Suggested Events for July 1-7, 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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Bulletin Board

Shabbat Shabloom! Fridays at 10am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. End the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Enjoy homemade challah, join a service project on the farm, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Every Friday morning at 10am until the end of August (except Aug 4). First visit free, suggested donation of $5/family thereafter. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! Facebook group.

Mon & Fri’s

Summer is “Funner” at the CT Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT. Visit once or all summer long! Connecticut Trolley Museum hold activities for all ages! Let CTM help make memories that will last a lifetime! Activities include Trolley Rides, Trolley Experiences, Crafting Station, Dress-up Station, Scavenger Hunt, Guided Tours and visiting the Fire Truck Museum on property. Storytime Mondays featuring stories about the adventures of trolleys and trains. The readings will be inside one of the historic trolleys and a trolley ride to follow. All ages are welcome! Every Friday starting July 7th CTM will hold Fantastic Fridays starting with Christmas in July and ending with Super Hero & Princess Day. Visit www.ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Jun- Aug

Soar into Summer Fun at New England Air Museum 6/25-8/20. Daily activities include: Open Cockpit, Climb inside real aircraft cockpits and experience the view from the pilot’s seat! Build & Fly Challenges at 10:30am-2:30pm. From kites to parachutes, straw rockets to gliders, test skills with a new challenge each week. Flight Science Demonstrations at 11:30am & 1:30pm. Discover the principles of flight through interactive demonstrations for aviators of all ages. Soaring Story Time at 10:15am. Visitors ages 6 and under are invited to a story and hands-on activity with a different aerospace theme each week. Flight Simulators, Aircraft Quest Scavenger Hunts, and Kidsport: The Kids Only exhibit, and three exhibit hangars filled with over eighty historic aircraft. Hands-on, family fun all summer long! www.neam.org.

Jul 3 – Aug 8

The 26th Annual Ko Festival of Performance, July 3 – August 8, has 5 weeks of original & compelling theatre for teens – adults curated, at this special moment in our country’s history, on the theme of “Tactics for Trying Times.” Also, the Mettawee River Theater Company “Before the Sun & Moon,” based on a Korean folk tale. Performed for all ages, out under the stars with giant puppets, masks, live music and a spirit of celebration. Plus 3 intensive workshops for adults: “Telling Tales with Crankies” with Ines Zeler Bass of Sandglass Theater, “Compassionate Creativity” and “First Person: Crafting Your Story for Performance.” All on the Amherst College campus. Tickets $7-$22, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. For more visit www.kofest.com.

July 7

Sing Along with The Muppet Movie at the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center’s Free Fun Friday, July 7th at 11am, in Great Barrington, MA. In this Sing Along, IBEX Puppetry leads the audience of cheering, singing fans to renew their Rainbow Connection with our fleecy friends who started it all. It’s full of interactive surprises—and children and adults alike are urged to yell out famous lines, dance in the aisles, and of course, sing along with the movie to forge new or renew connections to a film from another generation. Admission is free thanks to sponsorship by the Highland Street Foundation. www.mahaiwe.org.

Jul 6-13

PaintBox Theatre, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story it with just 3 actors? Sure! They’ll just do it with creativity, cleverness, and lots of help from the audience, who will, of course, play the munchkins. How will they drop a house from the sky? Come and see! Performances are Thurs. July 6, 10:30am; Fri. July 7, 10:30am & 7:00pm; and Sat. & Sun. July 8 & 9, 10:30am & 1:00pm at Easthampton’s Williston Theatre and Wed. July 12 & Thursday, July 13, 10:30am at the Turners Falls’ Shea Theater. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets. Season Tickets: $24. Group discounts (12+): $7, call 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Looking for summer options? 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.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 1-7, 2017

SaturdaySunday
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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, July 1, 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. Rebroadcast of our Summer Bike Riding Episode. 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, July 1, 8:30am-12pm
ECOLOGY/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Bogs are high-acid, nutrient poor habitats; plants which live in bogs have a variety of adaptations for thriving under these conditions. Exploring the Hawley Bog in the Berkshires, you’ll see insect-eating plants, a plant that makes peat moss, and several native orchids. Participants for this program, led by the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, will walk in the open sun for a portion of the trip. Sun protection is recommended. Directions will be shared upon registration. Contact the Hitchcock Center. 413-256-6006. Hawley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 1, 9am-5pm
ART STUDIES/PHOTOGRAPHY
In addition to providing books, movies, music, magazines, newspapers and more- libraries can connect you with local artists by displaying their work. A new exhibit at the Springfield City Library Central branch location will feature the photographic artworks of Max Fehr, whose pieces showcase landscapes, portraits, and still lifes coupled with companion poems. His work will be on display through August 31. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 9:30am-1:30pm
S.T.E.A.M./MAKERSPACE
Does your t(w)een like to create? Whether your child is a scientific or artistic thinker, they can join other local teens at the Jones Library Makerspace and create! Participants are invited to build off of the 2017 summer reading theme of “Build a Better World.” This event is suited for ages ten and up. Supplies will be provided. Check out the new “virtual reality room” at the library! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 10am-4pm
CULINARY ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
How did people living in early New England keep cool in the summer? You can learn about early American foodways and summer preservation techniques through demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. Stop by during open hours on Saturdays in July to learn about switchel, a once-popular, homemade sweet beverage, as well as early techniques for cooling beverages and foods such as lemonade, pickles, and jams. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 10:30am-11:30am
GEOLOGY
For young children, exploring the natural world is one of the healthiest ways to spend time. A love of nature can grow into an interest in studying scientific subjects, such as geology. Junior geologists ages eight through twelve are invited to join the “Rock & Mineral Hound Club” at the Granby Library. Participants will learn how to identify and catalog rocks and minerals, and take home new minerals each time. They can meet other children with similar interests, and build their collections. The group will also meet on August 5. You are welcome to attend one or both sessions. Registration is required. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 10:30am-11:30am
INDEPENDENCE DAY/PLACEMAKING
You and your family can celebrate Independence Day early at the Meekins Library. The celebration will include stories, song and dance, and more. Visitors will be invited to decorate their own musical instrument and parade around the library. Remember to dress in red, white, and blue! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 10:30am-12:30am
LITERACY/KINDNESS
Summer reading programs promote more than just literacy and connection to community. The 2017 national summer reading theme is “Build a Better World.” Readers of all ages are invited to join their public libraries in an effort to do just that. As part of the Teen Summer Reading program at the Granby Library, library patrons are invited to stop by to paint kind words on rocks for the library’s “Kindness Rocks” garden. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 11am
FAMILY THEATER/INTERGENERATIONAL
Award-winning family entertainer Bowey The Clown will be bringing his delightful magic, ventriloquism, and awesome balloon art to the Spectrum Playhouse. Often, the secret behind a magic trick actually lies in the psychology of the audience, in terms of where their attention is drawn by the performer. Young magicians (and young psychologists) can uncover the “secrets” behind successful magic tricks and learn lots about the human brain at the same time by attending and analyzing magic performances. All are welcome to attend. 413-394-5023. 40 Main Street. Lee, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, July 1, 11am-1pm
PLACEMAKING/SPORTS
For skateboarders, the world is a playground ready for their impressive feats. The UNiTY Skateboard and BMX Park provides community members in North Adams with a public space specifically for this purpose. All are welcome to the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting and Celebration at the park. There will also be live music and a raffle. Noel Field Athletic Complex. Route 8. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 12pm
HISTORY
Make this Independence Day a historical learning opportunity by attending a communal reading and facilitated discussion of Frederick Douglass’ famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” This speech took place on July 5, 1852. This event will feature a musical performance by the Amherst Gospel Choir directed by Jacqueline Wallace. Professor Whitney Battle-Baptiste will run the post-reading discussion. For more information visit the Mass Humanities website. Amherst Common. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 12pm-4:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY/POLLINATORS
Bees have played an integral role for humans in Deerfield since colonial times, up to the present. “Get the Buzz on Bees” at Historic Deerfield will provide historic information on pollinators, as well as up-to-date information on honey bee decline and its possible causes. These bee-related educational activities will be fun for everyone. Visitors can make wax candles, taste honey, create a honey bee art project, and plant pollinator friendly flowers. This program will take place daily through August 13. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($; Ages 6-17 <$Member and Deerfield/South Deerfield Resident FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 2pm and 8pm
THEATER/AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE
The 1979, Tony award winning play, Children of a Lesser God, chronicles the relationship between deaf former student, Sarah Norman, and her teacher, James Leeds. The drama was later adapted for a 1987 film. This quintessential story about the various forms of human communication will be performed by the Berkshire Theater Group, offering opportunities to learn about both contemporary drama and deaf culture. Open Captioning is scheduled for every performance. A section of the orchestra—house left, close to the stage—is reserved to provide the best sight line for those wishing to use this service There will be ASL interpreted performances on Wednesday, July 12 and Friday, July 21. 413-997-4444. Fitzpatrick Main Stage. 83 East Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 1, 4pm
CEMETERY STUDIES
Ready for a little history and some exercise? Join the Stockbridge Library’s Proctor Museum and Archives on a cemetery walking tour to learn the fascinating – and complex – history of The Red Lion Inn. The walk will explore this beloved landmark from its founding as a store to its place in Stockbridge today as the center of town. Over the years, the Inn has been rescued from closing twice, owned and operated by women three different times, and almost lost to a major fire. For more information, contact the library at 413-298-5501 or ksmarshall03@gmail.com. Meet at the cemetery Gate. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($ suggested)

Saturday, July 1, 6:30pm
FIREWORKS
This year’s Fireworks for Freedom celebration in Westfield will take place at the South Middle School fields. 30 West Silver Street. The rain date will be July 2. 413-572-6244. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 1, 7pm
THEATER
Many of Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed at the Globe Theater in London, a partly open, outdoor theater. Outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s plays, and the plays his works have inspired, keep this history alive. For Shakespeare lovers, the 1966 play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead offers an absurdist, comedic take on Shakespeare’s most famous work, Hamlet. This play reworks the story from the perspective of two minor characters. You can see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead performed by Hampshire Shakespeare Company under the direction of Calvin Atkinson, at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. In the event of rain, the performance will be held indoors. 413-577-3600. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, July 1, 8pm
STORYTELLING/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Storytelling is a unique art form combining theatrical acting ability will narrative style, and often other elements such as humor. RISK! Podcast provides an outlet for a cathartic, laugh-out-loud, anything-goes kind of storytelling. You can attend a live recording session of the podcast, at MASS MoCA. The night of storytelling centers around the theme, “you’re never going to believe this,” and will showcase personal tell-all stories. This program is for adults. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, July 1, 9pm
FIREWORKS
Fireworks in Chicopee begin at dusk in Szot Park. Brass Attack will perform starting at 6:30pm inside the stadium. 413-594-3481. 927 Sgt. Tracy Drive. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, July 2, 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, July 2, 10am-11am; 12pm-1:15pm
POETRY/LOCAL HISTORY
The William Cullen Bryant Homestead provides people with the chance to learn about local history through the life of a famous author. Three new tours at the homestead will focus on different aspects of his life. “The Comforts of Home: William Cullen Bryant in Cummington,” tells the story of his upbringing. This tour runs for 35 minutes. Participants will see unique objects that once belonged to William Cullen Bryant and hear fun and quirky stories about his life in Cummington. This tour takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, and Fridays through September 2017. For more information call 413-532-1631 x3110 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 2, 11am-11:35am
POETRY/HISTORY
Did you know that famous author William Cullen Bryant had ties to New York City as well as to Cummington, Massachusetts? A new tour at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, “Top Hat and Coattails: William Cullen Bryant in New York City and Abroad,” will discuss his work as editor of the New-York Evening Post, and his position in New York City society and politics. This tour takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, and Fridays through September 2017. For more information please call 413-532-1631 x3110 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 2, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Elizabeth Freeman, also known Mum Bett, was enslaved in the Ashley House, and later became the first black slave to successfully sue for and win her freedom. Touring the Ashley House provides insight into the life of both the Ashleys and the enslaved African Americans who lived there in the 18th century. The Ashley House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can tour the house on Sundays through August 31. For more information call 413-298-8138. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 2, 12pm and 2pm
HORTICULTURE/HISTORY
What can we learn about history through gardens? The world-renowned gardens at Naumkeag were created as a collaboration between Mabel Choate and landscape architect Fletcher Steele. Choate and Steele worked together for nearly thirty years in the creation of the gardens. These are a must-see for anyone with an interest in modern landscape design and those interested in learning about local history through the lens of landscape. 413-298-8138. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 2, 12pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Wistariahurst, former home of prominent silk manufacturer William Skinner, now serves as a cultural and educational center. Wistariahurst helps to preserve Holyoke history through educational programs, exhibits and special events. This 1874 estate is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors are invited to engage in self-directed tours, Sundays through Tuesdays, including tours of the art gallery. Group tours (5+ people) are available additional hours by appointment. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, July 2, 2:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Naumkeag is the former estate of the Choate family, including noted lawyer Joseph Hodges Choate. The home was built at the height of the Gilded Age. The tour, “The Guilded Age in the Berkshires,” puts Naumkeag in a historical context of rapid economic and industrial growth following the civil war. At this time of European immigration, the American aristocracy expanded while there was widespread worker poverty. Visitors to the tour will learn how the elite enjoyed their leisure time, and how the Berkshires became a destination for this class. This tour will take place Sundays and Mondays through October 9. For more information call 413-298-8138. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 2, 3pm
ART STUDIES/PAINTING
Landscapes are one of the most common subjects for painting, along with still lifes and portraiture. Artist Helen Frankenthaler painted natural landscapes throughout her career which spanned from the 1950s through the 1990s; however, her relationship to the tradition of landscape painting could be described as “ambivalent.” Guest curator Alexandra Schwartz will elaborate further in her lecture on the subject, to be held at the Clark Art Institute. This is the opening lecture for a new exhibition, As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Admission: Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, July 3, 9am
YOGA
Through stretching poses and sometimes concentration on the breath, yoga can relax and center you. Practicing yoga outdoors has the added benefit of connecting you to nature. The Clark Art Institute is offering an outdoor yoga class weekly on Mondays, starting June 3 and continuing through August 28. This class is suitable for all experience levels, ages fourteen and up, and will focus on improving strength and flexibility. Classes will be held on the Fernández Terrace adjacent to the Clark Center. Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement and bring a yoga mat. Rain cancels this event. No registration is required. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 3, 10am-4pm
THEATER
The 26th Annual Ko Festival of Performance kicks off July 3. The festival will take place throughout July and August with original and compelling performances for teens and adults, curated at this unique moment in our country’s history, on the theme of “Tactics for Trying Times.” The festival will also feature three intensive workshops for adults. Starting June 3, adults can participate in the workshop, “Telling Tales with Crankies” with Ines Zeler Bass of Sandglass Theater. A crankie is an old storytelling form involving a long illustrated scroll set into a box with a viewing window. The scroll is hand cranked while the unfolding story is narrated, sung or accompanied by music. Participants will build their own crankie and create their own stories. All Ko Festival events will take place on the Amherst College campus. For more visit the Ko Festival of Performance website. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Monday, July 3, 10:30am and 1:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Studying music and music theory opens up a world of artistic as well scientific education. Whether your child likes to jam, sing, and write, or wants to learn about the physics of sound vibration, music is a great subject for S.T.E.A.M-based inquiry. A new exhibit at the Berkshire Museum, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World , offers family-friendly ways to learn about the science, sound, and cultural impact of the guitar. On weekdays starting July 3, attendees will have chances to visualize and manipulate music, and make drawings that can play a guitar solo! You’re never too young or too old to learn about music; this event is a great opportunity for intergenerational learning and exploration. This program is included in regular museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (Admission: $; children under 18 <$; members, ages three and under FREE)

Monday, July 3, 2:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Naumkeag is the former estate of the Choate family, including noted lawyer Joseph Hodges Choate. The home was built at the height of the Gilded Age. The tour, “The Guilded Age in the Berkshires,” puts Naumkeag in a historical context of rapid economic and industrial growth following the civil war. At this time of European immigration, the American aristocracy expanded while there was widespread worker poverty. Visitors to the tour will learn how the elite enjoyed their leisure time, and how the Berkshires became a destination for this class. This tour will take place Sundays and Mondays through October 9. For more information call 413-298-8138. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Monday, July 3, 6pm-7pm
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Want to take a yoga class with your child? Children ages ten and up are welcome to yoga classes in Stanley Park! A certified instructor will lead participants of all levels through foundational yoga poses and breathing exercises. Yoga In The Park will take place weekly through July third. Bring your own mat and any props as needed, wear comfortable and stretchy clothes. You may sign up by emailing gdelmastro@stanleypark.org or call 413-568-9312 ext. 112 or register at the park at your first class where registration forms will be available. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (<$)

Monday, July 3, 9:30pm
FIREWORKS
Looking for a place to see fireworks with your family? All are welcome to attend a fireworks display at East Longmeadow High School. 180 Maple Street. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

 

Tuesday, July 4, 10am
HISTORY
Make this Independence Day a learning opportunity by attending the communal reading of Frederick Douglass’ famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” This speech took place on July 5, 1852. Shaw Memorial Library. 312 Main Street. Plainfield, MA.(FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 10am
PADADE
The Pittsfield parade steps off on South Street with a Celebrating Our Heroes theme. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 10am
PARADE
East Longmeadow’s parade will start at the high school, moving through the center onto North Main Street, and finishing at Hanward Hill at the middle school. 180 Maple Street. 413-348-0953. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 11am
PARADE
The Williamstown parade kicks off at 11 and gathers on Spring Street. At 1:30 PM, make your way to Williams College’s Sawyer Library to hear actors read the Declaration of Independence and the British reply before viewing the Chapin Library’s Founding Documents of the United States collection. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 11am
PLACEMAKING/AUTOMOTIVE
The 4th of July parade in Chesterfield is an annual tradition which also features classic and antique vehicles. This year, after the parade, there will be a car show for families to take a closer look! Learn about our country’s history through the evolution of the automotive industry. A local band will perform during the car show which starts immediately after the parade. For more information, visit the Chesterfield 4th of July Parade as details emerge. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 11am
CHILDREN’S HISTORY
Learning about how children lived- and worked- in other time periods, is a fascinating way to look at history. Summertime at Naumkeag was fun for some, hard work for others. Naumkeag is offering a hands-on house tour for younger visitors to experience how both guests and servants lived during the Gilded Age, whether playing Parcheesi or stirring the laundry with a large wooden fork. Participants will have special access to family spaces, and try their hand at both 19th century games as well as chores. For more information call 413-298-8138. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, July 4, 3pm
READING
An all-American Independence Day celebration with music and a reading of the The Declaration of Independence. Food is available for purchase on site from Firefly Gastro Pub. Shakespeare and Company. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 9pm
FIREWORKS
Fireworks in Wahconah Park. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 5pm
FIREWORKS
The Amherst 4th of July celebration will include hot air balloon rides, a children’s carnival, games and more. At 9:30pm fireworks will begin in the fields behind McGuirk Alumni Football Stadium on the UMass Amherst Campus. Check the Amherst town website for the full schedule. Stadium Drive. Amherst, MA. (Parking <$)

Tuesday, July 4, 6pm-10pm
FIREWORKS
Star Spangled Springfield will take place in Riverfront Park. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Though they of course formed in England, the Beatles’ popularity was and is far-reaching. They are an important part of American history. You can twist and shout with the Bennington-based Beatles cover band, Across the Pond, at an outdoor concert at the Clark Art Institute.This performance is first in a summer concert series at the Clark, continuing on July 11, 18, and 25. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 4, 9:30pm
FIREWORKS
North Adams will hold a fireworks display in Joe Wolfe Field. 310 State Street. 413-664-6180. 310 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, July 5th, 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.

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Thursday, July 6th, 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, July 6, 10am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/DRAWING
Using the natural world as inspiration for drawing is a way to kids outdoors while thinking and creating! Children ages seven and up, and their caregivers, are invited to explore both the outdoors and the works on view at the Norman Rockwell Museum, as inspiration for drawing with pencil, pastel, and other dry media. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Thursday, July 6, 10:30am
THEATER
PaintBox Theatre
, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story it with just 3 actors? Sure! They’ll just do it with creativity, cleverness, and, lots of help from the audience, who will, of course, play the munchkins. How will they drop a house from the sky? Come and see! 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheatre.com. Williston Theatre. Easthampton, MA ($)

Thursday, July 6, 12pm
HISTORY
Make this Independence Day a historical learning opportunity by attending a communal reading of Frederick Douglass’ famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” This speech took place on July 5, 1852. For more information visit the Mass Humanities website. Springfield City Hall steps. 36 Court Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 6, 1pm
CHILDREN’S HISTORY
Learning about how children lived- and worked- in other time periods, is a fascinating way to look at history. Summertime at Naumkeag was fun for some, hard work for others. Naumkeag is offering a hands-on house tour for younger visitors to experience how both guests and servants lived during the Gilded Age, whether playing Parcheesi or stirring the laundry with a large wooden fork. Participants will have special access to family spaces, and try their hand at both 19th century games as well as chores. For more information call 413-298-8138. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Thursday, July 6, 2:30pm-3:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY/ART STUDIES
Great Falls Discovery Center is offering local youth two opportunities to learn about bees and butterflies! First, on July 6, you can attend a reception for entomologically inspired artwork created by young artists from Montague Parks and Recreation’s Summer Camp 2017. This reception will feature educational activities about bees and butterflies. Optionally, families can return on Friday, July 7 for a “Kidleidoscope” program about bees and flowers! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 6, 6pm-8pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Warm weather and longer stretches of daylight allow us new opportunities to meet and connect with our neighbors and other community members, many of whom we may not have seen during the cold, winter months. Bring a lawn chair, or set up a picnic with friends and family at this Co Op Concert in Greenfield. Sharing a meal, meeting someone new, appreciating the built and natural landscapes, and enjoying live music all play a part in placemaking. You can also explore the gardens, and children will be able to play on the brand new train structure in the children’s area. This concert will feature Daniel Hales, Orlen & Gabriel, and Devlin Miles. Energy Park. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 6, 6pm-8pm
STEM/ROBOTICS
Learning how to use a 3D printer can teach you about engineering, design, and robotics. Father and son team, Arthur and Peter Evans will be at the Erving Public Library to teach participants about 3D software design, 3D printing, 3D scanning and much more. There will not be time to print items during the workshop, but items will be sent to the library for pickup at a later time. The workshop is free and designed for tech lovers age 7 to 14. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop, but that is optional. Space is limited. Register in advance by email library@erving-ma.org or phone 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 6, 7:30pm
HISTORY
Looking for some history to begin your summer? Historic Deerfield is offering three lectures in their 2017 Summer Lecture Series, focusing on the rhythms of life of early America during the summer. The first lecture in the series, “Hurrah for the Fourth! Independence Day in New England, 1777-1850,” will educate attendees about early community celebrations of the nation’s most important civic holiday. This lecture will be delivered by Len Travers, Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, July 7th, 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, July 7
TRANSPORTATION/MUSEUMS ADVENTURES
Summer is “Funner” at the CT Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT. Visit once or all summer long! Connecticut Trolley Museum hold activities for all ages! Let CTM help make memories that will last a lifetime! Activities include Trolley Rides, Trolley Experiences, Crafting Station, Dress-up Station, Scavenger Hunt, Guided Tours and visiting the Fire Truck Museum on property. Storytime Mondays featuring stories about the adventures of trolleys and trains. The readings will be inside one of the historic trolleys and a trolley ride to follow. All ages are welcome! Every Friday starting July 7th CTM will hold Fantastic Fridays starting with Christmas in July and ending with Super Hero & Princess Day. Visit www.ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Friday, July 7, 10am
FAMILY MUSIC
Family musical group Terry A La Berry and Friends are back for the summer season! Friday mornings for children kicks off in Stanley Park with a musical performance by the group. Kids are invited to dance, jump, laugh, and sing together. In this fast-paced hour, Terry A La Berry and Friends will encourage everyone to participate. This show is age appropriate for pre-K through age 8. Weather permitting. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 7, 10am
JEWISH CULTURE
Celebrate Jewish culture at a “Shabbat Shabloom” gathering! You can end your week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer. These events are especially suited for children under five, and their caregivers. Families can enjoy homemade challah, join a service project on the farm, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Celebrations take place every Friday morning (except August 4) at Abundance Farm, until the end of August. All are welcome. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street, across the street from the YMCA. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Friday, July 7, 10am-11am
POETRY/LOCAL HISTORY
The William Cullen Bryant Homestead provides people with the chance to learn about local history through the life of a famous author. But Bryant also spent time in New York City. Three new tours at the homestead will focus on different aspects of his life. “The Comforts of Home: William Cullen Bryant in Cummington,” tells the story of his upbringing. This tour runs for 35 minutes.Participants will see unique objects that once belonged to William Cullen Bryant and hear fun and quirky stories about his life in Cummington. This tour takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, and Fridays through September 2017. For more information please call 413-532-1631 x3110 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Friday, July 7, 10am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Amelia Park Children’s Museum in Westfield has exhibits that encourage and inspire a child’s imagination while helping them learn about the world around them – and beyond! (Check out their space exploration exhibit!) Children of all ages can build, pretend they are a doctor or nurse, become a teller in the bank exhibit, have fun while moving and exercising or simply for one of the special activities. Featured weekday events include story, craft and science hours. Families can visit the museum for free as part of the Free Fun Fridays program from the Highland Foundation. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 7, 10am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HISTORY
Ventfort Hall is a Jacobean Revival-style mansion built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J. P. Morgan. The estate was designed by architects Rotch & Tilden, and is one of approximately seventy-five so-called “Cottages” built in Lenox in the late 19th century. It is now a museum. Visiting can teach you about the history of American life, as well as Gilded Age architecture. You can visit the museum free of charge as part of Free Fun Fridays, brought to you by the Highland Foundation. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 7, 10:30am
THEATER
PaintBox Theatre
, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story it with just 3 actors? Sure! They’ll just do it with creativity, cleverness, and, lots of help from the audience, who will, of course, play the munchkins. How will they drop a house from the sky? Come and see! 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheatre.com. Williston Theatre. Easthampton, MA ($)

Friday, July 7, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
A love of animals can grow into a focus for all kinds of learning. Spending time with animals can help kids build their empathetic skills by understanding the needs of another living being. Taking care of animals at home (even something as simple as putting feed in a bird feeder) can also teach kids responsibility. For the scientifically minded, zoology is a topic which leads to learning about biology and ecology. You can encourage your children’s interest in animals by bringing them to animal focused “Kidleidoscope” programs at Great Falls Discovery Center These programs are best suited for ages three to six, but siblings and friends are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The July 7 program will introduce children to the relationship between bees and flowers. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 7, 11am-11:35am
POETRY/HISTORY
Did you know that famous author William Cullen Bryant had ties to New York City as well as to Cummington, Massachusetts? A new tour at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, “Top Hat and Coattails: William Cullen Bryant in New York City and Abroad,” will discuss his work as editor of the New-York Evening Post, and his position in New York City society and politics. This tour takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, and Fridays through September 2017. For more information please call 413-532-1631 x3110 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Friday, July 7, 11am
SING ALONG/PUPPETS
Sing Along with The Muppet Movie at the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center’s Free Fun Friday, July 7th at 11am, in Great Barrington, MA. In this Sing Along, IBEX Puppetry leads the audience of cheering, singing fans to renew their Rainbow Connection with our fleecy friends who started it all. It’s full of interactive surprises—and children and adults alike are urged to yell out famous lines, dance in the aisles, and of course, sing along with the movie to forge new or renew connections to a film from another generation. Admission is free thanks to sponsorship by the Highland Street Foundation. www.mahaiwe.org.

Friday, July 7, 12pm-1:15pm
POETRY/LOCAL HISTORY
The William Cullen Bryant Homestead provides people with the chance to learn about local history through the life of a famous author. Visitors to the homestead are able to walk the landscape that inspired Bryant’s nature poetry and conservation efforts. The tour, “Woods and Words: Rivulet Trail Walk,” provides visitors the opportunity to tour the house and walk along the maple alley to the Rivulet Trail. Participants will
discover old growth forest and hear excerpts from Bryant’s poems.This tour takes place on Saturdays, Sundays, and Fridays through September 2017. For more information please call 413-532-1631 x3110 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (Members <$; Non members $)

Friday, July 7, 3pm
THEATER
Viewing contemporary and brand-new plays can connect you with the theatrical community, and possibly even give you the opportunity to watch a work evolve over time. The “Fridays@3” Reading Series, part of the Williamstown Theater Festival, has over the years featured work which went on to become main Festival productions. The reading series showcases new work in development, read by brilliant actors, and will occur weekly on Fridays from July 7-August 18 at the Clark Art Institute. Come to the reading series for a chance to experience theatre for free. On July 7, the production Blue Sky Process tells the story of employees who must brainstorm their way to success at a startup while navigating office politics and alliances. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 7, 6pm-8pm
ZOOLOGY/CANOEING
Beavers have spent 7 million years in North America, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve their declining populations. You can learn more about beavers and the ways in which their dams impact the biodiversity of their habitats, on an evening canoe trip at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Participants will meet at the visitor’s center and walk to the river to learn about how these mammals have shaped our physical community as well as the history of our country. Trips will take place on Friday evenings through August 25. Registration is required. For more information call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 7, 6:30pm
WATER SKIING/PHYSICS
Even just balancing on two skis in the water is impressive, but the Oxbow Water Ski Show Team can do much more than that, building pyramids 3-4 people high, doing flips through the air and other tricks. Check out the beautiful view around the Oxbow marina while you witness the Oxbow Water Ski Show Team perform. In addition to being dazzled and entertained, you can integrate the excitement into learning about physics by thinking deeply about water skiing and concepts such as Newton’s Third Law of Motion, Reynolds number, and gravity. 413-626-1913. Oxbow Marina. 180 Island Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 7, 7pm
THEATER
PaintBox Theatre
, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story it with just 3 actors? Sure! They’ll just do it with creativity, cleverness, and, lots of help from the audience, who will, of course, play the munchkins. How will they drop a house from the sky? Come and see! 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheatre.com. Williston Theatre. Easthampton, MA ($)

Friday, July 7, 8pm
THEATER
The 26th Annual Ko Festival of Performance in July and August will feature original and compelling performances for teens and adults, curated at this unique moment in our country’s history, on the theme of “Tactics for Trying Times.” On July 7 – 9, Heartbeat Ensemble will perform Jimmy and Lorraine by playwright Talvin Wilks. This contemporary (2015) drama is a meditation on the American political climate of the late ’50s and early ’60s through the perspectives of political activists and artists James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry. This performance offers the opportunity to learn about American history, with a focus on issues of race, class, sexuality, and friendship. All Ko Festival events will take place on the Amherst College campus. For more visit the Ko Festival of Performance website. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 7, 8pm-9:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY/FIREFLIES
Fireflies, or lightning bugs, use bioluminescence to attract prey or mates. Their twinkling against the night sky is one of summer’s beautiful, natural scenes. Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary invites you to a firefly frolic in the community garden pavilion. Visitors will learn fun facts about fireflies, play a game, and take a walk in the meadows searching for fireflies. In the event of rain, this program will be canceled. Appropriate for all ages, and especially fun for families with children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited and registration is required. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, 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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