30 Autumn Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA

Berkshire Family Fun: September 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
September 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of September. 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 us at sales@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.

Read the rest of this entry »

10 Messy Summer Science Activities for Outside!

One of the best ways to engage in hands-on science learning is by simply messing about. When children’s play leads them to make observations about the things around them and the ways in which they interact with each other, they learn powerful lessons that they’ll remember for years to come. Luckily the time of year messy science learning can be done outdoors! Below are ten suggestions for hands-on science activities that families can engage in both to learn about a specific topic and to encourage self-directed “messing about” with safe science materials once formal experimentation has been done.  Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 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 July 29th-August 4th, 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 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Graffiti to Robotics. Tricksters to Liars. Mindfulness to Placemaking. 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.

July 29th-August 4th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

MindfulnessRoboticsCommunity MealPlacemakingEntomologyDance StudiesBotanyLocal HistoryArt StudiesTransportation HistoryAgricultureSports HistoryShakespeareOrganic ChemistryMythologyHuman BehaviorPaleontology

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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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Web-Based Space Explorations Blast Off Through NASA Kids’ Club
  2. Nature’s Patterns Reveals Mathematical Reasoning
  3. Local Nature Centers Connect Families to Nature Through Interpretive Programs
  4. Maker Spaces: Community-Based Opportunities to Think, Make, Do, Learn and Share
  5. In Appreciation: Reading as a Tool Towards Empathy

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Berkshire Family Fun: August 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of August. 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 us at sales@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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 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 July 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 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.

July 22nd-28th, 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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  1. Exploring Ruins Reveals Local History and Culture
  2. Exploring Athletics and Sports History Through Community-Based Resources
  3. Hand Clapping Games: Summer & Schoolyard Creative Free Play that Supports Learning
  4. Invasive Species an Unlikely Catalyst for Community-Based Learning
  5. Summer Supports Interest-Based Learning

 

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 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!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 15-21, 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.

July 15-21, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

DramaEntomologyCivil RightsAstronomy ♦ Service LearningLocal HistoryCulinary Arts  ♦ TranscendentalismLinguisticsMusic StudiesBears  ♦ Shakespeare ♦ PlacemakingPotteryFilm Studies ♦ EngineeringMakerspace

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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Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rare Books to Grist Mills. Lebanese Mountain Bread to Independent Cinema.

Each year, approximately 2 billion popsicles are sold worldwide. But where did the idea for this tasty treat come from? Find out more in this TED-Ed lesson: How the popsicle was invented by Jessica Oreck.

Rare Books to Grist Mills. Lebanese Mountain Bread to Independent Cinema. These are just a few of the Learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Click on link to view our suggested event or video and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Does your child aspire to be a playwright or actor? Thespians ages eight through twelve are invited to two workshops with the Piti Theatre Company for a crash course in contemporary drama. On Saturday, July 15 from 10am-12pm, a playwriting workshop will lay the groundwork for a complete “Play in a Day” production. The following Saturday, July 22, this play will be rehearsed and performed. Both events will take place at the Greenfield Public Library. Experience all of the excitement of playwriting and acting in just two weekends. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)


DramaEntomologyCivil RightsAstronomy ♦ Service LearningLocal HistoryCulinary Arts  ♦ TranscendentalismLinguisticsMusic StudiesBears  ♦ Shakespeare ♦ PlacemakingPotteryFilm Studies ♦ EngineeringMakerspace


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[Photo credit: (cc) Annie]


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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Rise Again: 1,200 Songs to Expand our Musical Horizon

People’s Music: Songs About Real Life Experiences that Real People Enjoyed Singing Together

Do you have a copy of Rise Up Singing? How about companion, Rise Again: A Group Singing Songbook, with preface by Pete Seeger and foreword by Billy Bragg? Conceived, developed, and edited by western Massachusetts based folk singers Peter Blood and Annie Patterson under the guiding hand of the late Pete Seeger, Rise Again is a treasure trove of lyrics and chords to 1,200 well-loved songs spanning genres as diverse as British Invasion, blues, country, jazz, Motown, composed folk, traditional ballads, gospel, Broadway, early rock ‘n’ roll, alternative/indie artists, “pub songs” and much more, arranged in 39 themed chapters, with commentary on the songs, cross-reference listings at the end of each chapter, and Artists, Cultures, and Titles indexes.

Pete Seeger played a central role in the development of both Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Following the publication of Rise Up Singing in 1988, Pete Seeger urged the creation of a second songbook with the same format as Rise Up Singing but with even more inclusion of genres that were not heavily represented in the original book. Until his death in 2014, he regularly sent Annie Patterson and Peter Blood suggestions for songs to include in the second volume, lobbying for a balance of song genres and subjects, and for the songs to reflect a message of empowerment and positive change through community music making.

Every page of Rise Again: A Group Singing Songbook reflects the vision of Pete Seeger, who did not believe in artificial boundaries like “folk music”‘ and constantly encouraged Patterson and Blood to center their work on songs he referred to as “people’s music”– songs about real life experiences that real people enjoyed singing together. Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 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 July 8-14, 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.

July 8-14, 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 July 1st & 2nd, 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 July 1-7, 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.

July 1-7, 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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Berkshire Family Fun: July 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
July 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of July. 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 us at sales@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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  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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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

 

  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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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  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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