Suggested Events for April 28 – May 4, 2018

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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 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.

Health & Wellness Directory

Are you in the business of improving people’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health and well-being? Hilltown Families is offering service providers a chance to spread the word about your services with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. We are connecting Western MA families with the health and wellness resources we need, while also supporting the businesses that make our local economy thrive. If you, or someone you know, would like to be included in this list, click HERE to find more information or to fill out our easy sign-up form. You can also reach out to our helpful Program Manager, Courtney Supple-Benoit, with any questions. We encourage our burgeoning entrepreneurs, small business-owners, non-profit managers, and even our large institutional neighbors to reach out and get connected with us – and families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

Bulletin Board

May 20

Whole Children is bringing some inclusive family fun to Look Park with its fourth annual “Wild Goose Chase” 5K and kids’ carnival. There are events for all ages and abilities, including a chip-timed 5K race, a 1.2 mile fun run/walk/roll, and plenty of kids’ races. The Expandable Brass Band will keep the pace with their festive music as the racers head out on the course. The fun doesn’t stop there. A carnival includes horse-drawn wagon rides with Muddy Brook Draft, hula hooping by Hoop Joy’s Stephanie O’Keeffe, yo-yoing and other games with A2Z Science and Learning Store, games, face-painting, music, and more. Whole Children’s Joyful Chorus and its Friendship Band will also be on hand to entertain the crowd. Register now at wholechildren.org.

April 14 – May 6

Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Open House: Apr 29

Young World Child Care Center has been enriching the lives of children and their families in the Greater Easthampton Community since 1980 through the belief that children develop into strong, independent individuals when given the proper materials, challenges, and opportunities. Dedicated Educators welcome children aged 2.9 right through 11 years old. Young World proudly offers a variety of care options to meet the needs of families. Full Time & Part time Pre-school Care is available in addition to a traditional Nursery School Program. Young World also provides Before and After School Care for children in Kindergarten straight through 4th Grade. Make an informed choice about quality care. Open House: Sunday, April 29, 1:30-3pm. Call 413-527-3983 for a tour today. youngworldchildcarecenter.com

May 6

16th Annual Renaissance Festival: Free – Rain or Shine – Fun for All Ages! Sunday, May 6th, 2018 11am – 4pm in the meadow of the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Arts, 650 E. Pleasant Street in Amherst. Theater, Music, Falconry, Phoenix Swords, Tudor Bowery Demonstrations, Weaving, Music Making with Robie Bones, Buffoons, Games, Blacksmithing, Dancing, and so much more! Free on-site Handicap Accessible parking and Free off-site parking with Free shuttle van. Check umass.edu/renaissance for Festival Schedule & Parking Information or call 413-577-3603.

May 12-13

The Archery Intensive teaches new archers everything they need to know about traditional recurve archery, with all equipment provided. Over two days students will learn about equipment and safety, develop consistent and effective archery form, explore the practice of instinctive aim, sew their own leather quiver, and enjoy archery exercises and games in a beautiful outdoor range. Perfect for beginning to intermediate archery students interested in recreational archery, mounted archery, archery as a mindfulness practice, running archery, or bowhunting. The class is open to adults of all genders; teens or tweens are welcome to attend if a parent or guardian is present. Family discounts available. For information, contact mountainsongexpeditions@gmail.com or visit mountainsongexpeditions.com.

Jun 25 – Aug 17

Join Barrington Stage Company KidsAct! Junior, an exciting theatre program for students ages 7-10 in Pittsfield– focused on building acting skills through fun theatre games, as well as the creation of an original play to be performed for parents and friends on the final day of the program. KidsAct! Senior is an exciting new program designed for ages 11-14 focused on building performance skills through individualized coaching. Students will write their own monologues and be coached on songs for use in auditions for productions in the Berkshires. KidsAct! has been bringing the professionalism of BSC to students in the Berkshires since 2004. Winner of the 2016 Gold Daisy Award for Best Drama/ Theater lessons in the Berkshires, by Macaroni Kid. Register today. Dates: Jun 25-Aug 17. For more info: 413-997-6108; education@barringtonstageco.org; barringtonstageco.org/education-bsc/kidsact.

Jun 25 – Aug 24

At Joy Art Space Summer Art Program, students experience the joy of creating art while developing new skills and finding their unique artistic voice! Themes of the week-long sessions include Exploring Art, Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, and Cartoons & Comics. Summer sessions meet from 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri at Joy Art Space, in downtown Amherst. Full day option available for sessions 1-4 through Amherst LSSE Adventure Day Camp. Classes are capped at 6 students for small group atmosphere and individual attention. Joy Art Space’s teacher and founder, Lily Joy Friedling, has taught privately and in schools for 10 years, and has an M.A. in Art Education from Columbia University. For more information, call 413-345-2747, email lily.joyartspace@gmail.com, or visit joyartspace.com.

Jul 9 – Aug 3

College for Kids in Westfield provides innovative and creative educational programs for kids ages 5-16, promoting and maintaining an enjoyable learning environment. Each week from Jul 9-Aug 3 will feature different classes, giving the option for parents to enroll their child in a morning session, afternoon session, or both. College for Kids offers a range of subjects including science, digital media, magic, culinary, and the arts. In addition to returning favorites such as Digital Nature Photography, European Desserts, Super Science Adventures, and The Art of Magic, they are excited to offer brand new classes in 2018 including Broadway Bound, Programming Fun with Python, American Raku Pottery, and more! For more info: 413-572-8557; collegeforkids@westfield.ma.edu; westfield.ma.edu/cfk.

Add your camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 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.

Add your school

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
April 28 – May 4, 2018

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, April 28, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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“It’s All about the Kids -Los Ninos” with Award-winning Peruvian-American bilingual kindie music phenomenon Twinkle. 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, April 28, 7:30am
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRD WATCHING
Did you know that over 4,000 birds, roughly 40 percent of all bird species in the world, migrate annually? The Arctic tern has the longest migration of any bird on earth, flying more than 49,000 miles every year. Since the tern can live up to 30 years, the total distance traveled by this amazing bird is equivalent to three trips to the moon and back! Spring migration is a great time to observe our local bird populations so come enjoy a fabulous morning of birding at the Hitchcock Center for children ages 8-13 and their families. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA ($)

Saturday, April 28, 9am-6pm
INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY
Do you remember the first time you stepped into an old bookstore? The piles of books stacked up to the low ceiling. The warm, comforting, musty smell of old paper. The feeling of joy, when you realized there was an entire world of ideas, words, and images just waiting for you to explore. This saturday, bookstores across the country will be celebrating National Independent Bookstore Day! Independent bookstores are not just places to buy books. They are gathering places for the whole community. Come join in the fun at The Bookloft, with an entire day full of fun activities, honoring our independent bookstores. The Bookloft. 332 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 28, 9:30-11:30am
CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Come celebrate early childhood education and development with a morning of fun and exciting brain building games and activities! The Northampton/Hadley Family Connection is hosting a Children’s Festival in honor of the Week of the Young Child, an annual event focusing on new and creative ways to best approach education for young children. The festival will feature live music, arts and crafts activities, playground games, and lots more. For more information, please visit Week of the Young Child Children’s Festival. Jackson Street School. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 28, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Saturday, April 28, 10-11am
NATURE STUDIES/HIKE
There is no better way to foster a love of nature in young children then to allow them the opportunity to explore the natural world on their own terms. This Infant and Toddler Walk will lead parents and their children on a gentle walk and model ways for families to experience the outdoors together, through the spirit of discovery and fostering curiosity. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA ($)

Saturday, April 28, 10:30am
NATURE STUDIES/STORYTELLING
Storytelling is the one of the oldest ways of learning to understand the world and our place in it. Throughout human history, stories have been used to teach and storytelling is more important now than ever! Dawn Ward’s StoryWalk series is an innovative way to use storytelling as a way to connect children with the natural world. This event begins with an outdoor walk and story and is followed by fun natural history activities indoors. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 28, 12-11:59pm
ART STUDIES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Creating art can be an excellent way to decrease stress and boost self confidence. And it helps make the world a more beautiful place! For 12 hours, the Cowell Gym will be a giant blank canvas to be covered in art, with the help of the Shelburne Falls Art Garden, a community based arts project, and you. Stop by at any point in the day and draw all over the walls and floors, do some coloring in the life sized 3D coloring room, and create a giant mandala. All supplies will be provided by the Art Garden and delicious snacks will be available. Cowell Gym. 51 Maple Street, Shelburne Falls, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, April 28, 1-4pm
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
In 1906 National Geographic Magazine published its first wildlife photographs, taken by George Shiras III, who used a tripwire camera trap. Wildlife photography has come a long way since then! Trail cameras can capture some incredible photographs and be used to learn about local wildlife. If you are interested in learning more about wildlife photography and the animals living in your area, you won’t want to miss this workshop. Moving from the classroom to the outdoors, this workshop will discuss strategies for wildlife photography, special camera techniques, and how to best set up a trail camera. Bullitt Reservation. 332 Bullitt Road, Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 28, 3-6pm
GOAT PARTY/LGBTQ RIGHTS
Did you know that goats can learn their names and will come when called? Sage Meadow Farm is throwing a special party to celebrate the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ rights and the birth of their new baby goats! Play with little goats, listen to live music, enjoy some delicious goat cheese snacks, and learn about how you can fight for LGBTQ rights in your community. Donations benefit the Equality Federation. Sage Meadow Farm. 11 Clapp Street, Easthampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, April 28, 6-7:30pm
ART STUDIES/CIRCUS SKETCHING
Drawing from a live model has been an important part of the artistic process for centuries. Beginning in the Italian Renaissance, modeling for artwork became a professional occupation and many famous models have played important roles in art history. In 19th century Europe there are numerous examples of models who went on to have success as artists in their own right and many artists developed deep and long lasting professional relationships with particular models, which undoubtedly influenced their work. Edouard Manet’s relationship with model Victorine Meurent being a prime example. As part of the statewide ArtWeek Festival, artists will have the opportunity to come sketch circus performers, as a way to work on capturing motion. Artists will also have the opportunity to work from held poses. SHOW Circus Studio. 150 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA ($)

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, April 29, 10am-4pm
OPEN HOUSE/YIDDISH BOOK CENTER
The Yiddish Book Center is welcoming the whole family to their special Community Open House! Come enjoy a day filled with special activities and events, celebrating one of our area’s most beloved resources. Founder Aaron Lansky’s quest, begun in 1980, to preserve Yiddish literature and books has been a monumental success. The goal of the Book Center was never to simply collect and store these books but to also be able to share them with new generations of readers. This event will feature lectures on the history of illustration in Yiddish books and book smuggling during the holocaust, as well as a museum tour. Yiddish Book Center. 1021 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 29, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Sunday, April 29, 1:30-3pm
OPEN HOUSE
Young World Child Care Center has been enriching the lives of children and their families in the Greater Easthampton Community since 1980 through the belief that children develop into strong, independent individuals when given the proper materials, challenges, and opportunities. Dedicated Educators welcome children aged 2.9 right through 11 years old. Young World proudly offers a variety of care options to meet the needs of families. Full Time & Part time Pre-school Care is available in addition to a traditional Nursery School Program. Young World also provides Before and After School Care for children in Kindergarten straight through 4th Grade. Make an informed choice about quality care. Open House: Sunday, April 29, 1:30-3pm. Call 413-527-3983 for a tour today. youngworldchildcarecenter.com

Sunday, April 29, 2-7pm
BELTANE CELEBRATION
The Gaelic seasonal festival of Beltane, held on or about May 1st, traditionally marks the beginning of the summer season. Falling in between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, Beltane historically centered around blessing and protecting herds of cattle, which were sent out to pasture at this time. The maypole, a custom practiced in conjunction with the broader North European holiday May Day, is thought to be perhaps derived from the Beltane tradition of decorating a thorn bush with ribbons and flowers. Bonfires are also important aspects of the Beltane celebration, as the name itself is thought to be drawn from the Celtic “Bright Fire.” Come celebrate Beltane with a ceremony and potluck! For more information and directions, please visit Beltane Celebration. Templeton, MA (FREE)

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Monday, April 30, 2018

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Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, April 30, 8am
FOOD CO-OP/CELEBRATION
Come celebrate the 10 year anniversary of River Valley Co-op! The River Valley Co-op has been a vital part of our community since it opened on April 30, 2008. It was built on the site of a granite quarry that was mined in the 1930s and used to build King street. Over the last 10 years, the co-op has been providing the area with the finest local, organic food and all of the decisions made by its members reflect a commitment to democracy, social responsibility, and equality. River Valley Co-op. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Monday, April 30, 10-11:30am
PARENTING SUPPORT/COFFEE BREAK
What is there lovelier in the morning than a steaming mug of tea or coffee? The feeling of a warm, hefty mug in your hands and that first sip that just picks you up and makes you feel ready for your day. Come take a break from your parenting duties and share a mug and some conversation with other local parents. This casual, drop-in group provides hot beverages, refreshments, and childcare! It Takes a Village. 469 Main Street, Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Monday, April 30, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Monday, April 30, 7-8:30pm
FILM SCREENING/PATAGONIA
You might imagine that Arizona is nothing but windswept desert but tucked down along the southern border of the state is the beautiful Patagonia mountain range. It’s highest peaks are over 7,000 feet tall and the mountains are covered with ponderosa pines and oak trees. This important and unique ecosystem is the setting of the film Patagonia Treasure Trail, which tells the story of a mother and daughter taking a horseback journey through the Patagonia mountains. Writer and director Michele Gisser will present her film and discuss the important ecological issues impacting this beautiful and unknown region. Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, May 1, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Tuesday, May 1, 10:30am
STEM/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Young children are like sponges, they absorb information so quickly! Play can be one of the best ways to encourage young children to learn. Through games and other fun activities, children are able concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Brain Builders is a program designed to cultivate an interest in STEM and reading through games, hands on activities, circle time discussions, and music. This event is appropriate for children ages five and under. Mason Library. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 1, 1:30-3:30pm
SUSTAINABILITY/BAG MAKING
Due to ocean currents, a massive pile of plastic debris has been forming in the Pacific Ocean. First discovered in the late 1980s, it is currently speculated that this mound of garbage is anywhere from the size of the state of Texas, to the size of Russia. As plastic is very difficult to breakdown, the garbage patch continues to grow and wreak havoc on the ocean ecosystem. Unlike organic material, as plastic ages it simply reduces to the molecular level but never disappears. As it gets smaller and smaller, plastic particles become ingested by marine wildlife. But the indirect effects are even more serious. On the microscopic level, the sheer amount of plastic molecules in the ocean is actually changing the chemical makeup of the water and spreading toxic pollution all over the world. Do your part to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean by volunteering to make durable, reusable shopping bags for members of the community to use instead of plastic bags. The Northampton Survival Center. 265 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 1, 5:30-7:30pm
MAY DAY/SOCIAL ISSUES
In 1904, May 1st was chosen by various socialist and communist to be celebrated as International Workers’ Day, to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, in which a peaceful labor march was bombed and police opened fire on the marchers, killing eight. Four more marchers were later hanged for their alleged role in the riot. The first May Day march called together trade unions and Social Democratic groups to demonstrate for the 8-hour work day and workers rights in general. Come celebrate the efforts of those working for justice for workers and immigrants with this May Day march! Pioneer Valley Workers Center. 20 Hampton Ave, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 1, 5:30-7:30pm
NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT/WORKSHOP
In 2017, ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in bringing awareness to the enormous humanitarian risks involved in the use of nuclear weapons. ICAN has been working tirelessly to create an global agreement regarding the risks of nuclear weapons, culminating in the 2017 International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This workshop, hosted by the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership, will discuss the work of ICAN and how the treaty can give individuals and communities the opportunity to take concrete steps towards abolishing nuclear weapons. Form or join a group to put pressure on governments and arms manufacturers to ensure that such weapons are never used again. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-7:30pm
GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY
The Pioneer Valley has a rich geological history. The Holyoke Range, for example, is comprised of basalt lava dating back to the Jurassic Period. And the entire Connecticut river valley was once a part of a massive body of water known as Lake Hitchcock, which formed around 15,000 years ago as the last glacier retreated from the region. If you are interested in the geological history of our area, you won’t want to miss this local geology talk by Greenfield Community College Professor Emeritus Richard Little. Professor Little will discuss the formation of the Holyoke Range, Lake Hitchcock, the supercontinent Pangea, and many other fascinating aspects of what makes our corner of the world unique. Whately Public Library. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, May 3, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Wednesday, May 2, 1pm
WEAVING/EXHIBIT
The oldest evidence of weaving dates back to 7000 BCE in Turkey, although there is reason to suggest that weaving was known to humans are far back as the Paleolithic era. The process involves interlacing distinct threads or yarns at right angles. Most often, weaving is done on a loom, which holds the threads in place. If you are interesting in weaving, you won’t want to miss this day of educational talks about weaving and weaving exhibitions! Leverett Crafts and Arts. 13 Montague Road, Leverett, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, May 2, 7pm
MINDFULNESS/HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Every wednesday evening, the Shambhala Center in Northampton is holding an open house! Each session will feature meditation, talks on timely issues, refreshments, and socializing. If you have been curious about the Shambhala Center or mindfulness meditation, this is a great opportunity to get to know what goes on at this wonderful community resource. And if you are a complete beginner when it comes to meditation, have no fear, instruction will be provided! For more information and a complete list of speakers and topics, please visit Shambhala Center Open House. Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center. 191 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, May 2, 6:30-8pm
PERMACULTURE/WORKSHOP
Permaculture refers to a form of agriculture that seeks to work with the natural functions of the ecosystem, rather than forcing human goals on the landscape. It is based on the premise that human beings need not work against the environment in order to meet their needs. By working with natural systems through patience and observation, rather than brute force, hours of labor, and ecologically harmful methods, we can create a sustainable model in which humans and the environment can flourish. This free workshop will adapt the permaculture model to landscaping and gardening, focusing on ways that you can “model regenerative land stewardship,” even if you live in the suburbs! River Valley Co-op. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, May 2, 7-8:30pm
HISTORY/LGBTQ
Did you know that the history of the Northampton Pride Parade can be traced back to a series of violent uprisings in New York City in 1969, which had ties to the mafia? The Stonewall Uprising, named for the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, occurred on June 28, 1969. The political climate in United States in the 1950s and 60s was extremely hostile towards the gay community and police raids on gay bars and gathering places were common. When the Stonewall Inn, which was run by the mafia, was raided by the police, hundreds of people came to stand together against the police for equality and justice. The Stonewall Uprising is considered by many to be the most significant moment in the beginning of the gay liberation movement. Writer Justin Cascio will be discussing the complex history of this momentous event, including the little known mafia connection, at this free presentation. This event is appropriate for teenagers and adults. Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, May 3, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Thursday, May 3, 5:15pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/LAUGHING YOGA
It turns out that they were right: laughter really is the best medicine! Laughter can decrease stress hormones, which in turn increases antibodies and immune cells. Laughter also releases endorphins, promoting a feeling of well being and relieving pain. Come enjoy an evening of gentle yoga poses designed to encourage laughter, smiles, and giggles. As good as laughing by yourself can be, it’s even better in a group! No experience necessary. St. John’s Episcopal Church. 48 Elm Street, Northampton, MA ($)

Thursday, May 3, 6pm
THEATER STUDIES/DISCUSSION
Come on out and gather with other teenagers and young adults to discuss literature, theater, art, and creativity. This week at Westhampton Public Library’s popular Young Adult Creative Lounge, teens will be joined by local poet and theater maker Chris Gonzalez! Chris was raised in Northampton and has been performing in the region for the last 5 years. His first book of poetry will be published this spring. Westhampton Public Library. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

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Friday, May 4, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, May 4, 10am
LIVING HISTORY/FARM ADVENTURES
Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Friday, May 4, 6:30-8pm
LOCAL HISTORY/CONCERT
Jenny Lind, known as the “Swedish Nightingale,” was a Swedish opera singer who toured the United States, including Western Massachusetts, in 1851 with P.T. Barnum. This tour was so phenomenally popular that Lind became one of the most famous singers in the world and earned over 350,000 dollars over the course of her 93 concert tour, all of which she donated to charity. This concert will honor Lind’s memory by performing many of the pieces she was best known for, including works by Handel and Donizetti. Amherst Historical Society and Museum. 67 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)

Friday, May 4, 7-8:30pm
NATURE STUDIES/SUNSET WALK
In 1686, haiku master Matsuo Basho wrote the most famous haiku of all time: “The old pond- / a frog jumps in, / sound of water.” The vividness of the imagery and the simplicity of the language have enchanted readers for hundreds of years. While Basho does not specify the time of day in the poem, it’s easy to imagine this little scene occurring at sunset. There is something about the emotional nature and the quality of light at that time of day that is perfectly suited to the poetical. Come enjoy a lovely sunset walk along the oxbow, and who knows, maybe you’ll see a frog jump into an old pond and hear that same magical sound Basho heard so long ago. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA ($)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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