Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 24th & 25th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 24-30, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

June 24-30, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

 

Bucket ListFor more suggestions, check out our Bucket List of 75 recommendations from our readers of things to do and places to see in Western MA in the summer. (Add your own recommendation too!)

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Solar Science to Paleontology. Arts & Crafts to Creative-Free Play.

As you gaze at the base of a pinecone, did you know that you’re regarding an incredible example of mathematical reasoning? Nature’s patterns, as it happens, are deeply rooted in the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio. It’s the ultimate in a marriage between the aesthetic beauty of nature, and its mathematical base that makes it make sense. To discover what a learning opportunity this is for the family to share, read our post, Nature’s Patterns Reveals Mathematical Reasoning.

Fermentation to Nature-Based Learning. Chemistry to Dinosaurs. Citizen Science to Arts & Crafts. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:   Wistariahurst, former home of prominent silk manufacturer William Skinner, now serves as a cultural and educational center. Wistariahurst helps to preserve Holyoke history through educational programs, exhibits and special events. This 1874 estate is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors are invited to engage in self-directed tours, Sundays through Tuesdays, including tours of the art gallery. Group tours (5+ people) are available additional hours by appointment. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (DONATION)


Solar SciencePaleontologyLanguage ArtsLepidopterologyStorytellingCreative-Free PlayMathAmerican Sign LanguageZymologyIndependance Day


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[Photo credit: (cc) Felipe Del Valle]


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Colrain, Cummington, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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2017 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks
in Western MA for 2017

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2017. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday! Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 17th & 18th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 17-23, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

June 17-23, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

 

Bucket ListFor more suggestions, check out our Bucket List of 75 recommendations from our readers of things to do and places to see in Western MA in the summer. (Add your own recommendation too!)

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 10th & 11th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 10-16, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Picasso to Elephants. Intelligent Design to Honeybee Evolution., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

June 10-16, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Physics ♦ ChemistryPicasso ♦ ElephantsIntelligent Design ♦ Honeybee EvolutionPhilosophyFood StudiesSTEMChemistryIchthyologySkillsharingUpcyclingHistoryOutdoor AdventuresArt StudiesZoologyPollinatorsBeavers YogaService-Based LearningSocial Justice

Bucket ListFor more suggestions, check out our Bucket List of 75 recommendations from our readers of things to do and places to see in Western MA in the summer. (Add your own recommendation too!)

 

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  1. Urban And Rural River Walks and Trails Highlight Natural and Human History
  2. Literary Guide for David Wiesner’s June 29, 1999
  3. Great Big Story Shares Highlights of Human Experience
  4. Learning Landscapes: How Adventures Connect Us to Place & Stewardship
  5. HFVS You Are What You Eat Episode with Guest DJ, Eric Herman (Radio Show/Podcast)

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25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Picasso to Elephants. Intelligent Design to Honeybee Evolution.

“Bees and flowers have an amazingly close relationship. Flowers need bees in order to reproduce, and bees need flowers to feed their colonies. Take away one, and the other would disappear too. It begs the question: When it comes to evolution, which came first, the bees or the flowers?” Find out in this video by It’s Okay to Be Smart.

Physics to Chemistry. Picasso to Elephants. Intelligent Design to Honeybee Evolution. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Street festivals encourage people to check out new towns, or new areas of their own towns that they haven’t seen before. Easthampton’s annual Cultural Chaos Saturday, June 10, 12pm-5pm will feature music, puppetry, a farmers’ market, vendors, a petting zoo, and much more. Visit the Cultural Chaos website for a full list of performances and activities for this day-long, family-friendly event! Meet other art lovers and support local art. Various locations. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyFood StudiesSTEMChemistryIchthyologySkillsharingUpcyclingHistoryOutdoor AdventuresArt StudiesZoologyPollinatorsBeavers YogaService-Based LearningSocial Justice


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Resources for Mindfulness in Western Massachusetts

Resources for Mindfulness in Western Massachusetts

What is meditation?  Carrying different meanings in different contexts, Wikipedia defines meditation as, “a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.”  In other words, when people meditate, they are focusing their awareness on the present moment, often times to their breath, allowing thoughts to enter and pass through their awareness without attachment, constantly balancing their attention back to the present moment.

According to health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, because the brain is like a muscle which strengthens with practice, meditating can also help to exert willpower in other areas of your life. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain associated with reasoning, problem solving, impulse-control, and perseverance. Being mindful of the present moment through meditation, as well as some other activities like physical movement, sends blood to the prefrontal cortex. McGongial suggests that a regular practice of meditation could help you accomplish many other goals which require the same kind of perseverance and attention.

Mindfulness is something you can practice at any time, in any place. Still, if you don’t know anything about how to meditate or practice mindfulness, you may want to find guidance and support in the form of community-based classes or groups. Luckily, western Massachusetts is home to many organizations, courses, and sanctuaries for people to learn about and practice mindfulness. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 3rd & 4th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 3rd-9th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 33 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mesic Forest to Anadromous Fish. The Odyssey to Thomas Paine., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

June 3rd-9th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Emily Dickinson ♦ The OdysseySoil ♦ EtiquetteBald Eagles ♦ Hummingbirds ♦ PhilosophyBooks ClubsLiteracyAgricultureService-Based LearningNature-StudiesHabitat9StargazingIchthyologyLimnologyEntomologyTheatreOutdoor AdventuresCanoeingLocal HistoryComputer ProgrammingPlacemakingMusic StudiesOrnithologyArt StudiesDance Studies

Bucket ListFor more suggestions, check out our Bucket List of 75 recommendations from our readers of things to do and places to see in Western MA in the summer. (Add your own recommendation too!)

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  1. Resources for Mindfulness in Western Massachusetts
  2. In Appreciation: An Exercise in Perspective Taking
  3. Explore the Art of Dance Through Community-Based Resources
  4. Summer Camping Adventures Promote Nature-Based Play and Learning
  5. HFVS Music of the World Episode with Guest DJ, Keith Terry (Radio Show/Podcast)

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33 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mesic Forest to Anadromous Fish. The Odyssey to Thomas Paine.

When looking to attract wildlife for children to observe, we often choose birds. Bird feeders and houses can be fairly simple to create and, especially in terms of food and birds are a very “if you build it, they will come” type of creature. But what if there was another creature in need of support who could just as easily be housed and fed in your yard via DIY projects? It’s no secret these days that bee populations are quickly declining, and as it turns out, families can take some very simple steps in order to offer bees with lots of appropriate habitats. Read more in our post, Bee Condos: Steps Away from Sweet Educational Opportunities.

Emily Dickinson to The Odyssey. Soil to Etiquette. Bald Eagles to Hummingbirds. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Fans of the performing arts do not want to miss the Ashfield Town Spectacle and Culture Fair! Double Edge Theater, along with tons of Ashfield community members, will perform an array of music, dance, and other performing arts on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, from 1pm-9pm. There will be art exhibits to peruse as well. The event will feature the Spirit of the Hills Community Choir, Tim Eriksen and the Trio de Pumpkintown, a film by Galen Knowles, Ashfield Tae Kwon Do, Ashfield Community Band, artwork by Robert Markey and Sue McFarland, and more, on June 3 and 4. Visit the Double Edge Theater website or call 413-628-0277 for more information. Various locations. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyBooks ClubsLiteracyAgricultureService-Based LearningNature-StudiesHabitat9StargazingIchthyologyLimnologyEntomologyTheatreOutdoor AdventuresCanoeingLocal HistoryComputer ProgrammingPlacemakingMusic StudiesOrnithologyArt StudiesDance Studies


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 27th & 28th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 27th-June 2nd, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Beavers to Biomimicry. Urban Landscape to Theater., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

May 27th – June 2nd, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

ReligionWoolcraftColonial HistoryArt History BeaversBiomimicryMemorial DayPhilosophyFiber ArtsAnimationTheaterOrnithologyLocal HistoryUrban LandscapeEntrepreneurCulinary ArtsBiologyCommunity MealSheepArt HistoryFalconryGuided WalksBusiness

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  1. Build Bridges Between Generations by Volunteering With Elders
  2. Open Sesame: The Lure of Foxes
  3. Building Fairy Houses Promotes Learning, Creative-Free Play & Citizen Science
  4. The Ripple: Streamcrawling
  5. 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Summer Camp

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20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Beavers to Biomimicry. Urban Landscape to Theater.

In the early spring, New England history and culture come alive with the arrival of newborn lambs and the shearing of sheep for the production of wool. The wool industry has strong ties to western Massachusetts, with annual events that celebrate our historical past and other events which showcase modern day shepherds and their flocks. Read more in our post, Sheep & Wool: Catalysts for Community-Based Education in Western MA.

Religion to Woolcraft. Colonial History to Art History. Beavers to Biomimicry. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Join the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee on Sunday, May 28, 12pm as they celebrate the 15th annual commemoration of the Sojourner Truth statue. The gathering will honor her legacy and recognize the next generation of young people who follow in her footsteps. This year’s celebration will include an address by Ingrid Askew, theater artist and cultural activist, and a performance by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir. To be recognized at the event are this year’s recipients of the Sojourner Truth Scholarship for Social Justice. The day’s events will start with a walking tour of “Sojourner Truth’s Footsteps in Florence.” After the celebration, the David Ruggles Center, located at 225 Nonotuck Street in Florence, will be hosting a reception and open house. All are welcome to attend. In case of rain, the celebration will be indoors at the Florence Community Center, just across Pine Street fro


Memorial DayPhilosophyFiber ArtsAnimationTheaterOrnithologyLocal HistoryUrban LandscapeEntrepreneurCulinary ArtsBiologyCommunity MealSheepArt HistoryFalconryGuided WalksBusiness


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Berkshire Family Fun: June 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
June 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of June. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week.

If you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, story hours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in 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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@hilltownfamilies.org.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale-Peru, Pittsfield, Sandisfield, Windsor, Washington, and Mt. Washington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness

Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness

For some, Memorial Day is a deeply personal holiday, a day for remembering those who have served the people of our country. Participating in these Memorial Day celebrations and ceremonies can also be a form of placemaking, strengthening ties to community spaces and encouraging social interaction between generations. These events also offer a chance to personally thank local veterans and recognize them for their bravery and service.

Ceremonies to honor veterans on this holiday often take place in outdoor, common spaces such as Main Streets, sidewalks, and town commons.

As friends, neighbors, and community members gather in these areas, opportunities for small acts of kindness arise. For example, families can bring a bouquet of daisies or loaves of fresh baked bread to a Memorial Day parade to share with veterans as small tokens of gratitude.

Memorial day parades thus invite people to engage with their communities in placemaking. Participating in parades by marching alongside an organization or viewing the parade from a common space thus supports individual health and well-being by strengthening a connection to place.

This day of remembrance is also a chance to learn about history from a local perspective. A sample of community events to honor Memorial Day include:  Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 20th & 21st, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 20th-26th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bobolinks to Marc Chagall. Free Press to Pseudoscience., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

May 20th-26th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Automotive HistoryPhysicsChild DevelopmentJournalismPollinatorsBicyclesPhilosophyPlacemakingTransporation ♦ ♦ Plant SalesOrnithologyGuided WalksPoetryFashion HistoryHealth & WellnessLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesCreative-Free PlayEntomologyCultural StudiesLatin AmericaArt StudiesService-Based Learning

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  1. Interpretive Trail Marking the History of the Mill River Flood to Offer Service-Based Learning
  2. Explore Local History and Culture with a Downtown Springfield Walking Tour!
  3. Fish Ladder & Lift Elevates Local Learning & Critical Thinking
  4. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  5. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums

 

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32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bobolinks to Marc Chagall. Free Press to Pseudoscience.

Whether identifying clouds as animals or by their proper scientific names, families can look into the sky for opportunities to engage in meaningful cloud-inspired learning. In addition to creating a deepened sense of place through observations, families can help young scientists learn about climate, weather, and the atmosphere by tracking the things they see in the sky. Read more in our post, Cloud Studies Connect to Citizen Science, Language Learning, and Weather Studies.

Automotive History to Physics. Child Development to Journalism. Pollinators to Bicycles. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:

Typically, bicycling attire for a modern American involves flexible athletic clothing and sneakers. But at the beginning of cycling history, during the early 19th century, cyclists wore their typical, everyday clothing even when using bicycles for transport. In fact, women’s fashion of the time was a hindrance to their ability to ride, and this was a catalyst for change in women’s style of dress and in the design of the bicycle as manufacturers began marketing towards women. Learn more by reading our post, Exploring the History of Fashion through Bicycling.

You can discover what it was like to bike in traditional attire by participating in Sweet Spoken’s third annual Spring Tweed Ride on Saturday, May 21, 2pm-5pm. All ages are welcome. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)


PhilosophyPlacemakingTransporation ♦ ♦ Plant SalesOrnithologyGuided WalksPoetryFashion HistoryHealth & WellnessLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesCreative-Free PlayEntomologyCultural StudiesLatin AmericaArt StudiesService-Based Learning


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Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

People often talk about “chemicals” in our food, water, or hygiene products in reference to possibly toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. Some chemicals certainly are dangerous to humans, but EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals! But what is the exact definition of a chemical, anyway? The Merriam-Webster definition of “chemical,” reads A substance obtained by a chemical process or producing a chemical effect. And chemistry is the study of how chemicals interact and react with one another.

Here Hank Green gives us a “crash course” in chemistry with a series of fast-paced, educational videos:

Cooking is often used as an example of an everyday activity which involves chemistry. When you apply heat to a piece of steak in a pan, water content leaves the muscle fibers. This is why the fillet is smaller after it has been cooked. Think about some other interesting reactions which occur in the kitchen. Why does corn pop? Another way to ask this question would be, why don’t other grains pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding.

What do these reactions look like close up? The website, www.beautifulchemistry.net has amazing videos of reactions, like this one:  Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 13th & 14th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 13-19, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 24 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bike Week. Edible Flowers to Switchel., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

May 13-19, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Multidisciplinary LearningFood HistoryGlassblowingNeuroscienceEdible FlowersEarth SciencePhilosophyService-Based LearningPlant SalesPoetryLocal HistoryNatural HistoryCulinary ArtsArt StudiesMindfulnessLabyrinthsMuseum StudiesBicyclingCollaborative ConsumptionSTEMOrnithologyBird WalksCommunity MealsCivil War

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  1. Supporting Spanish-Language Learners
  2. In Appreciation: Gratitude Discussions Inspired Joyous Living
  3. Clouds Connect Learners to the Local Environment & Nature Studies
  4. Learning Landscapes: Re-Framing Creativity
  5. Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

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24 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bike Week. Edible Flowers to Switchel.

An important aspect of culinary arts is learning how to pair flavors which complement each other. This is a skill and an art form, similar to an artist’s knowledge of color palettes. You can learn about, and sample, ideal pairings of tea and chocolate at the Sunderland Public Library on Saturday, May 13, 2pm-3:30pm. In this program, attendees will also learn about the history and health benefits of both chocolate and tea! Please register in advance at the library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland,

Multidisciplinary Learning to Food History. Glassblowing to Neuroscience. Edible Flowers to Earth Science. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Did you know that before inventing the world’s the first successful airplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright owned a bicycle shop? Bike maintenance has the potential to teach kids all kinds of subjects and skills including math, science, reading, writing, problem-solving, and working toward a goal. You can learn about how the Holyoke Urban Bike School supports this type of learning, and join in a leisurely, family-friendly community bike ride in Holyoke on Wednesday, May 17, 5pm-6:30pm! The ride will last about forty-five minutes and afterward, participants are invited to check out the HUBS space and learn about their work. Steady rain cancels the event.Holyoke Urban Bike School. 160 Beech St. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyService-Based LearningPlant SalesPoetryLocal HistoryNatural HistoryCulinary ArtsArt StudiesMindfulnessLabyrinthsMuseum StudiesBicyclingCollaborative ConsumptionSTEMOrnithologyBird WalksCommunity MealsCivil War


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 6th & 7th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 6th-12th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service-Based Learning to Placemaking. Pride Parade to Bird Festival., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

May 6-12, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

EmpiricismTranscendentalismActivismOrnithologyBusiness HistoryYogaPhilosophyScienceParentingTransportation History ♦  BicyclesService-Based LearningArtificial IntelligenceSpring Clean-UpsBird WalksWomen’s HistoryNatured-Based LearningPlacemakingBotanyArt StudiesSocial JusticeLocal HistoryPsychology

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  1. Let Them Grow: Spring Craft Idea
  2. What’s Your Favorite Way to Discover and Explore History with Your Kids?
  3. Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence
  4. Local History: Greenfield Home to First Dinosaur Museum in the Country!
  5. Growing Raspberries this Summer in Your Family Garden

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30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service-Based Learning to Placemaking. Pride Parade to Bird Festival.

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is kicking off a week of intergenerational birding activities, starting on Saturday, May 6 from 9am-2pm with a Bird Festival! Individual adults and families can take guided walks of the grounds and learn about bird banding through demonstrations. “Bird banding” refers to the process of catching birds, marking them with an identifying band, and setting them free again. The data gathered from this process can assist in ornithological and biological research and can be part of tracking reproductive success and population rates. All day during the festival, you can learn how to engage in citizen science and get involved helping Neighborhood Nest Watch to band birds. Visit the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary webpage for a full schedule of activities. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Empiricism to Transcendentalism. Activism to Ornithology. Business History to Yoga.  These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Open Street events support placemaking as they bring community members together in an unusual way, by closing the streets to vehicular traffic and encouraging people to get out and about on feet! On Sunday, May 7, 11am-3pm during River Roll and Stroll, traffic will be closed down the Route 116 Bridge between Holyoke and South Hadley. There will be live music, art, and food trucks at this family-friendly event. This event marks the official kickoff of Baystate Bike Week. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. Holyoke and South Hadley, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyScienceParentingTransportation History ♦  BicyclesService-Based LearningArtificial IntelligenceSpring Clean-UpsBird WalksWomen’s HistoryNatured-Based LearningPlacemakingBotanyArt StudiesSocial JusticeLocal HistoryPsychology


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Community Plant Sales & Swap Support Local Causes & Embedded Learning

Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard

Plant sales and swaps happen all over western Massachusetts this time of year. From big to small events, many raising funds for valuable community resources, plant sales are an excellent opportunity for sourcing your plants (and gardening knowledge) locally. They are terrific community events for learning tips on plants and gardening from both home gardeners and experts in the field! Bring your family to a plant sale this weekend and unearth the embedded learning they hold for the entire family! Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 29th & 30th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 29th-May 5th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

APRIL 29th – MAY 5th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Mass Moments Presents a Day-by-Day Calendar of State History
  2. Off the Mat: Water as Self-Care
  3. HFVS Cinco de Mayo Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra from Moona Luna (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. Parenting Green: 6 Reasons to Bike Ride with Your Family
  5. Hindsight Parenting: Stepping Out of Motherhood and into Yourself

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Berkshire Family Fun: May 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
May 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of May. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, story hours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale-Peru, Pittsfield, Sandisfield, Windsor, Washington, and Mt. Washington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Fiber Festivals Begin with Shearing Season

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 22nd & 23rd, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 22nd-28th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 36 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Earth Day to Spring Pollinators. Sustainability to Placemaking. STEM to Ecology., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

April 22nd-28th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Earth Day to Food Security. Pollinator Gardens to Indonesian Music. Dilbert to Screen Time. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Here are more interests and values to choose from:
PhilosophyChild DevelopmentHorticultureHistory Service-Based LearningGuided HikesOrnithologyCollaborative ConsumptionAgricultureActivismEcologyEntomologyMusic StudiesCultural StudiesIchthyologyPlacemakingSTEMHomeschool

   

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Visible Mending Blends Fiber Arts with Sustainability
  2. Parenting Green: 6 Reasons to Bike Ride with Your Family
  3. HFVS Bicycle Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. Valley Bike Paths

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36 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Earth Day to Spring Pollinators. Sustainability to Placemaking. STEM to Ecology.

Difficult problems sometimes lead to creative, inspiring solutions. Nat Turner is using his passion, vision, and innovations to help restore New Orleans Lower 9th Ward post-Hurricane Katrina, transforming Blair Grocery, an abandoned grocery store, into a youth farm-based education center. You can learn about Nat Turner and others working for food security by attending a screening of the 2015 documentary Reversing the Mississippi on Saturday, April 22, 5pm-8pm. This screening at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens will also include servings of jambalaya (regular and vegetarian). Discuss the film with others interested in working towards greater food security. Meet North Star self-directed teens who recently visited New Orleans and work with Mr. Turner at his school, Our School at Blair Grocery. 413-582-0193. 45 Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Earth Day to Food Security. Pollinator Gardens to Indonesian Music. Dilbert to Screen Time. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:

Young people are often very passionate about political issues and personal interests. Teaching your children about sustainability can spark change on a community level. Families are invited to learn and get involved by attending the Amherst Sustainability Festival on Saturday, April 22, 10am-4pm. There will be stage performances all day. Learn about climate change by talking to advocacy groups and visiting vendors of renewable energy products and sustainable crafts! Visit the Town of Amherst website for a full list of performances, demonstrations, and recycling collections. Town Common. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyChild DevelopmentHorticultureHistory Service-Based LearningGuided HikesOrnithologyCollaborative ConsumptionAgricultureActivismEcologyEntomologyMusic StudiesCultural StudiesIchthyologyPlacemakingSTEMHomeschool


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 15th & 16th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 15th-21st, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 18 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Reality to Electricity. Rivers to Flutes., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 15th-21st, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

PhilosophyAstronomyPhysicsEcologyArt StudiesService-Based LearningOrnithologyRiversMusic StudiesHistorySustainability

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. In Appreciation: Mindfulness in Action
  2. Learning Through the Lens of Shakespeare and His World
  3. Learning Landscapes: Adapting to Change Through Collective Creativity
  4. HFVS Book & Story Songs Episode with Guest DJ, Nina Stone (Radio Show/Podcast)
  5. Building Community One Poem at a Time!

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18 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Reality to Electricity. Rivers to Flutes.

https://hilltownfamilies.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/cbe-highlights-46/#6

Reality to Electricity. Eclipse to Pastels. Rivers to Flutes. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  The annual Earth Day Festival at UMass Amherst next  Friday, April 21, 8am-4pm, will feature over 30 student, faculty, staff, and community groups, showcasing the work they do to increase sustainability and fight climate change on a community level and beyond. The festival will also include a farmer’s market, performance art, music, tie dye and more! The Earth Day celebration takes place in conjunction with UMass Amherst’s 1st Annual Green Commute Day, encouraging people to bike, walk, carpool or take public transit for the day. Come get inspired about the small changes you can make in your life to have a positive impact. Student Union North Lawn. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


PhilosophyAstronomyPhysicsEcologyArt StudiesService-Based LearningOrnithologyRiversMusic StudiesHistorySustainability


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 8th & 9th, 2017

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 8th-14th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pompeii to Blackout Poetry. Kora to Pinwheels., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

 

April 8th-14th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Teen HistoryVernal PoolsStringed InstrumentsAfrican MusicScientific ProcessPinwheelsPlacemakingAstronomyLiteracyWorld StudiesPhilosophyRomeCommunity ArtTeen ShowcaseHistoryEcologyService-Based LearningMusic StudiesParentingWorld LanguageFiber ArtsOrnithologyGuided HikePhysicsCosmologyPoetryFarming

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Building Community One Poem at a Time!
  2. Recommended Fiction Titles with Autistic Characters
  3. RiverCulture: Another Success Story in the Western MA Arts Scene
  4. Over 25 Walking Tours Support Community-Based Education in Western MA
  5. Poem-Mobiles: Bizarre Cars & Humorous Rhymes

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32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pompeii to Blackout Poetry. Kora to Pinwheels.

Community art projects encourage intergenerational learning, self-expression, and creative free play! The 3rd Annual Hilltown Draw-Around invites people of all ages to help create a giant mandala, or add self-portraits to the community gallery. On Saturday, April 8, 12pm-12am, come get inspired by other artistic community members, and participate in workshops! There will be storytelling and live music as well during this 12-hour event. Participants will have 4,000 square feet of drawing space to work with. All proceeds support ARTeens, a pay-what-you-can after-school program of the Shelburne Falls Art Garden. All activities will take place in the Cowell Community Gym. 413-625-2782. 51 Maple Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Teen History to Vernal Pools. Stringed Instruments to African Music. Scientific Process to Pinwheels. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Art is inextricably tied to culture; therefore, historic art can teach us a great deal about historic cultures. The Smith College Museum of Art is offering a Free Community Day full of learning about Ancient Rome on Saturday, April 8, 11:30am-3:30pm. Visitors can explore the exhibition, Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii, enjoy a storytime, taste olive oil and explore a sensory recreation of a Roman Garden! Studying the city of Pompeii also ties into learning about geology and archaeology. At the event Smith College geoscientists will explain the science behind volcanic rocks and archaeology students will demonstrate what it’s like to excavate a site like Oplontis. All ages are welcome. Visit the Smith College Museum of Art website for more details. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingAstronomyLiteracyWorld StudiesPhilosophyRomeCommunity ArtTeen ShowcaseHistoryEcologyService-Based LearningMusic StudiesParentingWorld LanguageFiber ArtsOrnithologyGuided HikePhysicsCosmologyPoetryFarming


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