Suggested Events for May 6th-12th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, 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

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! — 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 listing HERE.

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

15th Annual Community Renaissance Festival: Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 650 E. Pleasant St. Amherst. 11:00am-4:00pm. Costumes encouraged. Fun for the whole family. Rain or shine. Theater, music, falconry, juggling, sword demonstrations from Phoenix Swords, Renaissance games, artisans, dancing, and more! Free parking. Food for sale from UMass concessions. For more information go to:
www.umass.edu/renaissance/festival2017.

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. www.peppapigliveus.com.

Open House: May 11, 13 & 31

Oasis Camp offers specialty programs for children from 3 years old to 6th grade! With amazing facilities at Smith College, Oasis features mature staff with low camper/staff ratio and a warm environment where kids can participate in activities tailored to their interests! The Early Start camp for kids 3 years to Kindergarten offers sports, daily Red Cross swim, arts, dance, theater and a Ready for September enrichment program. The Traditional Camp (1st- 6th graders) is designed to provide campers with sports crafts, theater, dance and Red Cross Instructional and Recreational Swim to further develop skills and confidence. Contact: 800-317-1392, www.oasischildren.com. Open House: May 11 & 31 at 5:30pm & May 13 at 10:30am, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101.

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.

May 13 & 14

Join local artists May 13th & 14th for a celebration of Mother’s Day in Florence, featuring handmade pottery from Tandem Ceramics and Steve Theberge Ceramics and jewelry from Tiny Anvil. All flower vases will come with a custom arrangement of spring flowers from Wild Rose Farm, the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Plus bring a receipt from the Florence Pie Bar and get 10% off your whole purchase. Located at 221 Pine Street Studio #336 in Florence, MA (Arts + Industry Building). www.facebook.com/events/164079904117936.

Jul 5-28

Sled Dog Adventures in West Chesterfield, MA invites kids to learn to take care of & exercise a world class athlete-the Alaskan Husky Sled Dog! Choose a dog for the week: Learn to feed, pet, play, clean-up after & train a sled dog. Ride a racing rig, scooter, bike, jog & swim with the sled dogs. Some of the warm weather activities dogs & Day Campers love to do together. Overnight Camp includes wilderness skills, primitive cooking at the bonfire, storytelling, marshmallows & howling! All have fun bonding, playing & mushing with the team! “My son just finished his first Puppy Camp, it was everything & more! He not only bonded with the dogs – he seemed to grow in self-confidence each day.” Cummington MA. July 5-28, 7-16yrs. hwa@marlabb.com, www.hilltownwildernessadventures.com.

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

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
May 6-12, 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, May 6, 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. Mariana Iranzi, children’s musician from Argentina living in New York, guest DJs our Cinco de Mayo Episode— a celebration of Hispanic culture and its friendship with the United States through great family music. Multicultural, bilingual (Spanish & English) and fun! 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, May 6, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Spring marks the arrival of warblers, sparrows, thrushes, and other migratory birds. Learning to identify them by sight and sound can add a new layer of appreciation to the spring season. Lime Kiln Wildlife Sanctuary’s education coordinator will be offering guided morning walks of the trails to teach participants how to identify species of local birds. If time permits participants may also check other nearby birding hot spots. Bring binoculars; beginners are welcome. This program is best suited for adults. 413-637-0320. Silver Street. Sheffield, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Saturday, May 6, 8am-12pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/PLACEMAKING
Do you care about the town of Easthampton? You can help clean it up by participating in Easthampton Clean Up Day. Volunteer as a family to demonstrate to your children the importance of giving back and contributing to the community. Visit the signup.com registration site for a full list of locations and time slots available. Participants will be picking up trash and weeds from sidewalks, helping to mulch planters, and more across public spaces. This event is a form of placemaking; it encourages community members to meet and work together to beautify shared spaces. Easthampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 6, 9am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Participating in a volunteer day at a local nature center or trail, you can help ensure that the trails are cleared for visitors, and in some cases even help biodiversity by pulling invasive plants! Housatonic Valley Association invites you to their annual spring work party on the Old Mill Trail. Volunteers will help clean up the trail of winter debris, rake portions of the trail of leaves, pick up trash, replace lost markers and hand-pull invasive plants such as garlic mustard, celandine and winged euonymus. Tools, work gloves and snacks will be provided. Call 413-298-7024 to register. Meet at the trailhead on Old Dalton Road. Hinsdale, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 6, 9am-2pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is kicking off a week of intergenerational birding activities, starting on May 6 with a Bird Festival! Individual adults and families can take guided walks of the grounds and learn about bird banding through demonstrations. “Bird banding” refers to the process of catching birds, marking them with an identifying band, and setting them free again. The data gathered from this process can assist in ornithological and biological research, and can be part of tracking reproductive success and population rates. All day during the festival, you can learn how to engage in citizen science and get involved helping Neighborhood Nest Watch to band birds. Visit the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary webpage for a full schedule of activities. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 10am-12pm
ART STUDIES/DRAWING
Using animals as subjects for artwork can connect an interest in zoology with art studies. Local artist Karen Danuith will be guiding participants in a drawing session at Bartholomew’s Cobble during which participants will use the bird taxidermy collection for inspiration to draw three-dimensional birds. Birds in flight can be difficult to see and capture on the page. This is a unique opportunity to see the tiniest details of birds up close. For more information call 413-298-3239 x 3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Members <$; Non members $)

Saturday, May 6, 10am-12pm
BOTANY
One of the most beautiful harbingers of spring is the emergence of wildflowers. New England’s natural habitats such as forests, meadows, wetlands, alpine summits, and coastal environments, are home to many species of spring-flowering plants. In this lecture, “Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers of the Northeast,” Ted Elliman will talk about the wildflowers that you are likely to find in bloom in the forests and meadows of the Berkshires. Attendees are also invited, after the presentation, to hike the trails of the Ice Glen and identify plants along the mossy ravine. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, May 6, 10am-2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Visiting a historical society is a great way to connect to your town- both past and present. The Historical Society of Greenfield is housed in a building built in 1852, and showcases collections of photographs, local antiques, books, maps, paintings, memorabilia and artifacts about local and county history. All are invited to visit the historical society, explore the newly restored Benton Hall, and view a sampling of the many items that help tell the story of Greenfield. Email hsgreenfield1907@gmail.com for more information. 43 Church Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 10am-2:30pm
SPRING CELEBRATION/FAIRIES
The word “fairy,” comes from the old French “faerie,” meaning “enchantment.” Fairies appear frequently in English folklore and continue to enchant children in stories today. Building fairy houses is a great way to encourage children’s imaginative and creative powers while engaging with seasonal traditions and spending time outdoors. There will be fairy-themed crafts, as well as performances by Ed the Wizard, Mary Jo Maichack, and the Mill River Madrigal Singers, at the Meekins Library May Faire! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 10:30am-12pm
PARENTING/STEM
Children are born scientists! Whenever your young child asks a “Why?” question about the world, they are demonstrating their natural inquisitiveness about how things work. The Collaborative for Educational Services “Young Scientists” program will give parents the tools to encourage and build upon this natural, scientific curiosity. Child care will be available during the parent learning session, which will be followed by fun parent-child activities. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. Pelham Elementary School. 45 Amherst Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 11am-1pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Waterfalls are formed through the erosion of bedrock, often near the upper course of a river. Waterfalls are beautiful sights and can teach us about geology and river ecology. You can discover a beautiful, hidden waterfall by participating in a guided hike to the Sanderson Brook Falls in the Chester Blandford State Forest. Hikers will meet at the trailhead in the parking lot. For more information, visit the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers Facebook page. Chester, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 12pm-5pm
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/LGBTQ
Northampton held its first liberation pride parade in 1981, a time when there were no legal protections for non-heterosexual employees. Community members marched with paper bags on their heads to draw attention to the fact that they could be fired because of their sexual orientation. Northampton Pride 2017 will kick off at noon with the parade, marching up Old South Street to Main Street and arriving at the Pride Event site, the 3 County Fairgrounds. Check the Northampton Pride website for a full schedule of speakers and performances. This event will be interpreted in American Sign Language. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 12:30pm-2:30pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Artificial intelligence has been a popular topic in mythology, science fiction, computer science, and philosophy for centuries. In recent decades, theory has come closer and closer to reality, with technological devices who understand basic voice commands and questions. Junior programmers ages ten and up are invited to a Holyoke Codes workshop to experiment with artificial intelligence and create their own personal assistants. Your assistant will be able to ask you questions and understand your voice responses. Participants will create this simple interface using api.ai and the Google Conversation Assistant. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 1:30pm
ART STUDIES/PAINTING
Painting demonstrations are great for art lovers who want to gain a better understanding of the creative process. Illustrator and painter Dan Howe will be offering a painting demonstration and discussion to illuminate the artistic process of famous artist Norman Rockwell. This program is included with admission to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Artists may be interested to try out the techniques they see demonstrated. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 6pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/PRINTMAKING
Interested in turning your artistic skills and interests into a business? Liz Chalfin, founding director of Zea Mays Printmaking, will be discussing her personal journey in a talk: “The Artist as Entrepreneur.” Her internationally-recognized printmaking studio made its name by committing to safe, non-toxic practices. Hearing the business success story of another artist could inspire your own journey. Attendees will also learn about the art of printmaking, in this talk at the Shelburne Falls Art Garden 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 6, 7pm
PERFORMING ARTS/INTERGENERATIONAL
Palmer Historical and Cultural Center’s Annual Talent Show is an all ages showcase of local performers! The event also functions as a fundraiser to benefit the cultural center. May 6 is Finals Night for the contest. Cheer on local musicians, dancers, and performers of all kinds at this family-friendly event. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. ($)

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Sunday, May 7, 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, May 7, 7am-9:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Guided bird walks can help you learn about ecology as you notice the changes in scenery and species over the course of varying seasons. All are welcome to explore the new accessible birding and nature trail at Fort River National Wildlife Refuge, on a guided bird walk sponsored by the Hitchcock Center. The accessible trail is one mile long. Participants will be looking and listening for songbirds returning from the tropics for their spring nesting season. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Heavy rain cancels. 69 Moody Bridge Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 7, 10am-5pm
ART STUDIES
Clark Art Institute’s final First Sundays Free program of the season with feature en plein air painting on the Fernández Terrace, and a hike up to Stone Hill. Artists have always been inspired by nature, and outdoor painting allows artists to enjoy the landscape as you capture it on the canvas. Visitors are also welcome to join gallery talks in the Impressionist gallery at 11am and 2pm. Painting activities are weather dependent. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 7, 11am-3pm
PLACEMAKING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Open Street events support placemaking as they bring community members together in an unusual way, by closing the streets to vehicular traffic and encouraging people to get out and about on feet! During River Roll and Stroll, traffic will be closed down the Route 116 Bridge between Holyoke and South Hadley. There will be live music, art, and food trucks at this family-friendly event. This event marks the official kickoff of Baystate Bike Week. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. Holyoke and South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 7, 11am-3pm
RENAISSANCE/THEATER
15th Annual Community Renaissance Festival
. Costumes encouraged. Fun for the whole family. Rain or shine. Theater, music, falconry, juggling, sword demonstrations from Phoenix Swords, Renaissance games, artisans, dancing, and more! Free parking. Food for sale from UMass concessions. 650 E. Pleasant St. Amherst, MA

Sunday, May 7, 1pm-3pm
MYCOLOGY
Mycology is a branch of biology concerning the study of fungi. Cultivating mushrooms is a great way to learn about the fungi life cycle while harvesting an edible product. Notchview is offering a mushroom cultivation workshop to teach participants about log inoculation, incubation, fruiting, harvesting and growing wine caps on wood chips. All materials are included in the fee. Register by calling 413-532-1631 x 3110. 83 Old Route 9. Windsor, MA. ($$)

Sunday, May 7, 2pm
JEWISH CULTURE/HISTORY
Julius Rosenwald, founder of Sears-Roebuck, was one of the most prominent business people of his time. He was also the son of Jewish-German immigrants, and succeeded greatly in spite of never having graduated high school. He went on to support an array of social causes including the establishment of more than 5,300 schools in African-American communities. The Yiddish Book Center will be screening the 2015 documentary Rosenwald, followed by a question-and-answer session with director Aviva Kempner. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE).

Sunday, May 7, 2pm
FAMILY THEATER
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. This performance will take place at Symphony Hall. 34 Court Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, May 7, 2pm-3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/LITERACY
Music can be a form of storytelling. Musical duo Friction Farm turn their love of books into songs, gaining inspiration from popular novels like The Glass Castle as well as nonfiction texts such as Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle, Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, and more. They will be performing their unique brand of literature-inspired-music at the Springfield City Library. This concert is part of the Rotunda Rhythms musical series. Before you leave, you may want to check out one of the books that inspired guitarist/vocalist Aidan Quinn and bassist/vocalist Christine Stay. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 7, 2pm-4pm
SOCIAL JUSTICE
Want to do something about islamophobia and antisemitism? The first step to tackling a problem is fully understanding it. Community members are invited to discuss these complex social issues through a panel discussion at the Berkshire Museum. Panelists will be discussing phenomena such as the rise of hate crimes across the United States and the targeting of Jewish and Muslim communities. Spiritual leaders and academic experts will be exploring all sides of these issues. Visit the Berkshire Museum website for more information. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 7, 2pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/PERFORMING ARTS
Through collaboration, artists can achieve feats they could never achieve alone. “Exploded View” is a team of artists, writers, and performing artists who combine their talents to creative innovative works. They will be performing their new work, River/Water at Great Falls Discovery Center. The performance will be followed by a talk back. They will also discuss the opening of a community art exhibit, Catch and Release, a show of river and water themed art by Western Mass artists. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 7, 4pm-7pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Historical societies hold a wealth of knowledge to educate community members about their town’s place in history. In the case of the Shelburne Historical Society, the building itself is a piece of history offering opportunities for learning about historical architecture. The society is housed in the former Arms Academy, a classic building of its era, built in 1880. The collection housed there includes locally manufactured items, household furnishings, and extensive photographs illustrating a small manufacturing village and surrounding farms. You can explore artifacts, paintings, maps, and papers from the 1800-1900s by attending the society’s Open House. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 413-625-6150. 33 Severance Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, May 8, 6:30am-8:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Spring is a great time for birding! You can learn about migratory birds on an early morning bird walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Walks will take place all week, May 8 through May 12. Birders of all levels of experience are welcome. This program is best suited for ages sixteen and older. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. Please register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Monday, May 8, 9:30am-10:15am
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Practicing yoga at any age can connect you to your body and help you to be more mindful of the present moment. Starting young, kids can discover that yoga is a lot of fun 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, May 8, May 15, and May 22. Registration is required. Call 978-544-5157. Sessions take place at the Leverett Library. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, 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 9, 6:30am-8:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Spring is a great time for birding! You can learn about migratory birds on an early morning bird walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Walks will take place all week, May 8 through May 12. Birders of all levels of experience are welcome. This program is best suited for ages sixteen and older. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. Please register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Tuesday, May 9, 11am
BOTANY/PLANT SALE
Tending to a family garden or even just watering house plants can teach kids about responsibility and various branches science at the same time! Plant sales offer the opportunity to support local horticulturalists as well. Bringing your child along to a plant sale, he or she will learn about habitat and ecology as you pick out plants that will thrive with the conditions of your home and yard. To read more about the benefits of plant sales and potential family activities surrounding gardening, read our post Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard. Greenfield Community College’s annual plant sale will benefit the GCC food pantry. You can find flowers as well as vegetables grown locally at the GCC greenhouse. Call 413-775-1220 for more information. The sale will take place at the Core of the Main Building on the Main Campus. One College Drive. Greenfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Tuesday, May 9, 5pm-6pm
HORTICULTURE
Even if you don’t have the space or time to dedicate to a huge garden, you can learn how to grow delicious vegetables on your own. Jen Munoz from the Growing Healthy Gardens Program will be teaching a workshop on how to grow foods in small containers. Participants will leave with a small container of soil planted with vegetable seeds. Space is limited; the first 12 people will receive garden containers. Register by calling Bret Beattie at 413-663-7588 ex 28. UNO Community Center. 157 River Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 9, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING/PSYCHOLOGY
Parenting is an intellectual as well as physical and emotional challenge. Understanding what motivates your child’s behavior can help your create positive solutions to problematic habits. The Collaborative for Educational Services “Positive Solutions” program will help parents examine and understand their children’s behaviors. Parents will be given tips on how to make expectations clear for children and develop effective ways of teaching household rules. This is the third session of this program. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. This program which will take place at Easthampton High School. 413-586-4900. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 9, 6:30pm-8pm
PERMACULTURE/HORTICULTURE
Landscapers and gardeners who want to learn about permaculture have the chance to do so in a free workshop at River Valley Co Op. Permaculture is a design system and horticultural approach based on natural laws. Permaculture is also a kind of ethical philosophy which asks individuals to examine and refine their relationships within an ecosystem. Utilizing permaculture methods can help us restore healthy relationships between ourselves, our communities, and our ecosystems. Ashley Schenk will be running a workshop on how these methods can be used in gardening and landscaping. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, May 10, 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 10, 6:30am-8:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Spring is a great time for birding! You can learn about migratory birds on an early morning bird walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Walks will take place all week, May 8 through May 12. Birders of all levels of experience are welcome. This program is best suited for ages sixteen and older. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. Please register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Wednesday, May 10, 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 10, 10am
FAMILY THEATER/LITERACY
Mo Willems’ popular Elephant and Piggie picture books often address themes related to friendship, reconciling differences between fun-loving Piggie and melancholy Elephant Gerald. In spite of their different personalities, Elephant and Piggie are best friends. Families who enjoy the book series can now see these characters come to life in the musical, Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! performed at The Colonial Theatre. Homeschooling families can use this as an opportunity to discuss and learn about literature, theater, and music. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, May 10, 6pm-7:30pm
LITERACY/PARENTING
Reading opens up a new world of learning, entertainment, and much more. Reading fiction in particular strengthens the reader’s empathetic skills. In order to understand and enjoy a novel, the reader must consider various characters’ perspectives. Readers use contextual and behavioral clues to figure out what characters are thinking and feeling. This is an important lifelong skill which can be applied to real life relationships. You can encourage literacy skills with your young children, not only by reading but also talking, playing, and singing! Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a four-session workshop (on May 3, 10, 17 and 24) on the importance of literacy, teaching parents and children fun activities they can do together. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. Call 413-586-4900 for more information. Clapp Memorial Library. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 10, 7pm
NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Today, in New England and beyond, pie is a staple dessert during the winter holidays. In early American cuisine, sweet and savory pies were an integral part of diet year-round. Pilgrims brought to America their practice of pie making and developed their recipes with newly available ingredients. Robert Cox, author of New England Pie: History Under A Crust can tell you a great deal more about pie at this free lecture, to take place at the Hadley Historical Society. 413-587-2623. 12 Middle Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 10, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES
During the 18th and 19th centuries there was a great migration of music, following the migration of peoples, from Scotland and Ireland to America. This choral concert, “Across the Atlantic,” will explore the impact of human migration on music history through performances of ancient and contemporary music. Various musical groups at Bard College at Simon’s Rock will perform pieces ranging from ancient ballads and folk songs, shape-note hymns, the 50’s folk revival, Celtic Woman, the Wailin’ Jennys and the soundtrack to “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” 413-644-4400. Kellogg Music Center. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 10, 8pm-9pm
PSYCHOLOGY/NEUROSCIENCE
Traumatic experiences in childhood can have adverse effects on the victim’s health across a lifetime. The documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope approaches violence and trauma as a community issue, chronicling a movement among professionals towards the disruption of violence, addiction, and disease. The film discusses cutting edge neuroscience and the role this knowledge plays in creating change for individuals, families, and communities. Amherst Cinema will be showing the film, followed by a panel discussion with local experts in the medical field. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Thursday, May 11, 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 11, 6:30am-8:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Spring is a great time for birding! You can learn about migratory birds on an early morning bird walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Walks will take place all week, May 8 through May 12. Birders of all levels of experience are welcome. This program is best suited for ages sixteen and older. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. Please register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Thursday, May 11, 2pm
BOTANY/PLANT SALE
Tending to a family garden or even just watering house plants can teach kids about responsibility and various branches science at the same time! Plant sales offer the opportunity to support local horticulturalists as well. Bringing your child along to a plant sale, he or she will learn about habitat and ecology as you pick out plants that will thrive with the conditions of your home and yard. To read more about the benefits of plant sales and potential family activities surrounding gardening, read our post Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard. Greenfield Community College’s annual plant sale will benefit the GCC food pantry. You can find flowers as well as vegetables grown locally at the GCC greenhouse. Call 413-775-1220 for more information. The sale will take place at the Core of the Main Building on the Main Campus. One College Drive. Greenfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Thursday, May 11, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
For those of us lucky to live in proximity to college campuses, Spring is a time for concerts! At the end of the academic year, musical groups at colleges often showcase their work for the college community and beyond. All are welcome to attend the Spring Concert of The Simon’s Rock Chamber Orchestra. They will be performing Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G-minor. For more information, call 413-528-7212. Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Kellogg Music Center. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, May 12, 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 12, 6:30am-8:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Spring is a great time for birding! You can learn about migratory birds on an early morning bird walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Walks will take place all week, May 8 through May 12. Birders of all levels of experience are welcome. This program is best suited for ages sixteen and older. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. Please register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Friday, May 12, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Nature lovers can add the fun puzzle of species identification to their nature walks by learning about ornithology. You can find out how to identify the beautiful 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 12, 10am-11am
PARENTING/CULTURAL STUDIES
It is much easier to learn a new language during early childhood than it is later, as a adult. As part of their Puzzle of Parenting series, the Collaborative for Educational Services is providing a bilingual story, music, and games session for families. Participants will engage their children with both English and Spanish, and learn about Spanish and Latin American culture. This could be a great way to connect your child to their own heritage, or to introduce other cultures for a more global understanding. This program is intended for children ages birth to five years, and their caregivers. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This program will take place at the Belchertown Family Center. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 12, 11am-12pm
PARENTING/EDUCATION
Have you ever wondered about the Montessori method of education? Bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni, at the Forbes Library. This hour will include time to explore Montessori materials. There will be a circle time and a story. The Montessori School of Northampton offers children the opportunity to build their independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play with a Montessori-trained teacher and small class sizes. All families of children ages 0-6 are invited to attend this informative session. For more information call 413-586-4538 ex 103 or visit the Montessori School of Northampton website. The Forbes library is located at 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 12, 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 12, 1:30pm
ART STUDIES
Norman Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator, best known for his Saturday Evening Post covers and his series of paintings, the Four Freedoms. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge hosts the world’s largest collection of original Norman Rockwell artwork, providing local residents with a resource for learning about art and American history. Visit the museum on Friday, May 12 and you can learn even more about this artist through a talk given by Curator of Education Tom Daly. Daly will explore Rockwell’s unique style of visual storytelling. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Friday, May 12, 4pm-8pm
FIBER ARTS/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Weaving is an ancient form of textile production typically involving a loom. In Europe and the Americas, weaving has historically been an industry tied to farming and the domestication of animals, as many textiles are produced from shearing. Weaving is also a form of fiber art! Come to the Smith College Museum of Art Free Second Friday on May 12 to learn about the art of weaving in the villas of Oplontis and create your own beautiful textile. At 6pm, enjoy a guided talk. All ages are welcome. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 12, 6pm-7:30pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
Want to meet other families where you live? Community meals are a great way for both kids and parents to make new friends. The Family Place invites you to an evening of music, dancing, pizza, and a raffle. Spend some quality fun time with your family. For more information call The Family Place at 413-663-7588. Family Fun Night will be held at the North Adams Armory. 206 Ashland Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 12, 7pm
LITERATURE/HISTORY
Author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau is best known for a famous act of civil disobedience, his intentional nonpayment of the state poll tax, as well as his life at Walden pond. Thoreau’s essays and books from the 19th century are still widely read and discussed today. His “transcendentalist” philosophy and his love of nature helped inspire a movement of people experimenting with time spent alone in the woods. The 1969 film, My Side of the Mountain (rated G), tells the story of a twelve-year-old Thoreau reader who travels to the California woods in the name of self-reliance. You can celebrate Thoreau’s 200th birthday by screening this family-friendly movie at the Ashfield Public Library. 413-628-4414. 344 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 12, 7pm
THEATER
The musical Les Miserables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, has endured in its popularity since it was first performed in 1980. Through song, this performance conveys the importance of love and compassion, especially in difficult circumstances. You can see this award-winning musical performed by over 50 students from all over the Valley. Starlight’s Youth Theater will be performing this timeless show at the Academy of Music Theatre on May 12 and May 13. Starlight’s Youth Theatre was established ten years ago as a non-profit youth theater in the Valley. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Friday, May 12, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an love of 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. This is the last free planetarium show of the season! 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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