan Jackson will be in attendance and there will be entertainment including live music, dance performances, magic, craft activities, and more! 10 Lyman Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: See professional juggler and clown Bill Ross perform this morning at the Odyssey Bookshop! If the weather is good, the event will take place outside. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

11am-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the history of the Shelburne Falls trolleys and ride on a 1920’s caboose at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum! 413-625-9443. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)

12noon-4pm – CARNIVAL: Help to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and have tons of fun at the same time! This afternoon there’s a carnival full of fun activities to raise money for the MDA! There will be horse rides, a batting cage, games, music, food, crafts, a tag sale, and more! In case of rain, the event will take place at the same time on the 21st. 413-427-1085. 147 South Street. Granby, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

12noon-5pm – CHILIFEST: Stone Soup Farm’s annual ChiliFest takes place today! The event is a farm festival that includes hay rides, salsa tasting, farm tours, music, artisans, kids activities, and, of course, a chili cook-off! 413-687-4341. 275 Jackson Street. Belchertown, MA. (DONATION)

1pm, 2pm, 3pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Animal visitors from the Forest Park Zoo are going to be at the Berkshire Museum this afternoon! Creatures that you can meet include a bearded dragon, a Burmese python, and a blue-tongue skink. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2pm – LOCAL HISTORY/BOTANY: The American Elm tree has been extinct since the early 1800’s as a result of Dutch Elm Disease, but thanks to cultivators, new disease-resistant types of elms have been developed! Hancock Shaker Village hosts a workshop this afternoon on the history of the elm tree and it’s cultural significance. The village even has its own Princeton American Elm growing! 413-443-0188. Routes 20 and 41. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

2-4pm – ASPERGER SUPPORT: Meetup at the Westfield Athenaeum 3rd Sat. of every month with members of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership. Anyone on the spectrum, parents of children with asperger and folks in support roles are welcomed. Meet downstairs in the committee room. Contact Michael Reinhagen at mreinhagen@gmail.com for more info. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA (FREE)

2-4pm – KIDS COOKING: The Berkshire Co-op hosts a Kids Can Cook event this afternoon! Participants in the workshop will make their own dilly beans to enjoy and take home with them. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

2-4pm – SEED SAVING: Explore the North Amherst Community Farm and learn about seed-saving! Participants will learn how to identify and preserve seeds for next year’s garden and will get to take home some seeds of their own. Registration required. 413-624-6223. 1089 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

2-6pm – FUNDRAISER: Celebrate the release of “Play Like a Girl” with a party, concert, and barbecue and live music from June and Jean Millington- they’ll play music that they recorded in their first band, The Svelts, during the 60’s! The party is a fundraiser for the Institute for the Musical Arts. 413-268-3074. 165 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. ($$)

3pm – CHORAL CONCERT: Village Harmony, a group of musicians performing a diverse range of world and choral music, will perform a concert at the First Congregational Church! The group is made up of performers from all over the country whose musical styles and backgrounds vary greatly. 413-628-4470. 429 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. ($)

3-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Summit House at Skinner State Park is located high atop a mountain. Guests to the house didn’t want to carry all of their things up the hill, so they used a tram! The tram is no longer there, but you can learn all about the history of the Summit House and the tram at the park this afternoon! 413-586-0350. 195 Skinner State Park Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

3 and 5pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: The Zany Umbrella Circus and Oko Sokolo Co. present Mirette’s Circus at Mass MoCA! The two troupes use physical theater, masks, dance, and circus to tell the story of a young girl in Paris who finds her calling walking on the highwire! 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

6-7:30pm – ASTRONOMY STUDIES: Educator Rachel Roberts presents Space-Tacular, a program for kids 7 and up about the science and mythology of stars! The program takes place at the Northfield Mountain Environmental Center and includes hands-on art and science activities. Registration required. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Students from the School at Jacob’s Pillow will perform a show made up of jazz and musical theater dance on the outdoor Inside/Out stage! 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)


Sunday, Aug 21st, 2011

“Splashing around in Puffers’ Pond after an afternoon of picking berries at our favorite CSA, Brookfield Farm, in S. Amherst... rounding out the evening with a sublime meal at Bela in Northampton!” - Lisa Hamilton (Hadley, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org

8am – WOMEN’S TRAIL RUN: Women of all levels are invited to a weekly trial run along the Westfield River. Walkers welcomed too. 413-296-4753 West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit cows and sheep, hear live music, play games, learn about local agriculture, and more today at the Westfield Fair! The grounds open early, and there are tons of exciting events happening throughout the day. 413-222-4067. Fair Lane. Westfield, MA. ($)

8am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit the Heath Fair! There will be shows of rabbits, sheep, goats, and cows; a chicken barbecue and other food vendors; wagon rides; games for kids, and much more! The Sweetback Sisters will perform live at 7pm. 9 Hosmer Road. Heath, MA. ($)

10-11am – LOCAL HISTORY: Go on a Marvelous Marble Quarry Walk at Natural Bridge State Park! A DCR interpreter will be on hand to help hikers learn about the remains of the 19th century quarry that once operated at what is now a state park. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – HISTORY: See life through the eyes of a young shaker today at Hancock Shaker Village! Kids will learn what life would have been like had they been Shakers- they will learn about everything from chores and school to games and entertainment! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

12noon-1pm – GEOLOGY STUDIES: A rock is just a rock, right? Wrong! Learn all about what rocks are made of, how they are formed, and how to identify different types at Skinner State Park! Meet at the picnic area at the Summit House. 413-586-0350. 195 Skinner State Park Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

1-2pm – HIKING: Hiking is more than just a walk in a park- there is a lot to know about safety, trail etiquette, and equipment! Learn the basics this afternoon at Skinner State Park- meet at the halfway area. 413-586-0350. 195 Skinner State Park Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

3 and 5pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: The Zany Umbrella Circus and Oko Sokolo Co. present Mirette’s Circus at Mass MoCA! The two troupes use physical theater, masks, dance, and circus to tell the story of a young girl in Paris who finds her calling walking on the highwire! 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

3-4pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: You’ve probably seen little green garter snakes, but did you know that there are actually 14 different species of snakes in Massachusetts? Learn all about them (especially the ones you’ll find locally) this afternoon at Skinner State Park! 413-586-0350. 195 Skinner State Park Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

4-7pm – CARNIVAL: The Dalton CRA Family Fun Carnival is today! Enjoy pony rides, games, family activities, DJ music, and free refreshments! (Including popsicles…!) 413-684-0260. 400 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (<$)

4:30-6:30 – HARVEST SUPPER: Enjoy a delicious dinner of healthy local food at the annual Harvest Supper in downtown Greenfield! Along with excellent food there will also be live music from local acts and some fun activities to keep kids entertained! The dinner takes place on the town common. Court Square. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5:30pm – IRON BRIDGE DINNER: The 11th Annual Iron Bridge Dinner takes place in Shelburne Falls tonight! The event takes place on the iron bridge on Bridge Street in downtown Shelburne Falls- the bridge is closed to foot traffic for the night and tables for 400 people are set up in the street! Attendees enjoy delicious food prepared by local restaurants while taking in views of the Bridge of Flowers and the Deerfield River. The dinner is a fundraising event for the Mohawk Athletic Association and tickets are available at the Shelburne Falls Area Business Association office. Last we heard there were a few seats off of the bridge still available. 413-625-2526. Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. ($$)


Monday, Aug 22nd, 2011

"Hilltown Families is a newfound little gem that helps connect my bigger city family to our hilltown minds. What a wonderful surprise to find this site!" - Wesley Jillson (Chicopee, MA)

5:30-6:30pm – ART: Families are invited to to a night of messy art fun at the Haskins Center! Activities include spaghetti painting, spin art, clay, and more! 413-664-4821. 221 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

7pm – BOOK SIGNING: Forbes Library hosts a book signing with the author of, “Big Girls Do Cry,” a book for girls in grades 6-10 that deals with the issue of bullying. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

7-8pm – STRESS RELIEF: Laugh for the health of it tonight at Forbes Library! Laughter is a great way to relieve stress- so do it! The workshop will be lead by certified laughter leaders. Take your t(w)een too! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

MONDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Hear some great stories with Ellie in the Forbes Library Children’s Department! 20 West Street. 413-587-1011. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦

MONDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES (Call to confirm before attending)

  • 2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: See a movie at the Berkshire Athenaeum! There’s a new movie every week, but they all are related to the library’s summer reading program. “One World, Many Stories.” 1 Wendell Avenue. 413-449-9480. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3-5pm – LEGOS: Kids can participate in Lego BrickWars, the game that combines Lego building with a fantasy land of chaos and destruction. Open to kids ages 7-10. Materials provided. 20 West Street. 413-587-1011. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5-6pm – HULA HOOPING: Learn to hula hoop at the Greenfield Energy Park with Shenandoah of Alotta Hooplah! 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. (DONATION) ♦
  • 6-10pm – GAME NIGHT: Head to Owl and Raven for a night of games of all kinds! Pick from the space’s selection or bring a game to share. 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Explore The Mount… in the creepiest way possible! The tour takes visitors through the most haunted parts of the mansion- you’re sure to be scared. Reservations suggested, as tours frequently sell out in advance. 2 Plunkett Street. 413-551-5111. Lenox, MA. ($) ♦

Tuesday, Aug 23rd, 2011

"Hilltown Families is THE place to find out what to do with your kids in the valley. All year long I turn to Hilltown Families to find something fun to do, especially on weekends and school vacations. Thank you!" - Niki Lankowski (Whately, MA)

12:30pm – BASEBALL: Celebrate minor league baseball month by seeing a game! This afternoon, the Pittsfield Colonials take on the Worcester Tornadoes at Waconah Park. 413-236-2691. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

1pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: It’s Toe-Tapping Tuesday at the Springfield Museums! Mark Shepard will perform a show of music and storytelling designed to educate audiences of all ages. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

6pm – SHEEPDOGS: There will be a visit from Winterberry Farm’s sheep-herding border collies at the Leverett Library tonight! Kids can learn all about the dogs’ job, and then watch the movie, “Mist, Sheepdog Tales”. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

TUESDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES (Call to confirm before attending)

  • 10am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Take your kids to Look Park for a performance as part of the Franklin King III Children’s Entertainment Series at the Pines Theater! New performers every week. 300 North Main Street. 413-584-5457. Florence, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – ART: Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum for Sketch Club, a time when kids ages 7+ can experiment drawing, painting, and more! Class is outdoors, so please dress appropriately. 9 Route 183. 413-298-4100. Stockbridge, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – SCIENCE: Hands-on learning time about natural science at Kidleidescope, the Great Falls Discover Center’s weekly children’s learning program! There is a new theme each week. 2 Avenue A. 413-863-3221. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:15pm – MOVIE: Baby-friendly movie screening at the Amherst Cinema. Amherst, MA ($) ♦
  • 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: Visit The Clark for a free lawn concert! There will be different live music every week, and there will be barbecue available for purchase! 225 South Street. 413-458-2303. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 7-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Greenfield Energy Band performs broadway hits live at the Greenfield Energy Park tonight! 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents’ Center’s playgroup will take place at the playground at Bridge Street School! 2 Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center’s summer playgroup will take place today at Nonotuck Park! In case of rain, playgroup will be moved inside to the Flywheel. 30 Lownds Avenue. 413-529-1440. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires’ Tuesday Preschool Group is a playground safari during the summer months! Children ages 2 ½ -5 are welcome to join in the fun, and the group will meet at a different local playground each week. Call the Family Resource Center to find out where this week’s meeting is. 413-664-4821. North Adama, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: It’s Toddler Time at the North Adams Public Library! Bring your little ones for stories and playtime. 74 Church Street. 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: Take pre-k kids to preschool story hour at the Greenfield Public Library! There will be stories, songs, and craft time. 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Story Time for kids 2-3yo at the Lenox Library. Sing songs, finger plays and listen to stories. Play time follows the story half hour. 413-637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE)♦

Wednesday, Aug 24th, 2011

"Each week, we look forward to the Best Bets that Hilltown Families posts. Thank you for keeping us in the Hilltown loop!" - Jeremy Johnson (Hadley, MA)

1pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: It’s Wacky Wednesday at the Springfield Museums- which means there’s a fun performance to see! This week, Matt Roberts performs “Charismatic Comedy Magic,” a show that is fun and engaging for all ages. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)4:45-6:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Did you become a parent between June and January of 2009? Then stop by the Parenting/Baby Group at Forbes Library! The group is designed to give parents space to talk about parenting issues. Registration required. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Urbanity Dance performs two pieces, one about how GPS separates us from others and another about a girl’s coming of age, on the Inside/Out stage at Jacob’s Pillow! 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

7pm – BASEBALL: Celebrate minor league baseball month by seeing a game! This evening, the Pittsfield Colonials take on the Worcester Tornadoes at Waconah Park. 413-236-2691. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

WEDNESDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES (Call to confirm before attending)

  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: It’s Half-Price Wednesday at Look Park! Save on all of the park’s fun family attractions, like the bumper boats, train, and mini golf! 300 North Main Street. 413-584-5487. Florence, MA. (<$)
  • 10-11:30am- ROLLERSKATING: Rollerskate with Tiny Tot Romp, Stop, ‘n’ Roll Skate and Play at Interskate 91 North (Hampshire Mall). Strollers welcome. Parent’s don’t have to wear skates. For Ages 6 & under. 413-586-2737 Hadley, MA (>$) ♦
  • 10:30am – HISTORY: Go on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village and learn what life was like for a young shaker! Young visitors can dress as a shaker child would have and can learn everything from what their responsibilities were at home to where they went to school! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 1pm – MOVIE: Baby-friendly movie screening at the Pleasant Street Theater. Northampton, MA ($) ♦
  • 4-6pm – KIDS’ MARKET: Kids’ Market happens every Wednesday in the Summer in the parking lot outside of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Stop in and support these young entrepreneurs. Main St. Ashfield, MA (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – YO-YO: Yo-Yo School at A2Z. Come visit yo-yo school and learn to yo-yo for free with A2Z. Northampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 6-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Live music tonight at Burband Park on Lake Onota! Lakeway Drive. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8:30 – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Visit Heritage State Park for an evening of live music! BYO seating. 221 Appleton Street. 413-322-5260. Holyoke, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Visit Lilac Park for live outdoor music! Bring your own seating, and maybe even a picnic! Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-9pm – SKILL SHARE: Visit Owl and Raven for a night of community skillsharing! There’s a new skill every week- check their website or call to find out! 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: See live music on the shore of Windsor Lake! George Fairs Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – CONCERT: It’s Watermelon Wednesday at the West Whately Chapel! See performers from different genres every week. Conway and Williamsburg Roads. Whately, MA. ($$)

WEDNESDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Informal playgroup at Pentigill Park (behind firehouse). Cummington, MA (FREE)

WEDNESDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool Storytime at the North Adams Public Library! 74 Church Street. 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Featured books, crafts and visitors for preK kids at the Leverett Library, lead by Georgie Schmid. 413-548-9220 75 Montague Rd. Leverett, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: Head to the Greenfield Public Library for Sunshine Storytime, which includes stories, songs, and playtime! 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for storytime! Picture books new and old will be read, and the stories will be followed by an activity. 9 College Street. 413-534-7307. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: Head to the North Amherst Library for preschool storytime! 8 Montague Road. 413-259-3099. North Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦

Thursday, Aug 25th, 2011

"I appreciate the extensive calendar listings and postings on Hilltown Families. They cover a wide geographic area and inspire me to visit new museums and other places and also remind me to return to some old favorites." - Bridget Spann (Williamstown, MA)

4-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Cummington Fair begins today! Tonight’s special events include a horse show, a truck pull, and the youth pumpkin weigh-off along with the usual exhibits, midway games, and rides. 97 Fairground Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

5:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Norman Rockwell Museum will show “Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” outdoors tonight! There will be treats, tours, and activities, too! 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Continuum performs a contemporary ballet set to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on the Inside/Out stage at Jacob’s Pillow! 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

7pm – BASEBALL: Celebrate minor league baseball month by seeing a game! This evening, the Pittsfield Colonials take on the Worcester Tornadoes at Waconah Park. 413-236-2691. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

7pm – FUNDRAISER: Famous jazz musicians Charles Neville and Avery Sharpe will perform tonight at the Plainfield Congregational Church as a benefit for the Old Creamery Coop! Local favorites Swing Caravan will open the show. 413-262-9208. Church Lane, Plainfield, MA. ($$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – FILM SCREENING: The Prison Birth Project is holding a screening of “Prison Lullabies,” which tells the story of mothers at Taconic Correctional Facility in New York who are, unlike in most prisons, allowed to keep their babies with them for up to 18 months after birth. The screening takes place at Food For Thought Books. 413-253-5432. 106 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (DONATION)

8pm – SING ALONG: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern- and order some delicious food and drinks while you sing! 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)♦

THURSDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES (Call to confirm before attending)

  • 10:30am – HISTORY: Go on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village and learn what life was like for a young shaker! Young visitors can dress as a shaker child would have and can learn everything from what their responsibilities were at home to where they went to school! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 1pm – LEGOS: Join the Lilly Library’s Lego Building Club! Spend time with other Lego enthusiasts and build some great structures. 19 Meadow Street. 413-587-1500. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Hear some fun live music on the lawn at the Florence Civic Center as part of the Thursday Night Music on the Porch series! Meadow and North Main Streets. 413-584-7891. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy live music on the South Hadley town common! New and different music each week. Routes 47 and 116. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Visit Angel Park for some calm, relaxing live music! Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Hear live music on the patio at the Leverett Public Library! 75 Montague Road. 413-548-9220. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern- and order some delicious food and drinks while you sing! 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)♦

THURSDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Look Park for the Northampton Parents’ Center’s informal playgroup! Meet at the playground for casual playtime. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦

THURSDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: Head to the Greenfield Public Library for Sunshine Storytime, which includes stories, songs, and playtime! 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Head to the Jones Library for preschool storytime! 43 Amity Street. 413-259-3090. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11-11:45am – PREK STORY/CRAFT: Kids ages three to five can come to the Lenox Library Association for stories, songs and follow-along activities followed by a craft related to the story. 413-637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Visit the North Adams Public Library for evening youth storytime and crafts! 74 Church Street. 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. ♦

Friday, Aug 26th, 2011

"I love to read the weekly listings of family friendly events. You always give us great ideas of what to do with kids!" - Jessica B. (Northampton, MA)

Free Fun Friday! Enjoy free Admission to the following Massachusetts museums:

  • OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE
    1 Old Sturbridge Village Road – Sturbridge
  • *NEW REPERTORY THEATRE
    This is an evening (6 pm) performance of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the Charles Mosesian Theater in the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. This venue has a 340-seat capacity – no reservations accepted.
    321 Arsenal Street – Watertown
  • BERKSHIRE MUSEUM
    39 South Street – Pittsfield
  • ECOTARIUM
    222 Harrington Way – Worcester

10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Union #28 Community Network for Children program has set up some summer playdates at our local playgrounds/libraries. This week at Erving Elementary School (Bubble Bonanza). 978-544-5157 Erving, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

1pm – PUPPETS: The Gerwick Puppets will be at the Springfield Museums this afternoon performing, “The Case of the Missing Woodpile”- a fun summer-themed mystery. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

1-2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Send your kids searching on a nature-themed outdoor scavenger hunt at Skinner State Park! Each participant will get their own card to fill out as they find items, and a park guide will explain each item as its found. 413-586-0350. 194 Skinner State Park Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

4-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Experience the Cummington Fair! It’s children’s night tonight- kids get reduced rates for rides! Tonight’s events include a sheep show, live music, horse shows, and a spaghetti dinner! 97 Fairground Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

5pm – ART & NATURE: Experiment with watercolors at the DAR State Forest! You can practice painting from nature or just paint what nature inspires in you. If you want instruction, help is available but if not, the activity is self-directed. Materials are provided! 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

5pm – SHABBAT DINNER: Enjoy a “Shabbat Under the Sky” tonight! All are welcome, regardless of faith. Bring your own vegetarian dinner- there will be juice, challah, and dessert to share for all. There are two dinners tonight- one in Greenfield and one in Northampton. In Greenfield, Anna Sobel will provide puppet entertainment for kids. In Northampton, there will be a live music jam with local musicians. This is a great opportunity to experience aspects of traditional Jewish culture! Takes place at the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area OR Look Park. 413-439-1931. Nash’s Mill Road. Greenfield, MA. OR North Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: John Heginbotham Dance performs outdoors on the Inside/Out stage at Jacob’s Pillow! 413-243-9919. 385 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

7pm – BASEBALL: Celebrate minor league baseball month by seeing a game! This evening, the Pittsfield Colonials take on the Newark Bears at Waconah Park. 413-236-2691. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

7pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Pop some popcorn, pack it up, and head for the DAR State Forest! A nature-related movie will be showing this evening in the Nature Center. 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – OUTDOOR THEATER: See a performance of “Shiloh Rules” at the Three Sisters Sanctuary! The show takes place outside- enjoy the last of summer and see some great theater! 413-268-3850. Route 112. Goshen, MA. ($$)

FRIDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES (Call to confirm before attending)

  • 9am – MUSIC EDUCATION: Hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Friday morning rehearsal at Tanglewood! Reserved seating is available for families, teachers, homeschoolers, youth groups, parents, musicians, etc.. Along with the rehearsal, there will be a music presentation and demonstration, as well as tours of Tanglewood. Pre-reg by emailing Darlene White at dwhite@bso.org. West Hawthorne Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – FAMILY MOVIE: Bring pre-schoolers to the Berkshire Athenaeum to see a movie related to the library’s summer reading program theme, “One World, Many Stories.” 1 Wendell Avenue. 413-449-9480. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – TYKE HIKE: Family hike for families with kids ages 8yo and under at Mount Greylock State Reservation. Hike and story time. Wear appropriate footwear and clotheS. Bring snack and water. Meet at visitor center. 30 Rockwell Rd. 413-499-4262 Lanesborough, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Join Owl and Raven for Talon Team, an hour-long adventure during which attendees will learn about ancient living that are still useful today and help us be more connected to the Earth. 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Head to Stanley Park for a performance just for kids! New performers and themes each week. 400 Western Avenue. 413-568-9312. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – HISTORY: Go on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village and learn what life was like for a young shaker! Young visitors can dress as a shaker child would have and can learn everything from what their responsibilities were at home to where they went to school! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 5:30pm – CRUISE NIGHT: It’s Cruise Night at Buttery Brook Park! See some great antique cars, hear live DJ music, get some dinner, and meet some animals and do craft projects in the kids area! Route 33. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Visit the Berkshire Museum for a special tour of the exhibit, “Geckos: Tails to Toepads.” The exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to learn all about geckos- and it fits nicely into PBS’s All About Lizards lesson plan. (Keep your kids learning all summer!). 39 South Street. 413-443-7171. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – POTLUCK: Bring your favorite dish to the community potluck at Owl and Raven! Bring your own dishes, too, if possible, in order to cut back on waste! 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – CONCERT: Hear live classical music as part of the Mohawk Trail Concerts summer music series at the Federated Church of Charlemont! New performers each week. Mohawk Trail. 413-625-9511. Charlemont, MA. ($$) ♦
  • 8-10pm – FAMILY MOVIE: It’s movie night at Owl and Raven! See a family-friendly movie and enjoy tasty refreshments! 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • Dusk – CITIZEN SCIENCE: Help the Museum of Science, the Department of Conservation, and the Berkshire Museum determine whether fireflies are disappearing by counting fireflies at Mt. Greylock State Reservation. Counting takes roughly 15 minutes- BYO stopwatch and flashlight. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. ♦

FRIDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center’s summer playgroup will take place today at Nonotuck Park! In case of rain, playgroup will be moved inside to the Flywheel. 30 Lownds Avenue. 413-529-1440. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Homeschoolers are invited to a playgroup at the Worthington Town Hall! Bring an activity to share and get ready for fun! Route 112. Call to confirm: 413-238-4424. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

FRIDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10am – STORYTIME: Take little ones to pre-school storycraft time at the Stockbridge Library! 46 Main Street. 413-298-5501. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Milne Public Library hosts story time for twos! The program lasts between 20 and 30 minutes (just right for little ones) and consists of stories, fingerplay, and music! 1095 Main Street. 413-458-5369. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Lilly Library! Children 2 ½ and up (and their parents) and invited! 19 Meadow Street. 413-587-1500. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Visit the Sunderland Public Library for preschool storytime! Ages 3-5 are invited to attend. Stories will be accompanied by crafts! 20 School Street. 413-665-2642. Sunderland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Mother Goose on the Loose lap-sit storyhour is this morning at the Greenfield Public Library! Kids under 3 and their parent(s) are invited to an interactive storytime that includes fun rhymes and songs to learn. 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

FRIDAY SUPPORT GROUPS

  • 6:30-8:30pm – POSTPARTUM: GROW (Gathered Resources of Women) holds a postpartum support group for mothers looking for a safe a confidential space in which to discuss their experiences. Held at the Readfield House Community Room. 48 Elizabeth Street. Pittsfield, MA. (DONATION) ♦

1 Comment

  1. August 19, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Sunday, August 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Peripatetic Beavers and Night Sounds
    At Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area, North Farms Road entrance (Florence, MA)

    Join Patti Steinman, Education Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Arcadia
    Wildlife Sanctuary for an evening of beavers and night sounds. Patti will lead an evening walk looking for beavers, learning about their home lodges, habitat and behavior. The sounds of insects, birds, and amphibians active in the evening will also be a focus of the walk. Patti Steinman has worked for Mass Audubon for over 20 years, and her favorite bird is the crow! She has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch New England. Bring flashlights and binoculars. This is a great program for both adults and children.

    Presented by Broad Brook Coalition, 413-584-4176

    Like


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