Suggested Events for July 22nd-28th, 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

Jul 23

On Sunday July 23rd at Crosier Field in Holyoke, MA the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice are hosting their 3rd annual Justice Cup soccer tournament! Come out for a day of family fun for soccer and justice. They have a family division in the tournament so participants can play in safe and kid-friendly games. Also, families with kids too small to play in a game, there will be a children’s tent with activities designed just for them sponsored by A2Z. The suggested donation for registration is $150/team or $20 individual, but everyone is encouraged to pay what they can at registration. No matter what families can give, they want them there to build community and help them win the fight for immigrant and labor justice.

July 28

Join the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT for a Lutz Children’s Museum program, “Track that Animal” on July 28th at 11am. If anyone has gone for a walk in the woods, they might have seen a footprint or maybe some fresh scat. Evidence of animal presence teaches people about how animals survive in their habitats. From caves to trees, an animal’s home needs to provide food, water, and shelter for survival. Get two Museums for the price of one! Additional activities include Trolley Rides, Trolley Experiences, Crafting Station, Dress-up Station, Scavenger Hunt, Guided Tours and visiting the Fire Truck Museum on property. The Museum is open from 10am-4:30pm, for more information visit www.ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Study

Support Science! Participate in the Children’s Social and Emotional Experiences Study. Amherst College is reaching out to families with children to participate in research studies on social learning and peer relationships this summer on campus at the Merrill Science Building. Children and parents visit the Amherst College campus for one two-hour study visit during the summer. Parents and children complete questionnaires about social relationships and emotions. Children also complete a social interaction task and cognitive measures while their physical response (e.g., heart rate and breathing) is recorded. 2 hour study, $50 compensation. Children 10-12 years, with parents. Call 413-542-5619 or peerstudy@amherst.edu.

Jul 21-23, 26-27

Based on the beloved picture book! Jeremy Jacobs dreams of becoming a pirate, so he joins a pirate crew to learn their ways. By the time the show is done, everyone in the audience will be pirates too! Callum LaFrance is J.J., the captain is Troy David Mercier, and Kelsey Flynn and Myka Plunkett play the rest of the crew. Performances are Fri. July 21 at 7pm and Sat. & Sun. July 22 & 23 at 10:30am & 1pm at Easthampton’s Williston Theatre and Wed. July 26 & Thurs. July 27, 10:30am at Turners Falls’ Shea Theater. Sat. July 22 is Pirate’s Day: activities include a treasure hunt, pirate workshops, and a Pirate Picnic!Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets. Group discounts (12+): $7, call 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheater.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 us at at sales@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 22nd-28th, 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 22, 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 Weather 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 22, 9am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK/ECOLOGY
Floodplain forests are one of the most significant natural habitats in the pioneer valley. You can join a naturalist from the Hitchcock Center to learn about them by exploring three different floodplain forests, discovering plants, and hearing natural history explained. A number of species will be identified and compared. Participants will explore mature forests with diverse herbaceous ecology. There will be poison ivy, mosquitoes, and probably ticks at all sites! Come prepared. Bring a hand lens and be ready to take notes. Attend one or all three of the walks on July 22, August 5 and August 26. Directions to sites will be provided upon registration. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Various locations, MA. (Member $; Non member $$)

Saturday, July 22, 9am-1pm
AGRICULTURE
Shopping at a farmers’ market is a great way to acquire fresh food while supporting local, small agriculture. Bringing your children along can help them form an understanding of where their food comes from. The North Adams Farmers Market provides quality, locally grown produce and products in a safe and fun environment featuring dozens of local farmers and food producers, as well as artisans and live music. For more information or a schedule of market events call 413-664-6180. St. Anthony’s Municipal Parking Lot. Corner of St. Anthony Drive and Marshall Street. North Adams, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, July 22, 10am
LITERARY HISTORY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
What better way to celebrate the life and work of a naturalist than to spend time outdoors? Nineteenth-century author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau believed in the importance of walking outdoors to nourish the soul and refresh the spirit. Local scholar and environmentalist Lauren Stevens will guide this participants in a hike at Mount Greylock, providing insights into Thoreau’s experience of hiking the same mountain, from excerpts recorded in his book “A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.” Hikers have options for 5.5 mile one-way or complete 11 mile routes. Upper sections of the Bellows Pipe Trail are strenuous. Participants should be prepared for the trail and weather conditions. Recommended for ages teen to adult. Participants should meet at the Mount Greylock State Reservation, Notch Road gate parking lot, 300 feet up from the intersections of Reservoir and Notch Roads, off Route 2. For more information call the Visitor Center 413-499-4262. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 22, 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 22, 10:30am-11:30am
MUSIC STUDIES/BOTANY
Music can connect children to all kinds of academic subjects. Songs In The Soil is a workshop program featuring songs and stories to teach children and their caregivers about botany in general, and community gardening specifically. The workshop is free and open to children of all ages, although it will be aimed towards kids under 10. Parents should stay with their children for the duration of the workshop. Bring a blanket or something to sit on. Grow Food Northampton’s Community Gardens. Contact Caroline Rosa, caroline@growfoodnorthampton.com with questions. 140 Meadow Street. Florence MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 22, 10:30am-12pm
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 Summer Reading program at the Meekins Library, library patrons are invited to stop by to paint kind words on rocks for the library’s “Kindness Rocks” garden. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 22, 10:30am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Pirate-loving families are invited to a theater performance based on the beloved picture book, How I Became a Pirate! Jeremy Jacobs dreams of becoming a pirate, so he joins a pirate crew to learn their ways. By the time the show is done, everyone in the audience will be pirates too! Callum LaFrance is J.J., the captain is Troy David Mercier, and Kelsey Flynn and Myka Plunkett play the rest of the crew. See the show on July 22 for a Pirate’s Day: activities include a treasure hunt, pirate workshops, and a Pirate Picnic! Contact PaintBox Theater for tickets. 413-341-0320. Williston Theatre. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 22, 11am-5pm
AUTOMOTIVE/TRANSPORTATION
The bicycle is a type of velocipede, a tool for man-powered land transportation involving one or two wheels (in this case two). Besides the bicycle, there are many other types of velocipedes, most of which were invented in the early eighteen hundreds. You can see velocipede demonstrations and learn all about local transportation history at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum’s Trolleyfest! This annual celebration features fun activities for all ages including trolley rides and live music. Your children can send telegraph messages and play with wooden and electric trains. There will also be opportunities to learn about other aspects of early New England life in the form of hands-on butter making, cider press demonstrations, tool making, weaving, ‘cow’ milking, and 20th century games! 413-625-9443. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 22, 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 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 22, 2:30pm and 3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
The taking of tea was a common and important social ritual for Americans in the 18th century.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752, invites you to celebrate local and historic customs by enjoying an afternoon tea on their back veranda. The “Perfect Spot of Tea” program at the museum will take place on Saturdays in July and August, featuring locally sourced pastries, Earl Grey tea, and live music. On July 22, trio Same Old Blues will perform. Tours will be given for an additional fee. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

Saturday, July 22, 5pm
MUSIC STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Draco and the Malfoys bring music and book-loving families together with rock music telling the stories of Harry Potter. In a unique twist, their songs take on Draco Malfoy’s perspective. See them perform at the Sunderland Public Library and enjoy Harry Potter themed snacks and activities! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 22, 6pm-9pm
PLACEMAKING
The town of Northampton invites you to a free summer festival! The Northampton Summer Stroll will celebrate the inviting weather with live music, food, and various forms of entertainment for all ages. The Expandable Brass Band will parade from Strong Avenue up Main Street to Pulaski Park. Other performers throughout the evening will include Whole Children’s Joyful Chorus, the A2Z Yo-Yo team, Northampton High School’s rock band, and many more. Visit the Northampton Summer Stroll website for a full schedule. Main Street, downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 22, 7pm
THEATER
Many of Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed at the Globe Theater in London, a partly open, outdoor theater. Outdoor Shakespeare performances in the warm months 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 22, 7pm
DANCE STUDIES/CULTURE STUDIES
Dance is an international, human phenomenon which provides insight into anthropology and culture studies. Lovers of dance and Indian culture are invited to an evening of classical Indian dance and music around the theme of devotion. The dancers will share the meaning of several mudras (hand positions) used to tell stories, express emotions, and teach. Nataraj is a local non-profit arts organization which promotes the traditional South Asian arts of dance, music, and theater. This event is suitable for all ages. Call 413-268-7151 with questions. Prakasa Yoga Studio. 152 Ball Road. Goshen, MA. (Adult $; 17 and under <$; five and under FREE)

Saturday, July 22, 8pm
STORYTELLING
We use stories every day to share our experiences, form our identities, teach, make others laugh, and connect with the people around us. Story Slams offer the best in performative storytelling and get audiences thinking about the function and form of narratives. You can participate in, or simply attend the KoFest Story Slam on July 22. Stories will be told live without notes, in first person, and relate to the season’s theme: “tactics for trying times.” For more visit the Ko Festival of Performance website. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($)

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Sunday, July 23, 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 23
Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice are hosting their 3rd annual Justice Cup soccer tournament! Come out for a day of family fun for soccer and justice. They have a family division in the tournament so participants can play in safe and kid-friendly games. Also, families with kids too small to play in a game, there will be a children’s tent with activities designed just for them sponsored by A2Z. The suggested donation for registration is $150/team or $20 individual, but everyone is encouraged to pay what they can at registration. No matter what families can give, they want them there to build community and help them win the fight for immigrant and labor justice. Crosier Field in Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, July 23, 10:30am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Pirate-loving families are invited to a theater performance based on the beloved picture book, How I Became a Pirate! Jeremy Jacobs dreams of becoming a pirate, so he joins a pirate crew to learn their ways. By the time the show is done, everyone in the audience will be pirates too! Callum LaFrance is J.J., the captain is Troy David Mercier, and Kelsey Flynn and Myka Plunkett play the rest of the crew. Contact PaintBox Theater for tickets. 413-341-0320. Williston Theatre. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 23, 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 23, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Today the brick complex in Northampton knowns as “Brushworks Arts and Industry” hosts the studios of artists and craftspeople. Historically, the building was the home of the Pro Corporation, one of the first mass-market producers of toothbrushes in America. Under different names and ownership, the company spanned the manufacturing life of Northampton, beginning in 1854 making buttons, daguerreotype cases, and hairbrushes, later to become the world’s largest producer of toothbrushes. The company went on to manufacture plastic cases for radios, telephones, television sets, and, by the 1980s, computers. The Pro Corporation closed in 2007. Join Stan Sherer to view his new film on the history of the Brush Shop. Sherer is the author of five books of photographs, a Fulbright Scholar to Albania, and a recipient of two Mass Foundation grants. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 23, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Video games? Television? View-Masters? No. Not yet. Take a step back in time to the late 1800s at the Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop to see some really basic entertainment. Stereoscope viewers were all the rage and those fortunate enough to own them planned parties around showing their newly arrived images. The ruins of Athens and Scottish castles were very popular themes, but local images such as those taken of the aftermath of the 1874 Mill River Flood also quickly made their way to the western Mass. marketplace. After a few weeks, friends, cousins, and neighbors would swap collections for some variety. Come to the museum and see what you can see through their stereoscope viewer! 413-527-3209. 5 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, July 23, 4pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL
The 50th season of the Sevenars Music Festival in South Worthington will be offering music lovers the opportunity to hear some of the finest contemporary classical musicians. On July 23, audiences will hear violinist Alexis Walls and pianist Lynelle James. Walls has performed internationally, most notably for Pope John Paul II. She is Director of the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra in New York and founder of the Manhattan String Orchestra. James has been lauded by the press since the age of 8; she has performed across across the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Italy. These two musicians will be playing Brahms, Fauré, and more in the Historic Academy building. South Ireland Street and Route 112. South Worthington, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, July 23, 6pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
The Skid Marks’ music will take you back to a time of drive-ins, poodle skirts, bobby socks, hula-hoops and 45 rpm records with their covers of hits from the 60s and 70s. Bring along the whole family to this performance in Stanley Park and introduce classic music to a younger generation. Concerts in the park are open to the public and chairs will be available. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 23, 8pm
FAMILY THEATER
The Mettawee River Theatre Company’s new show, Before the Sun and Moon, has been two years in the making. Inspired by an ancient Korean folktale, this magical performance tells the story of a husband and wife who discover the power of love through the course of many unexpected and wild adventures. The production features an array of giant figures, puppets, and masks, and will be performed out under the stars for one night only. This all ages performance will take place on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn. For more visit the Ko Festival of Performance website. 413-542-3750. Snell Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, July 24, 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 24, 10am, 1pm, 6:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
Based on the treasured animated film, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS is pure, delightful fun. Once upon a time the new princess, Aurora, was born. The three good fairies — Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather — blessed the child with gifts of beauty and virtue. However, Maleficent, the evil fairy queen, casts a spell that on the princess’s sixteenth birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on the needle of spinning wheel and die. All seems lost, but the fairies have one trick left to them. Though they cannot reverse the curse, they ensure that Aurora will not die, but instead fall into a deep sleep from which she can awake only by true love’s first kiss. This classic and beautiful fairytale will be brought to life onstage, at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Monday, July 24, 6pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE
Want to get started playing or writing music? Ukulele is a great beginner’s instrument, and four chords is all you need to play tons of songs. Julie Stepanek will be teaching a ukulele workshop to show you the basics. Beginners as well as more experienced players are welcome. Sunderland Public Library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, July 25, 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 25, 10am
FAMILY THEATER/MAGIC
Bowey The Clown’s performances incorporate magic, comedy, ventriloquism, and balloon art. Bowey began performing when he was just nine years old, and is now a professionally trained actor and graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Families are invited to a Bowey The Clown performance, part of the Franklin King Children’s Series, in Look Park. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 25, 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 creators. “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 25, 10am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Based on the treasured animated film, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS is pure, delightful fun. Once upon a time the new princess, Aurora was born. The three good fairies — Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather — blessed the child with gifts of beauty and virtue. However, Maleficent, the evil fairy queen casts a spell that on the princess’s sixteenth birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on the needle of spinning wheel and die. All seems lost, but the fairies have one trick left to them: though they cannot reverse the curse, they ensure that Aurora will not die, but instead fall into a deep sleep from which she can awake only by true love’s first kiss. This classic and beautiful fairytale will be brought to life onstage, at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, July 25, 10:30am-11am
YOGA
Want to introduce your infant or toddler to yoga? The Jones Library offers a Kiddie Yoga class for ages birth through six. Bring a yoga mat if you have one. Guide your kids through simple movement and stretching under the guidance of a professional. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 25, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/CUBISM
You would probably recognize a cubist painting by its style, a distinct blend of realistic and abstract elements, rendered with geometric forms. But did you know that cubist artists also made sculptures, or that cubism as an artistic movement impacted music, literature and architecture in the 20th century? The Clark Art Institute invites people of all ages to experiment with cubism through outdoor art-making on Tuesdays through August 22. Participants will be encouraged to make visual observations from different angles. This event is weather-dependent. All activities are free, but admission to the galleries will be charged. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Tuesday, July 25, 3pm-5pm
ART STUDIES/PASTEL
Do you like working with pastels? Unlike paint, pastel is mixed and blended on the canvas. There are more than a dozen different artistic techniques for using pastels. You can improve your pastel artwork, or try it out for the first time, by attending a hands-on workshop run by the classically trained artist Greg Maichack. Adult participants will experiment with the artist’s professional grade pastels, pastel pencils, and pastel paper, producing their own pastel painting of Georgia O’Keeffe’s elegant Jimson flower that sold for $45.4 million. Holyoke Public Library. Call 413-420-8101 to register. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 25, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Brass instruments are crucial for many genres of music including jazz and funk, to name a few. Capital Brass is a swinging ensemble who plays everything from Jimmy Buffet to John Philip Sousa, demonstrating the full range and beauty of brass! Hear them perform at an outdoor concert at the Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, July 26, 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 26, 10am-11am
FAMILY MUSIC
Musical performances designed specifically with kids in mind can instill an interest in music studies early in life and teach kids about all sorts of educational topics through song! Families with children under ten are invited to a family musical performance in Buttery Brook Park, featuring In The Nick of Time. Nick plays a blend of rock, pop, reggae, jazz and funk, with compositions which explore numbers, animals, seasons and foreign languages, and above all, make learning fun. In the event of inclement weather, concerts are moved indoors to the auditorium at South Hadley Town Hall at 116 Main Street. For information, contact the DPW at 413-538-5033. 123 Willimansett Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 26, 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 sessions 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 26, 10am and 1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Based on the treasured animated film, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS is pure, delightful fun. Once upon a time the new princess, Aurora, was born. The three good fairies — Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather — blessed the child with gifts of beauty and virtue. However, Maleficent, the evil fairy queen, casts a spell that on the princess’s sixteenth birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on the needle of spinning wheel and die. All seems lost, but the fairies have one trick left to them. Though they cannot reverse the curse, they ensure that Aurora will not die, but instead fall into a deep sleep from which she can awake only by true love’s first kiss. This classic and beautiful fairytale will be brought to life onstage, at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, July 26, 10:30am
FAMILY THEATER
Pirate-loving families are invited to a theater performance based on the beloved picture book, How I Became a Pirate! Jeremy Jacobs dreams of becoming a pirate, so he joins a pirate crew to learn their ways. By the time the show is done, everyone in the audience will be pirates too! Callum LaFrance is J.J., the captain is Troy David Mercier, and Kelsey Flynn and Myka Plunkett play the rest of the crew. Contact PaintBox Theater for tickets. 413-341-0320. Shea Theater Arts Center. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, July 26, 11am
MARTIAL ARTS/TAEKWONDO
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, developed during the 1940s and 1950s, incorporating elements of other martial art traditions. Learning a martial art can help you develop body awareness, coordination, concentration, and general confidence in your physical abilities. Nancy Harry is offering a Taekwondo class for anyone interested. Call the Chesterfield Public Library for more information. 413-296 4735. Town Hall. 403 Main Road. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 26, 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 26, 5pm-6:30pm
S.T.E.A.M/MAKERSPACE
Want to encourage your kids to create and experiment with S.T.E.A.M.? Bring them with you to open working time at Amherst Media. You can bring whatever you’re working on as a maker, or participate in the weekly theme. On July 26, participants will work with electronic textiles and circuits. All experience levels are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 413-259-3300. 246 College Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 26, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY
Dance is both a sport and an art, utilizing the power and flexibility of the human body to evoke emotion and to tell stories. Dance is a cross-cultural phenomenon occurring all over the world wherever music is played; even babies like to dance! The Jacob’s Pillow Dance iconic outdoor Inside/Out stage is the perfect place to see contemporary dance this summer, providing the opportunity for intergenerational dance studies. Good Foot Dance Company from West Virginia utilize fast-paced footwork in their high-energy performances. Culturally, they explore American dance from Appalachian flatfooting to contemporary urban styles. Catch them for free at this Inside/Out performance. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 26, 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 26, The Brave Brothers will perform. 200 Windsor Lake Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 26, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Last Minute Jazz Ensemble will be playing jazz standards for the public in Lilac Park as part of a free, outdoor concert series. Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs and make the most of the warm months by getting outdoors in the evening. Rain cancels the event. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 26, 6:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
Wednesday Folk Traditions at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum have been bringing together with fans of music and local history for thirty-six seasons. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House was built in 1752 and was central to the 600-acre farmstead known as “Forty Acres.” Today, the property is surrounded by over 350 acres of protected farmland, forest and river frontage. You can visit the property and enjoy some of New England’s finest folk music ensembles at a Wednesday Folk Traditions event. On July 26, Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble will bring traditional music of the Arab world to Massachusetts with soulful vocals, instrumental improvisations, and electrifying percussion. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley MA. ($)

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Thursday, July 27, 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 27, 10am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/DRAWING
Using the natural world as inspiration for drawing is a way to get 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 27, 10:30am
FAMILY THEATER
Pirate-loving families are invited to a theater performance based on the beloved picture book, How I Became a Pirate! Jeremy Jacobs dreams of becoming a pirate, so he joins a pirate crew to learn their ways. By the time the show is done, everyone in the audience will be pirates too! Callum LaFrance is J.J., the captain is Troy David Mercier, and Kelsey Flynn and Myka Plunkett play the rest of the crew. Contact PaintBox Theater for tickets. 413-341-0320. Shea Theater Arts Center. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (<$)

Thursday, July 27, 5pm-8pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Pop Up Playgrounds are joyful sessions of child-directed play with scores of loose parts, such as cardboard boxes, tubes, rope, and fabric. Kids are free to make a beautiful mess and discover, or remember, the simple joys of creative, old-school play with other children and on their own. The Westhampton Public Library invites children to direct their own play in at a pop up playground event, provided by the Play Workshop. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 27, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/ROBOTICS
Robots may seem like very sophisticated machines, created by highly trained specialists. Truthfully, robotic machines don’t have to be very complex – and even kids can learn to make them! A robot is simply a machine designed and programmed to execute a series of tasks. Junior engineers ages seven through eleven can get started learning about engineering and robotics concepts with WeDo Robotics. Participants for this Holyoke Codes workshops will add motors and sensors to LEGOs, in order to bring creations to life using code. 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 27, 5:30pm-8:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
As part of the Downtown Beats summer concert series, you can hear local Indie rock bands Court Etiquette and Colorway perform in Kendrick park. Order food from a local restaurants, spread a blanket and listen to the music! Free cookies will be available courtesy of Insomnia Cookies. 413-259-3050. Kendrick Park. East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 27, 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 train structure in the children’s area. This concert will feature Sheryl Stanton, Austin & Elliot, and Kathy Sylvester and Joe Pod. Energy Park. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 27, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY
Dance is both a sport and an art, utilizing the power and flexibility of the human body to evoke emotion and even to tell stories. Dance is a cross-cultural phenomenon occurring all over the world wherever music is played; even babies like to dance! The Jacob’s Pillow Dance iconic outdoor Inside/Out stage is the perfect place to see contemporary dance this summer, providing the opportunity for intergenerational dance studies. Female choreography is rare in the ballet world. Gemma Bond is a choreographer and has created three new ballets for American Ballet Theatre’s Choreographic Institute, as well as new works for the New York Theatre Ballet. Her Inside/Out program will include “Depuis Le Jour,” a fluid pas de deux (two person dance), danced to an aria by French composer Gustave Charpentier, and “Then and Again,” an ensemble work for Alfredo Piatti’s solo cello piece, “Twelve Caprices.” 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 27, 6:30pm
ART STUDIES/CERAMICS
Pottery has been a part of human civilizations around the world ever since the Neolithic era – which was over 10,000 years ago! Much more than just a means of making dishes, pottery serves as a creative outlet for many artists, and the slow development of the art and technology surrounding pottery speaks volumes to the changes that human civilization has undergone. Visitors to the Granby Library can learn more about pottery through a demonstration and performance by Pied Potter Hamilton. He will show how even a tiny speck of clay can be used to create a thing of beauty, build structures, or cook a meal. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 27, 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. uly 27 is their last Ski Show before the Regional Tournament! 413-626-1913. Oxbow Marina. J180 Island Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, July 28, 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.

Join the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT for a Lutz Children’s Museum program, “Track that Animal” on July 28th at 11am. If anyone has gone for a walk in the woods, they might have seen a footprint or maybe some fresh scat. Evidence of animal presence teaches people about how animals survive in their habitats. From caves to trees, an animal’s home needs to provide food, water, and shelter for survival. Get two Museums for the price of one! Additional activities include Trolley Rides, Trolley Experiences, Crafting Station, Dress-up Station, Scavenger Hunt, Guided Tours and visiting the Fire Truck Museum on property. The Museum is open from 10am-4:30pm, for more information visit www.ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Friday, July 28, 9:30am-4:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Free Fun Fridays make the all ages learning opportunities at various local museums accessible to everyone. At Historic Deerfield, Free Fun Friday will feature house visits, historical reenactments, open hearth cooking demonstrations, live sheep, powder horn carving, basket making, face painting, and yo yo demonstrations. There will be hands-on learning opportunities for all. This event may be of interest to anyone who appreciates local and New England history, or learning about agricultural and homesteading skills. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 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 28, 10am
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 sculptor, flea circus ringmaster, and storyteller. He has been entertaining children and family audiences for over thirty years, and will be bringing a comedic show full of audience participation to Stanley Park. The show is appropriate for ages three and up. Weather permitting. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 10am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is a treasured local resource for children’s book lovers of all ages. Through exhibits and events, the museum connects families with art studies and literacy. You can celebrate picture books with art activities, films, music, and storytimes at a Free Fun Friday! Author/illustrators Brian Biggs, Sarah Dillard, and Jeff Mack will be reading. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
A love of animals can be a catalyst for all kinds of learning. Spending time with animals can help kids build their empathic 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 28 program will introduce children to the topic of coyotes through a story, interactive games, and a craft. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 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 28, the production Blue Skies Process by Abe Koogler tells the story of three employees who must brainstorm their way to success at a startup while navigating office politics and water cooler alliances. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 5pm
DANCE STUDIES
Dance is both a sport and an art, utilizing the power and flexibility of the human body to evoke emotion and even to tell stories. Dance is a cross-cultural phenomenon occurring all over the world. It makes sense that, as a sport, art, and cultural phenomenon, dance would find its way into museums. A presentation at Jacob’s Pillow Dance, “Curating Performance,” will explore the trend of dance converging with museums in all sorts of exciting ways. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 5pm-8pm
LOCAL FOOD/COMMUNITY MEAL
Food truck gatherings allow you to sample local food from restaurants you may not normally have access to. All are welcome to the Belchertown Cultural Council’s Food Truck Friday. Four local food trucks will be there, from Mission Cantina, Holyoke Hummus, Hot Oven and Sun Kim Bop. Enjoy a picnic style, casual evening. There will be crafts and activities courtesy of the Clapp Memorial Library, and acoustic music as well. Visit the BCC Facebook page for more information. Belchertown Common. Belchertown, MA. MARKET/SALE)

Friday, July 28, 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 28, 6:15pm
DANCE STUDIES/AFRO-BRAZILIAN
The Jacob’s Pillow Dance iconic outdoor Inside/Out stage is the perfect place to see contemporary dance this summer, providing the opportunity for intergenerational dance studies. Ologunde, a U.S. based ensemble, celebrates the rich Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador Bahia, Brazil through dance, music, and martial arts. Ologunde’s outdoor performance will feature a diverse repertoire including the rituals associated with “candomblé,” a synthesis of the Yoruba and Catholic religions; Capoeira martial arts dance; “maculêlê,” a warrior dance which utilizes sticks and machetes and was originally created by slaves; and the exhilarating “samba de roda,” a traditional Afro-Brazilian dance. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 28, 8pm
THEATER
The “rubber boom” in the Amazon during the late 1800s had a devastating impact on the indigenous people of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Countless men, women, and children were massacred in the search for natural rubber. In Akron, Ohio, which became to be known as “Rubber City,” working class citizens used the pillaged rubber to build tires through back-breaking hard labor. In his solo theatre performance, Death of a Man, Colombian actor Jairo Cuesta explores this time period in history through physical and vocal skills, ritual storytelling, and other techniques. See him perform as part of the 2017 Ko Festival of Performance. Visit their website for full details. 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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