Suggested Events for August 20th-26th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“When we moved here from Australia three years ago with our two young children, Hilltown Families quickly became our go-to source for local events and activities. My SAHD husband, in particular, turns to the newsletter every week to discover things that we can attend with our kids. Hilltown Families supports families of Western MA in one of the most important ways: providing connection and information…Thank you to Hilltown Families for linking us to this fantastic community of which we are so lucky to be a part.” – Natane Halasz (Pelham, 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.

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Bulletin Board

Open House: Aug 27

The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, is holding an Open House on Saturday, August 27 from 10am-3pm. Stop in to tour the space, take a sample class and learn about the school’s philosophic approach where children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main St. Amherst, MA. 413-230-1944.

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High school offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling, for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. Check out their new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

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, 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
August 20-26, 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, August 20, 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. 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, August 20, 7am-7pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs honor the generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities. A tradition for many generations, agricultural fairs showcase the unique skills and talents specific to rural life in Western Massachusetts – and in doing so, fairs offer families the opportunity to not only celebrate local culture, but to actively participate in preserving it. The Heath Agricultural Fair will have everything from sheep and cattle shows, sheep shearing demonstrations and herd dog demonstrations, to kids games, a beekeeping workshop, and much more! Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. Heath Fairgrounds. Heath, MA. ($; Children 9 and under FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 8am-10am
COMMUNITY MEAL/AUTOMOTIVE
Do you enjoy learning about collector, classic and custom vehicles? The first ever Wheels and Waffles event at Eastern States Exposition will offer coffee and breakfast, historical music from the 50s and 60s, and show cars! This event is an extension of the Exposition’s Collector Car Experience, taking place on September 18. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, August 20, 8am-10pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs, primarily established by agricultural societies for the purpose of agriculture promotion, science and education, celebrate New England history and local culture in communities all over Western Massachusetts throughout late summer and early fall. The Westfield Fair will provide the opportunity for historical and agricultural learning through an ox draw, demolition derby, antique tractor pull and more. Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. 413-222-4067. 137 Russellville Road. Westfield, MA. (<$; Children under 12 FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 9am-1pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK/FORAGING
Foraging connects people with nature by making them more observant of the plants around them. This Highland “Ghost Town” Berry Foraging Trek at Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center will offer the opportunity for foraging of wild edible plants, including high bush blueberry foraging. Participants will also explore cellar holes, stone wells, and “witness trees.” Witness trees are trees which were alive during the the First and Second Battles of Manassas, making them over 150 years old. Wear long pants, long sleeves, hat, sturdy waterproof boots, and bring a lunch. Email aimee@gaiaroots.com to register and for directions. 1515 Savoy Hollow Road. Windsor, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 20, 9am-5pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs are a celebration of local farming, farm culture, and New England history. The 76th Annual Berkshire County Youth Fair specifically features the work of young people! Anyone between the ages of five and eighteen can enter the fair and showcase items they made, created, grew, or raised. Visit the Mass 4H website for information on entering. Come see the youth exhibits as well as animal exhibits, horse gymkhana, crafters, live entertainment, a food booth, and a mechanical bull! Berkshire County 4H fairgrounds. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 10am-12pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Let your imagination run wild at the Berkshire Museum’s Imagination Playground™, an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration in play. Unstructured, child-directed play has proven to help kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Imagination Playground™ provides a changing array of elements that allow children to turn their playground into a space constantly built and re-built by their imagination. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA. ($ Members, $$ Non-members)

Saturday, August 20, 10am-2pm
WRITING/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Writers throughout history have relied on their senses for inspiration. Writers often describe sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and physical sensations in order to ground the reader in a place and time, while also connecting the reader to the characters. This guided walk at Bug Hill Farm will focus on sensory exploration. Writer and landscape historian Jane Roy Brown will guide participants. Bring your own picnic lunch, water, and be prepared for moderate walking. No writing experience is required. Register online. 502 Bug Hill Road. Ashfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, August 20, 10am-2pm
DANCE/OPEN HOUSE
Ohana School of Performing Arts offers dance classes ranging from hip hop to tap to ballet. Come to this open house to meet instructors, tour the studio space, learn more about our mission and register for fall classes! Dance combines exercise with performance and creativity and teamwork. 413-529-9996. 470 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 10am-5pm
LITERACY/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Library book sales support the institution of the library, thus supporting literacy for the entire community. The Lenox Library book sale will have a large selection of children’s books at bargain prices, adult and teen fiction, cookbooks, and biography. Smaller but popular categories include gardening, art, poetry, The Berkshires, military history, computers and science, how-to and hobbies, plus CDs, DVDs, LPs, sheet music, and much more! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, August 20, 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 20, will have the added benefit of supporting placemaking and local history learning- as it will take place in the garden at the Emily Dickinson Museum. 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, August 20, 11am
ENTOMOLOGY/BEEKEEPING
Beekeeping is an educational hobby & profession which can also be a vital part of a sustainable living lifestyle. This is the second to last session of a summer-long beekeeping workshop sponsored by Just Roots and led by Daniel Berry. The information in this workshop is not entirely cumulative. Even if you have not attended previous sessions you are welcome to attend this session on August 20, and/or the final session on September 17. This workshop has a pay-what-you-can policy, with the goal of achieving a $10 donation on average, per person, at each workshop. Bee suits will be provided. Register at the Just Roots website. 413-325-8969. Just Roots Farm. 34 Glenbrook Drive, Greenfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, August 20, 11am-3pm
AGRICULTURE/FUNDRAISER
Agriculture is an essential part of our culture here in the Pioneer Valley. You can support our thriving farms and farmers by attending the “Farmer Olympics” at Hancock Shaker Village. Contests and team competitions for all ages will include Moo-Juice Squeeze, the Grain Bag Toss, the Wheelbarrow Waggle, the Hay Bale Stack and more! This celebration of agriculture will directly benefit Greenagers, a nonprofit that provides environmental education for teens and young adults. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village website for more information. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield MA. ($; 17 and younger FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 11am-8pm
NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/GREEK CULTURE
Greek Fest 2016 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church of the Berkshires will give you a taste of Greece without the need to travel! In addition to the great dishes and pastries, there will be live music and dancing. This event will take place rain or shine on Saturday August 20 & Sunday, August 21. 413-442-8113. 73 Bradford Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 1pm-2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Hydroelectricity is a form of electricity powered by the gravitational force of flowing water. At the time of its inception and for many years after, the Turners Falls hydroelectric concrete dam known as Cabot Station was the largest hydroelectric facility east of Niagara Falls. Come to Great Falls Discovery Center for an interactive historical review of the construction of Cabot Station. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 1pm-3pm
PLAY/FITNESS
“Summer Play Day” at Wistariahurst Museum will combine historical learning with fun, fitness, and play. Guests are invited to a game of croquet, badminton, or bean bag toss on the lawn. Families and friends can have a hula hoop or bubble blowing contest. Rain or shine. Activities will be located indoors in the event of rain. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 2pm
LITERACY/ART STUDIES
While they are targeted at children, picture books are an impressive art form which weaves together narratives and illustration. Author Elizabeth Howard and illustrator Diana Wege will be at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art reading their book, A Day with Bonefish Joe. Kids who enjoy stories and art will love this program. Adults may wish to purchase copies for signing. This program is free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 20, 2:30pm-4:45pm
FILM STUDIES/SPORTS
On a hot summer afternoon, it can be nice to cool off outside with a swim, or stay inside and avoid the heat. The Jones Library will be screening matinees of films with athletic themes, on August 20 and 27. These films tie into the Olympics theme of this year’s summer reading program. On the 20th you can screen the 2004 hockey movie Miracle (rated PG). Sports themed movies tend to be highly inspiration. The motivational message can be applied to athletics, or any competitive interest. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 2:30 and 3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
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 through August 27 with seatings at 2:30pm and 3:30pm on the museum’s back veranda. On August 20th, the JMPT Quartet will play several genres of instumental music including South American tangos, Polish polkas, and New Orleans ragtime, as well Irish, Israeli, and other old-time popular music. Tours will be given for an additional fee. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

Saturday, August 20, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES
Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. Students from the Musical Theatre Dance program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow will be impressing audience members of all ages with their repertory works to live music. Come see them perform on at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Marcia & Seymour Simon Performance Space. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 20, 8pm
THEATER/COMEDIC DRAMA
Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Saturday, August 20, 8pm
FILM STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES
The BQE Project at MASS MoCA will take a 90-year-old film, Sherlock Jr., and revamp it will an original live score. This event combines the study of classic film with live music, perfect for audiences interested in multidisciplinary performances. Those interested in learning more about the history of film should check out our post, Community-Based Resources for Film Studies in Western MA. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, August 21, 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, August 21, 8am-5pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs honor the generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities. A tradition for many generations, agricultural fairs showcase the unique skills and talents specific to rural life in Western Massachusetts – and in doing so, fairs offer families the opportunity to not only celebrate local culture, but to actively participate in preserving it. The Heath Agricultural Fair will have everything from sheep shows to ox draws, to kids games,and much more! Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. Heath Fairgrounds. Heath, MA. ($; Children 9 and under FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 8am-5:30pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs, primarily established by agricultural societies for the purpose of agriculture promotion, science and education, celebrate New England history and local culture in communities all over western Massachusetts throughout late summer and early fall. The Westfield Fair will provide the opportunity for historical and agricultural learning through an ox draw and an ox and horse track. There will also be live, local music. Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. 413-222-4067. 137 Russellville Road. Westfield, MA. (<$; Children under 12 FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 9am-4pm
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRD LANGUAGE
How come some birds just seem to vocalize simple chirps while others have elaborate, melodious songs? Bird songs evolve socially, and although species sing the same song, dialects develop regionally. “Bird language” is a term referring to the combined chirps, songs, and behaviors which allow birds to communicate with each other. Humans can learn these cues too! This workshop at the Mass Audubon and Flying Deer Nature Center will teach participants about bird language through storytelling, lecture, slideshows, outdoor activities and field exercises. There will be activities for adults and teens, as well as a separate day of activities for kids ages six through twelve. 413-637-0320. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 472 W Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, August 21, 10am-12pm
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED WALK
Textile and paper mills are a part of local and agricultural history. Children ages eight and up, and their caregivers, are invited to join in on a 1.8 mile walking tour which will focus on textile and paper mill design. Discover some of the decorative features which grace local mills. Bring cameras, smart phones, and/or binoculars to better view and capture the experience. Meet in front of the visitors’ center at Holyoke Heritage State Park. This program is weather dependant. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 10am-5pm
LITERACY/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Library book sales support the institution of the library, thus supporting literacy for the entire community. The Lenox Library book sale will have a large selection of children’s books at bargain prices, adult and teen fiction, cookbooks, and biography. Smaller but popular categories include gardening, art, poetry, The Berkshires, military history, computers and science, how-to and hobbies, plus CDs, DVDs, LPs, sheet music, and much more! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Sunday, August 21, 10:30am-11:30am
DENDROLOGY
Spending time outdoors is essential to healthy child development. Children who love to be outside may also be interested to learn about their local habitat and the species that thrive there. Children of all ages, and their caregivers, are invited to Great Falls Discovery Center to learn fun facts and identifying characteristics of our native trees. Meet at the entrance to the center. please bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 11am-11:30am
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of The Three Little Pigs for audience members of all ages at the Whitney Center for the Arts. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 42 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 12pm-6pm
NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/GREEK CULTURE
Greek Fest 2016 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church of the Berkshires will give you a taste of Greece without the need to travel! In addition to the great dishes and pastries, there will be live music and dancing. This event will take place rain or shine on Saturday August 20 & Sunday, August 21. 413-442-8113. 73 Bradford Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 1pm-4pm
CIRCUS ARTS/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Have you ever thought about running away to join the circus? Circus performers have a wide range of impressive skills such as juggling, acrobatics, aerial arts, tumbling, trampoline, tight wire, human pyramids, rolla bolla, rolling globe, clowning and more. You can get inspired by the impressive feats of the Boston Circus Guild as they perform at the Clark Art Institute. This program is free with museum admission. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($; Children under 18, museum members, and students with valid ID FREE.)

Sunday, August 21, 1pm-4pm
GUIDED WALK/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Fresh, locally sourced ingredients improve any meal. You can find wild fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seasonings growing wild all around you! You can learn about local, edible plants, how to identify them and sustainably pick them, at this Wild Food Walk. Learn more on the Meetup website, under the Northampton/Amherst Herbalist Group. Wildwood Elementary School. Meet near the play structure at the end of the parking lot. 71 Strong Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 1:30pm
CARILLON
A carillon is a musical instrument involving at least twenty-three bells, typically played by striking a keyboard. Automated music can also be played on certain carillons, similar to a player piano. You can hear these bells played by carilloneur Norma Hopper in Stanley Park. For more information, call 413-568-9312 ext 100. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 2pm
HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
The 94th Army band is a musical group with a rich history. They are a unit of the Army Reserve assigned to the eastern United States. You can hear them play outside, behind the Springfield Armory National Historic Site museum building. Bring a picnic or blanket and hear music which is connected to local and national history. The concert is weather dependent. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 2pm
HISTORY/INFRASTRUCTURE
Bike paths and other systems which encourage bicycling have a profound effect on communities. Bike paths encourage exercise as well as sustainable forms of travel. You can learn about the history of Northampton’s rail trails during this talk at Historic Northampton. Craig Della Penna will be speaking on the topic. This program takes place in conjunction with the current exhibition, The Norwood Engineering Building: A Florence Landmark. Check out the exhibition to learn more about local history and architecture. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 2pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Placemaking is a practice and a philosophy. It is an approach to both the creation and use of public spaces, aiming to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Lawn concerts are one type of event which supports placemaking by drawing people together and strengthening a connection to neighbors via community spaces. The North Adams Music Series will be running through October 16, with free live music every Sunday. Check the Levitt Foundation website for a schedule of musicians. On August 21, rock trio Wild Adriatic will perform. Colgrove Park. 151 Kemp Avenue. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/FOOD HISTORY
The Bisbee Mill Museum is a three-story 19th-century reconstructed grist mill, with a blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, and a small museum area. The museum houses hundreds of historic artifacts, from a circa-1835 horse drawn hearse to old woodworking tools. Come to the museum on August 21 or September 18 and witness demonstrations, such as corn grinding, with historic tools. 66 East Street. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/OPERA
Opera is an artistic form which blends together the human drama of a theatrical performance, with the emotional impact of music. Amherst College is providing audiences with the unique opportunity to witness a free workshop performance and post-show discussion. This workshop performance will showcase the concluding half of The Scarlet Professor, a new opera based on the 1960 arrest and trial of Smith College professor Newton Arvin. Learn about theater, music, acting, directing, and local history all at once! 413- 542-2000. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 21, 5pm
THEATER/COMEDIC DRAMA
Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Sunday, August 21, 6pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Oakes & Smith are a self proclaimed “art folk duo,” who perform an acoustic mix of folk and pop with voices blending in close harmonies. Their soulful songs are inspired by nature, love, spirit, art and poetry. You can hear them perform at Bascom Lodge. This show is free and open to the public. 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Monday, August 22, 11am-11:30am
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of the Three Little Pigs for audience members of all ages at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 22, 4pm
LITERATURE/HISTORY
Shirley Jackson was a popular American author whose works in the 1940s and 1950s have gone on to inspire authors today. Writer Ruth Franklin will be at The Mount discussing her forthcoming biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. This talk will offer insight into writing of the past and present. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Monday, August 22, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/ROBOTICS
Arduino is an open source electronics platform which reads and reacts to inputs. This technology can be used for all sorts of scientific projects including robotics, home automation and networked objects, interactive art, and much more. People ages eleven and up are invited to learn about Arduino at this Holyoke Codes workshop. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 22, 6pm
ACTING
Acting is a hobby & a profession which encourages teamwork, imagination, courage, and many other useful skills. Your children can attend an open house at The Drama Studio, to find out if they’re interested in taking classes such as Introduction to Acting, Shakespeare, Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Stage Combat, and Choreography. There are two open house dates: August 22, for ages 9-18, and August 23, for ages 6-8. Families planning to attend the Open House should email the Drama Studio at info@dramastudio.org to register the name, address, and age of the student participating. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Tuesday, August 23, 11am
STORYTIME/PLACEMAKING
Stories bring people together and get them using their imagination as they picture characters and events. The East Longmeadow Public Library invites you to a storytime in the park. Ms. Michele and Ms. Sam will entertain families at Center Hill Park (the Little Red Schoolhouse on 35 School Street!) for stories and songs! Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch. No registration required and all ages welcome. 413-525-5432. 35 School Street. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 23, 12pm-1pm
RESEARCH
Learn about the free research databases available to users of the Erving Public Library. This program is for students and registration is required. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 23, 4pm
OPERA
Mealtimes are often times of celebration, ceremony, and cultural significance. In narratives, meals and sharing of drinks can have symbolic meaning. Food historian and author Francine Segan will be discussing the role of food and drink in opera, with her talk, “A Toast! To Artful Dining Among the Arias.” Learn about significant opera scenes involving toasts and breaking of bread. Ventfort Hall. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, August 23, 6pm
ENTOMOLOGY
Honey is a substance made from the sweet deposits of plants and trees, which bees gather and store in the honeycomb. You can learn a great deal about your local ecosystem by learning about the role of the honey bee. Ken Warchol, professional bee keeper, will present this informative lecture at the Sunderland Public Library. There will be a honey tasting following the lecture. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 23, 7pm
THEATER/COMEDIC DRAMA
Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Wednesday, August 24, 10am
FAMILY MUSIC
Listening to live music can be a fun activity for your children of all ages. Bond with a little singing, dancing, or just listening at the Westhampton Public Library as Carolyn Mazel performs her family friendly tunes. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 10am-12pm
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED WALK
Textile and paper mills are a part of local and agricultural history. Children ages seven and up, and their caregivers, are invited to learn how paper was made in Holyoke’s historic paper mills. Then participants will make paper, decorated with dried wildflowers found in the park. Meet in front of the visitors’ center lobby at Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 11am-11:30am
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of Rumpleskiltskin for audience members of all ages at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 11am-12pm
ZOOLOGY
Watching and interacting with animals provides insight into those animals behaviors. Animals are entertaining creatures and observing them can get people interested in learning about scientific concepts such as habitat, ecology, biology, and evolution. You and your family can observe live animals during your lunch at River Valley Co Op. Lori Swanson from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society will be present with lots of friendly creatures. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 12pm-1pm
WRITING/POETRY
“Erasure” or “blackout” poetry is a form of poetry created by pulling words from a pre-existing text. Writers take a sample of writing, and black out some or most of the words, turning it into something completely new. This can be a less intimidating introduction to poetry, or a new technique for seasoned poets. This Make It Springfield workshop will get you started making your own blackout poetry. All ages are welcome. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 1pm-4pm
HISTORY/PLACEMAKING
Learn about Longmeadow history with a visit to the Storrs House Museum. The Longmeadow Historical Society will be holding an open house at the museum, offering the chance to view the Stephen Williams exhibit room as well as the basement archives/ research area. You can learn about the historical society’s new project entitled Through the Lens- Longmeadow 100 Years Ago. This project will involve interactive photos and maps about Longmeadow in the early 20th century. 697 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 3:45pm-5pm
INTERGENERATIONAL ART
Messy art isn’t just for kids! Help your kids imagine, build, and create at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This is a great opportunity for you to collaborate with your family while meeting other kids and parents. There will be an optional free play area for siblings under four years old. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Wednesday, August 24, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES
Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. On August 24, you can witness the work of three dance companies as they perform at Jacob’s Pillow Dance. This show, Women Making Work , will showcase female choreographers of multiple genres based in New York. For more information, visit the Jacob’s Pillow website. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 6:30pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Outdoor concerts are a fixture of the summer months, and a chance to appreciate the green spaces in your town with picnics and lawn chairs. This concert in Lilac Park will feature American Idol finalist Katherine Winston. In case of rain the concert will be moved to the town hall auditorium. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 24, 6:30pm-8pm
ECOLOGY/BEAVERS
From afar, a beaver dam looks like a big pile of sticks, but a closer examination reveals careful construction and cool inner architecture! Through the creation of dams, beavers have had profound effects on plant, animal, and microbial communities across the country. Learn more about our country’s largest rodent and their relationship within our ecosystem by visiting the beaver ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. This program is suitable for ages three and up. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, August 24, 7pm
THEATER/COMEDIC DRAMA
Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Thursday, August 25, 8:30am-9:30am
CONVERSATIONAL FRENCH
“Parlez-vous français?” There’s no better way to strengthen and support your knowledge of a language than by using it. Meet other Francophones for casual conversation at The Mount. If you are interested in additional resources for foreign language learning, read our post, Language Learning Resources in Western MA. Registration is required. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Thursday, August 25, 9:30am-12pm
HISTORY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
In honor of the National Parks Service centennial, you can participate in this guided hike to learn about the history of America’s State and National Parks. Learn about the forces which shaped, protected, and preserved these national resources on a three mile hike. This hike will go over moderate terrain and take approximately three hours. The event is appropriate for ages twelve and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Holyoke Range State Park. Meet at the Notch Visitors Center. Please bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 10am
MUSIC STUDIES
People of all ages like to sing, dance, and listen to music. You can your children between the ages of two and six to the West Springfield Public Library for “Music Speaks,” a music and movement program. Help instill a lifelong love of music in your kids! Dancing is exercise and singing releases pleasurable hormones such as oxytocin. Let loose and sing along. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 4pm-9:30pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs connect people to local food and culture through the longstanding tradition of showcasing agricultural products. At the Cummington Fair you will be able to also learn about history through the antique engines and tractor show. There will be horse shows, crafts, and live music. Check the fair website for a full schedule of events on August 25 through 28. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($; Ages 10 to 15 <$; Ages 9 and under FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 5pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Art walks are an opportunity to showcase local art, meet artists, and get inspired by local culture. DownStreetArt will once again be providing that opportunity, this time with the theme of “Meet your neighbors.” Attend local gallery openings, see live music, and make new friends. Downtown. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 5:30pm
ART STUDIES
The Real or Imagined? Adventures in Visual Culture lecture series at the Norman Rockwell Museum will feature talks to enlighten museum goers in conjunction with the current exhibition, Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World. Illustrators Marshall Arisman, Anita Kunz, and Thomas Woodruff will provide three perspectives on visual narratives, realism, and Rockwell’s wrks. This program is included with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183. Stockbridge, MA. ($; College students with ID <$; Ages 6-18 <$; Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES
Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. On August 25, you can witness the work of rising collegiate choreographers and performers as they perform at Jacob’s Pillow Dance. For more information, visit the Jacob’s Pillow website. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 6:30pm-8pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Placemaking is a practice and a philosophy. It is an approach to both the creation and use of public spaces, aiming to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Lawn concerts are one type of event which supports placemaking by drawing people together and strengthening a connection to neighbors via community spaces. The Florence Music on the Porch series will run through September 1 with live music at the Florence Civic Center. On August 25, Mieka Pauley will perform. Rain location: Florence VFW. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 25, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES
Have you ever tried to make your own musical instrument? Watching the film Landfill Harmonic at Amherst Cinema could give you inspiration for doing so. The film follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a youth musical group. Members of the orchestra live close to one of South America’s largest landfills and play instruments made entirely out of garbage. This story of resilience will teach viewers about upcycling and musical composition. This is a one time showing. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Thursday, August 25, 8pm
THEATER/COMEDIC DRAMA
Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Friday, August 26, all day
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Museums are often an entertaining and educational place for both children and adults, and can provide learning opportunities across many subjects including STEM topics, history, and art. As part of the philanthropic organization Highland Street Foundation’s efforts to encourage education to families, many museum and performance locations will be open to the public free of charge on Friday, August 26, a “Free Fun Friday!” This is your chance to visit Old Sturbridge Village, Berkshire Museum, Norman Rockwell Museum, and Ventfort Hall. Check out their websites for more information. Western MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 26, 7am-9:30pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs connect people to local food and culture through the longstanding tradition of showcasing agricultural products. At the Cummington Fair you will be able to also learn about history through the antique tractor show. There will be ox and chicken shows, crafts, and live music. Check the fair website for a full schedule of events on August 25 through 28. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($; Ages 10 to 15 <$; Ages 9 and under FREE)

Friday, August 26, 9am-3pm
AUTOMOBILES
Car and transportation shows can teach people about automotive technology. The presence of vintage cars provides insight into technological history. Motorama, North Adams car show on August 26-28 will feature not only cars but trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors and more. This event is free to attend, but requires a registration fee to display a vehicle. The main car show will take place on August 28 when Main, Holden and Eagle Streets will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic for the show. For more information call 413-664-6180 or email tourism@northadams-ma.gov. Downtown. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 26, 10am
PLACEMAKING/CULTURE STUDIES
Celebrate Jewish culture at a “Shabbat Shabloom” gathering! Fridays until late August, at Abundance Farm, families will gather for music. Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer lead a musical performance especially for young children, encouraging participation and movement. Families are invited to tour the farm, sample what is in season, and take home flowers. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, August 26, 11am-12:30am
ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY
Learn about amphibians and reptiles at the Berkshire Botanical Garden! Professor Tom Tyning will have a few live frogs on hand for families to see. He will share with visitors interesting facts about the behaviors and the methods which frogs and turtles use to survive and reproduce. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($; Children under 12 and members FREE)

Friday, August 26, 11am-11:30am
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of Peter and the Wolf for audience members of all ages at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 26, 2pm
THEATER/COMEDIC DRAMA
Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Friday, August 26, 4pm
INTERGENERATIONAL MUSIC
Singing releases both endorphins and oxytocin, leaving the singer more relaxed. Oxytocin also causes a feeling of bonding with others. Combine singing with a sense of community, and you are bound to experience a strong sense of belonging. The Sunderland Public Library is hosting a community sing, for all ages and abilities. Lyrics will be provided. 413- 665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 26, 5pm-9pm
LOCAL FOOD CULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Westfield Food Fest on August 26-28, is your chance to try a variety of locally sourced foods. Local musicians will keep you entertained as you sample food from local restaurants and food trucks. For more information, visit the Westfield Rotary website. The event will be held on Elm Street between Franklin Street and Main Street. Westfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Friday, August 26, 5pm-11pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
Music festivals can connect community members to their town through a celebration of local culture. Celebrate Holyoke, on August 26-28, invites you to enjoy live music, local restaurants, and goods from local artists and makers. The downtown celebration kicks off with four bands: Basement Cats, Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze, Jesus Pagan y Conjunto Barrio, Joe Velez Creacion Latin Big Band. Check the Celebrate Holyoke website for a full schedule of events. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 26, 6pm
PLACEMAKING/LAWN CONCERT
Chesterwood is a National Historic Landmark and museum of Daniel Chester’s work. Daniel Chester is considered America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments and best known for the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. You can make a full day trip to Chesterwood to see the museum, and hear live music! If you just wish to come for the music, the grounds open at 5pm and performances start at 6pm. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and listen to country/rock music by The American. Rain or shine. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$ for concert)

Friday, August 26, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES
Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. On August 26, you can witness Philadelphia-based group Just Sole! performing their hip-hop and street dance styles at Jacob’s Pillow Dance. For more information, visit the Jacob’s Pillow website. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 26, 6:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Railways provide insight into the history of American industry and infrastructure. Friday Night Cabaret train rides provide a scenic view of the Berkshires, with live music and dancing. Samantha Talora & Ron Ramsay will play popular Broadway hits, classic standards and contemporary/ popular tunes. Tickets can be purchased on the Hoosac Valley Train Ride website. Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Hoosac Valley Service departs from the North Adams platform at 98 Crowley Avenue. These are round-trip rides which return to the platform at 98 Crowley Avenue. North Adams, 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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