55 Suggested Events in Western MA: May 25-31, 2019

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With over 8,800 opt-in subscribers and 2.5+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational events and community building opportunities happening this weekend and next week in Western MA!

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Summer Camp Directory for Western MA!

Over 60 summer camps & programs, with new listings added every week!

Looking for summer options for your kids? Check out our featured post, 2019 Summer Camp Directory for a comprehensive list of summer camps and programs 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! Preschool to college bound! 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.

Featured Events

Sale Ends May 27

Save 20% in May! Oak Meadow’s Annual May Sale runs from May 12 through May 27 and includes all items in our online bookstore. Save 20% on our K-12 curriculum, which provides challenging and inspiring learning experiences for creative, motivated students. Or purchase their craft supplies, homeschooling resources, books, and more. Shop Mother’s Day through Memorial Day at oakmeadowbookstore.com.

Jun 1

WGBY Public Television, the local PBS affiliate, is hosting its 7th Annual WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common Saturday, June 1 from 10am-6pm. Celebrate “All Things Local & Agricultural” with nearly 100 vendors and community partners. PBS Kids’ Curious George will be on hand along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Kid-friendly band In the Nick of Time goes on stage at noon, followed by folk-, bluegrass-, and blues-inspired acts. Food trucks and local brewers will keep the whole family well fed. Admission is free with a recommended gate donation of $5/person ($20/family). Proceeds benefit local public media. For details, visit wgby.org/asparagus. For more info (or to volunteer), contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org.

Bulletin Board

Jun 2

This is it! Join The Center Dance on Sunday, June 2nd, for their 4th Annual Spring Show: This Is It, inspired by Daria Peoples-Riley’s beautiful children’s book. This family-friendly show features a wide range of dance styles, performed by Center students of all ages. Original choreography and a dynamic soundtrack will have you dancing in your seat! Curtains rise in the Amherst Regional High School auditorium at 11AM and 4PM. Tickets are available online or may be purchased at the high school on the day of the show. Ticket Prices: Advance: $12/general public, $6/children & seniors; At Door: $14/general public, $8/children & seniors. This Is IT. So don’t miss out!

Jun 15

Join The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts on June 15th for a special Brunch & Brews fundraising event! Guests will enjoy a delicious brunch menu prepared by award-winning chefs from Westfield State Dining, along with a selection of craft beers from Westfield River Brewing Company. Take in the picturesque views of Westfield River’s 73 acres of meadow and forest, while playing lawn games and listening to live music. Every $1 raised at the event will provide the equivalent of three meals to neighbors in need. Visit www.foodbankwma.org/events/brews-brunch for tickets and more info.

ADVERTISE HERE: Want to reach thousands of families living across Western MA? See your community event, after-school program, summer camp, class, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, fundraiser, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Birthday Party Venue

Party Venue

The Rock, Fossil, & Dinosaur Shop in South Deerfield, MA ♦ Do you have a budding young paleontologist who loves rocks, fossils, & dinosaurs? Host their next birthday party at the Rock, Fossil, & Dinosaur Shop for a RAWR-ing good time! The Shop offers organized birthday activities for a fun, physically engaging & educational experience, blending learning of the prehistoric outdoor world, archeology & gem prospecting. Birthday activities include panning for gemstones, minerals & treasures, and exploring mine shafts filled with hidden treasures birthday guests get to keep! Archaeology adventures through mining, excavating and exploring fossils & dino exhibits will make your child’s birthday party a memorable experience! Make reservations: 413-665-7625; deerfielddinos@gmail.com. www.deerfielddinos.com.

SHARE YOUR PARTY VENUE: Hilltown Families is partnering with local businesses and organizations throughout Western MA to build a four-season, comprehensive list of options to help parents and caregivers find local venues to host birthday parties that match the interests of their children. If your business or organization hosts themed parties or provide space for celebrations, you are invited to join our stellar team of local businesses and organizations that are partnering with us to reach new customers. A yearlong membership in our Birthday Party Venues in Western MA Directory is an affordable way to reach thousands of families living across the region. For new listings, we offer a special package to take the promotion of your business or space to the next level! Click here to find out what we offer and how to add your local party venue or service.

Featured Summer Programs

Jun 24-Aug 22

YMCA Camp Apex in Shelburne, MA, the Y’s traditional Summer Day Camp, provides kids activities that foster youth development and healthy living. Fun-filled days are focused around caring, honesty, respect & responsibility! The camp day runs Mon.-Fri. from 9am-4pm with an option of extended early & late care at Camp Apex. Maximizing their extensive property as well as their experienced, specialized staff, kids stay busy & challenged with a progressive curriculum, unique, stimulating outdoor adventures which features art & music explorations, sports, archery, swim lessons in their solar heated pool, tube slide, creative craft projects, play & more! Each week they offer exciting themes & also offer specialty camps. Check their website & Facebook page for more info. Dates: Jun 24-Aug 22; Age Range of Campers: 6-14yo. Contact: 413-773-3646; dgarappolo@ymcaingreenfield.org; www.ymcaingreenfield.org.

Free Clinics

Kids Golf Clinics. Worthington, MA ♦ The Links at Worthington will be hosting a free series of Junior Golf Clinics at their course in Worthington from Jun 18-Aug 13. Francis Kringle, their PGA Professional, will instruct classes in the basics of golf, progressing through the program to more advanced techniques and the rules of the game. All playing levels are welcome. Clubs will be provided for those that need them. The program will conclude with a “Fun Tournament” on Aug 13. They ran this program for the first time in 2018, and it was a smashing success! As strong supporters of youth golf, The Links at Worthington offers free memberships with all privileges, to kids 18 and under. Plus, children 18 and under can play the course for free anytime! Cost: FREE. Dates: Jun 18-Aug13; Age Range of Participants: 8-16yo. Contact: 413-238-4464 ♦ dpollard1102@gmail.comwww.worthingtongolfclub.com

Jul 8 – Aug 23

Whole Children Summer Programs. Hadley, MA ♦ Wait till you see what’s going on at Whole Children this summer! The fun for the school-aged (7-12) and teen (13-17) groups will include Minecraft, gym/outdoor games, cooking, martial arts, LEGO building, arts & crafts, science experiments, board games, movies, and Dungeons & Dragons. There will be free-choice and opt-out/quiet time opportunities too. The July program runs from 1-4pm and the August program runs from 9am-3pm. In August there will be themed weeks, including Anime & Manga, Theater, Adventure Week, and Minecraft. Visit the Whole Children website for more details! Dates: Jul 8 – Aug 23; Age Range of Participants: 7-17yo. Contact: 413-585-8010 ♦ julie.hooks@pathlightgroup.orgwww.wholechildren.org

Jul 15 – Aug 7

Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop. Charlemont, MA ♦ The 2019 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop presents their 9th outdoor, traveling spectacle, The Princess Bride. Aspiring actors, artists, musicians, singers, and set-designers will enjoy 3 weeks of movement, voice training, intensive actor training and work on large apparatus (aerial trapeze, circus silks, stilts, spools) with guest artists from Knighthorse Theatre, Double Edge Theatre, and other luminaries of the Valley’s performing arts community. Located at the Hawlemont School in the foothills of the Berkshires, July 15 – Aug 7, Mon-Fri (9am to 4pm) with select evening and WE rehearsals. Performances at Berkshire East Mountain Resort: Aug 3-6. No prior acting experience required, generous financial assistance and scholarships available. Dates: Jul 15-Aug 7; Age Range of Participants: 10-18yo. Contact: 413-387-8783 ♦ hilltownyouth@gmail.comhilltownyouth.org

PROMOTE YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. Hilltown Families features summer camps and programs in the region on Hilltown Families with a special directory: 2019 Summer Camp Directory. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Featured Directories

MARKET YOUR PRESCHOOL: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values for next year? Check out our Preschool Directory, which features preschools and programs across Western MA. Find the perfect place for your young one! ♦ If you have a school or program you would like to add to our directory, contact us at info@hilltownfamilies.org for more information on how you can be added at any time.

ADD YOUR CLASS: Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. Our directory of classes, lessons, and enrichment programs includes opportunities happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the year for tots to teens to lifelong learners! ♦ If you have a class, private lessons, or enrichment program you would like to add to our directory, contact us at info@hilltownfamilies.org for more information on how you can be added at any time.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 25-31, 2019

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Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Events Happening in the Hilltown

SATURDAY

Saturday, May 25, , 6-10am – FAMILY RADIO/COMMERCIAL-FREE: Every Saturday, Valley Free Radio offers four hours of commercial-free, quality family program from 6-10am. Tune in on your FM dial to 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA), or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. From 9-10am is the Hilltown Family Variety Show: The Story Pirates take stories written by real kids and turn them into sketch comedy, songs, books, and a podcast. In today’s show, hosted by Lee from the Story Pirates, they play some of their songs based on kids’ stories, plus the songs that inspired them! Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons! Turn off the T.V. and turn on local community radio!

Saturday, May 25, 7:30-11am – ORNITHOLOGY: Bird Walks with long-time birder, Charles B. Quinlan. This weekly bird walk steps off at the Old Creamery. BYO binoculars or borrow a pair. 413-634-0334. 445 Berkshire Trail, Cummington, MA.

Saturday, May 25 – ORNITHOLOGY/WEB CAM: Did you know that UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library is home to a pair of Peregrine falcons? You might think that’s an odd place to live, but Peregrines love to nest on tall buildings! The nest box was installed in 2003 on top of the Library and has drawn the once-federally endangered Peregrine falcons to the Library each year since then. Find out more in our post, WebCam Catches Peregrine Falcons Nesting Atop UMass Amherst.

Saturday, May 25, 9am-5pm – SHEEP & WOOLCRAFT FESTIVAL: Sheep have been an important part of New England life since the English settlers arrived more than 300 years ago. At the time, sheep were imported for meat and wool and over time became a vital part of the local economy. The renowned Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Festival started in 1974 as an idea that came up at a potluck dinner. The original idea was to host a statewide sheep show, celebrating the importance of the local sheep industry. Since then the festival has grown and expanded to include sheep dog trials, local vendors, and workshops focusing on various woolen crafts. If you’ve got a crafter in your family, this is an opportunity to pick up lots of new skills, from natural dyeing to knitting Latvian fingerless mitts to felting. This is an amazing local tradition you won’t want to miss! For a complete list of all the events during this two day festival, please visit the Festival schedule. Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA (FREE; $> Parking)

Saturday, May 25, 9:30am-4:30pm – HERBALISM/SERVICE BASED LEARNING: Are you passionate about herbalism? Want to learn more? This is the event for you! In the 10th century Anglo-Saxon poem “Nine Herbs Charm,” it is written: “A snake came crawling, it bit a man. / Then Woden took nine glory-twigs, / Smote the serpent so that it flew into nine parts. / There apple brought this pass against poison, / That she nevermore would enter her house.” This poem is a perfect example of the intimate knowledge of herbs and plants that human communities have cultivated since time immemorial. Among the nine herbs listed in the poem are many that are still actively used by herbalists today. Come get to know some of the plants and herbs, as well as the humans who harvest and work with them, at the Clearpath Herbals Garden Work Day. All ages and skill sets welcome. Clearpath Herbals. 115 Old Sunderland Road, Montague, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 25, 9:30am-5pm – WOOL DAY/LIVING HISTORY: Sheep shearing is a traditional industry which connects agriculture and fiber arts. You can learn how New Englanders raised sheep for wool in the 1830s by attending Wool Days at the Old Sturbridge Village. Come to the village on Memorial Day weekend to see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding. Costumed historians will teach you about the entire wool textile process, from carding the wool to spinning it, and finally knitting the hand-spun wool yarn. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning as visitors can try hand-carding the wool. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $; Children 3 and under FREE)

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/WOOL HISTORY: The story of American wool begins in New England in the early 19th century. William Jarvis was first exposed to the soft, water-resistant wool of the merino sheep during his tenure as Thomas Jefferson’s consul to Portugal. When Napoleon invaded Spain, Jarvis saw an opportunity to make a personal fortune off these sheep and in doing so, he forever altered the course of textile manufacturing in the United States. During the chaos following the French invasion, Jarvis smuggled more than 15,000 merino sheep out of Spain. Settling in Vermont, Jarvis began promoting the merino sheep throughout New England. Due to the poor quality of wool being produced in New England at the time and the fact that there was a boycott on British wool, popularity of the merino exploded. Merino production completely engulfed New England. The price of a sheep at the time was around two dollars and merinos were being sold for 1,500. Farmers in the region abandoned their crops in favor of merino production and thousands of acres of land were deforested to make room for grazing. By 1840, there were 4 million sheep in New England and wool had become the dominant industry. However, shortly after, the center of wool production had shifted to western states, trade restrictions were lessened and wool prices plummeted. By 1860, two-thirds of the region’s sheep had been killed and many farmers went bankrupt. If you are interested in learning more about the role wool has had in American history, check out local author Peggy Hart’s book Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation.

Saturday, May 25, 10am-5pm – SHOP LOCAL/FIBER ART: In the 19th century, Western Massachusetts saw a huge merino sheep boom when many farms purchased Australian sheep for their incredibly soft fleece to produce wool for textiles. The Hilltowns’ landscape provided ideal pasture for livestock grazing.The benefit of purchasing local yarn is that you are more involved in and aware of the entire process of producing your wool. Often, the wool is processed locally and requires many hands to create it: from the farmer that cares for the animals to the sheep shearer, spinners, and hand-dyers, locally grown yarn offer the hand knitter a deeper connection to our community’s agricultural roots. It also supports the local economy and helps foster collaboration and sustainable consumption. In addition to purchasing local fiber from annual community events, like the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Festival, a few local independent shops to help you with your knitting adventures: Sheep to Shawl (Deerfield, MA) carries a variety of local yarns produced in the Pioneer Valley and Northern Berkshires, offering knitters a great introduction to yarns from our region. Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA) is an independent yarn store offers knitting classes for both experienced and beginner knitters.

Saturday, May 25, 9:30am-4:30pm – INTEREST: FIBER ARTS/COLONIAL HISTORY – Take your fiber art learning to the next step and discover how wool and other fibers were made into fine textiles and garments in the Colonial Era. Compare and contrast wool textiles to silk, cotton and linen, and how these textiles change in quality as technology improves. Make a visit to see Celebrating the Fiber Arts at the Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery at Historic Deerfield to see examples of clothing and textiles from as early as the 17th century. Examples include a well-tailored wool coat and a vibrant red wool quilt from the early 19th-century. How was wool dyed such a vibrant color? How was wool woven to make the cloth for fine wool coats, and what details are present that demonstrate the talent of a skilled tailor. Come curious and ready to tour Historic Deerfield to learn about Colonial history of textiles and fashion. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 10-11.30am – AGRICULTURE/FARM TOUR: Experience Seeds of Solidarity farm, home, and education center that integrate solar greenhouses, energy efficient buildings, abundant market gardens, and solar electric systems. Following the tour, BYO potluck lunch follows to build community with others. Afternoon workshop follows (see below). Seeds of Solidarity. 978- 544-9023. 165 Chestnut Hill Rd, Orange, MA.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/FARMERS’ MARKETS: With the spring comes a resurgence of farmers’ markets. Local farmers have been planning and growing and are now ready to bring their seasonal produce to town commons, squares, and gathering places across the region to enjoy with our families and neighbors. The experience of going to a farmers’ market exceeds the basic transaction of purchasing fresh vegetables. Farmers’ markets are places that bring a community together, affording the opportunity to support local agriculture, make healthy food choices, share stories, and connect with neighbors and farmers. Farmers’ markets are community builders, the American version of the European plaza, and are intrinsically a part of our New England culture and traditions. Learn more in our post, Farmers’ Markets: Engaging Community through Food.

Saturday, May 25, 10am-2pm – OPENING DAY/FARMERS’ MARKET: Farmers’ markets offer a consistent, simple way for local farmers and food producers to connect with the community. These markets provide locally grown items, teaching buyers about their habitat through seasonal variation in what is available. Now, a new farmers’ and makers’ market in Easthampton will bring these benefits to a new area. This market will also offer locally made items, bringing artists and crafters into the mix. See what you can find every Saturday from 10am-2pm through September 24th. For more information, visit the Easthampton Farmers’ and Makers’ Market website. 50 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 25, 10am-6pm – FARM ADVENTURES: Meet the Alpacas and Mini-Donkeys at the opening of Little River Farm. A brand new farm in Western MA, Little River Farm Alpacas, and their three mini donkey friends! Opening day will include farm fun for all ages. Get donkey hugs, photos with the animals, and fun alpaca knowledge! Kids crafts and activities will be going on and snacks, drinks, and music provided. Little River Farm is community-oriented, valuing conservation, wildlife, and restoring natural, small-scale, sustainable agricultural practices. They believe animals should be able to live their most natural, healthy lives and work hard to maintain that for our animals, always treating them humanely, with our love for the animals being the driving factor in all we do. Little River Farm. 603-557-1791. Belchertown, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 10am-5pm – PICTURE BOOK ART/EXHIBIT: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig’s seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig’s famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view through December 1 in The Carle’s Central Gallery. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 10am-5pm- MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! at the Springfield Science Museum! Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM-focused exhibit seeks to engage children (2-7yo) and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit incorporates foundational STEM practices that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 10am-6pm – ART STUDIES/FESTIVAL: The Paradise City Arts Festival is one of the areas most beloved annual events. For over two decades years, Paradise City has been bringing more than two hundred of the very best artists and craftspeople from all over the country to the Three County Fairgrounds for a celebration of art, featuring live music and delicious food. If you are an aspiring artist, this three day event is a great opportunity to see the kinds of work that others are doing. Meet with artists, discuss their process, and maybe you’ll get inspired! Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA ($)

Saturday, May 25, 10:30am – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Bike Path B-I-N-G-O! All ages are welcome to examine the natural world with field guides, binoculars, and a fun game to see just how much you can see. Meet at the main entrance to the Center. Please bring water, bug spray, sunscreen and wear sturdy shoes. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 10:30-11:50am – LOCAL HISTORY/CEMETERY: St. Jerome Cemetery Tour. Join Bob Comeau on a tour of Holyoke’s oldest Catholic cemetery that was established in 1864. Learn about Holyoke’s illustrious and not-so-illustrious historical and religious citizens as well as the purposeful landscape and remarkable monuments. Park on Saint Jerome Street. Wear comfortable shoes. 125 Saint Jerome Avenue. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 11am-2pm – HIKE/INTERGENERATIONAL: Do you love waterfalls? Mt. Greylock has beautiful waterfalls throughout the park. Take a closer look in A video presentation and series of hikes led by A Park Interpreter. Be prepared for some steep, rugged or slippery hiking, wear sturdy footwear and weather appropriate clothing. Bring a snack, bug spray, sunscreen, and water. This program is free for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at Visitor Center. Rain cancels. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 11am-7pm – CULINARY ARTS/PLACEMAKING: While the modern food truck finds its historical antecedent in the rustic ‘chuckwagon,’ which provided simple food to Texas ranchers while herding cattle for months at a time, food trucks have now become a cultural phenomenon. Effective utilizing social media by informing customers precisely where the trucks are going to be at any given moment, the food truck movement is enormously popular. The prestigious “Zagat Survey” has even started rating food trucks. Part of the popularity of food trucks is due to the innovative menus they tend to feature, the Los Angeles Korean-Taco fusion trend being perhaps the most famous example. Pittsfield is host its own annual Food Truck Festival! Try some new and delicious foods and enjoy the festive atmosphere, with fun activities for the whole family. Wahconah Park. 105 Wahconah Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 25, 1pm – BOOK DESIGN: The Invisible Art of Children’s Book Design with Carol Goldenberg. Many people express surprise when told that all books, including those for children, are designed. Yet, this is an appropriate response, as book design and typography are at their most successful when not immediately apparent to the reader. Award-winning book designer Carol Goldenberg likes to call this “invisible art.” Using examples from a long career designing many Caldecott-winning picture books for children, Goldenberg will take participants through the complex process of designing a book, from manuscript to the printed edition. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, May 25, 8:30-9:30pm – ECOLOGY/NIGHT HIKE: Discover how nocturnal animals use their senses to communicate, hunt and otherwise survive in the dark. This program offers a close-up look into our unique forest ecology, from the elusive predators to flying mammals. Suitable for all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for fall weather, wear sturdy footwear and bring drinking water. Meet at the Campground Pavilion on Sperry Road. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.


SUNDAY

Sunday, May 26, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode. The Story Pirates take stories written by real kids and turn them into sketch comedy, songs, books, and a podcast. In today’s show, hosted by Lee from the Story Pirates, they play some of their songs based on kids’ stories, plus the songs that inspired them!. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows!

Sunday, May 26, 9am-5pm – SHEEP & WOOLCRAFT FESTIVAL: Sheep have been an important part of New England life since the English settlers arrived more than 300 years ago. At the time, sheep were imported for meat and wool and over time became a vital part of the local economy. The renowned Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Festival started in 1974 as an idea that came up at a potluck dinner. The original idea was to host a statewide sheep show, celebrating the importance of the local sheep industry. Since then the festival has grown and expanded to include sheep dog trials, local vendors, and workshops focusing on various woolen crafts. If you’ve got a crafter in your family, this is an opportunity to pick up lots of new skills, from natural dyeing to knitting Latvian fingerless mitts to felting. This is an amazing local tradition you won’t want to miss! For a complete list of all the events during this two day festival, please visit the Festival schedule. Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA (FREE; $> Parking)

Sunday, May 26, 9:30am-5pm – WOOL DAYS: Sheep shearing is a traditional industry which connects agriculture and fiber arts. You can learn how New Englanders raised sheep for wool in the 1830s by attending Wool Days at the Old Sturbridge Village. Come to the village on Memorial Day weekend to see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding. Costumed historians will teach you about the entire wool textile process, from carding the wool to spinning it, and finally knitting the hand-spun wool yarn. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning as visitors can try hand-carding the wool. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $; Children 3 and under FREE)

Sunday May 26, 9:30am-4:30pm – INTEREST: FIBER ARTS/COLONIAL HISTORY – Take your fiber art learning to the next step and discover how wool and other fibers were made into fine textiles and garments in the Colonial Era. Compare and contrast wool textiles to silk, cotton and linen, and how these textiles change in quality as technology improves. Make a visit to see Celebrating the Fiber Arts at the Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery at Historic Deerfield to see examples of clothing and textiles from as early as the 17th century. Examples include a well-tailored wool coat and a vibrant red wool quilt from the early 19th-century. How was wool dyed such a vibrant color? How was wool woven to make the cloth for fine wool coats, and what details are present that demonstrate the talent of a skilled tailor. Come curious and ready to tour Historic Deerfield to learn about Colonial history of textiles and fashion. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday May 26, 10am-4pm – COMIC BOOKS: Western Massachusetts Comic Book Show. Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. 413-774-0150. 289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, May 26, 10am-5pm – YOYO CONTEST/PHYSICS: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millennia. Seemingly moved by magic, the yo-yo is little more than a well-designed tool to demonstrate basic principles of physics. Consisting essentially of a spool and a string, yo-yos (when in the hands of a skilled operator) can spin, jump, hang, and bump in patterns that are so graceful and speedy that they seem almost impossible. And for those of us with few yo-yo skills, they may feel impossible to perform, too! Competitive yoyoing events are a great opportunity to see what competitive yoyoing looks like and maybe learn some amazing new tricks. Competitive yoyo events, like the annual Northeast Regional YoYo Contest, have been held since 1932! This is a great first contest to experience competitive yo-yoing, and is free to all who want to watch and be inspired by physics in action. Union Station. 413-341-3161. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, May 26, 10am-6pm – ART STUDIES/FESTIVAL: The Paradise City Arts Festival is one of the areas most beloved annual events. For over two decades years, Paradise City has been bringing more than two hundred of the very best artists and craftspeople from all over the country to the Three County Fairgrounds for a celebration of art, featuring live music and delicious food. If you are an aspiring artist, this three day event is a great opportunity to see the kinds of work that others are doing. Meet with artists, discuss their process, and maybe you’ll get inspired! Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA ($)

Sunday, May 26, 11am-3pm – NATURE-BASED SCAVENGER HUNT: Adventurous “seek and find” treasure hunts designed as a self-guided activity. Discover the fascinating cultural and natural landscape of the Park as you explore the base or Summit of Mount Greylock. Scavenger Hunt Fun Sheets at either the Visitor Center or Summit. This program is free for all ages and skill levels. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Sunday, May 26, 12-5pm – PICTURE BOOK ART/EXHIBIT: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig’s seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig’s famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view through December 1 in The Carle’s Central Gallery. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, May 26, 1-2pm – MARINE BIOLOGY: Discovery Tank Program. Meet the creatures who live in tide pools in this hands-on gallery program. Experience a tide pool tank and learn about the wonders of hermit crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, and other crustaceans, right in your hands. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, May 26, 1pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING/TREES: The Great Tree Scavenger Hunt at Mt. Tom! This family program will list all the benefits people derive from trees. Then go out and search for hidden tree products. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. (FREE/(>$)PARKING)

Sunday, May 26, 1-4pm – SHOP LOCAL/FIBER ART: In the 19th century, Western Massachusetts saw a huge merino sheep boom when many farms purchased Australian sheep for their incredibly soft fleece to produce wool for textiles. The Hilltowns’ landscape provided ideal pasture for livestock grazing.The benefit of purchasing local yarn is that you are more involved in and aware of the entire process of producing your wool. Often, the wool is processed locally and requires many hands to create it: from the farmer that cares for the animals to the sheep shearer, spinners, and hand-dyers, locally grown yarn offer the hand knitter a deeper connection to our community’s agricultural roots. It also supports the local economy and helps foster collaboration and sustainable consumption. In addition to purchasing local fiber from annual community events, like the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Festival, a few local independent shops to help you with your knitting adventures: Sheep to Shawl (Deerfield, MA) carries a variety of local yarns produced in the Pioneer Valley and Northern Berkshires, offering knitters a great introduction to yarns from our region. Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA) is an independent yarn store offers knitting classes for both experienced and beginner knitters.

Sunday, May 26, 3pm – LOCAL HISTORY/SOJOURNER TRUTH: In 1844, escaped slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth was serving as an itinerant preacher at a camp meeting in Northampton, when a group of angry men approached and threatened to burn the tents. Despite being in serious mortal danger, Sojourner Truth stood up and began to sing a hymn. The rioters were captivated by Truth and ended up staying to listen to her preach for more than an hour. After which they peacefully departed. Sojourner Truth was a tireless advocate for human rights and the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee will gather to remember and celebrate her legacy, featuring speaches and music at this annual event. Sojourner Truth Memorial Park. Park Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 26, 7:30 – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Suitcase Junket will perform at the first installment of Hancock Shaker Village’s popular Shaker Barn Music series. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.


MONDAY

Monday, May 27 – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/MEMORIAL DAY: For some, Memorial Day is a deeply personal holiday, a day for remembering those who have served the people of our country. Participating in these Memorial Day celebrations and ceremonies can also be a form of placemaking, strengthening ties to community spaces and encouraging social interaction between generations. These events also offer a chance to personally thank local veterans and recognize them for their bravery and service. Read more in our post, Memorial Day: Gathering Together & Honoring The Past.

Monday, May 27 – MEMORIAL DAY/PARADES: Ceremonies to honor veterans on Memorial Day often take place in outdoor, common spaces such as Main Streets, sidewalks, and town commons. As friends, neighbors, and community members gather in these areas, opportunities for small acts of kindness arise. For example, families can bring a bouquet of daisies or loaves of fresh baked bread to a Memorial Day parade to share with veterans as small tokens of gratitude. Memorial day parades thus invite people to engage with their communities in placemaking. Participating in parades by marching alongside an organization or viewing the parade from a common space thus supports individual health and well-being by strengthening a connection to place. Check town web sites for parade location and time.

Monday, May 27 – PLACEMAKING/PARADE: Did you know that the longest continuously running Memorial Day parade in the country takes place right here in Western MA? The first parade was held in 1868, after the end of the Civil War. As the Hampshire Gazette newspaper reported at the time: “The weather was bad, rain falling during the forenoon and at the hour of assembly but not-withstanding, a large number of people were on hand to participate in the exercises.” And over 150 years later, this tradition is still going strong in the Florence section of Northampton. With hundreds of participants and crowds of thousands, this parade is a true local institution. For more information visit the Northampton town web site. Florence, MA (FREE)

Monday, May 27, 9am-8pm – SELF-GUIDED HIKE/GEOLOGY: In the 19th-century, outdoor recreation became a popular leisure activity. Summit houses, such as the one atop Mount Holyoke at Skinner State Park, were constructed to accommodate tourists traveling to see mountain views. An interest in the wild landscape and sweeping view of countryside inspired many Americans to explore the natural landscape and value spending time outside. Many writers and artists looked to nature as a creative muse for poetry and painting. Walking through the woods became a pleasurable and meaningful pastime. Contemporary self-guided geology walks are another way to explore this local treasure, with map in hand! Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA. (Parking Fee)

Monday, May 27, 9:30am-5pm – WOOL DAYS: Sheep shearing is a traditional industry which connects agriculture and fiber arts. You can learn how New Englanders raised sheep for wool in the 1830s by attending a Wool Days at the Old Sturbridge Village. Come to the village on Memorial Day weekend to see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding. Costumed historians will teach you about the entire wool textile process, from carding the wool to spinning it, and finally knitting the hand-spun wool yarn. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning as visitors can try hand-carding the wool. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $; Children 3 and under FREE)

Monday, May 27, 10am-4pm – ART STUDIES/FESTIVAL: The Paradise City Arts Festival is one of the areas most beloved annual events. For over two decades years, Paradise City has been bringing more than two hundred of the very best artists and craftspeople from all over the country to the Three County Fairgrounds for a celebration of art, featuring live music and delicious food. If you are an aspiring artist, this three day event is a great opportunity to see the kinds of work that others are doing. Meet with artists, discuss their process, and maybe you’ll get inspired! Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA ($)

Monday, May 27, 10:30am – EARLY EDUCATION/NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Children ages 6-8 can learn about nature and how to observe from a Naturalist’s point of view. Habitats, plants, and animals species will be explored through games, crafts, and observation in this one hour program. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. (FREE/>$PARKING)


TUESDAY

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION: Taking a class with an artist that specializes in botanical illustration provides the scientific and artistic instruction needed to learn how to create botanical drawings. Botanical illustrations are not just limited to painting flowers, but also include sketching trees and other plant specimens. Not only is botanical illustration a creative outlet, but also a scientific one that lets you explore a plant species at an observational and focused level! The American Society of Botanical Illustrators provides different resources and tools to help students locate classes in their area or informational books on doing an individual study of botanical illustration. Gardens and wayside growing flowers offer an opportunity to engage with the landscape through art, literature, and community. Whether it’s botanical watercolors, illustrations, photography, or a relaxed visit to your local public garden, flowers blooming in a community support interests and connect residents to their public parks and the patterns of the seasons.

Tuesday, May 28, Sunrise-Sunset – SELF-GUIDED WALK/POETRY: Follow the footsteps of earlier Americans and stay active and healthy during the summer by walking. Many of the local woods and trails in Western Massachusetts were common destinations for 19th-century hikers and fueled the creative genius of many writers. Engage with local history and experience the landscape from a literary perspective by reading some of these writers’ works while on the trail or before you embark on your next outdoor adventure. For example: imagine reading William Cullen Bryant’s The Rivulet, with the poet’s description of the prattling water, as you stand by the same rivulet yourself and hear the same sound (featured in the March/April Season of Learning Ahead)! In a way, the poem acts as a time machine, bridging together the woods of Bryant’s life in the Hilltowns with the same forest you can hike today. Take a self-guided landscape tour and strengthen a sense of place through poetry and the countryside. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

Tuesday, May 28, 4:30-5:30pm – YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. For changes or questions, visit www.A2ZScience.com or contact Contact@A2ZScience.com, or call 413-586-1611. *Note YoYo School takes a break Nov 29-Dec 24.


WEDNESDAY

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/ASPARAGUS: Did you know that Western Massachusetts was once considered the “asparagus capital of the world?” Our region is known for this late spring harvest that still grows profusely in Western Massachusetts. Many of our local towns honor the asparagus harvest as a traditional part of spring through food celebrations and community meals. Learn more in our post, Learning Ahead: Spring Harvest.

Wednesday, May 29, 10am – ORNITHOLOGY/BIRD HOUSES: While some birds build nests on tree branches, shrubs, porches, and gutters, others seek an enclosure of sorts. These “cavity nesters” look for holes in wood to build nests and lay eggs. When there aren’t enough holes to go around, birdhouses (also known as nest boxes) come in handy! They provide valuable homes for many species of birds including the Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows that return every year to raise their families in the nest boxes here on Mount Greylock. Join guest presenter and Volunteer Bluebird Nestbox Monitor, Mary Keitelman, for this informative talk and colorful video presentation about bird nest boxes, how to care for them and best practices to protect the beautiful native birds that inhabit them. This program is co-sponsored by Mass Audubon. Meet at the Visitor Center. This program is free for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.


THURSDAY

Thursday, May 30, 8am-4pm – LABYRINTH/PLACEMAKING: Community Labyrinth Installation with Community Labyrinth Coalition at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew in Greenfield at the corner of Church and Federal Streets. Volunteers will gather to build a community labyrinth. Lunches will be served between shifts. Come when you can for morning and/ or afternoon. To volunteer, email communitylabyrinthfc@gmail.com. The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew. 8 Church St, Greenfield, MA.

Thursday, May 30, 6-8pm – LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING: Coop Concerts Summer Concert Series takes place weekly at Greenfield Energy Park. Check their website to see who is performing this week! Bring a blanket/lawn chairs and have a picnic dinner with family and friends while enjoying live music as the sunsets. Skip the dishes and opt for creating lasting memories and intergenerational connections that strengthen a sense of place in the park! 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 30, 5:30-7pm – PARENT CAFE: Being a great parent is part natural & part learned … what is a Parent Café? At the Parent Café, parents share information and ideas that help them take care of themselves, build strong relationships with their kids and raise children who thrive. Together parents can talk about the challenges of parenting and build the resilience needed to be good parents. Create a community that supports safe and strong families! Childcare and supper will be provided for free. This event is open to parents with young children. RSVP 413-587-1471. Bridge Street School, 2 Parsons St. Northampton, MA.


FRIDAY

COMMUNITY MEAL/STRAWBERRY & ASPARAGUS: Skip the dishes and have dinner with your neighbors! This time of year, look for annual community meals hosted by local service organizations, churches, and community centers for an intergenerational community meal that celebrates the seasonal harvest of asparagus & strawberries. These commuity-building events often times take place Friday or Sunday evenings. Check your local town website or look for signs in your neighhborhood for one happening near you. They food celebrations are often fundraisers and a delicious way to strengthen a sense of place while engaging with neighbors and making new friends. Western MA.

Friday, May 31, 11am – 1:30pm – GUIDED HIKE: This popular Interpreter led hike explores many of the exciting hidden features of Mount Greylock. Weekly hikes to waterfalls, old growth forest, scenic vistas, and cultural sites may include suggestions on trail etiquette, flora and fauna identification, environmental stewardship, and bear awareness. Best for ages 8+ with an adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Friday, May 31, 5pm – LITERATURE/WALT WHITMAN: Celebrate Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday with a staged-reading of America & Me by William Kinsolving. America & Me is the celebratory, profound, and tormented musings of Walt Whitman–on Lincoln, the Civil War, 19th Century America, and the struggles of publishing Leaves of Grass–on the occasion of his 67th birthday. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Friday, May 31, 5pm –LIVING HISTORY/MEDIEVAL STUDIES: Do you dream of living in the days of swords and sorcery? Now you can bring your dreams to life! The Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA, was founded in Berkeley, California in 1966. Foundational fantasy writers Marion ZImmer Bradley and Poul Anderson were early members. Since then, it has become an international organization dedicated to recreating and studying aspects of medieval culture. In the culture of the SCA, the entire country is divided up into kingdoms, each ruled by its own king and queen. So come journey to the land of Bergental for a weekend of medieval reenactment and activities. For more information and to register for this event, visit www.facebook.com/bergental. 77 Oak Hill Road, Greenfield, MA ($)

Friday, May 31, 7pm-12midnight – DIETARY CHOICES/GUERRILLA ART: The ancient vedic concept of ‘ahimsa’ is one of the principal values of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. Ahimsa means “not to harm” and it refers to a total commitment to nonviolence, including nonviolence towards non-human beings. Vedic texts from over 3000 years ago refer to abstaining from eating meat as a part of ahimsa and many of the classic Indian works of philosophy and spirituality discuss the question of whether or not a human being can live without causing suffering to other forms of life. These texts are nuanced enough to recognize the wanton destruction of plants in service of a vegetarian diet certainly violates the principle of ahimsa. Ultimately, the vedas acknowledge that ahimsa can be applied to diet in a variety of ways. For many hermits and saints, for instance, a fruitarian diet was recommended so as to avoid destroying the plants when they ate from them. In some passages, it is said that the noblest life is the one that eats only flowers and fruits. Elsewhere it is said that a warrior may eat meat if s/he has hunted for it. In any case, debates over what constitutes an ethical and compassionate diet continue to this day. Folks committed to and interested in a vegan diet and lifestyle will be gathering for a worldwide vegan chalking night in the park for hours of chalktivism for non-human animals with the goal of being part of a global effort to covering the world with colors and messages of compassion about veganism. Chalk provided. Pulaski Park. Northampton, MA.


Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Bernardston, Chester, Heath, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, South Hadley, Amherst, Hatfield, Russell, Shutesbury, and Springfield Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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