100 Suggested Events in Western MA: June 22-July 5, 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 nearly 9,000 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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Bulletin Board

Jun 25 & Jul 2

Join us at Look Park every Tuesday starting on June 25th until August 6th for the Franklin King Children’s Series! Shows start at 10am and are $5 per person. Ed the Magician will be there on June 25th to dazzle us with all his tricks. On July 2, Mister G will have everyone dancing the morning away! For more information visit: www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457.

Jun 28

Teen Hiking Club with The Trustees at Notchview! On Friday, June 28 from 10am-1pm, teens ages 13-16 are invited to join in a FREE monthly summer hiking club meeting at the Budd Visitor Center before traveling out to hike Notchview’s beautiful trails. After the hike, participants will head back to the lodge for a snack and work on a Notchview service project. For more information, email Andrea at acaluori@thetrustees.org. To register, click here. Notchview is a property of The Trustees and located at 83 Old Route 9, Windsor, MA.

Jun 28, 29, 30, Jul 2

Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by taking to the skies with their season opener, Mary Poppins! Drop on in for this fun and exciting satirical PaintBox twist on that High Flying Lady in the sky. Linda Tardif will be bringing the fun with her take on this classic tale. Shows are: June 28, 10:30am & 1pm, June 29, 10:30am & 1pm, June 30, 10:30am & 1pm, and July 2, 10:30am & 1pm at Williston Theater (18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA.) Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets (children under 2 are free.) paintboxtheatre@gmail.com, paintboxtheatre.org.

The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. Holyoke, MA ♦ Host your next event at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round! The Merry-Go-Round was built in 1929 for its home in Mountain Park and relocated to Holyoke Heritage State Park in 1993. Families return to the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round year after year to celebrate their children’s birthdays and take a whirl on the carousel. The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round offer parents a fun, unique party venue for an inexpensive kid’s party. They do the setup and the cleanup. All you do is send the invitations! Private rentals for family & corporate parties, weddings, bridal/baby showers, reunions, school field trips, and private photo shoots are also available. Discount rates for daycare, summer camps, & nonprofit groups available. 413-538-9838 www.holyokemerrygoround.org

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.

Featured Summer Program

Jul 22 – 26

The Four Winds School Summer Writing and Art Camp. Gill, MA. Open to students and non-students alike, the Four Winds School Summer Writing and Art Camp is a fun and safe place for 10-13-year-olds to develop their creativity. In the mornings, campers will engage in both free and structured writing and art activities, including workshops to help campers build on their creative abilities, explore themselves, and bond with their peers. After a break for lunch, campers will enjoy free time, swimming, and group games at the Green River Swimming and Recreation area. In the event of afternoon storms, campers can play board games, continue their morning projects, and play other fun writing and art games. Families are invited to a potluck party and gallery viewing on the last day. Registration ends July 15th. Dates: Jul 22-26; Age Range of Campers: 10-13yo. Contact: 413-863-8055. fourwindsteachers@gmail.com. fourwindsschool.info/summer-camp

Jul 29 – Aug 23

Biocitizen Living Rivers School. Westhampton, MA. The Living Rivers School brings students onto the river & into the conservation biology research of Dr. Boyd Kynard, who is renowned for saving our CT River shortnose sturgeon. For aspiring scientists and activists who love nature and are devoted to taking care of it, Living Rivers provides a rare opportunity to assist Dr. Kynard and get a behind-the-scenes view of how data is collected, analyzed and used to reach conclusions. Activities include collecting data in the CT River with boats, fins, and snorkels, lab work and data processing—physical, mental, social, high-energy fun. Living Rivers provides hands-on life experiences that prepare youths for the Anthropocene. Students will be credited in the research articles Dr. Kynard publishes. Dates: Jul 29 – Aug 23; Age Range of Participants: 9-15yo. Contact: 413-320-0522. info@biocitizen.org. biocitizen.org.

Featured Directories


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 22 – July 5, 2019

Saturday, June 22Sunday, June 23
Monday, June 24Tuesday, June 25Wednesday, June 26
Thursday, June 27Friday, June 28

Saturday, June 29Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1Tuesday, July 2Wednesday, July 3
Thursday, July 4Friday, July 5

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

Events Happening in the Hilltown

SATURDAY, JUNE 22

Saturday, June 22, 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. 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, June 22, 9:30am & 11am – FOOD & MEDICINE/WILD EDIBLES: Native & Wild Edibles and Medicinals. Are you interested in contributing to the wild foods movement? Are you interested in relieving some of the burden on our food systems, while learning to control native and invasive plants? In this class, discover skills and knowledge you can take home to your edible landscape. Learn about the abundance of wild foods growing in our area, while still being mindful and taking consideration for the species that rely on these very plants to live. Recipes provided! Meet at Acadia Herbals and take a walk down the bike trail together. Best for ages 10+ w/guardian. Preregister. Hosted by SageCo Wellness Coaching at Acadia Herbals. 413-584-8198. Maplewood Shops. 2 Conz Street, Suite 46. Northampton, MA.

June 22-30, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/HISTORY: Propeller Week at NEAM! Climb inside a World War II era propeller plane and create a pinwheel propeller to take home. The New England Air Museum contains over 100 aircraft ranging from early flying machines to supersonic jets. Over 65 aircraft are on display in three large hangars and an outdoor exhibit. New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT.

Saturday, June 22, 10am-5pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: For a largely rural area, the Hilltowns region is home to a surprising number of amazing artists and creative people. The Hilltown Arts Alliance is dedicated to creating community in the Hilltowns by bringing together local artists to collaborate, share their work, and support each other. Residents from more than a dozen towns work together to provide spaces for artists to show their art to the public. The Hilltown Arts Alliance organizes an Open Studio Tour, during the summer featuring artists from across the hilltowns working in diverse mediums throughout the Hilltown region of Western MA. See what kinds of creative work local artists are doing, attend workshops and demonstrations, and celebrate our amazing community! For a complete lists of artists and locations, visit hilltownartsalliance.org. 413-238-0481. Hilltowns, MA.

Saturday, June 22, 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, June 22, 1-4pm: LOCAL HISTORY: Grand opening of Making it on Main Street, a new exhibition at Historic Northampton with hands-on activities highlighting 400 years of downtown Northampton history. Activities include live oxen logging demonstration, cartooning demonstration, live music, yo-yo performances, free ice cream, and more. Rain or Shine. Free and open to the public. Free parking is available at the Bridge Street School lot and the lower level of the Northampton Arts Trust building at 33 Hawley Street. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, June 22, 1:30-2pm – LOCAL HISTORY/STATE PARK: The Evolution of the Summit House. The first “prospect” or Summit House was a small “refreshment” hut built in a little over a day in 1821. Learn about the evolution of the historic Summit House over the years, ranging from a pair of “dueling saloons,” to a small inn, to a grand hotel, to becoming the featured site—preserved by DCR—anchoring and located within a state park for all to enjoy. Meet on the Summit House deck. Wheelchair accessible. Suitable for all ages. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. 413-596-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

Saturday, June 22, 4-10pm – PLACEMAKING/COMMUNITY PICNIC: Celebrate our beautiful hilltowns while connecting with neighbors! What better way to appreciate where we live than gathering a community to share food, play together, and listen to great local music? The Hilltown Bash and Cummington Town Picnic will feature live music, a community potluck, and lots of dancing and playing. There will be balls and a playground for the kids. Everyone is welcome! Pettingill Memorial Park. 14 Main Street (behind firestation). Cummington, MA.

Saturday, June 22, 5pm – FIREWORKS: Fireworks, live music, games, food, and hot air balloon rides, at the Northampton Family Fourth Celebration at Look Memorial Park. Fireworks go off at dark, approximately 9:15-9:30pm. See their website for traffic, parking, and transportation information. (Rain date: 6/23). Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, June 22, 6pm – SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Catch a game plus fireworks tonight with the Pittsfield Suns! Wahconah Park. 413-445-7867. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, June 22, 7pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)


SUNDAY, JUNE 23

Sunday, June 23, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at http://www.valleyfreeradio.org. Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows!

Sunday, June 23, 10am-5pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: For a largely rural area, the Hilltowns region is home to a surprising number of amazing artists and creative people. The Hilltown Arts Alliance is dedicated to creating community in the Hilltowns by bringing together local artists to collaborate, share their work, and support each other. Residents from more than a dozen towns work together to provide spaces for artists to show their art to the public. The Hilltown Arts Alliance organizes an Open Studio Tour, during the summer featuring artists from across the hilltowns working in diverse mediums throughout the Hilltown region of Western MA. See what kinds of creative work local artists are doing, attend workshops and demonstrations, and celebrate our amazing community! For a complete lists of artists and locations, visit hilltownartsalliance.org. 413-238-0481. Hilltowns, MA.

Sunday, June 23, 10:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Birding for Beginners at Mt. Tom! This one hour program is meant to help beginners learn the basics of birding. The use of bird guides, lists and binoculars are used to learn about the local feathered inhabitants. Sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Free and open to the public. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. (FREE/>$PARKING)

Sunday, June 23, 11am-3pm – CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS/TOUCH A TRUCK: Touch a Truck Summer Carnival at the Springfield Jewish Community. In a carnival-like atmosphere, there will not only be a ton of trucks for your kids to explore, learning how these vehicles are used and contribute to our quality of life, but also balloon art, bounce houses, face painting, music, food, and other fun family activities. Springfield Jewish Community Center. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson St, Springfield, MA.

Sunday, June 23, 11am-3pm – ART STUDIES/SUPPLIES: Artist’s Studio Supply and Surplus Sale. The public is invited to attend a free indoor artist’s studio supply and surplus sale. Local artists have been invited to clear out their studios and will be selling, trading, or swapping supplies and materials that they no longer use or need. Some items offered for free! Presented by Amherst Arts Night Plus in partnership with the Amherst Center Cultural District. Knights of Columbus Hall. 47 Boltwood Walk. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, June 23, 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, June 23, 1pm – ENTOMOLOGY/SPIDERS: Toddlers love bugs and insects or they are terrified of them! Either way, the curiosity that bugs and insects evoke in young children is endless. Here’s a post from our archives, “How Bugs Can Teach Toddlers Kindness & Tolerance.” Test it out with spiders! Mt. Tom State Reservation will host a family program, “Spiders and their Webs.” Stop in to discover different types of web, their uses, and which spiders made them. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. (FREE/>$PARKING)

Sunday, June 23, 4pm – LABYRINTH: Open labyrinth walk with the Community Labyrinth Coalition. All are welcome to walk a large canvas labyrinth accompanied by soft music. The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew. 8 Church St, Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, June 23, 5pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, June 23, 6pm – SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Then check out a home baseball game with the SteepleCats tonight! Joe Wolfe Field. 310 State Street. North Adams, MA.


MONDAY, JUNE 24

NATURE STUDIES/HEALTH AND WELLNESS: 19th century Danish existentialist Soren Kierkegaard once wrote “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” Indeed, there are few things as salubrious as a good walk, particularly in a natural setting. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the woods around Pleasant Valley in Lenox and treat yourself to a morning of gentle peace and balance. Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA

Monday, June 24, 10am-3pm – GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: The Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams is the only natural white marble arch in North America! The rock which forms the bridge is estimated 550 million year old bedrock marble. The arch itself was created by thousands of years of glacial melt water. Come experience the awe-inspiring majesty of this incredible local treasure with a short walking discussion of the geological forces that created this unique site. For more information visit Natural Bridge State Park. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA (FREE)

Monday, June 24, 1-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: First settled in the early 18th century, the Connecticut River Valley is rich in colonial history. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum gives guests a look into the evolution of the region over 250 years, through the history of one family. Learn about how momentous historical events such as the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s rights movement impacted the lives of ordinary people in our region. Spend the afternoon visiting this local treasure! Guided tours available Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. 413-584-4699.130 River Drive, Hadley, MA.


TUESDAY, JUNE 25

Tuesday, June 25, 10-11am – STORYTIME/GOATS: Storytime with Goats! Cuddle with two French Alpine goats, Daisy & Aster, at Notchview in Windsor. Kids and their caregivers will sit on bales of hay with Notchview’s goat friends for a morning storytime followed by goat brushing, feeding, and snacks in the lodge. Storytime with Goats takes place every Tuesday in June from 10-11am and is recommended for ages 3-5. Please email acaluori@thetrustees.org to register. Cost: Member Adult: $Free; Member Child: $3; Nonmember Adult: $Free; Nonmember Child: $6. Notchview is a property of The Trustees of Reservations and located at 83 Old Route 9, Windsor, MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 10am – MAGIC: Ed Popielarczyk’s Magical Moments at Look Park! Ed Popielarczyk is a professional magician, balloon twister, entertainer. After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 10-11:30am – INTERPRETIVE WALK/LOCAL HISTORY: Morning Canal Walk at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Join the Park Interpreter for a walk around the block, stopping at points of historical significance. Discussions include how Holyoke has evolved from a major manufacturing city to a thriving cultural center. Each walk in the series will touch upon a specific historical or contemporary topic. Wear appropriate footwear and bring water. Heavy rain cancels. Suitable for individuals and families with children, ages 8 and older (siblings welcome). Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 10:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES/AGRICULTURE: It’s difficult to overstate the significance of the pig in human history. In China for example, the pictograph representing “home” is comprised of the graph representing pig, under a roof. Hence, in China, you literally can’t have a home without a pig. Numerous mythologies and folklore from around the world feature pig gods and the ancient central Asian Kyrgyz people believed themselves to be descended from a wild boar. Part of the reason for the enormous cultural significance of the pig is due to its amazing adaptability. The wild boar, the ancestor for today’s domesticated pig, is thought to have originated during the pleistocene in Southeast Asia. It quickly spread throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. Since then the domestic pig has become one of the most numerous livestock animals. What’s more, escaped domestic pigs often return to a feral state and thrive, regardless of the habitat. Come get to know this amazing animal, up close and personal, at the Hancock Shaker Village “Farm Friends” program. Children ages 2-5 and their caregivers will have the opportunity to meet a pig, listen to stories, and do craft projects. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 4pm – NAUTICAL HISTORY: Tragic Story of the Majestic Normandie Ocean Liner at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. A child with happy memories of crossing the Atlantic on ocean liners with his parents, author René Silvin will focus on the subject of his latest book the Normandie: The Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner. The French Line’s glorious and glamorous flagship first set sail from Le Havre on May 29, 1935, and died an inglorious death on February 10, 1942, at a New York dock on the Hudson River, two months after Pearl Harbor and with war raging throughout Europe. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

uesday, June 25, 5pm – LITERACY/PERFORMANCE: Join the Adams Free Library and Danna Banana to celebrate “A Universe of Stories,” the Summer Reading Program which marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Danna Banana brings his usual wit and wackiness to all things Space-related in this year’s summer theme “A Universe of Stories.” Energetic and interactive, Danna Banana’s shows have been called “a piñata of listening pleasure” and “one big playdate to which everyone is invited.” Adams Free Library. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street, Adams MA.

Tuesday, June 25, 7pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26

Wednesday, June 26, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Outdoor playgroup organized by the Northampton Parents Center at the YMCA playground. Hampshire Regional YMCA. 413-587-1471. 286 Prospect St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, June 26, 2pm – STEM/STORYTELLING: Science Tellers-Aliens: Escape from Earth. Throughout this intergalactic story, volunteers from the audience will discover the unbelievable world of science through experiments with chemical reactions, polymers, pressure, inertia, energy, explosions and so much more! Don’t miss this action-packed alien adventure. It’s totally out of this world! Ages 4+. Emily Williston Memorial Library. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday, June 26, 2pm & 7pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, June 26, 6:30-8pm – NATURAL HISTORY/BEAVERS: Did you know that during the 17th century the Roman Catholic Church ruled that for the purposes of dietary laws, beavers should technically be considered as a species of fish? This ruling meant that the ordinary prohibition on meat consumption on Fridays did not extend to beaver meat. Beavers, the second largest rodent in the world, are probably best known for nature’s engineers with their amazing ability to alter their environment by constructing dams and lodges. These structures serve a number of important functions for beavers, including protection from predators and storing food for the winter. Spend an evening searching for beavers and learning all about these industrious critters at Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley. Participants will learn about thier natural history and contribution to changing our local landscape ater being reintroduced to the area in the mid-1900’s. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, June 26, 6:30-8:30pm – ZINES: Forbes Library Zine Club. Northampton, MA

Wednesday, June 26, 7pm – LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING: Shelburne Falls Military Band Annual Outdoor Concert and Ice Cream Social! Bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket for this popular event. Ice cream, popcorn, and lemonade will be sold at historically low prices. SFMB continues to be the longest operating military band in the country! The museum is open during the event. Shelburne Historical Society. 413-625-6150. 33 Severance St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Wednesday, June 26, 7:30-9:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/LITERARY STUDIES: Edith Wharton once described the human psyche as “a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” It’s easy to imagine that this description was inspired by Wharton’s country estate in Lenox. The Mount was home to Wharton and her husband for nine years, as her husband Edward sought to recover from an acute depressive episode. Over the years the Mount has developed a reputation for paranormal activity, a subject which occupied Wharton since her childhood. She wrote that as a little girl she was “haunted by formless horrors” and went on to write her own highly acclaimed ghost stories. According to some locals, Wharton’s restless spirit continues to wander the halls and corridors of the Mount. If you dare, come participate in a Haunted Tour of the Mount, and perhaps you’ll have a chance to see the lady of the house herself! This event is appropriate for ages 12 and above. The Mount. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA ($$)


THURSDAY, JUNE 27

Thursday, June 27, 3:15-4:15pm: PODCASTING/TEENS: Workshop for Young Sound Artists and Podcasters. For teen sound enthusiasts of all skill levels: learn how to record and edit audio. Make a piece of sound art or start a podcast. Recording equipment is provided, but feel free to bring a smartphone or tablet if you have one. Sign up required. Forbes Library. 413-587-1010. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Thursday, June 27, 3:30-4:30pm – STEM/MAGIC: Jungle Jim: A Ballooniverse of Stories, a space-themed balloon magic show which will feature: rocket propulsion science; celebrate the moon landing; offer Star Wars Jedi Training; and, include a 6-foot galaxy explosion! Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday, June 27, 4pm – ENTOMOLOGY/FIREFLIES: The anonymous 10th-century Japanese text The Gossamer Diaries tells the story of one of the wives of a Kyoto prince. While her day to day life is dominated by courtly etiquette and ritual, she occasionally escapes to a small temple, where she can enjoy moments of solitude and freedom. During one of these moments, she writes: “The scene was a lovely one. The moon flooded through the trees, while over in the shadow of the mountain great swarms of fireflies wheeled about.” Indeed, fireflies have played an essential role in Japanese literature and folklore. From representations of the souls of the dead to symbols of passionate love, fireflies appear in countless songs and poems. Anyone who has seen these magical creatures dancing through the night will not be surprised that they have so entranced cultures around the world. Not only can fireflies inspire a love for literature, but also support interests in biochemistry, entomology, and zoology. Join the Edwards Public Library for “Hands on Nature: Fireflies!” Bring a glass jar and curiosity. Ages 3 & up. Edwards Public Library. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street, Southampton, MA.

Thursday, June 27, 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, June 27, 6:30pm – SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Catch a homegame tonight with the Valley Blue Sox. MacKenzie Stadium. 413-533-1100. 500 Beech Street, Holyoke, MA.

Thursday, June 27, 8pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)


FRIDAY, JUNE 28

Friday, June 28, 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)

Fridays, June 28, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Fridays, June 28, 10am-12noon – NATURALIST PROGRAM: Wandering Ranger at the Holyoke Heritage State Park. Search for the Wandering Ranger to see what has caught her interest in the park for the day. It could be collecting and sorting tree seeds, flagging an orienteering course, or displaying one of the Park’s many natural history curiosities. Wandering Ranger is available for questions such as what is there to do in Holyoke, what are the historical significances of the canal and mills, and many things that have to do with nature. Participants can drop-by for this activity anytime during the scheduled time. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Friday, June 28, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by taking to the skies with their season opener, Mary Poppins! Drop on in for this fun and exciting satirical PaintBox twist on that High Flying Lady in the sky. Linda Tardif will be bringing the fun with her take on this classic tale. Shows are: June 28, 10:30am & 1pm, June 29, 10:30am & 1pm, June 30, 10:30am & 1pm, and July 2, 10:30am & 1pm at Williston Theater (18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA.) Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets (children under 2 are free.) paintboxtheatre@gmail.com, paintboxtheatre.org.

Friday, June 28, 1:30-2pm – LOCAL HISTORY/SUMMITS: The Prospect House/Mt Holyoke Hotel was the first summit house in the region – was it the only? By 1900 it had a lot of company! Come find out who the competition was. Meet on the Summit House deck. Wheelchair accessible. Suitable for all ages. Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

Friday, June 28, 2pm & 8pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, June 28, 6-10pm – FIREWORKS/PLACEMAKING: The City of Holyoke will be celebrating the Fourth of July with their annual fireworks show this Friday! Come early and enjoy live music, delicious food, children’s activities, and local vendors. The fireworks show will begin at dusk. This is a great opportunity for friends and neighbors to come together to celebrate community and all the things that make Holyoke a special place. Holyoke Community College. 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA (FREE)


SATURDAY, JUNE 29

Saturday, June 29, 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. 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, June 29, 10am-1pm – ASTRONOMY/LITERACY: Blastoff Party on the lawn at the Forbes Library. Kids and teens can stop by Ground Control to sign up for Summer Reading, visit the Space Sounds Station to listen to records and make some extraterrestrial noise, and go on a writing adventure with Forbes Writer in Residence, Art Middleton. The day will also feature face painting, a professional hula hooper, an astrologer, a performance by the Ukulele Strum Group, and the opportunity to contribute to the Forbes Library 125th anniversary time capsule! Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, June 29, 10am-4pm – LAVENDER FESTIVAL: Lavender is known for its wonderful scent, which calms the nerves, and for the delicate flavor it imparts to baked goods like scones and shortbread. A great ingredient for making everything from drinks to desserts! Immerse your senses in lavender this weekend at Johnson Hill Farm‘s annual Lavender Festival, where you can enjoy a lavender labyrinth, a dove release, art and crafts by local artisans, workshops, and demonstrations. Attending the Lavender Festival could be a launching off point for learning about culinary arts. 413-522-9068. 51 Hog Hollow Road, Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 29, 10am-4pm – GARDENING/HISTORY: Amherst has a rich history dating back to the early eighteenth century. The first European to explore the Amherst area was Nathaniel Dickinson, great great grandfather of poet Emily Dickinson. The history of the town remains to be seen in many historic sites around Amherst, including some of its lovely eighteenth century gardens. The Amherst History Museum will be hosting its annual Garden Tour this Saturday, featuring some of the most sensational gardens from today and yesteryear. Amherst Historical Society and Museum. 413-256-0678. 67 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, June 29, 10-11:30am – INTERPRETIVE WALK/LOCAL HISTORY: Morning Canal Walk at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Join the Park Interpreter for a walk around the block, stopping at points of historical significance. Discussions include how Holyoke has evolved from a major manufacturing city to a thriving cultural center. Each walk in the series will touch upon a specific historical or contemporary topic. Wear appropriate footwear and bring water. Heavy rain cancels. Suitable for individuals and families with children, ages 8 and older (siblings welcome). Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, June 29, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by taking to the skies with their season opener, Mary Poppins! Drop on in for this fun and exciting satirical PaintBox twist on that High Flying Lady in the sky. Linda Tardif will be bringing the fun with her take on this classic tale. Shows are: June 28, 10:30am & 1pm, June 29, 10:30am & 1pm, June 30, 10:30am & 1pm, and July 2, 10:30am & 1pm at Williston Theater (18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA.) Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets (children under 2 are free.) paintboxtheatre@gmail.com, paintboxtheatre.org.

Saturday, June 29, 1-2:30pm – TEXTILES/LOCAL HISTORY: Weaving for Kids: How Cloth is Made, hosted by Holyoke Heritage State Park. Holyoke was originally a city designed exclusively as a textile manufacturing center. Learn about the history and the basics of how cloth is woven. Weave colorful cloth using a simple loom and strips of fabric to take home with you. Suitable for families with children, ages 7 and older (siblings welcome) Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, June 29, 1:30-2pm – LOCAL HISTORY/STATE PARK: The Evolution of the Summit House. The first “prospect” or Summit House was a small “refreshment” hut built in a little over a day in 1821. Learn about the evolution of the historic Summit House over the years, ranging from a pair of “dueling saloons,” to a small inn, to a grand hotel, to becoming the featured site—preserved by DCR—anchoring and located within a state park for all to enjoy. Meet on the Summit House deck. Wheelchair accessible. Suitable for all ages. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. 413-596-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

Saturday, June 29, 5pm – MURDER MYSTERY/DINNER THEATER: Murder Maiden in China. Gertrude Ingrid Josephine Mattel, a.k.a GI Jo is running the Maiden China Toy Co. since the passing of her beloved father. She’s a hated dictator with enemies. Her husband, Lou Zerr, is hen-pecked. Her assistant, C. Alice Knightly, is an office slave. Goldie Digger, Lou’s “secretary” can’t stand Jo. Charlie Brown III of “This Side UP” delivery service is the brunt of name calling. Someone gets so sick of her that she ends up in permanent retirement. Murder Maiden in China offers audiences the opportunity to experience theater in a new and exciting way. While enjoying a delicious dinner, patrons will have fun figuring out who done Jo in! Reservations required by June 26. The dinner theater will be held in Ventfort Hall at the Gilded Age Museum, 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, June 29, 6:30pm-10pm – FIREWORKS/PLACEMAKING: The annual family friendly Fourth of July Fireworks Show. The night begins with a 6:30 – 9:30 performance by The Dan Kane Singers. The Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30pm. Szot Park, 687 Front St in Chicopee. Chicopee, MA (FREE)

Saturday, June 29, 8pm- TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)


SUNDAY, JUNE 30

Sunday, June 30, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at http://www.valleyfreeradio.org. Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows!

Sunday, June 30, 10am-4pm – LAVENDER FESTIVAL: Lavender is known for its wonderful scent, which calms the nerves, and for the delicate flavor it imparts to baked goods like scones and shortbread. A great ingredient for making everything from drinks to desserts! Immerse your senses in lavender this weekend at Johnson Hill Farm‘s annual Lavender Festival, where you can enjoy a lavender labyrinth, a dove release, art and crafts by local artisans, workshops, and demonstrations. Attending the Lavender Festival could be a launching off point for learning about culinary arts. 413-522-9068. 51 Hog Hollow Road, Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 30, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by taking to the skies with their season opener, Mary Poppins! Drop on in for this fun and exciting satirical PaintBox twist on that High Flying Lady in the sky. Linda Tardif will be bringing the fun with her take on this classic tale. Shows are: June 28, 10:30am & 1pm, June 29, 10:30am & 1pm, June 30, 10:30am & 1pm, and July 2, 10:30am & 1pm at Williston Theater (18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA.) Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets (children under 2 are free.) paintboxtheatre@gmail.com, paintboxtheatre.org.

Sunday, June 30, 11am-12noon – ANIMAL STUDIES/COWS: Spend an hour cozying up to cuddly calves. Cows have a lower heart rate and higher body temperature than humans, which can make cozying up to a cow quite relaxing. You’ll discover the sensitive, intuitive nature of cows while petting, brushing, snuggling, and walking with them. (Close encounters with a cow are also thought to make us more mindful of body language, build confidence, and inspire playfulness.) It might be good for you, but — cowabunga! — it’s also just plain fun. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, June 30, 2pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, June 30, 4-9pm – FOOD JUSTICE/FUNDRAISER: The Food Justice Bike Ride was founded to support local organizations that provide nutritious food that is accessible and affordable for all. Riding bikes to raise funds for food security helps connect us to our community while strengthening a sense of place. To learn more about the Food Justice Bike Ride, please visit Food Justice Bike Ride. Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)


MONDAY, JULY 1

July 1-7, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/HISTORY: Wing Week at NEAM! Uncover the history of airplane wings and build your own “flying wing” foam glider to take home. The New England Air Museum contains over 100 aircraft ranging from early flying machines to supersonic jets. Over 65 aircraft are on display in three large hangars and an outdoor exhibit. New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT.

Monday, July 1, 10:30-11:30am – LITERACY/READING TO DOGS: Children ages 4-11 will enjoy reading aloud to Reading Buddy dogs, who provide a gentle, comforting listener to readers as they practice their fluency and strengthen their confidence in reading. After, take a tour of the museum! Reservations required; call 413-559-6307. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Monday, July 1, 1-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: First settled in the early 18th century, the Connecticut River Valley is rich in colonial history. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum gives guests a look into the evolution of the region over 250 years, through the history of one family. Learn about how momentous historical events such as the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s rights movement impacted the lives of ordinary people in our region. Spend the afternoon visiting this local treasure! Guided tours available Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. 413-584-4699.130 River Drive, Hadley, MA.

Monday, July 1, 2pm – ASTRONOMY/SOLAR SYSTEM: Dinoman Space! “Through the solar system and beyond!”… is exactly where Dinoman takes his audience in this fast-paced exploration of the heavens. The eight classical planets are visited and investigated—as well as Pluto, gravity, and the incredible cold of space. Dinoman Space uses dinosaurs, meteors, comets, liquid air, and a goldfish to give students a truly unique view of the dinosaurs. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.


TUESDAY, JULY 2

Tuesday, July 2, 10am – FAMILY CONCERT: Latin GRAMMY winner, Mister G performs at Look Park, a former indie rocker who has found a niche writing and performing for kids. After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, July 2, 10-10:45am – STORYTIME/CREATIVE FREE PLAY: New England lore holds that the character of Mother Goose was actually based on a 17th century Bostonian woman, who became famous for singing songs and telling stories to children in her neighborhood. Unfortunately there is no evidence that this is true and the first occurrence of the name “Mother Goose,” appears in a volume of collected fairy tales from 1780, entitled Mother Goose’s Melody. Join Kay Lyons for her popular “Mother Goose on the Loose” series of lap-sit story hours for children under 3. This event will also feature games, puppets, and other toys for children to play with. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Tuesday, July 2, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, July 2, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by taking to the skies with their season opener, Mary Poppins! Drop on in for this fun and exciting satirical PaintBox twist on that High Flying Lady in the sky. Linda Tardif will be bringing the fun with her take on this classic tale. Shows are: June 28, 10:30am & 1pm, June 29, 10:30am & 1pm, June 30, 10:30am & 1pm, and July 2, 10:30am & 1pm at Williston Theater (18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA.) Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets (children under 2 are free.) paintboxtheatre@gmail.com, paintboxtheatre.org.

Tuesday, July 2, 7pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)


WEDNESDAY, JULY 3

Wednesday, July 3, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Outdoor playgroup organized by the Northampton Parents Center at the YMCA playground. Hampshire Regional YMCA. 413-587-1471. 286 Prospect St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, July 3, 9:30am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY: Come celebrate the Fourth of July as the early Americans would have in the nineteenth century! Old Sturbridge Village is offering a full day of living history activities. Everybody enjoys a good parade and visitors will be able to actually join in the “citizens parade.” Baseball is still America’s favorite pastime but did you know that the nineteenth century version of the game differed quite a bit from the game we now know? You’ll have a chance to learn all about it by playing a game of old fashioned baseball. There will be muskets and rifles galore as well as a reproduction of traditional cannon, which will be firing 3-pound cannon balls! Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Wednesday, July 3, 2pm & 7pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, July 3, 6-9:30pm – FIREWORKS/PLACEMAKING: South Hadley celebrates the Fourth of July with a community celebration with local food vendors, nonprofit group displays, games for the kids, a disc-jockey, a community band and a fireworks display. The event will be held at Micheal E. Smith Middle School, 100 Mosier Street. The rain date for the event is July 5. The field opens at 6:00 pm, the fireworks start at 9:30 pm and admission is free. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, July 3, 6:30-8pm – NATURAL HISTORY/BEAVERS: Did you know that during the 17th century the Roman Catholic Church ruled that for the purposes of dietary laws, beavers should technically be considered as a species of fish? This ruling meant that the ordinary prohibition on meat consumption on Fridays did not extend to beaver meat. Beavers, the second largest rodent in the world, are probably best known for nature’s engineers with their amazing ability to alter their environment by constructing dams and lodges. These structures serve a number of important functions for beavers, including protection from predators and storing food for the winter. Spend an evening searching for beavers and learning all about these industrious critters at Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley. Participants will learn about thier natural history and contribution to changing our local landscape ater being reintroduced to the area in the mid-1900’s. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, July 3, 7:30-9:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/LITERARY STUDIES: Edith Wharton once described the human psyche as “a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” It’s easy to imagine that this description was inspired by Wharton’s country estate in Lenox. The Mount was home to Wharton and her husband for nine years, as her husband Edward sought to recover from an acute depressive episode. Over the years the Mount has developed a reputation for paranormal activity, a subject which occupied Wharton since her childhood. She wrote that as a little girl she was “haunted by formless horrors” and went on to write her own highly acclaimed ghost stories. According to some locals, Wharton’s restless spirit continues to wander the halls and corridors of the Mount. If you dare, come participate in a Haunted Tour of the Mount, and perhaps you’ll have a chance to see the lady of the house herself! This event is appropriate for ages 12 and above. The Mount. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA ($$)


THUSDAY, JULY 4

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/RECIPES: Food is an integral part of our human story. The act of cooking calls upon centuries of cooking methods, ingredients, spices, and flavors that have shaped our distinct cultures and traditions. Within our families, recipes are passed down and certain dishes are often considered an important part of our unique family gatherings and holiday celebrations. The art of recipe collecting and writing is something that allows the generations to share their family’s culture through the legacy of food. Read more in our post, Recipe Collections & Storytelling.

SELF-GUIDED HIKE/NATURE STUDIES: Ever wonder how the Clam River in Sandisfield got its name? Surprisingly, the river is home to an unusual number of bivalves. You might not think of the Berkshires as a likely place to find mussels and clams but this beautiful, scenic river is an exception. This unique spot is also a great place to learn about local history, with ruins of mills, tanneries and a history of European settlement that goes back to the 1700s. Explore this fascinating and beautiful area with a self-directed hike along the Clam River. Don’t forget to bring snacks and water! Sandisfield, MA (FREE)

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/MEMORIAL: Stafford Hill Memorial, located on Stafford Hill Road in Cheshire, MA, is a stone memorial that commemorates the grave site of Joab Stafford. Originally from Rhode Island, Stafford settled in what is now Cheshire in 1767 and formed a militia company for the patriot army that fought in the battle of Bennington in August of 1777. The memorial tower, constructed of fieldstone, was built and funded in 1928 by the local Sons of the American Revolution. The beautiful drive to this historic site features views of pastoral countryside and mountainous views typical of the region. At the site, visitors can see Stafford’s tomb stone which honors Stafford’s involvement in the Revolutionary War. Make a visit on Independence Day, bridging local and national history. Stafford Hill Memorial. 413-684-1730. Stafford Hill Rd, Cheshire, MA.

PARADES/FIREWORKS: Many Western Massachusetts communities host parades and fireworks to honor the American cause for independence in the late 1700’s. These community celebrations are a reminder of our young nation’s history and the early colonist’s rebellion against an unjust government. Every 4th of July we are reminded of their fortitude and commitment to their cause – a revolution that established the United States of America. It also serves as a day to reflect on the importance of critical social thought and the origins of democracy as a government that is for the people and by the people – an idea that is the foundation on which our country was built. Community is at the core of this foundation – it is a community of shared ideas, inspiration and revolution that sparked the cause for independence. By gathering with neighbors, friends and family on the 4th of July, we continue to honor the relationship between community and democracy. Check your town website for events taking place to celebrate Independence Day.

Thursday, July 4 : PARADE: The town of Chesterfield host a hometown parade not to be missed. Steps off mid-morning. Join in or sit on the sideline. Have fun at the after events and then enjoy a relaxed walk along the Westfield River at the Chesterfield Gorge. For details, visit their Facebook group page. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA. (NOTE: Ireland Street bridge in West Chesterfield is closed. Plan accordingly.)

Thursday, July 4, 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)

Thursday, July 4, 9:30am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY: Come celebrate the Fourth of July as the early Americans would have in the nineteenth century! Old Sturbridge Village is offering a full day of living history activities. Everybody enjoys a good parade and visitors will be able to actually join in the “citizens parade.” Baseball is still America’s favorite pastime but did you know that the nineteenth century version of the game differed quite a bit from the game we now know? You’ll have a chance to learn all about it by playing a game of old fashioned baseball. There will be muskets and rifles galore as well as a reproduction of traditional cannon, which will be firing 3-pound cannon balls! Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Thursday, July 4, 5-11pm – FIREWORKS/PLACEMAKING: It’s a little known fact that the United States actually declared independence on July second, rather than July fourth. Congress, however, took an additional two days to sort out the precise language, which is why the holiday is celebrated on the fourth. John Adams wrote to his wife on July third that the holiday “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Join the Amherst community for an evening of games, food, music, and fireworks! McGuirk Alumni Stadium. 300 Stadium Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, July 4, 6-10pm – FIREWORKS/PLACEMAKING: Springfield’s annual event, Star Spangled Springfield, happens at the Riverfront Park. Find out details about this year’s event at spiritofspringfield.org. 413-750-2980. 1360 W Columbus Ave. Springfield, MA.

Thursday, July 4, 6:30pm – SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Catch a game plus fireworks tonight with the Pittsfield Suns! Wahconah Park. 413-445-7867. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Thursday, July 4, Dusk/9:30ish – FIREWORKS/BASEBALL: North Adams Fourth of July Fireworks after SteepleCats Game. Celebrate the nation’s independence at this local fireworks display, which takes place after the North Adams SteepleCats baseball game. Joe Wolfe Field, 310 State Street, North Adams MA.


FRIDAY, JULY 5

Friday, July 5, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, July 5, 2pm & 8pm – TONY-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL/FAIRY TALE: Into the Woods. “Anything can happen in the wood.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to life their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter the classic fairy-tale characters we’ve grown to love – Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (from the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood and more! Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways, revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” This wickedly witty score weaves a magical spell, warning “be careful what you wish for!” Come witness the joy and wonders of Broadway. Note: children under 5 years old are not permitted in the theater. Performances will be held at Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 5, 4-10:30pm – CELEBRATION/FIREWORKS: Greenfield’s Independence Day Celebration will feature an afternoon of live music, food, and vendors, ending in a fireworks display over Poet’s Seat Tower. Come be a part of this beloved community event! Becon Field. 101 Sanderson St, Greenfield, MA.

Friday, July 5, 5-8pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: As Henry David Thoreau points out, the root of the word “saunter” comes from “the idle people who roved about the country… under the pretense of going à la Sainte Terre, or the Holy Land.” Thus the act of casually strolling an inherently sacred act. For those who saunter, the entire world becomes their Holy Land. To walk aimlessly is to find a pilgrimage in every step, a temple in every tree, shrub, or blade of grass. What better way to find your temple than to combine walking with art? Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk features a dozen different art shows throughout the Upstreet Cultural District. Happens every month all year (except January). Come check out amazing local art and meet some of the artists! Guided tour begins at 5pm at the Intermodal Center (BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.). Downtown Pittsfield. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, July 5, 8pm – AWARD WINNING/INTERNATIONAL: The Last Rat of Theresienstadt. This play tells the story of Sofia Brünn, a Weimar cabaret star from 1930’s Berlin who finds herself transplanted to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. In this completely foreign habitat, she forges an unlikely friendship with Pavel, a rat (played by a puppet), who despite the lack of food that has driven away the rest of his kind, remains out of love for her and her art. The Last Rat of Theresienstadt is a show about resistance and hope, and the need to fill the soul as well as the body. A black comedy, it’s a low tech, multi-media play with music, rod/bunraku style puppetry (our titular Rat), shadow puppetry, overhead projections (artwork from the camp used to set the scene and illustrate a landscape for the story) — and three performers. Developed at Ko during a 2017 rehearsal residency, the piece was performed in New York at The Tank and to sold-out houses at two theater/puppet festivals in Poland. It won the Jury Grand Prize, Student Jury Prize, Audience Prize, A Moment of Beauty in Puppetry awards at the Lalka Tez Cztowiek Puppet Fest in Warsaw, Poland. Audiences will delight in this award-winning theater performance while also witnessing the unique and creative blending of various theatrical mediums! Performances will be held in the Holden Theater on the campus of Amherst College. 20 Kirby Drive, Amherst, 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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