Mother’s Day to Plant Something Campaign. Mamadrama to Steamboat Bill. Beaver Ponds to Fishways… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!
Brunch, Hike & Celebrate for Mother’s Day
Not up for breakfast in bed, then head out for breakfast or brunch. We asked our readers for family friendly restaurant recommendations for Mother’s Day and they had several to offer. Check out Mother’s Day Brunch to see their suggestions… and add one of your own.
After breakfast/brunch, celebrate Mother’s Day by taking her to one of the many gorgeous gardens dotted throughout Western Massachusetts including the Bridge of Flower in Shelburne Falls, one of the Commonwealth’s most unusual and enchanting “gardens” is found in Franklin County. Read our post The Art of Great Gardens in Western MA for a list of recommended public gardens in the region.
Looking for other ideas? Check out our Mother’s Day Highlights!
Mother’s Day Highlights ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Local History ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Film Studies ♦ Plant Sales ♦ Parent Workshop
Prepare for Mother’s Day with Art Party Studio in Easthampton! A free Saturday afternoon, May 11th, brings special studio hours just for crafting beautiful masterpieces for mom.
The Ventfort Hall’s special Mother’s Day Pink Tea in Lenox on Saturday afternoon honors moms and the traditional art of Victorian tea! The Tea includes a performance from the American Dance Institute Ensemble – all in beautiful and historic surroundings at the beautiful Gilded Age mansion!
Celebrate a special Mother’s Day celebration at the West Springfield Parks and Recreation Mother-Son Dance on Saturday evening! There will be DJ music, snacks, drinks, and photos. Takes place at the West Springfield Teen Center. Put on your fancy pants and come dance
What better way to spend Mother’s Day than exploring outside, looking for wildflowers? Visit Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield on Mother’s Day for a morning guided walk through trails filled with wild columbine and other native flowers. Families will be able to learn about how to support butterflies and other insect life through planting native plants and flowers.
Take Mom to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox on Mother’s Day for a morning of exploring the grounds and inspecting the changes that spring has brought to the landscape.
Visit Old Sturbridge Village on Mother’s Day, where moms will be treated with free admission (The first 200 will even get a free gift!)! Families can learn about 19th century life in New England through demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more!
Moms and grandmothers receive free admission to Historic Deerfield on Mother’s Day too! Celebrate Mother’s Day by learning life in early New England.
Celebrate Mother’s Day at Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, for an afternoon of special performances and presentations will be held to celebrate mind, body, and spirit. The event begins with the sounding of crystal bows, and will also include a spiritual circle dance and tribal songs.
During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway! The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems. Open Wed-Sun through June 16th.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife in Hadley is hosting a free fishing derby for kids ages 14yo and younger and will be offering a live birds of demonstration! Happens rain or shine on Saturday mid-day, May 11th.
Visit the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield on Saturday morning, to try out an echolocation simulator! Called Bat Bot, the simulator uses technology similar to that used in new cars’ back-up cameras to help users locate objects around them without using their sense of sight. It’s as similar to echolocation as humans can get!
Explore the Beaver Ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox on Wednesday evening, May 15th! Take a guided expedition and learn about the habits of beavers and the various types of wildlife who congregate at beaver ponds… and the long-lasting effect that beaver ponds have upon habitats!
Explore the forests surrounding the shores of the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown on Saturday morning, May 11th. The woods are filled with clues to what life was like in the Swift River Valley before the reservoir was built. Meet at the Quabbin Visitors Center in order to participate in this free program, “History Detectives.” Students will enjoy this morning investigation into local history!
The Native American Institute of the Hudson River Valley will be holding a day-long seminar this month with the Stockbridge Library. On Saturday, speakers will be discussing aspects of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe during their time in Stockbridge. Older student can learn about local history through this cultural lens. Includes lunch and an afternoon walking tour of key town historical sites
Visit the Carnegie Library in Turners Falls on Saturday morning, May 11th to learn about frogs and other amphibians found in the Connecticut River watershed – it’s the perfect time of year to be ponding, so learn some background information before heading out into the woods! Free.
Kids can do some hands-on learning about the watershed in which they live at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls on Saturday morning! Bird songs and homes are the theme of Saturday’s Watershed Investigators program, a free event designed for kids ages 2-5 (though all ages are welcome) including games, stories, explorations, and other fun learning activities.
Look for spring ephemerals with Botanist, Connie Parks, at the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area in Florence on Sunday morning, May 12th. Using the Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Connie will help participating families identify plants by flower arrangement. Older students can supplement botanical studies with this free guided walk/talk.
The UCC of Holyoke screens a silent film on Saturday evening, May 11th, accompanied by live organ music! The film shown is Steamboat Bill, JR., featuring Buster Keaton, and organist Peter Krasinski will play along to the story. Film enthusiasts can experience this lost form of film – due to the lack of dialogue, actors’ actions and facial expressions are almost comically exaggerated!
On Sunday afternoon, May 12th, the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst screens Mamadrama: The Jewish Mother in Cinema. This documentary examines the portrayal of Jewish women in mothering roles within American cinema, from the very first silent films and Yiddish cultural films to modern mainstream cinema.
Amherst Cinema screens a fully remastered version of Volker Schlondorff’s film, The Tin Drum, on Tuesday evening, May 14th. The story focuses on a young German boy, born with intelligence and intellect far beyond his years. On his third birthday, after realizing the hypocrisy and tension of adulthood, he refuses to grow any older. The film pairs the boy – constantly beating on his tin drum – against a background of World War II Germany, a place that accurately reflects the boy’s perception of adults. The film also includes 20 minutes of previously cut footage.
Gardening with your kids is a great summer activity that leads to all sorts of discoveries, educational opportunities, and culinary adventures. Whether you’re sowing an extra row for a local food pantry, or planning a sunflower house, the range of focus can stem between community service to nature-based play! Here are a few opportunities this weekend to pick up plants for your garden, with several more happening next weekend too:
- Saturday, May 11th, 9am-12noon: Pelham Library hosts a plant sale annuals, perennials and more along with a raffle for gift certificates and garden-related gifts.
- Saturday, May 11th, 9am-5pm: The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual plant sale takes place in Stockbridge! Visit to get some great new plants to add to your family’s garden.
- Thursday, May 16th, 11am-7pm: The Garden Club of Amherst is holding a spring plant sale on the town’s south common! Stop by to pick out some beauties for your garden, yard, or porch.
What to do with all those plants? On Wednesday, May 15th, plant something – anything! – and participate in the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association’s “Don’t Just Stand There… Plant Something!” campaign. Families across the state will be planting flowers, veggies, trees, and more today in acknowledgement of the importance of gardening and cultivating land. Learn about gardening together as a family – beginning with just one seed!
There are tons of apps, games, and other tech-y programs available for use with (or by) young children. However, improper use of technology with young children can have an effect upon the child’s development. The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a free workshop titled, “Tech for Tots” on Wednesday evening, May 15th, where parents will learn about the intersection of technology and child development Takes place at the South Hadley Family Center.
The Haskins Center in North Adams holds a free weekly parent group titled, “Stretching Your Dollar Support Group.” On Friday afternoon, May 17th, parents can share budgeting strategies, work together to devise creative solutions to family needs, and this week’s meeting will include a coupon swap (bring some to share!).
Find out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events.
[Photo credit: (ccl) Steve Wall]