100 Suggested Events in Western MA: July 6-19, 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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Featured Event

Jul 12 – 14

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.

Bulletin Board

Jul 5 – Aug 4

The 2019 Ko Festival of Performance (July 5 – August 4) has been curated on the theme of “HABITAT” – the humankind. It’s a season for Teens/Adults/Seniors about displaced persons, the effects of sudden habitat change, and endangered & vanished cultures — all original, professional work, created by the artists who come to Ko. Performers range from Samite and his extraordinary African music & personal stories to a Rat (a puppet) in love with a deported Berlin cabaret star. And for all ages, The Mettawee River Theater Company returns with an Indian tale, “The Ring Dove.” Tickets for Shows, Story Slam & Workshops (jumpstart your creativity!) are available at kofest.com and at the Box Office 413-542-3750. Special prices for SNAP/EBT cardholders.

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.

Wed in Jul

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this July at River Valley Co-op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon. Performances from different local organizations and performers include: “Summer, Seashore, Ocean” songs and stories with folksinger & storyteller Tim Van Egmond on July 10; Living Statue with Linda Peck on July 17; “Dragonflies of the Connecticut Valley” with Dave Small, president of Athol Bird & Nature Club, on July 24; and “Bouncy Jazz & Klezmer Tunes” with Brian Bender and friend on July 31. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli, and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history, or nature. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA.

Aug 25 & 29

Do you know children who are talented instrumentalists? Are they motivated to practice and for talented musicians in middle and high school to make music with other young musicians? Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra offers a dynamic and supportive ensemble environment for talented musicians in middle and high school. Directed by Steven Bathory-Peeler, the PVSYO performs in 2 standalone concerts and collaborates with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra. Chamber ensemble opportunities are also offered. The PVSYO rehearses at Greenfield High School on Sundays from 5:30-7:30pm during the school year. AUDITIONS FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS will be held in Greenfield on Sunday, Aug 25, 3-5pm & Thursday, Aug 29, 6-8pm. Visit www.pvsoc.org/youth-orchestra to learn more or register for an audition.

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.

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 Directories


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 6-19, 2019

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

Saturday, July 13Sunday, July 14
Monday, July 15Tuesday, July 16Wednesday, July 17
Thursday, July 18Friday, July 19

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, JULY 6

Saturday, July 6, 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: Rocknoceros joins us as our Guest DJ with a Songs About America Episode. The musical trio explore their record collections to find tunes that celebrate, illustrate, and even criticize the Land of the Free. Starting with the Chuck Berry-inspired rock ‘n roll of the 1950s, the selections quickly span the decades that followed and the various styles that continue to thrive today. Join in the fun as the band members discuss the people and places that help make American music what it is, with a few asides about lemonade stands and Irving Berlin. 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, 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.

SaturdaySaturday, 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, 12:30-1:30pm – MARINE BIOLOGY: Ever wonder what fish, turtles, and lizards eat when they live in aquariums? How do human beings determine what to feed these creatures, who have evolved over millions of years to hunt for food in the wild? And who actually prepares the food for these animals? All these questions and more will be addressed during Chow Time at the Berkshire Museum, where participants can assist museum staff in preparing meals for some of the inhabitants of the aquarium. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 2pm – DANCE STUDIES/RELIGION STUDIES: Award-winning choreographer Reggie Wilson presents a roving performance with his Brooklyn-based Fist and Heel Performance Group at Hancock Shaker Village. “…they stood shaking while others began to shout,” the result of Wilson’s studies of Black Shakers and what their worship may have looked like, “explores the intersection of worship and dance with poetic imagination” (The New York Times). The site-based event at Hancock Shaker Village, held in the Round Stone Barn and the 1910 Barn, promises to weave the Village’s historic buildings and landscape into a thought-provoking narrative. Long fascinated by the Shakers, Wilson was curious in particular about Mother Rebecca Cox Jackson, a black woman born in 1795 who founded a Shaker community in Philadelphia. Considered in their time to be innovative and progressive thinkers—they believed in racial and gender equality centuries before the world caught up, and in a manifesto in 1885 chided the government for not allowing women to vote—the Shakers believed that all were equal and allowed anyone to join their communities. Once a commitment to communal life was made, members were then obliged to turn over their property and material wealth to the community. The Shakers welcomed African American members into their communities as early as the late 1700s, assisted fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad, and often purchased the freedom of slaves in southern communities. The Shakers wrote more than 25,000 songs (more than all the ballads and spirituals known to have originated in America) and danced to most of them. Shaker villages from Maine to Kentucky resounded with passionate, beautiful dancing on a daily basis. Indeed, they are called Shakers because of their ecstatic form of worship. “…they stood shaking, while others began to shout” reflects the importance of dance as an intense physical expression of Shaker spirituality. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, July 6, 2:30pm – NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/HISTORY: We all associate “afternoon tea” or “tea time” with British culture but as it turns out, the custom only originated in the 1840s. This relatively recent tradition was first adopted by British upper classes as a meal take in between lunch and dinner. Observance of afternoon tea was held between 3:30 and 5:00pm and typically featured cucumber sandwiches, egg sandwiches, and small pastries. Afternoon tea, however, is only one of many important tea traditions in Great Britain and abroad. “Cream tea,” or “Devonshire tea,” is a custom, which originated in the West Country, which is to say Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset. Cream tea is served with thick, clotted cream spread over scones and topped with strawberry preserves. A source of bitter strife between the Cornish and Devonians, the former insists that the cream should be spread on top of the jam, while the latter has it reversed. However you take your tea, come enjoy a pleasant afternoon light meal with tea, pastries, and live music every Saturday through August 24th at the Porter-Huntington-Phelps Museum’s “A Perfect Spot of Tea.” Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley 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, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, 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, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode. Rocknoceros joins us as our Guest DJ with a Songs About America Episode. The musical trio explore their record collections to find tunes that celebrate, illustrate, and even criticize the Land of the Free. Starting with the Chuck Berry-inspired rock ‘n roll of the 1950s, the selections quickly span the decades that followed and the various styles that continue to thrive today. Join in the fun as the band members discuss the people and places that help make American music what it is, with a few asides about lemonade stands and Irving Berlin. 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, 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, 6:30pm – LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/SPORTS: Calling all Harry Potter fans! It’s been more than ten years since J.K. Rowling’s fictional game “quidditch” was adapted into a real sport by students at Middlebury College in Vermont and the sport has been growing all over the world. The game is played by running while sitting on a broom and throwing a deflated volleyball through hoops. In the place of the magical flying golden “snitch,” players can also catch a tennis ball in a long sock for extra points. The sport is a loving homage to the Harry Potter books and there are quidditch teams on almost every continent. Come and learn how to play this fun and rapidly growing sport, with regular quidditch games, organized by the Greenfield Public Library. Registration through Recreation Department website. Hillside Park. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, 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.

Tuesday, July 9, 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, 1pm & 6pm – CIRCUS ARTS: The Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour has returned with this year’s theme, “Carnival.” Hosted by North Star! Three County Fairgrounds. 413-582-0193. 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, 11am-12noon – FOLK SONGS/STORIES: Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this July at River Valley Co-op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon. Performances from different local organizations and performers include: “Summer, Seashore, Ocean” songs and stories with folksinger & storyteller Tim Van Egmond on July 10; Living Statue with Linda Peck on July 17; “Dragonflies of the Connecticut Valley” with Dave Small, president of Athol Bird & Nature Club, on July 24; and “Bouncy Jazz & Klezmer Tunes” with Brian Bender and friend on July 31. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli, and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history, or nature. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, July 10, 1pm, & 6pm – CIRCUS ARTS: The Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour has returned with this year’s theme, “Carnival.” Hosted by North Star! Three County Fairgrounds. 413-582-0193. 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, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, 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 their natural history and contribution to changing our local landscape after 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, 10am – STORYTIME/HISTORY: Storytime at Historic Northampton. Make the past your playground! Children and their caregivers can hear a history-themed story, and then build their own version of Northampton with maps, buildings, cars, and characters from different points in Northampton’s history. Come play in Northampton’s past. 0-5 years old. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

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, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, 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.

Friday, July 12, 8pm – SOCIAL ISSUES/BIOGRAPHICAL: OK, OK. In a performance that reckons with the racism of today through the lens of what Katie Pearl learned – and didn’t learn – about Oklahoma history while growing up in Tulsa, OK. Performed by Pearl herself with a local ensemble of four, OK OK weaves together personal biography and civic narrative to crack open closed surfaces and get at what’s underneath. Hilarious, heartbreaking and informative, this show reveals the truths and untruths we as a country tell ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going. This a show was developed, in part, during a 2018 Ko Festival Rehearsal Residency and is suitable for audiences ages 12 and up. Performances will be held in the Holden Theater on the campus of Amherst College. 20 Kirby Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)


SATURDAY, JULY 13

Saturday, July 13, All day – 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.

Saturday, July 13, All day – AGRICULTURE/4-H: The Hampshire County 4-H Fair has many familiar sights and sounds. The lowing of the cows, the scent of hay, the bright, colorful ribbons, and, of course, the faces of the exhibitors, attendees, and volunteers. These sights and sounds – and experiences – are what makes the fair so special. The fair showcases the accomplishments of the 4-H members and other youth, encourages participation, and highlights the value of 4-H programs, philosophy, and educational, family-oriented 4-H events. 413-545-0611. Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 9am – TOWN FAIR: Hilltown Brouhaha. Washington Town Park. Becket, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 11am-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY/CHEESE: Do you know the story of Cheshire Mammoth Cheese, a gift from the town of Cheshire, MA, to President Thomas Jefferson in January 1802? Read more about it HERE, and then head over to the annual Cheshire Cheese Fest where the story comes to life. A “cheesy, fun-filled day” is perfect for kids, and pairings of local artisanal cheeses with wine, beer, and cider is a delicious treat for adults. A great placemaking event that celebrates local history, supports community connections, and explores the art of cheese and cheesemaking. Cheshire Elementary School, 191 Church Street, Cheshire, MA

Saturday, July 13, 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 13, 3:30-10pm – BEACH PARTY/PLACEMAKING: North Adams 21st Annual Eagle St. Beach Party. Literally tons of sand are trucked in to create a beach over 3 hours away from the nearest ocean! 3:30-6pm For the first portion of the event, children and families play in the sand. For the second portion, 7-10pm, there will be an adult Fiesta, complete with cash bar on the beach, and live music. Get a sitter for the evening and enjoy a parents’ night out! Free. (Rain Date: July 20). Eagle Street between Center Street and Main Street, North Adams, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 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 13, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 7:30-9pm – RELIGIOUS STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES: Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as his “spiritual dictionary,” the Bhagavad Gita is a 700 verse Hindu scripture, which presents an ethical and metaphysical dialogue between Arjuna, prince of the Pandavas, and Krishna, the god of compassion, who serves as Arjuna’s charioteer in a terrible war that divided families and communities. As Arjuna sets foot upon the battlefield, he realizes that all the enemies who stand before him are his own kinsmen, friends and relatives. Arjuna refuses to fight any longer and turns to Krishna for guidance. The conversation that follows comprises one of the richest and most profound spiritual and philosophical documents in history. The Bhagavad Gita became on of the key scriptures of the 15th century Bhakti movement in India, which can be in part understood as a move towards a more personal relationship with the divine, rather than an experience that is inherently mediated through ritual. In this way, the Bhakti movement can be likened to the Protestant revolution in Europe. Part of the Bhakti tradition that remains to this day is the custom of kirtan. This call-and-response form of devotional music recites myths and legends, prayers, and names of the gods. Set to music, often played on a harmonium and tabla drums, kirtan creates a musical, spiritual experience that is unlike any other. Come learn all about this amazing tradition at Summer Kirtan at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness. 413-418-4001. 55 North St. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 8pm – SOCIAL ISSUES/BIOGRAPHICAL: OK, OK. In a performance that reckons with the racism of today through the lens of what Katie Pearl learned – and didn’t learn – about Oklahoma history while growing up in Tulsa, OK. Performed by Pearl herself with a local ensemble of four, OK OK weaves together personal biography and civic narrative to crack open closed surfaces and get at what’s underneath. Hilarious, heartbreaking and informative, this show reveals the truths and untruths we as a country tell ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going. This a show was developed, in part, during a 2018 Ko Festival Rehearsal Residency and is suitable for audiences ages 12 and up. Performances will be held in the Holden Theater on the campus of Amherst College. 20 Kirby Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)


SUNDAY, JULY 14

Sunday, July 14, All day – 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.

Sunday, July 14, 10am – LOCAL HISTORY/POSTCARDS: Before cell phones and social media, the picture postcard reigned supreme! “Having the time of my life.” So wrote Bernice on a postcard sent to her “Ma” in the early 20th century—one among many cards from Memorial Hall Museum’s Collection that will grace the parlor room at the Summit House Parlor on weekends through September 29, 2019. In this exhibit, “The Time of My Life”, enlarged postcard scenes take visitors on an imaginary road trip, with stops at Mount Tom, Mount Holyoke Summit House, Sugarloaf, Turners Falls, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, and the Mohawk Trail. Sit down and relax with reproduction postal souvenir albums, a hands-on stereoscope, and a Viewmaster with other area scenes that paint pictures of civic pride and new ideas about leisure and travel. Event is free; parking fee may apply. Summit House is wheelchair accessible. Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/POSTCARDS: Discover faraway places by both sending and receiving postcards through Postcrossing. It’s free to sign up, you just pay for the postcard & postage. Find out more in our post, Postcards: A Pint-Sized Geography Lesson.

Sunday, July 14, 8:30-11:30am – ECOLOGY/CANOEING: Canoeing the Housatonic River for 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. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. New Lenox Road, Lenox, MA

Sunday, July 14, 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)

Sunday, July 14, 4pm – SOCIAL ISSUES/BIOGRAPHICAL: OK, OK. In a performance that reckons with the racism of today through the lens of what Katie Pearl learned – and didn’t learn – about Oklahoma history while growing up in Tulsa, OK. Performed by Pearl herself with a local ensemble of four, OK OK weaves together personal biography and civic narrative to crack open closed surfaces and get at what’s underneath. Hilarious, heartbreaking and informative, this show reveals the truths and untruths we as a country tell ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going. This a show was developed, in part, during a 2018 Ko Festival Rehearsal Residency and is suitable for audiences ages 12 and up. Performances will be held in the Holden Theater on the campus of Amherst College. 20 Kirby Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Sunday, July 14, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Established in 1968, the Sevenars Music Festival has been described as one of the best small music festivals in the U.S. by Time Magazine. It started in the South Methodist Church of South Worthington in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts, a village of Worthington listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every year, the music festival presents guest artists and music programs featuring performers from around the world and includes enrichment programs for children. Sevenars is a local way to explore music and art in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts during the summer, connecting interest in music, place, and local history. Sevenars Music Festival. 413-238-5854. 15 Ireland Street. Worthington, MA.

Sunday, July 14, 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 15

July 15-21, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/COSMOLOGY: Space Week at NEAM! Learn about local connections to NASA spacesuits and create a marshmallow constellation 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.

July 15-19, 9am-5pm – Understanding the Amazing Stories in Our Landscape at Historic Deerfield. Deerfield, MA.

Monday, July 15, 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 15, 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Montague Community Band. Peskeomskut Park. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Monday, July 15, 7:30-10pm – CANOEING: Moonlight Canoe Trip for ages 10+. Twilight is an amazing time to listen and look for wildlife. Beavers, owls, loons, and other wildlife are all possible to spot at Buckley Dunton Lake in October Mountain State Forest. Stealthily explore the coves and inlets of this beautiful lake, then hitch your boats together to enjoy refreshments while listening for nocturnal wildlife sounds. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Buckley Dunton Lake, Becket, MA.


TUESDAY, JULY 16

Tuesday, July 16, 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 16, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, July 16, 10am – DRUM-ALONG: Drumming About You with Bob Bloom at Look Park! Bob leads play-along music on hand drums for schools, recreation sites, senior and community centers, disabilities and healthcare facilities, performances, social work activities, and corporate events. After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 17

Wednesday, July 17, 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 17, 10:30am – ASTRONOMY/PERFORMANCE ART: Original story songs and moomations with Mark “MooMaw” Jackson. Free & open to the public. Hosted by the Chesterfield Library at the Chesterfield Old Town Hall. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA.

Wednesday, July 17, 11am-12Noon – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this July at River Valley Co-op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon. Performances from different local organizations and performers include: Living Statue with Linda Peck on July 17; “Dragonflies of the Connecticut Valley” with Dave Small, president of Athol Bird & Nature Club, on July 24; and “Bouncy Jazz & Klezmer Tunes” with Brian Bender and friend on July 31. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli, and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history, or nature. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, July 17, 2pm – SOLAR SYSTEM: Exploring Our Solar System. How different from Earth are the planets? What lives on Earth? Extremophiles and extreme habitats will be explored. Learn more about our solar system and the planets. How did the solar system form? Build a planet, learn cool facts about it. Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Wednesday, July 17, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Wednesday, July 17, 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 17, 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 18

Thursday, July 18, 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 18, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Thursday, July 18, 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.


FRIDAY, JULY 19

Friday, July 19, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, July 19, 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 19, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Friday, July 19, 6:30-8pm – ZOOLOGY/BEAVERS: Evening at the Beaver Ponds for families. Visit their beaver ponds with a naturalist, and search for beavers and other animals attracted to these rich wetlands. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change the valley’s landscape 85 years after their reintroduction to the area. Be prepared to walk to the lower beaver pond. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Friday, July 19, 7pm – OUTDOOR FILM/PLACEMAKING Movie in the Park at Green River Swimming & Recreation Area. Grab your lawn chairs, BYO picnic, and pack the kids in the car for dinner at dusk while watching a family movie with your community in the park. Creating memories on a summer’s eve while connecting with neighbors and friends! Check their website for film title and description. Nash Mill Rd, Greenfield, MA

Friday, July 19, 8pm – THEATER/PREVIEW: The Double Edge Theatre is one of the areas most unique cultural treasures. This one-of-a-kind theater invites the audience to wander through farm and forest in a truly immersive theater experience, designed to create a living culture that is deeply engaged with land and community. The land itself is a vital character in all the shows at the Double Edge Theatre, as it is brought to life through art and music. This summer, the Double Edge Theatre will be performing I Am the Baron, an ode to joy and a journey of the imagination indoors, outdoors, to the stars and back. This is an experience you will never forget! Purchase your tickets in advance (they sell out!). Double Edge Theatre. 413-628-0277. 948 Conway Rd, Ashfield, 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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