100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: August 17-30, 2019


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Ice Cream, Hot dogs, Tacos OH MY! The Look Park Food Truck Festival is back for it’s 3rd year on Saturday August 24th from 12pm to 6pm. 20+ Food trucks, music and more! Grab the kids and enjoy some of your favorite snacks or try something new! Entrance to Food Truck Festival is FREE! Vehicle entrance fee does apply. Visit www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457 for details. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

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 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.

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.

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.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 17-30, 2019

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

Saturday, Aug 24Sunday, Aug 25
Monday, Aug 26Tuesday, Aug 27Wednesday, Aug 28
Thursday, Aug 29Friday, Aug 30

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 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 Show with Surprise Episode with Guest DJs, Randy & Dave. Sometimes things happen that aren’t quite what you’d expect. Hit songwriters Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin, known in the children’s music business as Randy & Dave, bring you songs that are full of surprises. 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 – MUSIC STUDIES/REGGAE: Reggae, a music genre first developed in Jamaica the late 1960’s, incorporates musical elements from traditional African music, American jazz & blues, calypso and Ska. Every year the Charlemont Reggae Festival brings reggae music to the Hilltowns of Western MA, New Englands longest-running reggae festival! Multiple stages featuring live music, a family tent, local brews, local artists, and food vendors. Grab a blanket and enjoy the good vibes while listening to classic and contemporary reggae music. Charlemont Reggae Festival. Charlemont Fairgrounds. 413-367-9309. Route 2. Charlemont, 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 Show with Surprise Episode with Guest DJs, Randy & Dave. Sometimes things happen that aren’t quite what you’d expect. Hit songwriters Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin, known in the children’s music business as Randy & Dave, bring you songs that are full of surprises. 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, 5-7pm – COMMUNITY MEALS/ARGICULTURAL FAIRS: Spaghetti Dinner in the Dining Hall at the Cummington Fair tonight! Intergenerational opportunities to gather around the table for a community meal with friends and neighbors are available at nearly every agricultural fair. From blueberry pancake breakfast to BBQ chicken dinner, there’s something for everyone! Visit fair websites to see what’s being served this year and make plans to sit with your neighbors and start up conversations. Let your children learn about local history through stories your elderly neighbors might share, make new friends, and walk away with new community connections. Read more about community harvest meals and festivals in our Late Summer/Early Autumn Season issue of Learning Ahead.

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)


SATURDAY, AUGUST 24

Saturday August 24, 6-10am – FAMILY RADIO/COMMERCIAL-FREE: Every Saturday, Valley Free Radio offers four hours of commercial-free, quality family program from 6-10am. Tune in on your FM dial to 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA), or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. From 9-10am is the Hilltown Family Variety Show Family Vacation Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner. Fire up the engine in the family car and hit the road with “Jersey Jason” Didner, from the Jungle Gym Jam. Jersey Jason will be playing his favorite songs related to family vacation time. 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 24, 7am-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.

Saturday, August 24, 9am-8pm – AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE/GRANGE FAIR: Ware’s annual Grange Fair happens this weekend, unlike a contemporary agricultural fair with midways and performances, a grange fair focuses on the fruits of the labor of community members from the agricultural season and handiwork created throughout the year. The Ware Grange Fair invites all ages to participate in exhibiting (see website for details). The day of the fair, fairgoers can spend the day perusing exhibits, watching demonstrations, enjoying freshly baked goods and a community meal, buy second-hand goods and local produce, and spend quality time with family and neighbors among live music. Ware Grange Fair. Ware Grange #164. 413-284-1135. 297 Belchertown Rd. Ware, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 9am-5pm – AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE/GRANGE FAIR: The annual Shelburne Grange Fair is an exhibition of the production outcome of our community and showcases all levels and ages. Shelburne Grange Fair welcomes entries from the whole family. Activities include vendors, exhibit hall, music, bake sale, kids games, corn husking competition, family activities, community meal, and more. Visit them online for a full schedule. Shelburne Grange Fair. Fellowship Hall. 17 Little Mohawk Rd, Shelburne Falls, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 10-11:30am – FOOD HISTORY/GRAHAM CRACKERS: Did you know that the Reverend Sylvester Graham (think graham cracker) called Northampton home? Known by many as the Father of Vegetarianism” in America, Graham was not only a dietary reformer but also an American Presbyterian minister involved in the temperance movement. This weekend, Historic Northampton hosts the Sylvester Graham Olympics. Families can learn about impacts Graham had not only on national culture but also our local heritage. Embrace your inner Graham-ite – compete in a Graham cracker toss, build a Graham cracker tower, and challenge your Graham cracker-wielding dexterity. Learn about Sylvester Graham and how his philosophy influences the food on our plates, then participate in brain-teasing events to put that knowledge to the test! Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 10:30am & 1pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Two events today at Mt. Tom. The first is “Life Around The Lake: Mammals” at 10:3oam. Mammals are relatively common around the lake, and participants should see signs of deer, beavers, and other critters that come to the lake looking for a drink or a meal. Meet at Bray Lake. The second is a 1-2 hour hike starting at 1pm on the McCool Trail. The terrain is mostly easy and the pace moderate. Various parts of nature are explored along the way. Bring water and bug spray. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 11am-1pm – GUIDED WALK/LOCAL HISTORY: Join Park Interpreter Mike as you explore the forgotten site of the former 1930s-Era Civilian Conservation Corps work Camp (CCC) on Sperry Road in the “Heart of Greylock.” Buried deep inside the park’s primitive camping area, folks will discover the remnants of Company 107, Camp SP-7 of the First Corps. For seven years (1933-1941) this was home to thousands of “boys,” young men ages 17-25, who lived in barracks, earned a dollar a day working on projects throughout the mountain, and enjoyed a variety of recreational activities in their off-hours. This easy walk will retrace the story of the camp recruits and features archaeological artifacts. Walking distance is approx. 1 mile. All ages are welcome. An adult must accompany children under age 18. Meet at the CCC Dynamite Trail parking area on Rockwell Road, 5.5-miles north of the Visitor Center in Lanesborough. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 11:30am-7pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/IRELAND: Lughnasadh, pronounced “lunasa,” is the ancient Gaelic harvest festival, celebrated among Gaelic communities throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The festival is named for the god Lugh, one of the central deities of the Gaelic pantheon, who governs arts, crafts, and law. Like most holidays, Lughnasadh has its roots in ritual worship of the god. In ancient times, the holiday was celebrated with feasts, athletic competitions, music, and storytelling. In Ireland today, many still celebrate Lughnasadh with a mountain pilgrimage to honor Lugh. Come commemorate this ancient harvest festival with a full day of Irish music, dance, lectures, and, of course, soda bread! For a full list of events, visit Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. 413-333-4951. 429 Morgan Road. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 12-2pm & 4-6pm – COMMUNITY MEALS/ARGICULTURAL FAIRS: Roast Beef Dinner in the Dining Hall at the Cummington Fair today! Intergenerational opportunities to gather around the table for a community meal with friends and neighbors are available at nearly every agricultural fair. From blueberry pancake breakfast to BBQ chicken dinner, there’s something for everyone! Visit fair websites to see what’s being served this year and make plans to sit with your neighbors and start up conversations. Let your children learn about local history through stories your elderly neighbors might share, make new friends, and walk away with new community connections. Read more about community harvest meals and festivals in our Late Summer/Early Autumn Season issue of Learning Ahead.

Saturday, August 24, 12pm-4pm – CULINARY ARTS/LOCAL HARVEST: Learn how to cook from locally sourced ingredients in workshops taught by local chefs! The Red Fire Farm Annual Tomato Festival will feature workshops on topics such as home preservation, smoothie making, and shakshuka. Shakushka is an Israeli stewed tomato dish. Learn about various cultures through food while connecting to your community. There will also be wild edible plant walks, kids activities, opportunities to pick your own vegetables, and more. Red Fire Farm. 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 12- 6pm – CULINARY ARTS/PLACEMAKING: While the modern food truck finds its historical antecedent in the rustic ‘chuckwagon,’ which provided simple food to Texas ranchers while herding cattle for months at a time, food trucks have now become a cultural phenomenon. Effective utilizing social media by informing customers precisely where the trucks are going to be at any given moment, the food truck movement is enormously popular. The prestigious “Zagat Survey” has even started rating food trucks. Part of the popularity of food trucks is due to the innovative menus they tend to feature, the Los Angeles Korean-Taco fusion trend being perhaps the most famous example. Discover delicious treats at the annual Look Park Food Truck Festival, where there will be 20+ food trucks, music, and more! Grab the kids and enjoy some of your favorite snacks or try something new! Entrance to Food Truck Festival is FREE! Vehicle entrance fees apply. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 2-6pm – MUSIC STUDIES/SINGING: We all have the innate capacity of knowing how to share song. This “playshop” presented by Linda Stonestreet is intended for those who wish to discover more about how to connect and collaborate with others via song to carry and grow value with purpose and intent. It is an introduction to vocal improvisation, is a descriptor of an ancient way of singing. Participants will be guided skillfully and lovingly to making spontaneous music in the moment through methods which are unique, universal, and key to collaborative sovereignty. Potluck follows. Bring your favorite dish to share. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, August 24, 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 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 24, TBD – 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. Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 6-10pm – PLACEMAKING/COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Come together in community to celebrate in the park through music, food, and art for the Millpond.Live series. Millside Park. 413-529-1400. 2 Ferry St. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 6:15pm – DANCE STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY: Dancing is a natural human activity which occurs formally and informally across cultures. Even babies, listening to music, will move their bodies along to the beat. Contemporary dance performances can explore and communicate themes through choreographed movement and collaboration among dancers. The Hilltowns of Western MA is home to Jacob’s Pillow, “lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine) and ‘one of America’s most precious cultural assets’ (Mikhail Baryshnikov). It is a treasured National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest running international dance festival. All summer they host free “Inside/Out” performances on an outdoor stage for folks of all ages to enjoy a dance performance together. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 6:15pm, a wonderful opportunity for young children to see dance in an outdoor environment, maybe while enjoying a picnic with the family. Jacob’s Pillow. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 7:30-10pm – CONTRA DANCE/DANCE STUDIES: According to 19th century folklore, Fiddler’s Green is the afterlife to which sailors go if they have served for at least 50 years at sea. It is a place where joy abounds and the fiddling never ceases. As novelist Frederick Marryat wrote in 1856: “At Fiddler’s Green, where seamen true / When here they’ve done their duty / The bowl of grog shall still renew / And pledge to love and beauty.” Well, they don’t have an endless bowl of grog, but Fiddlers Green Contra Dance is a casual, fun, joyful community folk dance where everyone is welcome. Musicians are encouraged to join in and this event is perfect for beginners and all levels of experience. Ages 10 and above suggested. Midway through the event there will be potluck snacks and socializing. Munson Memorial Library. 1046 South East Street, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, August 24, 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 25

Sunday, August 25, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Family Vacation Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner. Fire up the engine in the family car and hit the road with “Jersey Jason” Didner, from the Jungle Gym Jam. Jersey Jason will be playing his favorite songs related to family vacation time. 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 25, 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 25, 7am-7pm – 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.

Sunday, August 25, 9am-3pm – PLACEMAKING/TRANSPORTATION: Motorama! Car Show, featuring food, fun, classic cars, and live music. Main, Holden and Eagle streets will be closed to all but pedestrian traffic as downtown North Adams fills with cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors, food, swap meet and more! Anything with a motor is welcome. (Rain date: Saturday, August 31) Downtown North Adams, MA.

Sunday, August 25, 10:30am & 1pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Two events today at Mt. Tom. The first is “Birding for Beginners” at 10:30am. This one hour program is meant to help beginners learn the basics of birding. The use of bird guides, lists, and binoculars are used to learn about these feathered creatures. The second is “Tracking the Wild Things” at 1pm. This program searches for animals living at Mt. Tom, or at least their footprints! With luck, bobcat, coyote, or the most likely deer prints, will be discovered. If found, everyone has a chance to make a plaster cast of a footprint. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, August 25, 3-5pm – AUDITIONS/YOUTH SYMPHONY: 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.

Sunday, August 25, 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)


MONDAY, AUGUST 26

Monday, August 26, 10am-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

Monday August 26, 10:30am & 1pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Two events today at Mt. Tom. The first is”Junior Rangers” at 10:30am for kids ages 7-9 where children can participate in a 4-week program to become a certified Junior Ranger. Through exploration, crafts, and games, participants can receive an official Junior Ranger patch and certificate. Each child must attend 3 out of 4 classes to qualify for this status. The second is “Advanced Hike for Seniors” at 1pm. Seniors and others who want more of a challenging hike can join in on this one-two hour hike up one of the more strenuous trails. The hike on these trails is at a slower pace to accommodate this age bracket. Bring water. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

Monday, August 26, 2-6pm – SKILLSHARING/BIKE REPAIR: 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 26, 2-3pm – NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/SHAKER: Shaker Foodways. Spend an hour with an expert guide touring the Hancock Sharke Village heirloom vegetable and herb gardens on the oldest working farm in the Berkshires. Explore the 1830 Brick Dwelling kitchen and discover ingenious culinary design and surprising technology. Mix up a Shaker recipe to sample. Learn how the Shakers became highly successful entrepreneurs who sold herbs, seeds, and prepared foods such as canned fruits and vegetables. Advanced registration encouraged. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Monday, August 26, 4:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/WORD GAMES: It is speculated that the highest possible scoring word in Scrabble has probably never been successfully played. If situated correctly, the word “OXYPHENBUTAZONE,” could theoretically score 1778 points! A far more realistic, and still highly effective word, is “ZA,” a recognized slang term for pizza, which can still get you 60 points or so. If you love Scrabble, joing the Scrabble Club for a monthly meet-up and game of Scrabble! Open to everyone, fun is the primary goal. Lily Library. 413-587-1500.19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA.

Monday, August 26, 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 27

Tuesday, August 27, 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 27, 9:30-11:30am – SUMMER PLAYGROUP: Nonotuck Park. 413-587-1471.1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, August 27, 10:30am & 2pm – NATURE-BASED LEARNING: Two events today at Mt. Tom. The first is a senior hike at 10:30am where seniors can join in on this easy-paced one hour hike. The terrain is mostly easy, and the nature talk quite abundant. Bring water and bug spray. The second is “Explorers Club” at 2pm. This weekly 1-2 hour program lets children ages 10-14 learn map reading skills, trail markings, and proper hiking techniques as we travel on all the trails here at Mt. Tom. Plus of course, nature is observed closely. Bring water and bug spray. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, August 27, 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.

Tuesday, August 27, 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 28

Wednesday, August 28, 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 28, 10am – MINDFULNESS/OUTDOOR YOGA: Join in for a relaxing meditative outdoor experience at scenic Mount Greylock. Soothe your mind, body, and spirit with easy yoga exercises that infuse elements of forest bathing practices and stimulating physical activity. Classes are designed to be accessible for all ages, levels, and abilities. Beginners welcome! If you have a mat, please bring it, if not there might be extras to use. Wear comfortable clothes. Rain cancels. This class is free and open to the public. Meet at the Visitor Center. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, August 28, 10am-1pm – ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING: Wednesday Drawing Group. Lifelong learners interested in figure drawing can learn about and practice together every Wednesday. Each Wednesday morning session begins with a nude model assuming a series of short poses that increase in length from 2-30 minutes. There are no requirements other than a desire to draw, so bring paper and pencil, watercolors, crayons… whatever medium you choose. Beginners and experts and all in between are welcome. No critique or instructions, just drawing. Tables, chairs, and easels provided. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-336-8937. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, August 28, 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 28, 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 28, 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 29

Thursday, August 29, Sunrise-Sunset – HISTORY WALK/SELF-DIRECTED: Have you ever walked, biked, or driven through downtown Holyoke and wondered about the history of the city’s numerous old buildings?  Each empty mill, towering church, and brick rowhouse tells a story of the city’s past.  An exploration of Holyoke’s history reveals a vibrant, diverse, and complicated history.  Visitors to Holyoke can now learn about the city’s history themselves – from home or while exploring the city’s streets thanks to the Wistariahurst Museum. The Museum hosts a large online community resource to its repertoire- the Holyoke History Walk, available on the museum’s website, offering a comparative look at the city and many of its streets and buildings as they once were (up to 125 years ago). The program uses Google Maps and provides a map – created by piecing together numerous maps from the museum’s archives – of Holyoke past, layered above a map of Holyoke present.  Scattered across the map are over 100 of the city’s landmarks – churches, civic buildings, prominent businesses, and views across the canal, from hilltops, and down various streets in the busiest parts of town. The old photos are shown next to a current image of the location.  In some cases, the buildings are unrecognizable; in others, entire blocks are boarded up; meanwhile, some others remain relatively unchanged.  Families can use the interactive tour to learn all about local history and can apply what they learn about the city to bring context and more in-depth understanding to American history and changes in industries, technology, and the American way of life. Holyoke, MA.

Thursday, August 29, 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 29, 6-8pm – AUDITIONS/YOUTH SYMPHONY: 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. Greenfield, MA.

Thursday, August 29, 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)


FRIDAY, AUGUST 30

Friday, August 30, 10am–5pm – ART EXHIBIT/LEONARDO DA VINCI: Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion on view at the Berkshire Museum through Sept 8, 2019. This exhibit features 40 full-size working models of Leonardo da Vinci’s innovative designs, from flying machines to an early robot. Each mechanism is accompanied by Leonardo’s drawings and a descriptive narrative of his life. Before heading over, check this out! The British Library had digitized and made available to the public a compilation of his notebooks, representing “the living record of a universal mind.” Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, August 30, 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.

Friday, August 30, 3:15-4:15pm – ENTOMOLOGY/MONARCH BUTTERFLIES: Much like bees, butterflies play an essential role in our local (and global!) ecosystems. As pollinators, butterflies help to ensure that plants exchange genetic material, something wedepend on to enjoy many of our favorite foods! However, changes in the way that humans live and how we interact with our surroundings have caused butterfly populations to decline (especially the iconic monarch). Learning about butterflies and their role in our ecosystem is essential to understanding and appreciating our surroundings; luckily, opportunities for learning about this beautiful Lepidoptera abound! This Friday afternoon, join the Storrs Library to learn all about their life-cycle. A short storytime which will be followed by local experts sharing their experience collecting Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars and how they raise and tag them for release. There will be a presentation with specimens and a release, weather permitting. For all ages. Register online. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Friday, August 30, 4-9pm – LOCAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts, and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions, we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The annual Blandford Fair will feature many opportunities to learn about farming and agriculture, along with midway games and rides, live performances, and more! See full schedule at Blandford Fair. 413-848-0995. 10 North Street. Blandford, MA.

Friday, August 30, 4-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Since 1818, the Three County Fair in Northampton has been showcasing local agriculture. America’s longest running agricultural fair was originally established as an agricultural society, designed to promote agricultural knowledge and appreciation. Over the years, the fair has stayed true to its original mission and expanded to include live music, delicious food, and lots of fun activities for children and adults. Livestock demonstrations are still a huge part of the fair experience and awards are given for both agricultural and domestic animals. Don’t miss one of the most beloved local events of the year! For more information and a complete list of events, visit 3 County Fair. 413-584-2237. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA.


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

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