Suggested Events for August 26th-September 1st, 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.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2017-2018 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Sat & Sun thru Labor Day

Hoosac Valley Train rides are for families, groups, and couples. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. Their authentic Budd railcar is from 1955. Gift shop has memorabilia and rail-related products for adults and children. Group size 20+ are asked to make reservations one week in advance. Summer train rides are every Sat and Sun thru Labor Day at 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm. Cost $8/10/12. Cabaret Trains are Saturday Aug 26, Sept 9 & 23. Cost $20. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 80 persons per ride. See www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com or contact info@berkshirescenicrailroad.org.

It’s not too late to try a new educational path this fall. Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for K-12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High school offers teens the freedom to pursue their passions and interests while taking challenging academic courses. Single courses also available. Start anytime! Now offering three layers of support options for home teachers. Visit oakmeadow.com to learn more.​

Sep 24

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its seventh year on Sun., Sept. 24 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by participating in this fun event. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. When you’re done riding, you’ll want to make sure you stay for the After-Party. They’ll have a cookout with food from Smithsonian Caterers, including BBQ chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and salads. Berkshire Brewing Company will be back to serve their selection of craft beer. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing 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
August 26th-Sept 1st, 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, August 26, 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. Hilarious Episode with Guest DJs, Randy & Dave. You better warn your funny bone because it’s about to get a real workout. Hit songwriters Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin, sometimes known as Randy & Dave, bring you songs and other silly stuff. Amidst the laughter, you might learn a few things about an American hero, get some advice on how to deal with your friends and relatives, or even receive tips on how to cope with unwanted flying objects. Randy & Dave recommend you not take any of it too seriously. 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, August 26, 7am-9:30pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The Cummington Fair continues with a craft barn, exhibit hall, live performances, meals, children’s activities and more. Visit their website for a full schedule of activities and performances. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. (Adult $; Ages ten to fifteen <$; under ten FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 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 about natural history. 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! Bring a hand lens and be ready to take notes. Directions to sites will be provided upon registration. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Various locations, MA. (Member $; Non member $$)

Saturday, August 26, 9am-7pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Attending an agricultural fair is a great way to explore the domestic arts and learn the quality of items made by hand. Exhibition halls are filled with different handmade crafts and culinary arts, such as quilts, preserves, knitwear, canned goods, and pies – all tokens from our past that still have a place in our present today. The Ware Grange Fair will feature a bake sale, raffles, and penny sale along with viewing of the exhibits. On Saturday, August 26 there will be organic farming information provided by NOFA, as well as carnival games, a dutch oven cooking demonstration, and a community supper. 297 Belchertown Road. Ware, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 26, 9:30am-10:15
MINDFULNESS/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Mindfulness is a complex topic with a long-standing, cross-cultural tradition. Simply put, mindfulness is a form of awareness, often cultivated through meditative attention to your breath. While meditation can take place anywhere, meditating in nature can be a particularly pleasant and relaxing activity. People of all ages are invited to a “Mountain Mindfulness” session at Skinner State Park. Participants will join a park interpreter in a meditation and mindful walk. Bring something to sit on or a yoga mat. Meet on Summit House deck.413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (Parking <$)

Saturday, August 26, 10am-10:30am
NATURAL HISTORY/DINOSAURS
Here in western Massachusetts, dinosaurs play a huge role in the history of our landscape. Future paleontologists, fossil lovers, and generally science-curious children may be interested in a family program, “Dinos in The Valley,” where participants will discover dinosaur tracks and learn about the life of dinosaurs in the Connecticut river valley. This program is best-suited for ages eight and up. Meet at the Stone House at Mount Tom State Reservation. 413- 534-1186.. 125 Reservation Road. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 10am-2pm
ENTOMOLOGY
Since the 1990s, we’ve been globally aware that bee populations were in danger. Pesticide use is one of the leading causes of this decline in the presence of pollinators, and while there is much being done to raise awareness and change practices, we still have a long way to go before bees will be safe. Building a bee house is a fun, kid-friendly activity for supporting local pollinators. A “bee house” workshop at the Berkshire Botanical Garden will teach participants how to make bee condos. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. Children under 12 and members FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 10am-2pm
FILM STUDIES
One of the advantages of film as a medium is the way that it incorporates visual and auditory elements. But sometimes, you can run into legal difficulties when adding music to your film. Will Bangs of Will Bangs of Music Box Licensing and guest speaker Alex Fitch will be offering a workshop about music licensing in film. Participants will learn how to stretch creatively and monetize their music. The Parlor Room. 413-341-3317. 32 Masonic Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 10am-4pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/FAMILY MUSIC
“Fun Day” with Blue Rider Stables will feature kid-friendly tunes performed by Bari Joral. There will be pony rides, hay rides, a bounce house, wholesome food, games, and face painting. Blue Rider’s iconic family friendly celebration at French Park in North Egremont, MA. This year, special guest performer, Bari Koral brings her infectious, kid-friendly pop tunes to Fun Day! Pony rides, hay rides, bounce house, wholesome food, games and face painting too! Great fun for the whole family! A silent auction with amazing items donated from Berkshire area businesses will take place from 10am-3pm. All in French Park. 413-528-5299. 65 Prospect Lake Road. Egremont, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm
HISTORY/AUTOMOTIVE
Hoosac Valley Train rides are for families, groups, and couples. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. Their authentic Budd railcar is from 1955. There is gift shop has memorabilia and rail-related products for adults and children. Groups of more than twenty are asked to make reservations one week in advance. There are Cabaret Trains on Saturday Aug 26, September 9 and 23, as well as Summer Train rides every Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 80 persons per ride. Visit or contact info@berkshirescenicrailroad.org for more information. North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday August 26, 11:30am
ART STUDIES/COLLAGE
Chesterwood museum is offering artist-led programs in conjunction with their current exhibit, Out of Site: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood. Learn from the sculptors themselves! Using drawings, video, and hazy recollections from 2014, the artists will discuss the journey that brought about this work. Free with museum admission. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($; children 13 and under FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 12pm-6pm
LOCAL FOOD CULTURE
There is a huge difference in the taste of a farm-fresh versus grocery store tomato. You can taste an amazing selection at the Red Fire Farm 2017 Tomato Festival. There will also be cooking demonstrations, live music, crafters, and more. 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 2:30pm-3pm
ZOOLOGY/OPHIOLOGY
Ophiology, the study of snakes, is a branch of zoology that explores the natural history, biology, and behavior of these creatures. You can take your children to Mount Tom State Reservation for self-guided exploration of nature, and also enjoy a short program about snakes. Attendees will learn about the snakes that live on Mount Tom, and why they are valued. Meet at Bray Lake. 413-534-1186. 125 Reservation Road. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 2:30pm and 3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/WORLD MUSIC
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, invited 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 features locally sourced pastries, Earl Grey tea, and live music. On August 26, JMPT Quartet will finish the 2017 season with a performance of instrumental music from around the world, including South American tangos, Polish polkas, and New Orleans ragtime, as well Irish, Israeli, and other old-time popular music. 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, August 26, 3pm-3:30pm
ZOOLOGY
What can you learn from the bones of an animal? Find out at the “Speaking with Skulls” program where you will examine the skulls of species which thrive in our local habitat. This program is suitable for all ages. Meet at the picnic table behind the kiosk in Mount Holyoke Range State Park. In case of rain, meet in Visitors Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 26, 7pm
ART STUDIES/FILM STUDIES
The impressionist movement in art history is characterized by visible brush strokes, an emphasis on light, and ordinary subject matters. The American impressionist movement followed its own path over a thirty-year period, taking the lead from French artists like Renoir and Monet, yet revealing much about America as a nation. This movement is closely tied to a love of nature and gardens, and a desire to preserve nature amid an urbanizing nation. You can learn more by screening the 2017 documentary, The Artist’s Garden – American Impressionism (not rated) at the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, August 26, 5pm-7:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY/MIGRATION
Nighthawks are impressive creatures which engage in aerial acrobatics, catching insects on their wings! You can search the sky for migrating nighthawks, and learn how they behave in their habitat, during an evening program at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Bring binoculars and lawn chair. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, August 26, 7pm
THEATER
Newton Arvin was a renowned literature professor at Smith College in 1960. He was arrested and disgraced for receiving erotic images of men through the mail. A new opera from award-winning biographer Barry Werth and composer Eric Sawyer draws connections from this event and the novel The Scarlet Letter to tell the unfolding drama of Arvin’s arrest and trial. All are welcome to see this work, The Scarlet Professor, at the Unitarian Society. 220 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

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Sunday, August 27, 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, August 27, 7am-7pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The Cummington Fair continues with a craft barn, exhibit hall, live performances, meals, children’s activities and more. Visit their website for a full schedule of activities and performances. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. (Adult $; Ages ten to fifteen <$; under ten FREE)

Sunday, August 27, 9am
EQUINE STUDIES
The 25th annual Berkshire Humane Society Horse Show is a partnership between horseback riders and the veterinary experts who care for animals. Riders will participate in hunter and equitation classes, both on the flat and over fences. The show will take place at Overmeade Farm. This intergenerational program is open to the public. 413-499-2850. 940 East Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 27, 9am-10am
GEOLOGY
What do people mean when they refer to “geologic time?” The geologic time scale is a system of dating used by geologists, paleontologists, and other Earth scientists. This system conceptualizes time in relation to geological events in the Earth’s history. Adults and families with children ages ten and older are invited to travel through geologic time as it relates to the local landscape, in the program “Making the Connecticut River Valley,” at Mount Holyoke Range State Park. See our home transform between ocean, mountains, lava, and ice. The talk will end with trail recommendations for exploring the geology on your own. Meet at the picnic table behind the kiosk. In case of rain, meet in Visitors Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 27, 10:30am-11:30am
ECOlOGY/MICROBIOLOGY
What can we learn from the ground beneath our feet? A park interpreter will be offering a talk and demonstrations to investigate the microbiology of healthy soils. Participants will learn about soil glue and how it can contribute to healthier plants, better nutrition, bigger flowers, less erosion and cleaner water. After the demonstrations, you can join in an optional Discovery Center grounds site walk to visit soil sample locations and consider how you can make a difference in soil health. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 27, 11am
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of Aladdin for audience members of all ages at the Whitney Center for the Arts. Catch one of their free performances through August 30. Check their website for a full calendar of shows. 413-822-0663. 42 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 27, 12pm-6pm
LOCAL FOOD CULTURE
There is a huge difference in the taste of a farm-fresh versus grocery store tomato. You can taste an amazing selection at the Red Fire Farm 2017 Tomato Festival. There will also be cooking demonstrations, live music, crafters, and more. 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 27, 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, August 27, 7pm
ART STUDIES/FILM STUDIES
The impressionist movement in art history is characterized by visible brush strokes, an emphasis on light, and ordinary subject matters. The American impressionist movement followed its own path over a thirty-year period, taking the lead from French artists like Renoir and Monet, yet revealing much about America as a nation. This movement is closely tied to a love of nature and gardens, and a desire to preserve nature amid an urbanizing nation. You can learn more by screening the 2017 documentary, The Artist’s Garden – American Impressionism (not rated) at the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

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Monday, August 28th, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, August 28, 9am
YOGA
Through stretching poses and sometimes concentration on the breath, yoga can relax and center you. Practicing yoga outdoors has the added benefits of connecting you to nature. The Clark Art Institute is offering an outdoor yoga class. 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, August 28, 11am and 2pm
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of Aladdin for audience members of all ages at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. Catch one of their free performances through August 30. Check their website for a full calendar of shows. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 28, 1pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Hiking can easily connect you with learning about topics like zoology, ecology, and plant identification. But exploring nature can also be an outlet into the humanities. Park interpreter Mike will explore the human side of Mount Greylock, providing information about local history, literary inspirations, poetry, and maybe even a ghost story on this all-ages guided hike. Bring a snack, bug spray, sunscreen and water. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain cancels. For more information call 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 28, 1:30pm and 7pm
ART STUDIES/FILM STUDIES
The impressionist movement in art history is characterized by visible brush strokes, an emphasis on light, and ordinary subject matters. The American impressionist movement followed its own path over a thirty-year period, taking the lead from French artists like Renoir and Monet, yet revealing much about America as a nation. This movement is closely tied to a love of nature and gardens, and a desire to preserve nature amid an urbanizing nation. You can learn more by screening the 2017 documentary, The Artist’s Garden – American Impressionism (not rated) at the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Monday, August 28, 7pm-8pm
MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS
Whether you want to try meditation for the first time, or you want to strengthen your practice, you can participate in a free mindfulness intro class at Amherst Mindfulness. PArticipants with learn through a combination of instruction, experience, and sharing. Instructor Michele Miller recently transitioned from her career of thirteen years as a real estate developer and property manager to pursue work as a mindfulness teacher. She completed the MBSR practicum at UMass Medical Center’s Center for Mindfulness, and is currently receiving mentorship from Diane Reibel through the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. 413-222-8067. 17 Kellogg Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, August 29, 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 29, 10am
LITERACY
Bringing your children to a storytime is a fun, simple way to connect them with literacy and broaden your community connections by meeting other families. The “Books and Blooms” storytime at The Mount also gets you and your children outdoors, gathering in the Italian Garden. How many flowers and other plants can you identify? This program is best-suited for ages 2-8; children must be accompanied by an adult. This drop-in program is weather dependent. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 29, 10am-11:30am
ART STUDIES/DRAWING
“Summer Sketch Club” at the Norman Rockwell Museum is an intergenerational program for children and families to hone their artistic skills and meet other aspiring artists. This drawing class will 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, atmosphere. Ages seven and up. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, August 29, 4pm
HISTORY/ANTIQUE RESTORATION
Join Master Restorer Frank MacGruer for a presentation where he will reveal his techniques for caring for antique furniture. MacGruer will cover basic principles for taking care of antique furniture. With an eye towards the sustainable nature or conservation of well-made furniture of any age, he will discuss the environment of the home, the physical-functional condition of the piece, the surface and reflective qualities, and how these are evaluated. MacGruer will provide photographs for discussing repair work in progress and illustrations of “before and after” restoration work. He will have examples of finish problems and solutions, maintenance products and tools of the trade. Ventfort Hall. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, August 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm
ART STUDIES/PHOTOGRAPHY
What makes a photograph exciting and dynamic? There are lots of factors to consider when taking a photograph, including composition, balance of exposure, and your own personal viswion and preferences. A two hour, hands-on, walking workshop will begin at the Lee Library and travel about the town of Lee. Participants will examine five main composition formats, experiment with exposure and depth, shutter and aperture, all to support individual creative visions. Thad Kubis will lear this workshop. DSLR, SLR’s, Smartphones and Tablets are welcome. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/TECHNOLOGY
Have you heard the term “internet of things?” The phrase refers to the growing network of interconnected devices; these physical items range from vehicles to buildings, embedded with software which makes them capable of exchanging data. The concept dates back to 1982, and is becoming increasingly a reality. An “internet of things” themed workshop at Holyoke Codes will elaborate on this topic, teaching participants how to build an Arduino-powered device and develop mobile apps to control it. Ages eleven and up. 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Engaging with politics on a local level is one of the most effective ways to make a positive political impact. The Springfield City Library is offering residents an opportunity to become informed by meeting candidates for City Council and School Committee. Bring your concerns, ask questions, check your voter registration status and find out the location of your polling place. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 29, 7pm-8:30pm
HORTICULTURE/AGRICULTURE
Understanding seeds opens up a new world of learning and doing. Gardening can be a way to grow your own food, beautify your environment, connect to the Earth, and learn! Come and listen to Sadie Stull from the The Hilltown Seed Saving Network discuss saving seeds and how it impact your results in the garden, at the Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, August 30, 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 30, 11am and 2pm
PUPPETRY
The art of puppetry combines theater with sculpting and visual arts, in the case of troupes who build their own puppets or marionettes. Puppet theater can be a fun hobby for children, who can use their own imagination and tools to tell a story with multiple characters. The Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes group will be performing the story of Rumplestiltskin for audience members of all ages at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. 413-822-0663. 29 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 30, 10:00am-11:30am
ART STUDIES
Do you and your children like to make art? You can socialize with other artistic families by attending a “Kids Create!” session at the Norman Rockwell Museum. While you are there you can explore the museum and gain inspiration from the works on view. This interactive program inspires experimentation with a variety of materials and techniques. This program is for children ages five and up. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, August 30, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Lenox’s “Concerts in the Park” bring together families, community members, and local musicians with free performances throughout the summer months. On August 30, the series wraps up with a performance by Wanda Houston in Lilac Park. Wanda Houston is a professional singer and actress who performs jazz, Gospel, R&B, blues, folk and rock. In case of rain the event is moved to the auditorium at Town Hall. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 30, 7pm
HISTORY/LITERATURE
A book club at the Clark Art Institute, held in conjunction with the exhibition Orchestrating Elegance: Alma-Tadema and Design, has been helping people draw connections between literature, and the architectural history. The book club focuses on novels set in or inspired by the Gilded Age in New York, making connections to Henry Gurdon Marquand’s elegant music room designed by artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The final meeting will feature a discussion of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel, which was considered scandalous in its time, tells the story of artist Basil Hallward and one of his painting subjects, Dorian. Dorian sells his soul in order for the portrait to age while he stays young and beautiful. Reservations are required. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 30, 7pm-8:30pm
ZOOLOGY
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 program at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Attendees will look for beavers and other wildlife, learn about the natural history of beavers including the ways in which they continue to shape the landscape more than 80 years after their reintroduction. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

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Thursday, August 31, 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 31, 9:30am-12:30pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/NATURAL HISTORY
Over the summer, there are many opportunities for intergenerational nature exploration. Individual adults, as well as families with children ages twelve and up, are invited to participate in a hike to learn about the natural history of the Mount Holyoke Range. Participants will be given a choice of routes for the day to be determined by the group. The hike will be approximately 3-5 miles in length, with steep and rocky terrain possible. Wear sturdy boots or shoes and bring water and insect deterrents. You may also wish to bring a snack. In case of rain, call to confirm. Meet in Visitors Center. Mount Holyoke Range State Park. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 31, 4:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE
Learning to play the ukulele can be a fun introduction to other stringed instruments. With only four strings, ukulele is simpler to learn than guitar, plus it’s small, relatively inexpensive, and very portable. Julie Stepanek has been teaching beginners how to play chords on the ukulele at various libraries for years now. She will bring her twenty ukuleles and provide lessons to twenty participants at the Holyoke Public Library. Registration is required. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 31, 5:30pm
ACAPELLA
It’s not surprising that many visual artists would play music or vice versa. Artists tend to appreciate, and often create, across different art forms, mediums, or genres. The Norman Rockwell Museum invites you to an evening of music performed or written by visual artists. Acapella group Quintessential will perform music by The Kinks, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and John Lennon, among others! Free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Thursday, August 31, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/ROBOTICS
Robotics is a multifaceted field of innovation and creation. Even young children can get started learning the basics of robotics. Basic robotics can connect them with the engineering skills of creating physical objects, as well as the computer programming skills required to get those objects to carry out tasks. Participants ages nine and up will learn both how to build robots, and how to control them with code, in a series of workshops at Holyoke Codes. You will learn how robots carry out tasks such as detecting and following lines, delivering and retrieving things, and detecting and following walls. This is the final workshop of a series of three, but you can attend even if this is your first time. 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 31, 6pm-8pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
It’s the final show of the Coop Concert season! You have one last chance to gather with local music fans and spend some quality time in Energy Park. Bruce Colegrove, and Austin and Elliot will perform. You can explore the gardens, and children will be able to play on the train structure in the children’s area. 413-772-1553. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 31, 6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
The Lonesome Brothers have been playing their original blues/rock songs for thirty years and have put out eight albums in that span of time. Bring a lawn chair, or picnic and blanket, to the Florence Civic Center and hear them perform in the final outdoor concert of the season. Visit the Florence Music on the Porch Series Facebook page for additional information. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, September 1, 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, September 1 10am
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Mount Greylock has many exciting features including waterfalls, old growth forests, and historic sites. You don’t have to go hunting for these spots either. A park interpreter will be leading participants to these hidden gems on a “Discover Greylock” guided hike. This hike will incorporate outdoor skills, environmental stewardship and bear awareness. Be prepared for the weather, wear sturdy footwear; bring a lunch, bug spray and drinking water. Meet at the Visitor Center. For more information call 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 1, 2pm-3pm
ZOOLOGY/ECOLOGY
Even a casual, fun stroll through the woods can connect with scientific topics such as zoology, ecology, and plant and soil science. The all ages”Wild Woods Walk” program at Mount Holyoke Range State Park invites participants to make observations and investigations into the plants and animals they see, learning how to recognize some by sight or sound. This is an easy-moderate one mile hike. Meet in the Visitor Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 1, 3pm-9pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs are one of the longest-running local traditions, bringing people together for family fun, entertainment, and a celebration of the skills held by community members. This year, the Blandford Fair will take place for the 150th time! Explore the exhibit halls, the giant pumpkins, and the petting zoo; witness 4-Wheel Drive Truck Pulls and live music; finally, enjoy a community meatloaf dinner. The fair continues through Monday, September 4. Visit the website for a full schedule. 10 North Street. Blandford, MA. (<$)

Friday, September 1, 4pm-8:30pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs give local farmers, including youth and students, the chance to show off their skills! The 200th Three County Fair will feature a baby animal barnyard, a poultry exhibit, horse pulls, tractor shows, sheep and oxen shows, in addition to entertainment such as live music, rides, magic shows and more. This intergenerational event has something for everyone and opportunities for learning daily through Monday, September 4. Visit the Three County Fair website for a full schedule. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Friday, September 1, 6pm
PLACEMAKING/MUSIC STUDIES
Summer is winding to a close, but there’s still time for outdoor fun! The Sunderland Public Library will be bringing family favorite Johnny and the Flashbacks to their final outdoor concert of the season. Bring a lawn chair, blankets, or a full picnic and enjoy their oldies rock n’ roll with friends and family. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, 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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