Suggested Events for July 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Community engagement and socialization are so important for youth to gain experiences that will enrich their souls. Hilltown Families is an essential tool for our family, as we are able to get the highlights and happenings in the valley. Without it, we’d have a whole lot more research to do that would take time out of our schedule giving us less opportunity to enjoy some of the fantastic activities we’ve learned about with Hilltown Families.” – Tara Palmer Finn (Springfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

70 summer camps & programs in and around western MA to choose from this year!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens!

Bulletin Board

Jul 4 – Aug 7

The 25th Annual Ko Festival of Performance, July 4-August 7. KoFest is celebrating 25 Years of Summer Theater in Amherst with five weeks of original & compelling theatre for teens and adults, including a Gala Cabaret and a KoFest Story Slam & Party. Plus a one-time family event, The Little Farm Show, a musical extravaganza about farming, food, and the environment, on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn. Also 3 intensive workshop weeks for adults: “Dynamic Space/Poetic Object: Scenic Design, “First Person: Crafting Your Story for Performance” and “Solo Performance.” All on the Amherst College campus. Tickets $8-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. For info, visit kofest.com The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!

Jul 5 – Aug 12

Great family entertainment, live animal demos, and fun art and science activities every weekday. It’s the Summer Spectacular Family Series at the Springfield Museums, July 5th through August 12th. Enjoy puppet shows every Friday by the Tanglewood Marionettes, performances by The Yo-Yo People and Mr. Vinny the Bubbly Guy, plus planetarium shows and special exhibits like The Scoop on Poop. Fight Summer Slide at the Springfield Museums! For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Preschool Openings at The Common School in Amherst. What is the best way to insure a quality education for your child? Invest in it early. The Common School provides the foundation for life-long learning by emphasizing how to learn. Experiential activities, a strong social curriculum, environmental awareness and imagination are hallmarks of our pre-school program- paving the way for strong academic success. Openings for 3-5 year olds for Fall 2016. Call for a tour 413-256-8989 and visit their website www.commonschool.org.

Jul 5

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 5th at 3pm: Cupcake Decorating. Get creative and enjoy a tasty treat! The Odyssey returns with their most popular event of the summer! Frost and decorate your cupcake in your favorite color or in a rainbow explosion! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 8-10 & 15-16

PaintBox Theatre kicks off the summer with Linda Tardif as Raggedy Ann, the living doll. Eight stories folded into one big production? Why not? But if Linda is Ann, who will play the dozens of additional characters? No problem: Myka Plunkett and Connor Paradis can do it all! With costume changes galore, we are certainly in for a wild time. They may even draft members of the audience to help. Performances are Fri. July 8, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 9 and 10, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 15, 7:00 pm, Sat. July 16, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Season Tickets: $24. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 2-8, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets
Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, July 2, 2016

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. Gregory Hollow Tree, singer and guitar player with The Hollow Trees, delivers a The History of Folk Music for Families episode. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from over 9 years!

Saturday, July 2, 9am-5pm
MINDFULNESS
The benefits of yoga and meditation practice are very compelling. Regular practice can give you a greater sense of calm, awareness of the present moment, and help you focus on the things that truly matter to you. But as a beginner, where do you start? As an intermediate meditator, how can you enrich your practice? This full day open house at the Shang Shung Institute will provide guided mindfulness meditation practice, as well as yoga and dance techniques. Whether you are a beginner or looking to learn, this crash course will set you on a path for further learning and practice. To Register, email secretary@shangshung.org or call 413-369-4928. 18 Schoolhouse Road. Conway, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 2, 9:30am-4:30pm
CULINARY ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Learn about New England history in a participatory way, and gain practical skills for your own life, through open hearth cooking demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. Saturdays in July, as well as July 3rd and 4th, experts will demonstrate how to make cooling beverages and foods, such as pickles, jam, and lemonade, through techniques used in early New England. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (Adults $. Ages 6-17 <$. 6 and under, Deerfield residents, and museum members FREE)

Saturday, July 2, 10am-12pm
ECOLOGY/ANIMAL STUDIES
You and your children are invited to learn about reptiles by through observation and hands-on interaction. A naturalist guide will lead you through the forest and fields of Bartholomew’s Cobble in search of snakes, frogs, and salamanders. Guides will have species on hand for children to hold and admire if they so choose. For more information call the Trustees of Reservations at 413.298.3239 x 3013.. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, July 2, 10am-4pm
HISTORY/TRANSPORTATION
The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum offers train rides at 10:00, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:00 on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. See the Berkshires and experience a vintage 1955 Rail Diesel Car. An interest in trains can be a launching point for learning about engineering as well as history. 413-637-2210. 98 Crowley Avenue. North Adams MA. ($. Under 12 <$. Under four FREE)

Saturday, July 2, 10am-5pm
WRITING/STORYTELLING
Writing is an activity which can help kids and adults in many areas of life including academics, careers, and even relationships. Writing fiction requires a highly empathetic process of deciding what characters feel, and how those feelings lead to actions. The Berkshire Athenaeum is encouraging children and young adults to foster their creative and expressive abilities through a short story writing contest this summer. Participants in the contest have until July 18 to submit their short stories to the Berkshire Athenaeum Children’s Library. In addition to the possibility of prizes, participants are competing for the chance to have their story bound and added to the collection of the Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA

Saturday, July 2, 10am-2pm
FARMERS’ MARKET
Farmers’ markets offer a consistent, simple way for local farmers and food producers to connect with the community, sharing skills and knowledge on growing and preparing food. These markets provide locally grown items, teaching buyers about their habitat through seasonal variation in what is available. This Easthampton farmers’ and makers’ market will also offer locally made items, bringing artists and crafters into the mix. See what you can find, every Saturday from 10am-2pm through September 24th. For more information, visit the Easthampton Farmers’ and Makers’ Market website. 50 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, July 2, 10:30am-11:45am
YOGA
The potential benefits of yoga, including pain relief, relaxation, strength, and flexibility, attract people from many walks of life. This yoga class, running on Saturdays through August 20th, will have the added benefit of supporting placemaking and local history learning. Classes will take place in the garden at the Emily Dickinson Museum, offering an opportunity to spend extended time in the garden during your yoga practice. Visit the museum website for more information including a full price breakdown. In the event of inclement weather, class will be cancelled. Cancellations will be posted on the EDM Facebook page by 9AM on the day of class. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (Drop in class $)

Saturday, July 2, 1pm
INTERGENERATIONAL PARADE/PLACEMAKING
Marches and parades can be a form of celebration, as well as a means of demonstrating for change, or both! The first ever “Interdependence Day” parade will serve as a celebration of the world we all love, as well as a call to action against gas leaks and other environmental threats. The parade will come from four directions and also feature The Expandable Brass Band, puppets, and children’s theater. Everyone is invited to march in the parade. Arrive at noon if interested in participating, and call 413-268-3588 for information on where to meet. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 2, 1pm-5pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell is widely known as a quintessential American artist, whose work depicted aspects of everyday American life from the 1920s through the 1960s. This fourth of July weekend, come to the Norman Rockwell Museum to celebrate Independence Day with an all ages, baseball themed day at the museum. Celebrate this national holiday and beloved pastime with hands-on art making, presentations, and musical performances by a barbershop quartet! 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, July 2, 2:30 and 3:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/IRISH & SCOTTISH MUSIC
The taking of tea was a common and important social ritual for Americans in the 18th century. You can celebrate local customs and culture of the past and present at one of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum’s “Perfect Spot of Tea” programs. These events, featuring live music and locally sourced pastries, will be held each Saturday from July 2nd through August 27 with seatings at 2:30pm and 3:30pm on the museum’s back veranda.Tours will be given for an additional fee. The first event will feature Irish and Scottish music performed by The Pikeys. 413-584-4699 .130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

Saturday, July 2, 4pm-5pm
CEMETERY STUDIES/LOCAL HISTORY
Today, when people think of libraries they typically envision a free and open institution. But many libraries had their origins as private lending systems with paying members. The Stockbridge Library was once one such institution more than two hundred years ago. You can learn more about the history of the library through the lens of stonework and natural history on this cemetery walk. This is the second in a series of five cemetery walks to take place monthly between June and October 2016. For more information, call 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday July 2, 4pm-10:30pm
FIREWORKS
Greenfield Recreation hosts their annual fireworks celebration at Beacon Field. Rain date: July 3rd. Check the Greenfield Recreation website for music lineup. 101 Sanderson Street. Greenfield MA (FREE)

Saturday, July 2, 7:30pm
OUTDOOR THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents a summer show under the stars with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production will transform the natural environment of our outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance and music. The audience will be guided on a tour from the Gated Community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead their sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Tickets are available online and also at Broadside Books in Northampton and at Amherst Books in Amherst. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 2, 8pm-10pm
NATURE STUDIES/ORNITHOLOGY
While most bird watches take place early in the morning, you have to wait until after dark if you want to observe owls. The vast majority of owl species are nocturnal. Come to Notchview for a guided nature hike. Participants will learn about all the sights, sounds, and traces of local owls. For more information call the Trustees at 413.532.1631 x 3110. 83 Old Route 9. Windsor, MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 2, 9pm
FIREWORKS
This year’s “Fireworks for Freedom” celebration will take place at the South Middle School. For more information, call the Mayor’s office at 413-572-6201. 30 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. 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 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, July 3, 9am-11am
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/CANOEING
Learn about local species such as bald eagles as you take in the beauty of the Housatonic River. This guided canoe trip at Bartholomew’s Cobble will provide spectacular views of agricultural fields and floodplain forests. Your guide will tell you about the river’s history and current work to sustain and restore the habitat. Paddles, life preservers, and boats are provided. Trustees of Reservations. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, July 3, 9:30am-4:30pm
CULINARY ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Learn about New England history in a participatory way, and gain practical skills for your own life, through open hearth cooking demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. Experts will demonstrate how to make cooling beverages and foods, such as pickles, jam, and lemonade, through techniques used in early New England. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (Adults $. Ages 6-17 <$. 6 and under, Deerfield residents, and museum members FREE)

Sunday, July 3, 10am-4pm
HISTORY/TRANSPORTATION
The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum offers train rides at 10:00, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:00 on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. See the Berkshires and experience a vintage 1955 Rail Diesel Car. An interest in trains can be a launching point for learning about engineering as well as history. 413-637-2210. 98 Crowley Avenue. North Adams MA. ($. Under 12 <$. Under four FREE)

Sunday, July 3, 2pm
JEWISH HISTORY/FILM STUDIES
Learning about life in Nazi concentration camps is essential to an understanding of Jewish history, and the human condition.The 2015 documentary, Defiant Requiem, tells the story of Rafael Schächter, a conductor who led his fellow inmates to fight back through art. He led a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, re-imagined as a condemnation of the Nazis. This important and inspiring film will be shown at the Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 3, 7:30pm
OUTDOOR THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents a summer show under the stars with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production will transform the natural environment of our outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance and music. The audience will be guided on a tour from the Gated Community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead their sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Tickets are available online and also at Broadside Books in Northampton and at Amherst Books in Amherst. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Sunday, July 3, 8pm
INDEPENDENCE DAY/CONCERT
There are many ways to celebrate Independence Day. Parades, fireworks, and cookouts are popular celebrations. Another way to honor American history is through music. This concert at Barrington Stage Company will feature Americana and folk music played by David Lutken and the Seat of the Pants Band. With banjo, harmonica, fiddle and more, this group will have you up and moving. To purchase tickets, call 413 236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday July 3, 10pm
FIREWORKS
East Longmeadow’s fireworks celebration will take place at East Longmeadow High School. 180 Maple Street. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday July 4,
CONTEMPORARY ART
Visual artists often want their art to provoke questions in the viewer. The space in which art is displayed can impact how it is viewed, and the sort of questions it poses. Robert Schechter’s new exhibit, “Art is Where You Are,” will be displayed on three billboards on Route 7 between Lee and North Adams. Go for a drive to a new or familiar town and see how this artist’s work impacts your experience of the scenery. The artwork will be up from July 4th through August 2016. Billboards will be displayed at Housatonic Street at the Mass Pike in Lee; at 1020 South Street on Route 7 between Lenox and Pittsfield, and State Road at Versailles between North Adams and Williamstown. Lee and North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 8:15am
MINDFULNESS/MEDITATION
Meditating first thing in the morning can help you get focused and set your intentions for the day ahead. This meditation session at the Clark Art Institute may enrich your appreciation and understanding of the exhibition on view, Sensing Place: Reflecting on Stone Hill. Meet at the entrance of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill on the Clark’s campus and hike to the meadow on Stone Hill. Bring a mat if possible. In the event of rain, the meditation will be held on the Spencer Terrace at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE meditation session. Admission: $. Under 18, museum members, and students with ID FREE)

Monday, July 4, 9:30am-4:30pm
CULINARY ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Learn about New England history in a participatory way, and gain practical skills for your own life, through open hearth cooking demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. Experts will demonstrate how to make cooling beverages and foods, such as pickles, jam, and lemonade, through techniques used in early New England. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (Adults $. Ages 6-17 <$. 6 and under, Deerfield residents, and museum members FREE)

Monday, July 4, 10am
HISTORY/READING
A communal reading of the fiery July 5, 1852, speech in which Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Reading of “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” on the West lawn of Shaw Memorial Library. 312 Main St. Plainfield, MA (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 10am
PARADE
As part of the Summerfest 2016 Independence Day celebrations, a parade will take place on Main Street in Monson. The parade route begins at Hillside Cemetery and ends near Cushman Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Monday July 4, 10am
PARADE
The Pittsfield 4th of July Parade. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 10am
PARADE
East Longmeadow’s parade will start at the high school at 180 Maple Street, moving through the center onto North Main Street, and finishing at Hanward Hill at the middle school. 413-348-0953. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 10am-4pm
HISTORY/TRANSPORTATION
The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum will be offering train rides at 10:00, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:00 on Independence Day. See the Berkshires and experience a vintage 1955 Rail Diesel Car. An interest in trains can be a launching point for learning about engineering as well as history. 413-637-2210. 98 Crowley Avenue. North Adams MA. ($. Under 12 <$. Under four FREE)

Monday, July 4, 10am-4pm
THEATER DESIGN
The 25th Annual Ko Festival of Performance kicks off on July 4th 2016 with a workshop on theater design and installation. This workshop will run from 10am-4pm on July 4th-8th at Amherst College. Workshop leader Nic Ularu will discuss both traditional and non-traditional spaces and materials for theater. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate as they learn. Those who cannot attend the workshop are invited to instead come to the numerous Ko Festival performances through August 7th 2016. Check the website for full schedule. 413-427-6147. Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Monday July 4, 10:30am
PARADE
The Chesterfield Fourth of July Parade will begin on the corner of South and Bryant Streets and travel north on South Street Chesterfield, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, July 4, 11am-12pm
IMMIGRATION STUDIES
Celebrate Independence Day by welcoming some of our newest citizens as they take their oath of allegiance and register to vote! See your country from diverse arrays of perspectives at the Center for New Americans. Families can use this event as a chance to discuss reasons people might want or need to immigrate to America. Learn together about the benefits of obtaining citizenship, and discuss the role that those things play within your own lives in the United States. 413-587-0084. 42 Gothic Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 11:30am-1pm
PARADE
The Williamstown parade begins on Spring Street. The parade will be followed by a barbeque in the parking lot behind Spring Street. 413-458-9077. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 5pm
FIREWORKS
The Amherst Leisure Services & Supplemental Education is hosting a Fourth of July celebration at UMass Amherst with fireworks, food, hot air balloon rides, entertainment, and more! Fireworks start at 9:30pm. 413-259-3065. Stadium Drive. Amherst, MA. (> < $ FOR PARKING) [Rain Date: July 5]

Monday, July 4, 7pm
INDEPENDENCE DAY/CONCERT
There are many ways to celebrate Independence Day. Parades, fireworks, and cookouts are popular celebrations. Another way to honor American history is through music. This concert at Barrington Stage Company will feature Americana and folk music played by David Lutken and the Seat of the Pants Band. With banjo, harmonica, fiddle and more, this group will have you up and moving. To purchase tickets, call 413 236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Monday, July 4, 7pm-10pm
FIREWORKS
Star Spangled Springfield will take place in Riverfront Park. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 4, 9:30pm-10pm
FIREWORKS
North Adams will hold a fireworks display in Joe Wolfe Field. 310 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ongoing Summer Storyhour & Playgroups

Tuesday, July 5, 10am-11am
LOCAL HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY
In 1916, sisters Adeline and Augusta Van Buren were the first women to cross the continental United States, each on her own Indian Powerplus motorcycle built in Springfield Massachusetts. The Springfield Museums will host events tied to the launch of the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle ride, a commemorative cross-country trip to honor the epic journey these sisters made 100 years ago this summer. You are invited to hear opening remarks at the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. Opening ceremony attendance is free with museum admission. Make sure you also check out the accompanying exhibit, “Crossing the Country to Cross Barriers: The Van Buren Sisters Ride into History,” on view from June 28, 2016–July 30, 2017. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. 2 and under FREE )

Tuesday, July 5, 10:15am-3pm
STEM/ENGINEERING
Rube Goldberg machines, named after an American inventor and cartoonist, are machines designed deliberately to make a simple task more complex. Goldberg’s cartoons depicted these humorous contraptions. Today, Rube Goldberg machine competitions are a fun way for people to learn about engineering through hands-on, creative projects. You can build your own Rube Goldberg machine, and learn about chain reactions, at the Springfield Museums. This family-oriented program is free with museum admission and will take place every Tuesday through August 9th. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Tuesday, July 5, 11am
FITNESS
It’s time to sign up for summer reading programs! The Hatfield Public Library’s all ages summer reading program will also feature events to support both literacy and fitness all summer long. Come to this morning full of outdoor-relay style games and sign the whole family up for summer reading! All ages are welcome. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 5, 3pm-4pm
CRAFTS/FOOD
Cupcakes are a great treat for getting kids involved in baking projects. Even young children can enjoy decorating their own cupcake with their favorite colors! Come to the Odyssey Bookshop for cupcake decorating! Ages five and up and their caregivers. Registration is required for this popular program. Call at least two days in advance to register. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (<$ supply fee per child)

Tuesday, July 5, 6pm
GENEALOGY
The history of your ancestors, including where they lived, their occupations, and other aspects of their life stories, can provide insight into your own life. Genealogy research is an engaging way to think about history, allowing you to consider national and worldwide historical events from a personal perspective. In this workshop at the Greenfield Public Library, participants will be guided through various resources for ancestral research. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 5, 6pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Intergenerational, outdoor concerts are one of the best things about summer! Bring a blanket and picnic or chairs to the Clark Art Institute as they kick off their outdoor summer concert series with Annie and the Hedonists. This band blends jazz, folk, swing, and other American genres in a celebration of the great female blues artists of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s, supporting an interest in music studies, including music history. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 5, 7pm
PUBLIC HEALTH
Summer is a time for swimming, biking, hiking, and playing of all kinds! Unfortunately, it is also a time of allergies, ticks, and mosquito borne illnesses. This presentation at the Agawam Public Library will help you have a safe and healthy summer outdoors. Medical Librarian Margot Malachowski will discuss seasonal allergies, Lyme disease, skin cancer and mosquito-bourne illnesses such as EEE and the Zika virus. She will also teach participants some basic skills for researching their own medical questions. Learn how and where to find accurate health information. 413-789-1550. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 5, 7pm
WORLD PREMIERE/CONTEMPORARY THEATER
Winner of the prestigious 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Best Play, American Son examines our nation’s racial divide as seen through the eyes of an estranged biracial couple. Over the course of a tense night, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their missing 18-year-old son. This new work is a timely and important play on race in present-day America. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Tuesday, July 5, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an enthusiasm for mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the night sky. Observing the stars can be an act of scientific or spiritual curiosity, or both. Once again, the Old Hopkins Observatory at Williams College is opening for the summer and offering free shows for the public. The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-1838 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Shows will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 p.m.: June 28, 30; July 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28; and August 2 and 4. Reservations are recommended. Call 597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ongoing Summer Storyhour & Playgroups

Wednesday, July 6, 10am-11am
YOGA
Adults of any experience level are invited to try yoga at the Emily Williston Memorial Library. Experiment with this relaxing exercise in a laid back and supportive environment. Yoga can be coupled with mindfulness meditation or used as a cool down for other physical activities. Stretching regularly can relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 6, 1pm-2:30pm
GAMES
Games are a fun way to engage your mind strategically while socializing. This youth games group at the Community Action Family Center will bring together young people of all ability levels to play all kinds of games! The group will play games such as new games like Minecraft, as well as more classic, screen-free games like Chess, and LEGOs. The group runs every Wednesday through August 22nd. Ages eight through thirteen. Attendees must come with a caregiver or adult sibling. Registration is required but open. Call 413-475-1555. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 6, 2pm
ART STUDIES/LITERACY
Poet and children’s fiction writer Kwame Alexander won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 2015 for his verse novel, The Crossover. Kwame’s writing has brought poetry to new audiences, using the poetic form to tell stories which are relatable for many kids and teens. He will be reading from his 2016 picture book, Surf’s Up, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.This program is free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, July 6, 2pm and 7pm
WORLD PREMIERE/CONTEMPORARY THEATER:
Winner of the prestigious 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Best Play, American Son examines our nation’s racial divide as seen through the eyes of an estranged biracial couple. Over the course of a tense night, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their missing 18-year old son. This new work is a timely and important play on race in present-day America. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Wednesday, July 6, 6pm
METALWORK/ART STUDIES
For artists, an interest in sculpting for artistic projects can lead to further learning about the materials involved. Moody-Bourbeau learned how to weld as a teenager on her family’s farm, and has applied her knowledge and metalworking skills as a metal sculptor. She will be discussing her work at the Greenfield Public Library. Come with questions if you have them! 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 6, 6:30pm
FILM STUDIES
Hollywood musicals in the era from 1932 to 1953, such as the 1948 film Summer Holiday, spawned many iterations and adaptations for theater and film. The “Summer Stock” film series at the Forbes Library will focus on the original films made during this time. On July 6th, a screening of Summer Holiday will give viewers the opportunity to think about, and possibly discuss, the role of movie directors at this time in film history. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 6, 6:30pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Music is something which people of all ages can enjoy together, whether they simply like to listen, or want to sing, dance, and participate. Singer/songwriter Bobby Sweet has been playing music since he was seven. Come hear Laura Tupper and Bobby Sweet play folk/pop harmonies in Lilac Park. In case of rain, concerts will be moved indoors to the Town Hall. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 6, 7:30pm
OUTDOOR THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents a summer show under the stars with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production will transform the natural environment of our outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance and music. The audience will be guided on a tour from the Gated Community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead their sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Tickets are available online and also at Broadside Books in Northampton and at Amherst Books in Amherst. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, July 6, 8pm
WORLD PREMIER/CONTEMPORARY DRAMA
Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel Jane Eyre is given a contemporary twist in this sweeping drama that tells the story of Jane’s journey from Victorian hardship to independence and happiness. Weaving a tale of survival, romance, and dark secrets, My Jane gives audiences a moving look at how deeply a book can affect readers two centuries later. Audience Talkbacks will follow the Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow the Friday 2pm shows, and Panel Discussion follows our Sunday (7/3) 2pm show. Discounted tickets are available for students and residents of Chester. This production is presented by the Chester Theatre Company and performances will be held in the Chester Town Hall. 15 Middlefield Road. 413-354-7771, Chester, MA. ($$)

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ongoing Summer Storyhour & Playgroups

Thursday, July 7, 11am and 1pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PERCUSSION
Percussion instruments are great for introducing people to music. Even very young children can feel the beat. Household items can be re-purposed as percussive instruments. This intergenerational bucket drumming program at the Springfield Museums invites people of all ages to learn about rhythm! This program is free with museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Thursday, July 7, 2pm and 8pm
WORLD PREMIER/CONTEMPORARY DRAMA
Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel Jane Eyre is given a contemporary twist in this sweeping drama that tells the story of Jane’s journey from Victorian hardship to independence and happiness. Weaving a tale of survival, romance, and dark secrets, My Jane gives audiences a moving look at how deeply a book can affect readers two centuries later. Audience Talkbacks will follow the Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow the Friday 2pm shows, and Panel Discussion follows our Sunday (7/3) 2pm show. Discounted tickets are available for students and residents of Chester. This production is presented by the Chester Theatre Company and performances will be held in the Chester Town Hall. 15 Middlefield Road. 413-354-7771, Chester, MA. ($$)

Thursday, July 7, 6pm-8pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Listening to music is a great way to unwind. Seeing live music outdoors can strengthen your sense of community as you connect with other people through listening, talking, dancing, and singing. This Co Op Concert will begin with singer-songwriter Joe Graveline, followed by the jazz, blues, and vocal stylings of Lexi Weege, closing out with Devlin Miles, a songwriter who sings of love and loss. Energy Park. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 7, Wednesday, July 6, 7:30pm
OUTDOOR THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents a summer show under the stars with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production will transform the natural environment of our outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance and music. The audience will be guided on a tour from the Gated Community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead their sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Tickets are available online and also at Broadside Books in Northampton and at Amherst Books in Amherst. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Thursday, July 7, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an enthusiasm for mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the night sky. Observing the stars can be an act of scientific or spiritual curiosity, or both. Once again, the Old Hopkins Observatory at Williams College is opening for the summer and offering free shows for the public. The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-38 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Shows will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 p.m: June 28, 30; July 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28; and August 2 and 4. Reservations are recommended. Call 597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 7, 8pm
WORLD PREMIERE/CONTEMPORARY THEATER
Winner of the prestigious 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Best Play, American Son examines our nation’s racial divide as seen through the eyes of an estranged biracial couple. Over the course of a tense night, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their missing 18-year old son. This new work is a timely and important play on race in present-day America. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Ongoing Summer Storyhour & Playgroups

Friday, July 8, 9am-5pm
LITERACY/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Many library lovers read more books than they could reasonably afford to buy. The ability to borrow books and spread knowledge through libraries is a benefit for people of all ages. Sometimes, though, owning a book has its advantages. You may want to make notes in it, read it over and over again, or lend it out to your friends and family to read. You can buy books, as well as CDs and DVDs, while still supporting a local library at this book sale! The sale will take place on the front lawn of the Stockbridge Library on July 8th, 9th and 10th. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Friday, July 8, 10am-11am
FAMILY MUSIC/PLACEMAKING
The first in a series of Friday Morning’s for Children performances at Stanley Park will feature music and puppets. Rick Goldin’s Teddy Bear Music and Puppet Concert gets children singing and dancing in a fun, silly, interactive show. Children are invited to bring their teddy bears. The show will be held in the Beveridge Pavilion Annex. Chairs are provided but visitors are also welcome to bring a blanket and sit on the floor in front of the stage. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 8, 2pm
WORLD PREMIER/CONTEMPORARY DRAMA
Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel Jane Eyre is given a contemporary twist in this sweeping drama that tells the story of Jane’s journey from Victorian hardship to independence and happiness. Weaving a tale of survival, romance, and dark secrets, My Jane gives audiences a moving look at how deeply a book can affect readers two centuries later. Audience Talkbacks will follow the Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow the Friday 2pm shows, and Panel Discussion follows our Sunday (7/3) 2pm show. Discounted tickets are available for students and residents of Chester. This production is presented by the Chester Theatre Company and performances will be held in the Chester Town Hall. 15 Middlefield Road. 413-354-7771, Chester, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 8, 2pm and 8pm
WORLD PREMIERE/CONTEMPORARY THEATER
Winner of the prestigious 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Best Play, American Son examines our nation’s racial divide as seen through the eyes of an estranged biracial couple. Over the course of a tense night, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their missing 18-year old son. This new work is a timely and important play on race in present-day America. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Friday, July 8, 4pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
This month’s Free Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art will encourage a connection to place as well as creativity. From 4pm-6pm, art making for all ages will include a chance to make your own miniature “Happy Valley!” This project will connect with art on view, including local artist Sally Curcio’s magical bubble sculptures. You are also invited to join a gallery talk at 6pm. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 8, 5pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
En Plein Air painting draws together two interests- nature and art.Demonstrations of this type of art during July Arts Night Out in Northampton will show both the physical techniques and artistic decision making involved in painting. Watch as the landscape in front of you appears on canvas. Call 413-584-7327 for more information. Demonstrations will take place in front of First Churches at 129 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 8, 5pm-8pm
CONTEMPORARY ART/LOCAL HISTORY
Witch trials are a very important part of Massachusetts history. The targeting of women suspected of witchcraft was highly widespread, occurring across the globe as early as the 1400s and as late as the 1950s! Mary Bliss Parsons was a 17th Century woman of Northampton who was brought to trial for witchcraft. In this contemporary exhibition at Historic Northampton, local artist Susan Montgomery explores the life of Mary Bliss Parsons through her work. The opening reception for the exhibition will take place during Arts Night Out. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 8, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Do your children like science, creative free play, or sensory engagement? Science night at the Berkshire Museum will have all three! Outdoors, messy sensory activities will include bubble sculpture building and a baking soda volcano. Indoors, an egg drop experiment will take place and there will be the option of creative free play with big blue blocks. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 8, 7pm
FAMILY THEATER
Improvisational, all ages performance group, PaintBox Theater will be taking on the cartoon-turned-children’s-toy character of Raggedy Ann in this new production. Raggedy Ann will be joined by dozens of other characters and woven into many familiar and unfamiliar stories. Audience participation is likely! This opening night on July 8th will take place at the PaintBox Theater’s new home, the Williston Theater. 413-923-7159. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Friday, July 8, 7pm-8pm
SPORTS/WATER SKIING
Even just balancing on two skis in the water is impressive. But the Oxbow Water Ski Show Team can do much more than that, with pyramids 3-4 people high, flips through the air and other tricks. Come see what they can do at this fast-paced water ski show. Shows will take place from 7-8pm on Fridays in July (July 8, July 15, July 22, July 29). 413-626-1913. Oxbow Marina. 180 Island Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 8, Wednesday, July 6, 7:30pm
OUTDOOR THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents a summer show under the stars with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production will transform the natural environment of our outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance and music. The audience will be guided on a tour from the Gated Community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead their sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Tickets are available online and also at Broadside Books in Northampton and at Amherst Books in Amherst. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 8, 8pm
THEATER
Theater is a broad and collaborative art form which can incorporate acting, improvisation, choreography, music, comedy, and more. The 25th Annual Ko Festival of Performance will bring together many of these elements in innovative performances and workshops. July 8th, 9th, and 10th, performers from far and wide will come together for the Ko Kabaret. Come to one night or all three! Visit the Ko Fest website to purchase tickets and view the full schedule of workshops and performances for 2016. 413-542-3750. Holden Theater. Amherst College. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Hadley, Heath, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Southampton, Sunderland, Westhampton and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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