Suggested Events for May 5th – 11th, 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

USA Waste & Recycling is a family owned and operated business that provides the best Waste and Recycling removal services in the area! They are offering one month of free residential collection services to NEW customers! For EXISTING customers: refer a new customer and receive a free month as well! USA Waste & Recycling is offering this free service to residents of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, and Belchertown. With their single stream recycling service, you no longer have to separate your plastic, cardboard, paper, and glass – all recyclables go in one container! For more information, visit www.usarecycle.com, email services@usarecycle.com, or call their outstanding customer service center at 1-800-998-2984 to subscribe!

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.

May 5 & 6

May 5 & 6: Memorial Hall Museum, at 8 Memorial Street, in Deerfield, MA, celebrates ArtWeek with a botanical twist during its opening weekend! Always in Bloom” is a weekend of FREE activities that engage all the senses! Saturday: ongoing workshops for adults in perfumery, floral design, wet felting, watercolor painting, candied violets, and a mint-water tasting salon (each workshop lasts 15 to 45 minutes or more depending on interest) with nearby activities for children ages six and older. Sunday kicks off at 11 am with music in praise of honey bees and drop-in family craft activities until 2:30 pm (outdoors, weather permitting). The museum is open from 11 am to 4:30 pm both days, with a floral-themed scavenger hunt and free admission.

May 6

On Sunday, May 6th, Abundance Farm in Northampton will be hosting a Spring Community Volunteer Day from 10:00am-1:00pm. Everyone is invited to join this day of community building to work on spring projects that will prepare the Farm for a new growing season. You are encouraged to bring a shovel! Free lunch of soup, salad and bread will be provided for volunteers. This event is friendly to all ages, including young families; kids and grown-ups will have the unique opportunity to help beautify the outdoor classroom and prayer space that many of their Shabbat Shabloom families use during the summer and plant flowers for the summer picking season. Bring along your kid-friendly wheelbarrows, trowels and shovels if you have them! Visit abundancefarm.org for more info!

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 www.umass.edu/renaissance for Festival Schedule & Parking Information or call 413-577-3603.

May 12

We Need Diverse Books Book Fair & Playground Party featuring What If… Book Launch:  The Montessori School of Northampton and the Odyssey Bookshop present this fun event for families on Saturday, May 12, from 10 AM to 1 PM.  The day will feature author Samantha Berger and illustrator Mike Curato introducing their new book What If… at 11 AM, as well as fun activities including face painting, bubbles, and an obstacle course. The school, located at 51 Bates Street, enrolls students from 18 months through 14 years, and will be open for tours and information.  Join us and expand your library of diverse books!  Light refreshments; open to the public; free admission; rain or shine. Information at (413) 586-4538 or northamptonmontessori.org

May 12

Bring the whole family to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for Saturday May 12th from 9am-1pm for their annual Touch a Truck event. Over 50 big rigs will converge on the BMH parking lot. Spend the day in the driver’s seat playing with buttons and levers, trying on firefighters’ bunker gear, moving mulch in a mini tractor, and so much more! Have fun participating in the scavenger hunt, taking chances on raffle prizes, and playing fun games in our Health Fair. Minutes over the MA border, the hospital is located off Exit 1, I-91 in Brattleboro, VT. Admission: $5 per child (2-12), $15 for families with 3 or more children, under 2 and over 13, by donation. All proceeds benefit BMH.

May 12 – 30

Bring Learning Home with Oak Meadow! From May 12–30, take 20% off their flexible, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 10% off new enrollments in their teacher-supported, distance learning school. K-4 is child-centered, playful, nature-based; 5-8 encourages independence, increased intellectual engagement; High School offers challenging college-prep courses. Visit their website to save in their bookstore or to apply for enrollment. Or sign up for a Virtual Open House if you have more questions. It’s not too early to plan ahead. Ready for a change now? You can start anytime.

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.

Jul 9 – Aug 17

Kamp for Kids brings together children with and without disabilities in a unique integrated model that promotes understanding and growth. Kamp activities include a music program, group skits/performances, integrated water activities, expressive arts, outdoor education, and non-competitive sports. As a fully inclusive summer camp located in Westfield, MA, it is our mission to serve a population comprised of both children with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. Not only does this philosophy promote understanding and growth, but it also allows families to keep their children together within one day camp. Kamp serves children and young people ages 3-22 years of age. For more information, call 413-568-8484 or email anne.benoit@bhninc.org.

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 Eventsand 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
May 5th – 11th, 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, May 5, 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. Join Guest DJ, Andy Z for a musical journey to “the great outdoors,” and experience songs that teach, inspire, and remind all to look for miracles in nature, big and small. Selections include pop and rock classics, children’s music standouts, and contemporary kindie hits. 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, May 5, 9:30am-1pm
FIBER ARTS/HISTORY
Quilting is a cherished American folk art. As a functional craft, quilting, which simply refers to the process of sewing together two or more layers of fabric, has existed for millenia. Patchwork quilts, however, are uniquely American. During the colonial and early pioneer days of the American republic, quilting became extremely popular, due in part to the expense and lack of availability of textiles. Many patchwork quilts from this period were comprised of a variety of fabrics, including wool, silk, linen, and cotton. Among the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a distinctive Diamond-in-a-Square quilting pattern emerged and is now considered a common motif. If you have any old quilts in your family and are curious to learn about their history, this is the event for you! The Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project will be at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead answering questions about historical quilts. This is a great opportunity to learn about the history of quilting and perhaps you might even learn something new about the history of your family. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA ($)

Saturday, May 5, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT
The New England Brigade is one of the largest Civil War reenactment organizations in the region. With over 400 reenactors and historians, the New England Brigade brings the history of the Civil War to life! Rather than simply learning about this period from books, Civil War reenactment gives audiences an opportunity to experience this vital historical moment in our nation’s history. Smell the campfires, hear the blast of the cannons and the crack of the rifles, and see the authentic uniforms and equipment. This saturday, the New England Brigade will be performing their Drill Day reenactment. Look Park. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 5, 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. Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, May 5, 10am
BABY GROUP
Socializing is so important for babies and their parents! Now that spring is finally here, it’s a great time to get out of the house with your little ones and meet new friends and play. Our Baby Group Parenting Circle provides a safe and supportive environment for building community for new parents and their babies. Our Baby Class is an organization dedicated to providing the best resources for creating support and community for parents and their babies. For more information, please visit Our Baby Group Parenting Circle. Community Action Family Center. 90 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 5, 10am-12pm
VOLUNTEERING/LOCAL HISTORY
While the word “grange” originally refers to a storehouse for grain, in the United States the term has a particular meaning and history. In 1867, after the Civil War, The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry was founded. The organization was designed to provide space and encourage members of rural, farming communities to come together to support each other. In its early days, the Grange advocated on behalf of rural communities to the federal government, pushing for important legislation including lower railroad rates and free rural mail delivery by the post office. To this day, the grange hall remains an important gathering place in many rural communities. The Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield is certainly no exception. Founded in 1873, the Greenfield Grange has been committed to community enrichment ever since and is also known for its world-renowned contra dancing. Come give something back to this unique and treasured local institution at this special cleaning day at the grange! There is lots of work to be done from dusting to fixing and organizing. Bring your tools. Pizza provided! Guiding Star Grange #1. 401 Chapman Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 5, 10am-12pm
SKILLSHARING/MAKERSPACE
Makerspaces are an incredible community resource! Learn to create and build with experienced members of the community, who are there to offer their support and knowledge. These spaces provide equipment and know-how but participants are free to discover and pursue their curiosity. The Makerspace at Greenfield Public Library now has a 3D printer to use and participants can also learn about different kinds of coding. This event is appropriate for children ages 7 and above. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 5, 11am-5pm
NORTHAMPTON PRIDE PARADE
In 1982, the city of Northampton held the first liberation pride march in the region, during a time when the LGBTQ community faced overwhelming discrimination. In fact, during that first march many were forced to wear paper bags on their heads to avoid being fired from their jobs for being gay. Over the years, the Northampton Pride Parade has become a renowned celebration of the strength and resiliency of the LGBTQ community in our area. While the community has made great progress in undoing much of the discrimination and bigotry it faces, there is still much work to be done to stand up against intolerance. For more information and a complete list of events, please visit Northampton Pride Parade and Festival. Three County Fair. 41 Fair Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 5, 11am-2:30pm
BOTANICAL STUDIES
The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Memorial Hall Museum opens for the 2018 season with a botanical twist! As a proud ArtWeek host, FREE admission during opening weekend includes a floral-themed scavenger hunt and an array of free art activities for adults and children. Orra White Hitchcock’s herbarium and other museum objects will inspire staff-led workshops for adults from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm with nearby art activities for children ages six and older. We’ll offer floral design, perfumery, watercolor painting, wet felting, and even an infused mint-water tasting salon. Activities are ongoing and vary in length from about 15 to 45 minutes or more, depending on interest. Activities will be ongoing from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. Museum admission is free both days from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm with a special floral-themed scavenger hunt. Drop in and stay awhile! Memorial Hall Museum, 8 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 5, 12:30-2:30
AGRICULTURE/PASTURE DAY
It’s been a long winter for all of us, including our cow friends! Spring is finally here and after many months in the barn, the cows at Barstow’s are ready to come out and prance and frolic in the nice green grass. Come celebrate this joyous event with an afternoon of fun farm activities, featuring wagon rides, farm tours, and ice cream. Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery. 172 Hockanum Road, Hadley, MA (FREE)

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Sunday, May 6, 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, May 6, 9am-12pm
SERVICE BASED LEARNING/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Founded in 1988, the Broad Brook Coalition has worked to preserve and protect the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. Prior to colonisation, the indigenous Pocumtuck peoples hunted and fished the lake and after Northampton was founded the area was used as the city’s woodlot and two sawmills were constructed on Broad Brook. Years after the farms and woodlots around the lake were abandoned the forest grew back and now the lake is home to many species of native plant and animal life. Among the many important ecological features of the area are vernal pools and thick groves of white pine. Come contribute to maintaining this local treasure with a day of pruning and planting! This is a great opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation and management with hands on experience. Tools will be provided. 196 Cooke Ave, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 6, 10-11am
BELTANE/HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
Giving reverence to nature and the earth was of central importance to the spiritual traditions of pre-Christian European communities and Beltane is no exception. Beltane is the ancient Celtic spring holiday, celebrating new growth and regeneration. A key aspect of celebrating Beltane for many pagan cultures involves the maypole construction and dance. Folklorists continue to debate the symbolism of the maypole, which is, in essence, a tall wooden pole. But as trees were considered sacred and worshipped by many pre-Christian European communities, it seems likely that it represents a tree, either from the Norse Yggdrasil or the Saxon Irminsul. Predictably, Sigmund Freud interpreted it as a phallic symbol. This celebration of Beltane at the Village Church in Cummington will feature traditional “Maying” songs, ritual planting of seeds, and preparing for the construction of a maypole. The Village Church. 32 Main Street, Cummington, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 6, 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. Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, May 6, 10am-1pm
SERVICE BASED LEARNING/AGRICULTURE
Learning through service gives volunteers the opportunity to work with other members of the community on projects that are important to them. You can gain new skills, meet new people, and give something back to the community. This Sunday, Abundance Farm is having a volunteering and community building day! Free lunch of soup, salad and bread will be provided for volunteers. This event is friendly to all ages, including young families. Bring along your kid-friendly wheelbarrows, trowels and shovels if you have them! Abundance Farm is a food justice farm, developed in collaboration with the Northampton Survival Center and Congregation B’nai Israel. A lunch of soup and bread will be provided and families and children of all ages are welcome to come help out. Abundance Farm. 257 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 6, 11am-4pm
CULTURAL STUDIES
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 www.umass.edu/renaissance for Festival Schedule & Parking Information or call 413-577-3603. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 6, 11am-2:30pm
BOTANICAL STUDIES
The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Memorial Hall Museum opens for the 2018 season with a botanical twist! As a proud ArtWeek host, FREE admission during opening weekend includes a floral-themed scavenger hunt and an array of free art activities for adults and children, plus live music in praise of honey bees and drop-in nature-inspired art activities for all ages. Activities are ongoing and vary in length from about 15 to 45 minutes or more, depending on interest. Activities will be ongoing from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. Museum admission is free both days from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm with a special floral-themed scavenger hunt. Drop in and stay awhile! Memorial Hall Museum, 8 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 6, 1pm
LITERARY STUDIES/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
One of the longest epic poems on earth is the Ramayana. The story of Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana covers 7 books, 500 chapters, and 24,000 verses. The poem is one of the most sacred texts of Hinduism, containing spiritual and philosophical lessons as well as a thrilling narrative. It’s unknown when the poem was actually composed but the oldest existing copy, written on palm leaves, dates back to the 11th century. More recently a copy was discovered from the 6th century. Join Ramayana scholar and children’s book author Arshia Sattar for a presentation of her recent illustrated adaptation of this classic text, part of the Restless Readersweekend, exploring international children’s and young adult literature. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Sunday, May 6, 1-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/APIOLOGY
Apiology, or the study of honey bees, is an increasingly important field of knowledge. As Albert Einstein allegedly stated, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Despite the fact that there is no actual evidence that Einstein ever said this, the point is an important one. Bees are vital pollinators and they are currently suffering and dying in enormous numbers. Come celebrate bees and learn more about ways to protect them at the Clark Art Institute’s Bee Happy event, part of ArtWeek. Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 6, 1-4pm
NATURE STUDIES/MAY CELEBRATION
Located among more than 5000 acres of protected and conserved forests in the Berkshire Highlands, Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center offers a wide variety of programs and classes on the natural and cultural history of the region, including wild plant foraging walks, survival skills, and wildlife tracking. Tamarack Hollow is an amazing resource dedicated to teaching the community about the importance of forest conservation. Come celebrate Tamarack Hollow at their annual May Fest, this saturday! The Iroko Nueveo Cuban Drum & Dance Ensemble and the Valley Rhythm Keepers will be performing live and don’t miss out on the silent auction and boreal forest slideshow. All proceeds to benefit Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Sunday, May 6, 1:30-9pm
SOCIAL ISSUES/FILM FESTIVAL
Some of the most urgent social issues affecting our society today are related to racial justice. Throughout American society, race relations are becoming more and more strained. If you are interested in learning more about some of the most powerful stories regarding race in America, past and present, you won’t want to miss the Anti Racism Film Festival. The festival will begin with “Whose Streets?” a documentary focusing on the present struggle for racial justice in America, beginning with the Ferguson Uprising of 2014. This will be followed by “I Am Not Your Negro,” which tells the story of legendary author James Baldwin’s final unfinished book, focusing on the three assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, all of whom were close personal friends of Baldwin’s. The festival concludes with a screening of “Wind River,” which brings attention to some of the important racial justice issues that currently impact life on Native American Reservations. Each film will be followed by discussion, dinner will be offered, and free childcare will be available. All Souls Unitarian Universalist Society of Greenfield. 399 Main Street, Greenfield, MA ($)

Sunday, May 6, 3-5pm
LITERARY STUDIES/OPEN MIC
Leslea Newman, poet laureate of Northampton from 2008 to 2010, has written and edited over 70 books during the course of her decades long career. In 1989, Newman wrote the controversial Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children’s book featuring a lesbian couple. This books was enormously influential, especially for gay and lesbian couples, who found families like theirs depicted in children’s literature for the first time. Newman faced a similar controversy years later when her book Belinda’s Bouquet was banned along with other books that featured gay and lesbian couples in a school district in Canada. The ban was eventually overturned by the Canadian government in 2002. Leslea Newman will be doing a reading, discussing her creative process, and answering questions at The Inn at Norton Hill. Afterwards the floor will be open for members of the audience to read from their own work, published or not. The Inn at Norton Hill. 10 Norton Hill Road, Ashfield, MA (FREE)

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Monday, May 7, 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, May 7, 5-7pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/FUNDRAISER
Franklin County Pride works to support LGBTQ youth, adults, and families in Franklin County. The vision of FC Pride is that all people can live openly and free of discrimination based on race, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Come support the work that FC Pride is doing and share a meal with members of the community. There is no better way to meet and get to know your neighbors and fellow community member than sitting down together to share a meal. We have so much to learn from each other, regardless of our differences. This fundraising event will feature delicious free soup and bread, live music, raffle, bake sale, and games! Hope and Olive. 44 Hope Street, Greenfield, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

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Tuesday, May 8, 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 8, 10:30am
MAKERSPACE/SPECIAL NEEDS
Makers Spaces are a unique community resource that offers a physical environment for artists, crafters, programmers, and makers off all different types to work and share their skills with others. Community members of all ages learn and work together, developing valuable relationships and gaining new skills. The Creation Station is a weekly drop-in class designed for individuals with developmental disabilities, though all are welcome. This is an opportunity to do arts and crafts together with other community members in a casual, low-key environment. Bring your curiosity, interests, and enthusiasm for learning! Make-It Springfield. 168 Worthington Street, Springfield, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 8, 7-10pm
THEATER/MARX
It’s hard to remember that in 1850, the colossal historical figure of Karl Marx, whose words and ideas have changed the lives of countless millions, was a desperate, penniless, thirty-two year old with writer’s block and a failing marriage. His only source of income for himself and his family came from his dear friend and co-author Friedrich Engels, who had become frustrated by Marx’s inability to write. It had been two years since the earth-shaking Communist Manifesto had been written and pursued by creditors, spies, and rival factions, Marx was overwhelmed by the challenges facing him. The hilarious new comedy “Young Marx” tells the story of this troubled time in the life of one of the 19th century’s most significant figures. You won’t want to miss this screening of the National Theatre’s production of “Young Marx,” broadcast from the Bridge Theatre in London. Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA ($)

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Wednesday, May 9, 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 9, 11:30am-2pm
FARMERS MARKET/INTERGENERATIONAL
One of the best things about farmers markets is that they bring community members together. You can learn so much by connecting with local vendors and others at farmers markets, whether it’s talking to an apple grower about tree grafting or just sitting down and sharing a cup of coffee with somebody you’ve never met before. Don’t miss the final day of the Spring Semester farmers market at STCC in Springfield! STCC Farmers Market. One Armory Square, Springfield, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, May 10, 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 10, 12-1:30pm
FALCONRY/ANIMAL STUDIES
The use of falcons in hunting dates back to 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia. It has also been customary among Central Asian Steppe cultures since time immemorial. Falconry made its way to Europe in the middle ages, after the German king Frederick II developed a fascination with the custom, which he observed during his time in the Middle East. From then falconry became increasingly popular among European nobility, culminating in the the publication of The Book of St Albans in 1486, which provides a list of birds of prey and the social rank for which each bird was appropriate. If you have ever dreamed of holding one of these majestic animals, now is your chance! New England Falconry is offering community members a special opportunity to try their hand at falconry this thursday at a discounted price. This is an experience you will never forget. New England Falconry. 115 River Drive, Hadley, MA ($$)

Thursday, May 10, 4-5:30pm
POLLINATION/GARDENING
Are you a gardener interesting in learning more about how to attract key pollinators such as butterflies and bees? This is the event for you. This family friendly program will discuss which kinds of perennials and flowers are most enticing to pollinators, including hummingbirds. Participants will learn by doing, planting a small flower garden, so come ready to get a little dirty. As an added bonus, participants will be able to bring home a first-time garden kit! Mason Square Library. 765 State Street, Springfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, May 10, 5:30pm
POLITICS/COMEDY
As Oscar Wilde once wrote, “In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.” It’s certainly true that journalism can be a dirty business and this is an event that really celebrates that. Don’t miss the Valley Press Club’s 40th annual Roast! Local politicians and members of the press take aim at each other at this evening of satire and irreverent humor. This beloved institution is sure to be a big hit. Also featuring food and raffle. Funds benefit the Valley Press Club’s scholarship program. John Boyle O’Reilly Club. 33 Progress Ave, Springfield, MA ($)

Thursday, May 10, 6:30-8:30pm
LITERARY STUDIES/RACIAL JUSTICE
Literature can be one of the greatest ways to learn about history and society. Frederick Douglass and James Baldwin are two of the most powerful literary voices for African-American racial justice. In his profound and prescient 1963 text The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin wrote: “Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves.” Baldwin’s work consistently explored the challenges of the artist and the individual, within the context of race in America. He had the courage to look inward, to dive deep into the hidden places of the mind as a way of understanding the nature of racial struggle in this country and played a key role in the civil rights movement. Come discuss key texts by Baldwin and Frederick Douglass in a contemplative and reflective setting. This guided discussion will focus on the significance of these foundational writers in the current racial climate. Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. 220 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, May 10, 7-8:30pm
NATURE STUDIES/HUMMINGBIRDS
Hummingbirds are truly miraculous animals. Their metabolism is so fast that at night or when they are not actively feeding, their bodies go into a state of torpor, similar to hibernation. And despite being the smallest birds in the world, some hummingbirds can dive at speeds up to 49 miles per hour! Hummingbirds can be found in the Western Hemisphere from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in South America. If you are interested in learning more about hummingbirds, you won’t want to miss this special slideshow of hummingbirds. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Friday, May 11, 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 11, 12am
CITIZEN SCIENCE/BIOTHON
Come together with members of the community to gather important scientific data, promote biodiversity, and raise money for environmental education! The Hitchcock Center is holding their 19th annual Bionthon, a fun team event in which you form groups, pick a time and a location, and go out into the field to count species. Teams also reach out to community members to ask for gifts and pledges in support of their efforts. This event will be going on all weekend. More information and specific language and instructions can be found at: Biothon. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Friday, May 11, 6:30am-12pm
NATURE STUDIES/HIKE
Spring is the perfect time for birding. Many migratory birds, including warblers, are returning from the winter vacations. Not coincidentally, this is also a great time for humans to get outside and stretch their legs after being cooped up all winter long. Come enjoy an invigorating hike through the 400 acre Skinner State Park, while looking for warblers. This walk will provide many great places to do some birding! Skinner State Park. Hadley, MA (FREE)

Friday, May 11, 10am
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Everybody knows that there are few things better for young children than having the opportunity to run around together and play. This type of play helps develop physical awareness, social skills, and creativity. Valley Performance Playground’s Movers and Shakers class is a perfect opportunity for parents and caregivers to play alongside their little ones, in a fun environment featuring props, music, and storytelling. This class is appropriate for children ages 18 months to 5 years. Northampton Center for the Arts. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA ($)

Friday, May 11, 4-7pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES
Come on out to the Smith College Museum of Art’s Second Free Friday and enjoy an afternoon of fun hands-on art, inspired by pieces from the museum’s collection, for guests of all ages. This session will draw inspiration from rocks and Mary Bauermeister’s pebble sculpture “Eighteen Rows.” Participants will have the chance to make their very own “pebble painting” and attend a guided discussion of some of the work on view. Smith College Museum of Art. 20 Elm Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

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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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