Suggested Events for July 29th-August 4th, 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

Study

Support Science! Participate in the Amherst College Children’s Social and Emotional Experiences Study. Two-hour study, $50 compensation. Children 10-12 years, with parents. Amherst College is reaching out to families with children to participate in research studies on social learning and peer relationships this summer on campus. 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. Call 413-542-5619 or peerstudy@amherst.edu.

Now – Aug 12

Finally, the birds and the bees for funky families! The Flexible Facts of Life: Information and Stories for Kids, Celebrating Diverse and Creative Families. This book includes a straightforward, gender-neutral introduction to the sperm and the egg, and lots of sweet stories about daily life in all kinds of families. This is a full-color 35-page book, written by a local mom, author, and clinical social worker. Check it out, order a copy, tell your friends, and help make this valuable resource a reality! Find it now on Kickstarter, only until August 12th: Flexible Facts of Life – a book about families.

Aug 19

The Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a day-long festival featuring students, alumnae, and faculty including: And the Kids, Christine Ohlman, Felixis Jinx, June Millington, Kalliope Jones, Kristen Ford, Leah Kunkel, Lioness, Mal Devisa, Naia Kete, Parlicium, SpaceKase, Whoda’ Funk It?, and Wishbone Zoe. Takes place on Saturday, August 19th at IMA’s Big Barn lawn at 165 Cape Street (Highway 112) in Goshen, MA. Gates open at 11am. Family friendly. Festival seating. Food & drink vendors on-site. Picnicking allowed. For tickets & information visit www.ima.org.

Sept 18 – Dec 11

Online-Live Animation and Drawing classes taught by a former Disney animator (and veteran homeschool Dad) Chad Stewart. Offering a 12 week live-online animation courses for 11-18 year olds. He also teaches online drawing classes for multiple ages as well. Weekly classes are one hour long and include personal video reviews for individual learning! The cost is $300 for the full 12 weeks. The Fall Session meets Sept 18-Dec 11, and classes tend to fill up very quickly, so register soon! Hold a child’s spot with a non-refundable $50 registration fee. Please send inquiries to kayla@theanimcourse.com or check out our website: theanimcourse.com.

Aug 4-6

Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience member should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Performances are Fri. August 4 at 7pm, Sat. & Sun. August 5 & 6, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. 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 29th-August 4th, 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 29, 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, Jason Didner “Jersey Jason” Didner from the Jungle Gym Jam hosts a show that’s all about animals – real and imaginary. Hear a story narrated by Jason’s brother Matthew Didner, a theatre director and storyteller, that their grandfather used to make up and tell them when they were kids. 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 29, 9am
CYCLING
Looking for a chance to bike with your friends or neighbors? The River Valley Ice Cream Ride is an annual event bringing together the best of summertime activities- biking, scenic roads, and ice cream. All proceeds from the ride benefit non-profit organizations working to improving the character, economy, and nature of our local communities. Visit the River’s Edge Cycling website for more information and to register. There will be three loop options of varying difficulty levels. Various locations, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 29, 9am
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. Witness the Oxbow team, as well as several teams throughout the Northeast, compete in the 22rd Eastern Region Ski Show Competition on July 29 and 30. 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. For more information visit the Oxbow Water Ski Show Team website. 413-626-1913. Old Springfield Road at Curtis Nook Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 29, 9am-11pm
MINDFULNESS/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Meditation and mindfulness have many short and long term benefits. When people meditate, they are focusing their awareness on the present moment, often times to their breath. Mindfulness is something you can practice at any time, in any place. Still, if you don’t know anything about how to meditate or practice mindfulness, you may want to find guidance and support. One way to do so would be to attend the upcoming event, “Being in the Forest: A Mindfulness Experience,” at Kestrel Land Trust’s new nature retreat, the Greenberg Forest Conservation Area. Explore the beautiful forest with Robert Jonas, Ed. D., founder and Director of The Empty Bell. Registration is required via the Kestel Trust website. Westhampton, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, July 29, 9am-1pm
AGRICULTURE/ LOCAL FOOD
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 29, 10am-12pm
STEM/ROBOTICS
The field of robotics may seem sophisticated and intimidating; however, robotic machines don’t have to be very complex. Even kids can learn to make them! Robots are simply machines programmed to perform a task or series of tasks. A makerspace workshop at the Dickinson Memorial Library will teach participants ages eight through eighteen how to design their own 3-D printed image. Participants will play with robotics tools such as Little Bits Electronics, Ozobots, and Spheros. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 29, 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 29, 10am
HISTORY/CULTURE STUDIES
Renaissance fairs are often part history, part fictional whimsy. Either way, they are a cultural phenomenon which connects us to folklore, art, and music through exciting performances and entertainment. The Massachusetts Renaissance Fair features tons of music, jousting, fire shows, acrobatics, bards, and costumed performances of all kinds. Visit their website for a full schedule of performances and vendor information. Cummington Fairgrounds. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

Saturday, July 29, 10:30am
COMMUNITY MEAL/POLKA
Anyone interested in enjoying a community meal, or hearing polka music, is invited to an event held by the Most Holy Redeemer Parish of Hadley. At 10:30am there will be a special polka mass. From 12:30pm-2pm there will be a chicken meal, followed by a polka dance running until 6pm. Call 413-584-1326 to obtain tickets. The event will be held at the Young Men’s Club Pavilion. 128 East Street. Hadley, MA. (Adult $; 12 and under <$)

Saturday, July 29, 11am-1pm
FAMILY THEATER
Disney’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1836 tale, The Little Mermaid, adds the delight of music to an already much-loved tale. You can see Starlight’s Youth Theatre perform Disney’s beloved production of LITTLE MERMAID JR at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Ariel and her friends will explore “A Whole New World” “Under the Sea” and find out if “She’s In Love.” 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 29, 11am-3pm
PLACEMAKING/INTERGENERATIONAL
“A Summer Day on the Buckland Common” will get community members of Buckland and beyond outdoors for entertainment, creative free play, book sales, arts and crafts sales, early American children’s games, and more. The Buckland Public Library will open at 9am, holding a book sale throughout the day as well as a display of matryoshka, Russian wooden nesting dolls. The Buckland Historical Society museum will also be open and the Cemetery Association is offering a self-guided tour of Taylor Cemetery located just west of the Common. This intergenerational event encourages families to learn about the history of their town and build connections to place. Rain or shine. Buckland Center Common. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 29, 11:30am-12:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL
Making your own toys can be a satisfying family activity which supports sustainability. Have fun before the toy is even finished. The “Built It!” family event at the Mason Library will teach participants how to make “crazy walker powered toys” and painted canvas bags. This activity is well-suited for families with children ages three and up. No registration is required. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 29, 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 29, 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 29, West and Jackson will perform jazz, pop, and original songs. Reservations will not be taken in advance. Tours will be given for an additional fee every hour on the half hour; at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. ($)

Saturday, July 29, 3pm
LITERACY
Book parties encourage literacy by teaching kids to associate reading with fun! Author Astrid Sheckels will be present at the”Experience the Book Party: A Picnic with Hector Fox and Friends” at the Greenfield Public Library. She will play Hector the Fox at this celebration of the release of her new picture book. Sign up in the Children’s Room to reserve your place or call 413-772-1544 x 5104. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 29, 6pm-9pm
DANCE STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Go out dancing on a Saturday night…and bring the kids! Families are invited to a hoedown in Blue Rider’s Barn, with live music by The Kitchen Kaylee Band. All the dances during the event will be taught. No experience is necessary and no partner is needed. Come alone or bring the whole family. There will be food available for purchase. 413-528 5299. 15 Farm Lane. South Egremont, MA. (<$)

Saturday, July 29, 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. Dancers of Jacob’s Pillow’s Contemporary Program will present a work-in-progress led by guest choreographer Marguerite Donlon. Attending a work-in-progress performance can teach attendees a lot about the process of choreography. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 29, 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 came to be known as “Rubber City,” working class citizens used the pillaged rubber to build tires through back-breaking 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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Sunday, July 30, 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 30, 10am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK
The best way to learn about natural history is to get outdoors and see it for yourself! Adults are invited to enjoy the beauty of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary while exploring at a relaxed pace. An expert will teach attendees about natural history topics, which will vary with the season and the month. Participants are invited to bring a lunch to enjoy a picnic after the walk. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Sunday, July 30, 10am-5pm
HISTORY/CULTURE STUDIES
Renaissance fairs are often part history, part fictional whimsy. Either way, they are a cultural phenomenon which connects us to folklore, art, and music through exciting performances and entertainment. The Massachusetts Renaissance Fair features tons of music, jousting, fire shows, acrobatics, bards, and costumed performances of all kinds. Visit their website for a full schedule of performances and vendor information. Cummington Fairgrounds. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

Sunday, July 30, 10:30am-11:30am
BOTANY/PLANT SCIENCE
Plants are beautiful, often delicious, sometimes medicinal, but sometimes deadly. Any of the above may be a sufficient reason for you to learn how to identify plants. A four-part series at Great Falls Discovery Center will cover visual patterns to help you make connections and identify plants. You are welcome to attend a single session or all four, on July 30, August 6, 13 and 20. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 30, 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 Africans 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 30, 1pm-3pm
LITERARY HISTORY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Nineteenth-century author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau believed in the importance of walking outdoors to nourish the soul and refresh the spirit. Park interpreter Mike will lead participants on a moderate two-mile hike along a forested path while teaching them about Thoreau’s life and work. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. For more information call the Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 30, 1pm and 4pm
FAMILY THEATER
Many children know of Aladdin through the Disney film, but the story of Aladdin is a Middle Eastern folktale 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. (<$)

Sunday, July 30, 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 30, 3pm-4pm
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Do you and your teen enjoy yoga? You can practice for free, outdoors in Colgrove Park at a weekly All Levels Yoga Class. Devin Kibbe of North Adams Yoga will lead everyone in traditional yoga poses to increase strength and flexibility. This class is best suited for ages fourteen and up. Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement and bring a yoga mat. 24 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 30, 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 30, you can hear The Greenwood Chamber Players, consisting of flutist Christina Jennings, violist Matthew Dane, concertmaster Jesse Holstein and versatile Smith College cellist Volcy Pelletier. These players will thrill you with a program of trios and quartets, including Beethoven’s incomparable Serenade, Op. 25 for flute and strings. They will be playing in the Historic Academy building. South Ireland Street and Route 112. South Worthington, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, July 30, 4pm
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. ($$)

Sunday, July 30, 6pm
COUNTRY MUSIC/PLACEMAKING
Country is an undeniably important genre of American music influencing rock, indie, folk, pop and more in countless ways. Gunsmoke is a traditional country band who have been entertaining audiences for over 25 years. They are a family band with a passion for keeping the history of country music alive through performance, with a repertoire of western swing, rockabilly, and more. Bring the whole family to hear them perform in Stanley Park. 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 30, 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 wraps up on July 30 with a screening of Finding Nemo (rated G). This highly-popular 2003 animated adventure film was hailed by critics as a heartfelt, humorous, well-written movie with an impressive cast. Follow Nemo on his journey to find his way back home. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, July 31, 9am
YOGA
Through stretching poses and sometimes concentration on the breath, yoga can relax and center you. Practicing yoga outdoors has the added benefit of connecting you to nature. The Clark Art Institute is offering an outdoor yoga class weekly on Mondays, starting June 3 and continuing through August 28. This class is suitable for all experience levels, ages fourteen and up, and will focus on improving strength and flexibility. Classes will be held on the Fernández Terrace adjacent to the Clark Center. Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement and bring a yoga mat. Rain cancels this event. No registration is required. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 31, 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 31, 1pm
ART STUDIES
Want to enhance your art museum experience by attending an art talk? The Springfield Museums is offering a talk, free with museum admission to the special exhibition in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors will explore work by modern artist Marc Chagall, as well as his contemporaries, in the permanent collection. This tour will be led by Pat Bertone-Gross. Children are welcome, but these tours are geared towards an adult audience. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Monday, July 31, 5pm-7:30pm
ART STUDIES
Zea Mays Printmaking has become an internationally-recognized studio due in part to its commitment to safe, non-toxic practices. A collection of new prints by 63 members of the studio will be on display in the Forbes Library Hosmer Gallery. These prints feature a broad range of artistic styles and techniques. All are welcome to attend the reception. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 31, 5:30pm-6:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/MUSIC STUDIES
Child Care of the Berkshires is encouraging father-child bonding, and musical studies, at their African drumming event! Dads and their families are invited to learn about this style of percussion outside, behind the Haskins/CCB Center. Call 413-663-6593 with questions. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 31, 6:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
How much do you know about the 1704 raid on Deerfield, or early Colonial wars in general? Phil Zea, President and CEO of Historic Deerfield, is an expert. He will discuss the romance and realities that surrounded these events, as well as how they have been remembered over the centuries and later used to raise public awareness about the quintessential New England village as a symbol invoked to fight the Cold War. This presentation will take place at the Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 31, 7:30pm-9:30pm
FILM STUDIES/HIP HOP
The documentary A Lovely Day: A Film About Resilience, Hope and Hip Hop follows a group of Oakland High School students as they overcome obstacles to put on an original hip-hop show. Screening this film can supplement a study of film, music, social structures, and the genre of hip hop. The film explores the relationship between personal experience and creative expression. Smith College is hosting a screening of this film, with a panel discussion, followed by two hip hop performances. John Gill, MSW, lecturer at Smith College School for Social Work will be coordinating this event. Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. 5 Chapin Drive. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, August 1, 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, August 1, 10am
FAMILY THEATER
Bryson Lang’s performances take ordinary and out-of-the-ordinary objects and use them in distinct, dynamic ways. At his show you’ll see flying sombreros, huge spinning rings, upside down bounce-juggling, giant beach balls, glow-in-the-dark objects, and other surprises incorporated into a comedic performance. His work has been called: “The Cure For the Common Show.” Look Park. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 1, 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, August 1, 1pm
HISTORY/GILDED AGE
The historical house museum, Ventfort Hall, provides visitors with great insight into the Gilded Age in America and beyond, an important factor of American history and architectural study. During this time, William Henry Vanderbilt left to his four sons and four daughters a fortune of $200 million (today $230 billion). The heirs and heiresses went on a building spree that demonstrated the excesses of the Gilded Age and drove upward the sheer scale of American residential architecture in the process. Historian Dr. Gary Helm Darden will be relaying this history in his talk, “Keeping Up with the Vanderbilts: Gilded Age Architectural Rivalries,” followed by a Victorian tea. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, August 1, 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 also 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)

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Wednesday, August 2, 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, August 2, 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, August 2, 1pm
FAMILY MUSIC/STORYTIME
Want to teach your children about taking care of ourselves and each other, through song? A free program, “Curious Giraffe Helps to Build a Better World,” with Dorothy Cresswell, will engage children using props, shakers, and scarves to get them moving and shaking. Dorothy will sing traditional songs, as well as her own compositions, to capture the ways in which children can make the world a better place. This program is best suited for young children (preschool – middle elementary). Erving Public Library. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 2, 6pm
TRANSPORTATION/RAILROADS
Before there were any government banking regulations, many arrangements were made to the advantage of the rich. J.P. Morgan of New York, Charles Mellen of New Haven, Connecticut, and Ralph Gillett of Westfield all cooperated to build the Hampden Railroad, to run between East Springfield and Palmer. This project cost four million dollars. Built as a connector line, the railroad never saw revenue service. Learn more in a presentation, “Hampden railroad: The Greatest Railroad that Never was,” given by Philip Johnson, at the Greenfield Public Library. Johnson is a lifelong railroad enthusiast and will be happy to answer general questions about railroads in this area after his presentation. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 2, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Soulraye will be playing neo-pop-soul music 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, August 2, 6:30pm-8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Concerts at Windsor Lake feature all the family fun of an outdoor musical event, with the beautiful natural landscape of the lake! In addition to picnicking and enjoying music, families can take this opportunity to swim, fish, kayak or canoe around the lake! August 2 brings you performers from the Bang on a Can Music Festival, an annual MASS MoCA event which is “dedicated entirely to adventurous contemporary music,” featuring impressive musicians and composers. 413-662-3000 ex 3047. Bradley Street and Kemp Avenue. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, August 3, 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, August 3, 11am-1pm
AUTOMOTIVE/TRANSPORTATION
Big Rig events can connect children with engineering and automotive learning through an exploration of fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and more. Kids who love to play with automotive toys can climb into real-life cabs, ride the aerial ladder, and explore. There will also be chances to meet the people who operate these vehicles, thus connecting families with their communities and allowing children to begin dreaming about exciting, future careers. Rain date: August 10. Buttery Brook Park. 413-538-5033. 123 Willimansett Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 3, 5:30pm-8:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
As part of the Downtown Beats summer concert series, you can hear Old Flame and Mamma’s Marmalade perform in Kendrick park. Order food from a local restaurant, spread out 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, August 3, 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 in the children’s area. This concert will feature Roland LaPierre, Sue Kranz, and Jennie McAvoy and Ellen Redman. Energy Park. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 3, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Families can enjoy an evening of free funk music by local band Galvanizer as part of the Florence Music on the Porch Series.. Civic Center. Park Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, August 4, 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, August 4
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
August 4 marks the start of the 95th annual Littleville Fair There will be live music all three days and chances to learn about agriculture through viewing ox and horse draws, truck and tractor pulls, cattle, sheep, and more. There will be a magicians and clowns, and games for children. The exhibit hall will be open all weekend. For more information call 413-667-3279. The Boot Hill Band will perform on Sunday. 15 Kinne Brook Road. Chester, MA. ($)

Friday, August 4, 9am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Visiting a museum with your children can keep them learning through fun, hands-on activities, in the summer months. The Children’s Museum of Holyoke provides opportunities for children to engage in self-directed, creative free play in the Imagination Playground, splash around the water table, climb, explore, and learn! All of the museum exhibits are hands-on. You can visit the museum on August 4 at no charge, for Free Fun Friday! 413-536-5437. 444 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 4, 10am
FAMILY MUSIC
Listening to music can improve your mood and lift your energy levels; music written for children is often educational or inspirational as well. Husband and wife duo Vicki and Rick Ethier (Vicky and Sticks) are a team of musical storytellers. Their songs foster learning through laughter and encourage the values of respect, self-esteem, cooperation, and kindness. Their family music shows are comedic and encourage audience participation. Come be a part of the show in Stanley Park. Concerts in the park are open to the public and chairs will be available. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 4, 11am-12pm
LITERACY
Book mobile programs make literacy more accessible to people who are homebound or have limited transportation accessibility. The Summer Bookmobile program from The Bridge Family Resource Center also provides books free of charge- to keep! This is a great opportunity for families to support literacy learning in the summer months. For more information call 413-549-0471 ext. 6510. On August 4 the bookmobile will be visiting Cliffside Apartments. 248 Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 4, 12pm-4:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/SPORTS
Western Massachusetts has a rich history of sports innovation. William George Morgan invented volleyball, then called “Mintonette,” when living in Holyoke. He was influenced by James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. You can learn more about the history of volleyball as it relates to Holyoke history, and about the players who have succeeded in this field, at the Volleyball Hall of Fame. There is no admission charge on August 4, a Free Fun Friday! 413-536-0926. 444 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 4, 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 August 4, the production Lempicka, with music by Matt Gould, book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, will tell the story of a character who flees a violent revolution in Russia to start a new life in Paris alongside the two great loves of her life. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 4, 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, August 4, 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, August 4, 7pm
THEATER
Dr. Doolittle is the tale of a kindly doctor who can speak “animal.” No matter the species, this doctor knows what they’re saying and what they need to get well. Be prepared: you’ll be off on quite an adventure. You’ll travel the high seas, visit Africa, and even face pirates. The audience will play birds, sharks, wild beasts, cats, dogs, and even flying fish. Audience member should arrive early if they want a role. The cast includes Troy David Mercier, Linda Tardif, and Kelsey Flynn. Performances are Fri. August 4 at 7pm, Sat. & Sun. August 5 & 6, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets. Group discounts (12+): $7, call 413-341-0320. PaintBoxTheater.com.

Friday, August 4, 8pm
THEATER
The 2017 Ko Festival of Performance, a theatrical event of workshops and shows, centers around the theme: “tactics for trying times.” The Society of Civil Discourse provides a type of contemporary performance but it is also an interactive night of “debate, appreciation,” hating, and rhetorical excess…about style, not substance.” The event is designed for communities to have fun together, with art at the center, and blur the line between performance member and audience. You can come and watch or participate. Join in on the show, on August 4, 5 or 6. Visit their website for full details. 413-542-3750. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Friday, August 4, 8pm-11pm
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. This all ages performance will take place at the Arms Library. 413-625-0306. Main Street and Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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