Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 30th & 31st, 2015

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 30th-June 5th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 31 Community Highlights: Bird Festival to Strawberry Supper. Paddle Trip to Yo-Yos., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

May 30th-June 5th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

OrnithologyLanguage ArtsArchitecturePlant StudiesOutdoor AdventuresHistory of MedicineMusic StudiesSTEMCultural StudiesCulinary ArtsSportsTextile HistoryFarm-Based LearningAutismCommunity MealsPreschool HighlightsLawn Concerts

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVE

  1. HFVS Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. 100+ Science Books to Support STEM Learning at Home & in the Classroom
  3. Geocaching & Letterboxing Support Learning and Outdoor Adventures as a Family
  4. Raspberry Hill Community Garden: A Valuable Education Resource for Families
  5. What Does a New Garden Need Most?

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Family Volunteer Days

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Community Highlights: Bird Festival to Strawberry Supper. Paddle Trip to Yo-Yos.

Physics! The Massachusetts State Yo-Yo Contest happens on Saturday May 30, 10am-5:30pm, at the Academy of Music! Come to compete, watch, or learn and enjoy all the talented yo-yoers in the state! The competition is split up into divisions, and beginners are welcome to compete. The contest is not only fun to watch, but is a great place to see how cool yo-yoing is – discover the physics behind it and all the amazing tricks that are possible! 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. 

Bird Festival to Farm Festival. Strawberry Supper to Architecture. History of Medicine to Paddle Trip… 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:  Discover some of Massachusetts’ most beautiful and notable historic homes at The Trustees of Reservations’ Home Sweet Home Days at locations all around Massachusetts on Sunday, May 31, 10am-5pm. Visiting these historic homes can teach visitors about local history, architecture, genealogy, gardening, and so much more. Home Sweet Home Days gives families the opportunity to visit western MA historic homes like Naumkeag, the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, the Mission House, the Folly at Field Farm, and others in western Massachusetts for free. Feel like going for a drive? Trustees properties in Eastern and Central Massachusetts are also open for Home Sweet Home Days – this could be a great chance to take the family on a day trip to towns like New Bedford, Concord, Ipswich, and others. Berkshires & Hilltowns (FREE)


OrnithologyLanguage ArtsArchitecturePlant StudiesOutdoor AdventuresHistory of MedicineMusic StudiesSTEMCultural StudiesCulinary ArtsSportsTextile HistoryFarm-Based LearningAutismCommunity MealsPreschool HighlightsLawn Concerts


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


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Cinema Northampton Brings the Big Screen to the Big Outdoors

Catch that Fave From Your Childhood & Your Child on the Big Outdoor Screen!

Classic films come to big screen this summer with Cinema Northampton! Made possible by a collaboration by many local organizations, the film series brings old favorites to an outdoor screen on the lawn at Forbes Library for a fun intergenerational evening. It’s movie-going at its best!

Old classics come to the big screen this summer thanks to Cinema Northampton, a community film series made possible by a collaboration between a handful of local organizations. Bringing outdoor movies during the summer months and indoor movies once its cold out, the Cinema Northampton series brings together cinephiles of all ages – offering older folks a chance to watch a favorite film from childhood, and providing an opportunity to share the classics with children.

Created through the pooled resources and expertise of Northampton Community Television, the Forbes Library, the Northampton Arts Council, the Academy of Music, and Northampton’s Parks and Recreation Department, Cinema Northampton is unique amongst summer film and performance series in the Pioneer Valley. As evening is often the most enjoyable part of the day during the hottest parts of the summer in western Massachusetts, films will be screened outdoors in the evening on the lawn at Forbes Library. Families can bring blankets and comfortable seating, bug spray, and snacks or food to buy treats from local vendors who will be on hand to share their wares. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 23rd & 24th, 2015

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 23rd-29th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Memorial Day, Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 23 Community Highlights: Baked Potatoes to Kielbasas. Wild Flowers to Rhubarb., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

May 23rd-29th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Hikes & WalksAnimal StudiesHistorySheep & WoolLiteracyFood CelebrationsMuseum AdventuresSTEMService-Based LearningPicnicsCommunity Meal

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVE

  1. Oak & Acorn: Rhubarb Crumble in Season
  2. Let Them Grow: Backyard Bird Paradise Brings Toddlers Closer to Nature
  3. HFVS Music from South Africa with Guest DJ, Debbie Lan (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. What to Play? Creative-Free Music Making!
  5. 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Summer Camp

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Family Volunteer Days

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

23 Community Highlights: Baked Potatoes to Kielbasas. Wild Flowers to Rhubarb.

The Lenox Rhubarb Festival takes place Saturday, May 23 from 10am-3pm at the library reading park! Come celebrate all things rhubarb at this fun festival. There will be delicious rhubarb foods, activities, and more. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA.

Baked Potatoes to Kielbasas. Wild Flowers to Rhubarb. Picnics to Museum Adventures… 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: First conceived at a potluck dinner 1974, the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair has grown into a weekend-long celebration of all things sheep-related. This weekend, join local farmers and crafters at the Cummington Fairgrounds to experience demonstrations (shearing, rug hooking, fiber dyeing, and cooking, to name a few), participate in workshops (including Angora rabbit care, felting, yarn spinning, and intarsia knitting), watch sheep and sheep dog shows, and visit with over 60 vendors of woolcraft-related products. Kids will love learning to spin yarn, dyeing wool with Kool-Aid, and creating felted fairies and treasure bags in workshops designed especially for them! Where else might you be able to watch a speed knitting contest and taste unique lamb-based dishes created by students in the Smith Vocational School’s Culinary Arts program? Come immerse yourself in local sheep farming and woolcraft culture, and discover why this festival has been going strong for forty years. Saturday, May 23 & Sunday, May 24, 9am-4pm. Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (>$)


Hikes & WalksAnimal StudiesHistorySheep & WoolLiteracyFood CelebrationsMuseum AdventuresSTEMService-Based LearningPicnicsCommunity Meal


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:

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Sheep and Woolcraft Fair Connects Visitors with Local History, Animal Husbandry, and Fiber Art

41st Annual Sheep and Woolcraft Fair Connects Visitors with Local History, Animal Husbandry, and Fiber Art

Want to learn how to dye wool with Kool-Aid or make a needle-felted fairy? Perhaps you’ve never seen sheep dogs in action or can’t tell a Cotswold from a Corriedale? Indulge your curiosities by attending the 41st annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair this Memorial Day weekend!

You may sing your children songs about them and count them when you’re falling asleep, but did you know about sheep’s important role in our history and everyday lives? The first viable flock of domesticated sheep arrived in the colonies in 1609, and shortly thereafter a small but strong wool industry was up and running. Landowners built stone walls to corral their flocks (you probably have come across these in your wanderings!) and colonists even cleared the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket so they could be used for sheep storage. The colonies were so successful in their maintenance of flocks and production of wool that the British government eventually banned colonial wool exports to lessen competition with their own wool markets. This act was one of several that incensed colonists and led to the Revolutionary War. Sheep playing a role in our fight for independence? Absolutely! Read the rest of this entry »

Digging Northampton’s History: A Community Archaeology Project

Digging Northampton’s History: A Community Archaeology Project

On Tuesdays through Saturdays from May 19 through June 6, 2015, an archaeological excavation is being conducted in Northampton at the site of the Parsons House, built in the early 1700s by Nathaniel Parsons, the grandson of Joseph Parsons, one of the founders of the city.

What good does collecting trash do when you’re studying history? A whole lot of it, if it’s the right trash! Local historians and archaeologists, both professional and amateur, will set about collecting historic trash for the community project, Digging Northampton’s History. An archaeological exploration of the history of Historic Northampton’s Nathaniel Parsons House, the project aims to collect artifacts so as to learn more about the lives of women and children in Northampton during the 18th century. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate the Turtle on World Turtle Day!

Laughing Brook Hosts Family Friendly Nature Celebration

Fascinating creatures that they are, turtles have been given their very own holiday! Families can celebrate World Turtle Day with a visit to Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about local turtles, or can explore the wetlands of the Berkshire to look for these endangered bog turtles!

Unbeknownst to most of us, the nearby bogs of the Berkshires are the perfect habitat for a very precious and endangered species, the bog turtle! One of ten species of turtles found in Massachusetts, the perfect habitat for this tiny rare turtle can be found in the naturally alkaline wet patches of field and meadow across the westernmost portion of our region. Families can learn more about this and other species of testudines by engaging in community-based opportunities for hands-on learning about habitat conservation and species preservation.

Bog turtles are not exclusive to western Massachusetts. They can, in fact, be found as far south as Georgia, but local populations are nevertheless endangered. The closet turtle populations to those in the Berkshires are located 250 miles away, a separation that has been caused by land development. As a result, local bog turtles are genetically isolated – a fact that, when combined with habitat loss and other factors, puts them in danger. Luckily, researchers from The Nature Conservancy have worked to study and monitor bog turtle populations using turtle-mounted radio transmitters. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 16th & 17th, 2015

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 16th-22nd, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 50 Community Highlights: Handwriting to Storytelling. Electric Bikes to Historic Trains., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

May 16th-27th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Community CelebrationsHistoryBicycleCommunity ResiliencyCommunity MealsPlant SalesSeed SwapsService-Based LearningNature-Based LearningPlanes, Trains & AutomobiliesAncestryArts & CraftsLiteracyMuseum AdventuresMusicParent WorkshopsPreschool HighlightsSTEM

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVE

  1. HFVS History Through Stories & Songs Episode with Guest DJ, David Grover (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Open Sesame: Craft & Storytelling Urge Us to Jump Into This Graphic Novel
  3. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  4. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums
  5. 7 Literary Guides for Expanding Family Reading Time

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Family Volunteer Days

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

50 Community Highlights: Handwriting to Storytelling. Electric Bikes to Historic Trains.

Bridge over West Branch of Westfield River near Middlefield Rd, Chester MA

Chester on Track is this weekend, Sat., May 16,  a free, community-wide celebration of railroads and local history around Chester. This year’s event features many activities for the whole family to enjoy with history-focused events and demonstrations, including blacksmithing and woodworking demonstrations, early Irish railroad reenactments, a historic train show, classic cars, gas engine demonstrations, 1920s-era freight cars, and more. Community members of all ages can attend this fun annual event to celebrate life in Chester and learn about historic railroads and other local industries.

Handwriting to Storytelling. Electric Bikes to Seed Swaps. Trains to Planes… 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 River’s Song is a community-wide celebration of the Connecticut River in Turners Falls on Saturday, May 16, 11am-9pm. There will be an opening ceremony and drumming by the Nolumbeka Project, art activities with the Art Garden, a river parade, a chance to learn about fish at the Great Falls Discovery Center, live music, an art reception, a dance performance, and more. The whole community can come together to celebrate the river at this fun all-day event. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

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


Community CelebrationsHistoryBicycleCommunity ResiliencyCommunity MealsPlant SalesSeed SwapsService-Based LearningNature-Based LearningPlanes, Trains & AutomobiliesAncestryArts & CraftsLiteracyMuseum AdventuresMusicParent WorkshopsPreschool HighlightsSTEM


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:

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Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum Opens Doors on 3 Centuries of Rural Living

Community-Based Education Opportunity in an Idyllic Setting

A beloved Western Mass historical institution opens its door for its 66th season when Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum takes us on a tour of 3 centuries worth of rural life. A gorgeous setting on the Connecticut River, the Museum hosts many interesting programs including the family friendly music series- ideal for a summer picnic.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752 in Hadley, Massachusetts, opens Saturday, May 16 for its 66th season. Guided tours will be available Saturday through Wednesday from 1-4:30pm, closed Thursdays and Fridays.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today showcases life in rural New England over three centuries.  Through the words, spaces and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants and slaves made “Forty Acres” an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks. During the 19th century the estate evolved into a rural retreat for the family. In the 20th century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family. Read the rest of this entry »

Mother’s Day in Western MA

Happy Mother’s Day

Take the mom(s) in your life to the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, one of the Commonwealth’s most unusual and enchanting “gardens,” found in Franklin County. The Bridge of Flowers is a former trolley bridge that was originally built in 1908, but became weed-covered 20 years later. In 1929, a plan was implemented to turn the bridge into a garden that would span the length of the bridge. Currently more than 20,000 people per year enjoy its impressive and rich floral beauty from the first appearance of tulips in April through the bloom of autumn mums. Free to the public.

If you’re looking for ideas for getting out on Mother’s Day, we have a few suggestions…

Not up for breakfast in bed, then head out for breakfast or brunch.  We asked our readers for family friendly restaurant recommendations for Mother’s Day and they had several to offer. Check out Mother’s Day Brunch to see their suggestions… and add one of your own.

After breakfast/brunch, celebrate Mother’s Day by taking her to one of the many gorgeous gardens dotted throughout Western Massachusetts including the Bridge of Flower in Shelburne Falls, one of the Commonwealth’s most unusual and enchanting “gardens” is found in Franklin County.  Read our post The Art of Great Gardens in Western MA for a list of recommended public gardens in the region.

If you’re looking for something a little more scheduled, here are more ideas: Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 9th & 10th, 2015

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 9th-15th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 36 Community Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

May 9th-15th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

OrnithologyFilmsMother’s Day HighlightsCollaborative ConsumptionService-Based LearningPlant SalesPreschool HighlightsAstronomyPlant & Nature StudiesHistorySTEMParent WorkshopsArt Walk

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVE

  1. How Does Your Sunscreen Rate? 
  2. Mother’s Day Brunch in Western MA
  3. HFVS Mother’s Day Episode
  4. Play Spring Walk Bingo! 
  5. Little Homes for Little Folks: Make Your Own Gnome Home

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Family Volunteer Days

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

36 Community Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies.

Tending to a family garden not only provides food for your family and adds beauty to your surroundings, but the process of growing and caring for plants brings with it ample opportunity to learn about everything from edible plants to soil science! Here in western Massachusetts, gardening season is just kicking into full swing – meaning it’s time to start planning and planting your family garden!

Wildflower Walks to Plant Sales. Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies… 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: Is your child interested in learning about birds? The Hampshire Bird Club and the Broad Brook Coalition are holding a children’s birding event at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. In honor of International Migratory Bird Day, kids can come learn about birding and bird identification. Kids can learn how to use binoculars and can view photographs of common birds and those seen on the walk to help with identification and understanding. This bird walk is an excellent way to get kids of all ages interested in studying birds and spending time outdoors. Call group leader Bruce Hart at 413-584-4176 for more information. Cooke Avenue. Northampton, MA.

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


OrnithologyFilmsMother’s Day HighlightsCollaborative ConsumptionService-Based LearningPlant SalesPreschool HighlightsAstronomyPlant & Nature StudiesHistorySTEMParent WorkshopsArt Walk


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:

Read the rest of this entry »

3rd Thursday Celebrates Pittsfield Arts Community

Arts & Cultural Showcase Connects Community to Each Other

The City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development is revitalizing 3rd Thursday, the largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, and taking the festival back to the street for its ninth season!

Previously in our series spotlighting arts-based community organizations, we featured Easthampton City Arts+ and Turners Falls RiverCulture, both of which support a community’s cultural identify. Across western Massachusetts, many communities have become havens for artists of all kinds. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities.

This month, our focus moves to the Berkshires, where the city of Pittsfield’s 3rd Thursdays is about to kick off its 9th season of arts- and culture-based community events. A project of the city’s Office of Cultural Development, 3rd Thursdays celebrate all that the city has to offer, combing art, performance, food, and local culture to create exciting and engaging events that bring community members together in the heart of the city to learn and connect.  Read the rest of this entry »

Feasthampton Celebrates Launch of Easthampton Public Seed Library

Feasthampton’s public seed lending library increases community food security

Feasthampton, an Easthampton-based group dedicated to encouraging community food security and environmental sustainability, is opening a free, public Seed Lending Library hosted at the Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton on Monday, May 11, 2015, from 6 – 8 pm. The Seed Lending Library will be one of only a handful of similar efforts in Massachusetts, and is a major step in the path to food security in the Pioneer Valley.

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Feasthampton, an Easthampton-based volunteer group dedicated to encouraging community-wide projects directed toward local food and environmental resiliency, will celebrate the launch of its free, public seed lending library, hosted at the Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton, on Monday, May 11, 2015, from 6-8 pm. The Easthampton Seed Library provides increased opportunity for community resiliency through promoting biodiversity, food access, and a non-monetized, sharing economy accessible to all. The Easthampton Seed Library will offer free, public access to: an ongoing supply of locally adapted, organic, open-pollinated seed, and occasional seed saving and gardening workshops. Read the rest of this entry »

The River’s Song Blends Art & Science While Supporting Community-Based Learning

The River’s Song Celebrates Connecticut River with
Wonderful Range of Events

What does drumming, spoken word, hands-on art making, environmentally-themed storytime, and a parade have to do with the Connecticut River? It’s all a part of The River’s Song, a community celebration that combines art, local history, and community-based learning opportunities to create an event that honors and celebrates the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley’s natural artery.

Held on Saturday, May 16th at locations throughout downtown Turners Falls, The River’s Song is a unique community celebration in that its offerings are quite diverse, yet are all still directly related to the Connecticut River and its role both in the local landscape and in our lives. With events beginning at 9am and running past 9pm, The River’s Song offers over 12 hours of river-themed play and learning.  Read the rest of this entry »

Recognizing and Supporting Seniors during Older Americans Month

‘Get into the Act’

Senior volunteers have fun and prepare bags of groceries to be distributed through The Food Bank’s Brown Bag: Food for Elders program. Click here to register to join The Food Bank and Hilltown Families for another free Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, May 9 from 9-11:30am.

In May, the nation will be celebrating Older Americans Month to recognize seniors’ contributions and provide them with resources to stay healthy and active. Older adults are a vital part of our society. Since 1963, communities across the country have shown their gratitude by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Get into the Act,” to focus on how seniors are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others.

Throughout the country, older Americans face a number of unique challenges that contribute to food insecurity. Many seniors are living on fixed incomes that often force them to choose between paying for healthcare or prescriptions and buying groceries. Although food insecurity affects people of all ages, seniors are particularly vulnerable because they have unique nutritional needs related to aging and/or medical conditions.  Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 2nd & 3rd, 2015

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 2nd-8th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 36 Community Highlights: May Day to Art Walks. Historical Hikes to Museum Adventures., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

May 2nd-8th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Local History  ♦ Museum AdventuresWalking TourCollege SamplerService-Based LearningMay DayHiking  ♦ WorkshopsPreschool HighlightsCulinary ArtsSheep & WoolRenaissance StudiesSTEMZoologyParents’ Night OutArt Walks

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVE

  1. HFVS Cinco de Mayo Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra from Moona Luna (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Project 333 Challenges Consumerism While Supporting Style
  3. Parenting Green: 6 Reasons to Bike Ride with Your Family
  4. Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard
  5. Hindsight Parenting: Stepping Out of Motherhood and into Yourself

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Family Volunteer Days

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

36 Community Highlights: May Day to Art Walks. Historical Hikes to Museum Adventures.

Celebrate spring and May Day at the Meekins Library‘s May Faire on Saturday, May 2, 10am-3pm! Come in costume and enjoy magic tricks by Ed the Wizard, build a fairy house, make a May basket, and more. A fun way to celebrate May Day with community members of all ages! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Hikes to Museums. May Day to Art Walks. Textiles to Renaissance… 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:  Explore the Clark Art Institute’s exhibit Machine Age Modernism: Prints from the Daniel Cowin Collection at their free Machine Age Family Day on Sunday, May 3, 1pm-4pm. There will be fun activities for all ages, including performances by the Williams College Jazz Ensemble (1:15pm) and Kris Allen Quartet (2:30pm), a Machine Age Modernism gallery talk (1:30pm & 2:30pm), a printmaking workshop, a 3D printing demonstration, fingerprinting, flipbooks, a robotics demonstration, art making activities, and more. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to explore this local museum for free! Call the Clark at 413-458-2303 for more information. The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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


Local History  ♦ Museum AdventuresWalking TourCollege SamplerService-Based LearningMay DayHiking  ♦ WorkshopsPreschool HighlightsCulinary ArtsSheep & WoolRenaissance StudiesSTEMZoologyParents’ Night OutArt Walks


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:

Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Celebrating Local Culture Through Sheep & Wool

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: April Segment
Celebrating New England Culture Through Sheep & Wool

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield,  joins Mass Appeal host, Ashley Kohl, to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Thursday, April 23, 2015, highlighting community-based resources and events that use sheep and wool as a lens for learning about our local culture and history.  Sienna and Ashley talk about events and activities families can access to support learning this time of year as it relates to our cultural heritage and learning connections with sheep and wool:

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.  Discover local events and resources that make connects and support learning in our post, New England Culture & Learning Through the Lens of Sheep & Wool.


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).  Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Thursday, May 28!

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 25th & 26th, 2015

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 25th-May 1st, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 45 Community Highlights: Swordsmanship to Sheep Shearing. Sunspots to Dinosaur Valley., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

April 25th-May 1st, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

GeologyService-Based LearningVernal PoolsOrnithologyHistoryHilltown HighlightsEco-CelebrationsSheep ShearingPlant StudiesCulinary ArtsPreschool HighlightsMusic StudiesAstronomyLocal HistoryArt HistoryEntomologyParent Workshops

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Support Language Art & Community Engagement Through Poetry
  2. Oak & Acorn: Sustainable and Wild Harvesting
  3. Message of the Spring Peepers
  4. What’s Your Favorite Way to Discover and Explore History with Your Kids?
  5. HFVS Weather Episode with Guest DJ, Alison Faith Levy (Radio Show/Podcast)

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45 Community Highlights: Swordsmanship to Sheep Shearing. Sunspots to Dinosaur Valley.

See sheep shearing demonstrations at Hancock Shaker Village on April 25 and 26. Visitors can see the Village’s Merino sheep get rid of their winter coats, and there will be hands-on textile demonstrations. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Historical Swordsmanship to Sheep Shearing. Gospel Choir to Leonardo da Vinci. Sunspots to Dinosaur Valley… 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: Looking for a great way to celebrate Earth month with the whole family? Head to the 6th Annual Amherst Sustainability Festival on Saturday, April 25, 10am-4pm! You can learn more about home energy savings, renewable energy options, Arbor Day, permaculture, and waste footprint reduction. There will also be “How To” workshops on tree care, composting, bee keeping, growing mushrooms, and fermenting vegetables. While you’re learning, enjoy live entertainment throughout the day from local musicians. Or, take a break to pet the animals! The Goat Girls booth will have live goats and there will be draft horses from the Bluestar Equiculture booth. Kids can also have their faces painted, watch live juggling, and participate in tree identification activities. Feel free to bring pellet bags, large Styrofoam, and unwanted linens, rags, and clothes for recycling when you come! Amherst Town Common. Amherst, MA. (Free to attend).

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


GeologyService-Based LearningVernal PoolsOrnithologyHistoryHilltown HighlightsEco-CelebrationsSheep ShearingPlant StudiesCulinary ArtsPreschool HighlightsMusic StudiesAstronomyLocal HistoryArt HistoryEntomologyParent Workshops


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation:

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New England Culture & Learning Through the Lens of Sheep & Wool

Sheep & Wool: Catalysts for Community-Based Education in Western MA

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.

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Four community events take place this spring that are rich in learning opportunities! Baby animals, history, animal husbandry, and even fiber arts, are all great catalysts for learning through community engagement at these annual events: Read the rest of this entry »

5 Community Walks Lead Towards Seeing a Hidden Landscape in the Hilltowns

Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills: Exploring the Plainfield Landscape

Click to enlargeJoin the Plainfield Historical Society for five free walks and talks exploring and interpreting our forested historical landscape this spring and summer! Starting on Saturday, April 25, 2015, with the Plainfield Aquaduct Company, the first commonly-held utility in Plainfield history.

Sinking deeply into spring mud, as most families living in the Hilltowns are doing, reminds us of the abundance of water that once made Plainfield a center of industrial farming, a boomtown of sorts in which land speculation went hand in hand with great civic efforts to build a community. In five guided talks/walks, learn to see old Plainfield in the landscape, about the mills, springs, and wells, “read” stone foundations and walls like so many tablets, interpret trees and plants to find cellar holes, and enrich your understanding of this beautiful Hilltown.

All tours meet behind the Shaw Memorial Library (Plainfield, MA) at 1pm and are free (donations welcomed). There will first be a “show and tell” of the historical research involved in creating the walk, followed by a walk or hike.  Read the rest of this entry »

Poetry of Science Contest

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day 2015 Illustrated Poem Contest

Combining science with writing and visual creativity is such a refreshing way to approach a complex topic. American Chemical Society is now seizing the day and holding an innovative poetry competition for kids that will drive them to explore different avenues in science.

Calling all young, creative-minded budding scientists! The Connecticut Valley Local Section of the American Chemical Society invites youth ages 5-18 years old to participate in the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day 2015 Illustrated Poem Contest! An annual event combining science with writing and visual artistry, the poetry contest encourages young writers to process their knowledge related to a scientific topic in a very non-traditional way. Unlike most science-based writing, writing created for the Illustrated Poem Contest won’t be centered around the task of explaining a concept or theory. Instead, entries in the contest will combine creative writing skills and scientific understanding to create a piece that is both beautiful and informative. Read the rest of this entry »

Amherst Bee Friendly Week to Begin on National Arbor Day

Amherst Seeks to “Bee” Friendly!

Amherst has declared the week of April 24th – May 1st as “Amherst Bee Friendly Week.” In efforts to meet the certification requirements, community-based programs, workshops and educational opportunities are being offered!

The Town of Amherst is hoping to become the first certified “Bee Friendly” community in Massachusetts! In an effort to assist the declining honey bee population, Shelburne’s Piti Theatre Company, led by Jonathan Mirin and Godeliève Richard, are leading a campaign to raise awareness, educate and create more bee friendly habitat.

“Amherst Sustainability Coordinator Stephanie Ciccarello and Grow Food Amherst embraced the Bee Week idea last year and have incorporated it into their programming in 2015. They are pioneering the Bee Friendly Town model and it’s very exciting,” said Jonathan Mirin. Read the rest of this entry »

Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning

Local Pottery Resources Provide History Education

A part of cultures around the world for thousands of years, pottery is fascinating – both as a functional art form and as an entry point for studying history. Utilizing local resources, children’s literature, and online tools, families can explore art, history, culture, and science through pottery-centric studies!

Pottery has been a part of human civilizations around the world ever since the Neolithic era – which was over 10,000 years ago! Much more than just a means of making dishes, pottery serves as a creative outlet for many artists, and the slow development of the art and technology surrounding pottery speaks volumes to the changes that human civilization has undergone, both long ago and more recently. Additionally, while pottery can be found in countless cultures all around the world, techniques, styles, and uses vary between cultures, and close study of various pieces of pottery can speak to the similarities and differences between cultures near and far. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 18th & 19th, 2015

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 18th-24th, 2015 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our monthly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 42 Community Highlights: Earth Day to Park Clean-Ups. Revolutionary Muster to Jurassic Roadshow., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA  for a comprehensive list!

April 18th-24th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

DancingService-Based LearningEarth DayMusic StudiesLiteracyVernal PoolsEntomologyColonial HistoryPaleontologyArts & CraftsCulinary ArtsCommunity SingPuppetrySTEMAnimal StudiesTheaterEconomics

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Family Volunteer Days 

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Mug & Bugs in the Hills
  2. Virtual Tour: How Plastic Bags Get Recycle
  3. Planting Seeds: Music that Celebrates Gardening
  4. Where to Get New/Used Bikes for the Family in Western MA
  5. Q&A: Does Your Family Have a Pediatric Dentist You Love Here in Western MA?

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Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

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42 Community Highlights: Earth Day to Park Clean-Ups. Revolutionary Muster to Jurassic Roadshow.

Discover the history of Patriot’s Day at Historic Deerfield’s Patriot’s Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade on Saturday, April 18 from 10am-4pm. Visitors can experience what life was like in a small New England town in the 18th Century with activities like crafts, fife and drum music, and a parade and muster. All ages will enjoy this experience, which will make you feel like you’re back in the 1700s. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Park Clean-Ups to Earth Day Celebrations. Revolutionary Muster to Jurassic Roadshow. Papercutting to Wildcrafting… 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: Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! Takes place at Flywheel in the old town. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)


DancingService-Based LearningEarth DayMusic StudiesLiteracyVernal PoolsEntomologyColonial HistoryPaleontologyArts & CraftsCulinary ArtsCommunity SingPuppetrySTEMAnimal StudiesTheaterEconomics


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation:

Read the rest of this entry »

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