100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: August 10-23, 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!

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!


Class Directory

Dead-line: Aug 30

Reserve your spot today!

It’s time to reserve your spot in Hilltown Families’ annual Class Directory! Advertise your class, enrichment program, or private lesson in the region’s go-to, online resource for community-based educational opportunities in Western Massachusetts! Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2019-2020 Class Directory which will featured classes, enrichment programs, and private lessons happening across Western Massachusetts for children, teens, and lifelong learners. Add your listing at any time.
Take advantage of our special advertising package (pdf)!
Deadline to register: August 30th.
More Information. | Reserve a spot. | Submit your listing.

Bulletin Board

Wed in Aug

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon. Performances from different local organizations and performers include: “Animal Tales from Around the World” songs and stories with folksinger & storyteller Tim Van Egmond on August 7; “Modern YoYoing with Team A2Z Science” Eric Koloski, world champion yoyoist on August 14 and LIVE ANIMALS! Angora Bunnies! with Laurel Ledge Farm Fiber on August 21. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli, and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history, or nature. River Valley Co-op. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA.

Aug 25 & 29

Do you know children who are talented instrumentalists? Are they motivated to practice and 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.

Sep 29

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

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

Featured Directories


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 10-23, 2019

Saturday, Aug 10Sunday, Aug 11
Monday, Aug 12Tuesday, Aug 13Wednesday, Aug 14
Thursday, Aug 15Friday, Aug 16

Saturday, Aug 17Sunday, Aug 18
Monday, Aug 19Tuesday, Aug 20Wednesday, Aug 21
Thursday, Aug 22Friday, Aug 23

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, AUGUST 10

Saturday August 10, 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 Food Episode with Guest DJ, Gunnar Madsen. From Beans to Pancakes to Egg Salad, all tastes are considered in week’s episode. Learn about how corn is in your car, your home, your clothes, and your medicines. Songs about sharing food, renting food, and
even calling food will keep your toes tapping and your mouth watering. 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 10, 8am-8pm – NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Aggie Fair season is upon us! Don’t let these weekend events pass you by without exploring one with your family! The Middlefield Fair, is one of the first fairs happening in mid August, featuring a 4-H club petting zoo, 4×4 truck pulls, a fiddle contest, community meals, and horse pulls. Learn more about agricultural fairs at Hilltown Families’ posts about youth aggie fair participation and the fairs’ multidisciplinary learning opportunities. See their full schedule at Middlefield Fair. 413-623-6027. 7 Bell Road, Middlefield, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 9:30am – MUSIC STUDIES/SYMPHONY: Kids’ Corner at Tanglewood is designed to provide a child-friendly experience for families attending BSO Rehearsals or concerts on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons at Tanglewood. Located in a grassy area near the Tanglewood Visitors Center, it offers children’s activities that connect to music in a casual, drop-in atmosphere. Children accompanied by adults may take part in musical and crafts activities supervised by BSO staff. Tickets to the Sunday concert or Saturday-morning rehearsal are required. Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, August 10,10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Farmers’ markets offer a consistent, simple way for local farmers and food producers to connect with the community. These markets provide locally grown items, teaching buyers about their habitat through seasonal variation in what is available. Now, a new farmers’ and makers’ market in Easthampton will bring these benefits to a new area. This market will also offer locally made items, bringing artists and crafters into the mix. See what you can find every Saturday from 10am-2pm through September. For more information, visit the Easthampton Farmers’ and Makers’ Market website. 50 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 10am-4pm – COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY: The Lenox Library annual book sale is a three day books sale which features a huge selection of books in 35 categories, all donated from Berkshire homes. Many of the books are in like-new condition. Children’s books, with prices starting at 50 cents, is the largest category, followed by fiction, art, and biography. Other popular categories include graphic novels, local interest, history, science and math, and crafts and hobbies. The annual book sale, a much-anticipated event in the town’s summer calendar, is a primary fundraiser for the Lenox Library. All proceeds from the book sale benefit the library’s many services, programs, and activities offered to the public year-round free of charge. Lenox Town Hall. 413-637-0197. 6 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 4-6pm – COUNTRY FAIR/SUSTAINABILITY: Gardening and farming opportunities allow community members to forge a greater connection to food and to place, by participating in each step of cultivation. The Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Summer Conference will also connect attendees with place and community by bringing together local farmers. Workshops at the conference cover topics ranging from horse care, beekeeping, fermentation, the relationship between plants and soil, farming as a business venture, urban agriculture, hoop houses, and much more. On Saturday afternoon from 4-6pm, the conference hosts a country fair that is free and open to the public, and it’s jam packed with great activities! Food, live music and animals, vendors, and hands-on activities to teach an intergenerational audience about farming, horticulture, culinary arts, and sustainability practices. Hampshire College. 413-549-4600. 893 West St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 7:30-9:30pm – ZOOLOGY/BATS: Bat Night! Amanda Melinchuk, Bat Research Monitor with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, will share her expertise and talk about the myths and misconceptions surrounding bats, why bats are important, the bats in Massachusetts, threats to bats such as White-nose Syndrome, what you can do to help bats, and information on bat houses. Followed by Q & A. After the presentation in the Great Hall, visitors can join Amanda outside with a bat detector and look for bats right here by the Center. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 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, August 10, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 7:30-9pm – RELIGIOUS STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES: Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as his “spiritual dictionary,” the Bhagavad Gita is a 700 verse Hindu scripture, which presents an ethical and metaphysical dialogue between Arjuna, prince of the Pandavas, and Krishna, the god of compassion, who serves as Arjuna’s charioteer in a terrible war that divided families and communities. As Arjuna sets foot upon the battlefield, he realizes that all the enemies who stand before him are his own kinsmen, friends and relatives. Arjuna refuses to fight any longer and turns to Krishna for guidance. The conversation that follows comprises one of the richest and most profound spiritual and philosophical documents in history. The Bhagavad Gita became on of the key scriptures of the 15th century Bhakti movement in India, which can be in part understood as a move towards a more personal relationship with the divine, rather than an experience that is inherently mediated through ritual. In this way, the Bhakti movement can be likened to the Protestant revolution in Europe. Part of the Bhakti tradition that remains to this day is the custom of kirtan. This call-and-response form of devotional music recites myths and legends, prayers, and names of the gods. Set to music, often played on a harmonium and tabla drums, kirtan creates a musical, spiritual experience that is unlike any other. Come learn all about this amazing tradition at Summer Kirtan at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness. 413-418-4001. 55 North St. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, August 10, 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 11

Sunday, August 11, Dawn-Dusk – SCULPTURE/AGRICULTURE: Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” a biennal orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of dozens of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Food Episode with Guest DJ, Gunnar Madsen. From Beans to Pancakes to Egg Salad, all tastes are considered in week’s episode. Learn about how corn is in your car, your home, your clothes, and your medicines. Songs about sharing food, renting food, and even calling food will keep your toes tapping and your mouth watering. 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 11, 8am-6pm – NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Aggie Fair season is upon us! Don’t let these weekend events pass you by without exploring one with your family! The Middlefield Fair, is one of the first fairs happening in mid August, featuring a 4-H club petting zoo, 4×4 truck pulls, a fiddle contest, community meals, and horse pulls. Learn more about agricultural fairs at Hilltown Families’ posts about youth aggie fair participation and the fairs’ multidisciplinary learning opportunities. See their full schedule at Middlefield Fair. 413-623-6027. 7 Bell Road, Middlefield, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 10-11:30am – ART STUDIES/CHINESE PAINTING: Experience the serene and mysterious art that is Chinese painting in the workshop, Intro to Chinese Painting, taught by Ashley Yang Liu. Developed over the millennia by countless masters in ancient China, you too can have the opportunity to try your hand at this traditional art. Similar to Chinese calligraphy in technique, Chinese painting adds color to produce vibrant scenes and subjects. Learn to use the unique pigments and rice paper to create a beautiful peony flower. No experience necessary. Best for life-long learners, 18+. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St., Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 10am-4pm – COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY: The Lenox Library annual book sale is a three day books sale which features a huge selection of books in 35 categories, all donated from Berkshire homes. Many of the books are in like-new condition. Children’s books, with prices starting at 50 cents, is the largest category, followed by fiction, art, and biography. Other popular categories include graphic novels, local interest, history, science and math, and crafts and hobbies. The annual book sale, a much-anticipated event in the town’s summer calendar, is a primary fundraiser for the Lenox Library. All proceeds from the book sale benefit the library’s many services, programs, and activities offered to the public year-round free of charge. Lenox Town Hall. 413-637-0197. 6 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 11am-5pm – ART STUDIES/VAN GOGH: Van Gogh for All at the Springfield Museums’ D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Van Gogh for All immerses visitors in the works of the world’s most famous painter. Designed to engage 21st-century audiences in the 19th-century art of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), this experientially-rich exhibition uses modern technology and participatory learning to introduce audiences of all ages to Van Gogh’s genius, his personal struggles, and his creative process. Visitors can literally jump right into Van Gogh’s artwork to discover the unusual perspective of Van Gogh’s bedroom, get behind the shutters of Van Gogh’s yellow house, or become part of one of Van Gogh’s famous landscapes. The exhibit offers multiple photo ops and opportunities to create your own art—with stations for drawing a still life or a portrait. Many of the elements in the exhibition are interactive, offering the visitor the opportunity to manipulate the artist’s work in new ways, including through a 12-foot-wide, electronic version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA

Sunday, August 11, 1:30pm & 3-3:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE: Western Massachusetts was a popular destination for 19th century Americans with many of the outdoor places and summits still available for today’s hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore. In the 19th-century, outdoor recreation became a popular leisure activity. Summit houses, such as the one atop Mount Holyoke in Hadley, were constructed to accommodate tourists traveling to see their landscape with mountain views. An interest in the wild landscape and sweeping view of countryside inspired many Americans to explore the natural landscape and value spending time outside. Take a guided tour of the restored, 1861 version of what has since become known as the Summit House at J.A. Skinner State Park. Compare and contrast the view today to the view in the late 1800’s. What has changed? What has remained the same? How do views from summits help us connect to the places we live and visit? Guided tours of the Summit House are suitable for all ages. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. 413-596-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 11am-3pm – PLACEMAKING/COUNTRY FAIR: Hay Day Fair at the Williamstown Historical Museum. Bring the family to an old-fashioned small-town country fair with traditional and colonial games for all ages, craft demonstrations, a bake sale, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Williamstown Historical Museum. 413-458-2160. 32 New Ashford Road, Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 12-5pm – PICTURE BOOK ART/EXHIBIT: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig’s seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig’s famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view through December 1 in The Carle’s Central Gallery. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, August 11, 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 11, 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 12

Monday, August 12, 10am-5pm: AVIATION/AIRSHIPS: Blimps, Balloons, and Airships Week at NEAM! Uncover the history of lighter than air aircraft and create a mini balloon basket 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 12, 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 12, 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 12, 4:30-6pm – ASTRONOMY/PLANETARIUM: The Boston Museum of Science brings their portable planetarium program to the Hilltowns! Three 1/2 hour shows will be offered, 4:30pm, 5:15pm, and 6pm. Limited space so sign up! 413-296-4735. chesterfieldpubliclibrary@gmail.com. Free & open to the public. Hosted by the Chesterfield Library at the Old Town Hall Route 143. Chesterfield, MA.

Monday, August 12, Monday, August 12, 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.

Monday, August 12, Dusk – ASTRONOMY/METEOR SHOWER: Perseids Meteor Shower. Bring warm clothes, bug repellant, and a chair or blanket and join your neighbors at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School for an informal viewing party. Come just before dark. (Best viewing is after midnight folks will reconvene again after midnight if the weather allows.) Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School. 413-625-0306. Shelburne Falls, MA.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 13

Tuesday, August 13, 10-10:45am – STORYTIME/CREATIVE FREE PLAY: New England lore holds that the character of Mother Goose was actually based on a 17th century Bostonian woman, who became famous for singing songs and telling stories to children in her neighborhood. Unfortunately there is no evidence that this is true and the first occurrence of the name “Mother Goose,” appears in a volume of collected fairy tales from 1780, entitled Mother Goose’s Melody. Join Kay Lyons for her popular “Mother Goose on the Loose” series of lap-sit story hours for children under 3. This event will also feature games, puppets, and other toys for children to play with. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Tuesday, August 13, 10am–5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! at the Springfield Science Museum! Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM-focused exhibit seeks to engage children (2-7yo) and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit incorporates foundational STEM practices that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, August 13, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, August 13, 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.

Tuesday, August 13, 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.

Tuesday, August 13, 4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YO-YO: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. For changes or questions, visit www.A2ZScience.com or contact Contact@A2ZScience.com, or call 413-586-1611. Northampton, MA.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14

Wednesday, August 14, 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 14, 11am-12noon – YO-YO/PHYSICS: Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch at River Valley Co-op on their deck. Performances from different local organizations and performers include “Modern YoYoing with Team A2Z Science” Eric Koloski, world champion yoyoist this week! River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, August 14, 3:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Hands-on Nature Presents: An Introduction to the Night Sky at the library. In this program, participants will explore constellations, along with more significant elements in our night sky. Participants will discover more about the moon and the Milky Way and will develop a basic understanding of the expansive sky above us. Participants will become more familiar with the evening sky, as they significantly increase their appreciation of it. A fun and informative overview of our Night Sky! For ages 4 and up. Presented by Heather Simpson of Hands on Nature. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, August 14, 4-6pm – COMMERCE/KIDS MARKET: Wednesday Kids’ Market happens in Ashfield Center every Wednesday in the Summer in the parking lot of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Children can have a venue to sell their creations. Can be as simple as lemonade and popcorn, picked flowers, their favorite craft, a budding talent, or even a service – Face Painting? Fortune Telling? No fee and no long term commitment. Come every Wednesday or just once. Let the kids run their own businesses for a few hours and watch them buy, trade, and barter from each other. BYO little table for children’s wares and chair. Ashfield Hardware & Supply. 413-628-3299. 343 Main St, Ashfield, MA.

Wednesday, August 14, 5:30-9pm – PLACEMAKING/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: North Adams 23rd Annual Downtown Celebration. An outdoor festival/community expo featuring vendors, food, music, performances, and more. Rain date: August 15. Free. 413-664-6180. Downtown North Adams, MA.

Wednesday, August 14, 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 14, 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 14, 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.

Wednesday, August 14, 7:30-9:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/LITERARY STUDIES: Edith Wharton once described the human psyche as “a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” It’s easy to imagine that this description was inspired by Wharton’s country estate in Lenox. The Mount was home to Wharton and her husband for nine years, as her husband Edward sought to recover from an acute depressive episode. Over the years the Mount has developed a reputation for paranormal activity, a subject which occupied Wharton since her childhood. She wrote that as a little girl she was “haunted by formless horrors” and went on to write her own highly acclaimed ghost stories. According to some locals, Wharton’s restless spirit continues to wander the halls and corridors of the Mount. If you dare, come participate in a Haunted Tour of the Mount, and perhaps you’ll have a chance to see the lady of the house herself! This event is appropriate for ages 12 and above. The Mount. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA ($$)


THURSDAY, AUGUST 15

Thursday, August 15, 10am-8pm – ART STUDIES/SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Art Exhibit: AlmaThomas: The Light of the Whole Universe. Featuring works from a period that was defined by the civil rights and feminist movements in the U.S. and by anti-colonial and independence movements around the world, including the two-decade long Vietnam War. While artists like Charles White and Wadsworth Jarrell saw figuration as a way to advance political and social causes, others, such as Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, Joan Mitchell, Ibrahim El-Salahi, and James Suzuki, embraced abstraction. Whether they made figurative or abstract art, these artists worked both in and against modern art at a time when positions of power and influence were predominantly occupied by white, straight, and Euro-American men. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

Thursday, August 15, 9am-4:30pm – GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: The Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams is the only natural white marble arch in North America! The rock which forms the bridge is estimated 550 million year old bedrock marble. The arch itself was created by thousands of years of glacial melt water. Come experience the awe-inspiring majesty of this incredible local treasure with a short walking discussion of the geological forces that created this unique site. For more information visit Natural Bridge State Park. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA.

Thursday, August 15, 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 15, 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 15, 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 15, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)


FRIDAY, AUGUST 16

Friday, August 16, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, August 16, 11am-12noon – NATIVE SPECIES/MAMMALS: Mammals in the Backyard at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the furry creatures that inhabit the landscape with us. Usually traveling under cover of darkness, many of these fantastic mammals seldom show themselves to humans during the day. Instructor Rick Roth will encourage families to get to know these mammals, learn about their natural history, and help develop appreciation and respect for these wild animals that often live in our own backyards. The talk will feature live specimens including a fisher cat, gray fox, skunk, flying squirrels, and more. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, August 16, 5-10pm – NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: : Agricultural fairs are an important tradition in New England, and all across the country. Such events showcase rural skills and traditions and help to promote a strong connection between communities and their physical surroundings. Of course, families can learn about agriculture & rural skills by viewing displays at a local fair, as well as watching demonstrations and meeting local experts. However, a learning opportunity that is perhaps even more valuable for kids is becoming a fair exhibitor! Read our post, Exhibiting at the Fair, for a look at embedded learning at our agricultural fairs! Then head to the Westfield Fair, a 3-day annual agricultural fair established in 1927 to see what your neighbors, crafters, and local farmers have on display. Find a full schedule of family performances and activities at Westfield Fair. 413-222-4067. 137 Russellville Road. Westfield, MA.

Friday, August 16, 5-11pm – RURAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs honor the generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities. A tradition for many generations, agricultural fairs showcase the unique skills and talents specific to rural life in western Massachusetts – and in doing so, fairs offer families the opportunity to not only celebrate local culture but to actively participate in preserving it. The Heath Agricultural Fair is a lovely small town agricultural fair established in 1969 includes all of the components of a classic aggie fair, minus the midway. Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. No ATM or cell service at the fairgrounds (pro tip: print directions from their website). Heath Fairgrounds. Colrain Stage Road. Heath, MA.

Friday, August 16, 6-9:30pm – OUTDOOR FILM: Movie in the Park. Peskeomskut Park. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, August 16, 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 16, 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 16, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 16, 8-9:30pm – STORYTELLING/CAMPFIRE: Join Park Interpreters Mike and Justin for a riveting evening of spooky ghost stories as you celebrate the mysteries of Mount Greylock with the Full “Sturgeon” Moon. Hear compelling tales, spine-tingling legends and colorful local folklore of forgotten characters and strange creatures that once inhabited these savage hills. Participants are encouraged to share their own stories and be prepared to suspend all disbelief. S’mores and marshmallows provided. An adult must accompany children under the age of 18. All ages welcome. Meet at the Visitor Center. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

Saturday August 17, 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 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 17, 8am-10pm – RURAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs honor the generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities. A tradition for many generations, agricultural fairs showcase the unique skills and talents specific to rural life in western Massachusetts – and in doing so, fairs offer families the opportunity to not only celebrate local culture but to actively participate in preserving it. The Heath Agricultural Fair is a lovely small town agricultural fair established in 1969 includes all of the components of a classic aggie fair, minus the midway. Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. No ATM or cell service at the fairgrounds (pro tip: print directions from their website). Heath Fairgrounds. Colrain Stage Road. Heath, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 8am-10pm – NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: : Agricultural fairs are an important tradition in New England, and all across the country. Such events showcase rural skills and traditions and help to promote a strong connection between communities and their physical surroundings. Of course, families can learn about agriculture & rural skills by viewing displays at a local fair, as well as watching demonstrations and meeting local experts. However, a learning opportunity that is perhaps even more valuable for kids is becoming a fair exhibitor! Read our post, Exhibiting at the Fair, for a look at embedded learning at our agricultural fairs! Then head to the Westfield Fair, a 3-day annual agricultural fair established in 1927 to see what your neighbors, crafters, and local farmers have on display. Find a full schedule of family performances and activities at Westfield Fair. 413-222-4067. 137 Russellville Road. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 9am-5pm – YOUTH/AGRICULTURE: Berkshire 4-H: The four H’s in 4-H stand for head (managing & thinking), heart (relating & caring), hands (giving & working), and health (being & living). 4-H members strive to develop these values and skills, with the mission of making a positive impact in their local communities and the world at large. The annual Berkshire 4-H Youth Fair will feature traditional agricultural fair fun for the whole family, including livestock, hall exhibits, games, entertainment, and food. The hall exhibits include many projects created by local youth, from fine art, to baking, to sewing, to science! Be sure to take time to appreciate these impressive creations during your visit. Berkshire County 4-H Fairgrounds. 413-448-8285. Utility Drive, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 9:30am-5pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/TEXTILES: Old Sturbridge Village will explore the topic of “Useful Employment: Textiles and Other Home Manufactures.” See Costumed Historians demonstrate spinning, dyeing woolen yarn, weaving, knitting, sewing, straw braiding, and sewing shoe uppers. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 12noon – ARTS AND CRAFTS/FOLKLORE: The brilliant, visionary Irish poet W.B. Yeats once wrote “Faeries, come take me out of this dull world, / For I would ride with you upon the wind, / Run on the top of the dishevelled tide, / And dance upon the mountains like a flame.” Almost all but dismissed as mere superstition in mechanised, hyper rational American society, millions of people all around the world still believe in and venerate the hidden folk. In Iceland, for example, over fifty percent of the population believes in elves and faeries and other unseen spirits. In various northern European communities, roads and other construction projects must be built in a way that accounts for important faerie sites. In such places, it is common to see roads that twist suddenly around a particular mound or stones that are known to be the abodes of the ‘good neighbors.’ Folk tales and other folk customs tell us about the tastes and habits of these spirits. What they like to eat, where they like to live, and how to avoid falling victim to their ire. An iron horseshoe placed above a doorway, for example, is known to keep the faeries away. Come build a home for the ‘little people’ with Looky Here of Greenfield in the park in Turners Falls. Bring your own materials or use the ones provided. Spinner Park. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 12noon-4pm – SCULPTURE/AGRICULTURE: Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” a biennal orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of dozens of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. Today is the opening reception. Bring the family to meet the artists! Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 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 17, 2pm – MUSIC STUDIES/SHAPE NOTE SINGING:  The Kingman Tavern Museum is holding a free shape-note singing class. What better way to learn about history than by music and song?  Introduced in 1801, shape notes were designed to help facilitate community singing and originated in colonial New England. This type of singing was created to support a persons desire to sing with others either in their community or in their congregations. The class will teach participants about this unique singing style, celebrate American history, and offer a chance to engage in an intergenerational activity. Open to all ages and abilities and taught by an experienced teacher. Kingman Tavern Museum. 413-563-1981. 41 Main Street. Cummington, MA.

Saturday, August 17, 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 17, 4pm – SPORTS/ROLLER DERBY: While its current incarnation is largely a 21st century phenomenon, roller derby’s roots go all the way back to the 1930s. Evolving out of roller skating marathons, roller derby became massively popular in the 1940s, with over 5 million spectators in 50 cities across the country. The sport, however, transformed into a form of entertainment, with scripted games and predetermined winners. Over time, the popularity of roller derby declined until it was revitalized during the last two decades. The Pioneer Valley Roller Derby league has been active for over a decade and this Saturday, fans will be treated to a doubleheader! Pioneer Valley Roller Derby. 296 Nonotuck Street, Florence, MA ($)

Saturday, August 17, 4:30pm & 6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/BLUEBERRIES: When thinking about ways to engage in your community that support your interests, also consider ways to promote your family values. During the late summer, 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 harvest meal does more than filling your belly… it strengthens the social fabric of the community by developing a sense of place in our children! Community meals also offer implicit learning opportunities by providing an intergenerational environment for community members of all ages to share stories and make connections at the “kitchen table.” Harest meals hosted by faith-based communities, like First Congregational Church of Chester’s Annual Blueberry Supper, are an example of how resources (places of worship), the season (blueberry harvest), and opportunities (annual events) bring folks together while strengthening a sense of place. First Congregational Church of Chester. 413-354-4586. 334 Skyline Trail. Chester, MA.

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

Saturday, August 17, 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.

Saturday, August 17, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)


SUNDAY, AUGUST 18

Sunday, August 18, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Food Episode. 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 18, 8am-5pm – NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: : Agricultural fairs are an important tradition in New England, and all across the country. Such events showcase rural skills and traditions and help to promote a strong connection between communities and their physical surroundings. Of course, families can learn about agriculture & rural skills by viewing displays at a local fair, as well as watching demonstrations and meeting local experts. However, a learning opportunity that is perhaps even more valuable for kids is becoming a fair exhibitor! Read our post, Exhibiting at the Fair, for a look at embedded learning at our agricultural fairs! Then head to the Westfield Fair, a 3-day annual agricultural fair established in 1927 to see what your neighbors, crafters, and local farmers have on display. Find a full schedule of family performances and activities at Westfield Fair. 413-222-4067. 137 Russellville Road. Westfield, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 8am-5pm – RURAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs honor the generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities. A tradition for many generations, agricultural fairs showcase the unique skills and talents specific to rural life in western Massachusetts – and in doing so, fairs offer families the opportunity to not only celebrate local culture but to actively participate in preserving it. The Heath Agricultural Fair is a lovely small town agricultural fair established in 1969 includes all of the components of a classic aggie fair, minus the midway. Visit the fair website for a full schedule of activities. No ATM or cell service at the fairgrounds (pro tip: print directions from their website). Heath Fairgrounds. Colrain Stage Road. Heath, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 9:30am-5pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/TEXTILES: Old Sturbridge Village will explore the topic of “Useful Employment: Textiles and Other Home Manufactures.” See Costumed Historians demonstrate spinning, dyeing woolen yarn, weaving, knitting, sewing, straw braiding, and sewing shoe uppers. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 11am-1pm – PEACHES/THEATER: The Academy of Music Theatre is celebrating ten years of youth programming at Park Hill Orchard. In keeping with the theme of the 2020 the Academy of Music Theatre’s 10th-anniversary production of James and the Giant Peach, Jr., they are throwing a Peach Party! The event will feature a performance with a combination of youth performers and songs from the last ten years, face painting, peach themed treats, and of course, you can experience Park Hill’s “Art In the Orchard” walking sculpture trail which winds through the fruit gardens of the orchard. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 11am-5pm – ART STUDIES/VAN GOGH: Van Gogh for All at the Springfield Museums’ D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Van Gogh for All immerses visitors in the works of the world’s most famous painter. Designed to engage 21st-century audiences in the 19th-century art of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), this experientially-rich exhibition uses modern technology and participatory learning to introduce audiences of all ages to Van Gogh’s genius, his personal struggles, and his creative process. Visitors can literally jump right into Van Gogh’s artwork to discover the unusual perspective of Van Gogh’s bedroom, get behind the shutters of Van Gogh’s yellow house, or become part of one of Van Gogh’s famous landscapes. The exhibit offers multiple photo ops and opportunities to create your own art—with stations for drawing a still life or a portrait. Many of the elements in the exhibition are interactive, offering the visitor the opportunity to manipulate the artist’s work in new ways, including through a 12-foot-wide, electronic version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA

Sunday, August 18, 12noon – MUSIC STUDIES/SYMPHONY: Kids’ Corner at Tanglewood is designed to provide a child-friendly experience for families attending BSO Rehearsals or concerts on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons at Tanglewood. Located in a grassy area near the Tanglewood Visitors Center, it offers children’s activities that connect to music in a casual, drop-in atmosphere. Children accompanied by adults may take part in musical and crafts activities supervised by BSO staff. Tickets to the Sunday concert or Saturday-morning rehearsal are required. Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St. Lenox, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 12-4pm – ART STUDIES/SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Art Exhibit: AlmaThomas: The Light of the Whole Universe. Featuring works from a period that was defined by the civil rights and feminist movements in the U.S. and by anti-colonial and independence movements around the world, including the two-decade long Vietnam War. While artists like Charles White and Wadsworth Jarrell saw figuration as a way to advance political and social causes, others, such as Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, Joan Mitchell, Ibrahim El-Salahi, and James Suzuki, embraced abstraction. Whether they made figurative or abstract art, these artists worked both in and against modern art at a time when positions of power and influence were predominantly occupied by white, straight, and Euro-American men. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 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 18, 4:30-7pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/HARVEST SUPPER: 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! There are a few annual community harvest meals to check out in the late summer include the Free Harvest Supper on the Greenfield Common. Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 5-8pm – MULTICULTURAL/A CAPPELLA: Join Earthdance co-founder Penny Schultz for an intergenerational a cappella SING in the Dance Barn. Songs, including gospel, English country, African, and Israeli, will be taught by rote, so you don’t need to be able to read music to participate. A SING is an emotionally, physically, and musically connected celebration of the earth, love, and community. All ages/levels welcome. Potluck supper to follow. Bring a dish you absolutley love to eat and enjoy sharing with others! Earthdance. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA.

Sunday, August 18, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 18, 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 19

Monday, August 19, 10am-4pm – PICTURE BOOK ART/EXHIBIT: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig’s seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig’s famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view through December 1 in The Carle’s Central Gallery. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Monday, August 19, 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 19, 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 19, 5-6:30pm – ART STUDIES: The Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting Peer Art Group for Teens & Young Adults, a safe space for young people to come together to create art and talk with their peers. This group meets in the Young Adult Dept. of the library. Snacks and art supplies provided. Register required. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

Monday, August 19, 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 20

Tuesday, August 20, 9am-4:30pm –GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: The Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams is the only natural white marble arch in North America! The rock which forms the bridge is estimated 550 million year old bedrock marble. The arch itself was created by thousands of years of glacial melt water. Come experience the awe-inspiring majesty of this incredible local treasure with a short walking discussion of the geological forces that created this unique site. For more information visit Natural Bridge State Park. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA.

Tuesday, August 20, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, August 20, 10am–5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! at the Springfield Science Museum! Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM-focused exhibit seeks to engage children (2-7yo) and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit incorporates foundational STEM practices that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, August 20, 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.

Tuesday, August 20, 4-9pm – CONCERT/PLACEMAKING: The Transperformance has been a beloved local cultural tradition for decades! The premise is simple: local bands transform into nationally known musicians or perform in their style. The Transperformance is always organized around a theme, such as “foods” or “colors” or “historic events” and local musicians draw inspiration from those themes. The theme of this year’s Transperformance is Lookstock, celebrating performers who graced the Woodstock stage 50 years ago. So come on out and support collaboration, community, and local music. Funds go to benefit arts education in local schools. Held in the Pines Theate. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21

Wednesday, August 21, 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 21, 10am – MINDFULNESS/MOVEMENT: Mountain Mindfulness presents Chi and Aiki on the Mountain. Join Sensei Kim Rivers and Sifu Sher Mindermann for an experience of body-mind-nature harmony. They will lead folks in Aikido centering exercises and Tai Chi/Qigong movements. Both movements are designed to cultivate a strong body-mind connection and link to the greater whole of nature. Classes are designed to be accessible for all ages, levels, and abilities. Beginners welcome. Please wear comfortable clothes. This class is free and open to the public. An adult must accompany children. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, August 21, 11am-12noon – ZOOLOGY/RABBITS: Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-op in Northampton on their deck from 11am – 12noon. Performances from different local organizations and performers include Angora Bunnies with Laurel Ledge Farm Fiber 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 21, 12-1pm – ARCHITECTURE/ECOLOGY: As global warming intensifies, the need for creative ways of adapting to our new climate are vital. There is an increasing scientific consensus that averting climate change is no longer a possibility but there is still much to be done in terms of mitigation. The Living Building at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment is a perfect example of the kind of changes we can make to meet the new challenges of a warming planet. The Living Building is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of natural systems in our environment. It requires no outside energy to power it and creates its own water. While new technologies may facilitate some of these changes, the truth is that nature itself offers the most profound and effective solutions. If we look there, we will find what we need. Come learn all about this amazing building and the ways that it reproduces natural cycles and functions. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

Wednesday, August 21, Wednesday, 4-6pm – COMMERCE/KIDS MARKET: Wednesday Kids’ Market happens in Ashfield Center every Wednesday in the Summer in the parking lot of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Children can have a venue to sell their creations. Can be as simple as lemonade and popcorn, picked flowers, their favorite craft, a budding talent, or even a service – Face Painting? Fortune Telling? No fee and no long term commitment. Come every Wednesday or just once. Let the kids run their own businesses for a few hours and watch them buy, trade, and barter from each other. BYO little table for children’s wares and chair. Ashfield Hardware & Supply. 413-628-3299. 343 Main St, Ashfield, MA.

Wednesday, August 21, 5:30-7:30pm – STEM/CODING: Learn about game design and coding by making your own games with Roblox Studio. Learn coding basics by building out game objects such as traps or power-ups, construct buildings, and sculpt terrain. Roblox Studio is an educational tool that provides opportunities for creativity and imagination while learning. No prior experience with Roblox Studio necessary. Ages 10+. Free. Holyoke Codes. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow St, Holyoke, MA.

Wednesday, August 21, 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 21, 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 21, 7:30-9:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/LITERARY STUDIES: Edith Wharton once described the human psyche as “a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” It’s easy to imagine that this description was inspired by Wharton’s country estate in Lenox. The Mount was home to Wharton and her husband for nine years, as her husband Edward sought to recover from an acute depressive episode. Over the years the Mount has developed a reputation for paranormal activity, a subject which occupied Wharton since her childhood. She wrote that as a little girl she was “haunted by formless horrors” and went on to write her own highly acclaimed ghost stories. According to some locals, Wharton’s restless spirit continues to wander the halls and corridors of the Mount. If you dare, come participate in a Haunted Tour of the Mount, and perhaps you’ll have a chance to see the lady of the house herself! This event is appropriate for ages 12 and above. The Mount. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA ($$)


THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

Thursday, August 22, 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 22, 4-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life that have been cherished and passed on for generations. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture, local history, and a connection to place. The agricultural fair’s long-standing presence in New England history reminds people of the importance in gathering to celebrate and share, even during difficult times, in order to foster a sense of community and collaborative spirit. The Cummington Fair, a four-day agricultural fair in the Hilltowns, has been a local tradition since 1868, when it began as the Hillside Agricultural Society. At the time, the stated goal of the society was “the attainment and diffusion of scientific and practical knowledge in the cultivation of the soil and the raising of its various and useful production as comprehended in The Department Of Agriculture, Horticulture and Pomology.” Over the last 150 years, the Fair has stayed true to its roots, while adding a wide variety of vendors, live music, community meals, midway, and activities for children! The horse and ox pull is a real favorite, and don’t forget to check out the prize winning livestock. Cummington Fair. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA.

Thursday, August 22, 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 22, 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 22, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)


FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

Friday, August 23, 9:30-11am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Indoor playgroup. Bridge Street Elementary School. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, August 23, 11am-12noon – NATIVE SPECIES/AMPHIBIANS: Amphibians of Berkshire County: Frogs and Salamanders at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals living in our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying common amphibians of Berkshire county, their biology, interesting facts about their behaviors, and the methods they use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals. Some live frogs and turtles will be on hand to greet visitors. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, August 23, 4-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life that have been cherished and passed on for generations. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture, local history, and a connection to place. The agricultural fair’s long-standing presence in New England history reminds people of the importance in gathering to celebrate and share, even during difficult times, in order to foster a sense of community and collaborative spirit. The Cummington Fair, a four-day agricultural fair in the Hilltowns, has been a local tradition since 1868, when it began as the Hillside Agricultural Society. At the time, the stated goal of the society was “the attainment and diffusion of scientific and practical knowledge in the cultivation of the soil and the raising of its various and useful production as comprehended in The Department Of Agriculture, Horticulture and Pomology.” Over the last 150 years, the Fair has stayed true to its roots, while adding a wide variety of vendors, live music, community meals, midway, and activities for children! The horse and ox pull is a real favorite, and don’t forget to check out the prize winning livestock. Cummington Fair. 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA.

Friday, August 23, 6-8pm – ART STUDIES/GLASS ART: LOCAL Gallery is holding its signature monthly event, “Art Talk” with a special appearance by internationally recognized glass artist Josh Simpson. He will kick off the event with a presentation and then will join a panel of other extraordinary artists. They’ll talk about their techniques, delve into their discoveries in the world of art, and share how art has shaped their lives. There will also be opportunities for lots of Q & A. Plus delicious treats and special beverages! Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. LOCAL Gallery. 413-203-5781. 40 Cottage Street. Easthampton MA.

Friday, August 23, 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 23, 6:30pm – ASTRONOMY/CONFERENCE: Calling all amateur astronomers! The annual Connecticut River Valley Astronomers Conjunction is coming to Northfield Mountain! This is one of the largest gatherings of amateur astronomers in the area. Join with other stargazers to learn about important news impacting the world of amateur astronomy, talk to others about their experiences, attend slideshows and presentations, and, of course, lots of stargazing. Participants will also have the opportunity to try out some of the most cutting edge telescopes available. Observation sessions will begin each night at sunset. Registration required. [Note: The Conjunction will kick off again with dinner at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, a family restaurant Route 2 in Gill, MA at 6:30pm. Meet at the restaurant.] Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Friday, August 23, 8pm – SHAKESPEARE/CLASSICAL THEATER: Much Ado About Nothing. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will return with a fifth free outdoor production on the First Street Common. Featuring the famously witty on-again-off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice’s cousin Hero and the young soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero’s voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. Artistic director Enrico Spada notes how “this play is incredibly relevant in 2019, casting a light on issues that are all too present today. When a man, bent on revenge, swears on a lie about a young woman—why does nobody believe her?” He adds that “Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a celebration of community, culture, and the joys of sharing stories.” Additionally, the production will feature actors, designers and technicians from the Berkshire County community. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is free for all attendees, providing an enriching and thought-provoking theater experience that is accessible to the community as a whole. Performances will be held at the First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)


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.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: