Suggested Events for June 23rd-29th, 2012

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

Great weekend to PYO organic strawberries in the Hilltowns! Ed Stockman of Summit Farm in Plainfield, MA writes, “Strawberry season is here at Summit Farm and the berries are abundant and delicious. We will be opening our pick-your-own strawberries on Tues. June 19 and continue picking for 3 to 3 1/2 weeks depending on the weather. We are open for pick-your-own berries everyday from 8am until 6pm on a self-serve basis.”

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 partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general 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

Fourth of July celebrations begin this Saturday, June 23rd with fireworks in Florence, Easthampton and Monson. Check our 2012 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks resource page for a full listing of events, parades & fireworks in Western MA!

All weekend, June 23rd-24th from 10am-6pm – MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL: The annual Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival is happening all weekend. The festival, traditionally known as a Renaissance Faire, will bring together fun, food, and entertainment with a medieval flair. It will be a day for everyone: kids, teens, and adults alike. Many characters from the Robin Hood legend will be making appearances along with jousting, juggling, eagles and falcons, knife throwing, archery, and vendors selling period foods, and artisan crafts and merchandise. Millers Falls R&G, 210 Turners Falls Rd. Montague, MA ($$)

 Also all weekend, June 23rd-24th from 10am-4pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: It’s lavender season! Celebrate at the Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm. Visitors can tour the farm, check out lavender products from local vendors, learn about uses for lavender by watching demonstrations, and take part in workshops to learn things like wreath making and flower art! 413-625-6439. 51 Hog Hollow Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE)

Sunday, June 24th from  11am – CHINESE STREET FESTIVAL: It’s Family Day at The Clark, and the museum grounds have been transformed into a traditional Chinese Street Festival! Kids can learn all about Chinese culture, have their fortune told by an oracle, learn to write with Chinese characters, and have Chinese street food for lunch. Kids can even be part of a dragon parade! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 14th & 15th in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th

Saturday, June 30th from 10am-3pm – ENTOMOLOGY: Explore the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area and help to identify all of the species of beetles, bugs, and butterflies that are found! Naturalist Dr. Josh Rose will lead the exploration – bring a lunch (to enjoy at the dam!) and dress for the weather. North Farms Road. Florence, MA. (FREE)

 Sunday, July 1st from 9am-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Today is the beginning of Chesterfield’s 250th anniversary celebration! Events take place all day, and include historical tours of town, a one-mile walk, informational displays, and more! Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

MEET ERIC CARLE! The acclaimed author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be signing books this Saturday, June 23rd at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. for members) at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Get your books signed, say hello, and have your picture taken. A signed Eric Carle Book makes the perfect gift! Plus, Picture Book Theatre will perform Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, said The Sloth for two special performances. The book signing is free with museum admission; Picture Book Theatre is $3 per person. Sponsored by People’s United Bank. For more information on the book signing, please visit: www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100.

INNOVATION SCHOOL: Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington is pleased to announce that it is transitioning to an Innovation School in September. It’s a cutting-edge program that transforms a traditional classroom environment into a vibrant learning community where students are authentically engaged, energized, focused, challenged, and having fun! The program’s successful, ground-breaking strategies are project based, hands-on, creative and authentic — with proven academic results for students in reading, numeracy, research, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. School choice openings are now available in grades Pre-K through five. For more information, call Berkshire Trail Elementary School at 413.634.5327 or visit online.

PLANT STUDIES: Summer Intensives at Goldthread Organic Herb Farm. Let the aromatic air of the farm restore harmony and revive your senses while enjoying two hands-on, capacity building botanical medicine intensives at Goldthread this summer. In July join them for a multi-dimensional week long immersion into the aesthetics, qualities & manifestations of the Ayurvedic 5 elements that will give participants both a scholastic and deeply felt understanding of botanical medicine. In Sept, propagate, harvest, process, and study the botanical characteristics, medicinal properties and therapeutic uses of 25-30 major herbs grown at the farm during the Farm to Pharmacy Intensive with David Crow and William Siff. Dates, tuition and full details are on their website.

HOST FAMILIES: Joe Bock writes, “Share your summer with a young person from Spain! Homestaysusa offers Spanish children the opportunity to experience American culture by living with a host family for the month of July. We match ages, genders & interests to those of the host family. Students come to the area with a supervisor who is nearby & in contact the entire time. Host families receive $600 stipend, the student pays for extra activities, including camps & excursions. Hosting teens are invited to an exciting 2-day New York trip with the group. More info & testimonials at homestaysusa.org. Personal references available upon request. Become a host family & represent the Hilltown community to students from abroad. A summer you will always remember. joe@homestaysusa.org.”

CYCLING: MASS MoCA has discovered a way to provide environmentally friendly transportation for its visitors to explore North Adams and Williamstown with- bicycles! The museum now has a fleet of easy-to-ride bikes designed specifically for urban environments. There are even a couple kid-sized bikes! Rental is only $3 per hour- helmet included. There are plans in the works for a paved bike trail to Williamstown in the future. Enjoy a lovely morning touring the museum’s galleries, then head out on a bike into North Adams and explore the town! For more information, visit blog.massmoca.org.

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
June 23rd-29th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets | Summer Playgroups
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Farmers’ Markets

“Hilltown Families is the first place I look to find fun things to do with my preschool age daughter during the week and on weekends. I’ve found everything from puppet shows to concerts to community festivals on this site. I think it’s the most comprehensive calendar of family-friendly events in the area.” – Sandra Dias (Holyoke, MA)

6-10am – 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.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. –  Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages!  This weekend Seattle’s celebrated band of teacher-rockers – Recess Monkey – will bring their special brand of “undeniably hip, yet also kid-accessible” music and humor to a stint as guest DJs for a special circus-themed episode of Hilltown Family Variety Show! – Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you want. Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast too.

 9am – TAG SALE: The Friends of the Worthington Library’s town-wide tag sale takes place today! Maps can be picked up at the library for a donation, and included on each map is a list of families participating in the event – take a scenic drive through town and find some treasures! 413-238-0173. Worthington, MA. (SALE)

9am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Rose Ledge, and get tips on nature photography from teacher/photographer Beth Reynolds. Photography advice will focus on creating good nature images, while packing light – bring one camera, and you’ll learn how to maximize its features. Best for older students. Participants will also learn about the many different interesting species of plants and insects that the ridge is home to. Registration required. 800-859-2960. Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. ($)

9am-3pm – CAREER STUDIES: Visit the Big E for the New England Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire/Rescue/EMS Show! Kids interested in any of these careers (or young kiddos who just have an affinity for trucks and uniforms) can learn more about what being a firefighter, EMT, or other emergency services worker is like. Visitors can also learn about all of the equipment and training required to work in emergency services! 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

9:30-10am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about baby wearing at Treehouse! Information will be provided on using the Moby Wrap. Babies welcome! 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

10am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Meet Eric Carle in person today at the Eric Carle Museum! Along with a book signing, Picture Book Theater will present, “Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth” in the museum’s auditorium at 12noon. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

10am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about cloth diapering at Treehouse! The workshop will include a how-to for diapering, and will teach parents about the benefits of cloth diapers. Registration required. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Tom Ricardi and the Birds of Prey will be at the Village Commons.  In the case of rain, event will be inside of the Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

 10am-3pm – CLOTHING SALE: Score some great new-to-you clothes at the Westhampton Library! The clothes sale benefits the library, and items have been donated by community members. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (SALE)

10am-4pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: It’s lavender season! Celebrate at the Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm. Visitors can tour the farm, check out lavender products from local vendors, learn about uses for lavender by watching demonstrations, and take part in workshops to learn things like wreath making and flower art! 413-625-6439. 51 Hog Hollow Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE)

10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Historic Deerfield’s open hearth cooking program is celebrating its 25th anniversary! Throughout the month of June, cooks will be preparing traditional food and drink enjoyed during celebrations in early New England. Visitors can learn about the history of food and cooking, and think about how food preparation has changed over time. 413-775-7127. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

10am-6pm – HISTORY/RENAISSANCE FAIRE: The annual Mutton and Mead Festival takes place at the Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club this weekend! It’s a traditional Renaissance Faire, complete with medieval costumes, food, games, and more! This year’s theme is Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, and many characters from the legend will be visiting. Along with all of the opportunities for fun, the event offers a unique opportunity to learn about medieval culture! 210 Turners Falls Road. Montague, MA. ($$) 

10:15am – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Tom Stankus presents, “T-Bone’s Big Adventure” at the Wilbraham Library! The event kicks off the library’s summer reading program, and promotes the usefulness of reading and storytelling. Call to register. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)

11am – STORYTIME: The Lanesborough Library hosts local author Ty Allen Jackson, reading When I Close My Eyes. The story is about a young girl, and all of the adventures that she has behind her closed eyes. 83 Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

 11am-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: It’s Trolleyfest today at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum! Along with the usual museum explorations and trolley car rides, kids can build paper models of trains, meet the author of The Little Yellow Trolley Car, learn how to press cider, enjoy live music, and enjoy a trolley ride where costumed actors will offer a living-history presentation of a 1910 trolley trip! 413-625-9443. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)

12noon and 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Picture Book Theater presents, “Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth” at the Eric Carle Museum! The show, which is performed by stick puppets, is a celebration of the book’s 10th anniversary! 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

12noon-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate local food and local coops at the Berkshire Coop’s Summer Solstice Bash! The event takes place at Memorial Field, and will feature local food, live music (including kids’ musician David Grover at noon), and kids’ activities (including tie dying!). 413-528-9697. Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4:30pm – HISTORY/GARDENING: Learn about heirloom vegetables and help to plant and maintain the History Workshop Garden at Historic Deerfield! Visitors will learn what foods made up an early New England diet, what qualifies a vegetable as an heirloom, and more! Kids can plant their own seeds to take home to grow. 413-775-1214. Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

12noon-5pm – STORYWALK: Explore Easthampton for a bear-themed storywalk! The book, Saturday Errands: A Day With Momma Bear and Honey Bee, can be found at businesses throughout the town, and the storywalk will guide families through a series of decorated bears – there will be tons of chances to learn all about bears, too! Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – HIKE: Explore the waterfalls of Mt. Greylock! Each weekly hike will take visitors on a hike to explore a waterfall – great on a hot summer day! Meet at the visitors center. 413-499-4262. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦

 1:30pm – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Roger Ticknell and Davis Bates present,”Imagine That: A Song and Story Celebration” at the Meekins Library to kick off the library’s summer reading program! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

1:30-3:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Cradle presents a workshop for parents on the vaccination controversy – lead by Dr. Laila Tomsovic, the talk will look at the negative and positive aspects of both vaccinating and not vaccinating. Parents can learn about the vaccinations recommended by the CDC during a child’s first six years, and get information on making their own well-informed decisions for their families. 413-341-5282. 150 Main Street (Thornes Marketplace). Northampton, MA. (FREE)

3-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: La Noche de San Juan en Holyoke happens at the Holyoke Heritage State Park. Live music, bicycle parade, merry go round rides, volley ball, dancing and more. Holyoke, MA

4-10pm – FIREWORKS: Northampton Family Fourth takes place tonight at Look Park! There will be live music, family games, food, and, of course, fireworks! 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YO-YO: Learn yo-yo tricks at A2Z this afternoon! Lead by world class pros, Yo-Yo School teaches kids basic yo-yo tricks. Learning to yo-yo is a great supplement to studies of motion and physics! 413-586-1611. 57 King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦

5pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Visit the First Church of Ludlow for their annual Strawberry Supper! The meal ends with delicious in-season strawberry shortcake. 413-583-3339. 859 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. ($)

5-10:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate Spirit 2012 in Easthampton!  There will be tons of live music, kids’ activities (including the BearFest 2012 BearLand, a rock wall, sand art crafts, etc.), a BMX biking stunt show, and, of course, fireworks!  BYO seating for the show.  Takes place at Galbraith Field.  Taft Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (DONATION)

 6-8pm – GAME NIGHT: Spend the night playing games (Bananagrams to Monopoly, Scrabble to Trouble, and everything in between!) at the Haydenville Congregational Church to raise money for the work of Tapestry Health, a group providing quality health care and advocacy to the uninsured and underinsured. Drinks and dessert provided! 413-268-9241. 143 Main Street. Haydenville, MA. ($$)

 7pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Pothole Pictures screens “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at Memorial Hall. Musician Dan Lederer will perform at mix of jazz, Bulgarian, and Celtic music, and the movie begins at 7:30. 413-625-2896. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. ($)

7pm – FIREWORKS: Summerfest happens at Quarry Hill School. Family entertainment leading up to the display at 9:15pm. Rain date: 6/24. Monson, MA (FREE)

7:30-10:30pm – CONTRA DANCING: Fiddler’s Green contra dance at the Munson Memorial Library Hall! Families, singles…everyone is welcome! There will be instruction for those new to contra dancing, and no partners required! 1046 South East Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

9pm-12Midnight: ASTRONOMY: Star gazing happens at the summit Mount Greylock.  The early summer sky offers some real gems to view, from our own Milky Way to other galaxies, open star clusters, globular clusters, nebulae, double stars and distant planets. Members of the non-profit Amherst Area Amateur Astronomers Association will be on site to provide a wealth of information and celestial facts for all ages, and perhaps interest in a new hobby. Dress for cool weather and bring flashlight.   Meet at the summit near the War Memorial Tower. 413-499-4262. Lanesborough, MA (FREE)

PARENTS NIGHT OUT

5:30pm – Party with the animals at the Forest Park Zoo! There will be delicious locally made foods, a full bar, and many animals to meet! The event is a fundraiser for the zoo’s continuing recovery efforts after last year’s October blizzard. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$$)

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Sunday, June 24th, 2012

“I am relatively new to Hilltown Families. I found them when someone else shared a link on Facebook. I love to peek in weekly and catch up on all the great events going on in our area.” – Jessica Judd (Goshen, 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.

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help out at the Just Roots Food for All Garden! Vegetables grown will be donated to local hunger relief organizations. Glenbrook Drive. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

10am and 2pm –HIKE: Go on a medicinal plant walk at Mt. Greylock! The walk will be easy, and will focus on teaching visitors to identify plants with medicinal properties. Meet at the visitors center. 413-499-4262. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

 10am-4pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: It’s lavender season! Celebrate at the Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm. Visitors can tour the farm, check out lavender products from local vendors, learn about uses for lavender by watching demonstrations, and take part in workshops to learn things like wreath making and flower art! 413-625-6439. 51 Hog Hollow Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE)

10am-6pm – HISTORY/RENAISSANCE FAIRE: The annual Mutton and Mead Festival takes place at the Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club this weekend! It’s a traditional Renaissance Faire, complete with medieval costumes, food, games, and more! This year’s theme is Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, and many characters from the legend will be visiting. Along with all of the opportunities for fun, the event offers a unique opportunity to learn about medieval culture! 210 Turners Falls Road. Montague, MA. ($$)

11am – CULTURAL STUDIES/CHINESE: It’s Family Day at The Clark, and the museum grounds have been transformed into a traditional Chinese Street Festival! Kids can learn all about Chinese culture, have their fortune told by an oracle, learn to write with Chinese characters, and have Chinese street food for lunch. Kids can even be part of a dragon parade! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

11am-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: It’s Family Fun Day at the Greenfield Energy Park! See Piti Theater Company’s “To Bee or Not to Bee,” a show about the importance of bees, as well as a performance from children’s musician Alastair Moock. 413-772-1553. Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (<$)

12noon-4pm – SAFETY DAY: It’s Summer Safety Day at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round! Along with merry-go-round rides, there will be visitors from the fire department, Holyoke Health Center, the American Red Cross, and more. Families can learn about ways to stay safe while doing fun summer activities, and there will be tons of fun activities for kids. 413-538-9828. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

12noon-4:30pm – HISTORY/GARDENING: Learn about heirloom vegetables and help to plant and maintain the History Workshop Garden at Historic Deerfield! Visitors will learn what foods made up an early New England diet, what qualifies a vegetable as an heirloom, and more! Kids can plant their own seeds to take home to grow. 413-775-1214. Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

12noon-8pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Springfield Technical Community College hosts the first ever Springfield Vietnamese Festival! The event is designed to share with the community information on Vietnamese culture and traditions! There will be live Vietnamese music, a traditional Dragon Dance, games, activities for kids and a variety of food. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (<$)

1-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Agawam Historical and Firehouse Museum to learn about the history of Native Americans in the area! There will be artifacts, displays, and more from which kids can learn about the history of their town. 35 Elm Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

6pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Stanley Park’s summer concert series features tons of family-friendly performers! 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm – Celebrate Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary! Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble play tonight in Ozawa Hall. The group will play a diverse set of music from many nationalities and cultures from across the ancient silk route. 866-515-3669. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

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Monday, June 25th, 2012

10am – MOVIE: The morning screenings (10am) of any G and PG movies at Rave Cinema are free! 413-733-5134. 864 Riverdale Road. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – PUPPETS: The Hubbard Memorial Library will hold a shadow puppet show sing-a-long with puppeteer Jim Napolitano.  For all ages. 413-583-3408.  24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:15am – LITERACY: Mason Library hosts Little Lads and Lassies Literacy – lead by South Berkshire Kids, the event promotes literacy in the littlest of kiddos. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

11am-12Noon – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: Emily Williston Memorial Library will kick-off their summer reading program with music & stories by Mary Jo Maichack. All ages welcomed. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

2pm – MOVIE: Relax for the afternoon at the Berkshire Athenaeum – a few videos for school-age kiddos will be shown in the children’s area. 413-499-4980. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

2pm – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Kick off the Lee Library’s summer reading program with a magic show and balloon sculpting workshop! Magician Ed Popielarczyk will present a fun, audience-participatory magic show, then share balloon tying skills afterward. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

5:30-6:30pm – READING: Kick off the Family Resource Center’s summer reading program at the Haskins Center playground! Kids can check out interesting books, make their very own bookmark, and play fun games. There will even be a special guest reader during circle time! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

6-9pm – WATER SKIING: Learn to water ski! The Oxbow Water Ski Show Team is hosting a learn-to-ski night for the community – kids and parents of almost all ages can try out the sport! Registration required. 413-636-2094. 180 Island Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – CYCLING: Kids ages 3-12 can try out bike racing tonight at Look Park! Sponsored by the Northampton Cycling Club and Northampton Area Pediatrics, the bike race promotes physical fitness, and helps introduce kids to the sport of cycling! Races are divided into age groups. Rain postpones race. 300 North Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR MONDAYS

  • 10am- STORYTIME: The Shutesbury Library’s story hour is this morning!  Enjoy an hour of stories, songs, games and crafts.  413-259-1213.  10 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 10am-4pm – HIKE: Go for a hike at Mt. Greylock!  The trek is somewhat strenuous – wear sturdy footwear!  Bring your own lunch, too.  Meet at the Visitors Center to carpool to location.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2pm – STORYTIME: At the Eric Carle Museum!  Kids can enjoy a story, then learn about how illustration helps to tell stories, too!  Storytimes take place daily at the museum – check for time changes.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA.  (<$)
  • 3pm – STORYTIME: Mountain View Farm hosts storytime!  Farm-themed stories galore.  413-329-0211.  393 East Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Gym Group at the Haskins Center has moved outside for the summer!  Enjoy group playground time on the center’s playscape.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

1pm – CRAFTS: Make a wishing well craft at the Berkshire Athenaeum! Space is limited – call to register. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

4-6pm – HISTORY: Ventfort Hall hosts “Music and Voices of the Gilded Age,” a presentation of phonograph records – Thomas Edison and Theodore Roosevelt’s voices will make a special visit! Learn about how the phonograph works, and how early recordings were done. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

6pm – HIKE: Hike on the Muddy Brook Trail with the Family Resource Center! BYO water, dress for adventure, and meet at the parking lot. Hopper Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Celebrate the kick off of the Southampton Library’s summer reading program with a family-friendly show from the Salvation Alley String Band! They’ll play a half-hour of family music for all! 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – MUSIC/CELTIC: Banish Misfortune, a group playing Celtic music, performs at the Chicopee Library tonight! 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Northampton Parents Center at the Jackson Street School playground.  413-582-2636.  Jackson Street.  Northampton, MA. ♦
  • 10-10:40am – PLAYGROUP: At Treehouse!  Lead by a parent volunteer – new activities each week!  For kids ages 2-4, siblings welcome.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Palmer-Monson Family Network!  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Sing-a-long time for pre-schoolers at the Hubbard Library! 413-583-3408.  24 Center Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidescope, an environment-themed program for kids!  Interactive learning opportunities and crafts always included.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in crawl time for infants at Treehouse!  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA. ♦
  • 3-6pm – TEEN: The Hubbard Library hosts Teen Anime Club!  Anime enthusiasts can watch movies or episodes of anime shows, and share information (and enthusiasm!) for anime.  413-548-3408 ex 3.  24 Center Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 4pm – BIKING ADVENTURE: Join the Trustees of Reservations for a community bike ride, and explore Holyoke!  Meet at the Holyoke YMCA.  Bikes available to borrow if necessary, all abilities welcome.  413-532-1631 x19.  160 Beech Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)  ♦

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: Treehouse hosts Ways to Wellness! Today’s topic is Children’s Health, and parents can learn about natural ways to avoid common childhood sicknesses, like the flu, common colds, ear infections, etc. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

1-1:45pm – SING-A-LONG: Participate in a family sing-a-long with the Berkshire Music School at the Berkshire Athenaeum! Fun family songs and great music. 413-499-4980. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

3:30-4:30pm – TOT TIME: At the Ramsdell Library! Stories, craft, finger play, songs, etc. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

4-5pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Learn about bats at the Mason Library, and help to construct a bat house for the library! Bats are an important part of the local ecosystem, and are friends to humans for munching on pesky insects! Call to register. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

6-7:30pm – GAME NIGHT: It’s Family Math Night at the Tot Spot! Families can play fun math games that help kids practice math and are fun, too! 413-447-7971. 217 2nd Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Jay Mankita will kick-off the Whately Library summer reading program with a kids concert. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA (FREE)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS

  •  9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At Pettengill Park!  Sponsored by the Cummington Family Center.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – HIKE: Hike at Mt. Greylock!  Every Wednesday, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail.  Call to find out meeting place.  413-499-4262.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Wendell Free Library hosts the Community Network for Children’s playgroup for kids ages 0-5.  There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  •  10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At the Gateway Family Center.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Leverett Public Library for the Community Network for Children’s story hour!  Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy stories, hands-on science activities, and art projects!  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – SUPPORT GROUP: New Moms Group takes place at Treehouse!  Intended for moms with babies under 9 months – drop in and get support from others experiencing similar things.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Mountain View Farm for a farm activity for pre-school kids!  413-329-0211.  393 East Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4-7pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help out at the Just Roots Food for All Garden!  Vegetables grown will be donated to local hunger relief organizations.  Glenbrook Drive.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 6:30pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum hosts outdoor music in their sunken garden!  Open to picnickers at 5pm.  413-584-4699.  130 River Drive.  Hadley, MA.  ($)
  • 7pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Every other Wednesday at Conant Park!  Rain or shine.  Southampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012

7:30am-9pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Visit the Big E to learn about all things equestrian today! The Arabian Horse Show of New England is happening through the weekend – families can visit to see horses compete in many different classes, and to see how horses are cared for. Great for kids interested in horseback riding or veterinary medicine! 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10am – MOVIE: The morning screenings (10am) of any G and PG movies at Rave Cinema are free! 413-733-5134. 864 Riverdale Road. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

11:30am – HISTORY: The Springfield Museums host a reading of Frederick Douglas’ speech, “The Meaning of the 4th of July to the Negro,” at the quadrangle. The event is a chance to learn about civil rights history, and will help kids learn to understand the true cultural and historical significance of the holiday. There will be live music, and interpreters from PAHMUSA. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

12noon-1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Meet some critters from the Forest Park Zoo at Stanley Park! Zoo On the Go will bring creatures, and share information with curious kids about where they live, what they eat, and more! 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

1-1:45pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Nutshell Playhouse presents, “Musical Hat” at the Berkshire Athenaeum! The show follows three silly characters on their quest to find the music that has been stolen from their special hat. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

3-5pm – LAWN GAMES: Naumkeag hosts an afternoon of “Croquet on the Lawn.” Families can come for a elaxed game of croquet, the leisurely sport of Edwardian high-society. Experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate. Refreshments served. Happens every other Thursday, all summer long. 413-298-3239  x3352. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA (>$)

4-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chicopee Fest-of-All at Szot Park. 100 Abby Memorial Drive. Chicopee, MA

5-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: River Valley Market’s annual Strawberry Ice Cream Social takes place tonight in the market’s parking lot! There will be live music from local favorites the Primate Fiasco, and tons of delicious food a-la-carte. And, of course, there will be delicious strawberry ice cream! 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA.

6:30pm – POETRY SLAM: At the Berkshire Athenaeum! The event includes a workshop for kids where they can learn about the idea of a slam, and a mock-slam featuring youth poet Jeanicia Smith. The goal of the event is to gain support and interest for a future poetry slam team! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

7pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi brings live hawks and owls to the Westhampton Library.  Get up close and personal with some raptors. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Northampton Parents’ Center at the Little Playground at Look Park.  413-582-2636.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the New Salem Library! 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Hatfield Library!  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Outside at the Haskins Center’s playground!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Live music tonight at the Greenfield Energy Park!  New acts each week.  Bring your own seating, and maybe a picnic dinner!  Miles Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 6:30-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Music on the porch at the Florence Civic Center!  90 Park Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Friday, June 29th, 2012

FREE FUN FRIDAY: At Tanglewood, as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays summer program. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

7:30am-9pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Visit the Big E to learn about all things equestrian today! The Arabian Horse Show of New England is happening through the weekend – families can visit to see horses compete in many different classes, and to see how horses are cared for. Great for kids interested in horseback riding or veterinary medicine! 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – LIBRARY ADVENTURES:  Westfield Athenaeum kicks-off their summer reading program with Parents’ Choice award winning performers Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell.  Best for kids ages 3yo+. Registration required. 413-562-6158. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA (FREE)

12noon-7pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the dedication of the Great River Bridge! The official dedication ceremony takes place from 2-3:30pm, and there will be fun activities throughout the day including a hot dog social, scavenger hunt through town, and open houses at many downtown businesses. 413-572-1260. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

4pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Enjoy an afternoon movie in the community room at the Mason Library! Selections screened are for an older audience and will be PG or PG-13. Popcorn and drinks provided! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

4-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chicopee Fest-of-All at Szot Park. 100 Abby Memorial Drive. Chicopee, MA

 5:30-7:30pm – MOVIE: It’s movie night at the Huntington Library! “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” will be screened – it’s rated PG-13, and is great for older kids who have read the original Sherlock Holmes series. 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

6pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th of July at Holyoke Community College.  Activities for kids, music and food.  Fireworks at dusk. Rain date: 6/30. Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS

  • 10am – HIKE: Take little adventurers on a tyke hike at Mt. Greylock!  The hike is short, and ends with storytime.  Meet at the Visitors Center.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Stanley Park hosts children’s performances at the Beverage Pavillion Annex!  Each week brings a new performer.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  •  10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At the Gateway Family Center.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Palmer-Monson Family Network at Eager Park (by Converse Middle School).  Bring a picnic lunch!  413-283-6246.  Walnut Street.  Palmer, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-4pm – HIKE: Learn about safe hiking at Mt. Greylock!  Hiking 101 will teach visitors about trail safety, map reading, proper equipment, bear etiquette, etc.  Great for families interested in doing serious hiking, as well as slightly older kids interested in hiking on their own.  Meet at the visitors center.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Easthampton’s Arts in the Park summer concert series features great live music at Millside Park!  Check the schedule for a list of performers.  2 Ferry Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 

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