Suggested Events for June 3rd-9th, 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.

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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.

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.

Jun 10

The Common School will host a Pop-up Playground on Saturday, June 10 from 1-4pm on their campus at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA This free event is open to the public. Pop Up Adventure Playgrounds are joyful sessions of child-directed play with scores of loose parts, such as cardboard boxes, tubes, rope, and fabric. Kids are free to make a beautiful mess and discover, or remember, the simple joys of creative, old-school play with other children and on their own. The Play Workshop is there to support their adventure. www.theplayworkshop.com

Open House: Jun 10

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: June 10 at 10:30am, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101.

Jun 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.

June 11

Watch London’s National Theatre’s Peter Pan in HD at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday, June 11th at 3pm, in Great Barrington, MA. Captured at the National Theatre, a recorded performance of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale screens in cinemas. When Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow, headstrong Wendy helps him to reattach it. In return, she is invited to Neverland, where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. A riot of magic, music and make-believe ensues. A delight for children and adults alike, Sally Cookson (NT Live: Jane Eyre) directs this wondrously inventive production, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic theatre. www.mahaiwe.org.

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
June 3rd-9th, 2017

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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, June 3, 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. Latin American Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra Velasquez. Moona Luna’s Sandra Velasquez takes you on a Latin American bus adventure. Based on her own travels by bus through Latin America, she provides you with a soundtrack for a journey that is as rich and diverse as the changing landscape. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, June 3, 9am
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
The world-famous Strolling of the Heifers parade kicks off at 9am on June 3. Although the annual event was inspired by Spain’s Running of the Bulls, the stroll is very different. This parade of friendly, ambling heifer calves is a relaxed, family-friendly event, led by future farmers from area schools and 4-H clubs. The goal of this weekend-long event is to sustain family farms by connecting people with local food. Visitors will celebrate local food by participating and learning about the importance of local food systems. The educational, placemaking event continues on June 4 with farm tours. Visit the Strolling of the Heifers Facebook page for a full schedule. Main Street. Brattleboro, VT. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 9am-11am
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Do you love your local library? You can give back to the Westhampton Public Library, while spending time outdoors, at their volunteer gardening session. Meet other community members who love reading and gardening, and help prepare the garden for spring. Learn about the important work of libraries, their contributions to literacy and how they support a sense of place in our communities! All are welcome. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, June 3, 9am-12pm
ECOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
In ecological terms a rich, mesic forest is one in which the soils are not highly acidic, are rich in certain minerals, and are moist but not wet. You can explore a rich forest which is home to a great variety of trees, wildflowers, and ferns, at a Hitchcock Center guided walk. Arrive curious and learn from plant ecologist Glenn Motzkin. Find out why the soil becomes acidic, why one plant species can not grow in acidic soil while another plant species thrives, and how different types of soils are important to a diverse ecosystem. Be prepared for insects and possibly ticks. Directions to the meeting location will be provided upon registration. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA. (Members $; Non members <$)

Saturday, June 3, 9am-2:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Emily Dickinson drew inspiration from the natural world, including the gardens on the grounds of her family’s property, when writing her poetry. You can help maintain the gardens which are a community resource for education and enjoyment, by participating in a volunteer Garden Day at the Emily Dickinson Museum. On June 3, you can help prepare the gardens for the summer season. Learn about the life and literary contributions of Emily Dickinson while discovering this community resource and the benefits it lends to our community. Sign up by emailing EDMPrograms@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org. Visit the museum website for full details. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, June 3, 9am-5pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/ICHTHYOLOGY
During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway! The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems. The fishway will be open Wednesday through Sundays, through June 18, 2017. For more information, contact the Northfield Mountain Recreation Center. 413-659-3714. 1 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 9:30am-12:30am
ENTOMOLOGY/SUSTAINABILITY
Thanks to environmental activists and concerned citizens, people are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that bee populations have been declining at a dangerous rate for more than a decade. There is a seemingly infinite number of ways to become positively involved in this issue. Individuals can apply their abilities and interests towards awareness projects which inspire them. Bee Week, a series of events which educate citizens about bees, is an example of this type of creative effort. All across Greenfield, there will be opportunities to learn about bee health, bee history, beekeeping, and more through games, crafts, performances and other activities. Second Congregational Church. 16 Court Square. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 10am-11:30am
FRESHWATER BIOLOGY
Have you heard of limnology? This is the study of inland waters such as lakes and ponds, rivers, springs, streams and wetlands. Limnologists seek understanding of how these ecosystems impact larger aspects of Earth science, as well as aquatic wildlife. Educator Laura Tate-Beltran will be teaching children and their caregivers about the animals that live in the rivers and streams of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Find out what kind of biological adaptations these animals have and their behaviors in their watery homes. Suitable for ages three and up. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, June 3, 10am-1pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/PLACEMAKING
Pop-up playground adventures encourage not only creative free play but collaboration among young people. Provided with various materials, children design their own playground and direct their play within it. This encourages children to get outside and shows them that their creativity can be implemented to turn an ordinary stretch of grass into a playground. Children and their caregivers are invited to a pop up playground event on the Wendell Town Common. Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult. Wendell, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 10am-1pm
HORTICULTURE/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Want to expand your garden this summer? Grab some seedlings or perennials for your garden, and leave what you don’t need, at the Community Seedling Swap in North Adams. You do not need to bring something to take something. Seed swaps are a form of collaborative consumption, encouraging community members to gather together and meet each other’s horticultural needs at no cost. Find the swap on the South side of Main Street, near the bus shelter. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 10am-2pm
ANGLING/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Want to teach your children how to fish? Bring them to the 12th Annual Family Fishing Day for fly tying and fly casting demonstrations and the opportunity for free fishing. Equipment is provided (bring your own fishing equipment if possible). No fishing license is needed. Then, at 2:30, back at the Great Falls Discovery Center there will be Fishing Story Hour in the Great Hall with DCR and Montague Public Library staff. Adults and children of all ages are welcome to join for this event which will take place rain or shine. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants can meet at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls to take a free shuttle bus to and from Barton Cove. Barton Cove Road. Gill, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 10am-4pm
ECOLOGY/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Nature lovers, animal lovers, scientists, and curious people of all ages are invited to Family Fun Day at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for a full day of educational activities! Visit one of the exploration stations for bird watching, an insect safari, fish surveys and other interesting zoological learning. There will be live music, food, nature crafts for kids, information on beekeeping and much more. All are welcome. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 10am-6pm
PLACEMAKING/LOCAL FOOD
Celebrate all things local and agricultural at the WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common. 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). Proceeds benefit local public television and PBS station WGBY. Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org with questions. Visit the wgby.org website for full event details. Hadley, MA. (<$)

Saturday, June 3, 10:30am-12:30am
CIRCUS/HORSEBACK RIDING
Hippity Hop CIRCUS is a rare, family-friendly theatrical performance, combining horseback riding with circus acts! Circus performances demonstrate the amazing flexibility, strength, and creativity humans possess. Horseback riding is another beautiful and impressive sport, one which requires communication between the rider and the horse. Staff and students will of Blue Rider Stables will be showing off their riding skills to a musical performance. Held regardless of weather. Refreshments available for purchase. Call 413-528-5299 for more information. 15 Farm Lane. South Egremont, MA. (<$)

Saturday, June 3, 11am-3pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Participating in a musical group helps children cultivate leadership skills, self-discipline, and teamwork skills while practicing an art. The Springfield All Youth Music festival will celebrate young musicians with performances by students of the Community Music School of Springfield. The festival will include bucket drummers, jazz, strings, and a children’s chorus, at the Springfield Museums Quadrangle. Listen for student-composed musical tributes to Dr. Seuss! 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 1pm-3pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Kids love pranks! Young people are invited to learn how to execute some harmless practical jokes while learning programming skills! Holyoke Codes “Internet Pranks” workshop will teach participants ages ten and up how to put a picture on a webpage, change headlines, and more. They will learn how webpages are made with HTML and CSS. 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 1pm-9pm
PLACEMAKING/PERFORMING ARTS
Fans of the performing arts do not want to miss the Ashfield Town Spectacle and Culture Fair! Double Edge Theater, along with tons of Ashfield community members, will perform an array of music, dance, and other performing arts. There will be art exhibits to peruse as well. The event will feature the Spirit of the Hills Community Choir, Tim Eriksen and the Trio de Pumpkintown, a film by Galen Knowles, Ashfield Tae Kwon Do, Ashfield Community Band, artwork by Robert Markey and Sue McFarland, and more, on June 3 and 4. Visit the Double Edge Theater website or call 413-628-0277 for more information. Various locations. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Water power is an integral part of our local industries’ history. At the Springfield Armory, water was used to power the heavy machinery, in order to accomplish the heavy work of shaping gunstocks, barrels, bayonets, and various other components. Ranger Susan Ashman and volunteer Carl Steele will be explaining this process in their presentation, “The Watershops: The Heartbeat of the Armory.” Learn more about local history and water power in this talk at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 4pm-5pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Stockbridge was home to many active mills from the 1740s to the 1900s. What did these water-powered industries produce? Why don’t they run anymore? Find out on a cemetery walk guided by volunteers from the Stockbridge Library’s Proctor Museum & Archives. 413-298-5501. The walk gathers at the cemetery gate on Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 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 June 3, you can see young actors perform in shows including Ophelia, The Friendship Test, The Aesop’s Report, and Super Villain or My Life in Middle School. To reserve tickets call 413-739-1983 or email lisa@dramastudio.org. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. ($$; Students <$; Drama Studio students FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 4:30pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES
How can music strengthen communities? Free or inexpensive concerts get community members, including families, talking and connecting together. The Super PAC (Passionate About Community) Band strives to do just that by performing waltzes and foot-tappin’ tunes from Appalachia, Scandinavia, Ireland and New England (including the Connecticut River Valley). Bring a picnic and friends and hear them perform on the grounds of Historic Northampton. In case of rain, the concert will be rescheduled for the same time the next day, Sunday, June 4. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 3, 6pm
FAMILY THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
As one of the oldest extant works in Western literature, The Odyssey provides a foundation for our modern tales; many narrative techniques can be traced back to this Greek epic poem. You and your children can learn the basics of this story by attending a family-friendly adaptation of the work. Performers will be mostly made up of children, some of whom attend homeschooling groups in Worthington and Cummington, and some who attend R.H. Conwell Public School. They will be accompanied by The Celebration Singers. You can also catch a matinee performance on Sunday, June 4. Worthington Town Hall. 160 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, June 4, 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, June 4, 8:30am-9:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
You don’t have to go deep into the woods to spot and identify birds. Adults and families with children ages six and older are invited on a beginner urban birding walk! Take a guided stroll through Holyoke Heritage State Park to identify and learn about the birds who make their home there. Bring binoculars if you have them. Meet in the visitor’s center lobby.
Rain cancels. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 9am-11am
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/CANOE
Paddling down a river gives you a new perspective and the chance to study wildlife while getting fresh air and exercise. Bartholomew’s Cobble is offering guided trips on the Housatonic River. You’ll have the chance to see blue herons, otters, beavers, diving spiders and much more on a trip down and up stream. Make sure you are prepared to paddle an hour upstream against a current. Registration is required. For more information call 413-298-3239 ex3 013
413-229-8600. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, June 4, 9:30am-4pm
AGRICULTURE
The world-famous Strolling of the Heifers weekend is here! The goal of this weekend-long event is to sustain family farms by connecting people with local food. Visitors will celebrate local food by participating and learning about the importance of local food systems. On Sunday, June 4, five special farms in and around Brattleboro will open up their grounds for tours. Families will learn about many different aspects of farming, from the raising of meat and poultry, to annual and perennial flowers, to maple syrup, to vegetables. Visit the Strolling of the Heifers Facebook page for a full schedule. Brattleboro and Dummerston, VT. (FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 10am-6pm
ORNITHOLOGTY/BIRDS OF PREY
The bald eagle is a national symbol in this country, but most eagles live in Eurasia and Africa. You can learn about these predatory birds by attending Eagle Day at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Kids of all ages will learn about eagles through scavenger hunts, music, and stories. From 2:30pm-4pm there will be a Connecticut River natural history presentation by the and participatory mural project. Audience members of all ages will be invited to create a statement or drawing for the public art installation, for “The Power of Water/The Power of Words” Project. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 1pm-9pm
PLACEMAKING/PERFORMING ARTS
Fans of the performing arts do not want to miss the Ashfield Town Spectacle and Culture Fair! Double Edge Theater, along with tons of Ashfield community members, will perform an array of music, dance, and other performing arts. There will be art exhibits to peruse as well. The event will feature the Spirit of the Hills Community Choir, Tim Eriksen and the Trio de Pumpkintown, a film by Galen Knowles, Ashfield Tae Kwon Do, Ashfield Community Band, artwork by Robert Markey and Sue McFarland, and more, on June 3 and 4. Visit the Double Edge Theater website or call 413-628-0277 for more information. Various locations. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 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 June 4, you can see young actors perform in shows including Ophelia, The Friendship Test, The Aesop’s Report, and Super Villain or My Life in Middle School. To reserve tickets call 413-739-1983 or email lisa@dramastudio.org. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. ($$; Students <$; Drama Studio students FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 3pm
ART STUDIES/FURNTIRUE DESIGN
Curators of museums pull together pieces of artwork, design their layout across multiple rooms, all so that museum-goers can have the most informative experience. Similarly, interior designers pick artwork and furniture to create a cohesive space. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s (British, born Netherlands 1836-1912) designed a music room for the New York mansion of financier, art collector, and philanthropist Henry Gurdon Marquand (1819-1902). An upcoming exhibition, Orchestrating Elegance: Alma-Tadema and Design at the Clark Art Institute, will feature twelve of nineteen pieces from the original furniture suite. Co-curators Kathleen Morris and Alexis Goodin will provide an opening lecture for the exhibition. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 3pm
FAMILY THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
As one of the oldest extant works in Western literature, The Odyssey provides a foundation for our modern tales; many narrative techniques can be traced back to this Greek epic poem. You and your children can learn the basics of this story by attending a family-friendly adaptation of the work, performed by Hilltowners. They will be accompanied by the Celebration singers. Worthington Town Hall. 160 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 4, 5pm
DANCE STUDIES
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.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. Amherst Regional High School. 21 Matoon Street. Purchase tickets online or at the door. Amherst, MA. ($; Kids 12 and under FREE)

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, June 5, 1pm-2:30pm
ARCHITECTURE/GUIDED WALK
Take a closer look at Holyoke! Adults and families with children ages eight and older are invited on a guided walk to explore Holyoke’s historic canals. Bring cameras, a smart phone, and/or binoculars to further appreciate local architecture on a 1.75 mile stroll with other families. Rain cancels. Meet in the Visitor’s Center lobby at Holyoke Heritage State Park 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, June 5, 6pm
THEATER/ACTING
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. Prospective acting students ages 9-17, and their families, are invited to a free acting class and tour at the studio’s Open House. Summer programs begin July 10th. Classes for the Fall semester begin September 11th. Registration forms will be available at the Open House. Call 413-739-1983 to register. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, June 5, 6pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES
Wistariahurst kicks off a month-long celebration of Holyoke’s immigrant populations, with a new exhibition of artwork by Steven Huerta. Huerta’s art is inspired by the lives and stories of his relatives, who travelled from Mexico to California. All are welcome to attend the opening reception. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, June 6, 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, June 6, 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 ourdoors 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, June 6, 10:30am-11:30am
ECOLOGY/ANIMAL STUDIES
Besides humans…what kinds of species occupy our local habitat? Look no further than Holyoke Heritage State Park to find creatures such as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Families with children ages four and older are invited to an animal exploration program combined with talks on natural history, puppets, storytelling, games and more at the park! Meet in the Visitor’s Center lobby. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, June 6, 6pm
HISTORY
One of the founding fathers, English-American political thinker and activist Thomas Paine helped to shape our vision of democracy. He helped popularize one simple yet powerful idea: justice for all. His book Common Sense helped spark the American Revolution and continues to be read today, over 200 years later. Learn more about his life and work by screening the film To Begin the World Over Again at the Storrs Library. There will be a post film discussion led by Martha and Irwin Spiegelman of the Thomas Paine Friends. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, June 6, 6:30pm
LITERACY/BOOK CLUBS
For children and teens, book clubs are community-based opportunities that connect them with their peers while supporting their interests and nurturing a love for reading. For adults and elders, joining or starting a book club is a highly effective way to keep the mind active while socializing and discussing literature. If you run a book club or would like to stop, go to the Odyssey Bookshop for Book Club night! Publishing house sales representatives and Odyssey staff members will be on hand to talk about their favorite new releases in paperback, as well as to make recommendations for book club discussions. Books purchased in store at the event will qualify for a discount. There will be giveaways as well as refreshments. Come to a night celebrating book clubs and new releases! For more information on the benefits of book clubs, read our post: Book Clubs for Early Literacy and Lifelong Learning. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, June 6, 6:30pm-8pm
SUSTAINABILITY/ENERGY
You probably know that solar energy is better for the environment than many other alternatives. But did you know that solar power can also help keep money in the local economy? Each year Massachusetts residences spend $4 billion dollars supporting out of state electric utility companies. In this River Valley Co Op workshop you will learn about the state and federal incentives available to you when you own your solar array as well as the local economic impact of solar power in Western Massachusetts. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, June 7, 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, June 7, 10:30am-11:30am
ORNITHOLOGY
Hummingbirds are so small and adorable…it’s easy to forget that they’re the birds at all! Beating their wings about 50 times per second, they seem to float rather than fly. Adults and families with children ages six and older are invited to Holyoke Heritage State Park to learn more about the smallest extant bird species, and discover the best ways to attract hummingbirds to your home for further learning. Learn about the best feeders, hanging plants, and permanent plantings to attract hummingbirds. Meet in the visitor’s center lobby. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, June 7, 4pm
LITERACY
A new program at the Greenfield Public Library offers children and their caregivers a chance to explore patterns, puzzles, and picture books! Teacher, Sue Creigton, will lead the program with books and a craft. This ongoing program will continue on the first Wednesday of the month. Puzzles and Patterns is intended for kids ages 8-12. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, June 7, 6pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
French colonists arrived in the Americas in the 16th century. There is still a strong population of French people in New England. How do they influence our local culture today? The First Wednesday Speaker Series at the Greenfield Public Library will explore this topic on June 7. Jeanne Douillard will give a presentation, “Silent Presence: The French in New England” providing a unique look at the history of “un petit people,” The French in the Americas. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, June 7, 6:30pm
NATURE STUDIES/CONSERVATION
How do you restore and conserve a damaged ecosystem? Some helpful steps for restoration include the removal of invasive plants. Fannie Stebbins wildlife refuge will be the site for a large floodplain restoration project. Conservationists will plant disease resistant elms, an historically critical component of the floodplain ecosystem. The restored land will create the largest intact floodplain in the Connecticut River watershed. You can learn more about the project by attending an informative talk at the Storrs Library 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, June 7, 6:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
Wednesday Folk Traditions at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum have been bringing together fans of music and local history for thirty-six seasons. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House was built in 1752 and was central to the 600-acre farmstead known as “Forty Acres.” Today, the property is surrounded by over 350 acres of protected farmland, forest and river frontage. You can visit the property and enjoy some of New England’s finest ethnic folk music ensembles at a Wednesday Folk Traditions event. The series kicks off on June 7 with “The Art of Steele,” a blues tribute in honor of the much loved local musician Art Steele who passed away in January of this year. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

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Thursday, June 8, 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 8, 10:30am-11:30am
LOCAL HISTORY
Teaching your children local history from a young age can help them develop pride and interest in their hometown area. Knowledge of local history can be further situated within national history for a local perspective on nationwide events. Families with children ages six and older are invited to Holyoke History Mysteries, a program which will teach participants about one or more historical artifacts from Holyoke’s heyday as a milltown. Holyoke was once a major manufacturer of paper, textiles and machinery. Children will learn what each artifact is, what it was used for, and its relevance to our modern daily lives. This program will repeat on June 22, focusing on different artifacts. Meet in the Visitor’s Center lobby. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, June 8, 12:14pm-1pm
HISTORY/RELIGIOUS STUDIES
The history of what is now Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral begins at the United States Armory in Springfield in May 1817. Col. Roswell Lee, superintendent of the armory, wanted to provide his workers with a place to worship. These workers were barred, because of their employment, from attending First Church. You can learn more in a lecture by the current cathedral dean, The Very Rev. Tom Adams Callard and senior warden, Roland E. Holstead, PhD. Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch to enjoy during this lecture at the Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, June 8, 6pm-7:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY
For those who like to explore the Housatonic river, whether by walking alongside or paddling above it, bird watching can add an educational component to these adventures. You can learn how to identify the kinds of birds that live along the Housatonic, by attending a presentation by Jonathan Pierce. Learn tips on how to identify several birds by appearance and song. Those who are interested can also sign up for a paddling and birdwatching trip on June 10. Call the Housatonic Valley Association at 413-298-7024 to register for either or both events. Merwin House. 14 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, June 8, 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 enjoy 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 8, Sheryl Stanton, Roland LaPierre, and Pat & Tex LaMountain will perform. Concert-goers will enjoy a range of bluegrass, old-time fiddle, rockabilly, honky tonk, Cajun music, American standards, swing tunes, folk, rock, and country music. 413-772-1553. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, June 9, 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 9, 5pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/HISTORY
The new art exhibition Contained & Constrained was designed specifically for Historic Northampton, responding to and reinterpreting images and artifacts in its collection. This exhibition of hanging and sculptural works by artists Leslie Lyman and Karen Battles is also inspired by the late 19th century book Social Etiquette or Manners and Customs of Polite Society. Exploring this exhibition gives onlookers a chance to reflect on past conventions and how these conventions continue to influence modern life. All are welcome to an opening reception on June 9, which will correspond with Arts Night Out. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 9, 6pm
LINGUISTICS/FUNDRAISER
Spelling aloud exercises working memory in order for spellers to put letters in the correct order. This is the same core executive function we utilize when doing mental math. The Friends of Greenfield Public Library is hosting its 2nd Annual Spelling Bee. Register your team of three and compete! The spelling contest is part of Bee Week celebrations; there will be raffle items, food and fun. All costumes will be judged and prizes awarded. Second Congregational Church. Court Square. Greenfield, MA. ($)

Friday, June 9, 7pm-9pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Bill Watterson, author of the popular Calvin and Hobbes Series, once wrote: “If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.” You can combine stargazing with hiking on a full moon, evening hike. Naturalist and Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center Director will guide participants on a walk around Notchview, ending at Sawmill Field for the rising of the full moon to the east. For more information call 413-532-1631 ex 3110 or email acaluori@thetrustees.org. 83 Old Route 9. Windsor, MA. (<$)

Friday, June 9, 7pm-9pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Each month the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Centerhost an evening coffeehouse with local talent. On June 9 you can witness a performance by Eileen Ruby, a mezzo-soprano voice teacher and performing artist. Refreshments will be available. Donations support educational programming at the center. The museum and store will be open during intermission. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, June 9, 7:30pm
PLACEMAKING
Come to the Town of Conway’s 250th Anniversary Celebration over two weekends! On June 9, the festivities kick off with six superb short plays. Short plays are an interesting theatrical experience as they pack all the action into a short time frame (great for short attention spans). You can also catch these performances on June 10. The celebration continues on June 15 – 18 with tons of family-friendly activities. Call 413-369-4301 to reserve your play tickets. Conway Sportsman’s Club. 193 Elmer Road. Conway, MA. ($)

Friday, June 9, 7:30pm
CIRCUS ARTS
Circus arts require an array of impressive skills including flexibility, focus, balance, dexterity, strength, and theatrical, performative skills. The New England Center for Circus Arts Performance Training Program is a selective and highly-regarded program with graduates going on to work with Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros, and other well-known companies. People of all ages are invited to attend their showcase in the Austine Gymnasium. Gain inspiration from their gravity defying feats. You can purchase tickets on brownpapertickets.com. 209 Austine Drive. Brattleboro, VT. ($ – $$)

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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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