Suggested Events for May 27th-June 2nd, 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.

Bulletin Board

June 3

Celebrate all things local and agricultural at the WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 6pm. This outdoor, family-friendly event offers character meet-and-greets with PBS Kids’ Curious George, outdoor learning games and displays, live children’s music in the am (pop/folk music in the p.m.), and many local food and beverage vendors. Parents can enjoy the farmers/makers market, the local craft beer tent, or the gourmet Chef Spearit Lunch (tickets sold separately for the this). Festival admission is free with suggested $5/person donation. Proceeds benefit local public television and PBS station WGBY. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org. Event details at wgby.org/asparagus.

June 4

A dance performance for the whole family! The Center Dance Studio proudly presents “The Enchanted Bookshelf,” a captivating tale of friendship, courage, and the healing power of a good book. Sunday, June 4th at Amherst Regional High School. Curtain rises at 5PM. Purchase tickets online or at the door. FREE for kids 12 and under. At The Center, children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training in the Pioneer Valley, New York City, and Montreal with a special approach to teaching that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance.

June 9-18

Come to the Town of Conway’s 250 Anniversary Celebration over 2 weekends 6/9-6/18! Six superb short plays 6/9 @ 7:30pm & 6/10 @ 2 and 7:30pm; call 413-369-4301 to reserve free seats. Starting 6/16: Fireworks; Family 5k run; Live music-national and local acts; children’s activities (magic show, movie night, birds of prey and more); Historic walking tour; Teamster’s Challenge; plus great exhibits and presentations: Lester Stevens paintings; Living History of Conway; Conway School of Landscape Design; Agriculture; Antique cars, tractors and engines; outstanding regional Artists show, and all events/exhibits are free, as is ample parking and shuttle transportation. Food and beverages available. For details go to townofconway.com.

Mobile App

Saturday morning errands, dinnertime, on the way to the beach this summer – these are all great times to talk to your children about underage drinking or drug use. It’s never too early or too late to convey your hopes, your expectations, and your family values. Many small talks are fine. Get tips on how to make the most of your conversations by downloading the Talk. They Hear You mobile app. Learn more at EasthamptonCoalition.org.

Jun 12

Kathryn Kothe Roszko of CyclePottery along with two assistants will teach kids ages 9+ how to throw plates, bowls, mugs, and more on the potter’s wheel. Campers will also learn hand building, trimming, decorating & glazing techniques. 4-6 students max. Camp is held in her studio in Florence. 7 sessions throughout the summer, with various options from 3-5 days, 9am-3pm. First 5 day camp begins June 12th! Dates: June 12-Aug 24; Age Range of Campers: 9+yrs.
Contact: 413-219-9594; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; www.cyclepottery.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 27th – June 2nd, 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 27, 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. Get Movin’ Episode! Get up and get movin’ this week with Guest DJ, Dana! This award-winning recording artist has put together a playlist that will have kids jumping, dancing and inspired to be healthy and strong. Featuring high-energy, upbeat songs from Dana’s latest widely-acclaimed album, “Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes”, along with groovy tunes from artists such as Dave Kinnoin, Charity & the Jam Band, Wayne Potash, Dan Crow, Randy Kaplan and more. This is not a “sit-in-your-seat kind of show”! Little car-poolers might just wiggle out of their car seats! 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 27, 7am-7pm
FIBER ARTS/AGRICULTURE
The history of sheep domestication in New England is interwoven with our past and present industries, our politics, and even the very structures of our landscape. After the first flock of domesticated sheep arrived in the colonies in 1609, landowners built stone walls to corral their flocks and colonists cleared the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for sheep storage. The British government eventually banned colonial wool exports in order to lessen competition with their own wool markets. This act was one of several that incensed colonists and led to the Revolutionary War! Come to the 43rd annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair to learn more about the sheep and woolcraft industries- shearing, spinning, raising, eating, herding, and showing- past and present. There will be workshops and demonstrations all day at the fair to entertain and educate you, whether you are a history buff, an artist or craftsperson, an animal lover, or all of the above! All ages are welcome. Visit the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair website for a full schedule of activities to take place May 27 and May 28 at the Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. (Parking $)

Saturday, May 27, 9am-3pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
In many ways, warm weather allows for greater opportunities to gather as a community in outdoor spaces. In spring and summer, town-wide and family tag sales begin to pop up throughout the pioneer valley. It’s the perfect time of year to open up your windows, do some spring cleaning, and pass along items you no longer need. Families are particularly prone to go through items quickly as their children grow, physically and mentally, out of their possessions. If you would like to participate in a tag sale, visit the Otis Cultural Council website to apply for a spot. Otherwise, you can simply peruse items at the Otis Cultural Council Tag Sale, featuring furniture, collectibles, household items, crafts and more! Support community members and local artists by shopping locally. For more information call 413-269-4008. Otis Ridge Ski Mountain Parking Center. Route 23. Otis, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 27, 9:30am-5pm
FIBER ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Sheep shearing is a traditional industry which connects agriculture and fiber arts. You can learn how New Englanders raised sheep for wool in the 1830s by attending a Wool Day at the Old Sturbridge Village. Come to the village on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 through 29, to see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding. Costumed historians will teach you about the entire wool textile process, from carding the wool to spinning it, and finally knitting the hand-spun wool yarn. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning as visitors can try hand-carding the wool. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $; Children 3 and under FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 10am-11am
FAMILY THEATER/PUPPETRY
Puppets speak to many children’s desire to animate objects. The friendly yellow puppet Good News Gus will be returning to the Goodwin Memorial Library to entertain young people. This puppet show is particularly well suited to children ages eight and under. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 10am-5pm
ART HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE
Chesterwood, the summer home, studio, and gardens of American monument sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), offers visitors the opportunity to learn about American history and art history through sculpture and architecture. Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1871-75) and the figure of Abraham Lincoln (1911-22) for the Lincoln Memorial. On May 27 Chesterwood opens for the season, which will last until October 9. Plan a trip with friends or family. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($; military, and children ages 13 to 17 <$; Children under 13 and Friends of Chesterwood FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 12pm-4:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL
Kick off your Memorial Day weekend with hands-on learning and entertainment at Bascom Lodge. The festivities begin at 12pm with a beekeeping demonstration led by Richard Clapper from the Northern Berkshire Beekeeper’s Association. At 1pm, families can enjoy Nutshell Playhouse’s performance of Mambo and Nemonee’s Worldwide Adventure, an original production featuring masks, movement, live music and puppetry. From 2:30pm to 4:30pm, children of all ages can engage in writing poetry, chants, and incantations inspired by mountain creatures. 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Most parents would rather their children do something more active and educational than watch Saturday morning cartoons. At the Norman Rockwell Museum, however, you can learn about cartoons as an art form, and encourage your children to draw inspiration from their cartoon watching. Cartoon television shows are works of visual art, made up of sequential drawings and stemming from the same principle as physical flip books. At Hanna-Barbera Family Day, families will take part in animation-inspired activities including character design and flip book creation. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 2:30pm-4pm
LIFELONG LEARNING/FINANCE
For those looking into retirement, there are tons of questions to address. A retirement workshop at the West Springfield Public Library will offer information on how to claim social security and create retirement income, as well as 401K and 403B rollovers, investment fees, and more. Come with questions and leave less overwhelmed. This program is free, but space is limited. Registration is required. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 3pm-4:30pm
FIBER ARTS/CROCHET
Whether you’re an expert at knitting and crocheting, you want to get started, or you want conversation while you stitch, you can stop by the West Springfield Public Library for their Knit and Crochet session. Experienced fiber artists Lynn and Steven will be present to lend their expertise. Sessions will take place on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. No registration is required; just drop by! For more information, visit the Adult Reference Desk or call 413-736-4561 ex 3. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 27, 4pm and 7:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
The Drama Studio offers a conservatory-style acting training program for local youth. In operation since 1987, the studio has expanded their vision and now also offers outreach in the form of field trips, touring productions, literacy workshops and residency programs. Come see the fruits of their labor at COWFest, a theater festival for Drama Studio students. On May 27, you can see young actors perform in shows including The Beginning of the End, The Trial of Our Generation, Skyline, and Sisters’ Stories. To reserve tickets call 413-739-1983 or email lisa@dramastudio.org. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. ($$; Students <$; Drama Studio students FREE)

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Sunday, May 28, 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 28, 6:30am-4pm
FIBER ARTS/AGRICULTURE
The history of sheep domestication in New England is interwoven with our past and present industries, our politics, and even the very structures of our landscape. After the first flock of domesticated sheep arrived in the colonies in 1609, landowners built stone walls to corral their flocks and colonists cleared the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for sheep storage. The British government eventually banned colonial wool exports to lessen competition with their own wool markets. This act was one of several that incensed colonists and led to the Revolutionary War! Come to the 43rd annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair to learn more about the sheep and woolcraft industries- shearing, spinning, raising, eating, herding, and showing. There will be workshops and demonstrations all day at the fair to entertain and educate you, whether you are a history buff, an artist or craftsperson, an animal lover, or all of the above! All ages are welcome. Visit the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair website for a full schedule of activities to take place May 27 and May 28 at the Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. (Parking $)

Sunday, May 28, 9:30am
MEMORIAL DAY
Meet at the Quabbin Park Cemetery for refreshments followed by a Memorial Day Parade. There will also be a service honoring individuals who were removed from their original resting places for the building of Quabbin Reservoir. You are invited to march behind the Pelham Historical Society banner with school children and Pelham residents. Pelham Elementary school children are working on an art project for the occasion. For more information contact Barry Klotz at 413-695-1797. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 28, 9:30am-5pm
FIBER ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Sheep shearing is a traditional industry which connects agriculture and fiber arts. You can learn how New Englanders raised sheep for wool in the 1830s by attending a Wool Day at the Old Sturbridge Village. Come to the village on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 through 29, to see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding. Costumed historians will teach you about the entire wool textile process, from carding the wool to spinning it, and finally knitting the hand-spun wool yarn. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning as visitors can try hand-carding the wool. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $; Children 3 and under FREE)

Sunday, May 28, 10am-12pm
ORNITHOLOGY/HUNTING
Falconry is an ancient hunting technique dating back to at least 2,000 BC. Falconers use hawks or eagles to catch prey. You can learn about the art of falconry, and about the spectacular birds of prey used in falconry, through a series of demonstrations at Bartholomew’s Cobble. 413-229-8600. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Members <$; Non members $; Kids FREE)

Sunday, May 28, 12pm
HISTORY
Join the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee as they celebrate the 15th annual commemoration of the Sojourner Truth statue. The gathering will honor her legacy and recognize the next generation of young people who follow in her footsteps. This year’s celebration will include an address by Ingrid Askew, theatre artist and cultural activist, and a performance by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir. To be recognized at the event are this year’s recipients of the Sojourner Truth Scholarship for Social Justice. The day’s events will start with a walking tour of “Sojourner Truth’s Footsteps in Florence.” After the celebration, the David Ruggles Center, located at 225 Nonotuck Street in Florence, will be hosting a reception and open house. All are welcome to attend. In case of rain, the celebration will be indoors at the Florence Community Center, just across Pine Street from the statue. Meet at the Sojourner Truth Statue, at the corner of Park and Pine Streets. Florence, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 28, 1pm-4pm
WELLNESS/T’AI CHI
T’ai Chi was originally invented in China as a kind of martial art. It has since evolved and also spread worldwide. In this workshop, “T’ai Chi Easy,” participants will learn gentle movements and activities which can help increase joint flexibility, circulation, range of motion and muscle strength. This practice can also be used to help decrease stress and increase self awareness. For more information visit the Yoga and Healing Arts Therapy website. Call 413-575-7468 for more information or to register. Hadley, MA. ($$)

Sunday, May 28, 3pm
FAMILY THEATER
The Drama Studio offers a conservatory-style acting training program for local youth. In operation since 1987, the studio has expanded their vision and now also offers outreach in the form of field trips, touring productions, literacy workshops and residency programs. Come see the fruits of their labor at COWFest, a theater festival for Drama Studio students. On May 28, you can see young actors perform in shows including The Beginning of the End, The Trial of Our Generation, Skyline, and Sisters’ Stories. To reserve tickets call 413-739-1983 or email lisa@dramastudio.org. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. ($$; Students <$; Drama Studio students FREE)

Sunday, May 28, 6pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/SOUTHERN ROOTS
Musical duo Moonshine Holler draws upon southern roots music and uses more instruments than they can juggle, including: fiddle, banjo, Hawaiian guitar, harmonica and ukulele. Their music incorporates a variety of genres including mountain blues and ballads. They have played across the country and abroad. Hear them play mountain blues by the mountain at Bascom Lodge! 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday, May 29, 9am
MEMORIAL DAY
Groups marching in the Memorial Day Parade in Westfield will begin assembling at 9am near the Mestek Company property on North Elm Street. The parade will begin promptly at 10am, marching to the Parker Memorial Park for the Memorial Day ceremony. Following the Parker Park Ceremonies, American Legion Post 124 will march the route in reverse to the post home on Broad Street where additional ceremonies will be held. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 29, 9:30am
MEMORIAL DAY
The annual Florence Memorial Day Parade begins at Trinity Row, across from Rogers Bike Shop. Coaches and players of T-ball and Baseball are invited to march in the Florence Memorial Day Parade which will go through the center of Florence, down Park Street, circles down Pine Street to North Maple, and back to the center, ending at the cemetery on Park Street. Visit the City of Northampton website for more information. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 29, 9:30am-5pm
FIBER ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Sheep shearing is a traditional industry which connects agriculture and fiber arts. You can learn how New Englanders raised sheep for wool in the 1830s by attending a Wool Day at the Old Sturbridge Village. Come to the village on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 through 29, and see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding. Costumed historians will teach you about the entire wool textile process, from carding the wool to spinning it, and finally knitting the hand-spun wool yarn. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning as visitors can try hand-carding the wool. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $; Children 3 and under FREE)

Monday, May 29, 10am-5pm
MEMORIAL DAY/HISTORY
The New England Air Museum will be open on memorial day, providing families with a chance to learn about New England’s air and space heritage. Aircraft and aviation technology are important aspects of military history. Take some time out of your day to honor fallen soldiers and educate yourself about aviation history. Veterans, as always, receive a 10% discount to the museum. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 <$; Members and ages 3 and under FREE)

Monday, May 29, 12pm-4pm
MEMORIAL DAY
The Holyoke Merry Go Round will be open on Memorial Day. Families may want to celebrate the holiday together and teach their children about the sacrifices which soldiers past and present have made for their country. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

Monday, May 29, 1pm
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
The Williamsburg Memorial Day parade begins at the Williamsburg Fire Station and marches to the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

Monday, May 29, 1:30pm
MEMORIAL DAY/ART STUDIES
This memorial day, you can learn about military history through an artistic perspective by visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum. Much of Norman Rockwell’s work depicted life in the military, from the American Revolution to the Vietnam era, capturing the feelings of a nation through art. Peruse his work as you contemplate this history and honor the fallen soldiers of all American wars. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Monday, May 29, 2pm-3pm
MEMORIAL DAY/MUSIC HISTORY
Historical reenactments can take many forms, illuminating different aspects of history through educational performances. Shades of Gray is a Civil War era camp band made up of several Confederate Civil War reenactors. This memorial day you can hear them play at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, and sing along to patriotic songs such as “Oh Susanna,” “Camp Town Races,” and “Bonnie Blue Flag.” Learn about the role that music played in many soldiers lives, helping to strengthen bonds of camaraderie and memories of home. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, May 30, 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 30, 8am-10am
BUSINESS
Entrepreneurs are often fiercely independent, yet even the most independent among us can benefit from collaboration. Creative business people have the chance to meet up, swap ideas, learn, and network at a 1Berkshire Entrepreneurial Meetup series. The series is returning for the third year, gathering together small business owners and those interested in starting a business for a chance to chat and trade information. Register on the 1Berkshire website. Call 413-499-1600 for more information. Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. 444 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 30, 9:30am-11am
NATURE STUDIES
The average American child spends about thirty minutes of their day in unstructured, outdoor play, and more than seven hours in front of a screen (see this report for more information). Most people intuitively understand the connection between time spent in nature and positive well-being. Fresh air and exercise keep our bodies in shape and our minds focused. But did you know that time spent outdoors in childhood is also correlated with better distance vision? For young, developing children, the benefits are endless. You and your child can increase your time spent outdoors by participating in a nature playgroup at Naumkeag. The playgroup is best-suited for three to six year olds. It is not stroller friendly, though babies in arms are welcome. Participants, both children and caregivers, can expect to get very dirty and explore some of the most remote corners of the property. Registration is required. Call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 30, 5:30pm
LITERACY/WRITING
Does your teen like to write? Creative writing can help us process emotions and express our opinions. Your teen can gain inspiration and meet fellow young writers at a showcase of writing. The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s Teen Writing Workshop will be reading their best material from the year, including poetry and short stories. Check out the next generation of writers. Gallery 51. 51 Main Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 30, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Problematic behaviors in young children often have hidden emotional meanings and explanations. Identifying the reason behind a problematic behavior and examining what happens immediately before and after this behavior can help parents to curb it. The Collaborative for Educational Services parenting workshop, “Facing the Challenge,” will help parents to identify three parts of a behavior plan: prevention, new skills to teach, and new responses. Attend the workshop to receive useful tips and commiserate with local parents. Registration is required through the Collaborative website. 413-586-4900. This session will take place at the Westhampton Elementary School. 37 Kings Highway. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 30, 6:30pm-8pm
CULINARY ARTS
Cutting out cheese can be a difficult aspect of going vegan. You can learn how to make vegan cheese and yogurt in a free workshop at River Valley Co Op. Trevor Ring will be teaching participants how to use live cultures as starters for nut-based cheese and yogurt- a simple process you can do in your own home. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 30, 7pm-8:30pm
ART STUDIES/DRAWING
Zentangle is a simple, structured method of drawing which relies on patterns. Learning how to draw these structures is a creative way to engage with geometry, as well as a relaxing hands-on activity. Zentangle drawing can be combined with a meditation practice or simply be a way of branching out your artwork. Certified Zentangle Teacher John Nordell will be showing adults and teens how to draw with zentangle techniques at the Cushman Library. Registration is required. Drop by during open hours and sign up, send a message to cushmanlibrary@gmail.com with the subject line “Zentangle,” or send a Facebook message. Include your name, age, email address, and telephone number. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, May 31, 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 31, 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 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 31, 6:30pm-8:30pm
HEALTH/WELLNESS
Late stage Lyme disease unfortunately comes with many unpleasant symptoms including tremors, seizures, headaches and migraines. Acupuncturist and Herbalist Brendan Kelly, L. Ac., M. Ac, will be giving a workshop at River Valley Co Op to discuss these symptoms, underlying causes of the disease, and how the initial tick bite can manifest as neurological symptoms. Brendan will use case studies of patients he’s worked with to discuss treatment options including herbs, diet, and lifestyle. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 31, 7pm-8:30pm
ZOOLOGY/NATURAL HISTORY
Beavers have a remarkable impact on their habitat, as other animals are attracted to the ponds beavers create. Beavers help keep drinking water safe and increase biodiversity. Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about beavers’ habits and the history of beavers in North America. Beavers have spent 7 million years in this region, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve declining beaver populations. The program leader will help attendees look for beavers as well as other wildlife who live in the ponds. This event is suitable for children ages three and up, and their caregivers. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, May 31, 7pm
BIOLOGY/TECHNOLOGY
If our planet were not home to volant animals- animals that fly or glide- would humans ever have thought to invent the airplane? Without burs, would we have velcro? Velcro and airplanes are examples of biomimetic inventions: technology which imitates elements found in nature. The concept of biomimicry can also be used in efforts towards sustainability. Learn more by attending a screening of the film, What is Biomimicry? followed by a tour of the Hitchcock Center’s “living building.” 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, June 1, 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, June 1, 10am-3pm
HISTORY/TRANSPORTATION
Modes of transportation, whether in the form of the bicycle, the car, the train, or the aeroplane, have a profound impact on society. The electric trolley evolved from the horsecar, to the streetcar (or “tram”). The technology for trolleys also lead to similar machines in amusement parks, as well as the growth of mill towns. You and your homeschooler can learn more about this history by visiting the Connecticut Trolley Museum on Homeschool Day! There will be a scavenger hunt, entrance to the Fire Truck Museum, and of course trolley rides, throughout the day. 413-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$; Children 3 and under FREE)

Thursday, June 1, 10:30am-11:30am
GUIDED NATURE WALK/LOCAL HISTORY
Teach your children about local history, and meet other families, by participating in a guided walk in Holyoke. Adults and families with children ages six and older are invited to tour Holyoke’s upper and second level canals on an easy 0.75 mile walk. Participants will learn about how the canals were built and used to harness power for Holyoke’s historic paper and textile mills. Meet at the Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitor’s Center. Rain cancels. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, June 1, 4pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
The Northampton Parents Center provides support and education to young children, as well as their parents, grandparents, and caregivers. NPC families, alumni, siblings, neighbors and friends are all welcome to attend their annual End of the Year Potluck Picnic. Bring a dish to share if you are able. Look for the NPC sandwich board at the playground behind the Jackson Street School. The rain date will be Friday, June 2. Jackson Street Playground. 120 Jackson Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, June 1, 6pm-8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
When is the last time you sat out on a town common or enjoyed a picnic in the park? Lawn concerts are a relaxing way to take advantage of warm nights. Typically taking place in the early evenings, these concerts are a great opportunity to enjoy a picnic with your family. There will be concerts most Thursday evenings in Energy Park through August. On June 1, Daniel Hales, Austin and Elliott, and Boys of the Landfill will perform. Concert-goers will enjoy a range of alternative, indie, folk, bluegrass, old-time fiddle, rockabilly, honky tonk and Cajun music all in one evening. 413-772-1553. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, June 2, 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, June 2, 9am-5pm
ART STUDIES
If you are an artist, exploring contemporary work by local artists can help you to maintain inspiration and drive. A new exhibit at the Forbes Library will feature work by Jan Ruby-Crystal and Ellen Augarten. In this exhibit, their work is “driven by light, shadows, nature and most recently, fences” and includes mixed media, three-dimensional pieces, photographic prints, and collaborations. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 2, 10:30am-11:30am
LITERACY
Parents understand the importance of reading- how it can open up a world of both learning and enjoyment for their children as they grow. Even before your children attend school you can help them develop pre-reading skills in preparation for the challenging process of learning to read. The Bushnell-Sage Library is offering a five week series for families which will include storytimes and play time. Families will receive picture books, a book bag, lots of information, and resources for further learning. Registration is required for the full 5 week session. 413-229-7004. 48 S Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 2, 3pm-5:30pm
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Want to meet state Senator Adam Hinds? Directly contacting your representatives is a great way to get your voice heard. Ask questions, share your concerns, and promote your ideas to the Senator and his staff at a Speak Up Western Mass Forum. This forum will take place at the Berkshire Athenaeum. Senate President Stan Rosenberg will also be present. This event offers Berkshire County residents the chance to connect with government leaders and other politically involved community members. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 2, 5pm-7pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FOOD SECURITY
Food security is a year-round, 24/7 issue, and it’s always a good time to volunteer your time to help members of your community obtain food. Hilltown Families invites you to our monthly Family Volunteer Day at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Hatfield facility. Families will work together sorting donated food items. Join us for meaningful work, meet other like-minded families, and give back to your community. Volunteer Days are an opportunity for intergenerational bonding and to demonstrate the importance of volunteer work to your children. Volunteering can also boost self-esteem and instill feelings of gratitude for what we have- both key components to personal happiness! Children of all ages are welcome. To sign up, please email the Volunteer Coordinator at alisonb@foodbankwma.org. 97 North Hatfield Road. Hatfield MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Friday, June 2, 6pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Come to a concert on the lawn behind the Hatfield Public Library and learn some music history! At this Skylarkz show, vocalist Sarah Clay and pianist Nick Kachulis will provide background stories about the composers of the songs they play. Their playing and storytelling will focus on the “great American songbook,” through swing tunes, blues, and ballads. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 2, 7pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Join Kathy Lytle, of Buckland, to learn about the fascinating life of Josiah Spaulding Jr. He was the son of Rev. Josiah Spaulding, the first minister at Buckland’s Congregational Church. Through family letters, Ms. Lytle illuminates the religious and social mores of that period, bringing to life Josiah Jr. and his time. Her presentation gives us a glimpse into this early history of Buckland and draws parallels to today’s society. The program will be followed by a pie social. For more information, contact Polly Anderson at 413-625-9763. Buckland Historical Society. 413-625-9763. 32 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (<$)

Friday, June 2, 7pm-7:45pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PERCUSSION
Kick off your weekend with a quick rock show! Rock band Bucket will be playing a short set on the west steps of the Goodwin Memorial Library at closing time. Bring a blanket, picnic, and friends. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 2, 7:30pm
CIRCUS/FAIRY TALES
The simple plots of fairy tales provide the foundation for many modern stories. Fairy tales often have a moral, and even classic fairy tales continue to enchant children and adults today. A Fairytale Circus is a family-friendly circus performance which incorporates fairy tale creatures in a modern tale. This short, one act show features the students from the New England Center for Circus Arts high school program. All proceeds benefit student scholarships. The Austine Gym. 209 Austine Drive. Brattleboro, VT. (<$)

Friday, June 2, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES
Attending a music performance is one of the most entertaining ways to connect with a given culture, by dancing, singing along, and meeting others with similar taste. Las Cafeteras are a multi-genre, socially conscious musical group who remix roots music and tell modern day stories with a positive message. They incorporate Afro-Mexican beats and rhythms and use traditional Son Jarocho instruments like the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform). They sing in English, Spanish, and Spanglish and their music ranges from rock to hip hop to rancheras. You can see them perform at Gateway City Arts. 413-650-2670. Race Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

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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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