Suggested Events for July 28th-August 3rd, 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

Western Massachusetts’ very own Oxbow Water Ski Show Team host the 28th Annual Eastern Region Ski Show Tournament this weekend in Northampton on the Connecticut River. Sunday is the day to go! Four teams put on an hour show each starting at 9am. Great family fun! (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 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

Saturday, July 28th from 2-5pm – HISTORY/SHEEP SHEARING: Kingman Tavern Historical Museum hosts an afternoon of sheep shearing and fiber history!  Traditional blade shearer Kevin Ford will do a demonstration (beginning at 3), and families can explore the museum to see lots of local artifacts (many related to shearing) and learn about local history!  413-634-5527.  41 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

Weekend of July 28th & 29thWATER SKI SHOW: Did you know Western MA has it’s very own water ski show team?  The Oxbow Water Ski Show Team, established over 30 years ago, is hosting the annual Eastern Region Water Ski Show Tournament this weekend. Four teams from New England come together to compete, each putting on a show the whole family will enjoy!  Saturday are individual acts, including Swivel, Adagio Doubles, Freestyle Jump, and Team Jump. On Sunday (the day to go!) each team will put on an one-hour show starting at 9am including barefooting, swivel skiing, jumping, ballet lines, doubles, and of course the famous human pyramids.  Where else are you going to see something like this outside of Florida? BYO blanket & chairs. 413-543-2235. Oxbow Marina. Old Springfield Road. Northampton, MA (FREE, >$ PARKING)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Bucket List

Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA this Summer!

Weekend of August 4th and 5th at 8:30am – AVIATION: The Great New England Air Show takes place this weekend at Westover Air Force Base!  Families can visit to learn all about different types of planes, watch flight shows, and see giant Air Force planes and helicopters up close!  Chicopee, MA.  ($)

Weekend of August 4th and 5th from 10am-5pm- MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HISTORY: Hancock Shaker Village hosts the Age of Iron Weekend. For a full weekend blacksmiths from Berkshire, Connecticut, the Capital District, and New England Blacksmith Guilds will be at the village demonstrating the art of blacksmithing and metal work.  Families can even have hands-on opportunity to try the art of blacksmithing.  There will be several techniques and styles highlighted, including ironwork craftsmanship dating from the 17th to the 21st century, Japanese hardware, tool making, engraving, and Viking and Shaker forging.  This learning opportunity will afford youth a first hand look at how blacksmithing was an integral part of life in Shaker history. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic.  Pittsfield, MA ($$)

BULLETIN BOARD

INFO SESSION: The Academy at Charlemont will host a summer information session August 1, 7 – 8 PM at the Forbes Library in Northampton.  At The Academy, rigorous academic and artistic exploration are nurtured by a supportive community, governed by an Honor Code.  The curriculum develops skills to prepare students for Senior Independent Projects culminating in presentations to the community.  Studio Block classes connect students with local artists, musicians, and writers.  Academy students are stretched by leadership, citizenship, and athletic requirements.  Everybody plays, everybody learns, everybody matters. Meet students, staff, and parents on August 1 and learn what it means to “Find your voice, speak your mind”.  Details at www.charlemont.org.

HOME SCHOOL CONNECT FAIR: On Tuesday, July 31, SHINE Middle Grades Home School would like you to learn about programs for home-schooling families in the valley, while having a good time!  Come to the 10am performance by Alex the Jester at The Pines Theater in Look Park in Florence at 10am, and then stay for the fun.  The Home School Connect Fair will take place from 10:45-2:00 in the mini-pavillion next to the splash park. There will be laughing yoga, hula-hooping, a lesson by the Pioneer Valley Women’s Martial Arts, and a family Contra Dance. There are also many vendors, including, Tekoa Mountain Outdoors, Simplicity Parenting, North Star Learning Center, A Natural Music School, Lui Collins, & more. Learn more about the event at: http://www.facebook.com/events/248710701898130/.

FOR SALE: Are you interested in building your own home on land trust land? Want to live in rural Wendell in the center of “town?” Only $19,000 for antique school house, well and septic. Use the school house as an accessory building or restore it for a dwelling. Land owned by non-profit member organization – Valley Community Land Trustwww.vclt.org for more information.

Call for Youth PhotographersCALL FOR YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHERS: Western MA youth photographers ages 8-18 are invited to participate in an upcoming exhibit titled, “Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers.”  Hosted by Hilltown Families with the support of the Cummington Cultural Council, the exhibit will be on display at the Cummington Community House Gallery in the rear of the Cummington Community House during the month of September 2012. Exhibit gives youth an opportunity to explore their towns and document their findings both in images and a written narrative. Great summer learning opportunity! Participation is free and open to all youth  living in Western MA. Deadline for entry: Aug 27, 2012. More info and entry forms here: Call for Youth Photographers.

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.

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.

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.

VOLUNTEER FOR HISTORY: Is your teen (or you) a bit of a history buff?  Would they be interested in learning more about local history?  Storrowton Village in West Springfield is currently seeking youth volunteers for the 2012 Big E, from Sept. 14-30. It’s an opportunity to provide a service to the community, as well as to gain and share knowledge of 19th century history.  Volunteers dress in 19th century clothing and either act as hosts or guide tours through the village.  This is a great activity for friendly, outgoing teens!  Volunteer training begins on Aug 22 for 3 sessions, including Aug 29 & Sept 5, from 1-6pm. For more info. & to schedule interview, call 413-205-5051 before Aug 15.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
July 28th – August 3rd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Farmers’ Markets

“Summer isn’t complete without canoeing or kayaking (lots of places, but especially the DAR during blueberry season), blueberry picking at Fox Run, a summer hike at Graves Farms, soft serve from Village Green Greenhouse and Ice Cream (Williamsburg, MA) . . .” — Sara Barry (Haydenville, 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.  – Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Spend the day volunteering with the Trustees of Reservations at the Bullitt Reservation to create a brand new trail to the Chapel Brook Reservation!  No experience necessary, but workers must be committed to helping – and don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes and bring lots of water.  413-682-4485.  332 Bullitt Road.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-5pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Hampden County 4H Fair takes place today at the Big E!  Visit to see animals raised, food grown, and projects completed by 4H members!  413-562-3001.  1035 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The annual Sandisfield Fair takes place this weekend!  Visit the fairgrounds for a wide variety of activities including Civil War reenactments, kids’ activities (crafts, games, etc.), animals to visit and learn about, live music, a cemetery walking tour, and a hike of the nearby Clam River.  Sandisfield, MA.  ($)

10am-1pm –  HIKE/FOREST: Boreal forests are a special part of the Berkshires – the forests contain unique plants and animals, and are found only at higher elevations (such as the mountains and hills of the Berkshires!).  Explore the boreal forests of Tamarack Hollow today with Mass Audubon!  Hike will be 2-3 miles and include some bushwhacking – wear pants!  Call to register.  413-584-3009.  Windsor, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Historic Deerfield’s open hearth cooking program is celebrating its 25th anniversary!  Throughout the month of July, 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-5pm – CRAFT FAIR: The Church on the Hill hosts their annual Arts and Crafts Fair this weekend, featuring artisan goods from all over the Northeast.  Visit to see what artists are creating, and find some great items to bring home.  413-637-1001.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – SHOPPING LOCAL:  Sidewalk sales this Saturday in downtown Greenfield, which, along with great deals on items from local shops, comes with tons of fun – like face painting, dancers, magic, chalk art, and more!  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE/SALE)

ALL DAY – SHOPPING LOCAL: Northampton Sidewalk Sales this Saturday & Sunday happen at over 50 shops and restaurants in downtown Northampton, along Main Street, Pleasant Street, and Crafts Avenue.  There will be live music and entertainment too. Northampton, MA (FREE/SHOP)

10am-5pm – SHOPPING LOCAL: The Hilltown 6 will host its annual pottery tour and sale.  his is a great chance to see firsthand the tools and techniques behind eight nationally recognized clay artists who live and work in our very own hilltowns. Check out the studios, kilns and settings of these talented potters and step inside their worlds to see how their surroundings inspire their individual voices. Various Towns, MA (SALE)

10:30am – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Odyssey Books presents, “Physical Theater and Magical Mayhem,” featuring Linda Peck!  The performance, which takes place outside, features mime, dance, illusion, human statues and more!  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-2pm – NATURE STUDIES/HABITATS: Learn about the unique habitat provided by beaches, especially beaches at our local ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers!  The Great Falls Discovery Center’s Investigation Station is beach-themed today – kids can even search in the sand for treasures.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-4pm – HISTORY/TEXTILES: Visit Historic Deerfield to learn about tailoring, as part of the museum’s “Fun with Flax” exhibit.  413-775-7127.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

11am – MARIONETTES: The Robbins-Zust Marionettes present “Rumplestiltskin,” at the Marketplace Cafe!  55 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

11am – PUPPET SHOW: Puppetree presents “Caps for Sale” at the Lenox Library.  Based on the 1938 classic children’s book written by Esphyr Slobodkina. Lenox, MA (FREE)

1pm – NATURE STUDIES/RIVERS: Join educator Dawn Marvin Wood for an afternoon of river studies at the Northfield Library!  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm and 2:30pm – HISTORY/MAGIC: See Mr. E. A. Davis, an 1800’s magician (portrayed by Old Sturbridge Village’s Robert Olson), perform 19th century tricks and illusions at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum!  The event kicks off Susan B. Anthony Days, and includes the opportunity to explore the historic home and its grounds.  413-743-7121.  67 East Road.  Adams, MA.  (<$)

1pm and 3pm – PUPPETS: Puppetree Theater presents “The Ugly Duckling” at the Eric Carle Museum this afternoon! This version has been re-written with environmental science in mind – kids will learn about the challenges faced by birds and how to help an injured bird.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

1-3pm – HISTORY/POTTERY: Items created out of pottery have been household staples for centuries – learn about the craft of pottery and its history this afternoon at the Ashley House.  Kids ages 8+ can participate, and will even be able to make their own items to take home out of clay!  Call to register.  413-298-3239.  Cooper Hill Road.  Sheffield, MA.  ($)

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) ♦

1:30-2:30pm – AUTHOR VIRTUAL VISIT: Visit the Mason Library for a Skype visit from author Jeanne Birdsall, creator of the Penderwicks series!  Jeanne will answer questions and share what it’s like to be an author.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – READING ADVENTURE: Celebrate 25 years of Waldo at the Odyssey Books!  Search around town to find Waldo (call or view website for more information), then celebrate the end of the search!  Everyone who finds Waldo will get a special prize – but anyone is welcome to come, regardless of whether or not they searched.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

2-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Bring nonperishable items to donate as admission to the Family Fun Carnival at Grayson House!  There will be lots of fun family activities, including face painting, treats, and live old fashioned band music.  Donations benefit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.  936 Grayson Drive.  Springfield, MA.  (DONATION)

2-5pm – HISTORY/SHEEP SHEARING: Kingman Tavern Historical Museum hosts an afternoon of sheep shearing and fiber history!  Traditional blade shearer Kevin Ford will do a demonstration (beginning at 3), and families can explore the museum to see lots of local artifacts (many related to shearing) and learn about local history!  413-634-5527.  41 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents Pinocchio in the Dell at The Mount!  Enjoy the classic tale of a wooden boy who cannot lie (without very, very obvious consequences!) while taking in the beautiful surroundings.  Show runs  Tues–Sat at 4pm and Tues & Thurs at 7pm, through 8/11.  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS/GAMES: 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) ♦

6pm – OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE: Main Street Stage is doing a whirlwind backyard tour this summer with their production, “The King Stag,” a play chronicling a queen-finding quest.  The story is told through puppets, masks, music, magic, stilts, and more.  Today’s performance takes place at the Adams Visitor Center.  3 Hoosac Street.  Adams, MA.  (FREE) – Rescheduled to Sunday, 7/29 at 6pm

6pm – TEEN/TWEEN: It’s teen/tween movie night at the Meekins Library!  Tonight’s film is The Avengers (rated PG 13).  Snacks begin at 6, and movie begins at 7.  413-268-7472.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Berkshire Museum host a production of “Beauty and the Beast” by Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre. Show runs Sat.-Tues. & Thurs. at 2pm through Aug 12. Check their web site to confirm time and dates. Best for children with audience skills, ages 5yo and older. 413-443-7171 x40. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

7:15-10:30pm – FAMILY CONTRA DANCE: Family contra dancing tonight at the Munson Library!  The night starts with beginner dances and gets progressively more advanced as the night goes on.  413-259-3095.  1046 South East Street.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

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Sunday, July 29th, 2012

“On of our favorite summertime activities is playing Poohsticks on the bridge at the Mill River Recreation Area, and then walking on the trail to the Puffer’s waterfall.” —Melissa Miller (Amherst, 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. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

8-9:30am – HISTORY/NATURE WALK: Walk the canal side trail in Turners Falls and learn about all of the creatures who call the river home.  Walkers will also learn about the transformations that the town has seen throughout the past hundred years.  Meet at the Great Falls Nature Discovery Center. 413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) 

8:30-11:30am – CANOE TRIP/NATURAL HISTORY: Canoe the Housatonic at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  A Trustees of Reservations guide will share information with families on the history of the river and the unique ecosystem surrounding it.  Best for experienced canoers.  413-229-8600.  Sheffield, MA ($$)

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) ♦

9am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The annual Sandisfield Fair takes place this weekend!  Visit the fairgrounds for a wide variety of activities including pie contests (yum!), kids’ activities (crafts, games, etc.), animals to visit and learn about, live music, an antique car show, and open houses at nearby farms.  Sandisfield, MA.  ($)

10am – SINGING: Join the Leverett Congregational Church for a morning of lakeside singing!  All ages are welcome to join in group hymn singing, which will be followed by a potluck picnic (prepare your family’s favorite dish to share!).  Learning to sing hymns can serve as an informal introduction to studies of religion (from an anthropological perspective)!  413-359-0003.  Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

10am – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy a serenaded outdoor breakfast at the Roce Reading Park.  Students from Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute will perform classical music, and light breakfast will be provided from local restaurants.  What a great way to start off a Sunday!  413-637-2630.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA. (FREE)

10am-12noon or 1-2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Natural Bridge State Park hosts nature walks, where visitors can learn about the marble quarry that once operated nearby.  Kids can learn about important local and natural history. 413-663-6392.  107 McAuley Road.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE, >$ FOR PARKING) ♦

10am and 2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: 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 – CRAFT FAIR: The Church on the Hill hosts their annual Arts and Crafts Fair this weekend, featuring artisan goods from all over the Northeast.  Visit to see what artists are creating, and find some great items to bring home.  413-637-1001.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – SHOPPING LOCAL: The Hilltown 6 will host its annual pottery tour and sale.  his is a great chance to see firsthand the tools and techniques behind eight nationally recognized clay artists who live and work in our very own hilltowns. Check out the studios, kilns and settings of these talented potters and step inside their worlds to see how their surroundings inspire their individual voices. Various Towns, MA (SALE)

1-3pm – CHESS: An informal Chess Club happens at the Lilly Library. Participants are encouraged to supplement existing chess boards by bringing their own too. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE) ♦

1pm – MUSIC: Learn about orchestra instruments, music styles, and musical concepts at Tanglewood’s Watch and Play program!  The event is specially designed to make kids’ visit to Tanglewood educational, and to provide them with background information that will help them make sense of what they hear.  Takes place in the Chamber Music Hall.  Tickets to afternoon performance required.  866-266-1200.  297 West Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$$)

1pm and 3pm – PUPPET SHOW: Puppetree Theater presents “The Ugly Duckling” at the Eric Carle Museum this afternoon! This version has been re-written with environmental science in mind – kids will learn about the challenges faced by birds and how to help an injured bird.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Before machines drilled deep wells, clean water was sometimes hard to come by!  In Plainfield, residents during the 19th century created their own aqueduct to draw water from springs on higher ground.  Visit the Shaw Library to learn about this interesting part of local history – it’s perhaps one of the oldest examples of the local community’s ongoing commitment to resiliency.  The event will include a walk to explore aqueduct sites.  304 Main Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Berkshire Museum host a production of “Beauty and the Beast” by Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre. Show runs Sat.-Tues. & Thurs. at 2pm through Aug 12. Check their website to confirm time and dates. Best for children with audience skills, ages 5yo and older. 413-443-7171 x40. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

3pm – CRAFTS: Visit Natural Bridge State Park for nature crafts!  Make your own creation out of natural objects.  413-663-6392.  McCauley Road.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦

4pm – BASEBALL: The Pittsfield Suns take on the Titans at Wahconah Park!  413-445-7867.  105 Wahconah Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

5:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: At the gazebo in Huntington!  Dinner available for purchase.  Lots of great local acts!  Routes 20 and 112.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦

6pm – OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE: Main Street Stage is doing a whirlwind backyard tour this summer with their production, “The King Stag,” a play chronicling a queen-finding quest.  The story is told through puppets, masks, music, magic, stilts, and more.  Today’s performance takes place at the Adams Visitor Center.  3 Hoosac Street.  Adams, MA.  (FREE) – Rescheduled from Saturday

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

6pm – ECOLOGY: Visit Bascom Lodge for a slideshow of photos of local flora and fauna, then explore the summit of Mt. Greylock with Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow.  Students can use the event as a way to learn to identify plants and animals, and as a supplement to studies of local ecology.  E-mail aimee@gaiaroots.com to register.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

DUSK – OUTDOOR SCREENING: The hills are alive with the Sound of Music! Quite literally, in fact – Images Cinema screens the film outside tonight on the Morgan Lawn!  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

4pm –  CONCERT: Help support the great performances hosted by North Hall and enjoy an evening of fantastic jazz – Charles Neville will play a benefit show tonight on the lawn!  413-768-7963.  40 Searle Road.  Huntington, MA.  ($$)

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Monday, July 30th, 2012

9-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open for a short summer session!  Play, socialize, and have snack and circle time!  413-545-2129.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am – FAMILY MOVIE: Movies rater G and PG are free for families this morning at Rave Cinema.  413-733-5134.  864 Riverdale Road.  West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10am, 1pm, 6:30pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Majestic Theater presents, “The Princess and the Pea!”  The show’s cast features local youth actors!  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

11am and 2pm – MARIONETTES: The Robbins-Zust Marionettes present, “Goldilocks,” and, “Peter Rabbit,” at Saint Paul’s Church!  29 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Berkshire Museum host a production of “Beauty and the Beast” by Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre. Show runs Sat.-Tues. & Thurs. at 2pm through Aug 12. Check their website to confirm time and dates. Best for children with audience skills, ages 5yo and older. 413-443-7171 x40. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

4pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents Pinocchio in the Dell at The Mount!  Enjoy the classic tale of a wooden boy who cannot lie (without very, very obvious consequences!) while taking in the beautiful surroundings.  Show runs  Tues–Sat at 4pm and Tues & Thurs at 7pm, through 8/11..  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

6:30pm – COLLEGE PROCESS: The Forbes Library will host Heather Johnson to give a talk regarding the college process, covering several topics, including: How to begin, how to apply, when to apply, how to start a college essay, how to make the most of your college visits, financial aid basics. Happens in the Watson Room. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

7:30pm – HISTORY/MYSTERY TOUR: Take a spooky mystery tour of  The Mount tonight… beware – you never know what you might encounter!  Visitors will not only be thoroughly creeped out, but will learn some of the building’s interesting history.  413-997-4444.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

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) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden hosts open studio hours every Monday-Saturday afternoon.  Families can visit to experiment with art materials and try out new forms of expression – or just to work on perfecting skills.  413-625-2782.  4 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (DONATION) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 7pm – KNITTING: The Westhampton Library hosts a knitting group for knitters of all abilities.  This intergenerational skillshare is great for knitters who enjoy the company of other needle-clacking scarf-makers, or for those in need of some help with dropped stitches.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

9-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open for a short summer session!  Play, socialize, and have snack and circle time!  413-545-2129.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am and 1pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Majestic Theater presents, “The Princess and the Pea!”  The show’s cast features local youth actors!  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

10am – FAMILY MOVIE: Get out of the heat and spend the morning watching, “The Secret World of Arietty,” at the Westhampton Library.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Chicopee Library for an adventure story and craft time.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-12:30am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Hands-on Activity Cart at the Springfield Museums!  Kids can look at and learn about historical artifacts, and take part in activities lead by a museum representative – all centered around the importance of history!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

10:45am – 2pm – HOMESCHOOL FAIR: The SHINE Middle Grades Collaborative is hosting a Homeschool Connect Fair at Look Park!  The event offers homeschool families a chance to learn about local centers and organizations offering resources and support, and also includes workshops for kids.  There will be hoola hooping, yoga, a contra dance with live music, and martial arts – all for kids to participate in!  Takes place at the mini-pavillion.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

11am and 2pm – MARIONETTES: The Robbins-Zust Marionettes present, “Sleeping Beauty,” at Saint Paul’s Church!  29 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

11am-12noon – ENTOMOLOGY: What sorts of crazy crawly critters come out at night while you sleep?  Learn about nocturnal bugs and animals this afternoon at the Hatfield Library!  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Terry a la Berry will put on a family concert at the Reading Park next to the Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA (FREE)

1pm – CRAFTS/MAGIC WANDS: Visit the Berkshire Athenaeum to craft your very own sparkly magic wand.  Registration required.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

1:30-2:30pm – CRAFTS/PUPPETS: Make your own shadow puppets this afternoon at the Ramsdell Library!  Plan out your very own shadow theater production.  Call to register.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Berkshire Museum host a production of “Beauty and the Beast” by Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre. Show runs Sat.-Tues. & Thurs. at 2pm through Aug 12. Check their web site to confirm time and dates. Best for children with audience skills, ages 5yo and older. 413-443-7171 x40. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

2-3pm – SCIENCE: Forbes Library’s Super Tuesday this week features a presentation with Gary Pozzato, whose computerized friend Robo the Robot (who interacts with audience members!) will share information about space, planetary orbits, rockets, and more!  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – MOVIE: The Monson Library is screening, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” this afternoon – get out of the sun and spend the afternoon indoors.  (Rated PG)  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)

3-4pm – LITERACY/SPORTS FANS: Visit the Jones Library for a special literacy-themed afternoon, featuring hockey team the Boston Bruins’ mascot Blades!  Kids can meet blades, listen to stories, and do a special activity.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

3-5pm – TEEN: It’s Teen Tuesday at the Chicopee Library – visit for a new activity every week.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE) ♦

6pm – PUPPETS: Tom Knight bring his fabulous puppets to the Lilly Library!  587-1500.  19 Meadow Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – STORYTIME: Hop into your jammies, grab your teddy bear, and head to the Whately Library for pajama storytime!  Kiddos can enjoy special bedtime stories- they’re always more exciting when read by someone new!  202 Chestnut Plain Road.  Whately, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Volunteers needed to help plan and coordinate a community-wide gleaning event. If you would like to assist with this effort, please come to a gathering in the Pole Room of the Bangs Community Center. Light refreshments will be available. For more information, contact Stephanie Ciccarello at 413-259-3149 or via e-mail: ciccarellos@amherstma.gov. Amherst, MA (VOLUNTEER)

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. ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: For kids ages 3-6 at the Greenfield Library.  There will be a new craft every week along with the exciting stories.  413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Literacy-based drop-in playgroup at the Greenfield Family Center.  413-475-1553.  90 Federal Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Chicopee Library for an adventure story and craft time.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, 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) ♦
  • 10:15am-12:15pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a Postpartum Support Group for mothers.  The group is a safe space for those adjusting to motherhood and is lead by trained facilitators.  Takes place at Berkshire Children and Families.  Childcare available.  413-253-8990.  220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden hosts open studio hours every Monday-Saturday afternoon.  Families can visit to experiment with art materials and try out new forms of expression – or just to work on perfecting skills.  413-625-2782.  4 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (DONATION) ♦
  • 1pm and 3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Natural Bridge State Park on a Tyke Hike!  The short, kid-friendly expedition is lead by a park interpreter, who will share information on the natural wonders at the park.  413-663-6392.  107 McAuley Road.  North Adams, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 3-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in crawl time for infants at Treehouse!  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA. ♦
  • 3-5pm – TEEN: It’s Teen Tuesday at the Chicopee Library – visit for a new activity every week.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 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)
  • 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Clark hosts live outdoor concerts throughout July! Each week brings a new musical style to enjoy.  Dinner available for purchase.  In case of rain, concerts will take place in the museum’s auditorium.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)  ♦

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Wednesday, Aug 1st, 2012

9-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open for a short summer session!  Play, socialize, and have snack and circle time!  413-545-2129.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10-11:30am – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts, “Creating Together: A Parent-Child Experience,” an art workshop featuring a gallery  tour and hands-on art making.  Each week brings a new theme and art style to explore.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA.  ($) ♦

10:30am – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Painbox Theater presents, “Zorro!” at Smith College’s 3220Mendenhall Center for Peforming Arts.  413-585-3220.  Green Street. Northampton, MA.  ($)

10:30-11:30am – CRAFTS/FLOWER POT: Make your own mosaic clay flower pot at the Mason Library!  When it’s done, plant a seed and take it home to grow.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

11am – ORIGAMI: Learn some of the tricks to origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, at the Westhampton Library!  Kids over 7 are invited.  Ties well with cultural studies, geometry, and art/design.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am and 2pm – MARIONETTES: The Robbins-Zust Marionettes present, “Rumplestiltskin” at Saint Paul’s Church!  29 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$)

1pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Behind the Mask Theater presents, “Once Upon a Time,” at the Springfield Museums!  The show combines fairytales and legends from many different cultures, authors, and traditions to create an exciting, magical quest.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

2-3:30pm – LEGOS: Kiddos can visit the Monson Library to experiment with LEGOS – the blocks provide a fun and mess-free way for kids to learn about basic principles of architecture, design, and physics.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents Pinocchio in the Dell at The Mount!  Enjoy the classic tale of a wooden boy who cannot lie (without very, very obvious consequences!) while taking in the beautiful surroundings.  Show runs  Tues–Sat at 4pm and Tues & Thurs at 7pm, through 8/11..  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

5pm – LITERATURE The Mount hosts a reading of work by Edith Wharton, read by a professional actor – use the reading as an opportunity to enjoy writing you already love, or to introduce older students to classic literature.  413-997-4444.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (<$)

6-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Live on the Lake, a community concert series, takes place tonight on the shore of Onota Lake!  Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy great family-friendly live music.  Pittsfield, 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) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the MN Spear Library!  413-259-1213.  10 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool Storytime at the Northfield Library.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts, “Creating Together: A Parent-Child Experience,” an art workshop featuring a gallery  tour and hands-on art making.  Each week brings a new theme and art style to explore.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA.  ($) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Literacy-based drop-in playgroup at the Greenfield Family Center.  413-475-1553.  90 Federal Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: At Odyssey Bookshop!  Includes a fun craft, too. 413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: At the Monson Free Library!  267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, 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) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden hosts open studio hours every Monday-Saturday afternoon.  Families can visit to experiment with art materials and try out new forms of expression – or just to work on perfecting skills!  413-625-2782.  4 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (DONATION) ♦
  • 2pm – SCRABBLE: At the Westhampton Library on every second and fourth Wednesday.  Kids can practice spelling, vocabulary, and basic math skills by playing.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, 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)  ♦
  • 6-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Live on the Lake, a community concert series, takes place tonight on the shore of Onota Lake!  Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy great family-friendly live music.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series.  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – LAWN 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 – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy live music at Lilac Park!  Each week features great local performers. In case of rain, the show will take place at the town hall.  Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Every other Wednesday at Conant Park.  Rain or shine.  Southampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – CONCERT: Watermelon Wednesdays at the West Whately Chapel feature a variety of great bands, musicians, and singer-songwriters. Check the schedule for a list of performers.  Advance tickets suggested.  Conway and Williamsburg Roads.  Whately, MA.  ($$) ♦

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Thursday, Aug 2nd, 2012

9-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open for a short summer session!  Play, socialize, and have snack and circle time!  413-545-2129.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am – FAMILY MOVIE: Movies rater G and PG are free for families this morning at Rave Cinema.  413-733-5134.  864 Riverdale Road.  West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10am-12noon – SCRABBLE: Scrabble Club meets at the Chicopee Library!  Practice spelling and vocabulary skills while having fun playing the game! 413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE) ♦

10:30-11:30am – MUSIC: Chicopee Library hosts music and movement class for kids!  Best for kids 5 and under.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE) ♦

11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum!  Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (<$) ♦

11am and 2pm – MARIONETTES: The Robbins-Zust Marionettes present, “Firebird” at Saint Paul’s Church!  29 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$)

11am-2pm – BIG RIG DAY: Buttery Brook Park hosts Big Rig Day! Kids can see fire trucks, tractors, 18-wheelers, police cars, ambulances, and more up close and personal.  413-538-5033.  123 Willamansett Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Painbox Theater presents, “Zorro!” at Smith College’s 3220Mendenhall Center for Peforming Arts.  413-585-3220.  Green Street. Northampton, MA.  ($)

1pm – KIDS’ CONCERT: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts Tom Siegling, performing, “Howl at the Moon with Music,” a concert of night- and nature-themed songs.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm – KIDS’ CONCERT: The Springfield Museums present Razzle Dazzle Man Richard Stillman!  Be amazed by his multi-tasking performance abilities – he’ll play washboard and harmonica while dancing, juggle while singing, and more!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Berkshire Museum host a production of “Beauty and the Beast” by Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre. Show runs Sat.-Tues. & Thurs. at 2pm through Aug 12. Check their web site to confirm time and dates. Best for children with audience skills, ages 5yo and older. 413-443-7171 x40. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

2pm – CRAFTS/NATURAL OBJECTS: Visit Natural Bridge State Park for nature crafts!  Make your own creation out of natural objects.  413-663-6392.  McCauley Road.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦

2-3pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE/BIRDS OF PREY: Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey will be at the Chicopee Library today!  Visit to meet the birds and to learn about their role in the local ecosystem.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: How do you combat kids’ sugar cravings?  Want your family to eat more veggies, but aren’t sure how to effectively and easily change habits?  Mountain View Farm hosts a workshop for parents on nutrition and ways to teach kids to make healthy choices.  Lead by Kara Martin Snyder, lifestyle coach and natural chef!  Registration requested.  393 East Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – HISTORY: Kids often have a hard time understanding what history has to do with their lives – Keith Johnson presents, “Amazing Americans” at the Milne Library today – this presentation will show kids exactly why learning history matters!  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – READING TO DOGS: Kids ages 6-10 can practice their reading skills at the Jones Library by reading to therapy dogs. Must register for a 20 min slot. 413-259-3106. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) 

7pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents Pinocchio in the Dell at The Mount!  Enjoy the classic tale of a wooden boy who cannot lie (without very, very obvious consequences!) while taking in the beautiful surroundings.  Show runs  Tues–Sat at 4pm and Tues & Thurs at 7pm, through 8/11..  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

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) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – SCRABBLE: Scrabble Club meets at the Chicopee Library!  Practice spelling and vocabulary skills while having fun playing the game! 413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the New Salem Library! 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – MUSIC: Chicopee Library hosts music and movement class for kids!  Best for kids 5 and under.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum!  Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Hatfield Library!  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Outside at the Haskins Center’s playground!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden hosts open studio hours every Monday-Saturday afternoon.  Families can visit to experiment with art materials and try out new forms of expression – or just to work on perfecting skills!  413-625-2782.  4 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (DONATION) ♦
  • 2pm – CRAFTS: Kids can exercise their creativity by doing nature crafts at Natural Bridge State Park.  Cancelled in case of rain.  413-663-6392.  107 McAuley Road. North Adams, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 3-5pm – HISTORY/GAMES: Enjoy an afternoon of croquet on the lawn at Naumkeag!  Every other Thursday this summer, the historic Gilded-Age estate hosts an afternoon of play for families.  Kids can learn about cultural history by visiting.  413-298-3239.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: At the gazebo in Huntington!  Bake sale available for purchase of desserts.  Lots of great local acts.  Routes 20 and 112.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6pm – SCRABBLE: First and third Thursdays at the Westhampton Library.  Kids can practice spelling and vocabulary skills, as well as basic math while keeping score!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: At the gazebo in Huntington.  Bake sale available for purchase of desserts.  Lots of great local acts!  Routes 20 and 112.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6-8pm – LAWN 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)
  • 6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series!  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Music on the porch at the Florence Civic Center!  90 Park Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Visit Angel Park for live music. Grab dinner at the Burgy Farmers’ Market across the street, or one of the many restaurants in Williamsburg, and head to the park with your friends and family to enjoy a blissful summer evening! Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Russell VFW hosts fun, family-friendly outdoor concerts throughout July!  413-732-4137.  Route 20.  Russell, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Friday, Aug 3rd, 2012

9-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open for a short summer session!  Play, socialize, and have snack and circle time!  413-545-2129.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Tumblin’ Tots playgroup is at the Beacon Field playground this week!  Sponsored by Community Action, the playgroup includes stories, songs, and playtime.  413-475-1543.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10-11am – PUPPETS: Galapagos Puppets presents, “The Trolls and theTree,” at Stanley Park!  The trolls, who love TV and driving around the woods in their car, have to take care of the fairy’s tree – and they learn about nature in the process!  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – NATURE STUDIES/PONDS: Immerse yourself (not literally) in a pond!  Northfield Mountain hosts a special family adventure to learn about the life in a local pond – using nets, magnifiers, and guides, families will learn to identify many different pond creatures.  Dress to get wet and/or dirty.  Call to register.  800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-10pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES/HORSES: Visit the Big E for the Connecticut Summer Classic Horse Show!  Families can watch riders compete in many different events, and can learn about the sport of riding, horse care, and how riders and their horses are judged.  Great for kids interested in taking riding lessons!  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Painbox Theater presents, “Zorro!” at Smith College’s 3220Mendenhall Center for Peforming Arts.  413-585-3220.  Green Street. Northampton, MA.  ($)

1pm – MARIONETTES: No Strings Marionette Company presents, “Wasabi,” at the Springfield Museums. This modern fairytale features a clever dragon and a princess’ quest to outsmart him.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

4pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) will be doing a family “mini-concert” in Kidder Hall at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Following the concert Peter will be doing a book signing of his newest release, “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.”  Tickets and books must be pre-purchased from the Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307 South Hadley, MA (>$)

4pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents Pinocchio in the Dell at The Mount!  Enjoy the classic tale of a wooden boy who cannot lie (without very, very obvious consequences!) while taking in the beautiful surroundings.  Show runs  Tues–Sat at 4pm and Tues & Thurs at 7pm, through 8/11..  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

5pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Adams Fair takes place this weekend!  Tonight’s attractions include an antique car show and live music, along with family activities, rides, animals to visit and learn about, and more!  Howland Avenue.  Adams, MA.  ($)

5:30-7:30pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/SHABBAT: Participate in a community Shabbat dinner!  The event is family-friendly and will feature storytelling for kids (Amherst) or a puppet show (Northampton)!  BYO vegetarian dinner.  Takes place at Groff Park or Look Park.  413-439-1954.  Mill Lane.  Amherst, MA.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

6-7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Montague City used to be a brick-making capital!  Much of the beautiful brickwork in Turners Falls is made of locally-made bricks.  Learn all about the importance of the industry in local history tonight at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm -THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents, “A Class Act,” at the Unicorn Theater!  The show, nominated for 5 Tony awards, is a tribute to Edward Kleban – one of the collaborators of, “A Chorus Line.”  413-997-4444.  6 East Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  ($$)

SUMMER ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS

  • 9-11am – MUSIC EDUCATION: Attend an educational program and a Boston Symphony Orchestra rehearsal at Tanglewood!  There will be a presentation for families, a tour, and, of course, music.  Shed seating is available for groups with kids ages 8+, while younger kiddos are asked to watch with their grown-ups from the lawn.  Happens all summer (No rehearsal on August 17th).  413-637-5274.  297 West Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Outside at the playground at Unity Park!  First Friday of each month means free breakfast.  Sponsored by Community Action.  First Street.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – SUPPORT GROUP: Postpartum drop-in support group, sponsored by MotherWoman, at the Greenfield Family Center.  Childcare provided!  413-475-1553.  90 Federal Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  •  10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At the Gateway Family Center.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: At Northfield Mountain!  Hosted by the Community Network for Children, each playgroup will have a different theme and will include hands-on educational activities for kids.  978-544-5157.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, 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) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden hosts open studio hours every Monday-Saturday afternoon.  Families can visit to experiment with art materials and try out new forms of expression – or just to work on perfecting skills!  413-625-2782.  4 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (DONATION) ♦
  • 6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow hosts free outdoor dance performance as part of the summer Inside/Out series.  Kids can learn about professional dance, and dance and movement as artistic expression.  Best for kids with audience skills.  413-243-9919.  385 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN 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) ♦
  • 8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy Music After Hours at The Mount – traditional and modern music, performed by local musicians.  413-997-4444.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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