100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: July 27-August 9, 2019

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With 9,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.5+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational events and community building opportunities happening this weekend and next week in Western MA!

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Bulletin Board

Jul 27-28 & Aug 3-4


The Massachusetts Renaissance Faire is coming to the Cummington Fairgrounds July 27 & 28 and Aug 3 & 4. Enjoy all-day entertainment! Cheer for your favorite knight at the joust, watch as dancers flirt with fire, laugh with fairies, enjoy Renaissance music and much more. There are plenty of activities for children and adults to create memories together. Test your strength against a knight, listen to stories by an Auld Celt, shoot a real bow and arrow, and shop over 50 mystical vendors. Stay late on Saturday for their Adult-Only shows. Sunday, July 28 is Hilltown Day! Hilltown Kids (0-15) are FREE with purchase of an adult ticket (Limit 2 children/adult pass. Adult ID required). More info, including for overnight camping, at MassRenFaire.com.

Aug 1

On Thursday, August 1, from 5:30-7:30pm, 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.

Aug 3, 4, 6

Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre closes out its Sweet 16th Season by asking a prehistorically puzzling question, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? Beloved Author Jane Yolen asks, “How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?” in her beloved children’s book. They’ve tasked themselves to try and answer that very question. PaintBox takes this ‘tail’ and twists it PaintBox style. Callum LaFrance tackles this feat, short arms, long neck, and all. Shows are: Aug 3, 10:30am & 1pm, Aug 4, 10:30am & 1pm, and Aug 6, 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.

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.

ADVERTISE HERE: Want to reach thousands of families living across Western MA? See your community event, after-school program, summer camp, class, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, fundraiser, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Featured Directories


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 27-August 9, 2019

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

Saturday, Aug 3Sunday, Aug 4
Monday, Aug 5Tuesday, Aug 6Wednesday, Aug 7
Thursday, Aug 8Friday, Aug 9

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 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 – CLOWNING/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/JAZZ & 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. ($$)


SATURDAY, AUGUST 3

Saturday August 3, 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 with Guest DJ, Lisa Loeb. Lisa is a singer-songwriter and founder of the Camp Lisa Foundation to send kids to summer camp. In this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, Lisa plays some of her favorite songs about summer and camp from her own catalog of music and from other favorites! 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 August 3, 9:30am-8pm – LOCAL HISTORY/REVOLUTIONARY WAR: Rebels & Redcoats, a large military encampment of different reenactment groups in New England that portray the Revolutionary War, is an annual event that takes place at Old Sturbridge Village. Visitors have the opportunity to walk through the encampment and watch mock battles and skirmishes. They can see historic training exercises, learn about the different military uniforms worn by the militia’s patriots and the British army and witness firearm demonstrations. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday August 3, 10am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY/BLACKSMITHING: Scientists from 3 different continents now agree that overwhelming evidence proves that chimpanzees and other primates have entered the Stone Age. The myth of human exceptionalism proposes that humans are the only species intelligent enough to effectively utilize tools to alter their environment. This myth was unquestioned until recent biologists realized that, in fact, many other species use tools, from bears, to crows, and even insects. In terms of primates, the discovery that has made all the difference is that chimpanzees have developed a culture surrounding the production and use of stone tools. We now understand that chimpanzees in West Africa have been passing down their knowledge of stone tools to new generations. Based on this, it is difficult to imagine that these communities will not continue to develop new types of tools and skills. In terms of human communities, the Stone Age was followed by the advent of firemaking and metallurgy. The oldest furnace used for smelting iron was found in Jordan and dates back to roughly 930 BCE, though most archeologists place the beginning of the Iron Age much earlier. With the advent of iron tools, human technological advancement accelerated considerably, as iron was significantly lighter and stronger than bronze and other early alloys. Iron smithing remained a vital part of human life until relatively recently. For early American settlers, including the Shakers, blacksmiths were responsible for creating all the tools used in the community. This weekend, blacksmiths from around the region will be coming to the Hancock Shaker Village to demonstrate both traditional and contemporary blacksmithing techniques. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday August 3, 10am-6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES: A study of local, New England, or national history is incomplete if it does not recognize the continued impact of Native American cultural heritage and the colonization of the land by Europeans. The Nolumbeka Project is a local group who promotes a “deeper, broader and more accurate” understanding of Native American history in New England before and during European contact. You can learn more about this history, the mission of the organization, and much more by attending their annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival, a celebration of Native American art, music and heritage. This all ages celebration will teach participants through live music, drumming, dancing, storytelling, native crafts, and food. Unity Park. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 3, 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, August 3, 10:30-11:30am – MUSIC STUDIES/INSTRUMENTS: Would your child love to try out a cello, hold a trumpet, and get to examine other musical instruments up close? This kind of interaction with instruments can teach children a lot about music and sound, and can also inspire a desire to learn to play an instrument. Like learning a new language, learning to play an instrument is a powerful brain-booster! The Springfield Symphony will bring a selection of instruments for hands-on investigation to the library for curious kids to try. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, August 3, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre closes out its Sweet 16th Season by asking a prehistorically puzzling question, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? Beloved Author Jane Yolen asks, “How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?” in her beloved children’s book. They’ve tasked themselves to try and answer that very question. PaintBox takes this ‘tail’ and twists it PaintBox style. Callum LaFrance tackles this feat, short arms, long neck, and all. Shows are: Aug 3, 10:30am & 1pm, Aug 4, 10:30am & 1pm, and Aug 6, 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, August 3, 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, August 3, 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, August 3, 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, August 3, 5-6:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/LOBSTER: Throughout history, community has been built through the sharing of food. Shared throughout the world as a universal human need, food provides a common thread through which all people can be woven together. Community meals offer much to families regarding learning opportunities, supporting intergenerational engagement, storytelling, and establishing a shared history. An additional benefit of community meals is that the theme of food serves as a common interest for all those involved, providing a foundation upon which for further connections to be built. During the late summer, community harvest meals are great intergenerational opportunities to sit down with neighbors of all ages, making connections and nurturing relationships across the generations. Participating in a community meal does more than filling your belly… it strengthens the social fabric of the community by developing a sense of place in our children! One such opportunity that pulls from our coastal communities includes the First Congregational Church of Hatfield’s annual Lobster-Fest! First Congregational Church. 413-247-5453. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.

Saturday, August 3, 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, August 3, 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.

Saturday, August 3, 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.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 4

Sunday, August 4, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show with Guest DJ, Lisa Loeb. Lisa is a singer-songwriter and founder of the Camp Lisa Foundation to send kids to summer camp. In this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, Lisa plays some of her favorite songs about summer and camp from her own catalog of music and from other favorites! 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, August 4, 9-11:30am – SPORTS/ROWING: Calling all aspiring scullers and coxswains! Rowing, or crew as it’s often called, is an exciting sport that’s growing in popularity. Even in its modern incarnation, the sport dates back to the 10th century, when races were held on the River Thames, in London. In one form or another, rowing as a competitive sport can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt and was one of the very first Olympic events in ancient Greece. One of the most remarkable things about rowing is that it engages every single muscle group in the body, as well as building cardiovascular strength, providing an amazing workout with very low impact on the body. If you have ever been curious about this sport or wanted an opportunity to get started, now is your chance. Northampton Community Rowing will be hosting their Learn to Row Day, this weekend. Rowers love to introduce their sport to others! Northampton Community Rowing. 68 Damon Road. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, August 4, 9:30am-8pm – LOCAL HISTORY/REVOLUTIONARY WAR: Rebels & Redcoats, a large military encampment of different reenactment groups in New England that portray the Revolutionary War, is an annual event that takes place at Old Sturbridge Village. Visitors have the opportunity to walk through the encampment and watch mock battles and skirmishes. They can see historic training exercises, learn about the different military uniforms worn by the militia’s patriots and the British army and witness firearm demonstrations. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, August 4, 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, August 4, 10am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY/BLACKSMITHING: Scientists from 3 different continents now agree that overwhelming evidence proves that chimpanzees and other primates have entered the Stone Age. The myth of human exceptionalism proposes that humans are the only species intelligent enough to effectively utilize tools to alter their environment. This myth was unquestioned until recent biologists realized that, in fact, many other species use tools, from bears, to crows, and even insects. In terms of primates, the discovery that has made all the difference is that chimpanzees have developed a culture surrounding the production and use of stone tools. We now understand that chimpanzees in West Africa have been passing down their knowledge of stone tools to new generations. Based on this, it is difficult to imagine that these communities will not continue to develop new types of tools and skills. In terms of human communities, the Stone Age was followed by the advent of firemaking and metallurgy. The oldest furnace used for smelting iron was found in Jordan and dates back to roughly 930 BCE, though most archeologists place the beginning of the Iron Age much earlier. With the advent of iron tools, human technological advancement accelerated considerably, as iron was significantly lighter and stronger than bronze and other early alloys. Iron smithing remained a vital part of human life until relatively recently. For early American settlers, including the Shakers, blacksmiths were responsible for creating all the tools used in the community. This weekend, blacksmiths from around the region will be coming to the Hancock Shaker Village to demonstrate both traditional and contemporary blacksmithing techniques. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, August 4, 10am-6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES: A study of local, New England, or national history is incomplete if it does not recognize the continued impact of Native American cultural heritage and the colonization of the land by Europeans. The Nolumbeka Project is a local group who promotes a “deeper, broader and more accurate” understanding of Native American history in New England before and during European contact. You can learn more about this history, the mission of the organization, and much more by attending their annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival, a celebration of Native American art, music and heritage. This all ages celebration will teach participants through live music, drumming, dancing, storytelling, native crafts, and food. Unity Park. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 4, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre closes out its Sweet 16th Season by asking a prehistorically puzzling question, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? Beloved Author Jane Yolen asks, “How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?” in her beloved children’s book. They’ve tasked themselves to try and answer that very question. PaintBox takes this ‘tail’ and twists it PaintBox style. Callum LaFrance tackles this feat, short arms, long neck, and all. Shows are: Aug 3, 10:30am & 1pm, Aug 4, 10:30am & 1pm, and Aug 6, 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, August 4, 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, August 4, 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, August 4, 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, August 4, 5-8:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/LOCAL FOOD: 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. Shelburne, MA.

Sunday, August 4, 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.


MONDAY, AUGUST 5

Monday, August 5, 10am-5pm: AVIATION/HELICOPTER: Helicopter Week at NEAM! Climb aboard a Connecticut built search and rescue helicopter and build a paper helicopter 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, August 5, 10-11am – HEALTH/QI GONG: Qi Gong literally translates to “life energy cultivation.” This unique practice resembles tai chi, in its mixture of relaxed, slow moving poses, breath work. Qi Gong can be seen as a form of meditation, self healing, even self defense. Originating in ancient Chinese daoist exercises, Qi Gong is now practiced by millions in China and around the world and is the subject of numerous medical research trials, investigating the impact of Qi Gong on pain, hypertension, even cancer. Practioners of all levels are invited to attend this weekly community practice of Qi Gong. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Monday, August 5, 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, August 5, 2-6pm – DIY Bike Repair at Make-It Springfield. Do you have a bike in the basement/garage that could use a little love? Hate spending all that money at a bike shop when you know you could probably do it yourself? Drop-in anytime and get your questions answered and your repairs taken care of by local bike experts from RadSpringfield. Bring a bike or just your questions. All ages welcome. Make-It Springfield. 413-342-1681. 168 Worthington St, Springfield, MA.

Monday, August 5, 7pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL: Concerts at 7 is a volunteer run non-profit organization that presents classical music concerts in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Concerts take place at the Plainfield Congregational Church in Plainfield, MA, and each season features a series of three to five classical music performances. A great opportunity to spend the day in this charming region of Western Massachusetts. consider making a day of it outdoors by visiting the sculpture gardens at Three Sisters Sanctuary in nearby Goshen, rafting the Greenfield River with Zoars in Charlement, or the blossoms at the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. Discover how community spaces like our churches, gardens, and rivers can support your interests while connecting you to Hilltown culture. Plainfield Concerts at 7. Plainfield Congregational Church. Plainfield, MA.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 6

Tuesday, August 6, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, August 6, 10am – MAGIC: Ed Popielarczyk’s Magical Moments at Look Park! Ed Popielarczyk is a professional magician, balloon twister, entertainer. After the show, enjoy the many attractions at Look Park! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, August 6, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER: Voted “Best Summer Theater,” PaintBox Theatre closes out its Sweet 16th Season by asking a prehistorically puzzling question, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? Beloved Author Jane Yolen asks, “How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?” in her beloved children’s book. They’ve tasked themselves to try and answer that very question. PaintBox takes this ‘tail’ and twists it PaintBox style. Callum LaFrance tackles this feat, short arms, long neck, and all. Shows are: Aug 3, 10:30am & 1pm, Aug 4, 10:30am & 1pm, and Aug 6, 10:30am & 1pm at Williston Theater (18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA.) Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets (children under 2 are free.) paintboxtheatre@gmail.com, paintboxtheatre.org.

Tuesday, August 6, 12-1pm – URBAN ECOLOGY: Exploring Nature in Northampton: A Walking Tour with Naturalist, Laurie Sanders. Join Laurie Sanders to look for every plant or animal species that survives in downtown Northampton, from the mosses and ants living in the cracks and margins to the larger plants and creatures that are able to survive in the wilder and untended pockets that occur in and around the heart of the city. Pre-registration is required. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7

Wednesday, August 7, 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, August 7, 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.

Wednesday, August 7, 11am-12noon – FOLK STORIES: Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-op on their deck. Performances from different local organizations and performers include “Animal Tales from Around the World” songs and stories with folksinger & storyteller Tim Van Egmond this week! 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 N King St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, August 7, 2pm – ASTRONOMY: Exploring the Galaxy and Beyond…Into the Universe. Explore nebulae, galaxies, pulsars, and more. What is needed for us to stay alive as we travel years and years into space? Work together to design a spaceship to explore the universe. Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Wednesday, August 7, 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, August 7, 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, August 7, 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, August 7, 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, August 7, 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.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 8

Thursday, August 8, 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, August 8, 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, August 8, 2:30pm – LIBRARY/PLACEMAKING: Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing with Ed the Wizard and his Alien Balloon Twisting Workshop. Library patrons will learn how to twist their own balloon Aliens; no balloon twisting experienced required. The Huntington Public Library. 413-512-5206. 7 E Main St, Huntington, MA.

Thursday, August 8, 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 8, 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 8, 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, August 8, 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 9

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

Friday, August 9, 10-11am – NATURE-BASED LEARNING/NATIVE SPECIES: Science Investigators: Nature in the Neighborhood. Be prepared to use all your senses as you explore the land and riverside along the Connecticut River. Along the way, you will discover your neighbors: the plants and animals with whom you share your natural home! For ages 8 and under and their families or caregiver(s). Meet at the Sunderland Public Library and walk to the new Sunderland Riverfront Park with Helen Ann of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Free and open to the public. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Friday, August 9, 1-2pm – ORNITHOLOGY/OWLS: The Owls of Massachusetts, a live animal program featuring owls For all ages. This birds of prey program focus on the raptor night shift. Learn about the adaptations that make owls the supreme hunters of the night. In an exploration into the various species that call the Northeast home, you will see live owls, touchable artifacts and interactive demonstrations to make this an unforgettable presentation. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, August 9, 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 9, 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 9, 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, August 9, 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.


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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