100 Suggested Events in Western MA: June 29-July 12, 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 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.

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.

Jul 9 & Jul 16

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. Get ready for lots of laughs on July 9th with Alex the Jester. Bob Bloom is bringing a cargo of colorful and lovable drums for your heart and hands to enjoy on July 16th. Everyone drumrollicks with Bob as he launches legendary songs with enticing melodies and captivating energy. For more information visit: www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457.

Sep 29

Register now for Will Bike 4 Food, a cycling event to benefit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The 9th annual event will start at the Lion’s Club Pavilion on Sunday, September 29, 2019. This event is a special opportunity for riders of all ages and riding abilities to enjoy a fun-filled day with other cyclists while helping to feed our neighbors in need. Choose the 10, 25, 50, or 100-mile route through the scenic Pioneer Valley. You can choose to ride as an individual or form a team. Participating cyclists are invited to stay for an After-Party at the finish line. Enjoy a cookout and craft beer, music, games, and more. Register now for the lowest fundraising minimum and to guarantee your free t-shirt. To register or donate, visit willbike4food.org.

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.

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

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 Birthday Party Venue

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


June 29 – July 12, 2019

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

Saturday, July 6Sunday, July 7
Monday, July 8Tuesday, July 9Wednesday, July 10
Thursday, July 11Friday, July 12

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 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: Fun in the Sun Episode with Guest DJ, Twinkle Time. Award-winning, Peruvian-American, Kindie Rocker Twinkle Time is bringing in the summer with some Fun in the Sun! Twinkle Time spins the best family music tunes teaching kids that Summertime is all about making memorable memories with friends and families. 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. Easthampton, MA.

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. Hilltown Family Variety Show: Fun in the Sun Episode with Guest DJ, Twinkle Time. Award-winning, Peruvian-American, Kindie Rocker Twinkle Time is bringing in the summer with some Fun in the Sun! Twinkle Time spins the best family music tunes teaching kids that Summertime is all about making memorable memories with friends and families.. 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, 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. Easthampton, MA.

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, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

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. Easthampton, MA.

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. ($$)

Tuesday, July 2, 8-10pm – ASTRONOMY: Moon Night Watch: Stars, Planets, Nighttime & Wildlife for all ages. Enjoy a summer evening on the top of Old Baldy. After a very short walk to the summit, participants will take in the ethereal twilight before beholding a sparkling, moonless night sky in one of the darkest corners of the Berkshires. Orient yourselves to the stars and planets, listen for wildlife sounds, and enjoy refreshments. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Old Baldy Wildlife Sanctuary, Otis , MA.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 3

Wednesday, July 3, 9am-4pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING/WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Berkshire County residents are invited to visit Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for free! Explore seven miles of beautiful trails and learn about their nature education programs for all ages. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

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-9pm – WATERSHED/CANOEING: Housatonic Evening Paddle for ages 10+. Evening is the perfect time to look for wildlife. Leisurely explore the rich wetland of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in the hours before dusk, find a cove to come together in, and enjoy refreshments while listening and watching for wildlife. Kingfishers, herons, muskrats, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, 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, 9:30am-12:30pm: GUIDED HIKE: Lenox Mountain: Taconic Range & Richmond Pond Views. Ascend Lenox Mountain with an experienced guide and enjoy several vistas including the sweeping summit view. Hike via Trail of the Ledges and/or Overbrook Trail on a three-mile round-trip trek through northern hardwood and hemlock forest for an elevation gain of 840 feet. Along the way, look for signs of wildlife and learn about plant communities and human history at Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

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, 4:30-6pm – ZOOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Beavers, Birds, & Other Wildlife. Life-long learners explore the gentle trails at Pleasant Valley with an experienced guide. Search for evidence of (and hopefully see!) wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more as you hike around the rich pond and stream ecosystems that form the heart of the sanctuary. Along the way, learn about plant communities and the dynamic history of Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, 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 PLAY/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. ($$)


SATURDAY, JULY 6

Saturday, July 6, 8-11am – ORNITHOLOGY: Birding the Berks Series – Thrushes & Warblers on Greylock Summit for life-long learners. The summit of Massachusetts’ highest peak is the ideal place to find birds nesting at high elevation spruce-fir forests and other natural communities. Seek out Greylock’s specialty species, including blackpoll warbler and Swainson’s thrush, while enjoying the morning’s symphony of the other wood warblers that breed on the slopes. This trip involves a two-to-three-mile hike on a moderately steep trail. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 8:30-11:30am – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing the Housatonic River for families with children ages 10+. This leisurely paddle will take folks through the ecologically rich Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lenox. Watch for swallows, herons, kingfishers, muskrats, and signs of beavers along the scenic and meandering Housatonic River and learn about why the waterway is the natural heart of the Berkshires. Please support their efforts of reducing plastic waste by bringing a reusable water bottle. Registration is required.Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 9am-12noon – INVASIVE SPECIES/SERVICE-BASED LEARNING: Volunteer Opportunity: Removal of Water Chestnut from Fitzgerald Lake. Two years ago, a new approach to controlling water chestnut in Fitzgerald Lake called “pull early, pull often” was implemented. In 2017, volunteers removed roughly 1,100 lbs. from the lake, but in 2018 the yield was down to 300 lbs. The new protocol is effective! Nonetheless, viable water chestnut seed can persist for up to ten years on the lake bottom, so volunteers plan to continue this aggressive approach this year. Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. 61 N Farms Rd, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 11am – HISTORY/FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Mass Humanities’ Reading Frederick Douglass Together program is coming to Northampton! Join your community for a public reading of Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” The speech challenges us to think about the histories we tell, the values they teach, and if our actions match our aspirations. To quote Douglass, “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the future.” Members of the public will take turns reading parts of the speech until they’ve read all of it, together. Everyone is welcome to read. Free and open to the public. Pulaski Park. 413-587-4900. 240 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 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. ($$)

Saturday, July 6, 4-5:30pm – ECOLOGY/ZOOLOGY: Animals A to Z for families. Dig-in with bugs, tadpoles, frogs, and salamanders! Together, search the muck, weeds, forests, and fields for the many wild things that live at Pleasant Valley. You will be looking for all the critters, from ants to zooplankton. Families are invited to bring a picnic and stay longer and enjoy the evening if they wish. Bring boots or water shoes. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 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. ($$)


SUNDAY, JULY 7

Sunday, July 7, 8:30am-12noon – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing Upper & Lower Goose Ponds for ages 10+. Explore the coves and marshes of one of the Berkshires’ most beautiful lakes. Paddle across Lower Goose Pond to pristine Upper Goose Pond in search of eagles, herons, and kingfishers. Please support their efforts of reducing plastic waste by bringing your own water reusable water bottle. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA

Sunday, July 7, 9am-12noon – MYCOLOGY/CULTIVATION: Backyard Mushroom Cultivation at Laughing Dog Farm. Do you have an interest in expanding your gardening to other kingdoms of life? Do you find the laboratory sterility supposedly required for cultivating mushrooms daunting? But there’s an easier way to grow mushrooms, a “dirty,” more natural way. Workshop mentor, Graham Skorupa, an ardent wildcrafter and musician from Wendell, seeks to teach an alternative method of creating bountiful fungus harvests in your own backyard. This class includes an introduction to mushroom metabolism and life cycles as well as hands-on demonstrations of cold pasteurization and bed inoculation in the garden. Class includes farm tour and snacks. RSVP, space limited. Laughing Dog Farm. 413-863-8696. 398 Main Rd. Gill, MA.

Sunday, July 7, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Summer Family Day at the Clark! Celebrate four extraordinary exhibitions with a day of fun for all ages. Acrobatic performances with Nimble Arts, a cappella concerts by Eight Tracks, figure sculpting, tote bag printing, face painting, bubbles, artist demonstrations, and more! Gallery admission and most activities are free; snacks and refreshments available for purchase. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, July 7, 1pm & 3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Wistariahurst will host A Servant’s Perspective Tour: Chauffeur Charlie Linderme, a guided tour of Wistariahurst Museum. At its peak, 32 servants and support staff kept Wistariahurst running. On this specialty tour, hear from one of them as a Wistariahurst docent offers a guided tour in character as chauffeur Charles Linderme. Listen as Charlie recalls his time attending to the woman he affectionately called “the Chief,” Katharine Kilborne, Wistariahurst’s last Skinner resident. Learn about the behind-the-scenes workings of the Skinner Estate. Advance ticket purchase is encouraged. jWistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, July 7, 1-3:30pm – PLACEMAKING/ICE CREAM: We all know that everybody screams for ice cream. Ice cream socials are an American community tradition dating back to the eighteenth century. According to legend, the custom began in 1744 when Maryland governor Thomas Bladen bizarrely chose to serve ice cream for dinner during a party. During the nineteenth century ice cream became more widely accessible and was commonly served at school and church events. In high society, “ice cream gardens” were also very popular. Keep Homestead Museum will be hosting an old fashioned ice cream social this Sunday! Keep Homestead Museum. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Rd. Monson, MA.

Sunday, July 7, 4pm – 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. ($$)

Sunday, July 7, 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, July 7, 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, JULY 8

July 8-14, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/HISTORY: Glider Week at NEAM! Discover the history of glider flight and build a straw 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 8, 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 8, 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Montague Community Band. Peskeomskut Park. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.


TUESDAY, JULY 9

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/BEEKEEPING: Depending on the climate and local flora, the taste of honey changes based on which flowers in a region the honeybees have pollinated. Honey produced in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts could have a slightly different taste than the honey produced in the Pioneer Valley. It’s fascinating how the flavor profile of the honey changes based on environmental differences; it truly reflects a sense of place, topography, and geography. Read more in our post, The Sweet Art of Beekeeping.

Tuesday, July 9, 8-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Mass Audubon – Birding at The Mount for life-long learners. Explore Edith Wharton’s original estate, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound as we look for numerous bird species, including bobolinks, woodpeckers, vireos, and warblers. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA.

Tuesday, July 9, 10am – COMEDY SHOW: Alex the Jester at Look Park! After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

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

Tuesday, July 9, 1pm & 3:30pm – 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.

Tuesday, July 9, 6pm – ENTOMOLOGY/ BEEKEEPING: Join local beekeepers for a season-appropriate discussion and demonstration using the Berkshire Botanical Garden apiary. Focus on sustainable beekeeping techniques: raising and sourcing bees locally, managing pests and diseases ecologically, and creating beneficial habitats for honeybees and native pollinators alike. New to beekeeping? Learn how to get started with your first hives. Are you a seasoned beekeeper? Your experience and knowledge will be invaluable to others in the group! 413-357-4657. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Tuesday, July 9, 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 10

Wednesday, July 10, 9:30-11:30am: ECOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Lime Kiln Farm: Housatonic Valley & Taconic Range Views for life-long learners. Stroll the gentle loop trails with an experienced guide and enjoy two vistas including views of Jug End Mountain, Mount Everett, and the lower Housatonic Valley. The views are terrific with minimal elevation gain and effort. Along the way, look for signs of wildlife and learn about plant communities and human history at Lime Kiln Farm. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Sheffield, MA

Wednesday, July 10, 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 10, 10am-12noon – ENTOMOLOGY/BUTTERFLIES: Butterfly walk led by naturalist, birder, and butterfly enthusiast Tom Gagnon. Join him in search of the rare Dion Skipper and other butterflies around Fitzgerald Lake. The Dion Skipper is on the list of rare or uncommon resident Massachusetts butterflies. Meet at the Cooke Ave. entrance (the Moose Lodge parking lot) and hike along Boggy Meadow Rd. to the dam, where grasses and wildflowers form good butterfly habitat. Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. 61 N Farms Rd, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, July 10, 2pm – GEOLOGY/PLANET EARTH: Why Earth? Beginning with our planet Earth, explore the solar system through experiments and microscope inspections. Why can we live on Earth? What does our Earth look like? What are the gases that form our atmosphere? Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Wednesday, July 10, 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 10, 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 10, 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, JULY 11

Thursday, July 11, 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, July 11, 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, July 11, 6:30pm-9pm – WATERSHED/CANOEING: Housatonic Evening Paddle for ages 10+. Evening is the perfect time to look for wildlife. Leisurely explore the rich wetland of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in the hours before dusk, find a cove to come together in, and enjoy refreshments while listening and watching for wildlife. Kingfishers, herons, muskrats, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Thursday, July 11, 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. ($$)

Thursday, July 11, 8:30pm – OUTDOOR MOVIE/PLACEMAKING: Movies Under the Stars at Look Park! Pack a blanket, grab the kids and enjoy a beloved family movie classic outdoors, The Goonies. Entrance to Pines Theater for movies is free. Parking fee applies. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.


FRIDAY, JULY 12

Friday, July 12 – MUSIC FESTIVAL: Green River Festival, Western Massachusetts’ most family-friendly music festival, happens at Greenfield Community College on July 12-14 in Greenfield, MA. Kids 10 and under are always free! In addition to an incredible lineup of music for adults featuring Lucinda Williams, The Wood Brothers, The Devil Makes Three, Rhiannon Giddens, and Angelique Kidjo, Green River Festival is packed with activities for children and families. Enjoy crafts and music at The Art Garden tent and stage, A-Z’s Yo-Yo Team, a family sing, and drum circle, Curious George, PaintBox Theater, the yearly Mardi Gras Parade tradition, tethered hot air balloon rides, an instrument petting zoo, and more. For a full lineup of music and activities visit www.greenriverfestival.com.

Friday, July 12, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, July 12, 10am – CIRCUS PERFORMANCE: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA presents a FREE show with the Acrobats of Cirque-tacular on Friday, July 12th at 10am. The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular features one dazzling circus feat after another in a high-energy family-friendly flurry of fun! Indulge your curiosity and celebrate your senses as our troupe of acrobats, aerialists, and circus specialty artists bend, twist, flip, and fly into your hearts and minds! Sponsored by Highland Street Foundation, this event is part of the Mahaiwe’s ongoing Free Fun Friday tradition. All ages welcome, general admission — first-come, first-serve. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. 413-528-0100. mahaiwe.org.

Friday, July 12, 10-11am – BUBBLES/INTERGENERATIONAL: Vinny the Bubble Guy at Longmeadow Adult Center. Vinny will use his giant bubble wands to entertain our intergenerational audience! Bring your grandchildren to see the giant bubbles. Free. Longmeadow Adult Center. 413-565-4150. 231 Maple Rd. Longmeadow, MA.

Friday, July 12, 10am-12noon – GARDENING/NATIVE SPECIES: Growing Beautiful Native Gardens for life-long learners. Explore the native plants and pollinator garden at Pleasant Valley, where a mix of flowers, ferns, and shrubs provide essential food and shelter for native insects and birds. Master gardeners will share their experience with native plants that grow well in home gardens and landscaping. Learn which plants are well-suited to your site and discover sources for acquiring native plants. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 12, 10:30am – AVIATION/AERODYNAMICS: Accord to legend, in 1633, Ottoman engineer Lagari Hasan Celebi was the first person to successfully pilot a manned rocket. The account, which is only found in one dubious text, states that Lagari built a seven winged rocket and launched it into the sky with 140 pounds of gunpowder. It is said that he proclaimed as the rocket took off: “Oh, my Sultan! Be blessed, for I am going to talk to Jesus!” After the rocket fell into the sea, Lagari swam back to shore and said to the Sultan “Jesus says hi.” The doubtful nature of this story notwithstanding, the basic premise of rocket flight has been known to human beings for almost a thousand years. The same general concept that allows shuttles to be launched into space is at work in the simple rockets built by the Ancient Chinese and Persians so long ago. Children can dive in to this ancient concept by making and launching their own bottle rockets! Make Bottle Rockets will be held at the Heath Free Public Library. 413-337-4934. 1 E Main St, Heath, MA.

Friday, July 12, 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 12, 4:30pm-6pm – ZOOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE: Beavers, Birds, & Other Wildlife. Life-long learners explore the gentle trails at Pleasant Valley with an experienced guide. Search for evidence of (and hopefully see!) wild birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more as you hike around the rich pond and stream ecosystems that form the heart of the sanctuary. Along the way, learn about plant communities and the dynamic history of Pleasant Valley. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 12, 6-9:30pm – OUTDOOR FILM: Movie in the Park. Peskeomskut Park. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, July 12, 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: Mamma’s Marmalade on the lawn at the library, an acoustic band using classic bluegrass instrumentation to bring fresh vibrancy to old traditions. BYO lawn chairs and picnics. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, 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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