36 Community Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies.

Tending to a family garden not only provides food for your family and adds beauty to your surroundings, but the process of growing and caring for plants brings with it ample opportunity to learn about everything from edible plants to soil science! Here in western Massachusetts, gardening season is just kicking into full swing – meaning it’s time to start planning and planting your family garden!

Wildflower Walks to Plant Sales. Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies… These are just a few of the community-based 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!

Featured community highlight this week: Is your child interested in learning about birds? The Hampshire Bird Club and the Broad Brook Coalition are holding a children’s birding event at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. In honor of International Migratory Bird Day, kids can come learn about birding and bird identification. Kids can learn how to use binoculars and can view photographs of common birds and those seen on the walk to help with identification and understanding. This bird walk is an excellent way to get kids of all ages interested in studying birds and spending time outdoors. Call group leader Bruce Hart at 413-584-4176 for more information. Cooke Avenue. Northampton, MA.

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!


OrnithologyFilmsMother’s Day HighlightsCollaborative ConsumptionService-Based LearningPlant SalesPreschool HighlightsAstronomyPlant & Nature StudiesHistorySTEMParent WorkshopsArt Walk


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Ornithology

Saturday, May 9, 7am-8:30am – EARLY BIRDING: Older students and adults can join Mass Audubon at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for Early-Morning Birding. Birders of all levels will look for migrating species and learn how to identify them. Pre-registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Saturday, May 9, 9am-11am –  INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY: Is your child interested in learning about birds? The Hampshire Bird Club and the Broad Brook Coalition are holding a children’s birding event at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. In honor of International Migratory Bird Day, kids can come learn about birding and bird identification. Kids can learn how to use binoculars and can view photographs of common birds and those seen on the walk to help with identification and understanding. This bird walk is an excellent way to get kids of all ages interested in studying birds and spending time outdoors. Call group leader Bruce Hart at 413-584-4176 for more information. Cooke Avenue. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, May 9, 9:30am – BIRD WALK: Join the Naturalist’s Club and Bill Fontaine for a bird walk at the new Fort River Birding and Nature Trail. Explore the new trail and search for unique and endangered bird species. Best for self-directed teens and adults. Call to register. Meet at the Friendly’s parking lot in South Hadley. 413-533-2153. Newton Street. South Hadley, MA.

Films

Saturday, May 9, 10am – Howl’s Moving Castle: Families can spend a Saturday morning at the movies at Amherst Cinema‘s screening of Howl’s Moving Castle (2004; rated PG). Kids and adults alike will love seeing this animated film on the big screen. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, May 9, 11am – The Last Unicorn: The Last Unicorn (1982; rated G) is a classic animated film about a unicorn who discovers she is the only one left and goes on a journey to find out what happened to the rest of her species. This adventurous fantasy story has entertained audiences of all ages for years, and kids today will love seeing the movie on the big screen at Images Cinema. The film will be introduced by its screenwriter, Peter S. Beagle, at the screening, and those interested in film studies can learn a bit about the movie and Beagle’s screenwriting process. Tickets are available in advance. Call Images Cinema for more information at 413-458-5612. Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring Street in Williamstown, MA. ($)

Mother’s Day Highlights

Sunday, May 10, 9:30am-4:30pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY: Spend Mother’s Day at Historic Deerfield, where moms and grandmas get free admission for the day! Learn about life in historic New England, enjoy fun activities, and walk the beautiful grounds. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (>$)

Sunday, May 10, 9:30am-5pm – COLONIAL HISTORY: Celebrate Mother’s Day and learn about colonial New England at Old Sturbridge Village on May 10! Families can spend time together learning about historic New England trades, families, chores, games, and activities, and can do a craft and see a performance. There will also be a moms vs. kids tug of war! Moms get in free on this special day. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (>$)

Sunday, May 10, 10am-5pm – ZOO: Take a special trip to Lupa Zoo this Mother’s Day! Moms get in free, so visit the zoo and check out all their cool animals. 413-589-9883. 62 Nash Hill Road. Ludlow, MA. ($)

Sunday, May 10, 12noon-4pm – MERRY-GO-ROUND: Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round! Moms and grandmas ride free with a paying ticket. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)

Sunday, May 10, 2pm-3:30pm – MOTHER’S DAY TEA: Celebrate Mother’s Day at a special Mother’s Day Tea at the Wistariahurst Museum. Enjoy tea and sweet treats in a lovely setting. Make reservations ASAP. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Collaborative Consumption

Saturday, May 9, 8am-12noon – COMMUNITY SALE: The South Hadley Family Center is holding their 8th Annual Family 2 Family Sale at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. The sale features clothing, toys, gear, and supplies for kids and babies of all ages. This is a great place to purchase new-to-you items, and proceeds benefit the Family Center. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$/SALE)

Service-Based Learning

Saturday, May 9, 9am-12noon – CLEAN UP: Help The Trustees of Reservations get Naumkeag ready for spring! All ages and abilities can attend “The Big Clean” and help out with projects like cleaning, mulching, gardening, and more. This is a great opportunity for all ages to learn the value of volunteer work and to get a behind-the-scenes look at this Trustees property. Lunch provided. Please register in advance. 413-298-3239 x3020. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 9, 9am-12noon – INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: Help with invasive species removal at Graves Farm on May 9. Focus will be on cutting bittersweet vines. Best for older teens and adults who are comfortable with a quick steep hike and using tools. Learn about local invasive species, how to identify them and how to remove them properly. Call for more info. 413-584-3009 x5811. Adams Road. Williamsburg, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 9, 1pm-3pm – CLEAN UP: Join The Trustees of Reservations in getting Peaked Mountain ready for spring! Come help out with invasive species control, waterbar maintenance, and cabin repairs. This is a great way to get older students interested in community service and outdoor volunteer work. Call for more info. 413-532-1631 x21. 138 Butler Road. Monson, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Plant Sales

Tending to a family garden not only provides food for your family and adds beauty to your surroundings, but the process of growing and caring for plants brings with it ample opportunity to learn about everything from edible plants to soil science! Here in western Massachusetts, gardening season is just kicking into full swing – meaning it’s time to start planning and planting your family garden!

Saturday, May 9, 9am-1pm – PLANT SALE: The 19th Annual Plant and Garden Market to raise money to purchase books for Northampton public schools takes place May 9 on the lawn of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. There will be tons of plants and garden accessories to choose from. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, May 9, 9am-5pm – PLANT SALE: The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 38th Annual Plant Sale takes place May 8 and 9. Come find amazing plants for your home or garden and learn about different plant families at this fun event. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (SALE)

Preschool Highlights

Saturday, May 9, 10:30am – PUPPETRY: The Belding Memorial Library presents a puppet performance of “Fairies of the Seasons” by Talking Hands Theater on May 9. This enchanting puppet performance features handmade puppets, hand-felted animals, movement, song, and more. Best for ages 2-7. 413-628-4414. 344 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 11, 9:30am-11:30am – MUSIC/MOVEMENT: Maggie Shar is offering a series of Music and Movement programs at the South Hadley Family Center during their regular playgroup hours on May 5, 11, and 19. This fun music and movement program would be best for ages 5 and under and their families. Call or email shfckids@yahoo.com to pre-register. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 12, 10:30am-12noon – NATURE STUDIES: The Housatonic Valley Association and the Becket Athenaeum are offering a preschool program, “River Wise,” at the library. Preschool-aged kids can come learn about baby creatures that live in the watershed. 413-394-9796. 3367 Main Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 13, 10:30am – FITNESS/MOVEMENT: Young kids ages 1-3 with a parent/caregiver can attend My Gym Fitness Center Demo at the East Longmeadow Public Library. There will be songs, dancing, and other physical activities. 413-525-5400 x1511. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 13, 10:30am-11:15am – LITERACY: You and your child can work together to develop pre-reading skills at the Lee Library’s “Every Child Ready to Read” workshop. The workshop is for kids birth-age through five years and runs every Wednesday from May 13 through June 10 (five meetings). The workshop includes a literacy workshop, storytime, and playgroup. This is a great chance to introduce your young child to the world of reading! Registration is required and you must register for the full five-week session. 413-464-5095. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Astronomy

Saturday, May 9, DUSK – STARGAZING: Want to learn about astronomy first-hand? Join the Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center for an evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview! Please call to pre-register. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

Plant & Nature Studies

Saturday, May 9, 10am-12noon – SPRING WILDFLOWERS: Families (with ages 5 and up) can discover the fascinating world of spring wildflowers with Mass Audubon at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary on May 9. Explore the sanctuary’s woodlands and learn about wildflowers, how to identify them, and where to find them. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (>$)

Saturday, May 9, 10am-12:30pm – WILDFLOWERS & VERNAL POOLS: Learn about wildflowers and vernal pools with The Trustees of Reservations at Little Tom Mountain. Hike the Knox Trail to the Woodland Trail in search of spring ephemerals with naturalist Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center. Pre-registration is required. 413-532-1631 x10. Mountain Park Road. Holyoke, MA. (>$)

Sunday, May 10, 10am-11:30am – BOTANY HIKE: Learn about plants and wildflowers on a botany walk at the Hopkins Memorial Forest on May 10 with Williams College Biology Professor Hank Art. This is a great time of year to look for spring ephemerals and students will enjoy learning about plants on this walk. Bulkley Street & Northwest Hill Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 10, 10am-12noon – WILDFLOWER WALK: Celebrate Mother’s Day with a guided wildflower walk at Bartholomew’s Cobble with The Trustees of Reservations. All ages can stroll around the grounds looking for wild columbine and other native wildflowers. Families can even learn about how to grow these flowers at home to attract butterflies and other creatures! Please register in advance. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

History

Saturday, May 9, 10:30am-12noon – SPRINGFIELD HISTORY: Join the Springfield Museums for a Second Saturday Walking Tour with Benjamin Murphy in the Lower Maple Street area. This is a great chance to learn about local history and culture! 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

Saturday, May 9, 1pm – ARCHITECTURE: Learn about the history and architecture of the Springfield Armory‘s buildings with Armory Historian Richard Colton on May 9. Learn about the historic buildings and why the work done in them was essential to making weapons, including storage, research, development, and assembly. Best for older students. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

STEM

Saturday, May 9, 10am – YOUNG SCIENTISTS: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a parent-child workshop at the Ware Family Center on May 9. “Young Scientists” is a program for parents/caregivers and their children (birth-kindergarten) that focuses on encouraging and building on your child’s natural inquisitiveness and includes fun science activities for caregivers and children to do together. Pre-registration required. 413-586-4900 x5568. 49 Church Street. Ware, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 9, 11am-12noon – LEGOS: Preschool-aged children can have fun with LEGOs and Duplos at the Erving Public Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! Call to register. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 13, 3pm – STEAM: Preschool-aged children can learn about animals at Shutesbury Town Hall as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! Call to register. 413-259-1213. 1 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Parent Workshops

Saturday, May 9, 2pm – WILLS & TRUSTS: Adults can attend a workshop on the basics of wills and trusts with attorney Richard Evans at the Sunderland Public Library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 12, 3:30pm-5pm – STEM: Parents/caregivers of young children can join the Family Resource Center for a Playing, Learning, and Growing workshop about science, technology, engineering, and math. Learn about how and why STEM is important during the preschool years and how to facilitate STEM learning at home. Call to register. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 13, 10am – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP: Parents/caregivers and their children (ages 5 and under) can attend an Ages and Stages event at the Family Resource Center. Children can explore play stations will parents fill out a questionnaire. This event is a great way to learn about your child’s developmental progress. Call to sign up. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 14, 9am-10:30am – PARENT CAFE: The Hampshire Regional CFCE is offering a Parent Cafe at Westhampton Elementary School. Parents can attend this free cafe to meet and talk with other parents. Childcare provided. Call to register. 413-570-3061. 37 Kings Highway. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Art Walk

Saturday, May 9, 5pm-8pm – EASTHAMPTON ARTWALK: Explore Easthampton’s local art scene at this month’s Art Walk. This is a fun evening out that lets you see work by talented local artists and experience some of the great art-related opportunities Easthampton has to offer! There will also be tons of great activities around town. More information can be found on the Art Walk Easthampton website. 413-527-8278. Downtown. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Buckland, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Hadley, Longmeadow, Montgomery, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Sunderland, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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