Suggested Events for August 27th-September 2nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“It’s a rainy summer day and the kids are bored of the usual routine… HILLTOWN FAMILIES always saves the day! Family life in the hill towns is brighter, bolder, and culturally enriched by the support of Hilltown Families. It has been the number one constant resource for events, concerts, and community education for our family in our parenting journey. Hilltown Families has widely become essential support for family life in Western Massachusetts, a network that grows happier healthier families through community, connection, and education. Thank you Hilltown Families for all you do!” – Zoe (Ashfield, 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.

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

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating. Students graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE. Use promo code HTF201617 and receive $10 OFF your entire purchase of any instructional program!

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 27 – September 2, 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 27, 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 27, 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 engine and tractor show. There will be oxen and horse shows, crafts, and live music. Check the fair website for a full schedule of events on August 25th through 28th. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($; Ages 10 to 15 <$; Ages 9 and under FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 9am
FITNESS/FUNDRAISING
“Fun runs” are a family-friendly, accessible version of a typical road race. They provide the chance for parents and children to run or walk together. Bringing your child to a fun run can send the message that exercise is fun and can benefit the whole community. Proceeds from this Almost Mile Family Fun Run and 5K will benefit the Storrs Library in Longmeadow. 413-565-4181. Town Green. Longmeadow, MA. (Adult $$; Children 12 and under <$)

Saturday, August 27, 9am-1pm
ART STUDIES/WATERCOLOR PAINTING
Watercolor is an ancient art form which has existed since Egyptian times. Watercolor had a resurgence during the European Renaissance and has been relatively popular ever since. You can learn watercolor painting techniques from teacher Sylvia Foster in this workshop at the Otis Town Hall. Class size is limited. To register call 772-785-6547. 1 North Main Road. Otis, MA. ($)

Saturday, August 27, 9am-3pm
TRANSPORTATION
Car and transportation shows can teach people about automotive technology. The presence of vintage cars provides insight into technological history. The North Adams car show on August 26th-28th 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 28th 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)

Saturday, August 27, 10am
GUIDED HIKE/LOCAL HISTORY
The Worthington Historic Society invites you to learn about local history by participating in a guided hike to Smith’s Mill and “The Gold Mine” in Peru State Forest. This is a two-stage hike and the second stage is optional. The first, fairly easy stage will takes participants to the stone foundation of Smith’s Mill, built in 1844. The second, more difficult stage will lead participants to “The Gold Mine,” located farther up Fuller Brook. This stage requires crossing Fuller Brook several times, stepping across rocks and boulders. The rain date will be August 28 at the same time. Pack water and a snack. RSVP to evanspring@gmail.com. Meet at Jim Dodge’s place, 311 River Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 10am
ROAD RACE/FUN RUN
This year, the Eastern States Exposition will celebrate its 100th anniversary at The Big E. The countdown to this historic event kicks off with a 5K run! Children ten and younger can participate in a fun run, free with a donation of a new or gently used book. Everyone is encouraged to dress in their Big E best to compete for the Big E Spirit Award! The person whose outfit best exemplifies the spirit of The Big E will receive a VIP day at the Fair. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, August 27, 10am-12pm
MAKERSPACE
Makerspaces encourage STEM learning through creative collaboration. This makerspace workshop at the Greenfield Public Library will teach participants how to use a 3D Printer and a CNC Router. Also included will be balloon sculptures! This program is designed for ages eight through twelve. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 10am-1pm
ECOLOGY/DENDROLOGY
The tallest trees in New England, and the largest collection of old-growth forest stands in the Commonwealth reside within Mohawk Trail State Forest. Bob Leverett, co-founder of the Native Tree Society and the Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest, leads a two- to three-hour easy walk showcasing the tallest trees in New England, forest ecology, and the unique geologic history of Mohawk Trail State Forest. Leverett is a leading expert in old-growth forests and forest ecology. He has documented his discoveries of old-growth forests and tracked the growth of numerous record-breaking big and tall trees within the state forest and the surrounding area for more than two decades. Wear appropriate and comfortable clothing for the weather, sturdy walking shoes, bring a snack/lunch and water. 413-339-5504. Meet at the state park headquarters, 175 Mohawk Trail/MA Rte. 2. Charlemont, MA (>$)

Saturday, August 27, 10am-1pm
PLACEMAKING
Late August and early September can be a stressful and exciting time for families. The Back to School Celebration celebration, hosted by the Parent and Community Engagement Center, will help you get back into the swing of things with a backpack giveaway, entertainment, and BBQ lunch with families in Blunt park. Backpack giveaway tickets will be distributed starting at 10:00 AM. Current Springfield Public School students must be present in order to receive a backpack giveaway ticket. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 10am-2pm
FARMERS’ MARKET
Farmers’ markets offer a consistent, simple way for local farmers and food producers to connect with the community. 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, August 27, 10am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/STORYTELLING
Storytelling connects people to history, culture, and place. The Storycrafters, a storytelling and musical performance group, will be relaying traditional tales at Blue Rider Stable’s 22nd annual Fun Day! There will be pony and donkey rides, as well as demonstrations by Blue Rider’s vaulting students. Blue Rider Stables is a therapeutic horseback riding facility serving a community members who range in age from infants to the elderly. For more information, call 413-528-5299. French Park. North Egremont, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 10am-3pm
DANCE STUDIES/OPEN HOUSE
The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio, is holding an Open House. 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. A holistic approach to dance! 413-230-1944. 321 Main St. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 10:30am
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
When Williamstown, Massachusetts was first settled, Stone Hill was the center of the town. This site was a place for residences, farms, and woodlots. Much of this original subdivision is still visible today. You are invited on a moderate hike of Stone Hill, led by exhibition co-curator and Williams College Biology and Environmental Studies Professor Hank Art, to explore the area and the impact of human land uses over the past 250 years. This program is free with admission to the Clark Art Institute and is held in conjunction with the summer exhibition, “Sensing Place: Reflecting on Stone Hill.” 13-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Non Members $. Members, students with valid ID and children under 18 FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 12pm-6pm
CULINARY ARTS/PLACEMAKING
Learn how to cook from locally sourced ingredients, in workshops taught by local chefs! The Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival will feature workshops on topics such as home preservation, smoothie making, and shakshuka. Shakushka is an Israeli stewed tomato dish. Learn about various cultures through food while connecting to your community. There will also be wild edible plant walks, kids activities, opportunities to pick your own vegetables, and more. 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (Adults $; 8-17 years old <$; 7 and under FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 12pm-9pm
LOCAL FOOD CULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Westfield Food Fest 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)

Saturday, August 27, 12pm and 1pm
ARCHITECTURE/ART STUDIES
Buildings are designed with both form and function in mind, therefore, architecture can teach us about stylistic as well as practical and historic trends. Come to Field Farm to see mid-20th century sculptures and tour the guest houses. You will have the chance to view and compare the award-winning Folly guest house (post-modernist) and the American modern style guest house. For information call the Trustees at 413 458-3135. 554 Sloan Road. Williamstown, MA. (Non members <$; Members FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 12:30pm-11pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Music festivals can connect community members to their town through a celebration of local culture. Celebrate Holyoke, on August 26th-August 28, invited you to enjoy live music, local restaurants, and goods from local artists and makers. On the 27th you can hear live music from the following bands: From the Woods, Skarroñeros, Paper City Exiles. Franny O Show, Trailer Park, Pabon Salsa, Eleven, and Brass Attack. Check the b>Celebrate Holyoke website for a full schedule of events. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 2pm
HISTORY/TRIVIA
In conjunction with the National Park Centennial, park ranger Susan Ashman will give the interactive resentation, “Are You Smarter Than A Park Ranger?” at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Learn about some lesser known National Park sites. Enjoy cupcakes, ice cream and punch! 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 2pm-4pm
LITERACY
Lewis Carol’s 1865 novel Alice in Wonderland, and the many film adaptations of the story, remain an important cultural tale to this day. People of all ages can get something out of the story of young Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a fantastical world. You and your family are invited to celebrate this tale, at a Mad Hatter themed tea party at Naumkeag. Participants will will decorate hats, read from the story, have tea and cake with Naumkeag’s very own Mad Hatter. Costumes are encouraged. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Non members $. Members and children <$)

Saturday, August 27, 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” program will feature live music and locally sourced pastries. Come to the final performance on August 27th and hear the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chamber Choir perform a cappella music of all styles, periods, and genres. Tours will be given for an additional fee. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

Saturday, August 27, 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 20th and 27th. These films tie into the Olympics theme of this year’s summer reading program. On the 20th you can screen the 2016 movie Race (rated PG-13). Sports themed movies tend to be highly inspirational. The motivational message can be applied to athletics, or any competitive interest. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 3pm-5pm
FOOD SCIENCE
What do you do with an abundance of fresh grown food, such as tomatoes and pickles? When you have too much of a particular food item, you can can them to preserve them. Georgia Barberi will be at the Bushnell-Sage Library teaching participants proper canning technique and helpful hints. 413-229-7004. 48 S Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 5pm-7pm
HISTORY
Historical societies are essential resources for community education. These societies often support a strong sense of connection to place through local history. For a list of local historical societies, check out our post, Western Mass Historical Heritage for All to Explore. You are invited to an ice cream social at one such organization, Historic Northampton. The Florence Community Band and A2Z Yo-Yo Team will be present for entertainment. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 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 27th, you and your family can witness expert, contemporary dancing at Jacob’s Pillow Dance. New York City-based artist Nico Brown, alumnus of Jacob’s Pillow, will be performing the new work, This is not a letter by my arms around you for a brief moment as well as the solo Nation. Don’t miss this final, free, “Inside/Out” program at Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
What better place to view the stars from, than the summit of a mountain? People of all ages are invited to meet at the summit of Mt. Greylock near the War Memorial Tower, for a “star party!” Members of the Amherst Astronomy Association will share their knowledge about the stars, planets, and constellations. Wear appropriate clothing for cool evenings, bring a flashlight. This program will be cancelled if it rains or if there is heavy cloud cover. Call 413-499-4262 for day-of questions about program status due to the weather. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 27, 8pm-10pm
ASTRONOMY
The night sky changes with the seasons, thus there is always something new to see and learn about. You are invited to explore stars, planets, and more at Notchview. On Saturday, August 27 and September 24, volunteers from Arunah Hill Natural Science Center will teach you what to look for. Rain or heavy cloud cover cancels. 83 Old Route 9. Windsor, MA. (Members FREE. Non members <$)

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Sunday, August 28, 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 28, 7am-7pm
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 car and tractor shows. There will be horse shows, crafts, and live music. Check the fair website for a full schedule of events on August 25th through 28th. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($. Ages 10 to 15 <$. Ages 9 and under FREE)

Sunday, August 28, 9am-3pm
AUTOMOBILES
Car and transportation shows can teach people about automotive technology. The presence of vintage cars provides insight into technological history. The North Adams car show on August 26th-28th 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 28th 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)

Sunday, August 28, 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 Rumpelstiltskin for audience members of all ages at the Whitney Center for the Arts. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31st. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 42 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 28, 12pm-6pm
LOCAL FOOD CULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Westfield Food Fest on August 26th, 27th, and 28th, 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)

Sunday, August 28, 12:30pm-7:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Music festivals can connect community members to their town through a celebration of local culture. Celebrate Holyoke, on August 26th-August 28, invited you to enjoy live music, local restaurants, and goods from local artists and makers. On the final day of the festival you can hear live music from the following bands: Dennis Polisky & the Maestro’s Men, Union Jack, Los Sugar Kings, Dee Reilly, and Ray Mason Band. Check the Celebrate Holyoke website for a full schedule of events. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 28, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/HISTORY
The final Summer Sunday program at the Clark Art Institute is your last chance to learn about the golden age of Spanish nobility through artwork and performances. Peruse the artwork on view in the exhibition, Splendor, Myth, and Vision, and see Boston-based troupe Pazzi Lazzi perform outdoors. 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 28, 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 28th, blues guitarist Tinsley Ellis will perform. Colgrove Park. 151 Kemp Avenue. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 28, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Historical societies draw people together who have an interest in preservation of the past. This Buckland Historical Society open house will offer tours of the Museum and the Wilder Homestead. The Museum is a former school house which now houses three floors of artifacts and town records. The Wilder Homestead is a furnished 1775 saltbox with five fireplaces, a 1779 English barn with antique barn loom, and a shoemaker shop (Rt. 112). 413-625-9763. 20 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 28, 6pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Moonshine Holler is a two person musical duo drawing upon southern roots music and using more instruments than they can juggle, including: fiddle, banjo, Hawaiian guitar, harmonica and ukulele. 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 29, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Monday, August 29, 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 Rumpelstiltskin for audience members of all ages at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31st. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEAM/ROBOTICS
What does art have to do with technology? Computer programs of all kinds utilize a great deal of creativity for their projects. Technological software can open up new doors for digital and interactive artwork. Whether you have experience making art, programming, both, or neither, you can attend this Holyoke Codes workshop and create interactive artwork. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. This program is for ages eleven and up. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Tuesday, August 30, 3:30pm-4:30pm
LITERACY
Therapy dogs can calm people down in stressful situations, especially dog lovers. Libraries all over have begun to bring in therapy dogs to help children who are learning to read. Peanut the dog will be at the Whately Library as a gentle, non-threatening listener for children who want to practice their reading skills aloud. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 30, 4pm
HISTORY/SPIRITUALITY
Witchcraft is an integral part of Massachusetts history. While witch trials primarily occurred in the 17th century, an interest in the supernatural remains to this day. Learn about the spiritual history of the 1920s by attending this talk, “The Witch of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction and Houdini in the Spirit World,” at Ventfort Hall. Author and screenwriter David Jaher will relay the story of Mrs. Mina Crandon and her role in the debate over spiritualism. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, August 30, 4pm-9:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/FUNDRAISING
Arts classes in schools, including music, visual arts, theater and more, can help keep kids engaged and socially connected. You can support the arts in local schools by attending the 26th annual Transperformance benefit concert. See local bands such as The Lonesome Brothers, Suitcase Junket, Mister G. and more! For more information, visit the Northampton Arts Council website. Call 1-800-838-3006 to purchase tickets. Pines Theater-Look Park. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, August 30, 5pm-7:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY/NIGHTHAWKS
Nighthawks are impressive creatures which engage in aerial acrobatics, catching insects on their wings! You can search the sky for migrating nighthawks, and learn how they behave in their habitat. Pleasant Valley’s caretaker will guide participants where to look, during this program at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Bring binoculars. Registration is not required. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 30, 6pm-9pm
WRITING
Workshops are an essential resource for writers. In writing workshops, people can inspire each other with ideas and prompts, and share their writing for constructive feedback. Make It Springfield will be offering a two-hour weekly writing workshop using visual prompts and poetry. This workshop is open to the public. Please register on the Make It Springfield website. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 30, 10pm-midnight
ENTOMOLOGY/MOTHS
Adults and teens are invited to an evening studying moths in Holyoke Heritage State Park. Moth, butterfly, and birding expert Betsy Higgins will show participants both how to attract and how to identify moths. The Department of Conservation and Recreation is providing extra security for this special, late-night event. Please bring a flashlight and meet in front of the visitors’ center. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Wednesday, August 31, 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 Aladdin for audience members of all ages at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Catch one of their free performances at various locations through August 31st. Check their website for a full calendar. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 31, 11am-12pm
ZOOLOGY
Animals are entertaining to observe and interact with. Lots of children are interested in learning about animals, which can in turn get them interested in learning about scientific concepts such as habitat, ecology, biology, and evolution. You and your family can learn about animals during your lunch at River Valley Co Op. Northampton Animal Control Officer Shayla Howe will be present with live animals. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 31, 2:30pm-4pm
FIGURE DRAWING
Figure drawing is a fundamental skill for artists. This type of drawing can be intimidating for beginners, and it is easier to execute with a real model for reference. Hone your skills by attending the final drop in figure drawing session at the Clark Art Institute. All skill levels are invited to try it out and gather inspiration from the work on view: “Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado.” 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($. Under 18 and museum members FREE)

Wednesday, August 31, 5:30pm-6:30pm
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 31, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/CIRCUITRY
Circuit boards are a great tool for people who wish to tinker with electricity. Using everyday objects such as batteries and lights, people can tinker with circuitry and learn about cause and effect. Youth ages seven and up are invited to do just that at this Holyoke Codes program. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 31, 6pm
HIKING
“Project Pangea” is an in-process attempt to extend extend the Appalachian Trail from Maine through Canada, into Europe, and ending in Morocco for a Total Trail Length of around 20,000 Miles. Ralph Brill is working on this project with the International Appalachian Trail. He will be discussing the work of this project at Bascom Lodge. Learn about how projects such as this take place, what kind of work they entail, and how it will affect the hiking community! 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 31, 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 acoustic blues songs by Cosby Gibson and Tom Staudle. In case of rain the concert will be moved to the town hall auditorium. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 31, 8pm
PLACEMAKING/FAMILY FILM
Some children’s movies appeal to all ages, for multiple generations. You and your children can screen one such film on the Forbes Library lawn. Bring a picnic and blanket, or chairs, to see the 1979 film, The Muppet Movie (rated G), outside. This screening is a collaboration between Cinema Northampton and Northampton Community Television. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Thursday, September 1, 2pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ARCHITECTURE
The Norman Rockwell Museum
is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The museum offers the opportunity to learn about art history as well as biographical information on Rockwell himself. During this adult program, visitors are invited to explore the entire campus, learn about the historic buildings onsite, and enjoy the museum’s outdoor exhibition inspired by Rockwell’s first Saturday Evening Post cover. The program is free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 FREE)

Thursday, September 1, 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 September 1st, the Lonesome Brothers will perform. Rain location: Florence VFW. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 1, 6:30pm-8pm
PARENTING/TRANSGENDER
The support of understanding parents can make a world of difference in a transgender or gender non-conforming child’s life! Join other parents of transgender and gender non-conforming children, teenagers, and adults for discussion and support. This group, TransformingParents, meets on the first Thursday of every month. Please contact transformingparents@gmail.com for more information. Northampton, MA.

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Friday, September 2, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Spending time outdoors, in natural settings, helps people connect to their senses and to the present moment. You can explore Holyoke Heritage State Park with a group at the “Coming to Our Senses” program. This program is intended for teens age 15 and older, and adults. Siblings are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 413-534-1723. Meet in front of the Visitor Center. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 2, 2pm
PLACEMAKING/LAWN CONCERT
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 Sunderland Public Library will be hosting a lawn concert with Johnny and the Flashbacks, an upbeat band that plays recognizable cover songs. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 3, 4pm-9:30pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
The 3 County Fair is an almost 200 year old local tradition! The fair showcases several important aspects of Pioneer Valley culture, including agriculture, homesteading, art and music! Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities and entertainment including animal shows, tractor pulls, and rides. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. (Basic entry $. Children age 11 and younger, FREE. Wristband for rides $$)

Friday, September 2, 3pm-9pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs are an important tradition in New England, and all across the country. Such events showcase rural skills and traditions, and help to promote a strong connection between communities and their physical surroundings. The The Blandford Fair will feature, 4-Wheel Drive Truck Pulls, a petting zoo, racing pigs and much more! Check the website for a full schedule of events on September 2nd- 5th. North Street. Blandford, MA. (<$)

Friday, September 2, 6pm-8pm
DANCE/CULTURAL STUDIES
Circle Dance at the West Cummington Parish House draws upon the traditional dances of many different cultures. Sacred Circle Dance was founded by the members of Findhorn Community in Scotland. The dances have a range of pace and style, but no experience is necessary. Every dance will be explained and demonstrated, so this is a great opportunity to learn something new while getting exercise and meeting new people. Call 413 634-0132 for more information. 27 West Main Street. West Cummington, MA. (DONATION)

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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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