Learning Ahead: Spring Traditions & Celebrations

Exploring Culture through Food, History & Art:
Easter & Passover

The reemergence of flora and fauna in the outdoor world gives cause for celebration as the months turn warmer and new life abounds. For many, it is a time of celebration linked to spring’s seasonality as reflected in the types of food prepared in holiday celebrations, including Easter and PassoverRead the rest of this entry »

Easter Events in Western MA, 2016

Easter Events in Western MA, 2015

Easter Events in Western MA 2015

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Check our list of Easter events for an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Community events that celebrate Easter take place over the next few week.

We’ll be adding to this list as events come in, so be sure to check back: Easter Events in Western MA 2015.

Suggested Events for April 19th-25th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families lets me connect to great events that are slightly out of the way, but worth the drive! For example, I recently found out about several Earth Day events that are fun for my whole family!” – Sarah Kowalski (Springfield, MA)

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

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

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 17-18; 21-25

For some educational, interactive family fun, bring your kids to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, a ninety minute drive from Boston and only twenty minutes from Hartford. Thurs., Apr. 17th- Open Cockpit; Fri., Apr. 18th- LEGO Contest & Easter Bunny Visit; Mon., Apr. 21st-Wed., Apr. 23rd- Open Cockpit & Museum Tours; Thurs., Apr. 24th- Zip Line Challenge; Fri., Apr. 25th- Blimp Maze. Also enjoy over 80 aircraft on display, interactive exhibits, guided tours and not to be missed-our newest exhibit “Flight Sim Spot” open daily.

Apr 18, 21-25

During April vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their amazing Puppet Festival, April 21-25, 2014. Classic fairy tales like Robin Hood, Beauty and the Beast, and Jack and the Beanstalk will be presented by renowned puppet ensembles including the National Marionette Theater and Crabgrass Puppets (shown here). There’s also live animal demonstrations, hands-on science and art activities, and roving puppetry by Caravan Puppets. The fun gets off to an early start with a performance of Spring into Easter by The Wayne Martin’s Puppets on Friday April 18 at 1pm, along with appearances by the Easter Bunny and more. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org

Apr 19

Skip down to the Odyssey Bookshop for a morning of fun with author, Paul Reynolds! Paul and his brother Peter have teamed up to bring us a fantastic new picture book. Going Places is about working together and letting your imagination soar. In celebration of this new book Odyssey is hosting the author and inviting you to use your imagination to make a creation of your own for a storytime and crafting fun on Saturday, April 19th at 11am. This event if free but RSVP encouraged at www.odysseybks.com. Great for ages 3 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075.

Apr 21

The Academy of Music Theatre presents National Marionette Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast on Monday, April 21st at 10am. The classic story of a prince who is changed into a hideous beast by an evil enchantment that can only be broken by true love. When Beauty looks beyond the Beast’s external appearance, she learns to love him for who he truly is on the inside. Using meticulously crafted marionettes and beautifully painted scenery, National Marionette Theatre’s production is classical marionette theater at its finest. Appropriate for family audiences aged 4+. Tickets $7, plus box office fees. For more information and tickets, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com or call the Box Office at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 Tuesdays-Fridays 3-6pm. Northampton, MA.

Apr 21, 23 & 25

April 21, 23 and 25 from 9am to 11am spring-inspired art projects help kids enliven their creativity at Spring Break Art Detox at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Discover how exhibiting artists preserve, re-purpose, and recycle materials. On Monday, preserve natural materials in resin; On Wednesday, re-purpose objects into a mobile planter; On Friday, recycle found items into sculpture. Parents can drop off their kids or join in the action. Pre-registration is recommended. Reservations are $7 per day for members and $10 for not-yet members, and can be made at the MASS MoCA box office. Sign up for one, two, or all three days. Registration is also open for summer art camps. Find out more online at kidspace.massmoca.org/art-camps.

Apr 21-27

Enjoy April vacation week at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Create paper sculptures in the Art Studio with guest artist Susan Schwake, go on an underwater storytime adventure with author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, and see the classic tale The Bremen Town Musicians come to life on stage! Cap off this fun-filled week of activities, storytimes, films, and special guests with our Family Poetry Jam on Sunday, April 27! The Museum is open Monday, April 21 for Patriots’ Day. For event details and performance tickets, visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100.

Apr 26

Middle School Fair. Meet representatives from six independent middle schools: Academy Hill School, The Center School, Four Winds School, The Hartsbrook School, North Star: Self-Directed Learning, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. Saturday, April 26, 2:00-4:00, at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA. More information at www.fourwindsschool.info or call 413-863-8055.

Apr 27

The celebrated Alonzo King LINES Ballet comes to the UMass Fine Arts Center on Sunday, April 27th to enrapture audiences with works of luminous beauty. Described by The New Yorker as “hyper kinetic” and “exceptional,” the Lines Ballet performs exhilarating works that meld classical Western ballet with a diverse set of cultural traditions. The dancers’ flawless technique, mixed with King’s expressive choreography, creates a performance that is like no other. “Gripping, urgently beautiful choreography” hails the San Francisco Chronicle. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Open House: Jun 14

Worthington Swim Club. Enjoy family fun this summer at an outdoor pool in Worthington. The W S C is located at 35 Huntington Road (Rte 112) in a sunny, tree-screened setting. Membership is open to everyone and includes: Certified Lifeguard on duty Monday – Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Children over age 10 can swim without their parent during lifeguard hours, 24-hour key access for adult members (and children with an adult family member), a 25-yard-long pool w/ a low diving board, swimming lessons available. Swim free at open house, June 14th, noon-3 p.m. 2014 membership is: Family Plan $365, Individual Plan $160. Payment schedules available. Call Lynn at 238-8038 or Alain at 238-5954 or visit us on FB www.facebook.com/worthington.swimclub

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Happy Easter: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA, your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 19th-25th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 12th-18th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is my go-to place to look for upcoming family activities in my community (and the surrounding communities). I truly appreciate this site and all of the work that’s put into it!” – Renee Hill (Easthampton, MA)

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

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

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 13, 18, 21-25

Spring into spring at the Springfield Museums! There’s a variety of family-friendly events and activities happening all month long, starting with the annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 13 from 11am-4pm, with music, environmental displays, and live animal demonstrations. There’s more fun on Friday April 18, with appearances by the Easter Bunny and a performance of Spring into Easter by The Wayne Martin’s Puppets at 1pm. Then enjoy a week of hands-on activities and shows by the region’s finest puppet ensembles during their amazing Puppet Festival, April 21-25, featuring tales like Robin Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Beauty and the Beast. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

Apr 14-18; 21-25

For some educational, interactive family fun, bring your kids to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, a ninety minute drive from Boston and only twenty minutes from Hartford. Mon., Apr. 14th- Aero Modeling Workshop; Tues., Apr. 15th- Glider Engineering Design Challenge; Wed., Apr. 16th- Parachute Drop; Thurs., Apr. 17th- Open Cockpit; Fri., Apr. 18th- LEGO Contest & Easter Bunny Visit; Mon., Apr. 21st-Wed., Apr. 23rd- Open Cockpit & Museum Tours; Thurs., Apr. 24th- Zip Line Challenge; Fri., Apr. 25th- Blimp Maze. Also enjoy over 80 aircraft on display, interactive exhibits, guided tours and not to be missed-our newest exhibit “Flight Sim Spot” open daily.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

Apr 19

Skip down to the Odyssey Bookshop for a morning of fun with author, Paul Reynolds! Paul and his brother Peter have teamed up to bring us a fantastic new picture book. Going Places is about working together and letting your imagination soar. In celebration of this new book Odyssey is hosting the author and inviting you to use your imagination to make a creation of your own for a storytime and crafting fun on Saturday, April 19th at 11am. This event if free but RSVP encouraged at www.odysseybks.com. Great for ages 3 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 college street, South Hadley, MA, 01075.

Apr 21

The Academy of Music Theatre presents National Marionette Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast on Monday, April 21st at 10am. The classic story of a prince who is changed into a hideous beast by an evil enchantment that can only be broken by true love. When Beauty looks beyond the Beast’s external appearance, she learns to love him for who he truly is on the inside. Using meticulously crafted marionettes and beautifully painted scenery, National Marionette Theatre’s production is classical marionette theater at its finest. Appropriate for family audiences aged 4+. Tickets $7, plus box office fees. For more information and tickets, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com or call the Box Office at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 Tuesdays-Fridays 3-6pm. Northampton, MA.

Apr 21, 23 & 25

April 21, 23 and 25 from 9am to 11am spring-inspired art projects help kids enliven their creativity at Spring Break Art Detox at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Discover how exhibiting artists preserve, re-purpose, and recycle materials. On Monday, preserve natural materials in resin; On Wednesday, re-purpose objects into a mobile planter; On Friday, recycle found items into sculpture. Parents can drop off their kids or join in the action. Pre-registration is recommended. Reservations are $7 per day for members and $10 for not-yet members, and can be made at the MASS MoCA box office. Sign up for one, two, or all three days. Registration is also open for summer art camps. Find out more online at kidspace.massmoca.org/art-camps.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 40 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 12th-18th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 5th-11th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I SO appreciate being able to go through your eNewsletter each Thursday evening to find the kinds of events & activities that appeal to me & my family! The format allows me to first scan the outdoor, educational and/or service opportunities, and then fine-tooth search through the day-by-day ‘suggested events.’ I usually check out at least a post or two as well – and I often email a link to the eNewsletter to a friend whom I think will be interested. I rely on Hilltown Families more & more as my son gets older – especially since we started home-schooling. Thanks very much for your excellent work, folks!” Susan M. (Amherst, MA)

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

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

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Introducing The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT), offering innovative dance training and performance studies for all ages. SCDT is made up of a collective of seasoned teachers who are independent performance artists with international experience. Classes include: Creative Contemporary Dance (ages 6-12) Song, Story and Dance (ages 2.5-4) Friday morning advanced Contemporary Dance, Hip-Hop Urban fusion for kids and adults Contemporary Indian Dance (ages 6-12) (Mohiniyattam/Bharatanatyam), Shaking Practice, and The Observatory: Tuning Scores Laboratory. Please visit the website for class schedules, faculty, and registration information: scdt2014.weebly.com

Open House: Apr 5

Visit the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN), 51 Bates Street, for an open house on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10:30am to 12noon! Parents of students from ages 2 through 12 interested in September 2014 admission are invited to tour the school, participate in an art project and music circle, and meet staff. MSN offers a Little Children’s House program for toddlers from age 2, a Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten) program for ages 2 years 9 months through 6, and an Elementary program for ages 6 through 12. MSN is accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE). For information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 10

Greenfield Center SchoolThe Center School presents: Parenting, Teaching & Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children, An Evening with Lori Duron, New York Times Book reviewed author of Raising my Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Thursday, April 10th at 7:00pm at Seelye Hall, Smith College in Northampton. Based on her (one million subscribers & counting) blog, Rainbow is the first memoir written by a mother that chronicles the daily joys & struggles of raising a gender-variant child. For the first time ever in the Pioneer Valley, Ms. Duron will speak in an evening sponsored by The Center School. The event is free to the public. Tickets are limited & subject to availability, so please call 413-773-1700 to reserve. www.centerschool.net

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

On Friday, April 11th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Pre-registration is kindly requested. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 30 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 5th-11th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Events in Western MA, 2014

Easter Events in Western MA 2014

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Check our list of Easter events for an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Community events that celebrate Easter take place through April 20th. We’ll be adding to this list as events come in, so be sure to check back: Easter Events in Western MA 2014.

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 30th, 2013

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 upcoming week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 30th-April 5th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Mark Your Calendars and Bulletin Board.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Laura Ingalls Wilder to the Beatles. Vernal Pools to Hot Cross Buns., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!  And for Easter highlights check our post, Easter Events in Western MA, 2013.

March 30th-April 5th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

HistoryOutdoor AdventuresAnimal StudiesCommunity ServiceGeographyComicsMusicalsScience/AstronomyMuseum AdventuresParent Workshops

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. The Ripple: Message of the Spring Peepers
  2. Vernal Pools: When Will The Spotted Salamander Eggs Hatch?
  3. Legends & Lore of Easter Icons
  4. Mud & Bugs in the Hills
  5. Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

TICKET GIVEAWAYS

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

22 Community Highlights: Laura Ingalls Wilder to the Beatles. Vernal Pools to Hot Cross Buns.

One of the oldest Good Friday customs is eating hot cross buns. These small sweet buns, marked with a cross of white icing, may have originated in pre-Christian times. Early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans marked their loaves of bread with symbols to honor their gods and goddesses. Many superstitions grew out of this custom.. Read more about this and other Easter icons in our post, Legends & Lore of Easter Icons.

Laura Ingalls Wilder to the Beatles. Vernal Pools to Boreal Forests. Legally Blonde to Anything Goes…

These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Get out into your community and learn while you play!

And be sure to check our list of supporting book titles to supplement the learning on the different topics highlighted each week. Purchase them for your family library, or check them out from the public library!

HistoryOutdoor AdventuresAnimal StudiesCommunity ServiceGeographyComicsMusicalsScience/AstronomyMuseum AdventuresParent Workshops

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 23rd, 2013

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 upcoming week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 23rd-29th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Mark Your Calendars and Bulletin Board.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 27 Community Highlights: Bread to Sushi. Beekeeping to Bird Houses., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!  And for Easter highlights check our post, Easter Events in Western MA, 2013.

March 23rd-29th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Sustainability ♦ Nature Science/Animal Studies ♦ Culinary Arts
Musical/Theater ♦ Parent Workshops ♦ Art ♦ Culinary Studies

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. “This Day in History” Video Series
  2. Two Recipes to Celebrate the Simple Pleasure of Cooking
  3. Which Western MA Museum Did Your Family Visit Last?
  4. Fencing Lessons in Western MA
  5. Web Review: BrainPOP

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPRING RESOURCES

Easter Events

27 Community Highlights: Bread to Sushi. Beekeeping to Bird Houses.

Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 23 – April 5, 2013

While there still might be fresh snow on the ground, it is officially spring… and there’s proof!  High school spring musicals are happening at both Taconic High School in Pittsfield and Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield; Spring egg hunts are scheduled in several towns throughout the county; there’s even the annual Spring Tonic happening at the Lenox Library!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through April 5, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Events in Western MA, 2013

Easter Events in Western MA 2013

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Community events that celebrate Easter take place through April 13th. We’ll be adding to this list as events come in, so be sure to check back.

Saturday, March 16th

In Great Barrington at 3pm, earn to make naturally-dyed eggs with the Berkshire Co-op! Families will learn how to use food, flowers, leaves, and more to create beautifully decorated, all-natural holiday eggs. You’ll get to take the eggs that you dye home, and make sure to wear clothes that can get messy. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. (FREE)

In Otis at 10am, the town of Otis will host an Easter Egg Hunt and Games event. BYO basked and arrive at the town hall. For more info call 413-269-4541. (FREE)

In Whatley at 12noon, Marion Abrams will be leading a Family Batik Ukrainian Egg Workshop at the Whately Library. Children ages 8yo+ will learn basic skills for beautiful traditional Ukrainian Pysanky. 413-247-9807. (FREE)

Saturday, March 23rd

In Adams from 10-11:30am, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum will host an Old Fashioned Easter Egg Hunt with hard boiled eggs colored by Daisy Troop 40054 for kids up to ages 12yo. 413-743-7121. 67 East Road.

In Amherst from 12noon-3pm, Atkins Farms hosts an Easter Egg & Candy Hunt with the Easter Bunny.  Photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny. BYO basket.  Under the pavilion. 413-253-9528. Corner of RTE.116 & Bay Rd.  (FREE)

In Easthampton at 10am, there will be an Egg Hunt at Daley Field. Bring a camera for photos with Easter Bunny. BYO basket. For kids ages 10yo and younger. Easthampton High School. Williston Ave. (FREE) – Rain/Snow Date: 3/30

In Great Barrington from 10-11:30am, Berkshire South Regional Community Center will host an egg hunt. Toddlers to age 6yo are welcomed. BYO basket. Pre-register. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. (>$)

In Huntington at 2pm, the Huntington Recreation Committee will host an Egg Hunt at Pettis Field for Huntington kids (& grandkids) 10yo and younger. BYO basket. 413-667-3500. (FREE) – Rain/Snow Date: 3/24, 2pm.

In New Marlborough at 10:30am, the New Marlborough Library will host a Spring Egg Hunt at the New Marlborough Central School for children up to 11yo.  BYO basket and camera to take photos with the Easter Bunny. 413-229-6668. – Rain/Snow Date: 3/24, 1pm

In Northampton at 1pm, Marion Abrams will be leading a Family Batik Ukrainian Egg Workshop at the Forbes Library. Marion will teach basic skills for beautiful traditional Ukrainian Pysanky. Children ages 8yo+ are welcomed. 413-247-9807. (Free/>$)

In South Hadley at 12noon, the Odyssey Children’s Department will be hiding 100 eggs in store for an Epic Easter Egg Hunt! Two simultaneous Egg Hunts will happen, one on each floor, divided according to age. Spring Storytime follows hunt. BYO baskets. All ages welcome. 413-534-7307. 9 College St. (FREE)

In Wendell from 10am-12noon, Diemand Farm hosts their annual Easter Egg Hunt. There will be egg coloring, crafts and an egg hunt for your children to enjoy. A variety of baby animals including rabbits, goats and lambs will be there to pet–and maybe even feed! 126 Mormon Hollow Road. (FREE)

In Westfield at 11am, the Mayor’s Easter Egg Hunt happens at Shaker Farms Country Club. Kids can search for eggs filled with treats – BYO basket! The Easter Bunny will visit at 11:30am, and kids can get their faces painted. 413-572-1260. 866 Shaker Road. (FREE) – Rain/Snow Date: 4/1, 11am.

In Wilbraham from 10:30am-1pm, the Wilbraham Children’s Museum will host an egg hung for kids ages 5yo and younger. BYO baskets and come hunt for over 400 eggs, enjoy indoor crafts and story time. Hunt begins promptly at 11am. 678 Main Street. (>$) – Rain or Shine.

In Williamstown at 10am, Sweet Brook of Williamstown Rehabilitation and Nursing Center hosts their 3rd annual Easter Egg Hunt. Children up to 10yo can join in. There will be Easter baskets and plastic eggs filled with candy to hunt for on the grounds. 413-458-8371. 1561 Cold Spring Road. (FREE) – Rain/Snow Date: 3/24, 2pm.

Sunday, March 24th

In Ludlow at 12noon, Randall Boys and Girls Club host an Easter Egg Hunt for kids ages 3-11yo. Pictures with the Easter Bunny at 12noon. Hunt begins at 1pm. Must register by 3/22. Rain date: April 7. 413-583-2072. 91 Claudia’s Way. (>$) – Rain/Snow Date: 4/7.

In Sunderland at 2pm, Sunderland Recreation host their 14th annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Sunderland Elementary School. 413-665-1439. 1 Swampfield Dr. (FREE)

Friday, March 29th

In Health from 10:30-11:30am, the Heath Library will host an Egg Hunt on the Town Common in lieu of their weekly story hour. They ask that all participants RSVP. 413-337-4934 x7 (FREE)

Saturday, March 30th

In Agawam at 10am, the Great Easter Egg Hunt happens at the Bethany Assembly of God. Kids ages 1-12yo can join in an Egg Hunt, win prizes and enjoy a performance by the TNT Puppet Team. 413-789-2930. 580 Main Street. (FREE)

In Cheshire from 11am-6pm, Whitney’s Farm Market hosts their Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Kids ages 5yo and under search at 11am.   Kinds ages 6yo and older search at 3pm. 413-442-4749. 1775 S. State Rd. (FREE)

In Chicopee from 10am-12:15pm, the Chicopee Parks Dept hosts their annual Easter Egg Hunt at Szot Park. Kids are invited to make a silly pair of bunny feet during the event and prizes will even be awarded. In the upper fields at the park, thousands of eggs will litter the field, with good luck eggs sprinkled throughout! Call to register: 413-594-3481. Upper Szot Park. (>$) – Rain site: Chicopee Academy.

In Dalton, the Dalton CRA host an Easter Egg Hunt on the CRA Memorial Lawn. Open to kids 11yo or younger. Easter Bunny visit too. BYO basket. 413-684-0260. 400 Main Street. (FREE) – Rain site: CRA gym.

In Florence at 9:30 & 11am, Look Park hosts two seatings for families to have a breakfast buffet with the Easter Bunny at the Garden House. Tickets sold first come first served. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main St. ($)

In Florence from 1-2pm, the Northampton Rec Department host their annual EGGstravaganza Egg Hunt at Look Park for children ages 10yo and younger. With over 10,000 eggs with goodies inside, kids can scramble for eggs according to age group. BYO basket, get your photo taken with the Easter Bunny, and even win prizes. Be sure to arrive early! 300 North Main St. (FREE/>$ Parking)

In Granby at 11am, the Granby PM Club hosts an Egg Hunt for kids 12yo and younger at the Dufresne’s Park Gazebo. BYO basket. (FREE) – Rain Cancels.

In Hadley from 10:30am-12noon, Hadley Park & Rec. to host an Easter Party at the Hadley Elementary School. Pictures with the Easter Bunny, crafts and fun activities. BYO basket to collect eggs! 21 River Dr. (FREE) – Rain or Shine.

In Holyoke at 10am, Holyoke Parks and Recreation hosts an Egg Hunt and Spring Celebration at the Holyoke Heritage State Park. Easter egg hunts for four age groups, great prizes, face painting, gift bags and a t-shirt decorating station (t-shirts and gift bags included for the first 500 children), pony rides, craft stations and of course a chance to meet the Easter Bunny! BYO basket. 413-322-5620. 221 Appleton Street. (>$) – Rain or Shine.

In Ludlow at 11am, the Hubbard Library host their annual egg hunt. Kids of all ages are invited to the Library’s egg hunt, sponsored by the Friends of the Library! Children will search the grounds for colorful eggs, and a chance to win prizes. Kids who have food allergies can swap for non-candy eggs. BYO basket. 413-583-3408 x3. 24 Center Street. (FREE)

In Pittsfield at 10:30am, the Annual Eggstravaganza Egg Scramble will be held at Pittsfield’s Morningside Community School. Five different age categories beginning at 10:30am-11:25am, open to all Pittsfield children. One winner in each age group who finds the golden egg will receive a special prize! BYO baskets. Easter Bunny will make a special appearance. 100 Burbank Street. (FREE) – Rain or Shine.

In Springfield from 11am-1pm, The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center hosts a Spring “Egg”stravananza. Collect eggs along the “bunny trail.”  Meet live animals that all come from eggs, and bring your camera for a photo with the Easter Bunny. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave.

In Stockbridge at 11am, the Stockbridge Library host an annual Easter Egg Hunt to follow a spring story time and book giveaway. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. (FREE)

In West Springfield at 9:45am, West Springfield residents are invited to join the search for over 7,000 eggs at the West Springfield Park and Recreation Department annual Easter Egg Hunt at Mittineague Park. Children ages 7yo and younger are invited to meet the Easter Bunny and receive a candy treat between 9:45-10:30am in the tennis court area and then the Easter Hunt will begin sharply at 10:30am. Children will be divided into three color-coded age groups. 413-781-3020. Mittineague Park. (FREE) – Call if rain/snow.

In Worthington at 10:30am, Worthington Easter Egg Hunt takes place at R.H. Conwell School.  Kids hunt followed by teen/adult hunt.  All are welcomed. 413-238-5500. (FREE)

Sunday, March 31st

In Deerfield from 10am-3pm, celebrate Easter at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle! There will be delicious food (some from local farms!) and the Easter Bunny will stop by to visit! Reservations suggested. 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. A ($$)

Saturday, April 13th

In Turners Falls at 1pm, the 8th Annual Peter Cottontail’s EGGstravaganza takes place at Unity Park. Children ages 4-12 are invited to take part in this great community tradition. Activities include face painting, egg coloring, pictures with Peter Cottontail, and a 5,000 Egg Hunt! BYO basket. Unity Park, First Street. (FREE) – (Originally scheduled on 3/23)

[Photo credit: (ccl) Jose Chavarry]

Learn How to Make Pisanski Eggs in Western MA

The Tradition of Pisanski Eggs

We all know about the American tradition of Easter eggs – the three dimensional ovals that come in many varieties, from jelly beans to hard boiled.  They’re no match, however, for Pisanski eggs.  These eggs – that you would never dream of eating – are beautifully decorated using beeswax and vibrant (yet non-edible) dyes.  A tradition from eastern Poland and Ukraine, rich in history, Pisanski eggs are usually decorated with intricate patterns, and are made using hollowed out eggs!

The word Pisanski comes from the Polish verb “pisac,” meaning to write  – an accurate description of the process! Check out this simple tutorial on making pisanki- wax and dye decorated Easter eggs from polandisawesome.blogspot.com:

Easter is coming – it’s on March 31st this year!  Introduce a new tradition to your family while exploring the customs of another culture.  Instead of plastic candy-filled eggs, make your own Pisanski eggs.  Your beautiful eggs will become beloved family treasures.  Families hoping to find help in learning to make Pisanski are in luck!  Check out these Western MA classes and workshops taking place before Easter Sunday:

  • Hampden County: On Saturday, March 2nd the Wistariahurst Museum hosts a hands-on demonstration of making pisanki with local artist Carol Kostecki.  Ages 12+, registration required.  413-322-5660.  Holyoke, MA.  ($$)
  • Franklin County: The Deerfield Spring Sampler, held at the Eastern States Exposition, will offer Ukrainian Egg Workshops on Sunday, March 9th at 12noon. 413-774-7476.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)
  • Berkshire County: Ventfort Hall Gilded Age Museum will offer two workshops, taught by Tjasa Sprague.  Classes will take place at 10am and another at 12:30pm on Saturday, March 23rd, with lots of demonstration.  413-637-3206.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)
  • Hampshire County: Marion Abrams will be leading two Family Batik Ukrainian Egg Workshops.  The first one take place on Saturday March 16th from 12noon-2pm at the Whately Library (FREE) and on Saturday, March 23rd from 1-3pm at the Forbes Library (>$) in Northampton. Marion will teach basic skills for beautiful traditional Ukrainian Pysanky. Children ages 8yo+ are welcomed. For info contact Marion at 413-247-9807. Whately, MA & Northampton, MA. (Free/>$)

Suggested Events for April 7th-13th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Along with the yellow bloom of Coltsfoot, the white bloom of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is one of the first wildflowers to appear in April. Take your family on nature scavenger hunt along one of our Western MA rivers and streams this weekend and see what you can find. Click on the image to find out about nature scavenger hunts. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

BEST BETS

Easter Events in Western MA

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

In Hampshire County on Saturday, April 7th at 10am  – SATURDAY  MORNING MUSIC PARTY:  The Flywheel Arts Collective, an Easthampton-based, volunteer-run music and arts venue, along with the Hilltown Families and No-Nap Happy Hour, invites families with kids of all ages to a free pancake breakfast followed a family dance party by local kids performers R.O.C.K. (Royal Order of Chords and Keys)! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

In Berkshire County on Saturday, April 7th from 10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Today is the first day of Hancock Shaker Village’s annual Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm event! Visitors to the village can meet tons of different baby animals, such as calves, chicks, piglets, lambs, and ducklings. There will also be activities for kids that involve both art and learning about history, such as weaving on a loom and basket making! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($) 

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm ShareIn Hampden County on Saturday, April 7th from 11am-3pm – YARN BOMBING: Yarn bomb the Storrs Library today! Yarn bombing, a recently growing craze, is when knitters create flat knit pieces and use them to cover things like lamp posts, fences, railings, etc. Today, the Storrs Library invites kids to cover their book carts with their own handmade yarn bombs. Kids can practice their knitting and/or crocheting skills and will get to share their creations with the community! Call to register. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

In Franklin County on Saturday, April 7th from 1-4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help give the Greenfield Energy Park a good spring cleaning. There will be lots to do, including cleaning up debris left by winter storms and gardening in the park’s beds. BYO garden tools and gloves. Families can work together to help prepare the park, a great community resource, for the season! 413-772-1533. Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Spring Vacation Week: April 16th-20th: Many students get the third week of April off from school, and parents will be looking for activities for their children to enjoy during the break. There are many opportunities to be found in the region, with several boutique options to choose from, including nature, art, sports, ballet, history, gymnastics, stewardship, outdoor adventures, among others. Check out our post, 15 Camps for Spring Vacation Week in Western MA for some highlights of events and week long camp opportunities happening during Spring Vacation Week right here in Western MA. Some options are for the entire week, while others allow you to choose your days and have full day or half-day options. Then be sure to check back next week for our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events for events happening during Spring Break!

BULLETIN BOARD

SHOW Circus Studio CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of week day kid’s circus classes will begin on April 9 at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton. Participants will work on trapeze, fabric, juggling, tumbling, human pyramids, tight wire, rolla bolla, globe and more. Circus is a great way to increase self esteem, have fun, get in shape, improve focus and learn new skills.  Classes are available for new and continuing students during after school hours. Students may come 1-3 times per week with a final show for parents and friends. Visit www.showcircusstudio.com/Classes.html for info and to register: Not sure if circus is right for your child? Try free circus classes on April 7 and find out! Class is free but registration is required. More info at www.showcircusstudio.com/Trial.html

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

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

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Individuals of all genders, sexual orientations, races, religions, abilities, ages, and income levels are encouraged to apply for volunteer positions at Everywoman Center. Educator Advocates work to prevent sexual violence and relationship violence on campus and in the community by facilitating workshops, discussions, and events on sexual assault, consent, and bystander intervention. Counselor Advocates support and advocate for people who have experienced sexual, physical and emotional abuse or violence. Academic credit available to volunteers (optional). Apply Online: www.umass.edu/ewc/work.  For more info: visit www.umass.edu/ewc, or email ewcmail@admin.umass.edu.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
April 6th-13th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 31st-April 6th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Mark your calendars for the Hancock Shaker Village's annual Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm beginning next Saturday, April 7th, 2012. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

BEST BETS

Venal Pool Events in Western MAAll day on Saturday, March 31st from 10am-4pm – MUSIC/LITERATURE FESTIVAL: The Meltdown, an annual family music and book celebration, takes place today! The event features live music from many great children’s musicians (the Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Mok and Friends, The Nields, School for the Dead, etc.), readings and talks with celebrated children’s authors (including Lisa Yee, Jeff Mack, and Eric Wright), crafts for kids, a gymnastics area, storytelling, magic and puppet shows, booths featuring local vendors and family services (including Hilltown Families!), and more. Celebrate great family music and books, and get the family out of the house and on their feet! Takes place at JFK Middle School. 100 Bridge Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

In the evening on Saturday, March 31st from 5:30-9pm – SPRING ADVENTURES: There are mysterious creatures and critters in the woods at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Families can take a guided tour (leaving the visitor’s center every 15 minutes) of the woods to characters who live in the vernal pools at the sanctuary. There will be frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and more. Along with the tours will be games, presentations, and real live pond critters for kids to meet. Celebrate spring and the unique habitats created by the change in seasons! 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm Share

Enter to win a Small Farm Share from Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA for the 2012 season by sharing a family recipe you're looking forward to preparing this spring with fresh local produce, embellished with the story behind this favorite dish!

In northern Berkshire County on Sunday, April 1st from 12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s Free Family Day at The Clark!  Enjoy an afternoon of activities, games, gallery talks, and tours all centered around the theme of Copycat: Reproducing Works of Art.  Kids will get to use various materials to create their own reproductions of classic works, can play follow-the-leader games, and explore the galleries.  The event is a great opportunity for kids to learn about creating art and art history.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

And in central Berkshire County on Sunday, April 1st from 1-2pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: The Berkshire Museum is incubating eggs from Hancock Shaker Village!  The eggs are set to hatch today, in honor of the museum’s 109th birthday, as well as the beginning of spring.  There will also be a lamb visiting from the village, and kids can meet animal friends and take part in fun animal- and spring-themed activities.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Easter Events in Western MA

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Saturday, April 7th from 1-4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help give the Greenfield Energy Park a good spring cleaning.  There will be lots to do, including cleaning up debris left by winter storms and gardening in the park’s beds.  BYO garden tools and gloves.  Families can work together to help prepare the park, a great community resource, for the season!  413-772-1533.  Miles Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, April 8th from 2-4:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Winterberry Farm’s Lambs’ Open House takes place today!  Families are invited to the farm to meet the recently born lambs, as well as some fuzzy little chicks!  There will also be adult goats and poultry to visit.  413-548-3940.  21 Teawaddle Hill Road.  Leverett, MA.  (DONATION) 

BULLETIN BOARD

Pioneer Valley BalletBALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents Cinderella based on the classic fairytale of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of love, the obstacles in its path and finally the dream fulfilled.  This comic ballet is known for its jubilant music, lush scenery, beautiful dancing and the hilariously wicked stepsisters, more mad than bad in this production.  Come experience a beggar turning into a Fairy Godmother, a pumpkin and mice that turn into a coach and coachmen, a glass slipper that makes dreams come true. You will leave the theater laughing, awe-inspired, and believing in “happily ever after!” Shows: March 31 & April 1 at the Academy of Music in Northampton.  Visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org or the Academy at 413-584-9032 for tickets.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Swing into spring with the O-Tones at ArtSpark, Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School’s annual party & auction at Look Park’s Garden House, Saturday March 31st at 7 p.m. Put the “fun” in fundraiser with live music, dancing, food by Bread Euphoria & a cash bar. The silent auction is the Valley’s most eclectic, with many one-of-a-kind furniture and crafts by local artisans to a Cape Cod getaway and South African Safari. Tickets are $20 apiece, available in advance at local businesses including Bread Euphoria, State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner & The Creamery, or at the door. More info, please call 413-268-3421.

sarahpirtle.com/JourneyCamp.htmSUMMER CAMP: Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The unique camp offers a supportive atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends as campers explore nature, dramatics, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Director Sarah Pirtle, founder of Journey Camp, has won numerous awards for her books & music for children. SESSION ONE, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 2-6, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. HILLTOWN JOURNEY CAMP, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 16-20, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. MOONSEED TEEN LEADERSHIP FOR GIRLS, ages 12-18, July 30-Aug. 2, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. GIRLS WEEKS, ages 7-13, Aug. 6-10 & Aug. 13-17, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com.

"Last year a participant from the Boston area found out about my camp through your website and spent a week out here with her daughter just for my camp!" - Beth Fairservis, Puppets in the Woods Summer Arts Camp

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids?  Check out our post  Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT: Empty Arms is a local community of bereaved parents who seek to support families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Four support groups are held each month. The Bereavement group meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 PM at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The Subsequent Choices group meets on the 2nd Monday of each month.  Contact Carol McMurrich for time and location (carolmcmurrich@comcast.net). The Miscarriage group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 PM at Cooley Dickinson. The Parenting After Loss group meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the morning. Contact Erika Parker for time and location (ehenyey@gmail.com). For more information, contact Carol McMurrich, director carolmcmurrich@comcast.net.

EARTH HOUR: Join together with other community members to celebrate togetherness and local resilience, and observe Earth Hour, too!  “Weaving a Web of Resilient Community” takes place at the Cummington Community House (33 Main St.) on Saturday, March 31st.  Beginning at 7pm, the event features activities, performances, and images that highlight the unique culture and values shared locally.  There will be a photography show featuring pictures taken by Hilltown Families’ Sienna Wildfield, a seed swap, potluck snacks (bring something to share!), a concert with Sarah Stockwell-Arthen (whose music channels the theme of the event), and a celebration of Earth Hour, where the lights will be turned out and candles will be lit (BYO!).  Visitors will also have a chance to share information about farms, sustainability projects, or other relevant community ideas, projects, and initiatives with others at the event, and there will be art materials available for kids to experiment with!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
March 31st-April 6th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Events For Families in Western MA

Easter Events in Western MA 2012

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Community events that celebrate Easter begin this weekend. We’ll be adding to this list as events come in, so be sure to check back.

Saturday, March 31st

In Easthampton at 10am, an annual Egg Hunt of 18,000 eggs (many with prizes) happens at Millside Park. Hunt begins promptly, so arrive early and BYO basket! Easter Bunny will make an appearance too. Great photo opportunity. 413-529-1440. 2 Ferry Street. (FREE)

In Granby at 11am, the Granby PM Club hosts and Egg Hunt for kids 12yo and younger at the Dufresne’s Park Gazebo. BYO Basket. Rain cancels. (FREE)

In Huntington at 2pm, the Huntington Recreation Committee will host an Egg Hunt at Pettis Field for kids 10yo and younger. 413-667-3500. (Rain Date: April 1st, 2pm). (FREE)

In Lenox at 10am or 12noon, families can learn to make beautiful decorated Easter eggs in the traditional Eastern European style at Ventfort Hall!  The process includes drawing intricate designs with wax on eggs and dying with colored dyes.  Kids must be 12+ and accompanied by a parent.  The workshop is a great opportunity to learn about Czechoslovakian cultural traditions!  Registration required.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  ($)

In Monson from 1:30-3:30pm, kids ages 3-10yo can gather at Veterans Field for spring activities.  An Egg Hunt begins promptly at 2pm. BYO basket. (FREE)

In Wendell from 10am-12noon, Diemand Farm is hosting an Easter celebration.  There will be egg hunts, egg dying, and more holiday-related fun!  Celebrate both Easter and local egg production.  Bring a donation for Operation Touch of Home for care packages being distributed to overseas soldiers. 978-544-3806.  126 Mormon Hollow Road.  (FREE)

In Westfield at 11am, come hunt for eggs at the Mayor’s Easter Egg Hunt at Shaker Farms Country Club!  Kids can search for eggs filled with treats – BYO basket!  The Easter Bunny will visit, and kids can get their faces painted.  413-572-1260.  866 Shaker Road.   (FREE)

In Williamstown from 10am-12noon, Sweet Brook of Williamstown Rehabilitation and Nursing Center hosts their 2nd annual Easter Egg Hunt. Children up to 10yo can join in.  There will be Easter baskets and plastic eggs filled with candy to hunt for on the grounds. 413-458-8371. 1611 Cold Spring Road. (FREE)

Sunday, April 1st

In Ludlow at 1pm, kids can hunt for Easter eggs with the Easter Bunny at the Ludlow Community Center!  The Easter Bunny will meet egg hunters at the center’s pavilion and will be available for pictures afterwards.  Open to kids in preschool through fifth grade.  Registration required.  413-583-2072.  91 Claudia’s Way.  (<$)

In Southwick from 12noon-2pm, the Southwick Park & Rec will host an Easter Egg Hunt at Prifti Park. Activities include arts & crafts, sweet treats, display from the fire dept., Easter Bunny, and an egg hunt divided into age groups. 454 College Highway.  (FREE)

Friday, April 6th

In Heath from 10:30-11:30am, the Heath Library will host an Egg Hunt on the Town Common in lieu of their weekly story hour. They ask that all participants RSVP by April 2nd. 413-337-4934 x7 (FREE)

Saturday, April 7th

In Agawam at 10am, The Great Easter Egg Hunt happens at the Bethany Assembly of God. Kids ages 1-12yo can join in an Egg Hunt, win prizes and enjoy a performance by the TNT Puppet Team. 413-789-2930. 580 Main Street. (FREE)

In Chicopee from 10am-12:15pm, the Chicopee Parks Dept hosts their annual Easter Egg Hunt at Szot Park.  Kids are invited to make a silly pair of bunny ears during the event and prizes will even be awarded.  In the upper fields at the park, thousands of eggs will litter the field, with good luck eggs sprinkled throughout! Rain site: Chicopee Academy. Call to register: 413-594-3481. Upper Szot Park.  (>$)

In Conway from 10am-1pm, the Conway’s Annual Thelma French Easter Egg Hunt happens on the Town Field. 413-625-0041. (FREE)

In Dalton from 1-2pm, the Dalton CRA lawn will be filled with eggs for their annual egg hunt!  Kids can scour the grounds and look for eggs filled with treats.  413-684-0260.  400 Main Street.  (FREE)

In Florence at 1pm, there will be eggs galore at the Northampton Rec Dept. annual Easter Egg Hunt at Look Park!  BYO basket for egg collection- you might find a lot!  There are scheduled times for different age groups, so check the schedule.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  (FREE)

In Greenfield at 11am, kids can come hunt for eggs at the Rotary of Franklin County’s annual egg hunt!  The event takes place at Beacon Field, and kids will be divided into three different age groups for hunting.  Beacon Street.  (FREE)

In Hadley from 10:30am-12noon, the Hadley Park & Rec Dept host their Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Kids can hunt for eggs at the Hadley Elementary School, and along with the egg hunt, there will be crafts for kids, a visit from the Easter bunny, and other activities!  BYO basket for eggs.  413-586-6375.  21 River Drive.  (<$)

In Holyoke from 10am-12Noon, is an Egg Hunt and Spring Celebration at the Holyoke Heritage State Park.  There will be many fun activities for the family, including pony rides, t-shirt decoration, prizes, and the Easter Bunny will be visiting too. Egg Hunts are on the half hour from 10-11:30am, and divided according to age group. Allow time to register for the egg hunts. 413-322-5620. 221 Appleton Street. (>$)

In Lenox at 11am, Lenox Community Center Easter Egg Hunt happens at Lilac Park.  BYO baskets and come visit the Easter Bunny.  Egg hunt begins promptly at 11am, so arrive early! Rain location: Lenox CC Ballroom. (FREE)

In Pittsfield at 10:30am, the Pittsfield Parks & Rec host their annual Easter Egg Scramble at Morningside Community School for kids 2-9 years old. 413-499-9370. 100 Burbank Street. (FREE)

In South Egremont from 11am-1pm, Blue Rider Stables will host an Easter Egg Hunt at their barn. There will be pony rides, face painting, hay bale maze, refreshments and Easter sweets. 413-528-5299. 15 Farm Lane. (>$)

In South Hadley at 11am, the South Hadley Rec Dept is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt & Hat Parade at Buttery Brook Park.  Kids are invited to come with creative Easter hats for the parade (prizes will be awarded!).  Following the parade at 11:30am will be an egg hunt (BYO basket!).  (FREE)

In Springfield at 11am-1pm, kick off Forest Park Zoo’s season at the annual Eggstravaganza!  Kids can collect treats along the bunny trail, and bunnies will be distributing extra treat-filled eggs around the park.  413-733-2251.  302 Sumner Avenue.  (FREE)

In Stockbridge at 11am, the Stockbridge Library hosts an Easter Egg Hunt for pre-school-elementary school aged kids. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street, (FREE)

In Turners Falls at 1pm, the Montague Parks & Rec Dept invites kids to hunt for eggs at Unity Park!  There will be a visit from Peter Cottontail, and kids can get their faces painted, dye eggs, and do other fun activities!  BYO basket for collection.  413-863-3216. First Street. (FREE)

In West Springfield from 9:45am-10:30am, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt takes place at Mittineague Park for kids ages 7yo and younger. Easter Bunny will be handing out candy treats and an egg hunt begins sharply at 10:30am (BYO basket),  413-781-3020. (FREE)

Sunday, April 8th

In Cheshire at 12noon, 12Noon, kids up to 10yo are invited to an Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Cheshire Police Association at the Cheshire Elementary School.  BYO baskets! Cheshire, MA (FREE)

In Florence at 9:30am or 11am, have breakfast with the Easter Bunny at Look Park!  Enjoy delicious breakfast foods and celebrate Easter.  Reservations strongly suggested!  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  ($)

In South Deerfield from 11am-3pm, celebrate Easter at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle!  There will be delicious food (some from local farms!) and the Easter Bunny will stop by to visit!  Reservations suggested.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  ($$)

In Whately from 12noon-2pm, learn to make Pysansky, a traditional Ukranian decoration made from egg shells, beeswax, and dye!  The Whately Library is hosting the workshop, which is open to kids ages 7+ and their adults.  BYO eggs and paper towels and learn about a holiday tradition from a unique culture.  Regsitration required.  413-665-0054.  218 Chestnut Plain Road. (FREE)

[Photo credit: (ccl) Jose Chavarry]

Suggested Events 04/23/11-04/29/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Hoop trundling at the Historic Deerfield this past weekend during their Patriot's Day Revolutionary Muster & Parade. Click on the image above to see more photos in this series. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you

BEST BETS

On Saturday, April 23rd, your family can celebrate Earth Day at multiple locations, including an Earth Day Fair in Pittsfield, Eco-Fair in Northampton, Sustainability Festival in  Amherst, and an Earth Day Festival in Easthampton.  All details listed under our Saturday events here.

On Sunday, April 24th from 2-4pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Winterberry Farm’s Lambs’ Open House! Visit newborn baby lambs, as well as (maybe) some baby rabbits, ducklings, and/or goslings. There will definitely be chicks! Donations will be collected for Right Sharing of World Resources. 21 Teawaddle Hill Road. 413-548-3940. Leverett, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival! Three music stages 16 fabulous musical performances, including family concerts with The Nields, Mister G, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins! - Great local food! - Kids-Made Craft Bazaar! - Solar powered stage! - Sustainable vendors! - May pole & Morris Dancers! - Kids under 12 free. All others only $5 per person!

Saturday, April 30th at 10am, 12Noon & 3pm- FAMILY TRAIN RIDES: Take a ride on a train from Pittsfield to Lenox and back on the historic Housatonic Railroad as part of Pittsfield’s 250th anniversary celebration. Pre-ticketing only- tickets can be found at City Hall, the Colonial Theater, or the Berkshire Atheneaum. 232 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-7201. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

In the Hilltowns on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12Noon – FAMILY DAY: Take the kids to Guyette Farm to build a blue bird house with the Franklin Land Trust. Call to register 413-625-9151 x108. Plainfield, MA ($)

Sunday, May 1st at 10:30am – MAY DAY FESTIVAL: Join the Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School in celebrating May Day! There will be all sorts of celebratory activities including a puppet performance, dancing, games, and a BYO picnic! 35 West Plain Road. 413-528-4015. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

In the afternoon on Sunday, May 1st at 2pm – FAMILY THEATER: Ja’Duke presents the musical “Doctor Dolittle” at Greenfield High School. 1 Lenox Avenue. 413-863-0001. Greenfield, MA. ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

GREAT CLOTH DIAPER CHANGE: The Great Cloth Diaper Change Western Mass happens on Sat., April 23rd at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine St.). This event promotes the joys of cloth diapering, celebrates Earth Day, connects families, & will set a WORLD RECORD! Bring your child & a cloth diaper and be a part of history! There will be extra cloth diapers on hand if needed. – Doors open at 11:30am and the change happens PROMPTLY at 12:30pm, synchronized with thousands of changes around the globe! – There will be prizes, snacks, speakers, music & local vendors. $1 Donation to Real Diaper Association. For more info email jmontagna10@gmail.com. Sponsors of the GCDC: Mother Herb Diaper Service, Cradle, Motherwear, Second Chances, Cup & Top Café, Warm Welcome Birth Services & Loveybums.

OPEN HOUSE: The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to their Open House on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12noon. Come and meet their dedicated teachers who create a warm, loving environment for your children. Located in the heart of the hilltowns of Western MA, near the center of Ashfield, the preschool is a child centered, creative and loving environment surrounded by a large playground and enchanted woodland trails. The preschool is accepting applications for their summer and fall programs at this time. Full and half days available. For more information call 628-3248 or stop by on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12Noon at 103 Baptist Corner Road, Ashfield, MA. acpres@verizon.net

Alison Krauss

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

KID-GEAR SALE: On May 7th from 8am-12noon, the South Hadley Family Center will host their 4th annual Mom-to-Mom Sale, an event where moms (and families) get the opportunity to sell clothes, toys, books, etc. that their children have outgrown. Table rental is $15, and proceeds will go directly to the Family Center. If you have items to get rid of but don’t want to participate in the sale, you can drop them off at the Family Center and they will be sold to raise money for the center. For more information, please contact shfcckids@yahoo.com.

POSTPARTUM SUPPORT: On Saturday, April 30th from 12noon-1:30pm, there will be a initial meeting of the Berkshire County Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Coalition. The meeting is an opportunity for care providers in Berkshire County to discuss how to best create a support network for mothers that utilizes all of the resources available in the area. Contributing organizations include Berkshire Children and Families, MotherWoman, Gathered Resources of Women, and more! The meeting will take place at the Redfield House at 48 Elizabeth Street in Pittsfield. To RSVP, contact liz@motherwoman.org.

HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION: South Berkshire Household Hazardous Waste Collaborative has scheduled their spring collection events. The first paint and oil collection is Saturday, April 30th from 9-11:39am at the Great Barrington Recycling Center, and there will be six more to follow. Families must register in order to drop off your hazardous waste. To do so, contact Avie Maloney at 413-445-4556. For more information, visit www.cetonline.org.

Lucindia Williams

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

TUESDAY MARKET: Northampton’s beloved Tuesday market will be awakening from its winter slumber on May 3rd! However, before then the market, alone with Grow Food Northampton, needs to raise $4,000 in order to ensure that the food stamp (SNAP benefits) program offered at the market last summer can remain. The program not only allows the market to accept food stamps but offers double benefits- shoppers can use $10 of benefits for $20 of local food. To make a (tax deductible) donation of any amount, checks can be made out to Grow Food Northampton (include “FoodStampsx2 Program” in memo line) and mailed to PO Box 849, Northampton, MA 01061.

Read the rest of this entry »

Create an Eco-Savvy Basket for Spring

Suggested Events 03/22/08 – 03/28/08

Happy Spring

Spring is here, officially arriving early Thursday morning. My daughter asked me if this meant that the sun would be coming home now … how can I tell her not to hold her breath (remember last year in April when it snowed and schools were closed)? Yesterday when we were down in Hadley in the rain, I could see in her face the gloom of these past few cold and gray days gnawing at her. As I helped her zip up her winter jacket and tucked in her hair under her winter cap, I got an earful on how she wants the rain and snow to just go away so she could just run around outside, “.. run around, Mommy, without my boots on! They don’t smell like new anymore.” I have to admit that they are smelling a little funky after a full winter’s worth of wetness and muck.

While we still have nearly a foot of snow on the ground outside our door here in West Chesterfield, a few people chimed in last week with signs of spring their families have spotted, including skunks, puddles and plumes of steam rising from local sugar shacks. I’d like to add another sign of spring: when you can see the patch of lawn above your septic tank; that little oasis of lawn surrounded by snow that’s slowly, ever so slowly, melting away.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our community bulletin board.

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

Events Happening in the Hilltowns
The following key represents the sum cost of one adult and one child:(>$) Under $10; ($) Between $10-$19; ($$) Between $20-$44; ($$$) Over $45

Saturday – 03/22

7am – 10am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) While traveling around town, tune-in to The River from 7-9am or 103.3 FM from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child . [All ages] (Free)

9am-1pm – ALL THINGS BASEBALL – (Florence) Northampton Little League will be having a fundraiser at the Old Florence Grammer School (140 Pine Street). New & used baseball apparel, equipment and more. To donate call 413.584.6974 [All Ages] (Fundraiser)

9am, 10:15am & 11:30am – BREAKFAST WITH THE EASTER BUNNY – (Florence) At Look Park. [Families] ($)

10am-Noon – EASTER EGG HUNT – (Montgomery) The Montgomery library will be sponsoring an Easter egg hunt, provide games and offer cupcake decorating. [Ages 10 & under] (Free)

10:30am – EASTER EGG HUNT – (Pittsfield) 64th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Reid Middle School. Bring your own baskets. 413.499.9370 [Ages 9 & under] (Free)

11am – EASTER EGG HUNT – (Worthington) The Rec Dept. will be hosting an Easter egg hunt at the Worthington Rod and Gun Club for town kids. Bring a basket. [Ages 10 & under) (Free)

11am-12:30pm – CSI FOR KIDS – (South Hadley) Crime Scene Investigation for Kids will be at the South Hadley Public Library. Learn about forensic science through pH testing, finger printing and more. Preregistration required. 413.538.5045 [Ages 9-12] (Free)

11:30am – EASTER EGG HUNT – (Middlefield) Easter Bunny will be visiting at the town hall during their town Easter egg hunt. [Ages 10 & under] (Free)

1pm – EASTER EGG HUNT – (Northampton) Easter Egg Hunt at Look Park. 413.587.1040 [Ages 10 & under] (Free with entrance fee)

1pm – TEA PARTY – (Florence) The Lilly Library will be hosting it’s third annual Doll Tea Party. This years guest doll maker/speaker will be Heidi Stevens of Leeds who stitches “Somali Dolly’s” with a group of Somali Bantu women. Participants are asked to bring their own favorite doll or stuffed toy. Tea and cakes will be served. For more information or to register for this event please call Lilly Library at 413.587.1500. [Families] (Free)

1pm & 4pm – THEATER – (Pittsfield) Addy: An American Girl Story will be performed at the Colonial Theater. 413.997.4444 [Ages 8 & up] ($$)

4pm – 6:50pm – ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a public skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($)

6pm-8pm – CONTRA DANCE – (Cummington) The CFC will be hosting a Contra Dance at the Cummington Community House with Steve Howland. 413.634.5362 [All Ages] (Free)

Read the rest of this entry »

Legends & Lore of Easter Icons

Easter Symbols, Icons, Legend, Lore and Customs

Many traditions of Easter, a religious holiday, have their origins in pagan rituals and beliefs. The result is lots of legends and lore behind the popular icons, symbols and customs that are part of the Easter celebration.

Hallmark historian and archivist Sharman Robertson explains the meaning of the word “Easter” and highlights the origin of Easter customs:

The Word “Easter”

Centuries before Christ, the pagan tribes of Europe worshipped a beautiful goddess of spring named Eostre (EE-ah-tra). Festivals celebrating the end of winter and the birth of spring were held in her honor at the end of March, the time of the vernal equinox. Some historians believe the word Easter is a variation of her name.

Others see a connection between Easter and the rising of the sun in the east.  Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: