Suggested Events for April 29th-May 5th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more events, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camp Directory

Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your summer camp or program to our directory HERE.

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

Health & Wellness Directory

In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers, resources, and institutions a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory.

We’ve all been there… deep in discussion about our health and wellness with friends and family, around the dining room table and cocktail parties, at a playgroup and on the playground. How often have you found yourself looking for a recommendation or local service that could support the health and wellness of your family? This spring we are pulling together a comprehensive list of services and practitioners that can support the health and wellness of you and your family. If you would like to be included in this list, find our more info here and reach out to our amazing Sales & Marketing Manager, Merricka Breuer. (Online publish date: Spring 2017)

Bulletin Board

May 7

Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, Peppa’s theatre tour will visit Springfield’s Symphony Hall on Sunday, May 7, at 2pm. In Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, the nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it quickly. They set up a fair to raise money so Mr. Bull can do the repairs. There’s plenty of fun to be had as Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep organize an exciting day out complete with a Champion Puddle Jumping Competition judged by Mr. Potato, where everyone gets wet! An interactive experience full of singing, dancing, games, and muddy puddles, it’s a blast for the whole family. The fun-filled show gives families the opportunity to engage in an unforgettable first live theater experience. $29 and up. http://bit.ly/PeppaPigSpringfield.

May 13

Bring the whole family to Vermont: Brattleboro Memorial Hospital hosts their annual Touch a Truck event on Saturday May 13 from 9am-1pm. Over 50 big rigs will converge on the BMH parking lot. Spend the day in the driver’s seat playing with all the buttons and levers, trying on firefighters’ bunker gear, moving mulch in a mini tractor, and so much more. Want to win free tickets? Download the coloring page and send a masterpiece to be entered into a drawing for free tickets. All entrants’ artwork will be displayed at the event. Contest is open to ages 12 and under. Download it here. Admission: $5 per child (2-12), $15 for families with 3+ children, under 2 and over 13, by donation. All proceeds benefit BMH.

Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one!

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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
APRIL 29th – MAY 5th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, April 29, 2017

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. This week, HFVS Guest DJ, Wayne Potash share songs & story featuring animals, and animals that act like people. Great episode to introduce your kids to the concept of anthropomorphism! 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, April 29, 8am-1pm
ANGLING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Do you or someone in your family want to learn how to fish? Maybe you’re already an experienced angler and want to teach your children to fish. Bring the whole family to Cops And Bobbers Family Fishing Festival where families will be learning to fish in a friendly, supportive environment. Bring your own equipment or borrow some for the day (first-come, first-served). Call Jim Lagacy at 508-389-6309. Forest Park. 200 Trafton Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 9am-12pm
ORNITHOLOGY/INTERGENERATIONAL
Learning about birds teaches kids about ecological concepts such as migration and habitat, while also connecting kids to local nature spaces. It’s never too early or too late to learn about ornithology! Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is offering a Family Bird Fun series for families to learn about birding together. Each month participants will learn a different aspect of birding. Sessions include a lesson followed by outdoor practice. Birdwatching also helps you to focus on your senses and the present moment, as you watch and listen for the sights and sounds of birds. Call 413-584-3009 to register. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 29, 9am-12pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/ECOLOGY
Garlic mustard is an invasive species that threatens butterflies, jack-in-the-pulpit, native oak seedlings, and other important species. Families can learn about ecology through the lens of invasive species, while contributing to their local community, by participating in a volunteer workday at Field Farm. Regional ecologist Julie Richburg will teach families how to safely remove garlic mustard and lead participants in cleaning up the trails. Basic tools will be provided. Bring gloves if you have them. For those who wish to learn more about Field Farm and other volunteer opportunities, stick around for the open house from 12pm to 1pm. For more information, call 413-532-1631 ex. 3119. Field Farm Reservation. 554 Sloan Road. Williamstown, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 29, 9am-12pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Mass Audubon nature centers such as Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary are essential local resources for education. These natural spaces are a shared place for exercise and relaxation. They are an ever-changing space for learning about nature through participation in workshops or in self-directed ways. You can give back to these resources by attending a statewide volunteer day. Projects will include sprucing up the grounds for spring and removing invasive species. Register to volunteer at Arcadia or Laughing Brook by calling 413-584-3009. Easthampton, MA. or Hampden, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 29, 9am-5pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY
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 purchase your next round of books, and support programming at the Westfield Athenaeum, at their Annual Spring Book Sale. 413-568-7833. 20 Broad Street. Westfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, April 29, 9:30am-11:30am
BRAIN DEVELOPMENT/INTERGENERATIONAL
Young children grow so fast! Not just their bodies, but their brains too. Northampton’s Week of the Young Child Festival celebrates parents and children, and offers lots of brain building activities. There will be ample opportunity for creative free play, tumbling, information for parents, and art making. Kids will have the chance to visit a police car, school bus, fire engine, and dump truck. Interacting with local families and community figures can make your community a more inviting place for the whole family. Programs will take place in the Jackson Street School cafeteria. For more information call 413-587-1471. 120 Jackson Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 10am-11am
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Introduce your child to nature confidently on a “First Child in the Woods: Caregiver and Infant/Toddler Walk” at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Exploring nature promotes creativity and problem-solving and is a great bonding activity for families. This one-hour guided hike will give you the skills and confidence to explore nature with your child on your own. For ages birth to five years old. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$ Members; $ Non members; child FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 10am-12pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Do you love exploring state parks? Now is your chance to give back, on Park Serve Day! The Department of Conservation and Recreation invites you to Great Falls Discovery Center for a day of service. You can help by planting a plant, raking a leaf, weeding a weed, or cleaning up the Canalside Rail Trail. Bring your kids for some intergenerational time outdoors and to demonstrate the importance of volunteering for the causes that matter to you. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 29, 10am-1pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/LOCAL HISTORY
Learn about local, natural history on a narrated hike of the Keystone Arch Bridge Trail. Running along the northern portion of the East Branch of the Westfield River, the Keystone Arch Bridges Trail follows a former railroad bed through a series of historic arch bridges. The bridges, once a marvel of modern engineering and the tallest of their kind in the country, stand as a testament to human capabilities, while the river’s natural beauty shines, illuminating the watershed’s health. The trail is easy and well-marked, but but be prepared for mud. Bring your own drinks and snacks. For more information, visit the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center website. Meet at the Chester Rail Station. 10 Prospect Street. Chester, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 10am-5pm
POTTERY/CERAMIC ARTS
Pottery appears as a cultural artifact on all corners of the Earth. It can be revered and studied as an art form, a functional object, and a historical relic. You are invited to view pottery in historical and contemporary styles on a walking tour of the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail on April 29 and April 30. In various clay studios you will see tableware and sculpture by nine potters and thirteen guest ceramic artists. This is a great opportunity to explore a variety of artistic styles as you visit clay studios and meet artists. For more information call 413-625-2870. Studios are located across the pioneer valley in: Greenfield, Northampton, Shelburne Falls, Hadley, Pelham and Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 10:30am-11:30am
BOTANY/FORAGING
Did you know that you can eat black locust flowers, cattail buds, and stinging nettle leaves? Wild edible plants are tasty and nutritious. Teacher and author Blanche Derby will be giving a show-and-tell style talk about edible plants at the Gaylord Memorial Library.. She will give participants basic information on how to find, identify, and prepare edible plants for eating or drinking. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 10:30am-12pm or 1pm-2:30pm
SHADOW PUPPETRY
Shadow puppetry allows kids to think creatively, engaging their visual imaginations. Children ages ten and older, and their caregivers, are invited to a shadow puppetry workshop. Meredyth Babcock of Marmalade Productions will guide the group in the creation of hinged shadow puppets for use in a short play that will be presented at the end of the workshop. This workshop will also teach youth about our local brooks, streams, and ponds. This is the final event of River Smart month, a series of events connecting our community members to the importance of local bodies of water. Call the Housatonic Valley Association at 413-298-7024 to register for this event which will take place at the Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 11am-1pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/HISTORY
Josh Billings was a 19th century humorous writer, born in Lanesboro, Massachusetts. You and your family can learn about his legacy, and local history, on a guided hike of historic Constitution Hill. Cultural historian and naturalist Mike Whalen will tell stories to engage you with local history as you explore the trail. This family-friendly 1.5 mile hike will also involve a scavenger hunt! Wear sturdy, waterproof shoes. Constitution Hill Reserve. For more information call 413-499-9935. Meet at the kiosk parking area. Bridge Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 11am-1pm
LITERACY/SPANISH
Reading out loud to your kids can help them build pleasant memories and associations with reading, encouraging them to grow into lifelong readers. The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a bilingual Spanish and English program, “Reading Alive,” featuring dramatic readings for young children and their families. This event will feature readings of two children’s books, The Rain Came Down by David Shannon and Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, performed by two Enchanted Circle Theater artist educators. The reading will be followed by theater games to engage the whole family. Whether you and your family speak Spanish together or you want to introduce your young children to new languages and cultures, this is a great event for encouraging literacy for the whole family. Grace Episcopal Church. 14 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 12pm-5pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Amherst ChalkWalk is an annual event which encourages artists of all ages and abilities while bringing the community together in celebration of warm weather. Artists will draw with sidewalk chalk all over downtown Amherst. Community members are welcome to enter their art or simply visit the beautiful outdoor display. There will be live music on the town common throughout the day. To register for the event contact amherstchalkwalk@gmail.com. Visitors are invited to vote for their favorite artist. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 29, 12:30pm
THEATER/MUSIC HISTORY
Amadeus is a 1979 play by Peter Shaffer which tells a fictionalized account of the lives of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. The play utilizes music by Mozart, Salieri, and other composers. Lovers of theater and classical music can view an HD film screening of this play performed by the National Theatre in London, at Amherst Cinema. This screening is part of Amherst Cinema’s “International Performances in HD” series. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 29, 1pm-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Garlic mustard is an invasive species that threatens butterflies, jack-in-the-pulpit, native oak seedlings, and more. You and your children can help prevent these negative impacts by helping the Trustees of Reservations in removing garlic mustard. Josh Knox will lead a family-friendly garlic mustard pull. Participants will also do some light trail cleanup. Basic tools will be provided. Bring gloves if you have them, as well as water and snacks. For more information call 413-532-1631 ex 3121. Dinosaur Footprints. Route 5. Holyoke, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 29, 1pm-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Invasive species multiply and spread to the point that they are a danger to biodiversity. Though quite unwanted and dangerous to our fragile ecosystems, these species serve as a community-based resource for learning. Through studies of local habitat, opportunities for citizen science, and targeted community service efforts, local families can use invasive species as a catalyst for building knowledge and cohesiveness both at home and in the community at large. Little Tom Reservation in Holyoke invites you to help in the search for and removal of invasive species in the picturesque woodlands. Bring water and snacks. Participants will walk about a half mile to the worksite over uphill terrain. For more information call 413-532-1631 ex 3121. Meet at the Yellow Gate on Mountain Park Access Road. Holyoke, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 29, 2pm
MINDFULNESS/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
You don’t have to sit to meditate! Families are invited to take a mindful walk in the woods. The walk will include some guided sitting and standing meditations. While walking, participants will engage in hearing-birdsong meditation and smelling-the-forest meditation. This is a great opportunity to try meditation for the first time or build upon your practice through sitting, standing, and walking mindfulness practices. Register by emailing hltoutreach@thetrustees.org with your name, the number in your party, and a phone number where you can be reached on the day of the event. Bradley Sanctuary. Williamsburg, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 29, 3pm-4pm
LITERACY/HISTORY
William Cullen Bryant was a 19th century poet, one of the five “fireside” or “schoolhouse” poets in New England who challenged British politics through his writing. He also planted over 800 apple trees on his farm property. While the orchard is no longer active, you can still visit the poet’s homestead, now a property of The Trustees of Reservations. Once a month, the William Cullen Bryant Homestead offers visitors the opportunity to explore the books in Bryant’s library. Participants will use curatorial gloves and learn how to handle historic books. Find out what Bryant was reading at the homestead! Space is limited. Call 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 29, 6-8pm
LIVE MUSIC/PARENTS NIGHT OUT
Ray Mason at Bread Euphoria Bakery & Cafe. Haydenville, MA

Saturday, April 29, 7pm
THEATER/PLACEMAKING
Theater is a psychological art form which audiences can often relate to on a personal level. Life in the (413) takes this relatability to a new level, as a toast and roast of life inside our 413 area code! Laugh and celebrate our collective Western Massachusetts towns with five original tales by local authors presented as old-time radio theatre. Life in the (413) honors local culture and shines a spotlight on what makes our community so vibrant and unique! This one-night-only performance will be held at the Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$; students $)

Saturday, April 29, 8:30pm-9:30pm
HERPETOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENCE
Here in western Massachusetts, one of Mother Nature’s first ways of letting us know that spring has arrived is the chorus that comes during the evening. Wood frogs add natural music to the wet, muddy, spring landscape, letting everyone and everything within earshot know that winter is finally over. Studying amphibians, and specifically local frogs, teaches you about ecology, habitat, and life cycles. People of all ages are invited to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about local frog species. Participants will learn about how frogs can be studied through citizen science initiatives such as frog calling surveys. Then, they will venture outdoors to listen to frog calls. Call 413-584-3009 to register. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, April 30, 10am
RUN/FUNDRAISER
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County connects local youth with adults who can have a positive impact on their lives. You can help raise money for Big Brother Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a program offered through the Center for Human Development, by participating in a run or walk. Sign up for either the 5k run/walk or the 10K run. The Daffodil Run is also a great way to see the thousands of Daffodils that were planted in celebration of the town of Amherst’s 250th Anniversary. Participate, donate, or come out to cheer on the runners! Kendrick Park. East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Sunday, April 30, 10am-4pm
JEWISH CULTURE/LITERACY
The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst is a thriving local resource for learning about Jewish culture, language, history, cultural preservation, oral histories and much more! Receive a crash course in Yiddish literature by attending the Book Center’s open house. There will be tours of the center and lectures. Stanford University Professor Steven Zipperstein will give a talk on the Kishinev pogrom of 1903 and photographer Loli Kantor will discuss her photographic work on Jewish life in modern Eastern Europe. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 30, 10am-5pm
POTTERY/CERAMIC ARTS
Pottery appears as a cultural artifact of all corners of the Earth. It can be revered and studied as an art form, a functional object, and a historical artifact. You are invited to view pottery in historical and contemporary styles on a walking tour of the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail on April 29 and April 30. In various clay studios you will see tableware and sculpture by nine potters and thirteen guest ceramic artists. This is a great opportunity to explore variety of artistic styles as you visit clay studios throughout the valley. For more information call 413-625-2870. Studios are located across the pioneer valley in: Greenfield, Northampton, Shelburne Falls, Hadley, Pelham and Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 30, 11am-12pm
HISTORY
North American canoes, originally constructed by Native Americans out of bark, have changed remarkably little over time. Canoes are an essential part of the cultural history of both ancient and modern North America. Norman Sims and Mark Neuzil studied this subject for their illustrated book Canoes: A Natural History in North America. You can hear what they have learned in an author talk at Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 30, 11am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Trustees of Reservations properties such as Mount Warner are an essential local resource for education. These natural spaces are a shared place for exercise, relaxation, and learning about nature through participation in workshops or in self-directed ways. You can give back by assisting the Trustees staff with trail maintenance and the removal of invasive species. This is also a great opportunity for learning about ecology, habitat, and plant and soil science. For more information call 413-532-1631 ex 3121. Mount Warner Road. North Hadley, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Sunday, April 30, 1pm-2pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Coding is an activity which teaches kids cause and effect and problem solving concepts while also allowing them the freedom to create. ScratchJr is a great tool for getting even young children involved in coding. With Scratch, kids can make their own games and stories by controlling how characters move, jump, dance, and sing! In this Holyoke Codes program, children ages five through seven will learn how to use ScratchJR. Bring your own tablet and install the free app, or borrow a device. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 30, 2pm
GRAVESTONE STUDIES/ART STUDIES
Gravestone studies encompases such topics as art, history, genealogy, archaeology, anthropology, and historic preservation. If you are interested in any of those subject areas, you may want to attend a talk presented by Al and Betsy McKee at Goshen Town Hall. Their presentation, “Art in the Face of Mortality: A Sampling of Gravestone Art in the Connecticut River Valley,” will teach listeners the significance of gravestone art from a local perspective. You will learn about various gravestone traditions, carvers and motifs found in the Connecticut River Valley. Attendees are also invited to join a walk through local burying grounds. Goshen Town Hall. Main Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 30, 2pm-3pm
LITERACY/HORTICULTURE
As a child, were you engrossed by the magical Hundred Acre Wood of the Winnie-the-Pooh tales? A. A. Milne, author of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, was inspired by the forests of southeast England. Garden historian Kathryn Aalto will be giving a presentation at The Mount showing attendees the real landscapes which inspired iconic moments in the stories. Her talk will explore the interplay between landscape and literature. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Sunday, April 30, 3pm-4pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHORUS
At the end of the academic school year, many musical groups at colleges showcase their hard work in free concerts for the public. You can hear highlights from this year at a choral concert featuring the three choirs of Choral Forces. The singers will perform some of their favorite pieces from the year and also feature the work of a number of student apprentice conductors. Abbey Chapel. Mount Holyoke College. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 30, 4pm-5pm
PARENTING
Sleep is essential for emotional regulation, problem solving, and memory. Understanding sleep is especially important for parents. When your kids can’t sleep…neither can you! Beth Grams Haxby, Ed.M. and Jonathan Schwab, M.D. will be offering a parenting workshop, “What about Sleep: It’s more important than you think,” to provide strategies for parents to help their infants and young children sleep through the night. Help build strategies as a family to support this essential lifelong habit of healthy sleep. Northampton Area Pediatrics. 413-517-2226 . 193 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, May 1, 9am-5pm
HORTICULTURE
Learn about horticulture, medicinal herbs, and local history at the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual opening. There will be scheduled activities from 1-3pm including garden tours and talks. Members of the Herb Associates will serve an assortment of herb-infused cookies. Try a sample of Mai Bowle, a May wine punch originally developed as a medicinal beverage and first documented in the year 854 by German monks. All day long visitors can explore the 15-acre garden featuring blooming crabapple, redbud, and shadblow trees as well as perennials including peony, daffodil, and hellebores. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 1, 9:30am-10:15am
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Practicing yoga at any age can connect you to your body and help you be more mindful. Starting young, kids can discover that yoga is a rewarding hobby, and will possibly develop a lifelong love of the activity. The Community Network for Chidlren is offering a family yoga series ideal for kids ages two to five. Baby siblings are also welcome. The class will use music to guide kids through movements and postures while singing familiar songs. Kids will imitate different animals in their poses and complete a fun obstacle course. There will be five sessions, on April 24, May 1, 8, 15, and 22. Registration is required call 978-544-5157. Sessions take place at the Leverett Library. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 1, 6:30pm
ART STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY
Art exhibit openings are a great place to meet and connect with local artists and fans of art. Dr. Gloria Callaber-Acre is a retired Springfield public schools administrator and local artist. She will be displaying her paintings, which incorporate bold colors and abstract shapes, at the Springfield City Library. Support a local artist and learn about contemporary painting by attending the reception on May 1. Callaber-Arce’s handmade jewelry and painted plates will also be on display. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, May 2, 9:30am
PUPPETRY
Puppetry is a theatrical art form which appeals to lots of children. Young kids often like to animate objects like stuffed animals as a form of creative free play. Puppet shows teach them the endless possibilities of this kind of play! Liam Hurley will be giving a puppetry performance for families at the Northampton Parents Center. There will be snacks, as well as coffee and tea for adults, play group, story time, arts and crafts, and more! The event is free of charge and open to the public. Donations will be accepted for Valley Gives Day. Email northamptonparentscenter@gmail.com with questions. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Tuesday, May 2, 5:30pm
ART STUDIES/PHOTOGRAPHY
American photographer Carl Van Vechten’s photographs provide insight into American history through a traveller’s cross-cultural perspective. Vechten took over one hundred photographs of the Indian dancer Ram Gopal in New York city in 1938, capturing a time and place in history which we can now revisit through his work. Art history, Asian studies, and film studies professor Ajay Sinha will be educating listeners on Vechten’s life and work, in the lecture “An Indian Dancer in American Photographs,” at the Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 2, 6pm
HISTORY/LITERACY
Author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau is best known for a famous act of civil disobedience, and his life at Walden pond. Thoreau spent one night in jail for his intentional nonpayment of the state poll tax. His essays and books from the 19th century are still widely read and discussed today. Writer and educator Corinne H. Smith will be discussing Thoreau’s enduring popularity, his work and his life, in a talk at the Adams Free Library. She will explain some of Thoreau’s “transcendentalist” philosophy and the ways in which these ideas continue to resonate today. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street. Adams, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, May 3, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Spring and fall are the best times of year for birdwatching if you want to learn about migratory birds. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s caretaker Jonathan Pierce will be offering a spring birdwatching guided walk for adults on Wednesdays in May. Participants will walk past beaver wetlands and through the woods to identify warblers, tanagers, orioles, and other species. Beginners are welcome. Bring binoculars. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 3, 6pm
NUTRITION/PSYCHOLOGY
Eat your way to a better mood! Diet is inextricably linked to every aspect of how we feel, including mental aspects of health. The right, healthy diet can improve mood, attention and memory. Psychiatrist Dr. Georgie Ede will be at the Greenfield Public Library discussing how to improve these aspects of mental health through informed nutritional choices. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 3, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
Aaron Copland’s orchestral suite “Appalachian Spring” first premiered in 1944 and remains popular today. You can hear this composition as well as contemporary orchestral music performed by The Chamber Orchestra of Williams, at the Clark Art Institute. This Spring concert will also feature poetry and art for a multidimensional and innovative performance. All are welcome. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 3, 7pm
POETRY
Biographers must combine historical research with an ability for narrative storytelling, as they try to capture a human life through words on a page. Author Megan Marshall had the benefit of knowing her biographical subject personally. Marshall will be discussing her book, Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, a biography of the popular American poet. Learn about the life and work of Elizabeth Bishop, and the craft of writing biography, by attending this talk at the Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 3, 7:30pm
THEATER
Sam Shepard is an award-winning American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director. He has written over forty plays and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979. Icarus’s Mother, a one-act play first staged in 1965, is one of his lesser known dramatic works. The play slowly escalates from a simple, realistic scenario (a pleasant picnic) into a confusing and dangerous one. Much of this contemporary play is up for interpretation. Fans of Sam Shepard’s work have the unique opportunity to see this lesser-known play performed under the direction of Smith College sophomore Isabelle Brown. Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre. 122 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, May 4, 1pm-3pm
EDUCATION/PARENTING
Do you homeschool your children? You’re invited to the Berkshire Homeschoolers’ Curriculum Swap to trade textbooks, teacher’s manuals, workbooks and other educational materials for all subjects and grade levels. This is a great way to pass on materials you’re no longer using and get involved in the local homeschooling community. If you’re new to homeschooling you don’t need to bring anything to participate in the swap. If you have questions about any area of homeschooling, there will likely be someone who can answer your questions and give advice. For more information contact: amynajimy@yahoo.com. First Baptist Church. 32 North Street. Cheshire, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 5pm-8pm
POETRY
Want to share your poetry for a welcoming audience in Emily Dickinson’s own parlor? All are invited to an open mic poetry reading and one-night art exhibit at the Emily Dickinson Museum. Check the Emily Dickinson Museum website for a full list of featured artists and poets who will be participating in the evening of spoken word, music, and art. This free event coincides with Amherst Arts Night! Share your work or gain inspiration from local artists of all kinds. Support them with your presence and your applause. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 7:30pm
THEATER
Sam Shepard is an award-winning American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director. He has written over forty plays and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979. Icarus’s Mother, a one-act play first staged in 1965, is one of his lesser known dramatic works. The play slowly escalates from a simple, realistic scenario (a pleasant picnic) into a confusing and dangerous one. Much of this contemporary play is up for interpretation. Fans of Sam Shepard’s work have the unique opportunity to see this lesser-known play performed under the direction of Smith College sophomore Isabelle Brown. Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre. 122 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, May 5, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
The natural environment is changing subtly all the time. If you learn how to look for those changes, your nature walks will be full of learning.You can learn to identify migratory birds such as wood-warblers, orioles, thrushes, and more on spring birding walks at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Sanctuary volunteer and Hoffmann Bird Club leader Noreen Mole will guide participants past wetlands and through meadows and woodlands, observing changes in ecology and bird species each week. Bring binoculars; beginners welcome. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 5, 10am
ORNITHOLOGY/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the City of Springfield and ReGreen Springfield are partnering together to help create bird friendly habitats throughout Springfield. You can learn more about this initiative, and celebrate Springfield’s designation as an Urban Bird Treaty City, at the Springfield Museums Quadrangle Green. Raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi will deliver the featured presentation. All ages are welcome. In the event of rain, the program moves into the Science Museum’s Tolman Auditorium. For questions, call 413-263-6800, ext. 404. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 5, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
A love of animals can grow into a focus for all kinds of learning. Spending time with animals can help kids build their empathic skills by understanding the needs of another living being. Taking care of animals at home (even something as simple as putting feed in a bird feeder) can also teach kids responsibility. For the scientifically minded, zoology is a topic which leads to learning about biology and ecology. You can encourage your children’s interest in animals by bringing them to animal focused “Kidleidoscope” programs at Great Falls Discovery Center. These programs are best suited for ages three to six, but siblings and friends are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The May 5 program will introduce children to the topic of fish through stories, crafts, and interactive games. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 5, 11:30am-1:20pm
ICE SKATING
Ice skating is a 3,000 year old sport and a New England family tradition! Whether indoors or outdoors, ice skating is a fun physical activity for kids and adults. Families are invited to skate at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst on Fridays in March and April. Check the Mullins Center website for a full calendar and details. The Mullins Center rink accepts cash or check only. Governors Drive. Amherst, MA. (Child <$)

Friday, May 5, 7pm-9pm
HISTORY
Do you know the origins of International Workers’ Day? This celebration of laborers and their rights commemorates the Haymarket Square labor demonstration in Chicago. You can learn about United States labor history at the gathering, “Voices of Working People’s History.” This event will honor the voices of activists and thinkers such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Frances Perkins, Anna Sullivan and many more through readings and performances in Holyoke Heritage State Park. Visit the Western Mass Jobs With Justice Facebook page for more information. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 5, 3pm
ART HISTORY
In 1916, Norman Rockwell painted his first cover for the Saturday Evening Post, the magazine considered by the artist to be the “greatest show window in America.” For the next 47 years, millions of Americans welcomed Rockwell’s art into their homes, enjoying the artist’s iconic cover and interior art. You can learn about America’s favorite illustrator by meeting people who knew him personally. Models who posed for Rockwell will be sharing their experiences. This program is included with regular museum admission. Norman Rockwell Museum. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Friday, May 5, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CABARET
Your voice is the instrument you take with you everywhere! Sherri James Buxton is a skilled vocalist who plays a range of musical genres. Her shows incorporate standards and show tunes as well as jazz. Come to the Spectrum Playhouse to hear her interpret classic songs with her own creative twist. Singers are bound to be inspired by her abilities. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee MA. (<$)

Friday, May 5, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an interest in mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the sky. Planetarium shows at the Hopkins Observatory feature demonstrations of a range of phenomena including: retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, the mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, and much more. They will be offering free shows on Friday evenings through running through May 12. Call 413-597-2188 for more information. Williams College. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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