French Paintings to Folk Art. Cockatoos to Bald Eagles. Rockets to Farm Tools… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!
Entomology ♦ Local History ♦ Colonial History ♦ Art History ♦ Art ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Music/Cultural Studies ♦ Archaeology ♦ STEM ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Agriculture
If you’re kids are interested in flying insects, then Lepidopterology (the study of butterflies & moths) is the field for them! This Saturday morning, July 6th, contribute to Project Native’s Butterfly House by attending a Summer Butterfly and Bug Safari in Housatonic by walking the grounds looking for butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs to relocate to the Butterfly House. Learn more about Lepidoptera by gaining skill in finding and even identifying butterflies and by learning to identify host plants. Then on Sunday afternoon, July 7th, join the Trustees of Reservations and local naturalist Pam Weatherbee for a “Discovering Butterflies” event at Mountain Meadow Preserve in Williamstown. Search for butterflies and learn about the ecology and behavior of these very important pollinators.
Join the Bidwell House Museum in Monterey for “Township No. 1 Day,” a celebration of Tyringham and Monterey history, on Saturday afternoon, July 6th. This free celebration is named for the earliest official designation of the settlement in 1737. The history of the two towns, which were united until 1847, will be celebrated with live music, kid’s activities, a baking contest, historic craft demonstrations, and more. What a great way to have fun while learning about the town’s history!
Are students interested in learning more about the history of Stockbridge and the people that helped make it what it is today? The Stockbridge Library’s Museum and Archives will lead a cemetery tour focused on important Stockbridge residents of the past and the places they have left behind, including many of Stockbridge’s most well-known sites. Meet at Stockbridge Cemetery on Saturday afternoon.
Are your kids curious about how early New England settlers stored summer produce and kept cool during the hot summer months? “Hot Weather, Cold Hearth” is the theme for July’s open hearth cooking demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. The open hearth cooks will demonstrate how to make cool summer beverages and teach about summer gardens and the best ways to preserve the garden’s bounties on Saturday, July 6th.
As part of their Civil War: 150 Years series, Western Gateway Heritage State Park is giving an illustrated lecture on Gettysburg – the site of the war’s pivotal battle and Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address – on Saturday afternoon in North Adams. Confederate General Robert E. Lee will “come to life” and share his story of how and why the Confederacy lost this battle and subsequently the war itself.
Presented by scholar Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, “One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit” follows the life of a colonial woman who kept a diary for most of her life. This diary may be the earliest surviving diary from this time period by an American woman. Chandler Coit’s diary offers a peek into everyday colonial life and what things were like for women at that time. This free talk on Thursday evening, July 11th, is part of Historic Deerfield’s summer lecture series and takes place at Deerfield Academy’s Garonzik Auditorium.
Norman Rockwell was one of the most well-known and prolific artists of the 20th Century. He based many of his paintings on current events and relied heavily on the use of models for his works. Families can meet some of these models and talk with them about Rockwell’s art and its historical significance at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge on Saturday afternoon, July 6th. Visitors to the museum can also participate in art making events and get works signed by Rockwell’s models.
Learn about ordinary subjects in French paintings at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield on Sunday afternoon, July 7th. Often overlooked or considered illegitimate subjects, common people (as opposed to royalty or political figures) were not frequent subjects in French art. This mini-tour will lead students around the museum and show them these rare paintings of ordinary people. This is a great opportunity for older students to study art history and learn about the social climate in France through time – why was it that ordinary people were not commonly painted? What does this say about the class disparities present throughout French history?
Visit Historic Deerfield and stop by their daily folk art studio on Saturday afternoon, July 6th! Explore folk art throughout the village and then make your own art in the studio. Folk art is interesting because it is created by incredibly creative and imaginative, yet untrained, people. Because it is made by ordinary people, it is an excellent way to look into the past and gain a deeper understanding of everyday activities in historic New England.
Does your child love picture books? At the Dalton Free Public Library, kids can take a free week-long class learning all about picture books. With help from library staff, children will study the art and text of their favorite picture books and learn how to draw and write their own. This class runs from July 8 to July 12 and is for kids ages 7-12.
Stop by the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown on Tuesday afternoon, July 9th, for an all-ages watercolor workshop. Open to people with all skill levels, this free workshop helps you learn the art of watercolor painting while translating the natural beauty of the Clark onto paper.
Improve your design and drawing skills at the Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton with local illustrator Zack Rezendes on Tuesday afternoon, July 9th. This free three-part series is on July 9, July 16, and July 23. Learn the fundamentals of illustration and take the first steps toward creating your own characters. For kids age 6 and up.
Learn about the amazing world of raptors while seeing them handled up close at the Village Commons in South Hadley on Saturday morning, July 6th! Tom Ricardi, who helped restore the American Bald Eagle to the Northeast, will give this free fascinating presentation and handle the raptors. Live raptor shows are an exciting place to learn about birds of prey and their behavior.
Learn about wild animals from all over the world at the Berkshire Museum’s Animals Up Close event in Pittsfield on Saturday afternoon! The Granite State Zoo is bringing an African serval cat, a Moluccan cockatoo, and Argentine tegu to this presentation that will both teach about these animals and about the importance of conservation around the world.
Explore the Beaver Ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday evening, July 11th in Lenox! Sanctuary volunteer Butch Ptak will lead the expedition, and visitors will learn not only about the habits of beavers, but about the various types of wildlife who congregate at beaver ponds and the long-lasting effect that beaver ponds have upon habitats.
Learn West African and Caribbean hand drum styles with Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center at the summit of Mt. Greylock in Lanesborough on Sunday afternoon, July 7th! This class is appropriate for all ages and will be fun for the whole family. Failies will learn about different cultures while playing exciting instruments and percussion styles.
Paulette Morin will teach children all about fossils and dinosaurs at the Sunderland Public Library on Monday evening, July 8th. Her free multimedia presentation focuses on many aspects of prehistory, which she addresses through song, storytelling, and science.
Learn about water and ecology at Science in the Parks with science educator Lisa Provencher on Saturday morning, July 6th in Pittsfield! This a great chance for kids to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) during the summer months. Students will have the opportunity to collect water samples and run pH tests, identify aquatic plants, and look for insects and amphibians. This program also teaches the importance of environmental stewardship and the value of local parks.
Join the Sunderland Public Library and the Boston Museum of Science for “Rockets: There and Back Again” on Wednesday afternoon, July 10th. This free interactive workshop engages kids in physics, science, engineering, and creativity as they learn about rockets and how to build their own. Best for ages 6 and up.
Discover wacky science and carry out fun experiments at the Berkshire Museum’s “WeeMuse: Night of Science!” on Friday evening, July 12th. Through hands-on experiments, families can walk on water, eat liquid nitrogen ice cream, make glowing slime, design a hovercraft, and more. This is a free fun opportunity for kids to explore the science museum at night in Pittsfield and do exciting experiments that keep them engaged in science.
Kids ages 8-12yo who are interested in nature and learning about the outdoors can participate in a free seven-week-long Junior Ranger program at Mt. Greylock in Lanesborough. Participants will learn about ecology, geology, water, climate, plants, and animals to gain a well-rounded understanding of local natural areas. Program runs every Thursday morning from July 11 through August 22.
Explore Clarksburg State Forest on one of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Land, Water, Air” Eye on Nature family walks on Thursday morning. Get outside and spend time with the whole family while learning new things about nature. Pack a picnic to follow your walk and enjoy with your kids.
Families can join the Hatfield Public Library for a Farm and Garden Tour on Tuesday morning, July 9th! Participants can see and touch farm equipment, learn about different types of farming, learn the differences between farming and gardening, and participate in a root veggie taste test.
Find out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.