Suggested Events for July 8-14, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

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.

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. paintboxtheater.com.

Jul 14

Join the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT for a Trolley themed Book Reading on July 14th– Meet Marie Betts Bartlett, author and illustrator of The Little Yellow Trolley Car & Poppy’s Purpose. The Little Yellow Trolley Car (recommended for ages 2-8) at 11am. Poppy’s Purpose (recommended for ages 4-12) at 12pm. Book reading is free with Museum admission. Additional activities include trolley rides, trolley experiences, crafting station, dress-up station, scavenger hunt, guided tours, and visiting the Fire Truck Museum on property. Admission prices are $10 for Adults, $9 for Seniors (62+), Children (ages 4-12) $7, children (ages 3 & under) and Museum Members free. For more information visit www.ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

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 8-14, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, July 8, 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. Guest DJ, Joe & Justin of The Okee Dokee Brothers Episode. Childhood best friends, Joe and Justin, now known as The Okee Dokee Brothers from Minneapolis, Minnesota, are our Guest DJs this today, spinning some songs of their own childhood, songs in the Americana folk tradition and even some tunes off their CD, Can You Canoe?, about their real-life 30 day canoe trip down the Mississippi River. 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 8, 10am-12pm
MAKERSPACE/SKILLSHARING
Makerspaces are popping up in libraries and schools all over the country, gaining popularity because of the way they encourage S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) inquiry, as well as collaboration. Your child can learn how to use a 3D printer and a CNC Router in a makerspace workshop at the Greenfield Public Library. Father and son Arthur and Peter Evans will demonstrate the use of these tools. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 413-772-1544 ext 5105 to sign-up. This program is designed for participants between the ages of eight and twelve. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 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 8, 10am-5pm
BOTANY/FAMILY
A special program on July 8, “The Secret Gardens of Naumkeag,” will appeal to families who enjoy spending time outdoors, searching for hidden things, and playing games! Visitors will be given a map to follow. Among the secret gardens hidden on the property of Naumkeag, there will also be activities and games related to timeless children’s books such as Alice In Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, and The Secret Garden of course! For more information call 413-298-3239 ext 3016 or email mmoulton@thetrustees.org. Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Adult; Child <$; members FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 10:30am
PLACEMAKING/MAGIC
Magic shows can entertain people of all ages. Older children and adults may be interested in trying to figure out the slight of hand techniques behind the magic, while younger children may simply be enthralled and amazed. Ed Popielarczyk is a professional magician, balloon twister, and entertainer. He will be entertaining families in the courtyard between the Odyssey Bookshop and PeoplesBank at the Village Commons. This is the first event in the Summer Family Entertainment Series, taking place on Saturdays in July. Contact the Odyssey Bookshop with questions. 413-534-7307. College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 10:30am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
PaintBox Theater, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off their summer performances with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story with just three 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. Williston Theatre. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 8, 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 all ages. 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 8, 1pm-5pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
The sport and “national pastime” of baseball is deeply woven into American culture and history. As such, is has been a popular subject for American illustrators, including Norman Rockwell. Families are invited to participate in baseball-themed programs at the Norman Rockwell Museum including hands-on art making, tours, presentations, a game of catch on the lawn, and more. Artists, museum educators, curators, and authors will give presentations on various topics concerned with the intersection of baseball, history, and art. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 2pm
ART STUDIES/LITERACY
In addition to encouraging literacy, reading aloud to your children from picture books can open up conversations about topics which pertain to children at their stages of development. Author/illustrator Rowboat Watkins’ new picture book, Pete With no Pants, follows elephant Pete as he tries to figure out why he has to wear pants, a familiar struggle for some parents of toddlers. Families are invited to hear Watkins read from his book at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and participate in drawing activities after the reading. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 8, 2:30-4:30pm
FILM STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
You can stay cool and learn a bit of history by attending the Jones Library Saturday matinée series in July. All films in the series were chosen in conjunction with the 2017 summer reading program theme of “Build a Better World”. On July 8, you and your teen can see the 2015 biographical drama Suffragette (PG-13) which centers around working wife Maud as it chronicles the fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. Learn how the suffragettes did their part to build a better world, and get inspired about the actions you could take to improve society, locally or beyond. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 5:30pm-8:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/DANCE
Springfield Armory National Historic Site’s annual Big Band concert is an intergenerational celebration of history through music and dance! Prior to the concert, dance lessons are offered, so that attendees can take full advantage of the performance by practicing their new dance moves. This year, big band Daddio will perform in Springfield Technical Community College’s Technology Park. Rain cancels the event. 1 Federal Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 6:30pm
KLEZMER/JEWISH CULTURE
Local band Klezamir plays traditional klezmer music, including Jewish wedding songs and folk songs. They also perform their own original tunes which draw upon the klezmer style. They will be performing at the Westhampton Public Library on the lawn. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 8, 7:30pm
DANCE STUDIES
Have you ever wanted to learn how to swing dance? Now’s your chance! Beginner dance lessons will be offered, no partner necessary, prior to a concert in historic Dewey Hall. Learn some new moves, then swing the night away to the sounds of One Straw Revolution. 91 Call 413-717-1255 for more information. Main Street. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, July 8, 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 information visit the Ko Festival of Performance website. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 8, 8pm-10:30pm
NATURE STUDIES/CANOEING
Twilight is an amazing time to listen and look for wildlife in the warm months. Herons, loons, beavers, owls, and more can be found at Buckley Dunton Lake in October Mountain State Forest. Participants on the Loon Moon Canoe Trip will explore inlets of the lake, then travel ashore for snacks and to listen for nocturnal sounds of wildlife. Registration is required. Visit the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary website for more details. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, July 9, 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 9, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES
Anyone can learn to view the world with a scientific eye, but it can take a degree of training. Families are invited to Great Falls Discovery Center to learn how to examine the natural world with field guides and binoculars. The program leader will make a fun game of this learning, inviting participants to play bike path B-I-N-G-O. Participants should meet at the main entrance. Bring water, bug spray, sunscreen and wear sturdy shoes. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 9, 10:30am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
PaintBox Theater, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story with just three 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. Williston Theatre. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 9, 12pm-6pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ
Jazz is a musical genres with many sub genres. One element which separates jazz from many (but not all) other types of music is that it involves improvisation, challenging jazz performers to come up with solos on the spot and communicate with each other spontaneously through sound. The 4th Annual Mt. Greylock Jazz Festival will feature a range of contemporary jazz performers and groups including the Benedict Jazz Vibes Quartet and The Phil Allen Septet, among others. Visit the Bascom Lodge website for a full list of performers. 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 9, 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 9, 1pm
ENTOMOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Butterflies are insects of the same order as moths. Butterflies are often strikingly beautiful, and their appearance provides insight into their biology. Some butterflies use camouflage or mimicry to go undetected by predators. You can learn more about butterflies, including how to identify species of local ones, on a guided nature walk at Mountain Meadow Preserve. Local naturalist Pamela Weatherbee will be leading the walk. The high meadow has a great variety of wildflowers to attract butterflies. For more information call or email The Trustees at 413-458-3135 or westregion@ttor.org. Mason Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 9, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Visiting local, historic buildings lends insight into the everyday life, education, and occupation of early New Englanders. The Buckland Historical Society invites you to two open houses, to learn about local history. The Buckland Historical Society Museum, a former schoolhouse which is now home to three floors of artifacts, will be open. The Wilder Homestead will also be open to visitors. This 1775 furnished saltbox houses five fireplaces! Feel free to also explore the English barn, home to an antique loom and a shoemaker shop. 413-625-9763. The museum is located at 20 Upper Street, the Wilder Homestead at 129 Route 112. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 9, 4pm
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 information visit the Ko Festival of Performance website. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Sunday, July 9, 6pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
The Heritage ‘Pops’ Orchestra is a 19 piece orchestra. The group has been bringing a variety of big band style music to performances across the state for over twenty years. Bring a lawn chair, or picnic and blanket, to Stanley Park as they fill the park with sound. All are welcome. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 9, 8:15pm
FILM STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
It can be hard to choose, in the summer months, between watching a movie or enjoying the outdoors. You can do both by attending Images Cinema’s annual outdoor film series, Family Flicks Under the Stars. The series begins July 9 with the 1954 thriller Rear Window (PG). Film buffs in particular should be sure to see this highly popular and well-received classic film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 413-458-5612. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, July 10, 9am
YOGA
Through stretching poses and sometimes concentration on the breath, yoga can relax your body and calm your mind. 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 10, 10am-2pm
STEM
High schools are invited to participate in a free, two-week long STEM program where they will learn how to launch a rocket into space! Participants will build a payload with climate sensors, a video camera, GPS, a Raspberry Pi computer, and a parachute. Teams will track the balloon as it ascends into space and analyze the results. Participants will meet at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center Monday through Thursday (July 10th-13th and July 17th-20th). Supplies and equipment will be provided. No experience is necessary. Visit the Holyoke Codes website for full details and to apply to participate. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 10, 10am, 1pm and 6:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
Many children know of Aladdin through the Disney film, but the story of Aladdin is a Middle Eastern folk tale from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. In the tale, young beggar Aladdin pickpockets to survive life in the ancient slums of Arabia. When he encounters a mysterious man with a magic lamp, Aladdin learns the consequences of having one’s every wish come true. It is a story of love and an exploration of right and wrong. You can bring your children to a funny, heartwarming, and family-friendly version of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Monday, July 10, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Do your kids love exploring the backyard? You can help them explore beyond their close surroundings and encourage an interest in nature studies. Young naturalists ages 8-11 are invited to become Junior Rangers at the Great Falls Discovery Center. This four-part nature education workshop, running through July 31, will teach children about their local habitat. Kids will become experts on the Connecticut River Watershed, and have the chance to earn a Junior Ranger Patch from Mass Parks. Friends and siblings are welcome. Children with a parent/guardian should meet at the Discovery Center lobby. Space is limited. Call 413-863-3221 to register. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 10, 3pm-4:30pm
CRAFTS/METALSMITHING
What is the skill of metalsmithing good for? All kinds of things! Smithing, one of the oldest metalworking occupations, involves shaping metals with a hammer. This skill can be utilized to create lots of different metal items including kitchenware, tableware, tools, and accessories. Heather Beck is a metal smith specializing in jewelry and accessories. She will be at the Sunderland Public Library teaching teens the basics of metal work and showing them how to create a metal bookmark. Please register. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, July 11, 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, July 11, 10am-12pm
ART STUDIES/DRAWING
This summer, the Norman Rockwell Museum is offering several programs for children, families, and individual adults to hone their artistic skills and meet other aspiring artists. “Summer Sketch Club” on Tuesdays is a drawing class for families, to take place outdoors if the weather permits. Bring a sketchbook or drawing pad; other art supplies are provided. Experiment with drawing and develop your skills in an encouraging, intergenerational atmosphere. Ages seven and up. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, July 11, 10am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Many children know of Aladdin through the Disney film, but the story of Aladdin is a Middle Eastern folk tale from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. In the tale, young beggar Aladdin pickpockets to survive life in the ancient slums of Arabia. When he encounters a mysterious man with a magic lamp, Aladdin learns the consequences of having one’s every wish come true. It is a story of love and an exploration of right and wrong. You can bring your children to a funny, heartwarming, and family-friendly version of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, July 11, 5:30pm-7:30pm
FITNESS/NATURAL HISTORY
The practice of racing dragon boats, which are traditionally wooden boats powered by rowing, originated in China more than 2500 years ago. You can learn more about this cultural history, as well as the natural history of the Connecticut River, by participating in a 16-person dragonboat paddle! Betsy Powell, founder of Paradise City Dragon Boat, will begin the outing with a paddling lesson. Laurie Sanders, co-director of Historic Northampton, will share information about the environmental and human history of the river. All equipment provided. No prior paddling experience is necessary. Registration is required. Email lsanders@historicnorthampton.org. Connecticut River Greenway Park, Damon Road. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, July 11, 6pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/HARMONICA
The harmonica is one of the most portable instruments out there! You can fit it in your pocket to bring to a campfire with friends, or practice just about anywhere. Rob Fletcher will be at the Erving Public Library teaching workshop participants how to play the harmonica. Registration is required and limited to twelve participants. Call 413-423-3348 or email library@erving-ma.org to register. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 11, 6pm-8pm
ANTHROPOLOGY/EAST ASIAN STUDIES
Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. According to the legend, these star-crossed lovers are separated by the Milky Way and can meet only once a year. The Five College Center for East Asian Studies invites you to the Jones Library for a Tanabata celebration with stories, crafts and treats from China, Japan and Korea. Bring the whole family! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 11, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Musician Samantha Farrell was once described as: “probably the best female singer-songwriter you still haven’t heard of” (NBC Los Angeles). You can hear her perform songs from her latest album, “September Sun” (2016) and more, at an outdoor concert at the Clark Art Institute. Farrell combines jazz, folk, pop, and poetry into her originals. She also plays standards and contemporary covers. This performance is second in a summer concert series at the Clark, continuing on July 17 and 25. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, July 12, 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, July 12, 10am-11am
FAMILY MUSIC
Roger Tincknell has been performing for children, families, and seniors for over 40 years. He brings his background as a classroom teacher to his performances which feature elements of swing, country blues, bluegrass, and folk among other genres. Children under ten and their caregivers are invited to hear him perform in Buttery Brook Park. In the event of inclement weather, concerts are moved indoors to the auditorium at South Hadley Town Hall, 116 Main Street. For information, contact the DPW at 413-538-5033. 123 Willimansett Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 10am-11:30am
ART STUDIES
Looking for ways to help your children learn all summer long? Museums offer relatively inexpensive educational opportunities for all ages. In addition to exploring the galleries and museum landscape at the Norman Rockwell Museum, you and your child can engage in interactive art making by attending a “Kids Create!” session. These programs inspire experimentation with a variety of materials and techniques. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, July 12, 10am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Many children know of Aladdin through the Disney film, but the story of Aladdin is a Middle Eastern folk tale from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. In the tale, young beggar Aladdin pickpockets to survive life in the ancient slums of Arabia. When he encounters a mysterious man with a magic lamp, Aladdin learns the consequences of having one’s every wish come true. It is a story of love and an exploration of right and wrong. You can bring your children to a funny, heartwarming, and family-friendly version of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, July 12, 10:30am
FAMILY THEATER
PaintBox Theater, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story with just three 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. Williston Theatre. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, July 12, 11am
LITERACY/STORYTELLING
The 2017 national summer reading initiative encourages more than just literacy. The theme this year is, “Build a Better World,” and libraries are inviting patrons to brainstorm “better world” ideas through community programs. You can bring your children to David Bates’ performance of “Songs and Stories to Build a Better World,” opening up a discussion about charity, kindness, empathy, and other qualities which improve our world! This program will take place at the Chesterfield Town Hall. 403 Main Road. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 11am-12pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
Wednesdays in July and August, River Valley Co Op will be bringing families together with picnic presentations. Join other parents with young children this summer for community meals and entertainment. The series continues on July 12 with a modern Yo-Yoing demonstration from A2Z Science. Seemingly moved by magic, the yo-yo is a toy as well as a well-designed tool for demonstrating basic principles of physics. Look for the hidden science behind their performance and see some cool tricks! 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 12pm
ZOOLOGY
The Forest Park Zoo’s “Zoo on the Go” program gives children the opportunity to see live animals up close and learn about these animals’ behaviors, diets, adaptations, conservation statuses, and natural habitats. Children are able to ask questions and, in some cases, touch the animals. Their presentation in Stanley Park will be suitable and entertaining for all ages. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 1pm-3pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum features classic and contemporary artwork of all kinds of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, photography and more. Visitors of all ages are invited to the museum for the Family Workshop Series. These programs will feature hands-on art making opportunities, storytelling, short film screenings, and other activities inspired by the objects of the collection. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 2pm
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. This performance will be ASL interpreted, as well a performance on Friday, July 21. 413-997-4444. Fitzpatrick Main Stage. 83 East Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, July 12, 2pm-4pm
UPCYCLING
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, teens and tweens are invited to participate in an upcycling workshop. Your teen can learn how to make a pouch, bag or wallet with materials provided at the event. Register at the library or by calling 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 6pm-8pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Community members of Cheshire and beyond are invited to the 3rd annual Summer Block Party, a local celebration featuring the Bobby Sweet Band! There will be food, vendors, and a free raffle in addition to live music. Bring your lawn chairs and the whole family for fun on the street in downtown. Visit the Cheshire MA website for more details. Cheshire, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Do you like to picnic with your family over the summer? Have your next picnic dinner at Windsor Lake and enjoy family-friendly music, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. You can connect with local musicians and music fans while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake. On July 12, Spurs USA will perform. 200 Windsor Lake Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 12, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/GOSPEL
Though the musical style and significance varies across cultures, “gospel” music is an umbrella term for spiritual music with prominent vocals and Christian lyrics. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is bringing together a range of gospel music performed by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir, including slave spirituals, songs of the African diaspora, Clarence Boyer original compositions and more. This event is part of a series, Folk Traditions, on Wednesday evenings in July at the museum. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

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Thursday, July 13, 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 13, 10am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/DRAWING
Using the natural world as inspiration for drawing is a way to get kids outdoors while encouraging them to think critically and create! 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 13, 10:30am
FAMILY THEATER
PaintBox Theater, the Valley’s theatre of imagination and improvisation, kicks off the summer with The Wizard of Oz. Can PaintBox perform this classic story with just three 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. Williston Theatre. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Thursday, July 13, 1pm-2pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Species of hawks, owls, and falcons are considered raptors- or predatory birds. Raptors have strong vision, in addition to powerful beaks and talons, making them powerful hunters. These “birds of prey” hunt rodents and other small animals. Families can meet live raptors face-to-face in a program at the Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 13, 1pm-8pm
KLEZMER/JEWISH CULTURE
The sixth annual Yidstock Festival of New Yiddish Music offers opportunities to enjoy music you might not encounter elsewhere, and to learn about and celebrate Jewish culture. This festival at the Yiddish Book Center will feature performances of Klezmer, traditional Jewish music of Eastern Europe, as well as modern Yiddish music. These genres will also be explored through presentations throughout the festival. Purchase tickets on the Yiddish Book Center website. Space is limited and tickets may sell out. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Thursday, July 13, 5:30pm
SCULPTURE/POETRY
Visiting Chesterwood, the summer home, studio, and gardens of American monument sculptor Daniel Chester French, teaches visitors about contemporary and historic American sculpture. If you visit the house museum on July 13, you can also attend a reading and book signing with sculptor Murray Dewart from his new publication Poems about Sculpture. This program is free with museum admission. RSVP to lreynolds@savingplaces.org. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. (Adults $; children ages 13 to 17 <$; children under 13 and members FREE)

Thursday, July 13, 7:30pm
HISTORY/FASHION
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 second lecture in the series, “‘For the heat is beyond your conception:’ Dressing for the Heat in the Eighteenth Century,” will educate attendees on fashion through the lens of weather. The lecture will be delivered by Neal Hurst, Associate Curator of Costumes and Textiles from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, July 14, 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 14, 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 14, 10am
PLACEMAKING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Do your children enjoy games like hide-and-seek, or searching for hidden treasures? The Stanley Park Scavenger Hunt will offer the opportunity for children to explore outdoors and complete activities for a prize. This program is best-suited for children ages three to seven and their caregivers. This is great opportunity to spend some quality, outdoor time with your children. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 14, 11am-2pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JEWISH CULTURE
The sixth annual Yidstock Festival of New Yiddish Music offers opportunities to enjoy music you might not encounter elsewhere, and to learn about and celebrate Jewish culture. This festival at the Yiddish Book Center will feature performances of Klezmer, traditional Jewish music of Eastern Europe, as well as modern Yiddish music. These genres will also be explored through presentations throughout the festival. Purchase tickets on the Yiddish Book Center website. Space is limited and tickets may sell out. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 14, 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 a main Festival production. The reading series showcases new work in development, read by brilliant actors, and will occur weekly on Fridays through August 18 at the Clark Art Institute. Come to the reading series for a chance to experience theatre for free. On July 14, the production The Fit tells the story of main character Sakina as she struggles to find her place in the “boys’ club” of a venture capital firm. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 14, 4pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
What sorts of artistic elements make their way into traditional Islamic art and design? You can learn the answer by visiting the Smith College Museum of Art on this Free Fun Friday, and participating in hands-on art making. People of all ages are invited to visit, paint watercolor tiles and plates, and join the guided conversation tour at 6pm. Artists are invited to draw inspiration from the ceramic objects of the newly acquired Horwitz collection of Islamic Art, which feature watercolors, often with floral and geometric motifs. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 14, 4pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/EN PLEIN AIR
The French term,”En plein air,” refers to the act of painting outdoors with natural subjects and light. During Northampton Arts Night out in July, ten local artists will showcase their painting skills outdoors throughout the afternoon and evening. This event happens to fall on Bastille Day, a national day of celebration in France. Onlookers are invited to engage in conversation with the artists and learn about technique. Full details are available at Nohoarts.org. Pulaski Park. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 14, 5pm-7pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/HISTORY
Want to have a picnic with your family this summer? Come to the William Cullen Bryant Homestead for a community picnic dinner. Children will be invited to play 19th century lawn games. There will also be 15-minute house tours of the first floor. 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, July 14, 5pm-10pm
MUSIC STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Green River Festival is an annual, three-day showcase of local and national music. Did you know there is also an array of children’s activities scheduled during the festival? From art making with The Art Garden, to ukulele lessons, there are plenty of intergenerational activities to keep children entertained and learning during the festival. Visit the Green River Festival website for a full schedule of activities on July 14, 15 and 16. 1 College Drive. Greenfield, MA. (Adult $$ – $$$; children ages ten and under FREE)

Friday, July 14, 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 14, 7pm
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 14, 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. ($)

Friday, July 14, 8pm
THEATER
The solo theater performance, TENSE VAGINA: an actual diagnosis, is a story “about all that is awesome and all that sucks” when it comes to being a mother. The hour-long show tackles the taboo and unspoken aspects of motherhood with humor, movement, sounds, songs, text and audience participation. This show is part of the 26th Annual Ko Festival of Performance. 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. ($$)

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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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1 Comment

  1. homeshuling said,

    July 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

    please edit the July 14 shabbat shabloom listing – thanks:
    Celebrate Jewish culture at a “Shabbat Shabloom” gathering! You can end your week with a joyful morning of music and movement with special guest Katryna Nields. 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. (<$)

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