100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: July 20-August 2, 2019

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Bulletin Board

July 20 & 21

Blast into the Past: Live a Day in 1805 at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 from 10am-4pm. 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.

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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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 20-August 2, 2019

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

Saturday, July 27Sunday, July 28
Monday, July 29Tuesday, July 30Wednesday, July 31
Thursday, Aug 1Friday, Aug 2

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 20

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, 9am-9:30pm – HISTORY/CULTURAL STUDIES: In the late 17th and 18th centuries, the Scottish Highlanders mounted a series of wars and rebellions against British rule, known as the Jacobite Risings. After the final revolution was put down in 1746, the British government enacted a series of laws designed to pacify the Scottish by undermining their communities and traditions. It was forbidden to wear tartans and kilts, all weapons had to be surrendered, and clan chiefs were replaced by landlords and tax collectors. Collectively, these policies and their after effects are known as the Highland Clearances. In response to these repressive laws and practices, the Highland Games became a way to affirm and celebrate Scottish Highland culture. The modern Highland Games originated during the Victorian era and have now spread all over the English speaking world. Come celebrate all things Scottish at the annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, 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: AVIATION/HISTORY: 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.

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, 12-2pm – LOCAL HISTORY/ICE CREAM: It’s always a good time to enjoy ice cream but there is no better time than a hot summer day! As it turns out, ice cream has existed in one form or another since at least the fifth century BCE. Among the ancient Greeks and Chinese, snow or shaved ice was mixed with honey and topped with fruit. In fact, Hippocrates, sometimes called ‘the Father of Modern Medicine,’ wrote that eating the icy dessert “livens the life-juices and increases the well-being.” So now when anyone tries to tell you that you’re eating too much ice cream, you can just respond that you need to liven your life-juices! Hippocrates said so. Join fellow history buffs and ice cream lovers at the Historical Society of Greenfield Museum for ice cream, ice cream history, and celebration with a Mary P Wells Smith & Snow’s Ice Cream Birthday Party! The ice cream social is 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! Historical Society of Greenfield Museum. 413-774-3663. 43 Church St. Greenfield, 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, 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.

Sunday, July 21, 11am – SHAKESPEARE/DISCUSSION: It’s something of a cliche to say that Shakespeare’s work was ahead of its time. But then again, cliches are cliches for a reason! In terms of race and gender, particularly, Shakespeare’s writing seems shockingly contemporary. In Othello, for example, he presents one of the most powerful early modern analyses of racism and “the other,” although the play is certainly not immune to the rampant racism of 17th century England. As scholars have noted, the Protestant Reformation in England promoted the idea of a strictly ordered society and projected its own repressed neuroses onto the figure of “the other.” In the case of Othello, a North African or Middle Eastern captain in the service of the Venetian navy, his outsider status is consistently emphasized and reinforced by being called ‘a moor.’ The term, which is racially and religiously ambiguous, could be used in Shakespeare’s day to refer to anyone from Africa, the Middle East, or even India. It also had religious connotations, suggesting any non-Christian. Thus, Othello finds himself in a precarious position simply by being an other. Iago, the play’s truly evil villain, exploits Othello’s painful awareness of his outsider status, in order to push him to the brink. This can also be seen as a commentary by Shakespeare on the work of his contemporaries, who generally used racially othered characters to represent treachery and dishonesty. Come discuss Othello at Shakespeare Sunday, led by UMass Professor Arthur Kinney (This group meets at Arthur Kinney’s home. Please contact the store for details.) Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street South. Hadley MA.

Sunday, July 21, 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

Monday, July 22, 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, 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.

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, 9:30am-4:30pm – LIVING HISTORY/ARTS AND CRAFTS: Colonial history buffs are in for a real treat as Historic Deerfield is opening its doors for free this Friday! The scenic main street of the old Deerfield village will be set up with activity stations, where visitors can attend historical reenactments and learn about traditional colonial arts and crafts. And as always, the charming museum houses will be open for tours. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

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. ($$)


SATURDAY, JULY 27

Saturday, July 27, 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 Rock and Keep Rolling Episode with Guest DJ, Tim Seston. Exploring a single word through music can uncover the many ways we use language on an everyday basis. In Rock and Keep Rolling the word “roll” is used to describe the movement of waves, wheat fields, and a manatee. It describes the fun of rolling down a hill to the more sophisticated meaning of letting something roll off you back. A roll can be a food item, or a drum sjequence, or quite simply the partner of rock. 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 27, 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 27, 10am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY/PLACEMAKING: When Europeans first settled Buckland in 1742, it was called “No Town,” as it was not a part of neighboring Charlemont or Ashfield. Centuries later, Buckland has developed its own distinct character and personality. The Buckland Historical Society is once again hosting their annual A Summer Day on the Buckland Common, a whole day of events celebrating Buckland! Learn all about the history of this charming little town with a historic walking tour and enjoy a famous Buckland Blueberry Buckle, made by the members of the Buckland Historical Society. Upper Street, Buckland, MA (FREE)

Saturday, July 27, 10am-5pm – POTTERY TOUR/DEMONSTRATIONS: Pottery has been a part of human civilizations around the world ever since the Neolithic era – which was over 10,000 years ago! Much more than just a means of making dishes, pottery serves as a creative outlet for many artists, and the slow development of the art and technology surrounding pottery speaks volumes to the changes that human civilization has undergone, both long ago and more recently. The annual Hilltown 6 Pottery Tour offers families the opportunity to visit potters’ Hilltown-based studios, see their work, learn about the process of creating pottery, ask questions, and enjoy delicious food. Demonstrations this year include: throwing a plate, making spouts and large pots, glazing and firing techniques, surface design, among other techniques.  Go to the website for a map and full schedule of events on this self-guided tour. Hilltowns, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 10am-10pm – LIVING HISTORY/RENAISSANCE FAIR: Massachusetts Renaissance Faire, a fairy-themed, family-friendly Renaissance Faire based in the heart of the Hilltowns! With jousting, a varied market, knights, fairies, tasty treats, and lots of other activities, you’ll be transported back to the edges of the Realm of Faerie as it interacts with the Middle Ages. Visit an encampment from the end of the Hundred Years War. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into nails. Cheer for armored knights as they wail on each other with swords. See the wonder in your child’s eye as they test their strength against a real knight, laugh with a vegetarian zombie, or dance under a May Pole. (Guests under the age of 18 will not be allowed after 7pm when the “After Dark” adult entertainment begins.) Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 10am-12noon – BOTANY/FERNS: Learn the Ferns with Joseph Strauch for life-long learners. Are ferns a mystery to you? Join botanist and fern expert Joe Strauch on a journey into the fascinating world of ferns and learn clues that reveal their identity. Learn how to identify a fresh assortment of local ferns, then head outside to test your new skills. Easy-to-use Fern Finder guides will help you identify the 50 species in Berkshire County. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 1-2:30pm – NATURE STUDIES/BEAVERS: Beaver Dam Challenge. Take on the challenge of building a miniature beaver dam using objects collected in nature. Also, learn what beavers use their tails for, why their teeth are orange instead of white, and why they build dams. Participants can drop-by for this activity anytime during the scheduled time. Suitable for families with children ages 4 and older (siblings welcome). Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 1-7pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: Come celebrate the Pittsfield community at the Annual Gather In Festival, hosted by the Berkshire County NAACP! Make new friends, visit with neighbors, and enjoy an afternoon of delicious food, live music, and lots of games and activities for children. These are the kinds of events that make our communities so special. Berkshire County NAACP. Durant Park. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 2pm – 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.

Saturday, July 27, 2pm – 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. ($$)

Saturday, July 27, 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 27, 5-10pm – SKATEBOARDING: Night Skate! Unity Skatepark. 56 1st St. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 6pm – COMMUNITY DANCE/PLACEMAKING: Hinsdale Community Block Dance, presented by the Hinsdale Fire Association, the Hinsdale Police Department, and the Hinsdale Dayz Committee. Hinsdale Volunteer Fire Department. 95 Maple St, Hinsdale, MA.

Saturday, July 27, 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 27, 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. ($$)

Saturday, July 27, 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.

Saturday, July 27, 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.


SUNDAY, JULY 28

Sunday, July 28, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Saturday morning episode, Rock and Keep Rolling with Guest DJ, Tim Seston. Exploring a single word through music can uncover the many ways we use language on an everyday basis. In Rock and Keep Rolling the word “roll” is used to describe the movement of waves, wheat fields, and a manatee. It describes the fun of rolling down a hill to the more sophisticated meaning of letting something roll off you back. A roll can be a food item, or a drum sjequence, or quite simply the partner of rock.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 28, 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.

Sunday, July 28, 9am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY/INDUSTRY: Celebrate Springfield history and industry at the Springfield Museums’ Annual Indian Motorcycle Day. Indian Motorcycles were manufactured in Springfield from 1901 to 1953, and the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History has a collection of vintage Indian bikes. See the classic motorcycles, browse vendor displays, hear a DJ play classic rock tunes, and see a motorcycle best of competition. This is a fun way to learn about Springfield history while seeing beautiful vintage motorcycles. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Sunday, July 28, 10am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY/RENAISSANCE FAIR: Massachusetts Renaissance Faire, a fairy-themed, family-friendly Renaissance Faire based in the heart of the Hilltowns! With jousting, a varied market, knights, fairies, tasty treats, and lots of other activities, you’ll be transported back to the edges of the Realm of Faerie as it interacts with the Middle Ages. Visit an encampment from the end of the Hundred Years War. Watch a blacksmith turn iron into nails. Cheer for armored knights as they wail on each other with swords. See the wonder in your child’s eye as they test their strength against a real knight, laugh with a vegetarian zombie, or dance under a May Pole. Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA.

Sunday, July 28, 10am-5pm – POTTERY TOUR/DEMONSTRATIONS: Pottery has been a part of human civilizations around the world ever since the Neolithic era – which was over 10,000 years ago! Much more than just a means of making dishes, pottery serves as a creative outlet for many artists, and the slow development of the art and technology surrounding pottery speaks volumes to the changes that human civilization has undergone, both long ago and more recently. The annual Hilltown 6 Pottery Tour offers families the opportunity to visit potters’ Hilltown-based studios, see their work, learn about the process of creating pottery, ask questions, and enjoy delicious food. Demonstrations this year include: throwing a plate, making spouts and large pots, glazing and firing techniques, surface design, among other techniques.  Go to the website for a map and full schedule of events on this self-guided tour. Hilltowns, MA.

Sunday, July 28, 2pm – 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.

Sunday, July 28, 2pm – 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. ($$)

Sunday, July 28, 4pm – LABYRINTH: Open labyrinth walk with the Community Labyrinth Coalition. All are welcome to walk a large canvas labyrinth accompanied by soft music. The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew. 8 Church St, Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, July 28, 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 28, 4pm – 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. ($$)

Sunday, July 28, 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.


MONDAY, JULY 29

Monday, July 29, 10am-5pm: AVIATION/HISTORY: Engine Week at NEAM! Learn about local connections to the history of airplane engines and create and launch a “jet” balloon 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 29, 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 29, 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.

Monday, July 29, 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.

Monday, July 29, 3:30-4:30pm – CHESS: According to an ancient story, the emperor of Persia, who loved games, invited his subjects to develop the perfect game. The first game was checkers. The emperor enjoyed the game but observed that it relied too much on luck and involved too little skill and was thus not realistic. The next game was chess. The emperor once again celebrated the ingenuity of the game, but complained that the game relied too much on skill and too little luck and was thus, also not true to life. The final game was backgammon, which the emperor declared the perfect game, due its perfect balance of luck and skill. Whether or not one agrees with the emperor’s assessment that chess involves no luck, we can all agree that a better game of skill can scarcely be found. Few games have inspired so much thought and study over the centuries. If you are a chess fanatic or a newcomer, don’t miss the weekly Chess Club at the Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Monday, July 29, 6:30pm – TEXTILE ARTS/KNITTING: Knitting circles have been an essential part of traditional community life for millennia. In modern history, knitting circles have often been associated with politically subversive activities. In the early days of the United States, for example, the Daughters of Liberty organized a boycott of all British goods, notably textiles, as a way to reduce the young nation’s dependence on foreign goods. The Daughters of Liberty promoted knitting and weaving as a way to demonstrate the kinds of political actions available to women. Since women were often excluded from political activity, knitting circles became a vital space to work together, discuss important issues of the day, strategize and organize, all under the guise of so-called ‘women’s work.’ Nowadays, of course, it’s not only women who are discovering a passion for knitting! Make new friends, meet members of the community, and work on your knitting together at the weekly library knitting group in Westhampton. Local knitting enthusiasts will be there to answer questions and offer help on your knitting project. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.


TUESDAY, JULY 30

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

Tuesday, July 30, 10am – CLOWNERY/MAGIC: Bowey The Magic Clown is an award winning family entertainer who has been wowing crowds of all ages for decades with his comical blend of magic, balloon art and ventrioquism. After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, July 30, 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! Then check out a home baseball game with the SteepleCats tonight! Joe Wolfe Field. 310 State Street. North Adams, MA.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 31

Wednesday, July 31, 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 31, 10:30am – PUPPET THEATER: The Caravan Puppet Theater with Jonathan Keezing presents “Journey to the Moon!” Free & open to the public. Hosted by the Chesterfield Library at the Old Town Hall Route 143. Chesterfield, MA.

Wednesday, July 31, 11am-12Noon – MUSIC STUDIES/JAZ & 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 “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 31, 2pm – SOLAR SYSTEM: Design Your Own Solar System. What are your planets like? How many suns does your solar system have? Does it have moons? What creatures live there? Do people live there? What gasses does it have? Bring your imagination and creativity. Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Wednesday, July 31, 2pm & 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 31, 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 31, 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 31, 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 31, 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, AUGUST 1

Thursday, August 1, 11am & 2pm – 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, August 1, 3:30 pm – MUSIC STUDIES/INSTRUMENTS: Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Petting Zoo visits the library! After an introduction to the instruments, participants get a chance to bow a violin, blow a horn, or tap out a rhythm on a drum. Here’s your chance to try an instrument in a judgment-free zone that encourages exploration and excitement! Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Thursday, August 1, 5:30-7:30pm: FAMILY CONCERT/PLACEMAKING: Get set for two amazing bands with an international fan-base that call the Pioneer Valley home! Latin Grammy winner Mister G travels internationally with the message of protecting our planet, integrating blues, soul, and roots to his repertoire for a foot-stompin’ good time. In The Nick of Time is a group of talented musicians for all ages, described as “Jack Black meets Dr. Seuss.” This annual family concert is always a packed show. Come out and enjoy a new location of Amherst Downtown’s historic town common. Bart’s Ice Cream Cart will be on hand with delicious samples to purchase. Go to amherstdowntown.com and follow the tab for Free Summer Concert. Check the weather and website. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, August 1, 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, August 1, 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, August 1, 7:30pm – 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, AUGUST 2

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

Friday, August 2, 10:30am – PUPPET SHOW: No Strings Marionettes presents “Nick of Time” at Peskeomskut Park, weather permitting – bring a blanket to sit on! The show will be held inside the Carnegie Public Library if the weather is unpleasant. 413-863-3214. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, August 2, 2pm & 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.

Friday, August 2, 5-8pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: As Henry David Thoreau points out, the root of the word “saunter” comes from “the idle people who roved about the country… under the pretense of going à la Sainte Terre, or the Holy Land.” Thus the act of casually strolling an inherently sacred act. For those who saunter, the entire world becomes their Holy Land. To walk aimlessly is to find a pilgrimage in every step, a temple in every tree, shrub, or blade of grass. What better way to find your temple than to combine walking with art? Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk features a dozen different art shows throughout the Upstreet Cultural District. Happens every month all year (except January). Come check out amazing local art and meet some of the artists! Guided tour begins at 5pm at the Intermodal Center (BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.). Downtown Pittsfield. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, August 2, 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, August 2, 6:30pm – SPORTS/BASEBALL: Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ball field! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature. Read more in our post, Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball! Catch a game plus fireworks tonight with the Pittsfield Suns! Wahconah Park. 413-445-7867. 105 Wahconah Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, August 2, 7:30pm – 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, August 2, 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. ($$)


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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