28 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Holiday Lights to Wreath Making. Theater to Singing.

Have you ever thought about why we decorate our Christmas trees with strands of light? Ever think about the origin of this tradition? Find out about the history of Christmas lights, then take in a community tree lighting ceremony and a drive through Forest Park in Springfield or Look Park in Florence for contemporary displays of holiday lights.

Tree Lighting to Wreaths. Consumerism to Holiday Strolls. Pastry Arts to A Christmas Carol. 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 highlights this week:

As the temperature drops and the skies become increasingly more grey, towns across Western Massachusetts are beginning to look more and more festive by the minute!  Leafless trees now don coats of twinkling lights, streetlights are wrapped cozily in strands of deep green garland, and bright red bows decorate wreaths – welcoming both visitors and the holiday season.  Celebrate the holiday season this year by bringing your family to one of the many holiday strolls that happen this month! your family’s holiday season this weekend by visiting one of the holiday strolls being offered!


Literary Adaptation ♦  Singing ♦  Gingerbread Houses ♦  Breakfast with SantaPlacemaking ♦  ConsumerismRadio TheaterPastry Arts  ♦ Gift SwapHoliday StrollsLiving HistoryTransportationCarolingLocomotionWreathsCommunity MealCraftsTree Lighting


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20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Photography to Food Studies. Non-Commercial to Collaborative Consumption.

How did the small wild cranberry, known as sasumuneash by the Wampanoag People, become the the plump berry we serve up every Thanksgiving? Get curious about the origin of the foods served during Thanksgiving and the traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. Use your Thanksgiving meal as a catalyst for learning about agriculture, culinary arts, history and culture!

Hydrology to Tortellini. Photography to Food Studies. Non-Commercial to Collaborative Consumption. 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 highlights this week:   “Chrysanthemum” is a beautiful word for an equally beautiful family of flowers. The word is derived from the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower), though it refers to many different types of flowers in a range of colors and appearances. Families can explore various chrysanthemums at The Botanic Garden of Smith College’s Fall Chrysanthemum Show. The Fall Mum Show has been a popular college and community tradition since the early 1900s and showcases the hybridizing experiments of the horticulture class. This weekend is the last of this amazing flower show!  The conservatory will be open 10am-4pm daily and have extended hours 10am-8pm on Fridays. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


Black Friday  ♦ Community Meals  ♦ Computer ProgrammingNative American StudiesCollaborative ConsumptionGardeningBiologyActivismSustainabilityMYO GiftsSTEM  ♦ Culinary ArtsSeed SavingThanksgiving DinnerPhysics Art StudiesLanguage StudiesGuided WalksMusic StudiesPhotographyImmigrationFood Studies


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32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mindfulness to Natural History. Día de los Muertos to Jake Shimabukuro.

There is more to the phenomenon of bird chirping than simple mating messages. Bird songs evolve socially. Although species sing the same song, individual birds learn songs from their fathers and dialects develop regionally. Bird songs have also had a great impact on human music, and as a result, culture. On Tuesday, November 15 at 3pm, Professor of Biology David Spector will be discussing bird songs and the interplay between birds and human culture, at the Westhampton Public Library. Attendees will also have the change to sing along as the Beautiful Future Band performs new and familiar songs featuring the sounds of birds! Learn about ornithology and conservation efforts. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Community Meals to Community Sing. Guided Walks to Meditation. Contemporary Dance to Chrysantemum. 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 highlights this week: While it is known internationally, the Day of the Dead originated in Mexico, where it is celebrated as a public holiday. Día de los Muertos honors the deceased through the creation of altars and other traditions and ceremonies such as the creation of sugar skulls and catrina dolls. On Saturday, November 12, 10am-7pm, a Day of The Dead celebration will include art, performances, and workshops on how to create sugar skulls and memory boxes. Workshops will be held at the Flywheel Arts Collective. Music and dance performances will take place at the Brookside Cemetery. Bring a candle. 413-529-1440. Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


Mindfulness ♦  YogaNatural History MuseumsCultural StudiesDay of the Dead  SportsIce SkatingTheaterMusic Studies ♦  UkuleleOrnithologyLocal HistoryNatural HistoryComputer ScienceInternetPsychologyArchitectureFood StudiesNutritionDairy Farming ♦  Animal StudiesLiteracyBook Clubs


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Community-Based Educational Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Arrowheads. Evolutionary Biology to Rome.

Seed saving is a fantastic way to practice self sufficiency and resilience, and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning – the digging-in-the-dirt kind that leads to some serious discoveries. You can get started and learn about seed saving techniques on Saturday, November 5, 1pm-2:30pm, at Great Falls Discovery Center. You will learn what kind of seeds to buy, how to prevent cross pollination, wet and dry methods of seed saving and proper techniques of drying and storing seeds. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Chrysanthemums to ArrowheadsSusan B Anthony to Thomas Paine. Evolutionary Biology to Rome. 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 highlights this week:  Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory is in bloom this month for the annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show!  Visitors to the greenhouses can learn about genetic diversity amongst plants and plant hybridization while viewing the beautiful flowers, which can be up to eight inches across.  Even the most amateur botanists will love the wide variety of color, pattern, shape, and size seen amongst the blooms. Read more in our post, Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Smith Offers Community-Based Learning.


SustainabilityCollege ResourcesFiber ArtsTechonologyHorticulturePoliticsSeed SavingBotanyNative American HistoryArchitectureMusic StudiesGilded AgeWomen’s SuffrageSTEMLiteracyBiologyNature StudiesCivil WarWorld History


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21 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Dracula. Dia de los Muertos to Halloween.

While it is well known internationally, the Day of the Dead originated in Mexico, where it is celebrated as a public holiday. Dia de los Muertos honors the deceased through the creation of altars and other traditions and ceremonies. You can learn about the significance of this holiday in Latinx culture, and enjoy performances from the Aztec group Xochiquetzal, at Mount Holyoke College on Tuesday, November 1, 7:30pm. Campus Center Lower Level, 100 Elm Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Chrysanthemums to Dracula. Science Fiction to Orchestra. Dia de los Muertos to Halloween.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 highlights this week:  Celebrate autumn weather, the harvest of pumpkins, and local music at Pumpkinfest on Saturday, October 29, 10am-9pm! This all ages event will feature live local music and dance all day long, as well as a pumpkin judging contest. There will also be a pumpkin decorating contest. Live music will include local artists such as Jimmy Just Quit and Curly Fingers Dupree. Visit the Franklin County Pumpkinfest Facebook Page for more information. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)


PsychologyHauntingsMusic StudiesZoologyLiterary AdaptationFood CultureCemetery StudiesEtymologyService-Based LearningFood SecurityFilm StudiesScience FictionCulture StudiesDay of the DeadLocal HistoryHorticulture


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34 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Music to Medicine. Civic Engagement to Meditation.

Did you know there is a bog in the Hilltowns… home to carnivorous plants like this pitcher plant pictured here?! Hawley Bog stands at an elevation of 1,800 feet, similar to some of the cold bogs of Canada. In an upcoming Mass Audubon program, families can learn about local natural history by visiting this peatland and participating in a guided walk with a local naturalist!

Carnivorous Plants to Service Animals. Political Cartoons to Civic Engagement. Color Theory to Classical Music. 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 highlights this week:   Cider pressing has a long history in New England and beyond. Connect with local culture at the Sukkot Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 23, 10am-1pm! Harvest festivals draw people together for a chance to celebrate the season. This particular harvest festival will have many opportunities for culinary learning and creativity. There will be apple cider pressing, pizza, garlic planting, fire cider making, nature crafts, local food, and live music. Visit the Abundance Farm Facebook page for more information. This event will take place rain or shine. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)


Carnivorous PlantsBogsService AnimalsPet FosteringHikes & WalksArt StudiesPolitical CartoonsLocal HistoryCemetery StudiesOrnithology  ♦ Culinary ArtsFashion HistoryJewish CultureMusic StudiesService-Based LearningNative American StudiesMeditation/MindfulnessYogaSTEMRoboticsMakerspacePhysicsBotanyCivic EngagementMedicine


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26 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Jazz Music to Woodworking. Radio Drama to Pumpkins.

The Ashfield Fall Festival will take place this weekend on both Sat & Sun from 10am-5pm up and down Ashfield’s Main Street. A quintessential New England fall celebration; engaging connects families to their local culture alongside neighbors and friends. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Jazz Music to Colonial History. Antiques to Woodworking. Stop-Motion Animation to Radio Drama. 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 highlights this week:  Scarecrows are an old and practical invention, used to frighten away birds which harm crops. The history of scarecrows begins in Egypt, where the earliest records of the use of scarecrows have been found. Rather than using models of humans, farmers along the Nile River built wooden frames with nets in their wheat fields, and used their scarecrow-like devices to trap quail who would visit their fields to feast on wheat. So, rather than scaring away birds, these early scarecrow-users actually protected their crops and caught their dinner at the same time!  This practical invention has also made a strong cultural impact and led to people creating scarecrows for decorative purposes, particularly in the spooky fall months. You can engage with this local agricultural history and cultural tradition by attending this Scarecrow Stuffing Party on Saturday, October 8, 12pm-2pm. There will also be a bake sale. Call to reserve your scarecrow. 413-863-2116. Unity Park. 56 First Street. Turners Falls, MA. (<$)


PhotographyHomeschoolingMusic StudiesJazzCivic EngagementSTEMComputer ProgrammingPumpkinsColonial HistoryWorld HistoryTransportationRadio DramaShakespeareComedy HistoryFilm StudiesIce HockeyScarecrowsDendrologyLanguageWoodworkingAntiquesPlacemakingFall Festivals


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25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Potatoes to Apples. Bridges to Kites.

Autumn is a time for festivals, bringing people together in celebration of beautiful weather and a bountiful fall harvest. Festival of the Hills on Sunday, October 2, 10am-4pm is an annual family-friendly celebration. Rain or shine. Historic Conway Center, Route 116. Conway, MA. (FREE admission and parking)

Kites to Bridges. Symphony to En Plein Air Painting. 3D Printing to Robotics.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 highlights this week:  War reenactments are a highly engaging form of living history. For families interested in history, learning about the role citizens of your town played in various wars is one way of engaging with national history on a local level. You and your family can learn about the Civil War by attending a reenactment in Look Park on Saturday, October 1, 11am-5pm. You can also hear from Shades of Gray, a civil war era camp band. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)


Guided WalksMakerspaceRoboticsKitesBridgesPotato FestivalApple HistoryCivil War6  ♦ Revolutionary WarLiving HistoryThe ArtsFall FestivalsShaker HistoryHaunted HistoryCemetery WalksAstronomyArchaeology


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38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Animation to Israeli Cuisine. Dragon Boats to Garlic.

If you take your family to a pick-your-own apple orchard this weekend! See how many orchard ladders you can spot and get your kids thinking about their shape and purpose.

Animation to Israeli Cuisine. Dragon Boats to Garlic. One Room Schoolhouses to Textile Mills. 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 highlights this week:  Local, original theater performances can connect community members with each other and with local spaces. Double Edge Theater’s show, The Springfield Spectacular, is a large-scale outdoor performance showcasing youth performers from Springfield Conservatory of the Arts Public School. A performance  on Saturday, September 24, 7pm in Forest Park will incorporate music, and explore many aspects of Latin American culture. 413-787-6440. 200 Trafton Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE)


EntomologyTextile ArtsFilm StudiesArt StudiesParentingVolunteeringIndustrial HistoryHistoric ShoolhousesLiving HistoryArchitecturePlacemakingBotanySeed SavingCulinary ArtsAstronomy


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39 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Autumn Equinox to Rosh Hashanah. Science Fiction to Music Studies.

Grain Mill to Weaving. Freshwater Mussels to BBQ. Poetry to Meditation.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 highlights this week:  Fall is here! The autumnal equinox, the first full day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, is a good time to learn about astronomical concepts such as the seasonal positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon. You are invited to view sunrise and sunset from the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel on Thursday, September 22, 6:45am and 6pm. A UMass Amherst astronomer will be present discussing the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, phases of the moon, building of the Sunwheel, and other calendar sites such as the Karnak Temple in Egypt, Stonehenge in the U.K, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and Chankillo in Peru.The UMass Sunwheel is located south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, just off Rocky Hill Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Autumn Equinox  ♦ EntomologyMetamorphosisLiving HistoryTheaterLGBTQLocal IndustriesPaddlingCommunity MealsEcologyComedyGuided HikesOrnithologyPhenologyFoliageFood StudiesLanguage ArtsLiteracyMusic StudiesRosh HashanahScience FictionTransportation HistoryStorytellingMindfulness


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29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Economics to Psychology. Nature Walks to Migration.

Want to organize a Monarch Butterfly tagging effort? Monarch Watch has instructions and kits with tags for tracking.

Economics to Psychology. Fall Foliage to Graveyards. Songbirds to Coding. 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 highlights this week:  You can become a citizen scientist on Wednesday, September 14, 4pm-6pm by helping to tag monarchs before they head south to the overwintering grounds in Mexico. Jennifer Unkles has been tagging monarchs since 1997. She will be teaching participants at the Hitchcock Center about the monarch’s life cycle, their epic annual migration, how the tagging program works, and how to tag any monarchs you’re able to catch and release. Registration is recommended. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Industrial HistoryCutlerySeed SavingService-Based LearningClimate ChangeImmigrationEconomicsGuided HikesFood StudiesWild EdiblesMigrationSTEMOpera1Computer ProgrammingHorticultureBilingualismOrnithologyFood HistoryCulinary ArtsEntomologyCitizen ScienceFinancial LiteracyPsychologyCartographyAncestryCemetery Walk


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30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Greek Souvlaki to Jewish Literature. Time Zones to Train Rides.

Greek “Glendis” are celebrations, often highlighting Greek culture through traditional food and dance. Every year, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral hosts a Glendi for thousands of visitors from far and near, providing the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and more. Beginning next Friday, all are welcome to this celebration on September 9-11, 2016. Call 413-737-1496 for more information. 22 St George Road. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Raccoons to Rattlesnakes. Greek Souvlaki to Jewish Literature. Time Zones to Train Rides. 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 highlights this week: Youth in grades 3-6 are invited to Smith College for an afternoon of engineering, geology, physics and biology activities on Saturday, September 3, 3pm-5pm! Participants will choose one of four options: Engineering Design with balloon powered cars, Investigating physical properties for rocks and minerals, Exploring electricity and electromagnetism and Investigating food chains and food webs with an owl pellet dissection. Registration is required through the Smith College website. 413-585-3932. Drop off and check in will take place in the lobby of Ford Hall. Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


GeologyDendrologyNature-Based LearningGuide WalksArchaeologySunken CitiesIndustrial HistoryMusic StudiesZoologyPhrenologySTEMComputer CodingLocal HistoryCemetery StudiesOrnithologyJewish CultureGreek FoodTransportation HistoryLocomotivesHistory of TimeLifelong LearningRattlesnakesLiterary AdaptationSherlock HolmesArt StudiesActivism


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39 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Circle Dance to Witchcraft. Watercolor Painting to Astronomy.

Nighthawks are impressive creatures which engage in aerial acrobatics, catching insects on their wings! On Tuesday, August 30, 5pm-7:30pm, you can search the sky for migrating nighthawks at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Bring binoculars. Registration is not required. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Circle Dance to Witchcraft. Watercolor Painting to Astronomy. STEM to Literacy.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 highlightthis week: On Saturday, August 27, 12:30pm-11pm and Sunday, August 28, 12:30pm-7:30pm you can be a part of Celebrate Holyoke. Enjoy live music, food from local restaurants, and goods from local artists and makers. On the 27th you can hear live music from the following bands: From the Woods, Skarroñeros, Paper City Exiles. Franny O Show, Trailer Park, Pabon Salsa, Eleven, and Brass Attack. Check the Celebrate Holyoke website for a full schedule of events. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


Sports ♦ Art Studies ♦ Watercolor Painting ♦ History ♦ Historic Schoolhouse ♦ Witchcraft ♦ Local Food Culture ♦ Literacy ♦ Astronomy ♦ STEM ♦ Circuitry ♦ Zoology ♦ Entomology ♦ Dance Studies ♦ Circle Dance ♦ Music Studies ♦ Agriculture


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41 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Local History to Car Shows. Agriculture to Woodworking.

Explore local rivers and ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and learn about the role beavers play in our local ecosystem. This program is suitable for ages three and up. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA.(<$)

Local History to Car Shows. Agriculture to Woodworking. Writing to Foraging. 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: In honor of the National Parks Service centennial, you can participate in a guided hike on Thursday, August 25, 9:30am-12pm to learn about the history of America’s State and National Parks. Learn about the forces which shaped, protected, and preserved these national resources on a three mile hike. This hike will go over moderate terrain and take approximately three hours. The event is appropriate for ages twelve and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Holyoke Range State ParkMeet at the Notch Visitors Center. Please bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


 Agriculture ♦ Literacy ♦ Writing ♦ Local History ♦ Woodworking ♦ Dance Studies ♦ Guided Nature Walks ♦ Foraging ♦ Music Studies ♦ Automotive ♦ Car ShowZoology ♦ Bird Language ♦ Opera ♦ Art Studies ♦ Culture Studies


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37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Entomology to Puppetry. Geology to Jazz Studies.

People of all ages can learn about dragonflies and butterflies at Lime Kiln Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday, August 7, 9am-11am. Bring your favorite field guide and binoculars. Wear sturdy shoes and bring insect repellent. Call 413-637-0320 to register. Silver Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Entomology to Puppetry. Geology to Jazz Studies. Literature to Panoramic Drawing. 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:  You can learn about New England history and local Native American culture at the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival! This all ages event, on Saturday, August 6, 11am-7pm, will include live music, drumming, dancing, storytelling, and native crafts. Spiritual teachings by Native American elders will offer further insight into a fascinating culture. This event is part of the Nolumbeka Project. Unity Park Waterfront. First Street. Turners Falls. (FREE)


Zoology ♦ Entomology ♦ Geology  ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Music Studies ♦ Jazz Studies ♦ Art Studies ♦ Panoramic Drawing ♦ Architecture ♦ History ♦ Storytelling ♦ Literacy ♦ Puppetry ♦ Agriculture ♦ Outdoor Adventures ♦ Wild Plant Walk 


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37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Guided Nature Walks to Literacy. Sports to History.

Mr. Vinny: The Bubble Guy will be at the Springfield Museums with his gigantic bubble wants and jokes. This program is free with museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Guided Nature Walks to Literacy. Sports to History. Sustainability to Music 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: People of all ages are invited to Wild Woods Walk at Mount Holyoke Range State Park on Sunday, July 31, 2pm-3pm. A park interpreter will teach you about the plants and animals that call the park home. You will learn how to recognize some of them by sight and sound. Meet at the Notch Visitors Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


ZoologyChiropterologyGuided Nature WalkArt StudiesEarth ScienceOceanographyCircus ArtsUpcyclingMusic StudiesHistoryWitchcraftSportsLiteracyCreative Free PlaySustainabilityDance Studies


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38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Comedy to Pottery. Sun Prints to Paleontology.

Comedy to Pottery. Sun Prints to Paleontology. Writing to 3D Printing. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

The 10th annual Hilltown Six Pottery Tour offers families the opportunity to visit potters’ studios, see their work, learn about the process of creating pottery, and ask questions. Visit nine studios across Western Massachusetts on Saturday, July 23, 10am-5pm and Sunday, July 23, 10am-5pm. Go to the website for a map and full schedule of events on this self-guided tour. Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire county, MA. (FREE)

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

Featured community highlight this week: Celebrate African American culture at the 43rd annual “Gather-In,” in Durant Park on Saturday, July 23, 12pm-6pm, a free neighborhood festival. Organized by the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP, this free, fun-filled community event for all ages celebrates the rich cultural traditions and deep roots of the African-American community in Berkshire County and is open to everyone. There will be games, activities, music, food, and a free children’s raffle for bikes. The second annual Jahda Classic Basketball Tournament will be held during the Gather-In. For more information call 413-464-9060. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE admission. MARKET/SALE)


Outdoor Adventures ♦ Pottery ♦ Comedy ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Dance Studies ♦ History ♦ Music Studies ♦ Literacy ♦ Writing ♦ Technology ♦ 3D Printing ♦ Art Studies ♦ Figure Drawing ♦ Culture Studies ♦ Science ♦ Paleontology ♦ Crafts ♦ Sun PrintsBotany


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33 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Ornithology to Upcycling. Storytelling to Circus Arts.

Bioluminescence, emission of light by an organism, is a fascinating chemical process. It has many uses in various organisms including attracting mates, communication, defense against predators, and illumination for the purpose of sight. An upcoming Young Scientists’ Club gathering at the Gaylord Memorial Library will teach kids all about bioluminescence.

Ornithology to Upcycling. Storytelling to Circus Arts. Dance Studies to Service-Based Learning. 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: On Thursday, July 21, from 10am-4pm, people of all ages are invited to “Science in the Streets” at the Springfield Museums. This STEM festival, part of the Summer Spectacular family programming series, will feature exciting demonstrations by researchers and innovators. Educators and parents are encouraging children to develop or sustain an interest in STEM because many exciting career paths require STEM skills. Learn about science, technology, engineering and math at the Springfield Museums! This program is open to all ages and free with museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE).


Ornithology ♦ Zoology ♦ Bioluminescence ♦  Music Studies ♦ Local History ♦ Dance Studies ♦ Family Theater ♦ Storytelling ♦ STEM ♦ Physics ♦ Upcycling ♦ Art Studies ♦ Drawing ♦ Service-Based Learning ♦ Circus Arts


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33 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Figure drawing to Robotics. Snails to Architecture.

African drumming performances are highly physical and visual, involving not only the movement required to play the drums but also dance and chanting. These high energy performances get people moving and feeling the beat. You catch witness African drumming as part of the 15th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Friday, July 15.

Figure drawing to Robotics. Snails to Architecture. World Music to Literacy. 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 highlights this week: The 12th Annual Massachusetts Regional Yo-Yo Contest at the Academy of Music Theatre will feature the best of the best Yo-Yo tricks! More than just a toy, Yo-Yos can teach kids about physics. In order to understand how a yo-yo works in the first place, it’s essential to understand potential and kinetic energy. Even young kids can learn what these terms mean just by holding and dropping a yo-yo, or witnessing someone doing so. Be amazed by physics in action, Friday, July 15, 11am-5pm. Arrive towards the end of the event to witness the very best performers. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


Art Studies ♦ Collage ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Invasive Species ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Invertebrates ♦ Geology ♦ STEM ♦ Robotics ♦ History ♦ ArchitecturePhysics ♦ YoYosLiteracy ♦ Music Studies ♦ Klezmer


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29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Contemporary Art to Cemetery Studies. Biology to Theater.

Check out the beautiful view around the Oxbow marina while you witness the Oxbow Water Ski Show Team build pyramids 3-4 people high, flip through the air and other more. Come see what they can do at this fast-paced water ski show. In addition to being dazzled and entertained, integrate the excitement into learning about physics by thinking deeply about water skiing and certain concepts of physics, including Newtown’s Third Law of Motion, Reynolds number, and gravity.

Contemporary Art to Cemetery Studies. Nature Science to Theater. Food History to Rube Goldberg Machines. 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: Marches and parades can be a form of celebration, as well as a means of demonstrating for change, or both! The first ever “Interdependence Day” parade on Saturday, July 2 at 1pm will serve as a celebration of the world we all love, as well as a call to action against gas leaks and other environmental threats. The parade will come from four directions and also feature The Expandable Brass Band, puppets, and children’s theater. Everyone is invited to march in the parade and offers an opportunity to engage in creative-free play, placemaking and learning about community environmental concerns. Arrive at noon if interested in participating, and call 413-268-3588 for information on where to meet. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


Art Studies ♦ STEM ♦ Rube Goldberg Machines ♦ History ♦ Cemetery Walk ♦ Food ♦ Theater ♦ Sports ♦ Water Skiing ♦ Music Studies ♦ Percussion ♦ Placemaking ♦ Lawn ConcertsLiteracyImmigration StudiesNature ScienceHerpetologyAstronomyCollaborative Consumption


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30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pollinators to Performance Art. River Studies to Boat Racing.

Lavender is a plant which can teach us about local culture, farming, aromatherapy, and culinary arts. The Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm will provide lots of ways for people of all ages to learn about lavender farming and production.

Pollinators to Performance Art. River Studies to Boat Racing. Yoga to Coding. 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: Families are invited to celebrate the Connecticut River and the ways in which it has impacted settlement patterns, economy, culture, and ecology. The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s River Celebration will involve river activities, food, and a presentation from naturalist speaker Laurie Sanders. On Saturday, June 25, from 9am-3pm you will have chances to tour the river, listen to live music, and celebrate nature with friends. Registration is required through the Watershed Council’s website. Brunelle’s Marina. 1 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE).

EntomologyHistoryPerformance ArtPlacemakingLabyrinthFitnessQuidditchLiteracyWomen’s StudiesPlant and Soil ScienceCreative Free PlaySTEMAstronomy


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38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Physics to Folk Music. Agriculture to Road Races.

Physics to folk music. Agriculture to road races. Sculpture to strawberry festivals. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

In addition to being great exercise and a fun, social activity, skateboarding can inspire kids to become interested in science! Skateboarders performing tricks are actively engaging with scientific principles such as momentum, gravity, friction, and centripetal force.

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

Featured community highlight this week: Do you and your children enjoy learning about history through demonstrations and artwork? August 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is currently exhibiting an art installation in honor of the National Park Service. You can come see this exhibition and learn about American war history on Armory Day, Saturday, June 18, 10am-5pm. A full day of events will include military drills with living history reenactors, primary source documents such as WWI videos and letters, and much more. Visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site website for a full schedule of events.413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)


Art Studies ♦ Picture Books ♦ Literacy Biology Entomology ♦ STEM ♦ Physics ♦ Music Studies ♦ History ♦ Placemaking ♦ Sports & Recreation ♦ Skateboarding ♦ Bubble Soccer ♦ Food Culture ♦ Strawberry Fest ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Agricultural History  ♦Dance Studies


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44 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stamps to Hip Hop. Jam to Bike Safety.

Bicycling is a great sport and hobby, and a wonderful way to explore your neighborhood or other local areas on a bike trail adventure! Make sure the bike riders in your family know how to be safe riders. Participating in a bike rodeo is one great way to gain confidence and important skills.

Stamps to hip hop. Jam to bike safety. Tinkering to fencing. 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: Do you love to express yourself through motion, or to watch others tell a story without saying a word? Perhaps there is a dance style you’ve always wanted to try but have never had the chance? Dance is a physical and mental workout involving spatial relationship skills, coordination, and memory. Plus, it is an interesting way to communicate and a fun way to exercise! At Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, which begins on Saturday, June 11, at noon, you can try modern dance, Zumba, and hip hop. You can also watch performances by EarthDance, Berkshire Pulse, Olga Dunn Dance Company and Albany Berkshire Ballet. This all-ages community festival will also involve historic tours, storytimes, scavenger hunts and more. Visit the Jacob’s Pillow website for more information and a schedule of events. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)


Architecture ♦ Ancient History ♦ Numismatics ♦ Civil Rights ♦ Sustainability ♦ Makerspace ♦ Agriculture ♦ Father’s Day ♦ Horticulture ♦ Music Studies ♦ Dance Studies ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Placemaking ♦ Artisan Skills ♦ Sports ♦ Strategy ♦ Art Studies ♦ Reading ♦ Parenting


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38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Asparagus to Anthropology. Fishing to Fairy Tales.

The art of tying flies for fly fishing combines scientific knowledge, fine motor skills, and creativity. While many flies are created for use as bait, some are created for artistic displays. Learn more about fly-tying, as well as various fishing techniques, at this week’s fishing events!

Asparagus to anthropology. Fishing to fairy tales. Engineering to rowing. 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:If you live in Hadley, you probably know that your town is considered the asparagus capital of the world, with this plant popping up so frequently that people call it “Hadley grass.” Come to the 2016 WGBY Asparagus Festival to buy fresh asparagus and other produce at the farmers’ market, shop locally sourced items at the makers’ market, and enjoy live music. And stop by the Hilltown Families’ Pop-Up Open House! Besides asparagus in its natural form, you can also taste test unique uses of the food, like asparagus ice cream! There will be plenty for kids to do, including a cooking workshop. Hadley town commons. Route 9/Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (MARKET/SALE)


Engineering ♦ GeologyPlacemakingConservation BiologyFly FishingBoatingPoetryChildren’s LiteraturePuppetry ♦ Local HistoryCultural StudiesGardeningNutritionParenting


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37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds.

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If you love wool, weaving, textiles, fiber arts, or animal husbandry, you won’t want to miss the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair! Western MA is full of talented, crafty people, and opportunities to learn or practice your fiber arts skills with them abound throughout the year.

Rhubarb to woolcraft. Bubbles to adventure playgrounds. World music to Shakespeare. 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: Adventure playgrounds invite children to engage with a variety of open-ended, simple materials (think giant cardboard boxes, tubes, fabric, string, bales of hay) to create the play spaces and experiences they desire. Participating an adventure playground not only stimulates the imagination, it encourages collaboration and builds self-esteem. Visit The Play Workshop‘s pop up playground on Saturday, May 28, from noon until 4pm, to try out this fun, different, joyful type of creative free play! 413-588-2208. Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


AgricultureCulinary ArtsFiber ArtsAnimal HusbandryPhysicsEarth SciencePuppetryCareer StudiesNative American StudiesIntergenerationalChildren’s LiteratureLanguage StudiesOrnithologyCitizen ScienceTinkeringTheater ArtsDanceMemorial DayMusic StudiesService-based Learning


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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding

Art created by native peoples of the Pacific Northwest offers a vibrant and engaging look into Native cultures, folklore, history, and values. Visit this new exhibit, Finding Raven, at the Berkshire Museum on its opening day, and enjoy special interactive stations to enrich your understanding and appreciation of the techniques, stories, and identities behind the works of art!

Railroads to running. Cultural studies to coding. Gorges to gardening. 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: Storytelling is a highly empathetic process. When you combine the creative empathy involved in storytelling with the therapeutic effects of expressing yourself through pictures, the activity has a profound impact. Comic books and graphic novels do just this; they force artists and writers to think about people’s emotions, and the social impact of characters’ actions on each other. On Saturday, May 21st, 10:30am-1:30pm, The Lee Library is hosting a Comic Jam, a collaborative storytelling adventure for cartoonists of all ages and abilities. This fun-filled event will encourage participants to think critically, empathetically, and creatively. Each artist will contribute to other artists’ comics, resulting in a highly original work which could not be created by a single individual. No prior experience or ability is required. Participants can drop in any time. 413- 243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting


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57 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Engineering to Bicycling. Food Security to Fire-building.

Yo-yos have been around for a long time, and their use is documented in many cultures, perhaps as far back as ancient Greece! These toys, along with jump ropes, hula hoops, and others, make up a subset of toys called “skill toys.” Experts, novices, and anyone else interested in this type of toy can participate in a fun skillsharing event this week!

Engineering to bicycling. Food security to fire-building. Canines to quilts. 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 recent transit of Mercury may have piqued your and your family’s interest about astronomical events! How do astronomers predict events like the transit of Mercury with such accuracy? In short, they use mathematics. Astronomers draw from concepts of physics, and use algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus to make measurements of distances between objects in the sky, the speeds at which they are traveling, and other factors, and then develop predictions of various arrangements of celestial bodies with respect to Earth. You don’t need to know anything about mathematics to appreciate the beauty of the sky, however. Come to the Springfield Museums on Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14th, from 12pm-4pm, to engage in safe sunspot viewing, and see a collection of meteorites. There will be hands-on activities for all ages, information about how craters are formed on the moon, and a space sensory bin for kids. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Under 3 and museum members FREE)


OrnithologyCitizen ScienceCommunity MealService-based LearningBotanyCollaborative ConsumptionLocal HistorySTEAMMakerspaceArchitectureSkillsharingWoodworkingShakespeareLanguage ArtsQuiltingVisual ArtsYouth TheaterMusic StudiesFilm StudiesCultural Studies ♦ Parenting


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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mercury’s Transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber Arts to Food Trucks.

Chocolate lovers! Don't miss a chance to learn about this tasty treat, as well as other culinary delights, this week!

Chocolate lovers! Don’t miss a chance to learn about this tasty treat, as well as other culinary delights, this week!

Mercury’s transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber arts to food trucks. Pride to perennials. 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: Ornithology, the study of birds, encompasses many subtopics. People interested in studying birds may want to learn to identify them by sight or sound, analyze their communication through bird songs and behavior, protect endangered species, or become falconers.You can celebrate the spectrum of bird-related topics at the Valley Bird Festival! The festival begins on Saturday, May 7, with a bird walk at 6:30am, followed by family-friendly activities including a falconry demonstration at 8am. The first half of the festival will take place at Fort River Refuge. For more ornithological activities, head over to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary where the fun continues from 10:30am until 2pm. Play games, visit information tables, and witness live owl demonstrations at 11am and 1pm. For more information, visit the Hitchcock Center for the Environment website. 69 Moody Bridge Road, Hadley, MA, and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


GardeningService-based LearningSkillsharingOrnithology ♦ Computer ScienceAstronomyChemistryEcologyCitizen SciencePerforming ArtsSewingFiber ArtsZoologyCultural StudiesSustainabilityCollaborative ConsumptionVisual ArtsLocal HistoryFolkloreLGBTQCommunity EngagementParenting


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51 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Poetry to Potluck. Homesteading to Oceanography.

The self-guided Asparagus Pottery Trail will weave you through the Hilltowns and surrounding areas and allow you to visit with some of Western MA's most talented ceramic artists. Love pottery? Learn more at our post, Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning!

The self-guided Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail will weave you through the beautiful springtime landscapes of the Hilltowns and surrounding areas and allow you to visit with some of Western MA’s most talented ceramic artists. Love pottery? Learn more at our post, Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning!

Pottery to potluck. Homesteading to oceanography. Civil engineering to a cappella. 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: Living history museums and events provide interesting insight into the ways in which we engage with historical information. Renaissance fairs first emerged in the United States in the 1950s, as part of a larger interest in medieval culture and music. Living history challenges actors and attendees to think about history beyond events, learning about customs, dress, accents and behaviors. On Sunday, May 1st, from 11am-4pm,  The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies hosts its 14th Annual Community Renaissance Festival! Attendees of all ages can learn about jewelry making, pottery, weaving, and woodworking. There will be sword demonstrations, juggling, Tarot reading, dancing, and music. As part of this festival, The Theater Truck will be performing Commedia Grab Bag! in the Big Tent at 11:30. This interactive theatrical performance will allow audience members to determine what scenes and characters are played in a choose-your-own-adventure style performance. The book sale will allow for continued historical learning after the event. The full event schedule can be found on the The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies website. 413-577-3600. 650 E Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingCollaborative ConsumptionCommunity MealHomesteadingGardeningNutritionArts & CraftsOrnithologyAnimal HusbandrySTEAMNature StudiesCitizen ScienceOceanographyService-based LearningCivil EngineeringRenaissanceMusic StudiesAnimationPerforming ArtsStorytellingPotteryCultural StudiesParenting


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42 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bikes to Botany. Farming to Financial Literacy.

Love to paddle a canoe, go fishing, or watch wildlife? Learn more about how to enjoy your local riverways!

Love to paddle a canoe, go fishing, or watch wildlife? Learn more about how to enjoy your local riverways!

Bikes to botany. Farming to financial literacy. Earth Day to entomology. 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: Children’s book author and illustrator Grace Lin has said: “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.” Lin grew up in upstate New York and hers was the only Asian American family in her neighborhood. As a Taiwanese author drawing upon her personal experiences, Lin has enriched the world of children’s literature with greater diversity. Asian American children reading her books have the pleasure of feeling represented, and children of other cultures and backgrounds get to learn about experiences beyond their own. On Saturday, April 23, at 2pm, Lin will be giving a talk, discussing these issues as they relate to her picture books, early readers and middle grade novels, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6315. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission <$)


 Biking ♦ Earth DaySkillsharingCitizen ScienceWildflowersSoil ScienceCommunity GardensVolunteeringAnimal StudiesEvolutionTradesArchaeologyAbolitionBooksClassic StoriesCircus ArtsDiversityStepdancingParenting


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