100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: July 13-26, 2019

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Featured Events

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.

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.

Jul 12

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.

Jul 20

Did you know Dickinson wrote around 100 poems about bees? Join us at the Emily Dickinson Museum(280 Main St., Amherst, MA) on July 20 for “Buccaneers of Buzz,” their annual Children’s Circus! This family-friendly event celebrates the important role pollinators played in Dickinson’s poetry and in our lives today. Learn more about the continued significance of pollinators from educators from Book & Plow Farm, crafts, games, and an interactive, musical puppet show with Tom Knight at 1:30pm. Perfect for children ages 3 to 10, this event is $5 for families or free for Friends of the Museum. Stop by between 12 and 3:30pm to see what all the buzz is about! For more information, email EDMprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or visit their website.

Jul 20, 21, Aug 7

Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by hitting the high seas with their favorite band of pirates, Everybody Wants To Be A Pirate! They areeeeeeee back with more jokes, more treasure, and more shenanigINs-and-OUTs. Kelsey Flynn, Troy Mercier, and Myka Plunkett will be holding strong this summer on deck with all new jokes. You’re always welcome to join the crew for the third installment of the saga that is PaintBox PIRATES! Shows are: July 20, 10:30am & 1pm, July 21, 10:30am & 1pm, and again on Wed., Aug 7, 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.

Jul 23, Jul 30, & Aug 6

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. Steve Corning will get you jazzed to start the day on July 23rd with his juggling act. On July 30th, Bowey the Clown will have everyone laughing and on August 6th, Ed the Magician will be back to dazzle families once again! For more information visit: www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457.

Jul 24 – Aug 10

Barrington Stage Company: Ragtag Theater’s Hansel and Gretel. Book by Sam Lafrage; Music and Lyrics by Lewis Flinn and Sam Lafrage. For ages 3 to 103, Ragtag Theatre Company (creators of the smash hits Cinderella and Rapunzel) is creating a hilarious, interactive, fractured musical version of the well-known fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, featuring Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre Company in Pittsfield, MA. This slap-happy, reimagined romp through this beloved fairy tale is guaranteed to be a great time for all! Dates: July 24–August 10. Tickets: 413-236-8888. barringtonstageco.org

Aug 4

Join The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts on August 4 from 5-8:30pm for a special Cider Pairing Dinner fundraising event! Dine al fresco while enjoying the breathtaking views at Apex Orchards in Shelburne, MA, with dinner prepared by Wheelhouse paired with locally made hard cider by Artifact Cider Project and Headwater Cider. Tractor tours of the orchard and grounds included! Visit foodbankwma.org/cider-pairing-dinner for tickets and more information.

Aug 25 & 29

Do you know children who are talented instrumentalists? Are they motivated to practice and to make music with other young musicians? The Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra offers a dynamic & supportive ensemble environment for talented musicians in middle & high school. Directed by Steven Bathory-Peeler, the PVSYO performs in 2 standalone concerts and also 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 Sun, Aug 25, 3-5pm & Thurs, Aug 29, 6-8pm. Visit www.pvsoc.org/youth-orchestra to learn more or register for an audition.

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Featured Directories


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 13-26, 2019

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

Saturday, July 20Sunday, July 21
Monday, July 22Tuesday, July 23Wednesday, July 24
Thursday, July 25Friday, July 26

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 13

Saturday, July 13, 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: Cowboy Andy, lead singer and songwriter for the family friendly band The Salamanders, lives on a lavender farm in the mountains of Western Montana. In this week’s episode he explores humor in music across a wide range of genres and decades! 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 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. jCummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA.

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

Saturday, July 13, 9:30-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/FRUIT PRESERVES: Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration: A Strawberry in Winter – Making Fruit Preserves. Summer is a time for fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries ripen quickly for short, sweet seasons. Come see how early New England cooks preserved the sweet berries of summer to enjoy all year long. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, July 13, 1-2:30pm – ARCHITECTURE/MASONRY: Bricks, Masonry, & Mud! Discover the many ways bricks were laid that house the mills, churches, and schools. Observe the various masonry techniques of the buildings across from the park and take part in a hands-on activity, making mud brick and trying your hand at applying mortar. Participants can drop-by for this activity anytime during the scheduled time. For families with children ages 6 and older (siblings welcome). An adult must accompany children. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, 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, 5:30pm, 6:30-8pm – DANCE STUDIES/SWING MUSIC: Celebrate Big Band Music with Simply Swing. Bring a lawn chair, picnic supper, and your dance shoes and join friends outside on historic grounds for an annual Big Band concert featuring Simply Swing. Simply Swing, specializing in recreating the music and memories of the Big Band and Swing eras, features a swinging horn section, a dynamic rhythm section, and beautiful vocals. “In 1943 Benny Goodman and his band came to the Armory as part of his nationwide Twilight Tours. Goodman made a point to play to war workers like those at the Springfield Armory as a thank you for their dedication and patriotism. The Armory workers were essential in the manufacturing of firearms for the military during WWII.” Dance lessons begin at 5:30pm and the concert from 6:30-8pm. Admission is free. Springfield Armory National Historic Site. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory St Suite 2, Springfield, 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, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode. Cowboy Andy, lead singer and songwriter for the family friendly band The Salamanders, lives on a lavender farm in the mountains of Western Montana. In this week’s episode he explores humor in music across a wide range of genres and decades! 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 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, Susgarloaf, 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.

Sunday, July 14, 10am – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/POSTCARDS: After visiting the postcard exhibit featured above, 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, 1pm – ENTOMOLOGY/DRAGONFLIES: Dragonflies: Nature’s Helicopters. Dragonflies are fascinating in their movement and characteristics. Come learn about these unique insects and their world of flight in this family program. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. (FREE/>$PARKING)

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.

Monday, July 15, 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, 6pm – FILM/LUNAR LANDING: Where were you when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon? Starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, First Man tells the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost, on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself; of one of the most dangerous missions in history. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, 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.

Tuesday, July 16, 1pm – MAGIC: Join the Adams Free Library’s Summer Reading Program and Magic by Scott Jameson in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing with this year’s theme of “A Universe of Stories.” Join magician and juggler Scott Jameson for an extraordinary performance that will have you laughing out loud and perched on the very edge of your seat. Umbrellas will be plucked from thin air, a drawing will come to life, basketballs will be spun and juggled, and a member of the audience will unlock telekinetic abilities. Adams Free Library. 413-743-8345. 92 Park Street, Adams MA.

Tuesday, July 16, 2-3pm – NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/SHAKER: Shaker Foodways. Spend an hour with an expert guide touring the Hancock Sharke Village heirloom vegetable and herb gardens on the oldest working farm in the Berkshires. Explore the 1830 Brick Dwelling kitchen and discover ingenious culinary design and surprising technology. Mix up a Shaker recipe to sample. Learn how the Shakers became highly successful entrepreneurs who sold herbs, seeds, and prepared foods such as canned fruits and vegetables. Advanced registration encouraged. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, 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, 12noon – AGRICULTURE/HISTORY: Amazing Agriculture: Past and Present. Join Historic Deerfield at their History Workshop and “dig in” to some fascinating activities as you explore the rich heritage of agriculture in Deerfield. Learn about and use real farm tools of the past, take a peat pot of seeds home with you, and on special days, meet some gentle farm animals. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

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.


SATURDAY

Saturday, July 20, 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: Nature, dancing and good friends and family are some of Alina Celeste’s favorite things. In this week’s episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show as our Guest DJ, Alina shares some of her favorite songs in Spanish and English (and both!) that make you want to move your body and appreciate the world around you. So get dancing and celebrating! 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 20, 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 20, 9:30-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/FRUIT PRESERVES: Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration: A Strawberry in Winter – Making Fruit Preserves. Summer is a time for fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries ripen quickly for short, sweet seasons. Come see how early New England cooks preserved the sweet berries of summer to enjoy all year long. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 10am-12Noon – LOCAL HISTORY/CANALS & MERRY-GO-ROUNDS: Canal Walk and 48 Horses (+2). Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the scenic canals followed by a special tour of the Holyoke Merry Go Round. The antique, hand-carved Merry Go Round was a major attraction at Mountain Park from 1929 to the park’s closing in 1987. The Merry Go Round made its new home at Holyoke Heritage State Park in 1993 and still plays organ music as the 48 horses offer a delightful ride for visitors. Find out what the additional 2 mystery horses are that also reside at the Holyoke Merry Go Round. The tour is free. Optional Merry Go Round rides are available for $2/person. Ride proceeds go to benefit the operation and preservation of the Merry Go Round. Heavy downpour 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, July 20, 10am-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/RURAL LIFE: Blast into the Past: Live a Day in 1805 at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Experience rural living, home life, and community in Western MA from the 19th century as the Homestead recreates a 19th-century farm community for families to discover and explore. Participate in a barter economy and learn about the various skills and trades of the early 1800’s. Meet different 19th-century craftspeople, tradespeople, and farm workers as they demonstrate historic skills such as blacksmithing, shoemaking, straw braiding, cooking, timber framing, and more! William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 10am-5pm: COSMOLOGY: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebration at NEAM! The New England Air Museum contains over 100 aircraft ranging from early flying machines to supersonic jets. Over 65 aircraft are on display in three large hangars and an outdoor exhibit. New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT.

Saturday, July 20, 10am – LITERARY HISTORY/HIKE: In July of 1844, the year before Henry David Thoreau lived at and wrote about his experience at Walden Pond, his famous account of rugged individualism and living simply; he sauntered from Concord to Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. Follow in the footsteps of this American naturalist and writer during a guided hike to the summit of Mount Greylock. Local scholar and environmentalist Lauren Stevens guides this program, retracing Thoreau’s ascent of the mountain. The hike is enlivened with visits to actual locations including insights and interpretation to his experience from excerpts in the account of this event, as recorded by Thoreau in his book “A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.” Hikers have options for 5 miles one-way or complete 9.5-mile routes. Upper sections of the Bellows Pipe Trail are strenuous. Participants should be prepared for the trail and weather conditions. Sturdy hiking footwear is recommended. Bring your lunch, snack, and adequate water. Drinking water and restrooms are available only at the summit. Trail maps and resource materials are provided. Participants should meet at the Mount Greylock State Reservation, Notch Road gate parking lot, 300 feet up from the intersections of Reservoir and Notch Roads, off Route 2 in North Adams. 413-499-4262. Recommended for ages teen to adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by hitting the high seas with their favorite band of pirates, Everybody Wants To Be A Pirate! They areeeeeeee back with more jokes, more treasure, and more shenanigINs-and-OUTs. Kelsey Flynn, Troy Mercier, and Myka Plunkett will be holding strong this summer on deck with all new jokes. You’re always welcome to join the crew for the third installment of the saga that is PaintBox PIRATES! Shows are: July 20, 10:30am & 1pm, July 21, 10:30am & 1pm, and again on Wed., Aug 7, 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, July 20, 10:45am-1pm – RIVER ECOLOGY/INDIGENOUS HERITAGE: Heritage Boat Cruise. Join Connecticut River Conservancy and representatives from the Nolumbeka Project (MA) and Elnu Abenaki Tribe (VT) to learn about indigenous relationships with the river and their vision for its future. Special guest speakers include David Brule and Rich Holschuh. Limited seating. Pre-register. 413-772-2020 x207. The cruise will depart from the dock at the Riverview Picnic area at the foot of Ferry Road in Northfield, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 12-3:30pm – POLLINATORS/EMILY DICKINSON – Did you know Dickinson wrote around 100 poems about bees? Join us at the Emily Dickinson Museum on July 20 for “Buccaneers of Buzz,” their annual Children’s Circus! This family-friendly event celebrates the important role pollinators played in Dickinson’s poetry and in our lives today. Learn more about the continued significance of pollinators from educators from Book & Plow Farm, crafts, games, and an interactive, musical puppet show with Tom Knight at 1:30pm. Perfect for children ages 3 to 10, this event is $5 for families or free for Friends of the Museum. Stop by between 12 and 3:30pm to see what all the buzz is about! For more information, email EDMprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or visit their website. Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 12noon-2pm – LOCAL HISTORY/ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Mary P Wells Smith & Snow’s Ice Cream Birthday Party! The Historical Society of Greenfield MA will hold an ice cream social in honor of their founder Mary P Wells Smith, who started the Society in 1907. That same year, Frank Snow began developing what would become Snow’s Ice Cream. An ice cream social birthday party will be held at the museum with a special display of ice-cream making history. Snow’s Ice Cream will be available for the first 200 visitors. Come to the party! Historic Society of Greenfield. 43 Church Street, Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 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 20, 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 20, 4-5:30pm – COMEDY/IMPROV: Everybody loves to laugh but did you also know that laughing is good for you, too? Yes, it’s true: laughter may be the best medicine after all. A good laugh can relax your muscles for forty five minutes, release endorphins, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. If you find yourself in need of a laugh, you are in luck. The Happier FAMILY Comedy Show will be at The Carle! Enjoy an hour of improv with improv comedy veterans! The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, July 20, 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 20, 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 20, 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

Saturday, July 20, 8pm – STORY SLAM/AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL: Ko Fest Story Slam 2019. In a unique twist on the classic poetry slam, the Ko Fest Story Slam will showcase first person, true stories told live on stage. This season’s theme is “HABITAT,” which will feature stories having to do with human habitat – particularly changes in them. Perhaps some performers will tell stories that look back at where they grew up, or about moving to a new locale or culture. Stories will be personal in nature – firsthand or observed – that relate to the performer’s experience. A show of this nature gives audiences the opportunity to experience the raw honesty and vulnerability that is live theater. Performance will be held in the Holden Theater on the campus of Amherst College. 20 Kirby Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 20, 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.


SUNDAY, JULY 21

Sunday, July 21, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode. Nature, dancing and good friends and family are some of Alina Celeste’s favorite things. In this week’s episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show as our Guest DJ, Alina shares some of her favorite songs in Spanish and English (and both!) that make you want to move your body and appreciate the world around you. So get dancing and celebrating! . 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 21, 8:30-11:30am – CANOEING: Canoeing October Mountain State Forest for ages 10+. Herons, loons, beavers, and other wildlife are all possible sightings on this large, secluded lake in October Mountain State Forest. Explore the coves and intlets before paddling ashore to enjoy a snack, visit forest plant communities, and search for signs of animals such as porcupines and moose. Registration is required: massaudubon.org/pleasantvalleyprograms. Buckley Dunton Lake, Becket, MA.

Sunday, July 21, 10am-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/RURAL LIFE: Blast into the Past: Live a Day in 1805 at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Experience rural living, home life, and community in Western MA from the 19th century as the Homestead recreates a 19th-century farm community for families to discover and explore. Participate in a barter economy and learn about the various skills and trades of the early 1800’s. Meet different 19th-century craftspeople, tradespeople, and farm workers as they demonstrate historic skills such as blacksmithing, shoemaking, straw braiding, cooking, timber framing, and more! William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

Sunday, July 21, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre celebrates its Sweet 16th Season by hitting the high seas with their favorite band of pirates, Everybody Wants To Be A Pirate! They areeeeeeee back with more jokes, more treasure, and more shenanigINs-and-OUTs. Kelsey Flynn, Troy Mercier, and Myka Plunkett will be holding strong this summer on deck with all new jokes. You’re always welcome to join the crew for the third installment of the saga that is PaintBox PIRATES! Shows are: July 20, 10:30am & 1pm, July 21, 10:30am & 1pm, and again on Wed., Aug 7, 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, Late July, 11am-2pm – PASTRY ARTS/BLUEBERRIES: Annual Blueberry Festival at Quonquont Farm! Summer is the season of berry picking for eating fresh, canning for colder months, and turning into blueberry buckle and pies. Let this little fruit get you curious about pastry arts and history via pie! The concept of pie as food can be traced to ancient civilizations where basic types of pastries were produced with the use of oils and grains. Pies, as we know it today, seem to have originated in the Middle Ages as a pastry to enclose a filling. In the United States, American pies were derived from traditional English pies. They were often of a crude crust, but were an easy way to feed many in a family, since the crust required less flour than bread and it was a way to utilize different ingredients. Take your interest in pie and traditional pastry arts with you to the annual blueberry fest for an intergenerational day of fun and games, learning and eating. Enter your favorite blueberry delicacy in their Blueberry Bake Off or taste the entries produced by professional and amateur bakers. Join pollinator expert Fred Morrison and learn about the fascinating relationship between bumblebees and blueberries too! Quonquont Farm. 413-575-4680. 9 North Street, Whately, MA.

Sunday, July 21, 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.


MONDAY, JULY 22

July 22-28, 10am-5pm: AVIATION: Jet Week at NEAM! Climb aboard a Mach 1 supersonic jet and create an origami jet 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 22, 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 22, 6pm – POP CULTURE/LIFE-LONG LEARNING: Barry Deitz: The Summer of ’69. Join popular local presenter Barry Deitz for a tour of the events of the Summer of ’69, from Woodstock to the Moon Landing, Slaughterhouse Five to The Godfather, and Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Led Zepplin, and Tommy. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.


TUESDAY, JULY 23

Tuesday, July 23, 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 23, 10am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Steve Corning Entertainment. Steve presents a variety show of ultimate proportions, featuring fast-paced juggling routines, mind-blowing escape artistry, comedy magic, contortion, LED light manipulation, and nearly endless weird and amazing stunts, all set to original music. After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, July 23, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, July 23, 8-10pm – ENTOMOLOGY/MOTHS: Celebrate National Moth Week & Nighttime Pollinators at Tamarack Hollow. Nighttime viewing and identification of moths plus moth stories around the campfire. Led by moth specialist Betsy Higgins with support from insect and bio-blitz scientist Jason Crockwell and Tamarack Hollow staff. (Rain date: 7/24) Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center. aimee@gaiaroots.com. 1515 Savoy Hollow Rd, Windsor, MA.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

Wednesday, July 24, 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 24, 10:30am – COSMOLOGY/STORYTELLING: “Aliens: Escape from Earth.” The Science Tellers return with a universe of stories and adventure. Free & open to the public. Hosted by the Chesterfield Library at the Chesterfield Community Center. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA.

Wednesday, July 24, 11am-12Noon – MUSIC STUDIES/KLEZMER: 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: 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 24, 2pm – SPACE TRAVEL: How Far Away are We Heading? Build and decorate a soda-bottle rocket ship, and start your own food for space. Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Wednesday, July 24, 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 24, 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 24, 7pm – YOUTH THEATER: Barrington Stage Company: Ragtag Theater’s Hansel and Gretel. Book by Sam Lafrage; Music and Lyrics by Lewis Flinn and Sam Lafrage. For ages 3 to 103, Ragtag Theatre Company (creators of the smash hits Cinderella and Rapunzel) is creating a hilarious, interactive, fractured musical version of the well-known fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, featuring Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre Company in Pittsfield, MA. This slap-happy, reimagined romp through this beloved fairy tale is guaranteed to be a great time for all! 413-236-8888. Barrington Stage Company. 122 North Street, Pittsfield, MA.

Wednesday, July 24, 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 ($$)

Wednesday, July 24, 8pm – THEATER: 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.


THURSDAY, JULY 25

Thursday, July 25, 2-3pm – NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/SHAKER: Shaker Foodways. Spend an hour with an expert guide touring the Hancock Sharke Village heirloom vegetable and herb gardens on the oldest working farm in the Berkshires. Explore the 1830 Brick Dwelling kitchen and discover ingenious culinary design and surprising technology. Mix up a Shaker recipe to sample. Learn how the Shakers became highly successful entrepreneurs who sold herbs, seeds, and prepared foods such as canned fruits and vegetables. Advanced registration encouraged. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Thursday, July 25, 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 25, 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 25, 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 25, 7pm – YOUTH THEATER: Barrington Stage Company: Ragtag Theater’s Hansel and Gretel. Book by Sam Lafrage; Music and Lyrics by Lewis Flinn and Sam Lafrage. For ages 3 to 103, Ragtag Theatre Company (creators of the smash hits Cinderella and Rapunzel) is creating a hilarious, interactive, fractured musical version of the well-known fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, featuring Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre Company in Pittsfield, MA. This slap-happy, reimagined romp through this beloved fairy tale is guaranteed to be a great time for all! 413-236-8888. Barrington Stage Company. 122 North Street, Pittsfield, MA.

Thursday, July 25, 8pm – THEATER: 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.


FRIDAY, JULY 26

Friday, July 26, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, July 26, 12noon – AGRICULTURE/HISTORY: Amazing Agriculture: Past and Present. Join Historic Deerfield at their History Workshop and “dig in” to some fascinating activities as you explore the rich heritage of agriculture in Deerfield. Learn about and use real farm tools of the past, take a peat pot of seeds home with you, and on special days, meet some gentle farm animals. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Friday, July 26, 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 26, 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 26, 8pm – ASTRONOMY/STARGAZING: The community is invited to Astronomy Nights in Heath. Join local astronomers for a night of stargazing with telescopes at the Heath School Building grounds on Jacobs Road. Heath Free Public Library. 413-337-4934. 1 E Main St, Heath, MA.

Friday, July 26, 8pm – YOUTH THEATER/DISNEY MUSICAL: Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins is a show that takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures! This iconic nanny helps the troubled Banks family learn to value each other again, motivating audiences with her lessons in “anything is possible if you believe.” This production of Mary Poppins gives audiences the chance to experience special effects, illusions, and musical theater by way of a strong female role. Performance will be held at the Exit 7 Theater. 37 Chestnut Street, Ludlow, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 26, 8pm – THEATER: 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.

Friday, July 26, 8pm – HISTORICAL/AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL: (dis)Place[d]. In this spellbinding piece, co-director Deborah Eliezer cracks open the assumptions of her own identity through the story of her father, Edward Ben-Eliezer, an Iraqi Jew born in 1930, a member of the Zionist underground, refugee, Israeli spy, and immigrant to America. Eliezer brings twenty years’ experience as an acclaimed physical performer to create a dozen different characters, including her father at three different ages, her great grandmother, their Iraqi neighbors, an ethereal embodiment of the Tigris Euphrates valley itself, refugees, immigrants, and more. First generation immigrants have often hidden the stories of their past, sometimes to keep painful memories from their children, sometimes to enthusiastically embrace their new countries. The children are caught between cultures, with no way of acknowledging a multi-national, multi-ethnic identity. It was not until Eliezer’s father had begun his descent into dementia that she began to glimpse his past. “We kept cyanide in our socks,” he said out of the blue one day. And she learned that her peace-loving father had been a spy for the Israeli Defense Forces. Other stories trickled out: as a child he hid for days on a rooftop as Baghdadi Jews were slaughtered during the Farhoud, a Nazi-inspired “pogrom”; at 11 he joined the Zionist underground, smuggling weapons; at 19 he was targeted for assassination, fled Baghdad, crossed the desert on foot, and lived in a refugee camp on the Iraq/Iran border for two years; he managed to bring 8 of his 9 siblings to Israel, unable to save the eldest, who stayed behind and was killed. Bit by bit Debórah uncovered her roots, and the remarkable history of the Iraqi Jewish Diaspora. (dis)Place[d] follows her exploration of these stories, and asks hard questions: Who has the right to tell the story of a people? What is the significance of borders versus land and culture? What is the relationship of nationality to identity? The work aims to open a space for community dialogue around these issues in general, and specifically within the diaspora of Mizrahi Jews. Performances will be held in the Holden Theater on the campus of Amherst College. 20 Kirby Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)


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

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