100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: March 14-27, 2020

CANCELED OR POSTPONED
Click here for coronavirus updates via CDC.

 

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With over 9,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational events and community building opportunities happening this weekend and next week in Western MA!

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Bulletin Board

Mar 14

Dance off the mid-winter blues this weekend! On Saturday, March 14, from 10am-12noon, Hilltown Families and Flywheel will finish our beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party‘ series with a final community breakfast bash for the winter, featuring pancake, dancing, and diversions for kids at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton. Following the pancake breakfast, DJ Youthelectronix will be spinning family dance tunes for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and celebrate mid-Winter with a Saturday Morning Music Party! This annual series is a fundraiser to benefit the work of Flywheel Arts Collective. Minimum suggested donation: $6/person. Flywheel Arts Collective. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St, Easthampton, MA. (CANCELED)

Open House: Mar 14

Imagine a school that values and encourages the unique qualities of your child: The Hartsbrook School provides just that, with warmth and attentiveness. Children’s imagination and empathy are awakened through the rich curriculum. Deep academic inquiry, plenty of outside time, music and art in everyday learning, active land stewardship, and a culture of compassion Discover how meaningful a school experience can be and enjoy a vibrant, active parent community. Upcoming open house: Saturday, March 14th from 10am-12noon for preschool and kindergarten. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, 413-586-1908, www.hartsbrook.org (CANCELED)

Now Accepting Aps.

Families are invited to discover the warm, welcoming community at Amherst Montessori School, with dedicated teachers, administrators, and fellow parents who strive to create a sense of belonging for each child and family. Set-up a tour, explore the hands-on, child-centered Montessori curriculum, and learn about the engaging community of Amherst Montessori School. Applications for the 2020-21 school year are now being accepted. Schedule options from partial day to full day with extended hours. Set-up a tour by emailing Susanna at sthompson@amherstmontessori.org or by calling 413-253-3101.

Best kept secret in Amherst! Spring Street Preschool is an independent, progressive preschool located in downtown Amherst. Experienced and caring teachers provide opportunities for constructive play, literacy learning, friendship development, and creative arts. Spring Street Preschool has two outdoor play spaces, including a nature playground. Enrolling children from 2 yrs 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule with hours from 8am-5:30pm and affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is a non-denominational preschool located behind the Congregational Church. To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or email springstreetpreschool@gmail.com. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.com.

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.

Western Massachusetts is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and lifelong learners! Hilltown Families Class Directory features classes, lessons, enrichment programs, and membership opportunities across Western Massachusetts and throughout the year. Our Class Directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education, including theater, music, dance, art, and much more. — Have a class, private lesson, or program you’d like to include in our directory? More Information. | Reserve a spot. | Submit your listing.

MARKET YOUR PRESCHOOL:Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values for next year? Check out our Preschool Directory, which features preschools and programs across Western MA. Find the perfect place for your young one! ♦ If you have a school or program you would like to add to our directory, contact us at info@hilltownfamilies.org for more information on how you can be added at any time.

Featured Summer Programs & Camps

Check out our Summer Directory for nearly
60 summer camps & programs in and around Western MA!

Jun 22 – Aug 7

Journey Camp. Deerfield, MA. Their 27th Summer! A treasured place to grow friendships. Directed by Sarah Pirtle. Parents say, “Thank you for creating such an amazing camp!” Camp Sessions for children ages 6-12: Young participants build a stick house village in the woods, create theater, enjoy laughter, games, music, and art. Starseed Week for All (July 6-10); Girls Week One (July 27-31); and Girls Week Two (August 3-7). Camp sessions for teens: Teens have a supportive place to feel appreciated. Sunseed Teen Boys Camp (June 22-24); and Moonseed Teen Girls Leadership Camp (July 13-16). Location for all sessions: Woolman Hill in Deerfield. They assist with carpools. Scholarships are available. Dates: Jun 22-Aug 7; Age Range of Campers: 6-17yo. Contact: 774-280-2490. melissadelo.journey@gmail.com. sarahpirtle.com/journey-camp.htm

Jun 15 – Aug 9

The Bement School Summer Programs. Deerfield, MA. The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. Digging into Nature at Pine Hill provides outdoor education for ages 5-12. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Camp offers activity choices that include cooking, video game and movie-making, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Dates: Jun 15-Aug 7; Age Range of Campers: 4-15yo. Contact: 413-774-7061. summer@bement.org. www.bement.org/summer.

Jun 28 – Aug 22

Rowe Center Youth Camps. Rowe, MA. Since 1924, Rowe Center Youth Camps have empowered young people to play, explore, and learn in a liberating & nurturing environment. Campers balance freedom with compassion and responsibility. Each camper has a voice and a vote at camp. In a fun, creative, energetic environment, we empower campers to be leaders in the world. All camps are overnight, co-ed, developmentally appropriate, and gender-inclusive. Ages and times: Young People’s Camp 1 (8-10), July 19-25; Young People’s Camp 2 (9-11), July 26-Aug 1; Young People’s Camp 3 (1 or 2 weeks, 11-13), July 19-Aug 1; Junior High Camp (13-15), June 28-July 18; Senior High Camp (16-19), Aug 2-22. Costs are sliding scale & scholarships are available. Visit our website for details. Dates: Jun 28-Aug 22; Age Range of Campers: 8-19yo
Contact: 413-339-4954. info@rowecenter.org. rowecenter.org.

Jul 6 – 24

The Putney School Summer Arts. Putney, VT. The Putney School Summer Arts hosts summer arts workshops in June and July for high school students and a one-week workshop for adults in August. Create and connect through art. Dive deep into workshops and join a wildly creative community on a hilltop farm in Vermont. About a hundred students attend each three-week session, and workshops are capped at 12 students, fostering a close-knit community of young artists. Students come to discover a form, others to hone their practice, and all connect with the faculty and make use of the resources on campus. Located on a spectacular hilltop with 500-acres of woods, farms, and gardens there are endless opportunities for students to get outside and explore. Dates: Jul 6-24; Age Range of Campers: 14+yo. Contact: 802-387-7335. dfolgar@putneyschool.org. summer.putneyschool.org.

Jul 6 – Aug 28

Kids, Art & Nature. Amherst, MA. Children in Deborah Bazer & Lahri Bond’s week-long, themed Summer Art classes explore the natural world through the visual arts. Drawing from many traditions, they nurture the creative, intellectual, and emotional growth of the children in their care. Visual arts, storytelling, and environmental education are all integral parts of their summer classes. Summer session is from 8:30am-3:30pm, Mon-Fri at the Arts Barn on the beautiful Hampshire College campus and woods. Classes included: making art with nature, ceramics, faeries & myths, papercraft, superheroes, dinosaurs, dragons, and using fantasy gaming ideas to create real-world environments. Much of the day is spent outside, art-making, exploring, & playing non-competitive games. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 28; Age Range of Campers: 5-14yo. Contact: 413-367-0186. kidsartandnature@hotmail.com. kidsartandnature.com


CANCELED OR POSTPONED
Click here for coronavirus updates via CDC.

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 14-27, 2020

Saturday, March 14Sunday, March 15
Monday, March 16Tuesday, March 17Wednesday, March 18
Thursday, March 19Friday, March 20

Saturday, March 21Sunday, March 22
Monday, March 23Tuesday, March 24Wednesday, March 25
Thursday, March 26 Friday, March 27

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The events below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm date, time, place, age appropriateness, registration requirements, and costs before attending.

Events Happening in the Hilltown


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saturday, March 14, 8am-5pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/CHEESE MAKING: Making Sharp Farmstead Cheeses at Upinngil Farm, one of the best cheesemakers in the Commonwealth. Join NOFA/Mass at Upinngil Farm for a day-long, hands-on cheese making workshop, farm tour, and lots of cheese. This workshop is suited to beginners as well as experienced cheesemakers. During the workshop, attendees can expect to discuss the fundamentals of cheesemaking, including the choice of a variety of milk for particular cheeses, milk handling practices, and starter cultures. Learn the basics of standard creamery procedure for hard renneted cheeses such as Cheddar, Dunlop, and Gloucester. Leave with fresh cheese to finish at home. Space is limited. Preregister. Upinngil Farm. 413-863-4431. 411 Main Rd. Greenfield, MA. (POSTPONED)

Saturday, March 14, 8:30am-4pm – SOCIAL JUSTICE/EDUCATION: Transforming Education for Social Justice Conference, hosted by Collaborative for Educational Services, is a regional conference bringing together people in Western Massachusetts interested in social justice and equity in K-12 schools, early childhood classrooms, and the surrounding communities. Participants and speakers will co-create a space for young people, educators, activists, administrators, and scholars to connect and network, share and learn, dream and envision possibilities for developing education as a tool for equity and social justice. Youth-led sessions that provide opportunities to learn from young people and support the development of student leadership will also be offered. Integrative Learning Center. 413-545-1376. 650 N Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (CANCELED)

Saturday, March 14, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO SHOW/SOUTH AFRICA: Guest DJ Debbie Lan, from the award-winning band Grenadilla, (pronounced “gren-a-dill-a,” the South African name for passion fruit) is our host, sharing some of her favorite songs from South Africa, as well as songs from Grenadilla’s CD, Can’t Wait, winner of a Parents Choice Gold Award. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peek every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, March 14, 9-11:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Birders Workshop Series: Birding for Beginners at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Winter is perfect to start birdwatching. Birds come to local feeders and become familiar friends. Participants will learn to identify groups and species of birds by shape, size, color, and sounds. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (CANCELED)

Saturday, March 14, 9:30am-4pm – SUGAR SEASON/LIVING HISTORY: Did you know that the production of maple syrup is one of only a few agricultural processes in North America that is not a European colonial import? Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village. Costumed interpreters will answer your questions and show you how maple syrup was tapped, gather, and rendered during the Colonial era. Visitors can also see how sugar molds were made by historic potters and learn how the abolition movement was tied to maple syrup and the use of maple products. See the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in early New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 10-11am – ZOOLOGY/ENTOMOLOGY: March 14: Backbones Not Required. Ranging in size from microscopic to gigantic, invertebrates make up the largest group of animals in the animal kingdom. Learn about some awesome invertebrates with the Hitchcock Center! Be prepared to get hands-on with one of the Hitchcock Centers spineless teaching animals… Designed for children with their parents. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA. (CANCELED)

Saturday, March 14, 10-11:30am – ANATOMY/MEDICINE: Doctor for a Day at the Springfield Museums. Learn about the wonderful human body from the outside–in! Wearing lab coats and using stethoscopes, children ages 8-11 can learn how our heart and lungs work, look at x-rays, examine real bones, and assemble a skeleton! Go through the “hospital” to examine, diagnose and cure your “patients” and even perform “surgery!” Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

CANCELED

Saturday, March 14, 10am-12noon – FAMILY DANCE PARTY/PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Hilltown Families and Flywheel will continue the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party‘ series with a community breakfast bash featuring pancake, dancing, and diversions for kids at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton. Following the pancake breakfast, DJ Youthelectronix will be spinning family dance tunes for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and celebrate mid-Winter with a Saturday Morning Music Party! This annual series is a fundraiser to benefit the work of Flywheel Arts Collective. Minimum suggested donation: $6/person. Flywheel Arts Collective. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St, Easthampton, MA. (CANCELED)

Saturday, March 14, 10am-12noon – OPEN HOUSE/PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN: Imagine a school that values and encourages the unique qualities of your child: The Hartsbrook School provides just that, with warmth and attentiveness. Children’s imagination and empathy are awakened through the rich curriculum. Deep academic inquiry, plenty of outside time, music and art in everyday learning, active land stewardship, and a culture of compassion Discover how meaningful a school experience can be and enjoy a vibrant, active parent community. The Hartsbrook School. 413-586-1908. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. (CANCELED)

Saturday, March 14, 10am-12noon – NATURAL HISTORY/FORESTS: The Forests of Western Massachusetts: Past, Present, and Future at Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Why are the forests of Western Massachusetts so fascinating? Continental collisions, advancing and retreating glaciers, and historic climate patterns have created a varied landscape with a remarkable diversity of forest types and tree species. In this presentation, participants will review the natural history of the forests of Western Massachusetts, the land-use history of the region since European colonization, and the future of these forests in the current era of rapid climate change. Preregister. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 10am-1pm – NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITIONS/TOTEM POLES: Handbuiliding Totems in Clay, an 8-week course at Workshop13, begins today. Totem Poles represent stories or important events with each figure on the totem representing part of the story. In this hand-building course, participants will use a simple mold making technique allowing more time for exploration of surface and form design. They’ll look at a couple of approaches to stacking totems that are key to the design process. Hand building experience is helpful, but not required. Preregister. Workshop13. 413-277-6072. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 11am-1pm – STEM/ENGINEERING: Playful Engineers MakerSpace with Jay Mankita at the Pelham Library. Design, test, and play with a Rube Goldberg “machine,” make an exploding popsicle stick snake, make an elaborate domino maze, and more with Teaching artist Jay Mankita and his Playful Engineers Traveling MakerSpace. All ages are invited for hands-on, STEM-focused engineering fun! Pelham Library. 413-253-0657. 2 S Valley Rd, Pelham, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 10am-4pm – ART STUDIES/ENCAUSTIC PAINTING: Intro to Encaustic Painting Workshop at the Springfield Museums. This introduction to encaustic paints and techniques will cover all the basics of working with beeswax and pigment—layering, fusing, incising, embedding, including using the materials safely and efficiently. Basic materials are provided. Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. Preregister. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 12noon-4pm – SKILLSHARING/SUSTAINABILITY: Community RePair, organized by the Northampton ReUse Committee. Participants are invited to bring a household item in need of repair. Local “Fixperts,” handy volunteers providing repair know-how, will attempt to fix it free of charge. Great opportunity to learn new skills by watching not only your own broken/ripped item being repaired, but other things too! If you are a successful tinkerer/repairperson/handyperson/maker and are interested in joining their team of volunteer “Fixperts,” call 413-587-1059. Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street (Route 9), Northampton, MA. (CANCELED)

Saturday, March 14, 1-8pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/MAPLE SUGARING: Maple Sugaring: From Tree to Table at Fabric of Life. Envelope yourself in the process of Maple Sugaring – from tree to table. Learn the steps to harvesting and processing maple syrup, dive into sugarhouse design, visit a maple grove, learn how to identify maples by bark and tree shape, and tap a tree. Stay for a pancake dinner and a viewing of Ben’s Mill. Workshop includes information on tap whittling, the maple process, sugarhouse design, a site visit/design discussion, maple tree ID, and a maple tapping exercise. Pancake Supper at 5:30pm. Fabric of Life. 80 Bassett Road. Shelburne, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 2:30pm – WOMEN’S HISTORY/CIVIL RIGHTS: It’s Women’s History Month, and the Amherst League of Women Voters and the Jones Library is hosting a screening of the documentary Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders, followed by a discussion led by Traci Parker, Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UMass-Amherst. In 1965, three ordinary women from Mississippi walked into the US House of Representatives seeking civil rights. This documentary explores a missing chapter in our nation’s record of the Civil Rights movement, by taking us to Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s to discover the courageous women who lived it and emerged as its grassroots leaders. Free and open to the public. Jones Library. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 2:30-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY: Visitors to the Berkshire Museum will travel from farm life to the mid-century office and learn the power of raising their voices as they explore the extraordinary stories of the many women featured in She Shapes History. Learn how to spin wool, weave yarn, and design an effective protest poster. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 3-5pm – FLORAL DESIGN/WORKSHOP: Flower Power: Cabin Fever Cure, a floral design workshop. While spring isn’t here just yet, a little infusion of floral color and fragrance is just what we need! In this creative floral workshop, participants will learn the basics of arranging and caring for blooms. A local floral designer will guide participants to create a vase. Advance booking required. Tourists Welcome. 413-346-4933. 915 State Road. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 4-8pm – FOOD HISTORY/TAVERN FARE: Historic Deerfield’s Open Hearth Cooks is a class which teaches a variety of cookery techniques and lead discussions on how food preparation has changed over time, preservation technology, seasonality, diet, and the availability of local and imported foodstuffs. In this class, Supper at the Hall Tavern, participants will prepare hearty tavern fare, including “luscious pieces” of beef or pork roasted in front of the flames, and enjoy supper by the fire. The class will be held in the kitchen of the Visitor Center at Hall Tavern that dates to 1786. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 5:30-7:30pm: COMMUNITY MEAL/ST. PATRICK’S DAY – Corned beef has become synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day and Irish American culture, but the history of this dish is much more complicated than one might think. First of all, the name “corned beef” refers to the preservation of beef in coarse salt, which is known as “corn” in old English. While some version of salted or “corned” beef can be traced back to 12th century Ireland, any version of the dish that would be recognizable today is derived from a product that originated in the 17th century. Until the late 19th century, Ireland was the world’s largest producer of canned corned beef, which became a major tradeable commodity due to the fact that it was nonperishable. Irish corned beef was traded across the Atlantic to the French to be used in their sugar plantations in the Caribbean as well as many other British and French colonies. Despite the huge amount of corned beef that was being produced in Ireland, however, the vast majority of the product was exported and not consumed by Irish people. Moreover, the corned beef industry played a role in the Irish Potato Famine. As more and more farmland was taken over for the production of corned beef, Irish farmers were pushed onto smaller and poorer quality plots of land, where potatoes became the only sustainable crop. Nevertheless, corned beef has become an important part of Irish American cultural heritage linked to the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day. In Ireland, to this day, bacon and cabbage remain the traditional dish eaten on this holiday. Enjoy a delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner at the First Congregational Church of Westfield’s annual community meal. First Congregational Church. 18 Broad Street. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 6pm – FAMILY IRISH NIGHT: Beginning in the early 1800s, thousands of Irish immigrants, mostly from the area around Dingle in County Kerry, immigrated to Chicopee and Holyoke, which at the time was known as Ireland Parish. They found work in the textile mills and paper plants and became an important part of the local community. To this day, the area’s Irish heritage is alive and strong. Kick-off the week of Saint Patrick’s Day, known colloquially as Irish Week, with a celebration for the whole family! The Chicopee St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is hosting a Family Irish Night, featuring food, music, and face painting. American Legion Post 452. 37 Exchange Street. Chicopee, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 7pm – THEATER STUDIES/HIGH SCHOOL SPRING MUSICAL: The Broadway musical, Annie, based on the comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie,” originally opened in the late 70s and ran for nearly six years. The original Broadway production has generated various productions, including Frontier Regional School’s upcoming spring musical production. Annie: FRS March Musical is a high flying musical for all ages. Live music, dancing, singing, acrobatics, and acting right in South Deerfield with local high school teens on stage. Bring your children with audience skills and let the “big kids” inspire a love for theater, singing, and on-stage entertainment. Frontier Regional School. 113 N Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, March 14, 7pm – THEATER STUDIES/HIGH SCHOOL SPRING MUSICAL: Hampshire Regional High School’s annual spring musical this year is Hot to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. This musical performance is based on the book by the same name and an excellent opportunity to see local teens translate literature via acting and singing. Bring your children with audience skills and let the “big kids” inspire a love for theater, singing, and on-stage entertainment. Hampshire Regional High School. 413-527-7680. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday, March 15, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO SHOW/SOUTH AFRICA: Guest DJ Debbie Lan, from the award-winning band Grenadilla, (pronounced “gren-a-dill-a,” the South African name for passion fruit) is our host, sharing some of her favorite songs from South Africa, as well as songs from Grenadilla’s CD, Can’t Wait, winner of a Parents Choice Gold Award. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peek every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Sunday, March 15, 8am-1pm: COMMUNITY MEAL/PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Pancake Breakfast, hosted by Holiday Brook Farm. A pancake breakfast buffet (featuring local meats from their farm!) all you can eat, all the coffee/milk/juice you can drink, and all the time you want to spend with friends, family, and neighbors. After breakfast, check out their sugarhouse to see if they’re making maple syrup, visit farm animals (lambs!), and take a walk around a working farm. Holiday Brook Farm. 413-684-0444. 100 Holiday Cottage Road. Dalton, MA.

Sunday, March 15, 9:30am-4pm – SUGAR SEASON/LIVING HISTORY: Did you know that the production of maple syrup is one of only a few agricultural processes in North America that is not a European colonial import? Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village. Costumed interpreters will answer your questions and show you how maple syrup was tapped, gather, and rendered during the Colonial era. Visitors can also see how sugar molds were made by historic potters and learn how the abolition movement was tied to maple syrup and the use of maple products. See the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in early New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, March 15, 10am-3pm – NATURE/SCAVENGER HUNT: Nature Scavenger Hunt at Mount Greylock. Adventurous quests invite visitors to explore various treasures along any forested trail. A self-guided activity, free lists can be picked up at Visitor Center. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Sunday, March 15, 11am-3pm – SUGAR SEASON/LOCAL HISTORY: Maple Harvest Day & Pancake Breakfast at Storrowton Village Museum. Storrowton’s annual event highlights the history and tradition of maple sugaring in New England. The historic Gilbert Farmhouse will turn into a sugarhouse for the day. Visitors can learn how the “liquid gold” is made and watch 19th-century open hearth cooking demonstrations of maple recipes. Docent-led tours and 19th-century craft demos will also be available in the Gilbert Farmhouse. Make a morning of it by joining the West Springfield Lions Club for their pancake breakfast to benefit Storrowton’s educational programs. Eat pancakes, served with pure New England maple syrup, in the Village’s red Greenwich Barn from 10am-12noon. Storrowton Village Museum. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA.

Sunday, March 15, 2pm – THEATER STUDIES/HIGH SCHOOL SPRING MUSICAL: Hampshire Regional High School’s annual spring musical this year is Hot to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. This musical performance is based on the book by the same name and an excellent opportunity to see local teens translate literature via acting and singing. Bring your children with audience skills and let the “big kids” inspire a love for theater, singing, and on-stage entertainment. Hampshire Regional High School. 413-527-7680. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, March 15, 3pm – THEATER STUDIES/HIGH SCHOOL SPRING MUSICAL: The Broadway musical, Annie, based on the comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie,” originally opened in the late 70s and ran for nearly six years. The original Broadway production has generated various productions, including Frontier Regional School’s upcoming spring musical production. Annie: FRS March Musical is a high flying musical for all ages. Live music, dancing, singing, acrobatics, and acting right in South Deerfield with local high school teens on stage. Bring your children with audience skills and let the “big kids” inspire a love for theater, singing, and on-stage entertainment. Frontier Regional School. 113 N Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.


Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday, March 16, 3:15-4:15pm – CRITICAL THINKING/CHESS: Research shows that, when played from a young age, chess can be beneficial to a child’s learning and development. The game requires the use of high-order thinking skills, such as weighing actions and consequences and helps players practice decision making. The Storrs Library offers a Youth Chess where children of all ages and skill levels are welcome to a drop-in game of chess. An instructor will provide help for beginners and tips for more advanced students to sharpen their game. Registration is not required. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (CANCELED)

Monday, March 16, 8-10pm – BIODIVERSITY/GARDENING: Gardening for Wildlife, hosted by Plainfield Tree Alliance. Seeing fewer birds and bees? Climate change and other environmental crises are depleting the diversity of species in our magnificent hilltowns. What can we do to respond? This year’s Plainfield Forest and Garden Winter Series focus on what we can do locally to combat the effects of environmental stresses on our forests and gardens. Learn how to manage your own property in ways that make positive impacts on wildlife. 38 N Central St, Plainfield, MA.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17 – ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Tuesday, March 17, 9am-4pm – HORTICULTURE/FLOWERING BULBS: Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fitzpatrick Conservatory becomes a harbinger of spring when the public is invited to enjoy hundreds of flowering bulbs in an annual exhibition featuring New England springtime favorites, lesser known varieties, and a collection of South African bulbs rarely seen in the northeast. Visitors to the greenhouse will see an evolving collection of blooming plants. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION: Taking a class with an artist that specializes in botanical illustration provides the scientific and artistic instruction needed to learn how to create botanical drawings. Botanical illustrations are not just limited to painting flowers, but also include sketching trees and other plant specimens. Not only is botanical illustration a creative outlet, but also a scientific one that lets you explore a plant species at an observational and focused level! The American Society of Botanical Illustrators provides different resources and tools to help students locate classes in their area or informational books on doing an individual study of botanical illustration. Gardens and wayside growing flowers offer an opportunity to engage with the landscape through art, literature, and community. Whether it’s botanical watercolors, illustrations, photography, or a relaxed visit to your local public garden, flowers blooming in a community support interests and connect residents to their public parks and the patterns of the seasons.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 9:30am-8pm – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/CHEMISTRY: Pick up your Passport to Chemistry Adventure at the library. Children ages 5-12 are welcome to join the Chemistry Adventure program, a collaboration with the Mount Holyoke College Chemistry Department. Kids work with an adult partner who borrows individual kits from the library. At home, they complete chemistry experiments then return to the library to receive small prizes after completion. Arrive at the library to fill out a registration form and then check out a kit with the adult’s library card. South Hadley Public Library. 413-538-5045. 2 Canal St, South Hadley, MA.

Wednesday, March 18- Friday, March 20, 10am-4pm – NATURE OBSERVATION/DRAWING CLASS: Bird Nests: Rendering Their Unique Beauty at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. This three-day nature-based drawing course for self-directed teens and lifelong learners begins today and runs through March 20. How many times have you looked in wonder at a bird’s nest and marveled at its construction? Drawing a bird’s nest will invite you to look even closer and discover what nest materials the bird chose to create their unique design and shape. In this class with botanical illustrator Carol Ann Morley, you will learn how to ‘map out’ the nest construction to keep track of where you are. Through close observation, participants will discover the pattern of the weave as you identify horsehair, grass, twigs, and other plant materials. Have fun bringing to life one of nature’s wonders, in your choice of mixed media with colored pencils, pen and ink, and gold paint on toned papers. The instructor will supply the bird nests to draw. Some drawing experience suggested. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 10:30am-12noon – MINDFULNESS/FOREST BATHING: Mountain Mindfulness: Forest Bathing Walk with Jacqui Gero at Mount Greylock State Reservation. Join Jacqueline as we meander slowly and quietly along the forested trail on this unique Mindful Outdoor Experience. When we allow ourselves the time to breathe, notice, and relax, we can truly take in the sights, smells, sounds, textures, and feelings of the forest. By bringing greater awareness to all of our senses, we can explore and be fully immersed in this healthy mind-body experience. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 2:30-4:30pm – PLAYGROUP/LOCAL HISTORY: Stop by Historic Northampton for after school for games, crafts, and stories about Northampton history! Check out a big map of Northampton with historical buildings, people, and cars, all color-able with chalk. And at 3:15pm, the whole group will read a story, make a craft, play a game, or participate in an activity, all designed to help kids learn more about the history of Northampton. Free. Ages 0-10. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (CANCELED)

Wednesday, March 18, 3pm – MEDIA LITERACY/TEENS: Media and Recording Studio Sessions for Youth. Holyoke Media invites all youth to join the Media Literacy Studio Sessions for Youth at the Library, dedicated to creating media projects such as podcasts, videos, and music. Every Wednesday, the Library’s Teen Room is transformed into a recording and filming studio for the creation of media projects. No experience required. All youth are welcome. Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 3:15-5:15pm – SEWING/SUSTAINABILITY: Due to ocean currents, a massive pile of plastic debris has been forming in the Pacific Ocean. First discovered in the late 1980s, it is currently speculated that this mound of garbage is anywhere from the size of the state of Texas to the size of Russia. As plastic is tough to breakdown, the garbage patch continues to grow and wreak havoc on the ocean ecosystem. Unlike organic material, as plastic ages, it simply reduces to the molecular level but never disappears. As it gets smaller and smaller, plastic particles become ingested by marine wildlife. But the indirect effects are even more serious. On the microscopic level, the sheer amount of plastic molecules in the ocean is changing the chemical makeup of the water and spreading toxic pollution all over the world. Do your part to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean by volunteering to make durable, reusable shopping bags for members of the community to use instead of plastic bags. Join folks at the Williamsburg Senior Cafe for an intergenerational bag sew group on the 1st & 3rd Monday of the month, in partnership with The Bag Share Project. Williamsburg Senior Center. 413-268-8407. 141 Main St, Williamsburg, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 5-6pm – THEATER/HISTORY: Academy of Music Theatre History Tour. Did you know that a trap door was once cut into the stage at the Academy of Music in Northampton for Harry Houdini’s disappearing act? Or that Frankenstein’s monster himself, Boris Karloff, appeared at the 123-year-old theater? Join a history tour of this local treasure, and see the recently discovered and conserved 1913 Tuttle scenic curtain. Reservations are required. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 5:30-7pm – PARENT CAFE/FATHERHOOD: Parent Cafe for Dads, hosted by Northampton/Hadley Family Connection. Being a great parent is part natural & part learned! In this monthly Parent Cafe for Dads, explore this idea with dads who have babies or young children. At the Parent Café, participants can share information and ideas that help us take care of ourselves, build strong relationships with our kids, and raise children who thrive, sharing the challenges of parenting and build the resilience we need to be good parents. Free childcare and dinner will be provided and is open to dads with young children. RSVP: 413-587-1471. Held at the Bridge St. School. 2 Parsons St., Northampton, MA. (CANCELED)

Wednesday, March 18, 6-7:30pm – BOTANY/KOKEDAMA: Kokedama Class at Township Four, a Japanese form of gardening which incorporates wrapping moss and soil around roots. All materials are included, and no experience is necessary. Make three mid-sized kokedama. Township Four. 413-347-3244. 419 North Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 7pm – ORNITHOLOGY/WARBLERS: Warblers for Beginners at Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.Warblers are the jewels of the bird world. Learning some basics can prepare you to enjoy the waves of spring migrants coming our way. Explore the keys to identification of spring warblers; learn some of their songs, and discover how knowledge of their life histories can enrich our birding experience. Preregister. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday, March 18, 7-8pm – ORNITHOLOGY/WOODCOCKS: Sky Dance of the American Woodcock at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary – When sunsets in early spring, woodcocks take to the sky in their beautiful aerial courtship display, a natural spectacle which only happens this time of year.Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (CANCELED)

Wednesday, March 18, 7-8:30pm – WOMEN’S STUDIES/DOCUMENTARY: The Davis Center at Williams College Presents a Documentary on the Community of Queer Women of Color, The Revival: Women and the Word, a film that grapples with gender, race, and sexuality to represent and provide insight into the community of queer women of color. The film is free and open to the public and will be shown in Paresky Auditorium. A facilitator-led discussion will follow. Tickets are not required. Williams College. 413-597-3131. 880 Main St. Willilamstown, MA. (CANCELED)

Wednesday, March 18, 7:30pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE/CIRCUS ARTS: Cirque Flip Fabrique: Blizzard. Blizzard is the story of a group of friends, each one different from the other, like snowflakes, exploring the awe and wonder of a winter storm. Through the lens of their relationship with winter, Cirque Flip Fabrique brings audiences on a crazy, fun, poetic and tender journey, and invites you to get lost in a moment of winter wonder. With some of the most exciting circus performers today, all original music performed live and breathtaking visual poetry, Blizzard is taking the stage by storm! $20-$45; Youth 17 & Under: $10-$15. Approximately 1.5 hours. Appropriate for all ages. UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. 800-999-UMAS. UMass. Amherst, MA. (CANCELED)


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 6:45am & 6pm- VERNAL EQUINOX/ASTRONOMY: Spring has sprung! The vernal equinox, the first full day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, is a good time to learn about astronomical concepts such as the seasonal positions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon. The public is invited to view sunrise and sunset from the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel. (Telescopic viewing at 6am & 7:30pm.) A UMass Amherst astronomer will be present discussing the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, phases of the moon, the building of the Sunwheel, and other calendar sites such as the Karnak Temple in Egypt, Stonehenge in the U.K, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and Chankillo in Peru. UMass Sunwheel. Rocky Hill Road, south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, March 19, 2-2:30pm – STORYTIME/MANDARIN: Bilingual Storytime: Mandarin at the Museum in the Reading Library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Thursday, March 19, 3-4pm – INTERGENERATIONAL/COMMUNITY MEAL: Afternoon Tea with homemade monkey bread at the Hatfield Public Library. All ages. If you or a member of your family/community can’t have gluten, make this gluten-free version at home with the kids (video below), incorporating kitchen science and math, and bring it to share. Hatfield Public Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street, Hatfield, MA.

Thursday, March 19, 6-8pm – SEWING/SUSTAINABILITY: Bagshare Community Sew at the Westhampton Public Library. Did you know that many libraries are also bagshare locations? Borrow a bag handmade out of upcycled materials to carry your heavy books to and from the library and home. Local volunteers make these bags during Community Sewing events. No prior sewing experience is needed, and it’s an excellent opportunity for age-appropriate skill-sharing. Join the library for their first Community Sew to make bags for the library, an alternative to single-use paper or plastic bags. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday, March 20, 9am-4pm – HORTICULTURE/FLOWERING BULBS: Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fitzpatrick Conservatory becomes a harbinger of spring when the public is invited to enjoy hundreds of flowering bulbs in an annual exhibition featuring New England springtime favorites, lesser known varieties, and a collection of South African bulbs rarely seen in the northeast. Visitors to the greenhouse will see an evolving collection of blooming plants. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, March 20, 8:30am-7:30pm – STEM/SUMMIT: Want to learn CSS or HTML? Ready to turn your app idea into a real app? Perhaps you’ve been wanting to make 3D drawings using SketchUp or itching to learn about LEGO EV3 Robotics? Look no further than the NERD (New England Regional Developers) Summit, a 2-day learning camp focused on helping people build coding, web design, and related skills, and to welcome everyone into this interesting industry. Most sessions are intended for self-directed teens and lifelong learners; several sessions are good fits for younger children who have an adult accompanying them. Pre-register online for the sessions that interest you! Held at the Integrated Science Bldg on the UMass Campus. 661 N Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Friday, March 20, 7pm – FARMING/DOCUMENTARY: Pothole Pictures is celebrating 25 years as a volunteer-run community movie theater with the launch of its 2020 Spring film season, opening with a screening of the award-winning documentary, The Biggest Little Farm at 7:30pm. With breathtaking cinematography, this documentary follows an ex-film industry couple on their trial-and-error journey as novice farmers to reclaim depleted soil on 200 California acres. The award-winning film tracks the highs and lows of their eight-year effort to build a successful diversified farm. After the showing, audience members who wish to do so can join a discussion led by local farm educators – Just Roots director Jessica O’Neill, CISA communications manager, Claire Morenon, and Hawlemont Elementary Principal, Lindsey Rodriguez, who is leading a successful farm-based curriculum: Hawlemont, Agriculture and You (HAY). The screening is preceded by a half-hour of “music at the movies” performed by local musicians starting at 7pm. Pothole Pictures. 413-625-2896. Memorial Hall Theater. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday, March 21, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO SHOW/VERNAL EQUINOX: Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn. Spring returned on March 20! Celebrate it’s arrival with our guest DJ, Charity Kahn, sharing music and insights that lift the spirits as spring begins to emerge. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peek every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, March 21 – SUGAR SEASON/SUGARING: Maple Weekend! Dozens of sugarhouses across Massachusetts will be open this weekend. It’s an opportunity to learn how maple products are made, talk to a sugarmaker, and bring home some delicious pure maple products! Massachusetts Maple Producers Association has a map where you can enter your city/state or zip code below to find a location participating in Maple weekend near you! Western MA.

Saturday, March 21, 8am-2pm – LOCAL CULTURE/SUGAR SEASON: It’s March. The light is changing, the days are getting longer, and the ground slowly begins to thaw. As spring rounds the corner, March becomes the month of gathering and beginning, re-emergence, and sharing. Early in the month, it might feel like winter outside, but rest assured that spring is stirring underneath blankets of snow. March is sugaring season. This season is a great time of year to visit a sugar shack for a delicious pancake breakfast with freshly made maple syrup. After a community meal of jacks, or while waiting for a seat at a rustic table, check out how maple syrup is rendered and watch the action up close. Red Bucket Sugar Shack is open for the season an a great place to visit for these reasons! 413-238-7710. 584 Kinne Brook Road. Worthington, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 8:30am-5pm – STEM/SUMMIT: Want to learn CSS or HTML? Ready to turn your app idea into a real app? Perhaps you’ve been wanting to make 3D drawings using SketchUp or itching to learn about LEGO EV3 Robotics? Look no further than the NERD (New England Regional Developers) Summit, a 2-day learning camp focused on helping people build coding, web design, and related skills, and to welcome everyone into this interesting industry. Most sessions are intended for self-directed teens and lifelong learners; several sessions are good fits for younger children who have an adult accompanying them. Pre-register online for the sessions that interest you! Held at the Integrated Science Bldg on the UMass Campus. 661 N Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (UPDATE: VIRTUAL EVENT)

Saturday, March 21, 9am-1pm – ORNITHOLOGY/DUCKS: Ducks at the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. With temperatures rising and ice melting, more ducks are returning to our region. Join birder and waterfowl enthusiast Peter Redfern for a presentation, followed by a walk around the Arcadia Marsh in search of hooded mergansers, wood ducks, and common goldeneyes. Dress to be outdoors for half of this program. Preregister. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 9am-3pm – PLACEMAKING/MAPLE FEST: Chester Hill’s 34th Annual Maple Fest and Craft Fair. Did you know that during the Civil War, abolitionists used maple syrup instead of sugar because sugarcane and molasses were primarily produced using slave labor? For hundreds of years, dating back well before colonization, the northeast has been the center of maple syrup production in the United States. And for over 30 years, the town of Chester has been celebrating maple syrup season with a day of delicious food, local arts, and crafts, and of course, lots of maple syrup. Visitors can also enjoy a traditional all-you-can-eat country breakfast (9am-12pm), live music, and wagon rides up to the sugar houses to see how maple syrup is made. Skyline Trail. Old Chester Center. Chester, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 9:30am – 12noon – NATURALIST SKILLS/TRACKING: Wildlife Tracking with Elia Del Molino and Jim Pelletier. Enjoy the day exploring nearby woodlands, meadows, and streams. See what local wildlife has been up to. Journey off-trail, less than 2-miles, at a leisurely pace with some rough terrain and likely stream crossings. Participation is limited. Pre-registration required. Ages 8yo+. Meet at the Visitor Center at Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 9:30am-4pm – SUGAR SEASON/LIVING HISTORY: Did you know that the production of maple syrup is one of only a few agricultural processes in North America that is not a European colonial import? Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village. Costumed interpreters will answer your questions and show you how maple syrup was tapped, gather, and rendered during the Colonial era. Visitors can also see how sugar molds were made by historic potters and learn how the abolition movement was tied to maple syrup and the use of maple products. See the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in early New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 10-11:30am – NATURE-BASED LEARNING/OBSERVATIONS: Spring at Laughing Brook at Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. According to the calendar, spring has barely begun. However, the observant outdoor nature detective has likely noticed evidence of the new season for weeks. By this time of year, early arriving species such as red-winged blackbirds and turkey vultures have returned to our area. Join the folks at the sanctuary as they look for other harbingers of spring: skunk cabbage poking its leaves from beneath the snow or soil (and warming the surrounding ground); early spring insects; and perhaps even early frogs. Preregister. Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 789 Main St, Hampden, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 10am-12noon – BOTANY/TREES: Tress in Winter: Bark, Buds, & Branching Patterns with Mass Audubon. No leaves? No problem! You can learn to recognize oaks, maples, and other woodland trees in winter. Participants will look at tree samples, practice using a field guide, and take a hike to test our observation and identification skills. BYO tree ID guides. Preregister. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.(CANCELED)

Saturday, March 21, 10am-12:30pm – FOLK TRADITION/BASKET WEAVINGBasket Weaving with Chris Brown at the Grace Hall Memorial Library. In this learn to weave “Make & Take” workshop series, participants will learn to make two basket designs. Supplies needed: awl, scissors, towel, 5 gallon bucket, pencil, craft knife, clip style clothes pin ans measuring tape. Space limited so preregister. Grace Hall Memorial Library. 413-862-3894. 161 Main Road, Montgomery, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT/KINDIE MUSIC: Children’s Music Series at the library is a free music program that has hosted musical artists representing traditions from around the world over the past 40+ years. Today this series features a performance by award-winning folk musician Alastair Moock. Alastair reflects on gender, ethnicity, and identity today, as well as the evolving concept of family in America. Jones Library. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 11am-1pm – STEAM/LITERATURE: Interactive Graphic Novels Workshop with Holyoke Codes at the library. Combine art and literature with coding and computational thinking to create compelling narratives. Using Ren’Py, an open-source visual novel engine to tell your interactive digital stories. Registration required. Emily Williston Memorial Library. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 1-3pm – PASTRY ARTS/SOURDOUGH BREAD: Sourdough Starter class at the library! Learn how to maintain a sourdough starter and make bread, crepes, and other baked goods. Leave with a starter of their own. RSVP by 3/14. Blandford Porter Memorial Library. 413-848-2853. 87 Main St, Blandford, MA.

 

Saturday, March 21, 2-3:30pm – BIOLOGY/TAXONOMY: What Linnaeus Saw: A Scientist’s Quest To Name Every Living Thing. Join Karen Beil, author of What Linnaeus Saw, through a true adventure story about an intriguing, world-renowned scientist who revolutionized the way we study plants and animals. The globetrotting naturalists of the 18th century were the plant geeks of their day. Foremost among them was Carl Linnaeus, a radical thinker who transformed biology. A medical doctor, botanist, and enthusiastic professor in Sweden, he encouraged his devoted students to search the world for species. Now, more than ever, we need to learn about and value the world’s plants, animals, and habitats—both for the crucial roles they play in nature and for the benefits they provide to humankind. What Linnaeus Saw gives us a chance to examine the past and see what it can teach us for the future. A book sale and signing will follow the talk. Free to students with ID. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 2:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/AMHERST: Test your knowledge of Amherst and its local authors at the Jones Library’s Centennial Celebration Finale. Knowledge of Amherst history is not required as all questions are multiple-choice. Come as a team or join one after you arrive. Enjoy a fun afternoon of trivia with refreshments and prizes. Free and open to the public. Jones Library. 413-259-3097. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 4-8pm – FOOD HISTORY/TAVERN FARE: Historic Deerfield’s Open Hearth Cooks is a class which teaches a variety of cookery techniques and lead discussions on how food preparation has changed over time, preservation technology, seasonality, diet, and the availability of local and imported foodstuffs. In this class, Supper at the Hall Tavern, participants will prepare hearty tavern fare, including “luscious pieces” of beef or pork roasted in front of the flames, and enjoy supper by the fire. The class will be held in the kitchen of the Visitor Center at Hall Tavern that dates to 1786. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, March 21, 7pm – FARMING/DOCUMENTARY: Pothole Pictures is celebrating 25 years as a volunteer-run community movie theater with the launch of its 2020 Spring film season, opening with a screening of the award-winning documentary, The Biggest Little Farm at 7:30pm. With breathtaking cinematography, this documentary follows an ex-film industry couple on their trial-and-error journey as novice farmers to reclaim depleted soil on 200 California acres. The award-winning film tracks the highs and lows of their eight-year effort to build a successful diversified farm. After the showing, audience members who wish to do so can join a discussion led by local farm educators – Just Roots director Jessica O’Neill, CISA communications manager, Claire Morenon, and Hawlemont Elementary Principal, Lindsey Rodriguez, who is leading a successful farm-based curriculum: Hawlemont, Agriculture and You (HAY). The screening is preceded by a half-hour of “music at the movies” performed by local musicians starting at 7pm. Pothole Pictures. 413-625-2896. Memorial Hall Theater. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO SHOW/VERNAL EQUINOX: Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn. Spring returned on March 20! Celebrate it’s arrival with our guest DJ, Charity Kahn, sharing music and insights that lift the spirits as spring begins to emerge. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peek every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

SELF-GUIDED WALK/POETRY: Follow the footsteps of earlier Americans and stay active and healthy during the summer by walking. Many of the local woods and trails in Western Massachusetts were common destinations for 19th-century hikers and fueled the creative genius of many writers. Engage with local history and experience the landscape from a literary perspective by reading some of these writers’ works while on the trail or before you embark on your next outdoor adventure. For example: imagine reading William Cullen Bryant’s The Rivulet, with the poet’s description of the prattling water, as you stand by the same rivulet yourself and hear the same sound (featured in the March/April Season of Learning Ahead)! In a way, the poem acts as a time machine, bridging together the woods of Bryant’s life in the Hilltowns with the same forest you can hike today. Take a self-guided landscape tour and strengthen a sense of place through poetry and the countryside. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

SELF-DIRECTED WALK/HISTORY: 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.

Sunday, March 22 – SUGAR SEASON/SUGARING: Maple Weekend! Dozens of sugarhouses across Massachusetts will be open this weekend. It’s an opportunity to learn how maple products are made, talk to a sugarmaker, and bring home some delicious pure maple products! Massachusetts Maple Producers Association has a map where you can enter your city/state or zip code below to find a location participating in Maple weekend near you! Western MA.

Sunday, March 22, 8am-1pm: COMMUNITY MEAL/PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Pancake Breakfast, hosted by Holiday Brook Farm. A pancake breakfast buffet (featuring local meats from their farm!) all you can eat, all the coffee/milk/juice you can drink, and all the time you want to spend with friends, family, and neighbors. After breakfast, check out their sugarhouse to see if they’re making maple syrup, visit farm animals (lambs!), and take a walk around a working farm. Holiday Brook Farm. 413-684-0444. 100 Holiday Cottage Road. Dalton, MA.

Sunday, March 22, 9am-4pm – STEM/CODING: Do you like to code? Do you want to code? Have you tried to learn to code only not to know how to get started? NERDS2020 Hackathon is a day of networking, learning, and practical hacking. Using JavaScript, Python, and maybe a Raspberry Pi or two, beginner programmers and professionals (ages 8+) will have opportunities to learn practical programming skills and participate in building real-world applications with mentors in a group setting. Make new friends, sharpen your skills, and develop new ones in a fun and encouraging setting. Integrated Sciences Building. UMass. 661 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. (UPDATE: VIRTUAL EVENT)

Sunday, March 22, 9:30am-4pm – SUGAR SEASON/LIVING HISTORY: Did you know that the production of maple syrup is one of only a few agricultural processes in North America that is not a European colonial import? Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village. Costumed interpreters will answer your questions and show you how maple syrup was tapped, gather, and rendered during the Colonial era. Visitors can also see how sugar molds were made by historic potters and learn how the abolition movement was tied to maple syrup and the use of maple products. See the entire sugar-making process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and learn why maple sugar was more commonly used than maple syrup in early New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, March 22, 11am-3pm – PLACEMAKING/PARADE: 69th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Parade kicks off in KMart Plaza at 11:10am FAQ. Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, March 22, 12noon-3pm – INTERGENERATIONAL/MUSIC & ART: Teddy Bear Picnic at Mill 180 Park. The Teddy Bear Picnic is a ‘Not Just For Kids’ family-friendly folk music and art series. The teddy bears are back for another magical day of intergenerational merrymaking, music, art, community, and good ole’ fashion fun. Music and Art by Eli Elkus & Friends. Mill 180 Park.180 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, March 22, 2-3pm – LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/MARIONETTES: Tanglewood Marionettes performance of Cinderella, hosted by the Cummington Family Center, an enchanting production of the classic tale, Cinderella performed by the Tanglewood Marionettes. A great intergenerational show. Self-directed teens and lifelong learners may enjoy learning about the fascinating history of the story of Cinderella in the video below before attending the show. The Tanglewood Marionettes is a nationally touring marionette theatre based in New England. Their shows are a delight for all ages. Cummington Community House. 33 Main St. Cummington, MA.

Sunday, March 22, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CHORAL: Join the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus and Chamber Choir and Chorus Director Sarah Paquet for a special spring concert featuring choral works from around the globe. Choral pieces from Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, and Venezuela and a special piano solo by Julian Drummond. Get tickets in advance. Reception follows the concert, which will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church. 48 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, March 22, 5-6:30om – COMMUNITY SING: Earthdance is holding a community sing and potluck with Penny Schultz, Earthdance co-founder. Penny brings community members together through song. She is a dynamic and energetic teacher whose love of music is infectious, and the ability to lead and teach is unsurpassed. All the songs are drawn from many different musical traditions and will be taught by rote. This event is open to all ages, engaging children in music, and singing in an intergenerational environment. Earthdance. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday, March 23, 5-8pm – FILM STUDIES/AFRICAN CINEMA: Sembene! The Inspiring Story of the Father of African Cinema, hosted by Greenfield Community College. Screening of a film by Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman, followed by a panel discussion with Gadjigo, GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernandéz, and other guests. In 1952, Ousmane Sembéne, a dockworker from Senegal, began dreaming of an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. SEMBENE! tells the unbelievable true story of the “father of African cinema,” the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought to give African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions. Greenfield Community College. 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA.

Monday, March 23, 6-7:30pm – GARDENING/TERRARIUM: Terrarium Class at Township Four for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. In this class, choose between a classic round globe or a teardrop glassware. All materials are included; choose between lush terrarium plants or neat succulents. Township Four. 413-347-3244. 419 North Street. Pittsfield, MA.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 10-11:30am – MINDFULNESS/FOREST BATHING: Forest Bathing / Shinrin Yoku. Shinrin Yoku is the Japanese practice of taking in the forest atmosphere or Forest Bathing. During this outing, a guide leads participants on a slow, intentional walk into the woods to de-stress and get re-connected with nature. Find a meditative spot. The ambient sounds, elemental scents, and connection to the earth will soothe you as you soak in the great outdoors. No previous experience is necessary. Meet at the Visitor Center. Preregister. 8yo+. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Tuesday, March 24, 4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: 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. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, MA.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION: Taking a class with an artist that specializes in botanical illustration provides the scientific and artistic instruction needed to learn how to create botanical drawings. Botanical illustrations are not just limited to painting flowers, but also include sketching trees and other plant specimens. Not only is botanical illustration a creative outlet, but also a scientific one that lets you explore a plant species at an observational and focused level! The American Society of Botanical Illustrators provides different resources and tools to help students locate classes in their area or informational books on doing an individual study of botanical illustration. Gardens and wayside growing flowers offer an opportunity to engage with the landscape through art, literature, and community. Whether it’s botanical watercolors, illustrations, photography, or a relaxed visit to your local public garden, flowers blooming in a community support interests and connect residents to their public parks and the patterns of the seasons.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2:30-4:30pm – PLAYGROUP/LOCAL HISTORY: Stop by Historic Northampton for after school for games, crafts, and stories about Northampton history! Check out a big map of Northampton with historical buildings, people, and cars, all color-able with chalk. And at 3:15pm, the whole group will read a story, make a craft, play a game, or participate in an activity, all designed to help kids learn more about the history of Northampton. Free. Ages 0-10. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (CANCELED)

Wednesday, March 25, 3pm – MEDIA LITERACY/TEENS: Media and Recording Studio Sessions for Youth. Holyoke Media invites all youth to join the Media Literacy Studio Sessions for Youth at the Library, dedicated to creating media projects such as podcasts, videos, and music. Every Wednesday, the Library’s Teen Room is transformed into a recording and filming studio for the creation of media projects. No experience required. All youth are welcome. Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/ORNITHOLOGY: Springtime is filled with sightings of all kinds of exciting natural wonders. The season’s outdoor appeal makes it a perfect time of year not only for enjoying our natural surroundings, but for learning about conservation and species preservation, too! Springtime is the season for bird sightings as Western Massachusetts becomes filled with a variety of migrating bird species in the early spring months. Read more in our March/Spring Season issue of Learning Ahead. Download your free copy here.

Wednesday, March 25, 7pm – ORNITHOLOGY/WARBLERS: Warblers for Beginners at Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.Warblers are the jewels of the bird world. Learning some basics can prepare you to enjoy the waves of spring migrants coming our way. Explore the keys to identification of spring warblers; learn some of their songs, and discover how knowledge of their life histories can enrich our birding experience. Preregister. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday, March 25, 7-8pm – ORNITHOLOGY/WOODCOCKS: Sky Dance of the American Woodcock at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary – When sunsets in early spring, woodcocks take to the sky in their beautiful aerial courtship display, a natural spectacle which only happens this time of year.Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (CANCELED)


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 9:30am-6pm – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/CHEMISTRY: Pick up your Passport to Chemistry Adventure at the library. Children ages 5-12 are welcome to join the Chemistry Adventure program, a collaboration with the Mount Holyoke College Chemistry Department. Kids work with an adult partner who borrows individual kits from the library. At home, they complete chemistry experiments then return to the library to receive small prizes after completion. Arrive at the library to fill out a registration form and then check out a kit with the adult’s library card. South Hadley Public Library. 413-538-5045. 2 Canal St, South Hadley, MA.

Thursday, March 26, 6-8pm – CRAFTING/UPCYCLING: Creative Reuse Craft Club. Repurpose/upcycle discarded materials into handmade art. All materials are included. Free and open to the public (13+). Pre-registration required. Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Thursday, March 26, 6-8pm – DATE NIGHT/FUNDRAISER: Looking for a fun way to spend an evening while supporting a good cause? Annual Wine, Cider, Microbrew Tasting Benefit for the Tilton Library. Held at Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern at The Deerfield Inn. 81 Old Main St. Deerfield, MA.

Thursday, March 26, 7-8pm – NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY/OWLS: Discovering the Owls of New England. Peter Christoph delivers stunning photographs of his favorite owls combined with stories that entertain, educate, and inspire. Learn the secrets Peter uses to find and photograph owls in their natural habitat. Christoph is a well-known wildlife advocate, naturalist and award-winning wildlife photographer who seeks to raise awareness of the need to conserve bird habitat. Held in the Great Hall at the Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday, March 27, 8:30am-12:30pm – HOUSING/SUSTAINABILITY: 2020 Small Home Forum, hosted by Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. Small, simple, energy-efficient homes are becoming a reality in Hampshire and Franklin counties. Learn about the efforts of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to grow the small home movement: their recent projects, their setbacks, and creative solutions to build small and create a more equitable community of homeowners in Western Massachusetts. Featuring local experts, with keynote by bestselling author Sheri Koones. Free and open to the public, breakfast, and coffee included. RSVP. Held in the College Dining Commons at Greenfield Community College. 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA.

Friday, March 27, 4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: 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. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, March 27, 6:30-8:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY/WOODCOCK: Woodcock: Skydancer at Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Have you heard the telltale peep of the woodcock looking for a mate to do its early spring sky dance? If not you are in for a treat that will likely become an annual tradition, you’ll be hooked. Join local birder, naturalist, and bird song radio personality, Dan Ziomek on this special spring event. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA. (CANCELED)

RESOURCE/WEB CAM: Did you know that UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library is home to a pair of Peregrine falcons? You might think that’s an odd place to live, but Peregrines love to nest on tall buildings! The nest box was installed in 2003 on top of the Library and has drawn the once-federally endangered Peregrine falcons to the Library each year since then. Find out more in our post, WebCam Catches Peregrine Falcons Nesting Atop UMass Amherst.


Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Amherst, Bernardston, Buckland, Chester, Gill, Goshen, Hadley, Heath, Hinsdale-Peru, Holyoke, Montgomery, Mt. Washington, New Salem, Northern Berkshire, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Washington, Westhampton, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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