19 Community Highlights: Sungazing to Raptors. Messy Science to Historical Swords.

Can you guess the bird of prey? While mice and squirrels have seen these upclose, have you? They belong to the red tailed hawk, and while it is common to catch sight of a red tailed hawk circling overhead, how many raptors has your family seen up close? Visit the Sunderland Public Library on Saturday, July 11 at 1pm to meet 6-7 birds of prey, and if conditions allow, you may get to see them take flight as well! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Sungazing to Raptors. Plant Science to Lawn Concerts. Messy Science to Historical Swords. 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:  Explore the rich river habitat that lines the Housatonic River with a knowledgeable guide from the Housatonic Valley Association on Saturday, July 11 from 10am – 12pm. Look for interesting native plants and animals and enjoy the beauty of a walk through nature! This hike along the Old Mill Trail is not strenuous and is suitable for families with young children. Preregistration required. 413-394-9796. Old Dalton Road (off rt 8), Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)


Astronomy Outdoor Adventures/HikingArt StudiesBirds of PreyTheaterCommunity GatheringGarden-Based LearningLawn ConcertsSTEMHistoryEcology


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


Astronomy

ASTRONOMY
Saturday, July 11. 9am-7:30pm — Older students (12 and up) and adults who love to skygaze will find plenty to do, see, and learn at this year’s Connecticut River Valley Astronomers Conjunction! The program includes an “astronomical goodies” swap table, interviews and presentations with expert observers, an opportunity to view the Sun through a solar scope, and an outdoor dinner. Campsites available for participants. Registration required. 413-525-4697. 99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA. ($)

Outdoor Adventures/Hiking

GUIDED HIKE
Saturday, July 11. 10am – 12pm — Explore the rich river habitat that lines the Housatonic River with a knowledgeable guide from the Housatonic Valley Association. Look for interesting native plants and animals and enjoy the beauty of a walk through nature! This hike along the Old Mill Trail is not strenuous and is suitable for families with young children. Preregistration required. 413-394-9796. Old Dalton Road (off rt 8), Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)

Art Studies

CONTEMPORARY ART/SCULPTURE
Saturday, July 11. 11:30am – 1pm — How do structures–both manmade and natural–inform the work of sculptors? This tour of Chesterwood‘s sculpture grounds will teach participants about the specific connections between these pieces of art and our New England landscapes and buildings. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Birds of Prey

ORNITHOLOGY
Saturday, July 11. 1pm —  It is common to catch sight of a red tailed hawk circling overhead, but how many raptors have you seen up close? Visit the Sunderland Public Library today to meet 6-7 birds of prey, and if conditions allow, you may get to see them take flight as well! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Theater

DANCE PERFORMANCE
Saturday, July 11. 3pm — The Paul Taylor Dance Company takes the stage at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center for a fabulous matinee performance with excerpts from Diggity (dancers in the midst of an obstacle course of dog profiles) and Company B (a recollection of the turbulent times of the 1940s). 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. ($)

SHAKESPEARE
Saturday, July 11. 7:30pm; Sunday, July 12. 7:30pm — The outdoor grounds at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies provides an ideal backdrop for Hampshire Shakespeare Company‘s performance of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor! Please arrive early to purchase your ticket and be in your seat by 7:30. In the event of rain, the performance will be moved indoors. 650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. ($)

Community Gathering

OUTDOOR MOVIE
Sunday, July 12. DUSK — You bring the blankets and chairs, Images Cinema provides the movie and concession stand! Now in its ninth year, the Family Flicks Under the Stars film series will run on Sunday evenings throughout July. This week’s film is Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG, 2009). Those wishing to participate in a yoga class beforehand are invited to arrive at 7pm and bring a mat. In case of rain, film will be shown at 8pm at Images Cinema and yoga will be cancelled. 413-458-1039. Morgan Lawn, Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Garden-Based Learning

PLANT SCIENCE
Tuesday, July 14. 3pm – 4pm — When is a craft project an invitation into the amazing world of plant science? When it’s make a grass hair funny face jar day at the Odyssey Bookshop‘s Camp Odyssey Craft Camp. This week, participants will decorate Mason jars and fill them with soil and seeds. A craft project on the surface, this activity will also be a wonderful way to learn about seeds and plants. Children will need to water the grass seeds in order to grow their project’s “hair”, and they can experiment with how light and water affect the grass’ growth over a several-week period! Older children may attend on their own; children as young as 5 are welcome if a caretaker accompanies them. Pre-registration required. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (< $)

Lawn Concerts

UKULELE
Monday, July 13. 7pm – 7:45pm —  The Tilton Library presents outdoor Monday Night Music performances throughout the summer months, featuring local musicians! This week, the Well Tempered Ukes will delight you with their renditions of parlor and art songs. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

CHILDREN ‘S CONCERT
Tuesday, July 14. 10am — Every Tuesday morning through the summer, Look Park features children’s shows in the beautiful Pines Theater (or the Garden House Tent in case of rain). Today, Rick Goldin will entertain audiences with interactive songs! 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA. (< $)

FUNK & JAM
Tuesday, July 14. 6pm — Whether you bring your own picnic dinner or plan to partake of the tasty BBQ offerings on site, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to spend an evening on the grounds of the Clark Art Institute, dining and being entertained by some fine live music! This week features Grammy-nominated funk and jam band, Primate Fiasco. 413-458-0471. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

OUTDOOR CONCERT
Thursday, July 16. 5:30pm – 8pm — Grab a blanket and some friends and head to a concert at Kendrick Park, sponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District! Tonight’s performance will feature Carinae & Shokazoba. 413-345-2945. downtown Amherst, MA. FREE

HILLTOWN CONCERT
Thursday, July 16. 6pm — Every Thursday through the summer, the Angel Park Quiet Reflections Garden will host concerts for all to enjoy on its peaceful grounds. A wide array of talented local musicians will be featured. 413-575-9707. 23 Main Street, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

GREENFIELD ENERGY PARK
Thursday, July 16, 6pm-8pm – Coop Concerts Summer Concert Series takes place weekly at Greenfield Energy Park. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic dinner with family and friends while listening to exciting live music. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

GIRL HOWDY
Thursday, July 16. 6:30pm – 8pm — Take your family, a friend, or a neighbor to a concert at the gazebo on South Hadley‘s town common this summer and enjoy a variety of music from local artists. Tonight’s performance features Girl Howdy. Rain date 7/19. 413-538-5017. Route 47 & Route 116, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

AMHERST COMMUNITY BAND
Friday, August 14. 6pm – 7:30pm —  Grab a blanket and some friends and head to an Amherst Community Band concert at Sweetser Park, sponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District! 413-345-2945. Lessee Street, Amherst, MA. FREE

STEAM

MESSY SCIENCE
Wednesday, July 15. 6pm — Children ages 3-6 are invited to the Spear Memorial Library for Steamrollin’ Summer fun, a hands-on science/technology/engineering/art/math (STEAM) program. Children should be accompanied by a caregiver and wear clothes that can get messy. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

History

HISTORICAL SWORDS
Thursday, July 16. 10:30am — Swordplay often captures children’s imagination when they encounter it in books and on screen. The “Historical Swords” program at the West Springfield Public Library offers kids ages 7 and up to witness expert demonstrations of various swords and information about the history of swordplay! 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Ecology

GARDENING-BASED LEARNING/ENTOMOLOGY
Friday, July 17. 10am-12pm —  Pollinators are essential to our ecosystems and food supply, yet many face challenges due to climate change and human activities. Learn how to create a pollinator garden of shrubs, trees, perennials, and grasses, with an emphasis on native plants, in the Gardening for Pollinators workshop offered by Project Native through Berkshire Community College. Bring a hat, sunscreen, gloves, water bottle, and closed-toe shoes. Rain or shine! Registration requested. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA. ($$)

[Photo credit: (cc) Margie Savage]


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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