Suggested Events for August 27th-September 2nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“It’s a rainy summer day and the kids are bored of the usual routine… HILLTOWN FAMILIES always saves the day! Family life in the hill towns is brighter, bolder, and culturally enriched by the support of Hilltown Families. It has been the number one constant resource for events, concerts, and community education for our family in our parenting journey. Hilltown Families has widely become essential support for family life in Western Massachusetts, a network that grows happier healthier families through community, connection, and education. Thank you Hilltown Families for all you do!” – Zoe (Ashfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after-school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Open House: Aug 27

The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, is holding an Open House on Saturday, August 27 from 10am-3pm. Stop in to tour the space, take a sample class and learn about the school’s philosophic approach where children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main St. Amherst, MA. 413-230-1944.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating. Students graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE. Use promo code HTF201617 and receive $10 OFF your entire purchase of any instructional program!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 27 – September 2, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Astronomy Learning this Leading Up to the Autumnal Equinox… and Beyond!

Astronomy Learning this Leading Up to the Autumnal Equinox… and Beyond!

An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an interest in mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the sky. Observing the stars can be an act of scientific or spiritual curiosity, or both. While some people lament the shorter days of fall and winter, longer nights provide more chances to learn about astronomy through observations of the night sky!  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 22-26, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Suggested Events for August 20th-26th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“When we moved here from Australia three years ago with our two young children, Hilltown Families quickly became our go-to source for local events and activities. My SAHD husband, in particular, turns to the newsletter every week to discover things that we can attend with our kids. Hilltown Families supports families of Western MA in one of the most important ways: providing connection and information…Thank you to Hilltown Families for linking us to this fantastic community of which we are so lucky to be a part.” – Natane Halasz (Pelham, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after-school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Join our team…

Bulletin Board

Open House: Aug 27

The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, is holding an Open House on Saturday, August 27 from 10am-3pm. Stop in to tour the space, take a sample class and learn about the school’s philosophic approach where children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main St. Amherst, MA. 413-230-1944.

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High school offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling, for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. Check out their new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 20-26, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Guide for Jonathan Bean’s “This is My House, This is My School”

Literary Guide for Jonathan Bean’s “This is My House, This is My School”

Download literary guide for This is My Home, This is My School

Jonathan Bean’s This is My Home, This is My School introduces young readers to the idea of self-directed learning. Centered around a somewhat chaotic household and its many inhabitants, the story points out that, for the homeschooled narrator, home and school are one and the same – making home a place for living and a place for learning. Based on the author/illustrator’s childhood, the book helps readers see the ways in which a family can use their everyday experiences to support the acquisition of almost any kind of knowledge.

Beginning with pages that repeat the story’s title, the book follows the narrator through a quick tour of his home, wherein it is learned that his siblings are his classmates, his mom is his teacher (and dad the substitute), his kitchen is his cafeteria, his back yard is his playground, his family van is his school bus, and all of the rooms of his home (as well as the outdoor spaces nearby) serve as his classrooms. Readers see family members (students!) engaged in a wide variety of activities during the tour, from traditional “school-style” activities like computer research and worksheets to less structured activities like basement science experiments, cooking projects, family music jams, treehouse building, and stream exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 15-19, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Suggested Events for August 13th-19th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families reminds us all that right beside our own backyards, on our own main streets, in our own hometown rivers and lakes….we can find world class fun, family-friendly arts and culture activities, and a few embedded surprises that even 40+ year natives can be awestruck by.” – Deb Doulette (South Deerfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Aug 12-14

The Middlefield Fair. The 161st Middlefield Fair will run August 12-14 this year. Friday: Gates open 4pm-Diesel Truck Pull, Bingo. Saturday: Gates open 8am-4×4 Truck Pull, Youth Sheep Show, Horse Pulls, Old Time Fiddle Contest. Sunday: Gates open 8am-Pancake Breakfast, Spooner Well Band, Cattle Show, Garden Tractor Pull, Oxen Pulls. Home-style meals Sat & Sun by the Hinsdale Lions Club. Free entertainment and children’s activities throughout the fair: Exhibit Hall, Farm Museum, Petting Zoo, Balloon Animals, Magician, Smokey the Bear. FREE Children’s Bike Giveaway each evening. 7 Bell Road, Middlefield, MA 01243. Parking: $2, Admission: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children under 12 FREE. www.MiddlefieldFair.org

Aug 16

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 16th at 3pm: Make Your Own Computer Game with Odyssey Webmaster Ann Childs. Learn how to make computer games in Scratch with the awesome Odyssey webmaster, Ann Childs. Campers will create a game together on the big screen and will also be able to access and play the game after the event! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 7 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 years to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks like solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith campus, with free parking. Participation is a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come to the lab!

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, college counseling, for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. Check out their new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Eventsand in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Join our team…


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 13-19, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Language Learning Resources in Western MA

Language Learning Resources in Western MA

Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Since learning a second language is easiest during early childhood, language learning can be the perfect intergenerational pursuit for parents who want to expand their knowledge. Fluency in more than one language opens up career opportunities, as well as the ability to converse easily with a greater number of people, both at home and when traveling. But with over 3000 languages, how do you pick which one to learn?

“Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number,” writes TED-Ed. “How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past.”

Click here to view the full lesson.  Read the rest of this entry »

SciShow: Teaching the World of Science Through Video

SciShow: Teaching the World of Science Through Video

Spotlighting the most engaging and fascinating of scientific topics with brevity, SciShow brings kid-friendly web-based doses of science to screens everywhere! Offered through SciShow’s Youtube channel are dozens upon dozens of videos teaching about everything from plasma to the influences of science fiction.

Science-curious learners of almost any age can take advantage of the information offered through SciShow’s videos in numerous ways, including gaining exposure to new topics, solidifying understanding of topics already explored, or adding background knowledge to topics explored through experience.  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 8-12, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Suggested Events for August 6th-12th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a fantastic clearinghouse of information about everything and anything that families might want or need to know.  We have found out about camps, activities, interesting places to go, and community events.  I also have learned things from the many blog posts that people share.  Without Hilltown Families, we’d miss this central location where information and experiences are shared.  It’s a great service to families in the area!” – Mimi Kaplan (Haydenville, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Mon, Tues, & Thurs in Aug

Learn in Motion believes that physical activity plays the most important role in a child’s academic success, offering a variety of fun and educational sports classes for children ages 3-5! They provide an innovative, comfortable and engaging environment where kids can explore movement and be stimulated intellectually and socially. Register For Classes: Thursday’s (8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1) from 4:30-5:30pm & 5:30-6:30pm at Look Park in Florence; Monday’s (8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29) or Tuesday’s (8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30) from 5:30-6:30pm at Wilbraham Middle School. They also offer birthday parties, school and after-school programming and more! Visit www.learninmotionma.com to sign up and to find out more! Contact chrisgibaldi@gmail.com

Weds in Aug

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-Op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon from different local organizations and performers, including: Bugs, Birds & Beasts with musician and storyteller Tim Van Egmond on Aug 3; Cats & Dogs: Sing-Along Songs & Stories with puppeteer Anna Sobel from Talking Hands Theatre on Aug 10; Live animals on Aug 17 with Kelly More from North King Animal Clinic, Aug 24 with Lori Swanson from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, and Aug 31 with Northampton Animal Control Officer, Shayla Howe. 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. 330 North King Street.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Starting at 18 months at the Montessori School of Northampton: The Montessori School of Northampton is pleased to announce that it is now enrolling toddlers beginning at 18 months of age for fall 2016. The school offers full or half day programs with schedules available for as little as two or as many as five days per week. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher, and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect place for your toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Aug 5-7

Peter Pan! How, you may ask, how is everyone going to fly? Have no fear! This is PaintBox Theatre, where imaginations thrive. In fact, in our version the entire audience gets to fly. PaintBox favorite Troy Mercier (Zorro, Tarzan, and Roscoe, the dog) IS Peter Pan and Connor Paradis (last season’s Jim Hawkins) has reluctantly agreed to play Tiger Lily. This is going to be a rollicking good time. Performances are Fri. August 5, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. August 6 and 7, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre, 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Aug 6

Come celebrate summer with Starlight’s Youth Theater and children’s book author Aaron Becker on Saturday, August 6 at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Watch a live performance of Seussical, Jr., The Musical performed by Starlight’s Youth Theater at 11am and 1pm! After the performance, hear Aaron Becker’s storytime reading at 2pm of his latest book, Return, which is the final book in his Journey series! The storytime will be followed by a book signing. Plus, see The Carle’s new Robert McCloskey exhibition! For more information, please visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-559-6300. Seussical is $7 (Members $6.50), and Aaron Becker: Special Storytime is free with Museum admission.

Aug 9

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 9th at 3pm: Grass Hair Funny Face Jars. For a project that never ends, campers will decorate their jars (filled with grass seeds) with mustaches, bows, and googly eyes to make a funny face that just gets funnier and funnier once its hair starts to grow! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Aug 12-14

The Middlefield Fair. The 161st Middlefield Fair will run August 12-14 this year. Friday: Gates open 4pm-Diesel Truck Pull, Bingo. Saturday: Gates open 8am-4×4 Truck Pull, Youth Sheep Show, Horse Pulls, Old Time Fiddle Contest. Sunday: Gates open 8am-Pancake Breakfast, Spooner Well Band, Cattle Show, Garden Tractor Pull, Oxen Pulls. Home-style meals Sat & Sun by the Hinsdale Lions Club. Free entertainment and children’s activities throughout the fair: Exhibit Hall, Farm Museum, Petting Zoo, Balloon Animals, Magician, Smokey the Bear. FREE Children’s Bike Giveaway each evening. 7 Bell Road, Middlefield, MA 01243. Parking: $2, Admission: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children under 12 FREE. www.MiddlefieldFair.org

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 years to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks like solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith campus, with free parking. Participation is a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come to the lab!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Eventsand in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Join our team…


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 6-12, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Inspiration for Aspiring Woodworkers & Blacksmiths

Inspiration for Aspiring Woodworkers & Blacksmiths

The annual Woodworking and Age of Iron weekend at Hancock Shaker Village provides opportunities to learn about not only woodworking, blacksmithing and sculpture, but also history and photography, through demonstrations.

Blacksmithing has been around for many centuries, dating back to the Iron Age, and is the practice of forging metal for practical or decorative purposes.

Along side carpentry, both artisan skills not only build furniture, but all sorts of artistic and functional works, including instruments.

Thus, an interest in carpentry can intersect with music studies and art. Building your own furniture can also be part of a wider homesteading lifestyle.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Art & Science of Fermentation

Lessons in Local Food Preservation

Western Mass really drops an abundance of local food into our laps every summer! It’s an incredible bounty that brings with it a possibility of some waste, as storage can prove difficult. Enter Fermentation…a healthy and educational technique to repurpose delicious & healthy food into… delicious & healthy food! Did we mention fermentation is also educational? Involve your kids and they’ll get some experience with cellular biology & chemistry. Read on for some excellent insights in our post, Learn About Local Food & Chemistry through Fermentation.

[Photo credit: (cc) feministjulie]

Save

Save

Save

Summer Opportunities to Connect People to Place through Wild and Cultivated Food

Summer Opportunities to Connect People to Place through Wild and Cultivated Food

Summer offers learning opportunities that integrate culinary arts with botany and agriculture. In addition to many, year-round offerings of culinary workshops and resources in Western Massachusetts, seasonal events such as guided wild plant walks can open up new doorways of interests and add local, fresh ingredients to your cooking practice.

Whether you are interested in wild plant walks, gardening, farming, or cooking, there are ample opportunities for you and your family to connect with your community through food and plants. Here are several community-based educational resources and events to support your interests while engaging in your community this summer: Read the rest of this entry »

History Through the Lens of “What If?”

AlternateHistoryHub Promotes Consideration of Context in Studies of Human History

Every event in our own lives directly influences the next – and similarly, everything that we do as a country, a culture, and as humans influences all that comes after. Every major historical event – from battles and assassinations to natural disasters and deadly diseases – has shaped the events that follow it, making our timeline of human history not just a series of events, but a gradual and (so far) endless chain reaction of events.

So what if some of the major events that are part of our human timeline had never happened, or had happened differently?

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 1-5, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Suggested Events for July 30th – Aug 5th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a fantastic resource for all local events and happenings for children of all ages. It is my go to source for entertainment and educational happenings along with ways to be involved in the community.” – Chris Curtis (South Hadley, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Jul 30

Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. Performances are at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, July 30th rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the audience travels through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Nineteen shows are scheduled throughout the summer and early fall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance at www.thetrustees.org.

Jul 30

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold a Fire Truck Show on Saturday, July 30th. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with all aspects of the firefighting industry including over twenty fire trucks to view. During your visit you will also learn more about the Fire Truck Museum collection along with local Fire Departments equipment & vehicles. Don’t miss your opportunity to sit in a real fire trucks, try on fireman’s turnout gear, watch fire hose demonstrations, maneuver through a kid’s maze using a fire hose and take home a souvenir fire hat. For the convenience of all, food and refreshments will be available for purchase. CTM is located in East Windsor, CT. For more info visit ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Mon, Tues, & Thurs in Aug

Learn in Motion believes that physical activity plays the most important role in a child’s academic success, offering a variety of fun and educational sports classes for children ages 3-5! They provide an innovative, comfortable and engaging environment where kids can explore movement and be stimulated intellectually and socially. Register For Classes: Thursday’s (8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1) from 4:30-5:30pm & 5:30-6:30pm at Look Park in Florence; Monday’s (8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29) or Tuesday’s (8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30) from 5:30-6:30pm at Wilbraham Middle School. They also offer birthday parties, school and after-school programming and more! Visit www.learninmotionma.com to sign up and to find out more! Contact chrisgibaldi@gmail.com

Weds in Aug

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-Op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon from different local organizations and performers, including: Bugs, Birds & Beasts with musician and storyteller Tim Van Egmond on Aug 3; Cats & Dogs: Sing-Along Songs & Stories with puppeteer Anna Sobel from Talking Hands Theatre on Aug 10; Live animals on Aug 17 with Kelly More from North King Animal Clinic, Aug 24 with Lori Swanson from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, and Aug 31 with Northampton Animal Control Officer, Shayla Howe. 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. 330 North King Street.

Starting at 18 months at the Montessori School of Northampton: The Montessori School of Northampton is pleased to announce that it is now enrolling toddlers beginning at 18 months of age for fall 2016. The school offers full or half day programs with schedules available for as little as two or as many as five days per week. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher, and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect place for your toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The K-8 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, and nature-based. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. And for parents new to homeschooling, Oak Meadow offers a new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more: www.oakmeadow.com.

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

Aug 2

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 2nd at 3pm: Decorate Your Own Name Bunting! Campers will make and decorate their own name banners. With a flag for each letter of their name, campers will get to go home with the perfect banner for bedroom doors or above the bed! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 3 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Aug 5-7

Peter Pan! How, you may ask, how is everyone going to fly? Have no fear! This is PaintBox Theatre, where imaginations thrive. In fact, in our version the entire audience gets to fly. PaintBox favorite Troy Mercier (Zorro, Tarzan, and Roscoe, the dog) IS Peter Pan and Connor Paradis (last season’s Jim Hawkins) has reluctantly agreed to play Tiger Lily. This is going to be a rollicking good time. Performances are Fri. August 5, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. August 6 and 7, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre, 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 30-August 5, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Visual Art in Western MA: August Openings, Closings & Calls for Art

Visual Art in Western MA:
August Openings, Closings & Calls for Art

Explore Western MA through the lens of visual art! Featured here are August art openings, closings & call for art at galleries, museums and public meeting places across the region, including: Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Mill Arts Project in Easthampton, Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, The Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, and the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield. Read the rest of this entry »

Community-Based Nature Writing Opportunities this Summer

Intergenerational Nature Writing This Summer

Writing intersects with the natural world in many ways. Genres of nature writing include science writing, environmentally inspired literature, and works of environmental advocacy. Walks and hikes through the woods and mountains, journeys through rivers and streams, can inspire all types of artwork from poetry about the beauty of the natural world to imploring essays on our responsibility to preserve it.

And because of the natural beauty of our region, Western Massachusetts has a rich literary history. Famous authors such as Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes all share ties to the Berkshire area. In addition, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, William Cullen Bryant, W.E.B. Du Bois- all hold historic ties to Western Massachusetts.

Those interested in learning about literary history should check out our post: 10 Resources for Literary Learning in Western MA. Others may want to follow in the footsteps of these authors, many of whom drew upon the natural surroundings of the Pioneer Valley in their writing.

Here are several upcoming community-based opportunities that support your interests:  Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways to Explore Science with the Summer Sun

Hands-On Sun Science

Summer gives sunshine – so use it for science! Utilizing summer sun can mean making the most of the long days, but the endless rays offered this time of year lend themselves to sunshine-based science projects. Whether studying they physical characteristics of the sun, like it’s core, solar flares or sunspots, orthe relationship between light and heat, examining evaporation, or exploring UV radiation, sun-based science is best when conducted during the sun’s brightest, warmest, and strongest time of year!

ABOUT THE SUN

Take your new found appreciation for our sun and conduct experiments at home that lead towards learning about science through the lens of the summer sun:  Read the rest of this entry »

Historical Learning through Swordfighting

Swords Opens Up Opportunities for Historical Learning

Are your children or teens interested in history? What about swordfighting? Learning about history can be extra engaging with an intersecting interest, especially one which can be active and participatory. Here are community-based resources to learn about history through an interest in sword-fighting, along with fencing classes, theater and film: Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 25-29, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

Suggested Events for July 23rd-29th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As someone new to the area, Hilltown Families has been a great source of information…I appreciate the balance of fun, community-service, and educational events discussed and promoted on the site. It is great to have a one-stop shop for this information!” – Laura Draucker (Amherst, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The K-8 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, and nature-based. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. And for parents new to homeschooling, Oak Meadow offers a new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more: www.oakmeadow.com.

Fridays Jul 15 – Aug 16

Shabbat Shabloom! Fridays at 10 am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. End the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Tour the farm, sample what’s in season, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Every Friday morning at 10 am until the end of August. First visit free, suggested donation of $5/family thereafter. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group.

Jul 23 & 30

Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. Performances are at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, July 23rd and Saturday July 30th rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the audience travels through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Nineteen shows are scheduled throughout the summer and early fall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance at www.thetrustees.org.

July 26

Meet The Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2 at the Springfield Museums’ “Celebrate Seuss Day” on Tuesday July 26 (10am-2pm)! The many FREE activities scheduled that day include balloon sculpting, face painting, plus performances by the Boston Circus Guild. The Cat is coming to make a major announcement at 10am that Seuss fans won’t want to miss! It’s all part of the Summer Spectacular Family Series, with great family entertainment, live animal demos, and fun art and science activities every weekday through August 12th. For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jul 30

The Fab Faux returns to The Mahaiwe Performing Art Center in Great Barrington on Saturday, July 30 at 8pm! With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of Beatles`classics, The Fab Faux are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs – with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles. Imagine hearing complex material like “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” performed in complete part-perfect renditions; or such harmony-driven songs as “Nowhere Man”, and “Paperback Writer”, reproduced only note-for-note! For tickets, call the box office at 413-528-0100 or go online at www.mahaiwe.org/TheFabFaux.

Jul 30

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold a Fire Truck Show on Saturday, July 30th. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with all aspects of the firefighting industry including over twenty fire trucks to view. During your visit you will also learn more about the Fire Truck Museum collection along with local Fire Departments equipment & vehicles. Don’t miss your opportunity to sit in a real fire trucks, try on fireman’s turnout gear, watch fire hose demonstrations, maneuver through a kid’s maze using a fire hose and take home a souvenir fire hat. For the convenience of all, food and refreshments will be available for purchase. CTM is located in East Windsor, CT. For more info visit ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Jul 9 – Aug 13

Summer Entertainment Series at the South Hadley Village Commons: Saturdays at 10:30am, July 9th-August 13th. For a lively Saturday morning full of music, magic, and lots of fun, visit the Village Commons in South Hadley! Performances run throughout the summer, beginning July 9th, and include Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey, Trevor the Games Man, music from Roger Tincknell and Dorothy Cresswell, and magic by Ed the Wizard and Ed Popielarczyk! These hour-long events are free and held outdoors in the courtyard in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. In case of rain, entertainment will be held inside the bookstore. For a detailed schedule, call the Odyssey at 413-534-7307, or visit their website, odysseybks.com!

Jul 22-24 & 29-30

It’s the greatest sports story of all time! Welcome to The International Raceway. Our contestants: The Tortoise—PaintBox Theatre newcomer Michael King vs. The Hare—PaintBox favorite and Valley icon Kelsey Flynn. Yes, Kelsey’s coming out of retirement! She is dusting off her rabbit ears and hopping into the race. We promise lots of cheering and excitement as we present this folktale dash for glory. Performances are Fri. July 22, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 23 and 24, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 29, 7pm, Sat. July 30, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Jul 26

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 26th at 3pm: Improv Workshop with Lisa Papademetriou, Molly B. Burnham, and Heidi Hass. For lots of laughs and plenty of fun, join local authors Lisa Papademetriou and Molly B. Burnham and improv extraordinaire Heidi Hass for a workshop that will make you a master of improv! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 6 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 23-29, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Web-Based Space Explorations Blast Off Through NASA Kids’ Club

Web-Based Space Explorations Blast Off Through NASA Kids’ Club

Offering a wealth of space-based information presented in a playful way, NASA’s online Kids’ Club presents opportunities for studies of a fascinating yet largely inaccessible realm. Relevant for most ages and easy to use, the Kids’ Club can be a great resource for space enthusiasts!

Space is a fascinating place, and a big part of its appeal is the fact that it’s just out of reach for most human beings. While curious kids aren’t very likely to be able to visit space anytime soon, NASA offers a kid-friendly online space filled with information about the many different missions, projects, and technologies that the organization is responsible for – allowing aspiring astronauts to learn about the ways in which humans research and explore the vast wilderness that is outer space.

The NASA Kids’ Club is an easy to use portal that connects kids to a wealth of information in many forms. The Kids’ Club offers everything from printable games and coloring pages to detailed descriptions of specific aircraft and their uses. Highlights of the website include a section dedicated to NASA’s current and recent missions and a photo gallery filled with images of the many people involved in NASA’s programs at work on a variety of tasks. Smaller sections within the site offer a look at nutrition and menu planning in space, the locations and inhabitants (both human and nonhuman) of NASA center’s across the country, the reasons behind the exploration that NASA guides, and the difference in time and gravity on each of the planets in our solar system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Guide for Molly Bang’s “Nobody Particular: One Woman’s Fight to Save the Bays”

Literary Guide for Molly Bang’s Nobody Particular: One Woman’s Fight to Save the Bays

Diane Wilson was always a strong woman. She made a living as a shrimper while raising five children, and relied on her own resilience and pure grit in order to raise her family. In 1989, shrimp became scarce in the bays of her hometown in Calhoun County, Texas. Diane worried about the size of her catch, and the future of the shrimp population in Texas’ bays. What would happen to the industry if the shrimp died out? How would she support her family?

Diane’s concerns turned into action when she learned about a connection between the lack of shrimp and the monstrous plastics manufacturing plants that dotted the coastline of her home county. At the time (1989), her county was responsible for over half of the state’s pollution – and it wasn’t just killing the shrimp. Diane saw the effects that the plants had all around her – in the local landscape and within the human community, too. And much to her horror, the companies causing environmental destruction and human health problems were not only being allowed to do so, they were about to be allowed to expand without any consideration of the environment impact that expansion would have.

Read the rest of this entry »

Support Art Studies this Summer with Community Classes and Art Exhibits

9 Summer Opportunities for Art Studies

To find a gallery exhibition which interests you, check out our post, Visual Art in Western MA: July Openings, Closings & Calls for Art. Glass sculptures, paintings, drawings, and fiber art can all be found throughout the Pioneer Valley this month.

In addition to gallery and museum exhibits for supporting art studies, classes and workshops are being offered this summer at several of our best community resources across the region, including the William Cullen Bryant Homstead in Cummington, Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, the Springfield Museums in Springfield and even Eastworks in Easthampton. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 18-22, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

Suggested Events for July 16th-27th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I check in with Hilltown Families a few times a week, whether it’s the list of Suggested Events or Newsletter. It’s such a fascinating look at what the Valley has to offer in terms of fun, learning and adventure for my family and I! I would miss out on a lot of events and happenings in the small towns throughout the region without HF. Our community should support this megaphone for the small, and magnifying glass of the interesting in our towns.” – Alice Rich Lewis (Florence, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 4

The Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) presents 4 Free Concerts in beautiful Kendrick Park for four consecutive Thursdays. July 14 starts the series with World Music by The Pangeans & The Alchemystics, July 21 is Lord Russ & Grammy-winning Children’s Performer Mister G, July 28 is Sprit Ghost & Carinae and August 4 is Salvation Alley String Band & Llama Lasagne. Concerts run from 5:30-8pm. Order take-out from our diverse and delicious downtown cafes and restaurants and enjoy the show in the park. Bertucci’s offers Free Delivery to the Park. For more info: www.amherstdowntown.com

Fridays Jul 15 – Aug 16

Shabbat Shabloom! Fridays at 10 am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. End the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Tour the farm, sample what’s in season, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Every Friday morning at 10 am until the end of August. First visit free, suggested donation of $5/family thereafter. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group.

Jul 22 & 23

Paul Taylor Dance Company performs at The Mahaiwe Performing Art Center in Great Barrington on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23rd – featuring 3 New England Premieres and a $20 per FAMILY Saturday matinee! One of the seminal artists of our time, Paul Taylor continues to shape the homegrown American art of modern dance that he has helped define since becoming a professional dancer and pioneering choreographer in 1954. For tickets, call the box office at 413-528-0100 or go online at www.mahaiwe.org/Dance.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Jul 9 – Aug 13

Summer Entertainment Series at the South Hadley Village Commons: Saturdays at 10:30am, July 9th-August 13th. For a lively Saturday morning full of music, magic, and lots of fun, visit the Village Commons in South Hadley! Performances run throughout the summer, beginning July 9th, and include Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey, Trevor the Games Man, music from Roger Tincknell and Dorothy Cresswell, and magic by Ed the Wizard and Ed Popielarczyk! These hour-long events are free and held outdoors in the courtyard in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. In case of rain, entertainment will be held inside the bookstore. For a detailed schedule, call the Odyssey at 413-534-7307, or visit their website, odysseybks.com!

Jul 16

On Saturday, July 16, the Emily Dickinson Museum will present its annual 19th Century Children’s Circus from 1 to 4 pm on the Museum lawn. Especially perfect for children ages 3 to 10 (accompanied by adults), the cost is $5 per family, with free admission for Museum members. The Circus will feature performances and storytelling by TheatreTruck, a visit from The Goat Girls, a juggling workshop, a reading with author Burleigh Muten and her students, face-painting, 19th-century playthings such as stilts and balance beams, “mini” tours of Emily Dickinson’s bedroom ($1/ticket), gingerbread treats from “Miss Emily” herself and lowered from her bedroom window, crafts, and more. For all the details, visit www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org/circus2016.

Jul 16 – 17

July 16-17, 2016. Spirit Houses and Woodland Wonders – Fun for the entire family at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield! Build a spirit or fairy house along the Village’s winding Farm and Forest Trail. Create a spirit drawing inspired by Hancock’s premier collection of Shaker gift drawings. Explore the house-like sculptures of artist Robert Hite. Join their “Parade of the Spirits,” with HSV farm animals and dancers from Cantarella School of Dance. Enjoy special activities in the Discovery Barn. Included in regular admission (children 12 and under on family visits are always free). Hancock Shaker Village is located at 1843 West Housatonic Street. For a complete schedule, visit www.hancockshakervillage.org or call 413-443-0188.

Jul 19

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 19th at 3pm: Color Tamer Masks with author/illustrator Julia Denos. Amazing Boston-area author and illustrator Julia Denos will teach campers how to make their very own color tamer masks, based on her book Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 4 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 20-23 Aug 3-6

New Century Theatre Kids presents A Year with Frog and Toad book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale. Join NCTKids this summer for a tuneful re-telling of Arthur Lobel’s beloved classic children’s books Frog and Toad. Follow best friends–worrywart Toad and confident Frog–as they sing and dance their way through a year in the swamp with all their hopping, crawling, flying friends. All the gentle joy and fun of Lobel’s books come to life in this charming musical for kids of all ages! Directed by Cate Damon with Musical Direction by Mitch Chakour. July 20-23 & August 3-6 at 10:30am in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Northampton. Call the box office for tickets: 413-585-3220. www.newcenturytheatre.org

Jul 22-24 & 29-30

It’s the greatest sports story of all time! Welcome to The International Raceway. Our contestants: The Tortoise—PaintBox Theatre newcomer Michael King vs. The Hare—PaintBox favorite and Valley icon Kelsey Flynn. Yes, Kelsey’s coming out of retirement! She is dusting off her rabbit ears and hopping into the race. We promise lots of cheering and excitement as we present this folktale dash for glory. Performances are Fri. July 22, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 23 and 24, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 29, 7pm, Sat. July 30, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 16-22, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

3D Printing Resources at Local Libraries Supporting STE(A)M

3D Printers as Community-Based Resource

3D printing, a type of industrial robot which can synthesize three dimensional objects for a variety of purposes, is one of the most exciting technological, scientific, and creative innovations of recent years. Local libraries and other learning centers have begun to support an interest in engineering, technology, and creativity by housing 3D printers and providing demonstrations of the technology. 3D printers can be incorporating into makerspaces (read more in our post, Maker Spaces: Community-Based Opportunities to Think, Make, Do, Learn and Share!) or they can stand alone as a resource.

There are several upcoming opportunities for families to learn about and utilize this new technology their your own projects.

Read the rest of this entry »

Summertime Sensory Resources in Western MA

Sensory Experiences in Summer

Summer, a time of hiking, biking, camping, and swimming, can be a joyful time. For children sensitive to sensory integration, however, it can be an overwhelming season full of stimulation. Children, in general, are highly sensitive. Some seek out stimulation and some limit it. Luckily, here in western MA there are inclusive resources and activities for both sensory-seeking and sensory-limiting children and their families.

MUSEUMS

Children who love sensory input will most likely have a great time at one of the many Western Massachusetts museums, including the Springfield Museums, Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield and the Holyoke Children’s Museum.  Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: